If you are running a blog that has much of a presence on the search engines then you will almost certainly be popular with spammers. And with loads of automated comment spam hitting you, what can you do to protect your blog?

The onion approach
As with any form of computer security I like to approach spam filters like an onion. You peel your way through one layer of protection only to find another layer protecting the insides. And that is how my spam protection works on my blogs – the spammer might get through one layer of protection, but then has to get through the next level.

How spammers work
To best protect ourselves from spammers we must understand how spammers work. Some will go around different blogs manually submitting comments. However, a lot of these will be quite good comments and useful to your blog. There is a very fine line here between good comments and spam.

Then there are the robot spammers. These trawl the internet looking for blogs to comment on. They grab your comment form and start automatically submitting automated rubbish to your blog. Because they are automated they can submit thousands of worthless comments, but they are the easiest to trap.

Level 1 – stop them at source
Stopping spammers with a Captcha form can be an effective tool, however it is a distraction to genuine comment leavers and some spammers can now beat Captcha forms. So for my blogs I have installed WP Captcha Free. It is a great little plugin, with a hidden effect. Rather than offering a Captcha it puts an encoded timestamp on the comment submission form. When the form is submitted the timestamp is checked. If the form is too old, the comment is ignored.

Implementing this plugin drastically reduced the automated comment spam in many of my blogs, it really does work a treat!

Level 2 – stop those that are submitted
Where would we be without Akismet? It is so good that it is included now as part of WordPress. Those automated spam robots on their first visit (which will get through WP Captcha Free) and manually submitted spam should be caught on this level. Without it, our blogs would be full of comment spam.

Level 3 – a manual check
The reason I looked at WP Captcha Free is that Akismet is not 100% reliable. Spam is missed and allowed through, whilst good comments risk being accidentally marked as spam. So our third and final level of spam protection is just a quick manual check. Look through your Pending and Spam comments lists and confirm each comment is where it should be. Make any corrections (after all, marking a Pending comment as Spam can help teach Akismet more tricks) and then empty the spam folder.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

If you want to keep up with our latest posts, just follow us on our RSS feed, join our weekly newsletter or follow us over at Twitter. Please do join in - it is totally free and only the best posts are passed to you!

Also, leave a comment below. We are a 'DoFollow' blog, so it is well worth your time. Thanks for calling in.

Similar Articles You Might Like To Read:
    Why Akismet alone is not enough If you want to protect your blog from the endless comment spam then you might be depending on tools such...
    Essential Plugins For Every Blog Plugins add a lot of value to WordPress blogs, but too many will slow down your pages. So, which ones...
    Steps To Making Comments To Generate Further Traffic Leaving comments on websites is a popular way of generating traffic, but too loads of people go around it the...
    My Five Must-Have WordPress Plugins We all have different plugins that we cannot live without and I certainly have a collection of 5 very important...
    How to Avoid a Bad Blog Claim If you are blogging then the last thing that you probably want is to get know as a bad blog....
    5 Steps To Successful Blog Commenting Leaving comments on other people’s blog is a good way of getting a share of their visitors, with their blessing....
    Settings To Change In WordPress WordPress is a great blogging tool – there is no doubt about that. But there are settings that you should...
    What Is A Plugin? What is a plugin? Are they essential and what are they for? Blogging platforms such a WordPress provide a uniform...
    Some Essential Weekly Tasks For The Blogger Are you just starting out with your blogging? Are you an established blogger? Are you maybe wondering what simple, but...
    Finding Do-Follow Blogs To Comment On Here is an excellent tool from Google that I have just stumbled across in another website – a search just...