Prevent Spammy Comments and Accidental Comment Link-backs In WordPress

by Rohit Khurana on January 8, 2013

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WordPress is a widely accepted platform for blogging and it is not a secret. Many popular and professional blogs including ours uses the wordpress platform. But there are some pitfalls which one must be aware of especially if you are doing it seriously. One of the most commonly exploited features of wordpress blogs is comments. Due to its social features, wordpress allows you to enter a website URL with the comments which gets linked back when the comments gets public on a wordpress post or page. By default, wordpress comments are moderated and they have to go though the approval once, but once you have approved a comment on your website or wordpress blog for a user with particular email id and name, the next time, the comments made by that user get public without moderation.

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The above feature does save a lot of manual effort by saving you from moderating the comments by the same person as you would believe that the person whose comment got approved once must be a trustworthy person. But in real worlds, there are many SEO people or other people who know this feature, may exploit it by making a super compelling comment once, and when it gets approved, they will start commenting with links or some other content which may not be very appropriate to post from an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective or as per your brand’s perspective.

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To avoid such situations, which applies for the popular websites or blogs, we recommend that you manually plug this hole by enabling more strict rules for comment moderation on your wordpress which is a very straight forward solution to this problem. The only downside associated with it is that it increases your manual efforts in moderating the comments especially if you get too many comments.

To change this setting, log into your wordpress dashboard and go to Settings > Discussion and make the following settings:

  • Check the option “An administrator must always approve the comment”
  • Uncheck the option “Comment author must have a previously approved comment”
  • “Hold a comment in moderation in the queue if it contains” – make it 1 link.

wordpress recommended discussion setting

After this, click on the save changes button at the bottom of the page. This should tighten the settings enough to avoid any accidental link back as all the comments will not be under moderation. Check out some more WordPress Tips by Trouble Fixers.

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