How to avoid blog comment spam. Don’t have a blog.

Published on 7 January 2012 in , , , , ,

I’ve been reading with interest Martin Beelam’s posts on disabling comments on his blog (see his posts, Why I’ve closed comments on my blog and Blog Comments: A Pause for Thought for the full story) because, like him and most people, I have a constant battle with spammers trying to misuse this site to boost their own Google-juice.

Now to be honest, I suspect I get far less spam than Martin because my site is smaller than his, but he commented that at one point he went through about a thousand comments and published about three.

I’ve never counted up the spam vs proper comment ratio for my site but it’s easily going to be a couple of hundred spam comments for every genuine one, especially as I’ve never had huge numbers of comments here for whatever reason.

Now I’ve various anti-spam systems in place, but I still end up scanning through the junk folder as my spam filters seem to like throwing proper comments away for some reason (conversely if I make the spam filters less strict I end up being plagued by requests to approve comments which are clearly worthless to this site – oh yes spammers, you’re attempts to use my blog to fill the universe with junk always fails because I do not publish anything without checking. Not that you care – after all, it is cheaper for you just keep bombarding me…)

But I noticed something interesting recently, that I thought worth sharing. But first some background.

I have comments on three different parts of my website and within my blogging system this is split between four different “sites” where comments come in:

  • Bods’s Blog
  • The Good Columbo Guide
  • Rambling Man Blog
  • Rambling Man Content – basically anything that’s not the blog on Rambling Man

All the sites get reasonable Google-rankings; do a relevant search and you’ll probably find one of my sites on the first page.

But here’s the interesting thing: Bods’s Blog and the Rambling Man blog get most of the spam comments. By far. We’re taking massive amounts. Meanwhile the other two get very little. The Good Columbo Guide gets next to none, and the non-blog Rambling Man sections get very little.

Looking at it, it seems pretty obvious that spammers spam blogs and tend to ignore anything that’s not a blog. Presumably when they hunt down targets they are looking for sites with “Blog” either in the URL or the name.

Who quite knows what the logic is behind the spammers but the Rambling Man experience alone suggests one important thing to try if you want to avoid spam. Don’t use the word blog anywhere and you’ll escape the worst.

It’s probably too late for me (I guess I could change the URL for this blog but the spammers would probably just follow all the redirects!) but if you’re starting a new site, it’s something you may wish to try.