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ProBlogger Comment Spam Situation

David at Blogging Pro has a piece on why b5media has decided to buy an Akismet license.

In short – with 125 active blogs the load of comment spam is massive and we were finding that other tools were just not killing enough of it.

Here at ProBlogger I’ve been using the Spam Karma plugin for the last few months and have found it killed most of my comment spam but for some reason it became incompatible with some other aspect of my blog in the last few weeks and caused some issues with my commenting system (many of you noticed that comments didn’t seem to be getting through – or went through twice). I was also not getting any notifications of comments.

I then disabled Spam Karma and the problems were fixed with my commenting but the spam flooded in. I never realized how much spam I get – it was coming in at around 6 spam comments per minute!.

As a result I’ve been using Bad Behavior this week which has killed over three quarters of my comment spam but is still letting through a comment every couple of minutes (they all are being moderated at this point – hence a lot of your comments are being moderated too at the moment).

With this afternoon’s upgrade to WP 2 I’m going to be able to use Akismet for the first time with the b5 license. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it works and will give a report after a day or two.

Update: Thanks to some wonderful help from Rachel and Regan at Cre8d Design the update seems to be completed. There were a few hitches along the way in terms of plugin compatability and a couple of odd things happen but thanks to Rachel and Regan the new version of WP is working well and spam is under control – Akismet is doing it’s job very nicely so far.

My next task is to try to speed up my loading time a little as I’ve had a few people telling me that it’s crawling at the moment. I’ve made a few tweaks and have improved things a bit but think I have a few external scripts running that are causing some issues so will attempt to work on them in the coming day or two.

Thanks for everyone who emailed to let me know of issues that they saw during the update – hopefully we’ve found all the bugs.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. brem says:

    I’m using both Akismet and Bad Behaviour with astounding results. But of course, I don’t have the traffic you do. Still, Akismet stopped 600 spam comments in the last 15 days and only one or through went through and were stopped by bad behaviour, where I can moderate manually.

    Pretty slick.

    WP 2.0 has akismet integrated, but I’ve not had difficulties installing it on WP 1.5 either.

    Good luck!

  2. Excellent choice. One you won’t regret. I’ve been using Akismet since… a little before February and it’s successfully detected 6,387 spam comments. The spam was starting to drive me crazy, getting as much as 200 a day. So, it’s been quite a relief since installing it. You can look over the comments that are automatically marked as spam as well before approving them as spam so you won’t unknowingly delete and report a good comment.

    I’ve also removed Bad Behavior from my blog because it caused MySQL Connection issues with WP2 after getting on Digg’s front page. And just to be on the safe side, I also added the Spam Words list provided by WordPress to better put spam to its knees.

    Good Luck!

  3. Robert Bruce says:

    Oddly, I just fired up Akismet yesterday and today posted about the last 48 hours of unbelievable comment spam I’ve been getting.

    Akismet has captured 195 spam comments so far… that’s 195 in less than one day!

    I had no clue that stuff would be so profane. Nice business model they’ve got going.

    Good luck with your battle.

  4. I had one weblog that was completely unprotected from comment spam. Between May 27 and June 1st it had 11,600 spam comments posted. No, that’s not a typo.

    Needless to say, comments are disabled on that site until I get it moved over to WordPress.

    I use WP Hashcash exclusively, it stops all but a few spam comments per week. Haven’t tried akismet yet. My personal belief is that database-based systems are always going to be fighting a losing battle with spammers, so if Hashcash stops working I’ll likely switch to a CAPTCHA or “intelligence test” question.

  5. Jake says:

    Darren,
    You are going to love aksimet. It is awesome.

  6. vivek says:

    18000 spams caught so far…. :) (It was bundled with Yahoo! webhosting)

    Just wondering how much it will cost for single blog .. anyone got any idea

  7. I had to stop for a moment to realise why B5 media had to actually purchase an Akismet licence, which of course can only be accessed for free after the upgrade to WP 2.0 . Naturally, the bloggers on B5 must use a mix of blogging software.

    Nothing but good things to say about Akismet – it runs at around 99% accuracy for me and is one the best aspects of upgrading to WP2. I wasn’t as pleased with the “import tool” for importing posts from Blogger to WP. Not sure why but WP is automatically rewriting the post slugs, which is ending in “Post Not Found” errors by the hundreds. Unless someone has a better idea, I am manually rewriting the altered “post slugs” to match the old Blogger URLs.

    You will be knocked out by the accuracy of Akismet.

  8. Now I could have sworn I posted a comment to this post. Where did it go?

    Anyway, that’s a lot of comment spam, and while I wanted to have Bad Behaviour 2 out sometime this weekend, the slashdotting I took yesterday has led me to re-evaluate a few things in its design. So it’ll probably be delayed (again) at least a few more days.

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    Michael – looking forward to seeing it.

    Interestingly when i installed Akismet and upgraded to WP 2 I had a big loading problem with this blog today. It was taking minutes to load both at the front and back end.

    When I disabled Bad Behavior it fixed it. Not sure what that was about – perhaps the rate at which I’m being spammed had something to do with it (since activating Akismet an hour ago it’s killed 800 spam comments already!)

  10. I used to use Bad Behavior, an older version of it. However it stopped quite some legitimate comments too. So I stopped using it. I am now solely on Akismet. Last few days the influx of spam is tremedous. I am getting way over 3000 spams per day on a single blog!
    I have done some analysis of the spam. I am planning to develop a better spam prevention plugin. Let’s see how it goes.

    –Angsuman

  11. CypherHackz says:

    I use 3 anti-spam plugins. Akismet, Spam Karma 2 and Bad Behaviour. You can read my post here. But sorry if there are too many grammar mistake.

    Fight WordPress Comment Spam

  12. Roseanne: As an FYI, Akismet is not free for commercial use, which is why we had to pay (and happily did) :)

  13. D Yu says:

    The problem with comment spam and splogs is getting out of hand! Akismet surely is a great solution to the first, but the second is starting to really bug me.

    I’m so small-time that I have the luxury of eyeballing and manually approving comments, but someday (I hope!) I’ll have to trust Akismet to do the job for me.

  14. Greg says:

    Those spammers just don’t give up! Within 15 minutes of me disabling spam karma 2 plugin I had around 15 spam comments. I installed Akismet a few days ago after it being recommended by a friend and so far so good.

  15. If Yahoo actually honored the “no-follow” tag, you’d see a lot less of these attacks. As it is, people can still receive link popularity benefits from spamming, so they’ll continue to.

    The Akismet tool is phenomenal though. It saves you some effort on keystroking.

  16. Darren, interesting assessment. Can you demonstrably show that Yahoo does not honor the nofollow tag? I know it’s useless and Jeremy Zawodny , but Yahoo not honoring it? That sounds… sketchy.

  17. Kenny Allman says:

    I have just entered the world of blogging and started with a blogspot account. I have 65 static sites for business purposes, so this spam issue with blogs is all new to me.

    Question then; how protected are blogspot blogs from spammer?

    Kenny

  18. Darren and Angusman, back in early February Michael (Hampton) gave us some great advice when we had five of the top comment spam filters for WordPress. After testing all five on our blogs and having a few dozen of our coaching clients volunteer their blogs as testing grounds, we found Spam Karma2 to be the hands down winner.

    BUT… as Michael thankfully pointed out to us — the best solution is a combo of either Bad Behavior + Akismet, or Spam Karma2 + Akismet. Since Michael’s recommendation we’ve been using Spam Karma2 + Akismet on our blogs, and we’ve been recommending the combo to all our clients.

    We’ve been thrilled with thousands of spam messages being filtered on a weekly basis. Our assistant has reduced her blog admin time (much of it dealing with comment spam) from a couple hours per week, to 10 minutes, and that’s just to quickly scan the SK2 comment spam logs to be sure no real comments got tagged. Every one of our coaching clients has been equally as thrilled.

    Although neither partner and I, nor any of our clients are “full time bloggers” blogging for a living — we are all busy business owners. So the virtual elimination of all comment spam (and accuracy in allowing legit comments) allows us to focus on content creation instead of frustrating admin activities. Plus it drops a lot of admin time right to the bottom line. :)

    BTW — Angusman, I think you’ll like you’ll personally appreciate the “helpful links” section of a new Wikipedia article on Blog Scraping.

  19. HI all….this is my my very first blog. I am wondering if you have any suggestions for improving my layout. Although I have gotten some traffic on my learn english at home site, but my CTR is dismall. Any ideas?

    Thanks

  20. Kineticfrog says:

    Akismet is definitely one of the best spamfilter. I don’t use it on this blog (http://flashmp3player.blogspot.com), but I have a WP 2.0 blog and Akismet kills all the spam.

  21. Rick Mahn says:

    I’ve been using WP 2.0 from the start of my personal blog in February and Akismet has worked really well.

    However, I was not aware of the list of Spam Words that WordPress has listed on the WP site. A big thank-you to Brian Benzinger (#2 comment in this post) to the tip on that!

    Darren, you’ll enjoy WP2!

  22. George says:

    A couple of weeks ago one of our blogs was getting over 1 spam comment a minute and some of our other blogs started getting a lot of spam as well. So I had to upgrade them and installed Akismet. It works great.

    We had a comment today on one of our blogs that got through that said something like, “you sure got a lot of comment spam on this post”. The thing is that Akismet had caught all the comment spam on that post, so their comment was the only one waiting in moderation. I promptly market it as spam. Pretty funny to have comment spam about comment spam.

    Anyway, I like Akisment a lot as well.

    Oh, and I think the reason that some people believe Yahoo ignores no-folloiw tag is because the links marked with the no-follow tag show up in the linkdomain command. I have assumed that Yahoo ignores it as well. Quite frankly all search engines should ignore it. It was a bad idea from the start. Just allows SEO savvy people to hog PR. Well, at least that’s my opinion.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Comment Moderation The most time consuming way is simply to moderate out all of the spam comments – that is to say, you look at each comment which has been left and allow genuine ones to appear on your blog while deleting the spam comments. This can become very time consuming (not to mention frustrating!) because once you are “found” by the spam commenters, you are going to be receiving a lot of these. Rule of thumb – the more successful you are, the easier you are to find and the more you will receive – I imagine with such a high profile blog, Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger suffers more than most, as he comments here. [...]

  2. [...] Comment Moderation The most time consuming way is simply to moderate out all of the spam comments – that is to say, you look at each comment which has been left and allow genuine ones to appear on your blog while deleting the spam comments. This can become very time consuming (not to mention frustrating!) because once you are “found” by the spam commenters, you are going to be receiving a lot of these. Rule of thumb – the more successful you are, the easier you are to find and the more you will receive – I imagine with such a high profile blog, Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger suffers more than most, as he comments here. [...]