If you follow the comments on your blog (and you SHOULD be doing that), you know how exciting it can be when someone leaves a comment on your latest post. You wonder, has this post changed someone’s life so much that they felt the need to let me know about it? Maybe they need to tell everyone about it. Maybe they’ll share it, and it might go viral. The possibilities are endless!
But then you read the comment. It says nothing about what you wrote. Sometimes it’s not even in your native language. Sometimes it doesn’t even use your native alphabet! Worse yet, sometimes it promotes some other product, and it might not be a product you support. Your face screws up like Ralphie’s from A Christmas Story after he just decoded the top-secret message from Little Orphan Annie in the bathroom.
“A crummy commercial?”
You close your browser and kick the closest thing to your foot, which is hopefully not the dog. Then you try to forget and move on. But should you be doing more? Perhaps so. Spam comments may seem harmless, but they’re like termites, doing more damage behind the scenes than you might expect.
How It Hurts
A comment section full of spam is less credible than you deserve. After a reader finishes your post, they might want to continue reading the comments to see what other people thought. If all they see are commercials and gibberish, they might feel foolish, thinking no one else actually reads the blog—they just use it for advertising space. The more spam they see, the more quickly they’ll exit, decreasing the time of interaction.
A comment section laden with spam also decreases your SEO, placing your post low on Google’s algorithm for placement rankings. The less your total word count has to do with the topic at hand, the lower the ratio of occurrence of your keywords, which will ultimately have a negative impact on your SEO performance. After all of this, you wind up getting less traffic to your site than you should be getting.
What to Do
Of course, the answer is to block any incoming spam. You can do this manually—if you have the time to delete every spammy comment that comes in. Chances are, though, you have a whole slew of better things to do with your time. So you can choose to leave the filtering to the bots.
While there are several anti-spam plugins on the market, you need to consider a few things before installing one. Your first go-to might be a free plugin; however, the free sites have limited capacity. If yours is a blog with greater traffic, you’ll need to consider investing a little more in this service. A good plugin will not only track the spammers (and give you statistics accordingly), but also make sure that the fewest genuine comments are lost in the process.
After you’ve installed a plugin for your blog, a good manager will monitor it and stay on top of how well it’s working. Be flexible enough to change what isn’t working to make sure you get top performance.
No one likes to be spammed, because no one likes reading unrelated content. Clean up your comment section and take control of your blog.