Managing comments is much more difficult than many business owners realize. After all, you want to maintain a clean website for your visitors, and it’s impossible to do that without comment management. Visit any website, and you’ll likely find spam comments in the “Blog Comments” section of a post.
First, it helps to understand why so many people spam in the first place. In addition to the obvious reason—they hope to land a sale and increase profits—there’s an underlying reason that spammers often believe will prove more powerful: a link. Linking is one of Google’s most important ranking factors, and the more links that a website gets, the more likely they are to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
As a result, spammers use tools like Gscraper to spread thousands, or even millions of link-infused comments around the Web in the hopes of appearing at the top of peoples’ search results. Consequently, the Internet is filled to the brim with spam comments. TechCrunch alone once announced that it was receiving 15,000 spam comments per day.
Use Spam Filters
Spam filters are one of the easiest ways to manage the spam on your website. Askimet, for example, is rated as one of the best spam filters on the market, claiming to be able to reach 99.8% of spam, and using machine learning to help identify ways to more effectively recognize the other 0.02% that slips through the cracks every now and then. In fact, as of October 2017, the tool had stopped its 400th billionth comment.
Monitor via Email
If your blog and website presence is still relatively small, it may be possible to monitor the comments on your own. When you monitor your blogs comments, they go straight to your inbox for your approval. This helps you not only understand what people are saying exactly when they say it, but what and when the spam comments come in. When the comments are legitimate, you can quickly and easily join in on the dialogue, which builds trust with your audience.
For example, if you run a construction business and write a blog about the importance of OSHA certification, you wouldn’t want a company promoting their sneaker sales on that post. You’d want to keep comments from straying off-topic each time. By observing the relevance of each comment yourself, you’ll get a high-level overview of everything that’s happening in terms of dialogue.
Hire a Company
If you don’t want to deal with spam comments at all—no matter how hands on or hands off the solution is—then your best solution may be to offload comment management to a third party company. This could be especially useful if you have hundreds of blog posts built over the years, and a large audience visiting your website. Advanced commenting management companies like Disqus and LiveFyre are great starting points, however, as with any outsourcing, it’s important to do your due diligence before hiring. Talk to their sales teams and take not of online reviews.
Eliminate Commenting Abilities
Although we’ve helped you determine quite a few solutions for handling your comments, sometimes things just don’t always work out the way you’d like. Turning off your comments altogether is the most surefire, 100% foolproof way to eliminate spam from reaching your website. Instead, you might direct them to converse via your social media channels (be sure to add relevant social links on every blog post, preferably at the top and bottom).
Sometimes, eliminating commenting capabilities isn’t just about keeping the spam out. Some blog owners prefer to keep comments off their blogs because it proves as a major distraction that takes away from the essence of a post and the passion to write it. This is precisely why marketing guru Seth Godin has commenting turned off on his blogs, and why it will most likely stay that way in the future. In one blog post, he explained why, saying:
“I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters.”