Hello and welcome to the fifth instalment of Blogging Know How! The aim of this feature is to answer some of your blogging, reading, reviewing, and social networking related questions. If there’s anything you’ve been wondering about, you can’t figure out or just want me to help you out with, you can send it to me via the little contact form I’ll post at the end of these posts.
“How do you protect your blog from spam? I recently got this disturbing email from a follower of mine about an indecent Twitter update on my blog but even though I checked on Twitter for that tweet, I could not find it. I even tried signing out and then viewing my blog but could not find it among the Twitter updates.” – Nobonita
As bloggers, spam is something we have to live with. Getting more exposure for your blog means more spammers as well and it’s not something you can get rid of altogether. It’s quite an annoying business but all we can do is to prevent them from showing up on the blog.
Things you can do to prevent your blog from spam if you’re using Blogger:
- Enable comment moderation for your comments: This is the most important one. It basically means that you’ll have to review each comment before they go live on your blog and either approve it or trash it. When you have new comments to approve, a notification will appear on your Blogger dashboard and you can sort through them. It may sound like a lot of work but unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t have a built-in spam filter yet so this is the best you can do. How to activate word verification? Just go to your Blogger dashboard, then click on Settings -> Comments -> and set comment moderation to ‘always’.
- Word verification, aka captcha: Captcha’s main goal is to deter automated comment spamming systems by making your readers enter in crazy jumbled-
up letters when trying to comment on your blog. Each commenter will have to go through this additional step before they can actually submit their comments. BUT. (And here comes the tricky bit) If you ask me, captcha is single-handedly the most annoying thing I’ve seen on Blogger. Seriously. The words are extremely hard to read, almost illegible which will put off lots of bloggers from commenting. No one wants to spend ages on your blog, squinting at the computer screen trying to figure out what those tiny mouse droppings stand for. And if you’ve already set up comment moderation, it’s also pointless. You’ll have to moderate your comments before they appear on your blog anyway, then why torture your readers?
- Backlinks and registered users: Make sure to set the backlinks tab to ‘hide’ and the ‘who can comment tab’ to either registered users or users with Google accounts.