How to deal with WordPress Forum Spam

“Cool post. I wrote one similar at [insert link here]. Check it out!”

“Great idea, [user name]. I wrote about this at length on my blog [insert link here].”

“Thanks! [insert link here]”

These are some common lines we may encounter in our WordPress forums. Users join up, react to every topic with a generic response, and then vanish.

So, how does this relate to blog posts? People will leave spam comments on your site, just like they may send spam messages in your mailbox. Unlike email spam, which is directed at you, comment spam is mostly directed at search engines.

What does it have to do with Search Engines?

Why would a spammer target a search engine using your blog? Google pioneered a search method called PageRank a few years ago. In other words, Google considers who connects to the website and what those connections say in addition to the content of the page being indexed. Because of this technique, Google was able to produce highly relevant results, making it the most widely used search engine today. People often cheat the system by utilizing a tactic known as “Google Bombing” because their ranking algorithm is so reliant on PageRank.

A google bomb is when a large number of different websites link to a page with the same link text to influence the ranking of that page for a search term.

This brings us back to the spammers. A spammer might have a site that sells “mydrug” and wants to be at the top of search results for “mydrug” on Google. They leave comments on hundreds or thousands of weblogs linking to their site with the link text “mydrug.” They don’t really care if you see their google bomb text—in fact they’d rather you didn’t in case you decide to delete it! They just want the search engine to see it when they index your page.

How to stop these spammers?

  • Comment Moderation – Under Manage → Comments it shows a listing of the latest comments on any post and you can quickly scan the comment activity on your site.
  • User of Plugins and External Protections – Plugins like Akismet, Stop Signup Spam, and WP-SpamShield may be used to minimize spams.

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