Get Thee Hence, Comment Spam Robot!

Have you ever logged onto your email to find 20 WordPress comment moderation emails with comments that say exactly the same thing across all of your blogs? A common denominator of these comments is that they are generic and could be left on any post, regardless of the content of the post. These comments are […]

Have you ever logged onto your email to find 20 WordPress comment moderation emails with comments that say exactly the same thing across all of your blogs?

  • “Great post, I’ve bookmarked it!.”
  • “Thanks for the information.”
  • “I can’t figure out how to add you to my RSS reader.”
  • “So nice to come across a post written with proper grammar!”

Etc.  These are paraphrases of course, and sometimes they get more creative.  A common denominator of these comments is that they are generic and could be left on any post, regardless of the content of the post.  These comments are obviously not made by real people visiting your blog, they are made by spam robots.  Occasionally when I am not sure if a comment is real or not, I Google the comment, in quotes.  If I see the exact same comment has been left on several other blogs, I can guess it was probably a robot and not a person.

If you are using the Akismet plugin which comes with every WordPress install, this will help a lot.  But it doesn’t catch everything.

You can mark each comment as spam, and block their URLs/emails/IP addresses in the “Discussions” area of your WordPress admin panel.  That helps prevent the same spammer from commenting on that blog again.  But, there always seems to be a new spammer on the horizon.

Here is a simple WordPress plugin I have begun to install in each of my blogs.  I’ve been very happy with it.  It definitely makes a big difference.  It is compatible with WordPress 2.8 and doesn’t even require your blog commenters to fill in a captcha code (the funny letters you sometimes have to fill in to verify that you are not a robot).  Instead, it works by creating fields for the comment robots to fill out, which no human being would see and fill out.  It even tells you on your dashboard how many “bird-brained comments” it has caught. 🙂

You can read more about this plugin and download it here:

No Spam NX WordPress Plugin

I hope this helps!

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17 Responses to “Get Thee Hence, Comment Spam Robot!”

  1. Jenny
    June 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    Thank you Anna, you are an angel:) I have been getting alot of spam comments and just last night was looking for a good captcha. This is great thanks again!

  2. Holly
    June 26, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Thanks Anna this is good to know as I’m receiving a lot of this lately. 🙂
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Google Voice Service to Launch Today – Check Back =-.

  3. Luca
    June 26, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    Hi Anna,
    One I get “Great post I was just thinking about that topic you should write more….
    I guess some of these do get through on blogs that are not moderated but really what a waste of energy. Thanks for the plugin info, I’ll try it out
    .-= Luca ´s last blog ..How Utility Poster Helped Me Rank On Page One Of Google Search =-.

  4. Anna
    June 27, 2009 at 2:21 am #

    Jenna and Holly, I’m very glad it was useful for you 🙂 I hope it helps. I think an occasional comment might get through but its nothing like what it was.

    I used to get 10, 20, 30 of these in a day, and since I started installing this on my blogs I think I have had 1 in three days (which was definitely spam but possibly not a robot). So, it does seem to be doing the trick. Oddly enough, the spam comment I did actually copied someone else’s comment and then added something at the end. Unreal! One wonders what they are trying to accomplish and if it gets anywhere …

    Luca – yep. I know the one you are talking about. There are also the ones that pretend to disagree with you or some such. Or they get cut off mid-sentence. I have also had some totally bizarre ones. I think on my “Happy Birthday Holly” post I got one about cake frosting or something. lol.

  5. Mac@Superfruit
    June 28, 2009 at 6:50 am #

    Thanks Anna for this precious information. Really awesome post. I’m also suffering from this problem.
    But right now I able to stop the bloody comments spammers..

  6. Reza
    June 29, 2009 at 4:37 am #

    Akismet is enough for me and my blog, but when I tried this plugin, WOW! This plugin works nicely!
    Sorry if my English is bad because I’m English is not my main language.

  7. Irish Tom
    June 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you so much Anna for this information. I have the WordPress set up and have been writing and storing blogs and articles. This will save me a lot of grief before I launch.
    Thank you again
    Tom

  8. aditya
    July 1, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    Hi,
    I agree with you that spam comment are really big problem.Lot of people use the small comment like nice post,i bookmark it, are really frustrating one. Spam blocking tool are really great option for the minimize our work.
    Thanks for the sharing.

  9. Anna
    July 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Thank you all for all of the comments on this. I am very glad you are finding this information useful, and I hope it helps!

    Its true, these spam comments can be frustrating. Since I started using the plugin I noticed a sharp decline in my comment moderation emails, and most of the ones I get are real 🙂

  10. Normal Joe@Video Marketing Tips
    July 15, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    yesssssssssss, Anna you are sharing the goods over here. I freakin hate those comments lol.

    I have never used the block feature, I just spam it, but askimet usually works well for me, many don’t get through as much, they just go to spam and I just delete all spam after I check it.
    .-= Normal Joe@Video Marketing Tips´s last blog ..Twitter doesn’t suck it’s probably just you =-.

  11. Anna
    July 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Hey Joe! Thanks for all your comments. You know when I got up this morning and saw a string of comment moderation emails I thought … “Oh NO … my plugin is broken!” And then I looked, and it was Joe! What a nice surprise! Thanks!!

  12. Anna
    July 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    That’s great, AnotherJOE! I am very glad it worked for you 🙂 Thank you for you comment!

  13. AnotherJOE
    July 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    Thank you for this useful plugin, It works great on my blog
    .-= AnotherJOE´s last blog ..28 arrières plans gratuits pour Twitter =-.

  14. Jesse@Make Your Site A Success
    July 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    Hi again Anna, great post as always. I absolutely hate spam in any form, automated or manual. There are many new ways to get past spam filters that pop up almost daily. I wrote a post a while back outlining how to take a proactive approach to block them before they even get to see your site, it also is effective at blocking scrapers and content harvesters as well. Take a look if you like http://admindaily.com/3-easy-steps-to-spam-free-wordpress-blog.html

    I hope you are having a great day,
    Jesse
    .-= Jesse@Make Your Site A Success´s last blog ..YSlow Optimization Part 1 – Make fewer HTTP requests =-.

  15. Anna
    July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    @ Jesse – Hi, thanks! I am going to look into your post as well and see what I can do to combat scrapers. The worst thing is that I have found people taking even my poetry and passing it off as their own – not only no permission, but no link, no credit, straight plagiarism! Not sure if it is scraped or just manually stolen though 🙂

  16. Bill Vlasak
    August 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    First of all thank you for visiting my blog a few times.It is encouraging for a web master of a newer blog to finally see some ‘good’ traffic .Akismet catches most of my spam which I delete every so often.How are the spammers finding my site ?–robotz or excerpts on other social sites ?
    I installed the plug-in you suggest above and since I use both JsKit and Disqus for comments and an anti-scraping plu-in as well I should be well protected.
    As such I don’t mind others copying my work as long as they give credit where credit is due.
    Spamming me so far has only been a minor annoyance and disappointment when an e-mail is received about new comments that turn out to be useless.I get enough of that on my own forum.I don’t need it for my blog.
    Besides,I don’t see the point.Readers know if a comment is spam or of no value.Secondly,search engine algorithms soon recognize such useless backlinks as zero value also.
    .-= Bill Vlasak´s last blog ..Make The Most of Your Article Marketing =-.

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