How To Keep Spam Off Of Your Blog

Submitted by: Brian Scott

If you are starting a blog you may be surprised to learn that you can expect SPAM and quite a bit of it. Blogs are notorious magnets for spammers looking to post links to their websites, especially gambling sites, adult sites and prescription drug sites.

Primarily SPAM will be posted in the comments of your blog postings rather than as a new blog posting. Unless you have set up your blog to notify you any time someone makes a comment you may not even know they are there.

Why SPAM Should be Deleted

SPAM hurts the overall impact of your blog and can lead some of your followers to stop reading your blog completely. For the most part the nature of SPAM postings are not what most blog readers want to see and it is important you remove it fast.

Links off of your blog to porn, gambling and other such sites can also hurt your ranking in Google unless you catch the links and remove them.

Protect Yourself Against SPAM

Most blog sites (including Blogger and WordPress) give you the ability to set up your blog so you are notified anytime a comment is posted. In fact, you can set up your account so a comment does not appear unless you approve the content. This is the most effective way to keep SPAM off your blog.

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The major blog sites also offer SPAM guard plug-ins. Basically these plug-ins identify the most common SPAM postings and delete them before they are able to be posted on your site. They also enable you to blackball users, websites, IP addresses, etc to further combat SPAM.

You should consider one or more of these SPAM protection options if you are going to have a successful, SPAM-free blog. Remember not every link to another website is SPAM. However, you should look at all comments and outgoing links to determine if they are the type of comments and links you want your followers to see.

SPAM protection will be something you want to stay on top of and it is worth the effort. Spammers can be both creative and persistent in their attempts to post links to the websites they are promoting. Take affirmative steps to block the SPAM and keep a close eye on your blog and they will eventually move on to another blog to try to SPAM.

Comments by readers of your blog can be moderated by you in a number of ways. Your decision on how you will monitor comments will have a large impact on your overall blog. It is important that you keep in mind the pros and cons of your decision.

First and foremost, blogs that invite comments from readers are generally more popular than blogs that do not. Web 2.0 is all about participation on the web and people like to feel part of a blog community rather than just a reader of a one-sided blog.

For some businesses it may make sense to disallow comments, however, for the majority of businesses and personal blogs you should consider allowing comments from your readers.

Unrestricted Commentary

One option you can have on your blog is unrestricted commentary. This allows anyone to post comments on your blog with no moderation. Though this is the most open form of blogging it is also the most dangerous. You will undoubtedly find inappropriate comments and SPAM on your blog which can lead to problems with the search engines.

For the most part it is not a good idea to allow unrestricted commentary.

Registered User Commentary

One small but effective way to restrict the commentary on your site is to require the person interested in commenting to register for your blog with a valid e-mail address. This will prevent most spammers who want to post quickly and move on. It will also help prevent people from posting ridiculous comments on your blog. Some SPAM and ridiculous commentary will still get through.

Once someone is registered you can monitor their postings on your blog and ban them or block them if you find them posting inappropriate comments.

Approved Comments Only

Most bloggers choose the option of allowing only approved comments to appear on their blog. Basically you set up the blog so you are notified anytime someone posts a comment to one of your postings. The comment will not appear until you have reviewed it and actively approved it.

Requiring comment approval is a good way to both allow comments and protect the integrity of your blog at the same time. Most people familiar with blogging expect to have their comments reviewed before being visible.

Allow commentary on your blog in order to keep your readers active on your blog but choose the level of protection that works the best for your needs.

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