Spam bots can be quite the nuisance when you’re trying to analyze your site. They create false data in analytic tools and can fill your comment section with spammy links. Luckily, WordPress has tools that can help you eliminate these bothersome pieces of software. The best part about it is that these tools are easy to implement on your site.
What Are Spam Bots?
Spam bots are small applications developed to scan through the Internet with the purpose of collecting and spreading information. Some will look at sites for email addresses to create mailing lists. In this article, we’ll look closer at the ones that visit your site for the purpose of marketing. These kinds of spam bots will register addresses in analytical tools in the hopes to get traffic from the site owner. They can also input links into your comments in order to build backlinks.
Why You Should Stop Spam Bots
One of the best strategies for developing your website is to monitor things like Google Analytics. Apps like this can show you who is visiting what webpage and what content is the most appealing. Spam bots make this process much more difficult as they can skew the numbers. Here are just a few of what these bots can alter:
- Bounce rates
- Referral sites
- Duration of visit
- Demographic data
- Number of visits to a webpage
Changes like these can influence how you develop future content. When you block spam bots in WordPress, you’re improving the data you can collect.
Spam bots can also affect the comment section of your WordPress site. A lot of the time, these pieces of programming will insert links to other sites with a quick response that seems friendly enough. However, these links can be detrimental to your site from an optimization perspective. Essentially, you’re forced to give those sites recognition. If the site is irrelevant to your niche, it could affect the ranking of your site in search engines.
How to Block Spam Bots in WordPress
It’s relatively easy to block bots from accessing your website with WordPress. Between the plugins you can install and the settings in the dashboard, you can greatly reduce how often these bots are successful. In many instances, you can see near instant results.
Plugins to Block Access
The add-ons in WordPress can help keep your site protected from spam bots. As a result, the website can immediately begin to record true data from human visitors. To find these plugins:
- Go to the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard.
- Click the “Add New” button on top of the page.
- In the search text bar on the right, enter “block spam bots” and press enter.
- Find the plugin that works best for you, install and activate it.
In many cases, this is all that’s needed. Some plugins will have a centralized database to pull lists of known spam. Others will incorporate a way to add your own. In either case, these plugins can make a profound difference in your site’s performance.
Plugins of Interest
Here are a few of the best plugins to use to block spam bots in WordPress. Many of these have easy interfaces and are very effective.
Custom Referral Spam Blocker
This plugin will show you the full list of blocked referral domains while letting you add more. It’s also equipped with a “Share” control if you want to help the developers by creating a longer list by using your data.
Bot Block is an easy to use system that offers a field for putting your own spam domains into. It will target any subdomain automatically linked to the one you entered.
WordPress Block Analytics Spam
Although this is a simple plugin, WordPress Block Analytics Spam is still an effective system. It uses a public recognized list of spammers while allowing for customized entry.
To reduce the spam that collects within the comment section, you have a variety of options available. You can add a plugin for blocking comment bots, install a captcha or other security plugin or directly modify how WordPress handles comments. To handle comments manually:
- Go to “Settings” in your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on “Discussion” to view comment control.
- Here, you will check or uncheck the options available. You can control who comments, if it’s held in moderation and how many links are allowed before the comment stays in moderation.
This section gives a you a great deal of control over what is posted in your comment section. It’s advisable to develop a blacklist of what you don’t allow in terms of text or website addresses. This can help eliminate most of the spam responses you might see on the website. It can also give your site a more professional appearance.
Blocking these bots from interacting with your site improves its ability to remain optimal. You shouldn’t allow other organizations to take advantage of your site by altering its data or filling the comment section with links. Take control of your website and clear the debris that can clutter up the data.
How often do you find spammy links in your comment section? What kind of links have you found in your analytic reports?
Author: Josh Dargie
My name is Josh Dargie and I’m the Operations Manager at GreenGeeks. I’ve been with the company since 2009. I have over 16 years of experience working with and for various web hosting providers specifically in development, day-to-day operations and customer service.