Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

Mae West once said “too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” We know she couldn’t have been talking about spam, be it the canned variety, this Monty Python skit that went on at least two minutes too long or the deluge of worthless Emails that evoke a heavy sigh (or worse) as we open up our inboxes.

A day does not go by where I don’t receive at least 50 unwanted Emails. Most of them are from hopeful suppliers, peddling their wares, and there is little I can do about those. My payment processor requires eCommerce websites to show a valid mailing address as well as a working Email address and not just a Contact Us form. It’s not too hard to start spamming when you know a company’s Email address!

Comment spam is quite another thing, though, and there is a way to combat that. According to a recent article by Charles Floate – “How to Stop Spam Comments for GOOD!” – it’s really not that hard at all to virtually eliminate all spam if you are using WordPress as your site platform.

Charles tackles spam with a three-pronged approach. He says that the Akismet spam plugin that comes with all WordPress installs is not nearly enough, although, he still uses it as a third line of defense. He adds two other plugins to really shore up the anti-spam walls.

Growmat Anti Spambot

Growmat LogoCharles’ first line of defense to combat spam is the Growmat Anti Spambot. This is the simple checkbox you see on many blogs that asks you to simply check the box to confirm you are not a spammer. While it may look simple, it does keep scrapers at bay. And, to combat the newer “smart” bots, the Growmat plugin adds dynamic fields to the comment form that change their names with each post.

Just as important as having something that works, is having an anti-spam application that doesn’t frustrate legitimate visitors who would like to offer intelligent comments. This line of spam defense is not nearly as annoying as having to solve some convoluted captcha.

I’m sure we’ve all uttered a few choice words after we have unsuccessfully tried to guess what a blurry bunch of smashed together letters and numbers were. Far too often, I’ve found myself swearing that I will never return to a blog after my well-constructed comment has been rejected for the third time!

AVH First Defense Against Spam

AVH First Defense Against Spam creenshotCharles makes it even harder to get by his comment spam detection barrier by also adding the AVH First Defense Against Spam plugin to his WordPress sites. AVH is not at all intrusive to site visitors. That is, unless that person is a known spammer.

The AVH First Defense Against Spam plugin combats spam by checking a commenter’s IP address against a HUGE database of IP addresses known to be used by spammers. If they happen to be using an IP address that is not yet known, you can report it and help the ever-expanding database grow.

More Ways To Combat Spam

Definitely give Charles’ article a read. He not only talks about how to tweak the settings of the plugins he recommends, he offers even more tips for how to combat spam, showing readers how to modify their .htaccess file and how to block IP addresses of repeat spammers, as well.

Of course, anyone who is still utilizing blog comments as a valid linking strategy is an utter moron. Sadly, they are too stupid to realize that their efforts are in vain – the vast majority of blogs nofollow links in comments, after all.

Unfortunately, we all have to deal with idiots every day. If at all possible, it’s better to avoid them completely than to pleasantly smile, nod our heads and hope we can keep our eyes from rolling.

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Scott McKirahan

Scott McKirahan is a full time owner of several successful e commerce websites and has been involved in SEO since the late 1990's. He has been published on a variety of websites with articles ranging from politics to sports to Website Tips to SEO and is a member of several web related forums where he often goes by the names "Scooter," "Scotty Mack" or some variant of those names.

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