If you own a site or blog, there is a very good chance that you have encountered spammy comments, trackbacks and pings/pingbacks.
It may be hard to believe but many people are happy to accept and approve them.
Most do this in order to ramp up the number of comments they have on the blog and show off their “audience”.
I can confidently tell you that it’s definitely not a good idea to do that.
These comments can actually have a serious negative impact on your site and below is a list of how it can do just that.
1. Spammy links will appear on your site
Shoddy, spammy links mean that Google will not appreciate your site.
This applies not just to those who “buy” links, but those who also allow them on their sites too.
The consequence is that you could see your rankings on search results decline very quickly as a result of low-quality spammy links appearing on every single comment.
2. Your visitors can pick-up viruses
There is another side-effect from those spammy links.
Although not common via comments, hackers can use this opportunity to use phishing techniques and plant a virus on anyone who has clicked on the links.
If someone clicks on one of those links and gets a virus, the responsibility could fall on you.
Even if it doesn’t, it can seriously harm your credibility as you have approved the comments in the first place, regardless whether manually or not.
When it comes to stopping hackers on your site, everyone should play a part in reducing the chances of that happening.
3. Your readers will not trust you
The fact that you are either approving or allowing any comments means that you are putting quantity over quality in your content.
This will make it difficult for the readers to trust that you value other people’s opinions.
4. It shows that you are not moderating your site
Lack of moderation will give the impression that you are not on top of your website.
If you are not moderating your site, then why would you expect your readers to leave comments and engage with you?
Show your audience respect by looking after your own site and give them the best quality content you can provide.
It’s the least you could do for them if you want them to engage with you.
5. Poor quality comments do not add value to your content
Never mind having poor quality content on your site, but poor quality content can be just as bad.
Meaningful and useful comments can add immense value to your content and further help to increase the readers’ trust in you.
This is especially true if you reply and engage with those who took the time to comment on your site.
At the end of the day, if the comments are not adding value to the existing content, you have to question whether it’s worth having them on the site.
6. Slows down your site…even if you have not approved them
If you have stayed on top of your comments and disapproved the fake comments, good job.
If not and you have allowed them to accumulate over time into hundreds of disapproved (and unnecessary) comments, this can eventually slow down your WordPress database and your site.
It won’t be by much, but it still helps to delete the “disapproved comments” within your WordPress back-end so that they do not hurt your site speed.
The moral of the story is that you should moderate your comments and not just accept any of them without care.
You can use the likes of Akismet plugin, a comment spam filtering plugin. They tend to come pre-installed in WordPress but are not necessarily activated.
So get it activated and configure the settings. With millions of installs, it is one of the most useful plugins you will ever have.
Alternatively, there is little value in having your trackbacks and pings activated in your settings.
These are the features which notify you and automatically make your site link to anyone who has mentioned a particular blog post.
There are many spammers who take advantage of this feature in order to force your site to link to them.
Even Akismet has quoted: “These days almost 100% of Trackbacks and Pingbacks are spam.”
To turn it off, hover over Settings in your WordPress site and click on Discussion. Uncheck the second box from the top to turn off this feature.
Have you struggled with spammy comments? What do you do to control them?
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