Spam in any form is annoying at its best. As a internet user, every one of us has to deal with spam. It may be in the form of emails, instant messages or comments.
As a avid always-on internet user, I deal with tons of spam everyday. However, in the time (more than 11 years) I have spent on the internet, I can tell you one thing: No spam protection is perfect, it just works 98% of times. There is always a 2% chance that it will flag legitimate messages as spam or spam messages as legitimate.
Also Read: Setting up Akismet on your WordPress blog
Relying on spam engines is not always 100% accurate. To overcome the issue of the “legitimate messages marked as spam” (some of which may be really important) I follow a certain rule. This applies to spam comments marked on my WordPress blog as well, which is protected by Akismet.
- I never let the spam queue grow over 100. Above this anyone will lose interest in even looking at things beyond the first page (Hint: Set the comments page to show you 100 comments instead of only 15).
- I make sure to delete the spam queue after I have looked over it.
Now, this may seem like a tedious process. Of course looking over spam is useless too, but let me tell you this, you will be glad you did look over your spam messages. There are chances that some messages which are not only legitimate, but also important are marked as spam.
Dealing with spam is not easy. I get perfectly insane spam messages in my inbox/comments. Looking at the subject of the message or the name used for commenting, I can weed them out and send them to their right place. Most of the times it is because of the practice I have had over the years.
If you are using WordPress with Akismet, when you mark a message as spam or pull out a legitimate comment from the spam and mark it as good, you are helping others. Akismet is centrally managed so everything you do will be noted and used for a better experience for other users.
This in turn helps you too, when other users do the same. However, I must also elaborate on a point that, spam for one user maybe perfectly alright for another user.
For example, “nice post” “well written post” “I liked the way you write” kind of comments will be well received by some people. However, others may mark them as spam. If you ask me, I simply mark such comments as spam. Before I do that, I look at the name and URL the commentator used. Usually they deserve to be in spam. More often than not when you look closer at such comments, you will find the URL leading to a shady website.
Another form of spam I come across regularly is when I write a article that is popular in search engines. I get several comments for them. I do get a few which are beautifully written and definitely deserve a Oscar for commenting, if there was one. However, take a look at such comments very closely. The guys who commented are obviously trying to take advantage of your search engine rankings and insert links to competitors of the product you wrote or to paid products.
Now that would not be bad, but this is a paid form of black hat SEO where they insert links with beautifully written comments into posts for high ranking keywords, which they would never come close to achieving with their own hard work.
Thanks to WordPress for adding “nofollow” to links in the comments, these guys won’t gain much Google love, but they will definitely make money out of your well written and higher SERP post.
I can go on and on with how I deal with spam and weed out the wants from the not and vice versa. In the end it matters how you eventually follow your own process and deal with spam, comments or otherwise.
If you do follow a process or have anything to say about my opinion, I definitely look forward to it.