Being a DoFollow enabled blog is kicking my butt!
I really don’t know how some of my favorite DoFollow bloggers that run high-volume blogs manage to survive and not go bald pulling their hair out! (Kudos to you Sire @ WassupBlog, you amaze me sir!)
I knew it would, and I was going okay managing the spam folder until I hit >100 pieces of spam a day.
Then it wasn’t just the spam that became the problem, but that a lot of the Syndication community started to understand the power of deep linking.
A deep link is a link that is further “inside” you’re blog than your home page, and from an SEO standpoint this is a really nice link compared to just linking to your home. That’s the difference between putting versus in the URL box of your comment.
So a lot of members started using deep links in their URL in the comments section.That shouldn’t be a bad thing, but Akismet believes otherwise. I was having to daily fish valuable posts by friends out of the spam box.
Now unfortunately I’m both click-happy, meaning sometimes they’d get deleted if I overlooked them… and rapidly bored with the monotony of surfing the spam box… which means occasionally they just weren’t getting looked for. A comment that you leave, that I don’t find, doesn’t do either of us any good I’m afraid!
I put the “Bad Behavior” plugin in place a few weeks back, and it barely dented the spam numbers, because they are growing rapidly. I tried several other anti-spam plugins but I found them incredibly aggressive at not only blocking the post but at blacklisting so hardcore that I was losing precious commenters. Some had such mean wording that they just really left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (and were not code I could easily edit).
I hate CAPTCHA (you know, those “type this word”, that isn’t a word, and half the time you cant read it). The captcha that’s easy enough to read, all of the bots know how to use.
So recently I came across a “captcha” type plugin that was a simple math question. Cute, easy to read. Perfect I thought. (As a bonus, it also applies itself to the main wp-admin login screen, very nicely blocking brute force login attacks.)
Two downsides however: (1) the text is incredibly small, and sits right above the commentluv box and (2) the error message of “Bye Bye, Spammer!” is not only not useful its also obnoxious.
So I altered the “Bye Bye, Spammer” text to read “Please Use Your Back Button To Retry The Math Puzzle Under The Comment Section”.
(Comments are usually saved in your browser buffer when you use the back button, so you should not lose your work. Although I almost always do a copy of my comments before hitting send just because I have notoriously poor internet connectivity.)
That should make that error less biting. I also adding some spacing to hopefully make it easier to see near that commentluv button. I really need to figure out how to increase the text size yet, but my html meets php skills aren’t so great at the moment. I’ll keep working on it again later when I have time.
Here is the updated block-spam-by-math plugin if you’re interested in it. (No coding required!)
Now what I’m interested in hearing is what you’re thoughts are on it. I know how good it’s been for fighting spam… I know how its going to make it easier for me to find your posts when Akismet cans them into the spam folder… I know how good it is as a brute force security prevention… but what I don’t know is if you will hate it. So, lets hear your thoughts. Honest ones please? If it’s too much I’ll remove it. Thoughts please?
Update: I originally released version 1.0.1 of this plugin to change all of the text. However, I then realized that replying from the admin panel was broke (even in the original 1.0 version). I contacted a good friend of mine @denharsh from ShoutMeLoud to get his awesome team to do some wordpress plugin coding for me. They also do a wide range of other advanced technical stuff for wordpress, video, Facebook and more. Head over to have a look and be sure to tell him thanks!