Blog commenting can be a great way to get to know your fellow bloggers on other blogs, while also building a community within your own blog.
However, spam comments have reached a critical mass, often taking up the majority of the time of bloggers who just want to be able to filter out the great, original comments from the fake ones.
Besides installing a plugin to fight spam, there are a few other things you can be on the lookout for that will help you determine whether or not a comment is spam or is genuine.
First, look at the name of the commenter, as they filled it in. If the name is something like, “Shoe Warehouse” or “Clothing For Less”, then you are dealing with a spammer or at least someone who is trying to game your blog in order to get a link out of the comments. The name field is a usually a dead giveaway that the actual comment will be too generic or not even applicable to the blog post itself.
Next, look at the website field. When moderating comments in WordPress, you can hover over the entered URL and a preview of the website should pop up. This is an easy way to see the website in question. However, oftentimes just from the URL itself (without viewing the website) you are able to tell whether or not a comment is spam. If a website is something like www.buy-shoes-gucci.com or free-cigarettes-22.com it is highly likely that it is spam.
In WordPress, you can remove the URL that was entered by the commenter, which is a good compromise if the name and comment itself seems genuine but the link is a little off-putting or is trying to sell something to potential readers. This can be done via the Quick Edit feature or by going into the Edit screen of the comment.
Finally, the comment itself is one of the biggest dead giveaways that a comment is spam or not. Usually spammers try to do one of two things- they either enter a comment that is so generic it could fit almost any blog post, e.g. “What a great post. Thank you for writing it” or they throw all sense of trying to seem real out the window and post a comment that solely promotes their products, e.g. “Buy Steve Madden shoes now at 90% off www.stevesshoes99.com.”
No matter what component in a comment that sets you off, it’s also important to simply use common sense to determine whether or not it is spam. Usually a quick glance will let you know right away that it needs to be deleted.
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, MoxieDot where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at MoxieDot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.