Managing Spam Comments In WordPress and Joomla

Some of the sites  mentioned in this post belong to friends of mine who use WordPress not Joomla – However the same issues apply to those of us who run Joomla sites and choose to use a comments plugin.

My friend RT has written an interesting post on the pros and cons of dofollow versus nofollow.

His post sparked quite a bit of discussion on the issue and many commented on the large amount of spam that ensues when a blog is ‘dofollowed’. Frank Carr also pointed out that when he ran dofollow on his earn online cash blog his site was then picked up and added to various ‘dofollow’ blog list around the interweb – this in turn resulted in poor quality traffic and a deluge of spammers.

So what can you do? Well it seems the tide may be turning against dofollow amongst its stalwart followers, I have been a supporter but sadly reverted to nofollow a few weeks back – the spam was just overwhelming me. When you run dofollow many of the spam posts will be from real people, not bots, and spam filters have a very tricky time picking these up.

Akismet has actually worked quite well for me. I have a blog where I played with feeding RSS feeds into wordpress posts – using the wp-o-matic plugin.

I didn’t really check the comments on the blog for a few months as the project was just an experiment on something very different… But when I did look a couple of months later there were 900+  comments in the queue!

So I installed Akismet, which is a wordpress spam filter that provides a ‘check for spam’ button in the comments window. This scans all your existing, unapproved comments, not just the new ones.

Akismet moved all but 3 of the 900+ comments to the spam folder.

I did a double check by manually looking at 3-4 pages in the spam folder and they were definitely spam. The 3 non-spam comments were valid.

Akismet did a good job in this case.

If you are using Joomla this may end up being a major issue for you as all the comment components are 3rd party, and to my knowledge none have particularly robust spam moderation features.

Do let me know if you are running comments in Joomla and have any interesting methods to combat spam, has anyone looked at implementing Akismet for Joomla?

10 Comments

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  1. I wouldn’t implement Akismet because it wasn’t free for commercial sites when I last checked.

    I’d implement blogspam.net (there’s already drupal and wordpress plugins) or antispam.typepad.com in preference to Akismet.

    • Hey MJ,
      You’ve just enlightened me to something I should have looked more closely at – and you would know being the open source guy.
      I will review the Akismet license again and have a look at blogspam.
      Tx

  2. Hi BigBear,

    I am using JomComment for Joomla and it has full-blown Anti-Spam tab and Akismet is just one of the options.

    I dont know if your comment system allows this thumbnail, but have a look on the screenshot below to give a few ideas on how it looks like on backend config.

    But the downside, JomComment is a commercial product so it’s really fighting spam with a cost.

    Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

  3. Hey Pembaris,
    Thx for that update – I didn’t realise JomComment had integrated Akismet – As MJ pointed out above, Akismet itself is not free either, so I guess you’d be paying for the commenting system and then another license fee for Akismet – which FYI appears to be $5 USD per month if you run a commercial blog that makes $500+ USD per month. If you are an enterprise they have different, more expensive, plans.

  4. For Joomla (JomComment in specific), they have some solid spam detector engine since for post that has replicated words or copy pasted would be filtered out. Obviously it’s not totally spam-proof, but it’s making spammer’s work (or life) much harder than it normally would be :)

    anyway I was looking for a space to suggest a topic for you, and where could I found that space within this site?

  5. Heya Pembaris – feel free to email me – my contact should be above the comments on this page.

  6. JomComment is a commercial product so it’s really fighting spam with a cost.

  7. use wordpress not joomla is true. akismet is great to manage spams. Thank you for this entry

  8. Akismet can help eliminate spam on your WordPress blog and up to 20 other most popular web applications. You can find the full list of applications that Akismet works on the official website.

  9. Spam can definitely be a problem, but the no follow links generally do calm things down, somewhat.

    One thing that acts as spam-bait, as well as the dofollow attribute is having a high page rank, and I don’t think if you have got a reasonable page rank you can easily avoid spammy comments slipping through.

    I think people have generally cottoned onto the fact that the nofollow link stops the page rank being passed on, but is still beneficial to their site’s rankings.

    I personally haven’t found any spam protection that is 100% fool-proof, and still have to check manually from time to time.

    Are there any more suggestions for good spam protection?

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