In today’s world, many people have taken to the digital realm in order to share and articulate their thoughts, ideas or fantasies. Such people normally create websites to run blogs in order to express these ideas.
WordPress is a popular platform which allows even the most naïve user to build a website from scratch. Originally WordPress was created with the idea of being used as a blogging platform. Nevertheless, it has now diversified in to various sectors according to people’s needs.
Running a website can be a tedious task. You have to make sure that your website is safe and secure, it looks visually appealing and satisfies customer’s expectations, constantly churning out quality content in order to keep your visitors engaged as well as keeping in mind your website’s SEO while managing all these.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization’s is the factor which determines how high your website ranks in search engines. It depends on several things, however today we will be looking at one of the most undervalued factor: Spam Comments.
Website owners usually set up a comment section on their website in order to get inputs from their users as well as words of appreciation or dissent if any. It helps them realise what they are lacking in and how they can better themselves. However, something started with pure intentions can always take a turn for the worst.
While some users will give their honest opinion on your content some will use this medium for their own benefit. Let me explain how.
People always aim to have the best SEO possible for their website, while some take in the time and effort to achieve this, others resort to crooked ways. If your website has a good SEO, meaning a good reach, people will usually try and post the link to their own websites in your comment section in the hopes of piggybacking on your website’s SEO in order to boost the traffic and sales on theirs. Such comments are classified as spam comments.
However doing this won’t have any effect on their website’s SEO whatsoever. This is due to the collaborative efforts taken by various popular search engines in order to curb such malpractices. Here’s Google statement regarding this matter:
“If you’re a blogger (or a blog reader), you’re painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.”
This is called comment spam, we don’t like it either, and we’ve been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.”
This means links marked with this tag will get flagged and won’t get an SEO boost despite the traffic they receive. Inspite of issuing this statement, spammers still resort to flooding comment sections. However this does not mean that you’re website won’t get negative SEO.
According to Google, any and all content available on your website belongs to you, that includes the comments made by your users. The reason why it affects your SEO is because, well to summarise, the comments made are spam. And nobody likes spam.
So if genuine users visit your site they will be displeased by such comments as they are unwanted and unrelated to the topic at hand. Therefore, people arrive at the conclusion that your websites is riddled with unwanted information and therefore irrelevant to them.
This affects your organic growth and ultimately your SEO. Also keep in mind that low quality comments or one word comments also count as spam and can negatively affect your website. Although they make look harmless, they are infact irrelevant or unwanted pieces of information which do not add value to the topic at hand.
However this doesn’t mean that you can’t take any action whatsoever against such spam comments. WordPress figured out that this will prove to be an issue in the long run and therefore provided you with the tools to fight against it.
If you head over to the comments section on your dashboard, you will find the option to manually flag comments. You can which comments should be made visible to users by reviewing them manually. You can set restrictions such as the commenter should have an account on your website or the account should be x days old or they should have atleast a specified number of approved comments by the reviewer.
If you find this too tedious, fret not cause there’s a solution for you too. Plugins are here for your rescue. These handy little pieces of code will be your heavy hitters in order to weed out spam comments. First you can use a plugin to deploy a CAPTCHA whenever someone tries to submit a comment.
That means, the small little ‘I am not a robot’ popup will appear so as to confirm that the commenter is actually a human being and not some spam tool employed by people to piggyback on your website. Secondly, you can use plugins such as Akismet which will go through the comments made on your website and automatically weed out the spam ones.
Having a website which provides only relevant and, on the topic content is something visitors treasure and actively seek out for.
If you take the efforts in order to ensure these stipulations are met people will flock to your website in droves. This will have a massive boost on your website’s organic growth which in turn will boost your SEO. This ultimately converts as a win for you in the long run.
In order to summarise today’s article, we have explained to you what are spam comments, how they originate, how they affect your website negatively and what steps you can take in order to curb them. We hope that you found this article helpful and were able to gain some knowledge as well. If you have a website which provides users an opportunity to comment and share their thoughts as well make sure you keep the above points in mind and manage such spam comments accordingly, as they have a major impact on your website’s growth