June 10, 2023

94% of comments are spam

Of all the good things I like about WordPress, the first thing I noticed when I installed it was how little time it took the spambots to find me.  Within minutes of switching dotCULT over to WordPress I recieve the common “refinance your house while playing poker and enlarging your penis” comments.  I’m sure that sentence will provoke many more.

Anyway, to combat this I installed the Akismet plugin.  It’s doing a good job.  It has caught 11 spam comments so far in the time it took me to type this post – which says something about just how bad the spam problem is.

To further my point, look at This Graph from the Akismet webpage.  It says that 94% of all comments it looks at are spam.  That’s a lot!!

Granted, it’s probably skewed a bit (since the more heavily spammed you are, the more likely you are to use Akismet) but still.

The problem is that every WordPress blog is set up the same way – making it very easy to write a script that posts comments.  Captcha is one way to stop this, however captcha’s are getting very easy to solve.  I’ve even heard of free porn sites where every time you view a video you have to solve a captcha.  It’s ingenious.  When you request a file, the website hits a blog it wants to spam, grabs the captcha, you solve it, it shows you the video and spams the blog – all behind the scenes.

The problem with captchas are simple too – they can all be solved in the same way.  Math captchas may work for now but when it comes down to it, they’re easier to solve.

So what’s the trick?  I’ve been preaching it for years: Do something different.  You’ll notice the old dotCULT had a “type Ryan here” box.  It worked not because it was hard for a computer to do, but because it wouldn’t be efficient to write a program that had to act differently for just my site.  That’s the key to fighting spam:  Don’t be the same as everybody else.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com