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How to Identify and Deal With Spam Comments

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In this session we discuss how to identify spam comments on your website and how to deal with them. You can identify spam comments by looking at the name and website link that they use. Some of these comments appear to be compliments but they are just intended to use your website to get backlinks to their website.

Video Transcript

Rick: Sammy, I’m going to unmute your microphone here. Good morning, Sammy.

Sammy: Hey, how are you doing?

Rick: I’m doing great. How are you?

Sammy: Good, good.

Rick: So tell me about your questions.

Sammy: Okay, one is… I’m not sure how to access some texts on my posts. I had the trackback turned on and 3 people commented on that page and I want to erase that. But I don’t know how to get to erase it.

Rick: Which page is it?

Sammy: It’s comments about the site.

Rick: Okay, let’s see. I don’t see that.

Sammy: There’s a post that says comments about the site on the front page. There we go, yeah, comments about the site.

Rick: Oh, comments about the site, I see. Okay…

Sammy: Not the one….

Rick: Well, so this one here for example is spam.

Sammy: It’s about me… my upload is like here we go… what we say is a used embroidery machines for sale and h back. I wanted to delete those… that text.

Rick: Right. And so I’m going to make you the presenter so we can see what you’re going to… and then I’ll just guide you through that. Does that make sense?

Sammy: Okay, not really but I’ll try to follow you.

Rick: Okay well, I’ve just made you the presenter so now what you need to do is accept that and share your screen. Do you see the place to do that?

Sammy: Yes, I guess I do. So what do I do here? Do I just go on to my page, log in to my page?

Rick: Well, the first thing you need to do is say yes, share my screen.

Sammy: Yes, share my screen.

Rick: Okay and now yes, log in to your administrative site of your site.

Sammy: Okay, it’s here. I don’t know what happened here. Let me close this here, don’t save.

Rick: What are you using for spam protection?

Sammy: Akismet. I found a way to download it for free, my API key so that worked out for me pretty good. Let’s get into my dashboard. Okay, I’m at the dashboard and I’m already logged in.

Rick: Okay, I don’t see it yet but I’m sure it’ll refresh in a moment.

Sammy: I have a real slow connection today for some reason.

Rick: Okay so what you would do is go to comments…

Sammy: Okay, here’s comments here. Are you talking about the comment page or comment, I’m just going to comment?

Rick: You just click on that where your mouse is now.

Sammy: Turn the trackback on. Okay, we’re here.

Rick: And then in a moment, I’m sure your page will refresh and I’ll be able to see your comments. But what you do is you just use this screen to delete those ones you don’t want to see anymore.

Sammy: Oh, they’re not showing up. Actually, it’s the pingbacks that are showing up.

Rick: Well…

Sammy: The add from the pingback is what I’m trying to take off the page.

Rick: But those are all here too. Yeah, the trackbacks and pingbacks also show up in this list.

Sammy: Okay, I did not know that.

Rick: But you can see that all of these things are spam though, right?

Sammy: No. I know these actually comments… these are actually comments people made about the site. It’s over 1000 comments of compliments.

Rick: Well unfortunately though, what they really are is they’re spam comments and you can tell that by the names that they use. So for example you know, the https://wiki.citizenapps.gov making mobile gov, that is a… you know, that is an attempt to get that link on your site. So when you go to places that offer to sell you back links to your site, what they’re doing is they are going to other people’s sites and are posting these spam comments, hoping that you’ll assume that they’re real comments.

Sammy: Oh wow.

Rick: But actually, these are all spam comments. So Akismet is not working for you at the moment.

Sammy: No, what I’m saying is Akismet, I just installed that just recently. I just installed that like a couple of days ago but these comments came in long before that.

Rick: Okay, okay. Well, because Akismet will prevent all of these things from showing up.

Sammy: I noticed that when…

Rick: And you should go and delete these because the presence of them on your site will tell Google that your site isn’t a useful site to display. And the reason is because Google assumes that you can tell the difference between a spam comment and a non-spam comment. And since Google can tell these are all spam comments, they then assume that your site isn’t really legitimate or isn’t you know, professionally maintained. And therefore, it assumes the quality of its content isn’t very high. So you want to essentially delete all of these stuff. I mean, if you can find the ones in there where you know, they’re your friends then those ones are certainly… you want to keep on there. But all these ones where you could really say that about both your site and my site, those are pretty much all spam comments. And when the name is something like mind craft skins or invest liberty reserve or career advice… when the names are those kinds of things, that’s spam.

Sammy: Okay, okay. So it would have to be somebody’s name? I’m new to this. They had me fooled. I mean, they went and got me fooled. One was Catherine and from people whose names I would say these are not spam but if it’s like investment liberty research or a name of someone who made up business then it’s probably spam.

Rick: Well, I’m going to switch now to… switch presenters here back to my… and I’ll show you what I’m talking about. We can just look on my site because here on my site, I have… I get lots of comments. And a legitimate comment looks like this with Jill and blank slate and Martinia. Here is one that might look kind of… you can’t see my screen yet?

Sammy: No, I have these options.

Rick: Well, it will come on here for a second.

Sammy: Okay, there you go. Now, I see you.

Rick: Okay so with a… you know, well in the first place, you can see most of my comments really have to do with the content on the site. And so you can see that. But then also you know, okay so Kingston upon ten’s glaciers you know, I would automatically assume that this is not a real post or real blog… or I mean, a real comment except that this comment really specifically asks a question about the content on the page. And since he’s really asking us a specific question then I would… then I know that he’s got spammy-looking message but it’s not really spam.

Sammy: Oh okay.

Rick: But if we look at… if we just look at my spam comments for a second you know, here’s you know…

Sammy: Kingston upon thing’s glacier?

Rick: Yeah, him, his comment looks like spam but it wasn’t. I mean, you can tell because he’s asking specifically about the page that…

Sammy: Okay. Yeah, I noticed that when people are kind of vague you know, I couldn’t tell what they were asking me or what they were saying exactly. I couldn’t tell.

Rick: So for example, here is somebody named Cisco Seller and they said, “I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him because nobody else knows such detailed information about my trouble. You are wonderful. Thanks.” You know, that’s just a spam post that Akismet caught and said was spam.

Sammy: Ugg Boots is another one. Ugg Boots is all over the place.

Rick: Absolutely, yeah. Those are all spam.

Sammy: Okay, that’s why they wouldn’t… that’s why I would write some people but they wouldn’t write me back.

Rick: Right because it’s either automatically generated, there’s a bot running out there doing it or it’s just people in the third world who are getting paid you know, $0.25 a comment or something like that to put that stuff on.

Sammy: Woah, thank you. That was… man, that was enlightening. That kind of blew away. That was too many comments that were compliments. I was saying, “Man! You know, I wasn’t getting it, you know?”

Rick: Yeah.

Sammy: But now I do, I understand.

Rick: Well…

Sammy: Well, I get rid of those because I don’t want Google looking at this as…

Rick: And once you solve that problem, Google will… you’ll start showing up better in search results too.

Sammy: Okay, well I’ll take care of that.

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