Spam and WordPress – I need your help

passion

This is going to be a short post, but a very important one. I have been receiving a lot of spam in my comments the past 30 days or so. It seems to be increasing every single day. At the moment, I am using CommentLuv Premium (fighting spam with GASP), and it might be something with my settings. But, so far, I feel like spam is out-of-control.

What I have been thinking about, is to start using a different commenting system, like:

  • Disqus
  • Livefyre
  • IntenseDebate
  • Triberr
  • Google+ comments
  • Facebook comments

I have been testing Google+ comments on my blog, and I have never had any problems with spam on Google+. On the other hand, I don’t want my readers to have to have an account with Google+ in order to comment.

I have also been thinking about installing a new plugin to help me fight the problem with spam, but so far, I haven’t found the solution.

What’s your thought on this? Do you have the same problem, if not, how are you dealing with it?

  • Phillip Dews

    Hi Jens,
    My first time here! I started my blog 2 weeks ago and i am getting loads of spam every day, mainly calvin klein jeans ones but there all getting caught by Akismet! i am just wondering if you have that installed at all! You can see how many it’s caught already on my sidebar.
    Anyway thanks for posting this as i have just installed GASP now forgot about that one so thanks for reminding me!
    All the best and good luck!
    – Phillip

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Phillip,

    Thank you so much for stopping by. I have used Akismet! in the past, but I stopped using it when I installed GASP. I didn’t need anything other than GASP, but now, even though close to nothing are visible on my blog, I need to go through a lot of spam as they are pending comments on my blog. Maybe I’ll give Akismet! another try. By the way, is it still free?

  • Phillip Dews

    Hi Jens,
    Yea it sure is still free for personal blogs however you get a sad face if you scroll the slider down to $0 donation. That actually made me feel quite sad so moved it up to $5 not much of an improvement but still at least I am contributing to their servers!
    It’s good to give and pay it forward from time to time don’t you think? Anyway I have added this blog to my TopBlogs bookmark folder so will be back for more!
    – Phillip

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Interesting. I need to take a closer look at Aksimet! and I absolutely agree on the contribution. I pay for most of the services I use. I use free too, but many of services and the plugins I am using are paid for.

    I am considering if I should try a third-party commenting system or not. If I do, the anti-spam service is built into the system. But, I might end up with Akismet!. Thanks a lot Phillip.

  • Phillip Dews

    NP Buddy always happy to help! BTW what are your thought’s on a blog with lots of quality posts that are getting shared hundreds of times yet there are no or very little comments!
    I came across one yesterday on my triberr feed and left a comment yet none have been published! I have only found 2 comments so far on that blog! A bit selfish hey! I will message you the link on twitter if you care to look!

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    It sounds like a blog without any engagement. Maybe they are using a system to get people to share their posts? But if they have quality posts, they should have comments. On the other hand, some people, like Seth Godin, have disabled comments. But, if they have comments enabled, they should show them and reply to them.

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Jens,

    Me too ;) Every 2 hours I get another 300 or 400 spam comments. Cleared my box out this morning, again this afternoon, and in the past 2 hours I got 300. Oh well.

    Seems to be a trade off to getting many page views. I do want to keep CL because I do get so many comments by giving my commentors juice. I would probably do the same, unless you felt entirely ready to jump to a different platform.

    Good luck buddy ;)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Thanks Ryan. Are you using any other plugins other than CL to fight spam?

  • marquita herald

    You are definitely not alone with the spam problem. I’ve been using CL and then CL Premium practically since it was introduced and it’s always been effective. But in the last several weeks the spam has gotten seriously annoying. Andy (at CL) made a big deal about the last update being a fix for the spam surge but I haven’t seen any change. I also tried Akismet and after a couple of weeks cancelled it. $5 a month is minor, but I refused to pay for it when I saw no change. I wouldn’t mind changing commenting systems, but I’m pretty much locked in, at least for now, because another blogging group I belong to requires it. You know, one thing I can do is one of our members is a good friend of the owner of CL and she’s an expert with all this techie stuff. I think I’ll see if she can come up with some suggestions. Good luck!

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Marquita,

    I’ve read some of Andy’s posts about the spam issue as well. I really do hope that things get sorted out, because I don’t want to switch. I am really satisfied with CL Premium, except for the spam issue I’m currently dealing with.

  • http://fabulosityreads.blogspot.com Wendy Ewurum

    I wounder if you can tell me. is this a WordPress problem because i have been blogging for 3 years with blogger and only once had a spam problem which disappeared after I enabled comment moderatiuon for a while.
    but last year i created a wordpress bsed websie with a blog in it and because of the blof i added ping sites. spam has been a nightmare since. i’m not really tech savvy so i dread thinking about how to stop it.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Wendy,

    Yes, I believe this is a WordPress related problem, even though I haven’t tried blogger for the past year or so. A lot of people are spamming blogs to get backlinks to their sites.

  • http://www.dustbury.com/ CGHill

    In five years of running WordPress, I’ve noticed that the spam flow is never constant. This past June, Akismet reported only 72 spams. July: 405. August: 1376. September: 1031. A third of the way through October: 254. So it’s in decline for the moment. (Worst month ever: December ’08, with 2988 — close to 100 a day.) Fortunately, not one of these little intrusions made it onto actual posts.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s interesting. Are you only using Akismet, or are you using anything else to fight spam?

  • http://www.dustbury.com/ CGHill

    Akismet usually wipes up all the spam, though if I see a rapidly recurring IP address, I’ll block it with wp-ban, just to keep that particular bot from showing up again. (There’s one IP that’s tried 2600 times to get in.) False positives — non-spam that’s read as spam — are close to nil. As a result, I’ve never felt compelled to replace the WP comment system with a third-party application like Disqus. (The biggest advantage of doing so is that it offloads a lot of stuff that would normally go into your WP database; mine has grown to 60 MB, and I’d estimate at least 20 MB of that is comment-related.)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    I have been considering using Akismet, and it seems that it works great with wp-ban. But, do you ever look at your spam, to see if comments that are not spam has been flagged as spam? I am not sure if this is still a problem or not, but I do this in my mail client once a week, just to be sure that I am not deleting important email.

  • http://www.dustbury.com/ CGHill

    I check every time I go through the spam folder, just in case. The incidence of false positives is very low — maybe one or two per month.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s not bad at all. It seems that I am not receiving as much spam anymore. I did some adjustments to GASP (inside CommentLuv Premium) and I haven’t received a single spam comment since – it’s been about five hours without spam.

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    The spam issue is the reason why I moved away from CL. I might go back one day, but it just hammered me and I didn’t have time to deal with it.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s interesting Josh. I’m looking at the settings right now to see if I can adjust some of it. What are you using now? Have you switched to a third-party system?

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    I am using the Comments Evolved plugin which uses G+, FB, LF and Disqus.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    It looks great. But, how do you get notified of new comments? Are the comments all over the place… like on G+, FB, LF and Disqus? It sounds a bit confusing, but it might not be as you are really doing the conversations on your blog.

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    The comments do end up all over, sometimes on G+, sometimes on Livefyre but the notifications are the same as they would be with individual comment systems.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    I see. So you’ll receive them on email. Do you see any increase in comments and traffic after you installed it?

  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    Jens,
    This is a great discussion! I really want to stay with CommentLuv. So, I’m hoping that Andy will continue to update it. Since he released version 3.0.5.2 (of CL Premium), I’ve noticed considerably less spam. I’m still getting about 100 a day but very few go into the pending folder and I rarely have an issue where something legit is being trapped.

    I stopped using WP Ban because I’m trying to cut down on the number of plugins that I use. Instead, I’ve been blacklisting IP addresses in the discussion setting of WordPress. I think this helps too. I haven’t tried banning words there yet but that may be my next move.

  • http://www.quickblogtips.com/ Ben

    Hi Jens,

    Mind if I ask what you changed? Email is ok if you’d rather not say it in public. :) I understand that totally.

    I use CommentLuv and GASP, but not CL Premium (as yet). I too have loads of spam comments ending up in the pending queue. I use WP-Ban to block IP addresses, but most of the spam seems to come from a wide range of different IPs, so it doesn’t help much.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Sherryl,

    I really want to stay with CommentLuv too, and it seems that I’ve done something right in the settings, because now I’m not seeing any spam at all. I guess I should wait until tomorrow to see if it actually works.

    I’ve been removing plugins as well. I’m trying to improve the speed and the security on my blog.

    Thanks.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Ben,

    I will write a blog post about it tomorrow. I hope that’s ok with you. I want to show a few screenshots instead of just explaining it with words.

  • http://www.inspiredgiftgiving.com marquita herald

    I brought this up in my Facebook blogger group after leaving Triberr this morning and heard back from our resident experts pretty quickly – apparently there has been an overall uptick in spam in recent months and they tell me everyone is going through the same thing. Several use Akismet in addition to CommenLuv Premium and otherwise the only suggestion is to adjust the GASP settings to send anything suspicious to the spam folder. I already do that which at least keeps the junk contained – there is also a setting to automatically delete suspected spam, but I’d like to try and avoid that as long as possible because it seems like at least a couple of times a day a “good” comment gets filtered to the spam folder.

  • Brian Hawkins

    Hi Jens, There are a handful of us that have been having similar issues, I seem to get a lot of regular commenter’s in my spam box and obvious/blatant spam goes into moderation. I have a G+ thread with both Andy and Gail trying to help but it’s a tough cookie. Someone mentioned that there has to be a common denominator with everyone having the same issue; it’s just a matter of finding it.

  • Mitch Mitchell

    Let me just say this… Nooooo!!!!!!! lol I hate all those other commenting systems, and there’s lots of proof that you end up getting way fewer comments going that route.

    Here’s the deal.

    The first question is whether the spam is bypassing your spam folder and ending up on your blog. If it’s going to the filter, no big deal. If it’s not, then it’s time to start logging some of those IP addresses in the Discussion area of your settings, which is what I do, and it’ll move it all there.

    The second question is whether it’s showing up on newer posts or older posts. A couple of weeks ago I realized that most of the spam was showing up on older posts so the first thing I did was close comments on articles older than 90 days just to see what happened. The spam immediately went away and I was good. I’ve now backed it up to 6 months and I’m getting very little spam and I’m good with that also.

    At least it’s something to check.

  • Larry James

    There is a plugin called Antispam Bee, I use it with CommentLuv Premium with Gasp disabled. It works very well for me.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Wow, Ryan, that’s out of control! Are you using any spam filters? I use Stop Spammers Registration which works great for me. It has blocked 53,000 spammers from leaving a comment on my blog in the past year. I recommended it to Adrienne Smith last week and she said it didn’t work for her but it works great for me.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Josh, please correct me if I’m wrong but when I’ve visited your blog since you started to use that multiple commenting system, I’ve noticed that you get most of yoru comments on Google Plus. But that is the default commenting system that appears for readers of your blog.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Hi Jens, As I mentioned above in response to Ryan’s comment, I suggested Stop Spammers Registration to Adrienne last week. This plugin has been very helpful in cutting down spam comments, having blocked over 53,000 in the past month. You can blacklist email addresses, words and IP addresses. You can also white list IP addresses and email addresses. The plugin also lets you check Honeypot and STS for reports of spam from others.

    I don’t use Akismet because it flagged you and Ashvini as spammers.

    Adrienne posted on Facebook that Ashvini is working on something, but I haven’t chatted with him lately to find out what that is!

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    It was the default order but I changed it to see what impact it would have.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Interest. May I eagerly anticipate a post on the results of your experiment?

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s awesome Carolyn. I haven’t heard of the plugin before, but now I’ll definitively going to take a closer look at it. I’m going to talk to Ashvini as well. That guy is brilliant, so if he is working on something, that’s absolutely something I’ll be interested in.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Thank you Larry. I haven’t tried Antispam Bee before. I’ll take a closer look at it.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hey Mitch,

    That’s some great tips. I haven’t logged IP adresses at all, so that’s something I’ll start doing today. And, it seems that many of the spam comments are for older posts. None of the spam comments are visible on the blog (or at least very few), they are mostly ending up in the pending folder. I’ve been spending a lot of time going through the folder and sorting out the real comments from the fake ones.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    It’s great that you guys are working on it Brian. I am not going to switch, because CL is awesome. At the moment, I’ll start logging IP adresses and maybe I’ll close the comments on my old posts.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s awesome Marquita. Thank you. It’s great to hear that I’m not the only one, and it seems that a lot of people are working to solve the problem. I have adjusted the settings for GASP and it seems that it’s working great. I’ll write a new post about it tomorrow.

  • Ed King

    I’m using Askimet, as I started to get more social shares on my site the spam soon followed. Askimet took care of almost all the spam for me and I also recently affing commentluv, it was surely a pain in the neck to keep up with it but I’m really glad I’m not dealing with it anymore.
    God luck

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Ed,

    It’s great that you are not dealing with the spam anymore. It seems that things are working out for me as well. I adjusted GAP yesterday, and I haven’t received a single spam comment since.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Make that “interesting”.

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    Yes you may.

  • Mitch Mitchell

    I have to tell you that part doesn’t bother me so much because, truthfully, it’s really easy to go through because the spam is so obvious. But it’ll cut way down once you change how long you leave posts open.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Hi Jens, That’s great, I hope it works well for you. If it does, you could do a review of the plugin because it’s so incredibly helpful and powerful.

    BTW, that was 53,000 in the past year, not the past month! Note to self…don’t comment late at night.

  • Andreas Horn

    Hi Jens,
    I use the Plugin: Comments Evolved for WordPress
    and the Plugin: Antispam Bee

    Comments Evolved for WordPress allows your readers to comment via G+, WordPress or Facebook.
    Antispam Bee checks the comments and finds Spam.

  • http://adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey Jens,

    First off, it’s your blog and you can do what you want but I hate all those other commenting systems. If they have a G+ only I won’t post it to Google. The reason is I’m on your blog and I want my comment here, not anywhere else. That’s just me but that’s my opinion.

    As far as the spam goes… First off try changing your security key in GASP, that’s what Andy recommended a friend of mine do because for some reason the spammers have been getting around GASP lately which is why he’s been working on the Anti Backlink addition. It works beautifully by the way but he’s still tweaking it. As you know, he’s not able to work like he use to which is why it’s taking a lot longer.

    The other thing I do is blacklist all spammers on my server. I wrote a post on how to do that last year so if you want that information let me know and I’ll send you that link. When you blacklist them on your server they can’t even view your blog, they’ll get a 403 error message and never be able to return to your blog unless they change their IP address. If you blacklist them on your blog they’ll still come back and land in your spam folder.

    Other commenting systems help with spam but scare away your regular commenters so just decide which ones are the most important to you. ;-)

    Good luck and let me know about that post.

    ~Adrienne

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    I’ll do the same as you and close the comments on posts older than 90 days. Thank you!

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    I was wondering about that number, but I always trust you so I didn’t comment :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Josh is also using Comments Evolved and it looks great. Do you have to deal with spam at all after installing Antispam Bee?

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Adrienne,

    I certainly know which ones are the most important to me, and that’s my regular commenters. So, I will stick with CL and the default commenting system. Have you closed comments on your older posts? Mitch wrote that he had done that, and it had helped him. I’m thinking about doing the same. And, I will certainly blacklist the spammers as well.

  • Andreas Horn

    My Blog is a new one, but after three weeks I had one spam comment, which was sort out from Antispam Bee. I saw it on my dashboard, but I had nothing to do.

  • http://www.logallot.com Sonia

    Yeah I know the feeling. I can’t part with CommentLuv because it just works for me, but I did install Wordfence to help with the spam and I went back to moderating comments to avoid having their comments land on my blog without my approval. I hated to do that, but spammers gave me no choice. I just don’t want people commenting and seeing spam alongside theirs. It doesn’t look appealing and it had to go. Also, I did try Disqus and it was difficult as hell to implement so I ditched that idea. That’s my 2 cents.

  • http://adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey Jens,

    Here’s the deal, I don’t get much spam at all. That’s never been an issue with me because of what I’ve been doing all along I guess. I mean I block their IPs on my server and they couldn’t come back if they wanted to. Not unless they change their IP and I’m pretty sure they’ve realized it’s not worth it, they’re not getting through.

    I have never closed comments on any of my posts and I don’t intend to. I think if you can take care of it as it happens then the problem won’t get out of hand. At least that’s been the case for me.

    Good luck!

    ~Adrienne

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Sounds like it’s working. I have reduced my spam tremendously by adjusting GASP. I have only received one spam comment in the past 48 hours, and that’s a new record :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    I’ll stay with the default commenting system and CommentLuv, I believe that it’s the absolute best way for me and the people who are commenting on my blog. I am trying Disqus on a Norwegian blog and it’s working, but it’s hard to tell how good it is, since I don’t have that many readers or people commenting on that blog. I am testing Wordfence at the moment as well.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    I have never blocked IPs on my server before. I need to figure out how I do that. I know how to do it inside GASP, but not on my server. It’s probably not that hard though :)

    Thank you!

  • Andreas Horn

    I hope it stays that way! =)

  • Barbara Charles

    Hi Jens,

    I use CL and I only get about 3 or 4 a day. I also noticed a pattern that I only get these when I put out a post which is about twice a week. I’m not sure what the correlation is but it’s been pretty consistent. I used to get over 500, but now just barely get any. Adrienne suggestion to change your settings will probably help alot. That’s how I got through and made some changes. Good luck.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Barbara,

    I always listen to Adrienne. She is awesome, and she knows her stuff. I have adjusted GAP and I have just received one spam in about 48 hours, so I think I have fixed it (at least for now).

    It seems that you’ve fixed it for yourself as well. 3-4 spam a day is nothing, and I bet that you can manage that pretty easy.

  • pawan

    For a blogger the spams create alot of problems, taking out the best and valid comments from a huge piel of thee spams.

  • Berrie Pelser

    On my own website I use Disquss and I like it a lot, I tried them all but Disquss is it work very nice quick anf I do not have any trouble with spam :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s very interesting Berrie. I have tried Disquss, but that’s a long time ago. Now, I’m using CommentLuv Premium and I have fixed the spam issue (for now) :)

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