Each quarter we offer a WordPress Refesher course for our clients, giving me an opportunity to help them maximize their use of WordPress. I get a lot of questions about comments on WordPress, and some of the most frequently asked questions include:
- How do I tell if a comment is spam?
- How do I get more comments?
- Should I allow comments?
- How do I get my picture to show when I comment on WordPress?
I will address these questions in upcoming blog posts. Today, we’ll start with the first question.
How Do I Tell If a Comment is Spam?
You’d think it would be easy to tell if a comment is spam, and while some comments are blatent spam, others are a little more tricky. This is where developing relationships is so important, so that you recognize commenters whenever possible. If you frequent other blogs and join conversations, familiarizing yourself with those people/emails will help, when they check out your blog and leave a comment. A genuine comment is fairly easy to spot, as it is personable, on subject, continues the discussion, refers to people within your company by name, etc.
Spammers are getting good at seeming like quality comments, so here are a few things I do to verify if a comment is spam:
- Look for a real name and gravatar
- Look at the email to see if its just a series of letters or from a non-descript email (gmail or yahoo, although plenty of people use these emails so don’t rely on this soley).
- Look at the end of the email for a website and check it out, such as email@example.com Take the vimm.com part after the @ sign, plug it into a browser and check out the website.
- Is the comment only a link to a website or minimal verbage with a link somewhere? This is likely spam, however, it is possible for a reader to reference quality resources or related blog posts in a link.
- Is the comment very general like, “I really like this article. This topic really caught my attention.” without a lot of or any reference to the actual content.
- Has this person commented before? Do they reply to keep threads going or is it a one time thing?
Deciding whether or not to approve comments can be challenging, but it is very important for your blog that you do your best to monitor comments, respond quickly, and weed out spam whenever possible.
One Last Tip
Don’t confuse a Ping/Trackback comment with spam. These are very good and happen when others are linking to your content from another website. This will also happen if you reference posts from within your own website. Approve these comments.