20+ Sure Shot Ways To Reduce SPAM Comments

If you are like me or like anyone using a WordPress blog, then you’ll be even ready to pay to prevent spam comments. Because that spoils almost 30% of our energy we give for our blog. Few plugins + few tweaks, you are ready to enter a spam-free dashboard then. Using such tips you can prevent them as much as possible because I have tried them on my blog(s) and it worked quite well. So I thought of making an article with all those tips combined, and here it is.

1. Use Akismet

Akismet is a MUST have plugin for a typical WordPress blog. If you don’t have it, then you’ll have the burden of differentiating genuine comments and spam comments. Akismet filters out your comment and track-back spam for you.

Akismet Stats


2. ReCAPTCHA

Before going to ReCAPTCHA I’ll tell you what CAPTCHA is. It is a type of challenge-response test used in computing as an attempt to ensure that the response is generated by a person. You can try lots of CAPTCHA plugins to prevent spammers from automatically entering the comments. You can also try Math Comment Spam Protection, which asks the visitor making the comment to answer a simple math question instead.

reCAPTCHA


3. Blacklist certain words

You can find this option on WordPress “Discussion Settings”. You can keep a list of words you don’t want to have in your blog comments, if you get any such comments it will be moderated. Like when a comment contains any of those words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be marked as spam. You can use the similar kind of form in the Comment Moderation if you want to moderate them instead of marking as SPAM.

Comment Blacklist

[VIEW LARGER IMAGE]


4. Use Third Party Commenting Systems

I don’t have much experience but third party commenting systems like Disqus, Intense Debate, Facebook Comments, etc have good control over SPAM comments. Interestingly such commenting systems are not loved by spammers, they rarely poke their heads inside such systems.

Facebook Comments

Common Blog Comment Systems


5. Avoid DoFollow

Spam commentators normally target dofollow blog because they’ll get more advantage over nofollow blogs. Comments on a dofollow blog have more juice and traffic. So you can make your dofollow blog as nofollow if you get lots of spam comments frequently. Though being a dofollow blog has some advantages you still need to battle the spam comments now and then.


6. Use Comments Policy

Every blog must have a “Comments Policy“, because that’ll help your readers and commentators to know the right format and way to comment on your blog. You can mention what happens if they spam on your blog. You can also tell how you reward them (learn how to reward commentators) for their genuine comments and why they should not spam instead.


7. Ban by IP

This WordPress plugin WP-Ban is a recommended one. If you find any person from a particular IP address continuously spamming your blog, then you can ban them using this.

It will display a custom ban message when the banned IP, IP range, host name or referer url trys to visit you blog. You can also exclude certain IPs from being banned. There will be statistics recordered on how many times they attemp to visit your blog. It allows wildcard matching too. You can also use the default WordPress comment moderation to ban IP addresses.

WordPress Plugin Used:


8. Use CommentLuv and KeywordLuv

Confused? The thing is, if you use such plugins normal readers won’t bother to fill their comments with spam content (like links). Instead they’ll use plugins like CommentLuv and KeywordLuv to fulfill their desires.

WordPress Plugins Used:


9. Confirm you are not a spammer

Believe me, this plugin is equal to Akismet. GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin (G.A.S.P.) is what we are talking about. You just have to confirm that you are not a spammer using a check box.

WordPress Plugin Used:


10. Close comments on old posts

If you wish to close comments on older posts you can do that on WordPress “Discussion Settings”. Just go there and under “Other comment settings” you can find “Automatically close comments on articles older than ___ days”.

close comments days

Enter the age of the posts you want the comments to be closed and save. WordPress also provides the option to close comments on individual posts you can use of that. Because spammers target posts with high traffic.


11. Cookies for Comments Plugin

This WordPress plugin will set a cookie on a random URL that is then checked when a comment is posted. If the cookie is missing the comment is marked as spam.

This plugin adds a stylesheet or image to your blog’s html source code. When a browser loads that stylesheet or image a cookie is dropped. If that user then leaves a comment the cookie is checked. If it doesn’t exist the comment is marked as spam. The plugin can also check how long it took a user to enter a comment. If it is too fast it could probably be a spam bot.

WordPress plugin used:


12. Custom WP function to ban empty referrers

This function will reject the comments from the browsers which do not have referrers enabled. When the ‘referrer’ for a particular comment request is empty, then obviously the comment is not posted from your blog post comment form.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-comments-post.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*yourblog.com.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) ^http://%{REMOTE_ADDR}/$ [R=301,L]

Paste this code on your .htaccess file. Please kindly backup your .htaccess file before implementing this.


13. Simple trackback validation

You can also validate the trackbacks you are getting for your blog posts. You can check whether they are coming from original source or some crap site. Simple Trackback Validation Plugin performs a simple but very effective test on all incoming trackbacks in order to stop trackback spam.

This plugin checks if the IP address of the trackback sender is equal to the IP address of the webserver the trackback URL is referring to.

WordPress Plugin Used:


14. Remove website column

Pretty simple way to avoid all sorts of SPAM comments. It will be hard for the spammers to keep your blog in their hit list then.

no website column

This screenshot of Woorkup.com shows comment form without website column. So normally spammers will give less preference to such sites, but it might also make link building readers aka commentators confuse.


15. Avoid HTML in comment

This tip will help you to disable HTML inside comments. Even if the commentator uses “HTML” syntax, they won’t convert. Commentators will normally keyword related anchor texts and make them as spam comments. By disabling HTML, you can make them look like normal text instead of clickable links.

Reference:


16. Add Invisible formfields to Comment form

By adding additional formfields to your comment form (which is only invisible to humans) you can differentiate between a normal comment and bot comment. If a spambot fills these fields blindly (which most of all spambots do), the comment will not be saved. You can use NoSpamNX WordPress plugin for this.

You can decide if you want to block these spambots or mark them as spam. Furthermore, you can put common spam-phrases on a local Blacklist or (if you have multiple Blogs) on a global Blacklist. This comes very handy when fighting againt “handmade” Spam.

WordPress Plugin Used:


17. Moderate first time commentators

You can restrict first time commentators from getting approved instantly. You can enabled the option that Comment author must have a previously approved comment by the administrators. You can see this on Discussion Settings > Before a comment appears.

First Time Commentators


18. Comment Email Verification

If a comment is held for moderation then an email message will be sent to the comment author with a link to verify his/her email address. When the comment author clicks on that link the comment gets approved immediately. This makes discussions more lively as users don’t have to wait for the blog admin to approve the comment.

Blog owners may also choose to hold the comments in the moderation queue even after successful verification. The verification status is shown in the comment lists in the admin.

WordPress Plugin Used:


19. Restrict Comments to Registered Users

If you have enabled registration on your WordPress blog, then you can restrict comments to only registered users.

Registered users comment

Go to the Settings > General panel > Under Membership:, select Users must be registered and logged in to comment. This will reduce good amount of spam since you can get genuine users by registering.


20. Limit Number of Links in Comments

Mostly spam comments will have links in comments so you can limit the number of links in the comments to avoid spamming.

Comment Links

To change the number of links in comment posts you can change the setting for the number of links permitted in a comment.

Go to the Settings > Discussion panel.

Scroll down to Comment Moderation.

In the section which covers the number of links in a post, it is set to 2 by default. You could lower to one.

NOTE: Do not set this to zero or leave the field blank. It will send every comment to moderation — not the desired effect.


21. Disable Comments & Trackbacks

This is not a tip to reduce spam comment, but to disable comments. Just uncheck the last two options to disable comments and trackbacks for your blog posts. No more SPAM comments. If you are really not interested in these comments thing, then this is the best option for you. 🙂

Settings > Discussion > Default article settings

Disable Comments & Trackbacks

You can also delete your wp-comments-post.php and wp-trackback.php to disable comments and trackbacks permanently.

I’m sure these tips will help you to reduce spam comments on your WordPress blog. If you know any other tip, kindly mention them in the comments.

15+ Uses Of Google Analytics You Might Not Know

When someone mentions Google Analytics the only thing that comes to your mind is your blog “visits” or “views”. But there are more stuffs inside it which you may not have tried. Google Analytics is a life saver! Learn 15+ uses of Google Analytics which you might not know below.

1. Track Your RSS Feed Clicks

Do you want to know how many people are visiting your blog via RSS Feeds?

Go to your Feedburner Dashboard, now select the title of your RSS feed.

Then choose the option “Configure Stats” under the Analyze Tab.

Tick the options that say “Item views”, “Item click” and “Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics” and save it.

track rss feeds

Now this tip will help you to analyze the click counts and the exact source from where that click may be originated. You can also find whether Google Reader subscribers are more engaged than your My Yahoo! Subscribers.

Track RSS GA

Use the “All Traffic Sources” and “Campaigns” sections to track the traffic from clicks inside your RSS feed.


2. Display Google Analytics Stats On Your Website

If you want to make your blog’s traffic public you can make use of Google Analytics to display it. You just need to make your Google Analytics Report “Public” in order to proceed.

We are going to use a service called SeeTheStats to access your Google Analytics account. Then choose a profile of the blog/site you want to make the data public.

GA - SeeTheStats

This service will automatically update your site’s traffic based on your current statistics.

Check Tutorial: Display Google Analytics Stats On Your Website


3. Track all the Missing Pages on your Site

You should not entertain 404 error pages as they are a burden to your site’s reputation. You should track them real-time and fix it as soon as possible. Having many 404 error pages or Not Found pages would reduce your site’s value.

404 Error

By using Google Analytics you can easily tweak the JavaScript code to enable tracking of missing pages so that it can generate a virtual pageview in your Analytics reports that will not provide you with the URL of the missing page and the URL of the referring site.

Check Tutorial: Track 404 Errors on your Website as they Happen!

Also Check : Google Analytics Help – Troubleshooting tracking


4. Track Your Gmail Messages

Google has a cool feature for Gmail called “Analytics for Gmail usage”. Using this you can easily see the basic visitor stats, length of visits, geographic location, browser details and so on.

Check Tutorial : Google Analytics For Gmail Usage


5. Google Analytics “Visitor Counter” Badge

There is a WordPress plugin called Google Analyticator. This is similar to the Feedburner count badge, this one displays the number of visitors or number of pageviews for the blog.

Google Analyticator adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics logging on any WordPress blog. This eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging. Google Analyticator also includes several widgets for displaying Analytics data in the admin and on your blog.

Google Analyticator uses the Google Analytics API to prepare a stats widget that shows unique visits and views about yesterday’s visitors on your site.


6. See Your AdSense Earnings Data

You can integrate your Google AdSense account with Google Analytics. You should really try this so that you can know where the users who are making you the most money are coming from.

Google Analytics + Google Adsense

How this combination can actually benefit you?

  • Discover untapped markets. You can make use of the geographies reports to determine which regions are under-represented in your site’s user base. Optimize your site’s content to attract more of these under-represented users.
  • Drive high-earning traffic to your site. Using the ‘Referring sites’ report, you can determine where the users who are making you the most money are coming from. Focus your efforts on getting traffic from these sources.
  • Delve deeper into AdSense reports. Use the visualization feature to look at trends in your site’s AdSense performance over time, or by time of day.

Source : Inside Adsense Blog


7. Tracking Clicks in Emails

Now we are going to see the “click tracking” features of Google Analytics. Using this you can track the clicks in emails. Using this you can also track clicks on links that points to external websites and track document downloads like MS Word, PPT, MP3 files, etc.

You can try the Google Analytics URL Builder for this. Type your Website URL (or blog post URL), Campaign source as your blog name, Campaign Medium as Email, and Campaign Name as your Blog Post Title.

This is the sample URL after tagging :

https://hellboundbloggers.com/?utm_source=HellBound-Bloggers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=protect-webcam

To see how this will work, go to Traffic Sources | Campaign and select the campaign name which you have generated before.

Check Tutorial: Tracking Clicks in Emails Using Google Analytics


8. Check Your Site Loading Speed

Google Analytics quite recently added a new feature for checking your site speed and page loading time, awesome isn’t it? It is not an automatic upgrade, so you need to tweak your Google Analytics default tracking code to enable this feature. Now it will be easy to improve your site’s loading speed.

Site Speed Google Analytics

Add Site Speed Code in Google Analytics

To get the new site speed report, add the following line to your analytics code

_gaq.push([‘_trackPageLoadTime’]);

Now this is how your code will look like this [sample code] :

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-XXXXX-X’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageLoadTime’]);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

This will be really useful for webmasters and bloggers to detect which landing pages are slow. Also you can find the cause and fix it earlier since Google considers site loading speed as a key factor in SERPs.


9. Negotiate Your Salary

If you are a SEO guy and you deserve a salary increase then you can use check this following salary negotiation tip for for getting a raise. You should have access to your company’s Google Analytics account and you should have done a good job. 😛

Negotiate Your Salary

Check Tutorial : Pitstop Media


10. Understanding Users’ Navigation Pattern

You can also use Google Analytics for understanding users’ navigation patterns. You can easily analyze how visitors arrived at a particular web page, and also it shows where visitors went from that particular web page. This will be really useful when you want to do site navigation optimization for a particular page.

Check Tutorial: How to Use the Google Analytics Navigation Summary Report


11. Track Visitors to Your Facebook Fan Page

For this you need to use FBGAT – Facebook Google Analytics tracker. It is a free and opensource tool created by Webdigi to work around Facebook’s Javascript restriction on Facebook fan pages which prevents Google Analytics from working correctly.

GA - FB Fanpage

After generating the code, use Static FBML Facebook application for adding HTML codes to your Facebok fan pages.

Check Tutorial : Social Media Examiner


12. Optimize your AdWords investment even more effectively

Google Analytics and Google Adwords can do wonders. Regardless of any investment situation, you can always count on this optimization trick. Google Analytics specializes in providing you with the metrics you need to make informed advertising decisions.

By linking your Google AdWords and Analytics accounts, you can optimize your AdWords investment even more effectively with increased trackability and customized reporting. Check out this short video and learn more about the benefits of linking your accounts.


13. Track Your Blog Comments

Tracking comments in Google Analytics will let you know what drives people to comment on your blog. Google Analytics can become one of the useful tools to track comments.

Google Analytics - Track Comments

You need to setup a goal in Analytics for doing this. Login to your account, click “Edit” beside your profile and “Add new goal”. You want to use URL destination as your goal type and in the goal URL, use exact match for “/tracking/comment-submit” (without quotation marks).

Check Tutorial : Optimisation Beacon


14. Track When People Print Your Webpages

Ok, so you have enabled “Print this article” option but you are not confused whether readers are actually printing the articles? Now here is another simple tweak to identify whether they are. Normally you can add an invisible tracking image only in the printed version of your blog articles. So whenever a user prints it through any method, the tracking image will be downloaded on their computer. By this you can easily track whether they have printed or not.

By using Google Analytics you can track easily. Just tweak the normal Google Analytics tracking code. After tweaking the tracking code, log in to your Google Analytics dashboard, go to Content –> Site Content –> Pages and set /print/ as the search filter. Now you can see the reports.

Check Tutorial: Use Google Analytics to Track When People Print your Web Pages


15. Use Google Analytics to track a Nonprofit goal

If you are running a Non-profit organization then you can use Google Analytics to track your Nonprofit goal easily. Conversions you can track:

    How many people are hearing and reacting to your message?

  • How many people are visiting your site when you post something on Facebook, and what do they do on your site?
  • How much information do they read?
  • Are there better ways to get your message out?

Check: How a Nonprofit Can Best Use Google Analytics


16. Specific Event Tracking

Created fancy buttons and call-to-action stuffs? Ever wonder people clicked on it? Try Event Tracking then.

Event Tracking

With “Event Tracking” feature you can do the following :

  • When someone clicks on a particular image or link.
  • When the visitor starts to fill out a form but doesn’t complete it.
  • When your visitor plays and pauses a video.
  • What people are typing into the search box of your website.
  • Reference: 3 Google Analytics Features You’re Not Using (yet)

Have you tried any of these cool uses? Do you know any other use of Google Analytics not mentioned here? Kindly share them in the comments below.

7 Must Have Firefox Addons for Geeky Bloggers

Firefox is one the most and widely used browsers with support of Thousands of great addons. Today I’m going to feature 7 Firefox add-ons that can help bloggers in some variety of ways. Some will help with increasing productivity, some with finding and posting content, and some with Search engine optimization. Earlier we also shared Firefox Add-ons for Visually impaired users.

We bloggers are usually busy and it can be difficult to find enough time to do everything. That’s where this article comes in here. These 10 Firefox plugins will increase your productivity, and will help you become a better blogger. Don’t mind if you don’t like the add ons because this is just about the add ons which I use to save my time and helps me make my work easier.

1. ScribeFire

ScribeFire is a blog editor tool that allows you to easily post to your blog and has many features.You can easily write blog posts for any of the blog platform whether is is blogger or WordPress.

Download

2.Time Tracker

Running a successful blog requires efficient use of important time. The TimeTracker add-on will make it very easy to see how much time you’re spending in your browser.

Download

3.Morning Coffee

If you routinely visit so many blogs or websites as soon as you just wake up (like check your website stats or AdSense Income or earnings), then this plugin is just made for you. It basically lets you open those websites in tabs that are a part of your everyday routine, in one click. This extension also lets you organize websites by day, which is handy if you follow a daily different routine on Sunday, than, say, Thursday.

Download

4. All-in-One Sidebar

The All-in-One Sidebar (AiOS) is an award-winning sidebar control addon, that was made inspired by Opera’s Design. It lets you quickly switch between the sidebar panels, view dialog windows such as downloads, extensions, addons, or even the source code of websites in the sidebar itself.

Download

5. Shareaholic

If you’re a blogger then it’s sure that you would use Social Media. This Plugin helps you distribute the content you like on various Social Networking sites easily. Shareaholic allows you to quickly share, do bookmark, and email the web pages across many web 2.0 social networking and social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Delicios, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Mixx and many others without cluttering up your browser with multiple and so many toolbars and buttons which eventually slow down your browser.

Download

6. SeoQuake

SeoQuake helps you to better optimize your blog for the search engines. It shows detailed information about your site competitors, such as their Google PageRank, the number of pages of their blog indexed in Google, Alexa Rank, WhoIs information, and many more similar SEO parameters. Using this data you can know what you can do clinch that top spot for a High Traffic and Low Competition keyword. The great thing about SeoQuake is, that missing from other SEO plugins like SEO for Firefox, is that you can save the data to a .csv or a text file for later which is a time consuming reference.

Download

7. Link Checker

Many bloggers use a lot of interlinking within their blog posts, but testing the validity of those links can be tedious and time consuming. With the LinkChecker add-on you can quickly and easily find dead links in your blog posts so that you can prevent the Displaying of 404 Pages.

Download

This is my list of Firefox Addons that I use in My Browser. Do share your favorite Firefox addons below.

This article is written by Vikas Bhatt. He is a 14 year old blogger who loves blogging and blogs at Niche Bloggers. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.