Blogs are now an extremely popular and important part of the internet. Millions of people blog every day. As blogs have evolved over the years, so has the commenting system. Now anyone can make comments on a particular blog posting. As blog commenting has grown more popular, so has spam commenting. In this newsletter, we’ll go over why comments are a great form of feedback for your blog, how they help the credibility of your content, what spam comments are and how to prevent them from happening.
Comments – A great form of feedback
When blogs first came around, they were simply online journals. No one could post comments on a blog posting. That all changed in 1998 with OpenDiary, a site which allowed people to comment on blog postings. Now every blog, whether it is remotely or self-hosted, includes this option to comment.
Commenting is great because it allows real people to tell you what they think about your form. It gives you feedback on what you are doing right and what you may need to improve. Comments can be encouraging to you and motivate you to post more quality blog messages. Or they can be constructive criticism to make you work harder to get better at writing content.
Whatever the style of comment is, it is still very useful to your blog. High numbers of comments have the ability to make a blog look credible because they show that the blog is being read by a lot of people. That’s something that every blog owner wants, and comments help to let them know just how many people enjoy their content.
Unfortunately, spammers have now started to use comments as a way to spam. How do you know what a spam comment is? Well, a spam comment is a comment that only advertises another site or product. If the comment seems bland/generic with a cheap link thrown in, then it’s definitely a spam comment.
Here is an example of a typical spam comment:
“Hey, this site is really cool. Check out my really cool site at spamsite.com.”
Of course not all spam comments will be this blatant, but you get the point.
Fortunately for bloggers, as spam comments have grown, so has the ways to prevent it. Here are a couple ways that you can prevent spam comments from even being posted on your blog.
- Close off commenting on older blog posts
There are options for you to stop comments from being posted on any particular blog post. Lots of times, spammers will post comments in weeks or months old posts. So take away this opportunity from them to keep it from happening. Most blog hosters now offer this as a standard option in the tool panel. If one of your posts has been up for a couple weeks, close it up.
- Take advantage of software offered to prevent comment spam
If you host your own blog using WordPress, you can use an option in that software to prevent spam. Even if you aren’t using WordPress, you can still use other Spam comment blocking software like Spam Karma, Akismet, and Bad Behavior. While these aren’t 100% effective, they have proven to be quite effective in preventing spam from happening.
- Take a look at your settings and see what can be tweaked to toughen your protection
Lots of blogs now have settings to help prevent spam. If you already have a spam blocker on in your blog and are still experiencing spam, take a closer look at the settings to see if there’s anything that can be tweaked to make your protection stronger. However, if you do this, you should closely monitor your posts to make sure legit comments aren’t being blocked out. If they are, you might have to lighten up a bit.
- Regularly read your blog comments
Be sure to keep an eye on your comments. Even the best software or setting can’t prevent everything, so you will have to occasionally manually remove comments on your own.
By applying the above principles, you can ensure that your blog is full of only good, quality comments, which will help your credibility tremendously.