How to Stop Spam Comments On WordPress Blog

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Recently, one of my students asked me how to remove website URL field from WordPress comment form.

The reason was obvious.

He was getting a lot of spam comments and wanted to know how to stop spam comments on WordPress blog.

The comments were totally irrelevant and out of the context. So, he thought that this may affect the organic ranking of his blog.

Don’t you think he was right?

Unfortunately, it’s true that the spam comments may lower the website trust & authority in the eyes of search engines for numerous reasons.

That’s why you MUST know what is comment spam, adverse effects of uncontrolled comments and how to stop spam comments on your WordPress blog.

What is Comment Spam?

Actually, the comments are a great way to engage website users, ask their feedback and build long-term relationships with them.

But the comment that does not add value to your blog, ask a relevant question, contribute honestly or complement your work is defined as comment spam.

comment spam on a WordPress blog website
comment spam

Spammers and misguided noobs who believe in Blackhat SEO, use comment spam to make a large number of backlinks pointing to their websites.

A targeted keyword as an anchor text or username with a deep link to a specific article, irrelevant text, and heavy keyword-stuffing are clear signs of spam comments.

For short terms projects like event blogs (which you should not consider short-term), the comment spam helps a lot in boosting the organic ranking of the targeted keywords.

Effects of Uncontrolled Blog Comment Spam

Uncontrolled spam comments are not only useless but hurt your blog in the various forms.

1. Poor User-Experience

I know every blogger who takes his profession seriously works hard to create high-quality contents. But all great contents are tainted with the stains of spam comments on your blog.

The irrelevant comments on a popular blog look weird and may result in a poor user experience if you don’t take preventive measures.

The normal visitors who have a genuine interest in your contents or products may get annoyed or distracted. They will most probably bounce your page or label your site as spammy.

In the worst case, users may decide to stay away from your site and never come back.

2. Breaks Down Your Site In the Long Run

Today, spammers use automated bots for comment spam instead of doing it manually. You will notice a negative impact on your server resources and MySQL database.

In long-run, the heavy comment spam may break down your site.

3. It can Affect Search Engine Ranking

Here is a conversation between a renowned SEO/SEM author Jennifer Slegg and Gary Illyes.

Remember, the comments are also considered as part of your blog post and search engines treat them as an engagement signal.

However, if your site is infested with hundreds of spam comments, then major search engines including Google & Bing will lower down its organic search ranking.

Apart from that, a huge number of spam comments may take time to load the page completely which will hurt your technical SEO.

Spammy blog comments often contain the links to low-quality sites that don’t make any sense. Sometimes, the referred domains may contain malware, illegal contents, etc.

This lowers down the trust and authority of your site, ultimately resulting in the drop of organic search ranking of your blog.

How to Stop Spam Comments On WordPress Blog

It’s very difficult to convince people not to spam your blog once they have decided to do so. However, you can add some security features to combat the comment spam.

1. Remove Website Field From WordPress Comments

The comment spam exists for only a reason of SEO backlinks.

Every person related to blogging and SEO industry wants to grow fast and acquire as many as high-quality links. Unfortunately, many people don’t focus on the quality of links and try to build a huge number of links without adding any value to the community.

And, comment spam is one of the easiest and free methods to get a ton of backlinks in a short period.

When someone fills up a website field in the WordPress comment section, it creates a backlink pointing to that website.

Blackhat SEOs take advantage of that to build spammy links using a targeted keyword as Name and add low-quality or irrelevant deep links in the Website/URL field.

Search engine bots crawl the comment section and that’s why hiding a website field is a great way to fight with manual comment spam.

Although it won’t help much if other people especially the competitors are using the automated bots, you’ll see a huge drop in the spam comments.

Here are a few ways to remove website URL field from WordPress comment form.

Adding Custom CSS

It’s the easiest and quick solution that you can use to hide the website field on your WordPress blog.

Go to Appearance >> Customize >> Additional CSS. Copy the following code and paste it there.

#commentform .comment-form-url {display:none;}

Using functions.php

You can disable the website URL field in the comment section by adding a few lines of code to the functions.php files of your WordPress theme.

Go to Appearance >> Editor and then select functions.php from the right sidebar. Scroll down to the bottom and add the code given below.

Click on Update File to save the changes and you’ll see the website URL field is removed from the WordPress comment section.

Here is the code you need to copy & paste at the bottom of your theme’s functions.php file.

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'tu_add_comment_url_filter' );
function tu_add_comment_url_filter() {
add_filter( 'comment_form_default_fields', 'tu_disable_comment_url', 20 );
}
function tu_disable_comment_url($fields) {
unset($fields['url']);
return $fields;
}

Currently, I’m using GeneratePress Premium WordPress theme and this code is working perfectly on my blog. If you have any problem, then you can ask for help from the customer support of your theme.

Important

Even a small mistake in editing the functions.php file of your core theme will break your site. So, make sure you have a backup of everything prior making any changes to it.

2. Enable Inbuilt WordPress Comment Spam Protect Features

WordPress has amazing features to protect your site from spam comments and you can enable them from the Discussion option under the Settings menu.

Ask Users to Register on Your Site Before Commenting

Ask Users to Register on Your Site Before Commenting

Many people may not like the registration process to comment on any blog. However, you’ll only receive comments from the genuine users.

Also, ask them to fill the real name and email address.

Enable Email Notifications

Enable Email Notifications

You can enable the email notifications when someone posts a comment on your WordPress blog or the comment is held for moderation.

It may annoy some people who are mostly busy with their important work but trust me it makes your alert.

Set Rules for Displaying the Comment

Set Rules for Displaying the Comment

Displaying spam comments spoils the user experience. That’s why make sure all comments are manually approved before they actually appear on your WordPress blog.

Activate Moderation If the Comments Contain Links

Activate Moderation If the Comments Contain Links

The spam comments often contain one or more links in the content area itself. Adding an URL for reference is acceptable but when someone posts a comment containing 2 or more links, then it’s a clear sign of the comment spam.

In such cases, you must activate the comment moderation to prevent the unwanted comments from appearing on your blog post.

Create a List of the Blacklisted Words

Create a List of the Blacklisted Words

Spam comments often contain a lot of identifiable keywords. These keywords may include payday loans, porn, gambling, insurance, drugs & illegal health supplements, etc.

If you are getting comments containing such spammy words, then you can blacklist these keywords.

3. Activate Anti-spam Plugins

You can install anti-spam plugins to fight with unwanted comments. Adding too many plugins can eat your server resources but for non-techies, it’s the simplest solution out there.

Akismet anti-spam WordPress plugin
Akismet anti-spam WordPress plugin

Akismet is one of the best WordPress plugins to avoid spam comments. You can activate a Basic (free) plan and later upgrade to premium according to your needs.

Conclusion

Until search engines are considering the Links as a major ranking factor, you’ll receive spam comments.

Turning off the comments isn’t the perfect solution rather it’s better to know how to stop spam comments on WordPress blog.

Using WordPress plugins like Thrive Comments may inspire people to leave genuine comments and build a community that’s what we want as a blogger or digital marketer.

I’m sure you have like this article, please share it with your peers. You can connect with us using social media channels.

And, don’t forget to tell us what method you’re using to stop comment spam.

One thought on “How to Stop Spam Comments On WordPress Blog

  1. I went on vacation for 2 weeks and when I came back I found more than 1653 comments pending on my WordPress blog.
    When I looked in depth, I got to know that only 38 comments were legitimate and the rest were comment spams.
    Fortunately, I found your article on a Google plus community and I implemented some of the tips you have mentioned here in this article.
    I have also installed the Thrive Comment Plugin which seems good for my site. Thanks for writing such a valuable article.

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