The Digital Forest Blog

Managing comment spam on Business Catalyst

If any of you run a blog or have comments enabled on your News sections, products or other areas on BC you have undoubtedly come across 'comment spam' This is one of the unfortunate results of an increase in website visibility and can take up a considerable amount of time to manage unless you set up Business Catalyst accordingly.

What is 'Comment Spam'?

Comment spam is when certain unscrupulous web users add comments on your website in an attempt to create back links to their sites. These are often for 'pay day loans' sites, online gambling sites and the like.. If the comments are published they will give the offending sites 'link authority' from your site and also allow your web site users the opportunity of clicking on a link to a site that is unrelated or worse could have malware.

What can be done about it?

Comment spam has risen very rapidly over the last 12 months and thankfully Adobe has reacted quickly to provide new tools to deal with it. 

Setting up Comment spam controls on Business Catalyst

1) Make sure you have comments set to moderated. In Admin go to Modules > Comments. In the Actions drop down menu on the Comments page select 'Manage new comment rules'

Make sure that you have 'Moderate New Comments' checked - this will make sure that no comments are published before you approve them. Then check 'Automatic Spam Detection' this will utilise Adobes 'Akismet' spam detection to flag spam comments as spam automatically. Akismet is the de facto standard in comment spam detection and is an independent organisation whose service is used widely across blogs and websites, it is included free as part of you business catalyst subscription.

It is important to flag an messages in the Comments as spam that you regard as not authentic comments - this will help improve you spam detection until it can hopefully recognise all the spam and allow you to run on autopilot!