Social Media for Recruiters: Protect Your Blog from Comment Spam

June 27th, 2012 by Veronica Blatt

Blogging is an important part of social media for recruiters. It’s a fantastic way to generate fresh, relevant content for your website. This will help increase traffic to your website and, when done well, will also boost your SEO efforts and search engine results. You *are* blogging, aren’t you?

Google’s recent Panda & Penguin algorithm updates have a heavy focus on penalizing websites with poor linking habits. This *used* to only impact websites that were using “black hat” SEO tactics, such as paying for inbound links. Now, however, it’s been broadened to include spammy links that get posted as article comments. Recruiters who invest in social media efforts need to pay more attention than ever to spam that is generated by website visitors. Google is penalizing sites that have a lot of spam comments – at best, you’ll see a decrease in search rankings; in the worst case, Google will drop your site completely.

NPA has been blogging for almost two years, and we have been extremely fortunate to have largely avoided comment spam for that entire time. That all changed earlier this month, when we started getting flamed with comment spam, to the tune of 50-100 bogus comments per day. Here is what we are doing to eliminate spam on our website; you may want to investigate one or more of these options as well:

  1. All comments are now added to a “moderation queue” and have to be approved by a site administrator before going live on the site.
  2. We will be installing a CAPTCHA requirement for all comments. The CAPTCHA is the box that requires a poster to copy a series of letters and/or numbers that display on the site to verify that the poster is a human. Most of our spam comments appear to be robotically-generated. The CAPTCHA will screen out those comments, but will be less effective with comments that are manually created.
  3. We installed Akismet on our site, which is an anti-comment spam software. Akismet is available for $5 per month, which is a total bargain. Since installing Akisment just about a week ago, it has already prevented more than 4,000 spam comments from ever reaching our site. An additional 800 comments have been moved into a spam queue for easy deletion. We’ve already more than recovered our $60 investment.

There are other options that can be employed to control spam comments, but they can make it less-friendly for visitors to engage with the site (requiring each poster to create an account, for example). So far, we are pleased with the results we are experiencing. We have a terrific partnership with our web developer who helps us implement these strategies in a cost-effective manner that allows us to retain control over our site content and administration.

Social media for recruiters continues to change and evolve. It’s tough to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. How do you deal with comment spam?

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