SPAM! It’s something every blogger dislikes and something every blogger will have to deal with.
I’ve seen bloggers close comments off all their posts because of spam.
I’ve seen bloggers telling readers that they only accept email comments because of spam.
I’ve even witnessed bloggers telling readers only to leave comments on social media platforms because of spam.
In all these cases, spam triumphed.
When another blogger told me, ‘Closing comments off on your blog is like slamming the door in your readers’ faces,’ I had to rethink how to tackle handling spam.
What was I doing? I was closing comments off posts that attracted lots of spam but still attracted genuine comments.
It reminded me of another blogger who told her readers that she tackled spam by closing off comments on all her posts 14 days after publication because of spam. She told her readers that 14 days was enough time for them to read and comment on all her posts. I shook my head in disbelief.
Many bloggers close comments on blog posts that attract lots of spam. But there are ways of dealing with spam without closing comments off.
1. Reschedule the post
Rescheduling an existing blog post gives it a new lease of life, but it also provides the post with a new URL address, thus fooling the spammers.
How to reschedule a blog post on WordPress
- Open the post you want to reschedule in ‘edit’ mode.
- In the settings box of the post, click on the date and time link that the post was initially published.
- A calendar will open. Choose the new date and time you want the post to reschedule.
- Click the ‘Update’ button.
- Your post will now republish on the date and time you chose.
Here are a few essential things to think about when rescheduling blog posts.
- Your post will show up on the WordPress Reader list of your followers when it republishes.
- WordPress does not send out a new email notification when a rescheduled post is published.
- You won’t lose all the existing comments and ‘likes’ on a post that has been rescheduled.
- Any links, pingbacks and trackbacks to the original post will become invalid, as will any previous shares of the post on social media. I recommend, therefore, that you only reschedule posts that are at least a year old.
Tip: Rescheduling a post is also an excellent chance to update it and fix any broken pingbacks before rescheduling it.
2. Rewrite the post and republish it as a new post.
If the post is over a year old and requires lots of updating, consider rewriting and publishing it as a new post.
You can do the same with posts that you have published on other blogging platforms but which you now want to publish on WordPress.
Here are a few essential things to consider.
- All existing likes and comments will be lost.
- All reblog links, pingbacks and links to the post will become invalid.
- All links and shares on social media will become invalid.
- Some readers may dislike reading duplicated content they have read on your blog before, so do consider how long ago the post was initially published.
- Consider informing readers that it is a rewritten version of a previous post at the beginning of your post.
- Remember to delete the post attracting too much spam once you’ve published the new post.
- Give the new post a slightly different title. SEOs rank posts and blogs lower that contain too many duplicated blog post titles.
3. Delete the post
Every blogger should be excellent at keeping their blog up to date. Blog housekeeping is as important as writing and publishing new blog posts.
If you have blog posts attracting lots of spam, consider deleting them if the content is outdated and no longer worth keeping. That will put pay to the spambots attacking the post and causing you stress.
However, do remember that deleting a post will also mean that any likes, comments and shares will also be lost.
Final thoughts on spam
Don’t slam the door in the faces of visitors to your blog by allowing spam to stop them from leaving comments and joining discussions and conversations on any of your blog posts.
Remember that search engines will send visitors to your blog posts for as long as the post is live. If they find they can’t leave comments and join a discussion, they may not return.
Don’t ask visitors to leave comments they couldn’t leave on your other blog posts where comments remain open. That will only confuse visitors reading the comments sections.
Get into the habit of checking your WordPress spam folder every time you log into your blog.
Delete the spam, and mark any genuine comments as ‘Not Spam.’ You can do this by changing the view setting of the comments page of your blog’s dashboard to ‘Classic view.’ My blog post, ‘New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It,‘ gives more details.
Spam can also be ‘bulk’ deleted when in the ‘Default view’ setting.
Spam comments rarely have an image or photo in the gravatar area of the comment (see image below).
Bulk delete comments that do not contain an image or photo on the gravatar.
If you’re not sure a comment is spam, look at the web address of where the comment has come from. If it doesn’t look right, it’s spam.
Don’t allow spam to win!
How do you deal with too many spam comments on your blog?
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