How to get rid of blog spammers? SO!

They are gone, they are really gone!

Some days a go I started a draft with this words:

To say I am furious is putting it mildly, I am steaming, boiling, fiery furious! Yesterday evening I did a bit of research to find out in how many dofollow lists / directories etc this blog shows up. The result was rather frightening! But what really got my blood pressure up to life-threatening heights were comments like the one below:

“Thank you for list! I am going to send this list to immediately to my outsourced comm net spammer in [country removed]!”

I swear, at this moment I was really one millimeter from setting this blog back to nofollow or even worse to not allow links in comments at all. But that wouldn’t be fair to those who actually read my blog posts and leave valuable comments! My readers 😉 So, I looked for ways to get rid off the spammers, without punishing my regular readers and this is what I came up with:

First I researched where my spammers come from. A quick look in my Google Analytic stats revealed that a lot of people found this blog by searching for the default text that comes with the keyword luy plugin. Eureka! First measure found: Change default text of keyword luv plugin, so that spammers can’t search for it! That got rid of the human spammers that look for dofollow blogs only for the sake of getting a backlink.

Next problems, bots:
Best way to stop bots is to add a captcha to the comment form, unfortunately it is also the best way to annoy your normal commenters.  So I searched a bit around and played with different solutions and finally settled with ImHuman http://www.elxsy.com/imhuman/ It requires you to select images that have something in common, is easy and fast to use and more fun that trying to decipher a letter / number code.

This two simple measures together reduced my blog spam to close to 0. Yep, from 100+comments that came in over night I am down to perhaps 10 and most of them are real comments! The amount of time I save each day is considerable.

So, what do you think, especially of the captcha code? Do you find the new captcha plugin annoying? Can you, my regular reader and cherished commenter live with it?

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉

26 comments to How to get rid of blog spammers? SO!

  • Changing the Keyword Luv default text was a pretty good idea.

    To be honest, most people aren’t too fussed about using Captcha as a mechanism to prove you’re human: there’s so spam around that a huge number of sites have gone down that path which means, as commentators, we’re used to it. Besides, it only takes about 3 seconds to work out that an image of a horses backside has no correlation to oranges…unless your IQ is in the minus figures!

    P.S The first two Captcha responses failed because the images weren’t available at their Flickr URL. Oops! Who said it was perfect 😉

  • Thanks good you decide to not use captcha because i really hate it. I may self is depend to akismet for spam fighting.
    .-= Dana @ Online Knowledge´s last blog ..Hostgator Crazy Discount: Off 75% =-.

  • Teeheehee I like the photo-related captcha thingy — I had to select all the cats! 🙂 I am not a fan of proving myself to be a human non-spammer, or of putting my readers through a similar burden of proof… but unfortunately it seems to be a necessity 🙁
    .-= *lynne*´s last blog ..Autocomplete Me: do Swiss … ? =-.

  • Anand

    Wow..that was clever…But don’t you think CAPTCHA alone might have helped? Bots could have been stopped with Akismet…

    By the way, the ImHuman thing looks cool..Never knew of this before..

  • That would make so much sense to switch the default text for your plug-in so that spammers couldn’t find it right away. I absolutely hate dealing with spam, so more power to you that you have managed to get rid of them. Some of the spam that I get on my blog is absolutely insane, but it almost seems laughable.

  • I also don’t like spammers and I usually use the Bad Behavior + Akismet combo to deal with them. This is my first time to encounter this ImHuman captcha for commenter – its cool. I, however, prefer the traditional captcha.
    .-= Felix´s last blog ..Where Does Your Traffic Come From? =-.

  • Such a simple solution for the keyword fix!

    I like the picture thing too, I can’t stand captcha and get it wrong a few times as they seem to produce more and more obscure methods of displaying the letters and numbers.

    I got my first bit of spam through my contact form yesterday, wonder if I need to adapt an anti-spam method through that.
    .-= AdventureRob@Netbooks for Travel´s last blog ..Other Cheap Methods of Getting Across Australia =-.

  • hospitalera

    @Paul
    Changing the default text really got rid of a lot of human spammers, perhaps I could have converted one or two of them over time into a real reader, but I doubt it. Also, I am not sure if I want to rank in Google for “@yourkeywordshere” or something similar 😉 And yes, I noticed that the flickr images sometimes fail, but as the comment form keeps the text, you only have to browse back and try again. Until I find a better one, this captcha is as good as possible for this blog, imho.

    @Dana
    I am using a captcha, haven’t you noticed? It is just a slightly different one. Akismet has to many false positives imho and you still need to go through your spam folder to fish them out. Akismet doesn’t save me any time, this set-up does.

    @*lynne*
    It is cute, isn’t it? 😉 Yes, it is a pity we have to resort to all this methods to keep the spammers out!

    @Anand
    I don’t use Akismet.

    @Chuggin
    I actually have a growing collection of “gracious” spam that might one day serve for a blog post.

    @Felix
    Never heard of “the Bad Behavior” Can you provide a link?

    @AdventureRob
    Yes, often the really good things are the simple ones 😉 It seems that the picture captcha annoys less then the letter one 😉 And I think it will also work on comments forms etc. SY

  • I do notice the picture choosing but i do not hate it like traditional captcha.

    Yeah, you are right that akismet need more work.
    .-= Dana @ Online Knowledge´s last blog ..GoDaddy Discount: Off 20% =-.

  • hospitalera

    @Dana
    That is the reason I decided on this one, it works and it is fun! And Akismet, at least for me, never saved time, but it works for others, we, and our blogs, are all different, SY

  • I think the keyword love rewording is a great idea. As to captcha, it’s OK, but I’m happy deleting the few that akismet misses.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..Why Marketing Your Ad Space Should Precede Marketing Your Blog =-.

  • We have created an anti spam plugin that we call Scratch My Back Marketing. It is available for download on our blog. It requires that the comment must be a minimum of 150 characters before the comment is accepted and goes for review. We also placed a warning that the blog is a spam free zone and that it is moderated just above the comment box. We also use Tan Tan Noodles to stop bot spam.

    This has worked very well for us!
    .-= Boris@ Niche SEO´s last blog ..Thanksgiving Blessings & More =-.

  • This is rather cool – I have never seen this type of captcha – will definitly be lookiing into it!

  • You are not using akismet at all? I am thinking about installing commluv, but afraid about how much spam I’ll get. Probably will need to make all changes you did in the plugin before I’ll activate it.
    .-= Vi @ Travel Tips´s last blog ..Whale watching Sydney: 2009 season whale sightings update =-.

  • hospitalera

    @Sire
    Yes, that one really did help, can’t recommend it enough. SY

    @Boris
    A minimum of 150 characters? That is more then Twitter requires and how would that help against spammers? They just adjust their word count! Never heard about “Tan Tan Noodles”, sounds like something to eat 😉 Can you provide a link? SY

    @lissie
    It seems the one that annoys spambots the most and human visitors the least 😉 SY

    @Vi
    Nops, no Akismet at all, I consider it double work fishing out the false positives. And the changes I made took me less then 10 minutes to do, time well spent! SY

  • I c, I like ImHuman, I’ll try it too 🙂
    .-= Vi @ Travel Tips´s last blog ..Extra leg room for short (long) haul flights =-.

  • hospitalera

    @Vi
    Seems part of your comment didn’t post correctly, can you try again? SY

  • I hate captcha but your version is cool. I like to comment and rarely go back to sites where commenting is made difficult. Your captcha doesn’t bother me at all and doesn’t come across as a captcha. (note Dana’s comment above)

    Akismet covers it well enough for me now but I have noted ImHuman for later if my comments increase.

    PS found you from your comment on Sire’s blog
    .-= Ned Carey´s last blog ..Economic Stimulus =-.

  • When I saw the captcha first time, I had to laugh and my partner just looked at me like “has she gone crazy now or what?”. I absolutely love it, it stimulates your brain cells 😉

  • hospitalera

    @Ned Carey
    Thanks for your input! Yes, I think I will stay with this one, it really keeps the spambots away! SY

    @Petra
    That happens to me all the time, hubby looking funny at me, I mean. We are sharing one office / study 😉 SY

  • monika web promotion uk

    Well I completely agree to your point. Comment spam is a major technique used by many people to build links. But ultimately it hurts sites SERPs.

  • I don’t think to be honest CAPTCHA should annoy anyone, it doesn’t annoy me but I know that many spam bots are capable of breaking the code. One cool human verification thing I found was the question to select how many same images are in the box. Like if there are two frogs, you select two frogs from images.

    Since spammers and spambots just know how to hit and not to think, these techniques would definitely work and I am glad you thought of this solution because you’ve got a huge readership so to annoy 1000s of readers just for 100s of spammers is never a good idea. I am sure everyone understands why captcha is necessary and yes if you’ve Akismet installed then it’s fine.

    P.S. Why do I see the math problems in CAPTCHA and not the image-thingie as you’ve mentioned in your post ??

    • hospitalera

      That was the plugin I first used on this blog, but unfortunately it didn’t work out, I wrote here: http://hospitalera.com/time-to-say-good-bye/ about it. And no, Akismet is not fine for me, as I still have to go through the spam folder to rescue the false positives. No idea why you think you see the “math problem”, it is just a normal captcha code. SY

  • Greg Ignerson

    There are some definite consequences of using Akismet and yeah my bad I also see a normal image captcha but I typed it wrong.

  • Lowongan Kerja Terbaru

    i’ll use it for my blog 😉