Quote of the day:
A nightingale does not stop singing its beautiful song at the intrusion of an annoying woodpecker. -Suzy Kassem
After having spent half an hour sifting through an old blog post, which for some reason is popular with spammers, I couldn't help but be left wondering how devastating these individuals can be. Don't get me wrong I am used to receiving spam in the comments section -as if those that appear in my email aren't enough, and of course with Blogger.com being owned by Google, it should leave little room for spammers having a field day no? Wrong. It gets worse. Asides from bombarding your blog or website with irrelevant comments, they also leave lots of dubious links.
I've read many bloggers complain about the spamming issue -at the last count I've had to delete dozens of such comments from numerous posts. Some blog owners prefer to moderate comments before they appear live on their blogs and I can't blame them, as I've thought of doing the same especially when things get to a frustrating level.
A screen capture from an old post showing spam messages
Why Worry about Spam ?
Spammers are like party crashers who basically invite themselves to a party they are not invited to. They come bearing goodwill, and leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Unfortunately, there is no remote control to block them completely. I'm unsure about Wordpress or other blog platforms, but with Blogger, Google does recommend reporting any offending website and I've seen some blog profiles deleted in that regard.
Although spamming appears to be a never ending battle between good and evil, as these spammers will stop at nothing to enrich themselves, there are a number of steps that you can take to reduce their frequency.
1. Check the spam folder (Blogger)
A snippet of the Spam folder view on Blogger
If you are on Blogger, you can keep an eye on your spam folder -as you can see from the image above, mine stood at over 400 spam messages from both new and old posts. In this way Google helps filter out spam from appearing on the blog, but its not 100% effective as some still find their way -which will have to be deleted manually. Its also good to look at this folder to make sure genuine comments are not being flagged. One of the reasons I have chosen not to turn to moderating comments is due to this spam detection tool.
2. Report Spam
As I said above, you can report any inappropriate and offending URL links via Google's Blogger support page. Asides security, these spammers prevent genuine visitors from easily accessing your blog or website as they slow it down with all the irrelevant visits and links. No one should have to put up with that.
If you are on Wordpress, you may want to have a look at their 'Combating Comment Spam' page
3. Moderate Comments
You can manage who can comment on your blog, and in effect the type of comments that readers can leave. This also includes Google + comments. In case you are wondering how, this Blogger help guide talks about how to go about managing and moderating comments on your blog.
4. Show Word Verification
Another tool that can be turned on is the modern word verification which is popular on most blogs, Its simple, and I think user friendly.
It is known as reCAPTCHA and according to Google it 'protects your website from spam and abuse while letting real people pass through with ease'.
In conclusion, spammers will never go away and the best option for us is to fight back as much as possible. Its enough to ask what's wrong with the internet? and although this post focuses mostly on Blogger, there are online resources and tools that you can use to manage your blog, or website against spammers.
Do you have a problem with spam on your blog? How do you deal with the frustration and what tools if any do you utilize?
Peace. Love. Light*
Current Listen: Gnarls Barkley -Crazy