If you start noticing that you’re getting more comments on your blog posts than usual, you might assume that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, not all comments are created equal, and there’s a good chance that some of those comments are spam.
There are a few major problems with spam messages: first of all, they can clutter up the comments section of your blog and turn away actual readers. Second, it shows other spammers that you are not paying close attention to your blog or forum, and that it will be easy for them to add their own comments. Perhaps most importantly, Google is beginning to crack down on sites that include a lot of bad links, so too much spam could cause your site to take a hit in the SEO department, too.
But how can you tell what’s spam and what’s a genuine comment and link from an interested reader?
See if there’s a link to a questionable site. Some readers might genuinely want to share a link to a site they think you’ll find interesting, but if the link they share seems to have nothing to do with the topics you blog about and has a shady URL, like fixyourcredititwillbeawesome.com, then it’s probably spam.
Search for the IP address. You can copy and paste the IP address from any comment into Google with the word “spam” and do a search to see what comes up. You can also go to Stop Forum Spam and search by the IP address, email address, or username to find out if a commenter has a history of spamming.
Google the comment. Copy and paste the actual comment and see if the same user has been posting the same comment on many different blogs. Spammers will sometimes post generic comments like “Love your blog—check out mine?” or “You need to see this now” across many blogs, regardless of the blogs’ niches.
Check out other comments from the same source. If the same user has been all over the blog world, sharing links on everything from hot air balloon tours to veterinary dentistry, they might just have wide-ranging interests, but they’re probably an SEO spammer.
Visit the link site to see if it looks like spam. If you’re still unsure whether a comment with a link is spam, you can click on the link and see if it takes you to what looks like a legit site. However, the risk with this is that if it is a spam site, you could end up with a computer virus or other issue.
If you do determine that a comment is spam, don’t leave it on your blog or forum. Be sure to clean up your site and maintain a professional appearance by deleting the bad comment.