WordPress comments are an important way for your website to engage with your audience. Unfortunately, they’re also a target for spammers (human and bot). No matter what your business is or how many readers your site engages, it’s inevitable that you’ll scroll through your WordPress comments and find spam. Hopefully, you’ll also find legitimately compelling responses and eye-opening questions.
Every once in a while, you’ll get a comment that gives you pause. Perhaps the comment seems relevant to the post it’s on, but the commenter’s name doesn’t appear to be real. Maybe the URL they post is questionable, promoting a product or another website. How do you deal with this type of gray-area WordPress comment?
You could just mark the comment as spam and move on. However, if the comment seems valuable, you can make it less spammy and then publish it. Here’s how you can do it.
- In WordPress, go to your Comments screen (in the Admin Menu on the left, click Comments).
- Hover over the questionable comment, and click Quick Edit.
- Edit the parts that make the comment spammy:
- If the comment text contains a promotional or questionable link or phrase, delete it.
- If the Name isn’t a name a real individual would have, change it to “[not a real name]”.
- If the URL is questionable, and you don’t want your readers to click it, delete it.
- Click Update Comment.
- Hover over the comment and click Approve.
Let’s say you suspect a comment is spam. Copy a sentence out of it, and paste it into Google with double-quotes around it. This will perform a verbatim search. If Google finds that exact sentence used on other sites, it’s almost certainly spam. The spammer has left the exact comment on other sites, and the search engine recognizes this duplication. If Google shows no results, the comment is probably unique, and not spam.
Does Your WordPress Site Need Maintenance?
It’s important to stay on top of your WordPress comments. But are you staying on top of updates, backups, and security? Talk to us about maintaining your WordPress site. We can help your website run smoothly—and safely.