Blog comments are a highly rewarding technique that lets you connect with your readers, build bulk traffic, and improve the overall SEO performance of your posts.
But at the same time, comments can also bring in spam.
So, you must definitely want to use blog comments in the most efficient and safest manner. Hence, you would want to know the best ways to moderate comments in WordPress!
What Does Blog Comments Mean in WordPress?
Blog comments in WordPress are the comments, which readers mention at the bottom of a post or article.
Commenting on posts was introduced by WordPress in 2004 and these comments turned out to be an important milestone in the entire blogging revolution.
It is because comments converted static websites into dynamic content, which can be consistently updated. Secondly, commenting enabled readers to easily interact with the writers, making the entire experience highly interactive.
On WordPress websites, those with a valid email and name can mention a comment without disclosing their identity. Comments in WordPress are turned on by default. The comment form displayed depends on the WordPress theme you use.
Once a reader or someone from the audience mentions a comment, it can be moderated as per your preference. This means you can delete or approve the comment as you have the complete control of what is showcased on your site.
How to Turn WordPress Comments OFF or ON?
When WordPress is installed for the first time, by default, commenting is turned on.
If you want to keep it on, you don’t have to make any changes. However, if you want to turn off the comments, you may visit the settings section. In the settings section, you may check discussion, and uncheck the icon that says ‘Allow people or readers to post comments on novel articles.’
Customizing Settings in WordPress:
Within the settings section and under discussion, you also have the chance to adjust and customize the settings for the way your commenting system works.
For this, you can consider some options as well:
- The level of identification needed to comment including email, name, and other details.
- Receiving notifications when a new comment occurs through an email or through a message.
- Receiving notification when a comment awaits moderation.
- The time duration for which the comments remain open.
- Whether to consider all comments for moderation or not.
- Whether to permit a commentator to comment with full freedom, once they receive approval for their comment.
- Disabling comments for particular posts.
- Whether to permit or not nested comments, which are comments mentioned on comments. If yes, then up to how many levels.
- Blacklisting of words, which automatically sends comments to trash.
Also, it is possible to turn off commenting or keep it on for a particular post.
For this, you need to visit the section ‘All Posts’ and click on the option ‘Quick Edit.’
How to Moderate Comments in WordPress?
You can check all comments on the WordPress website by selecting the comments menu in WordPress.
It is but mandatory that all comments are manually approved. If you don’t check the comments for this, your post will automatically become a spot for spam comments.
When comments are available for moderation in your post, you will witness a small red number within the left-side menu of your WordPress dashboard. There are various options available for comment moderation such as:
- Quick Edit
If you find a comment legitimate, you can approve the same and then send a reply to it. Once you have responded, you may want to edit the comment. This can be done through the edit option to rectify a typo or any other mistake that may occur.
At times, the comment in your WordPress post can appear as a spam. You need to click the Spam option to send the comment to the spam folder.
There are numerous indicators, which can be used to check if a comment is spam or not:
- Generic Comments – Most of the time, spammers depend on generic comments for bypassing spam filters. Such generic comments can be ‘Nice Article,’ ‘Thank You,’ and more. Generic comments like this can be spam comments, which you must take into moderation.
- Comments with numerous keywords, strange characters, and links – The most common kind of spam comment, which may also give you a tough time checking is the comments with numerous keywords and awkward characters. It is difficult to judge whether such comments are real or not. But once identified they must be moderated at once.
- Comments With a Fake Name – If there are comments appearing, which are being left by the name of a person like Best Printer Ink or Cheap Mortgage Rate, you can clearly understand that such comments are spam. These comments intend to spam your website to get a backlink.
How to Deal with Spam Comments in WordPress?
Before you handle the spam comments, you must first identify why people send spam comments in WordPress.
The links you receive from leaving the comments are considered ‘no follow.’ It implies such links don’t pass any PageRank and so they do not help in improving SEO. But this does not stop the people from using the WordPress comment system to create their link profile.
WordPress does not come with any settings in its dashboard to automatically remove comments that contain links. However, there is an option to hold comments for moderation when they include a certain number of links.
WordPress is pre-installed with Akismet. However, you have to activate this plugin and signup for the anti-spam service in order to reduce spam. Once you mark any comment as spam, Akismet learns to catches similar comments from the next time. All comments considered spam will display under the spam tab.
This means you don’t have to visit the tab often. But if any of your users complain that their comments do not appear on your website, then you must first check them in the spam section. If there is a comment that is by mistake targeted by Akismet as spam, you can click on the option of Not Spam to move it from the spam folder to the pending folder.
Moreover, you can also click on the button available for Empty Spam. This will delete all spam comments in the folder at once. If there are no spam comments, it will automatically get deleted by WordPress after 15 days.
The main aspect to consider is that removing thousands of spam comments at once can reduce down the website a little bit. If you wish to delete multiple of the spam comments, it is better to try the technique available to delete batch comments at once in WordPress.
If you wish to eradicate one comment without considering it as spam, you must click on the link available for Trash appearing below the comment. The comments removed by you will be transferred to the trash and will live there for the next month or 30 days.
With this setting, from the next time, WordPress will automatically remove such comments forever. If you have deleted a comment by mistake, you can visit the trash tab and click on the option, Restore link.
The area available for comment moderation displays comments for all pages and posts. However, you can specifically view comments left on a specific post by either visiting or checking the post on your website or through the main admin area.
Rules You May Consider for WordPress Comments Moderation:
You can set your own rules for moderating comments. However, there are some rules, which you may adopt to make the process much easier and simpler:
- Make sure you always approve comments, which are mentioned from one user with a genuine or real name. For instance, the name ‘John’ is fine, but the name ‘SEO review,’ ‘SEO Pro,’ or ‘Top WP Tips,’ are not fine.
- Further, you must approve comments, which add some value to the overall discussion. For instance, keep it up, nice blog post, and similar comments would not be approved.
- Next, avoid approving comments that include links.
- When you reply to any comment then make sure you always maintain a polite tone. Additionally, you must address the commenter by its name. Avoid being a little commenter for a lack of knowledge. Be attentive and careful when rectifying comments and make sure they are respectful.
- Additionally, when you reply to comments, it must be encouraging. It is because new bloggers often find it difficult to comprehend things properly. If a person asks any question, start your reply with words such as Thank you for the question.
- Make sure you sound helpful while you send a reply.
- If you send a reply consistently, your blog will ultimately land up in a place where people can gain advice.
Pros and Cons of Comments in WordPress
Just like other things, there are pros and cons associated with blog comments.
WordPress Comments Pros:
- You must engage and interact with your readers and audience. Successful blogs are those that have huge followings of trusted readers. One promising way to develop a huge following is to engage highly with the readers. The best way to keep engaged with the readers is to permit them to comment on the posts.
- Enhance your SEO. There are numerous SEO advantages, which you can avail of to have a thriving community of readers who can comment on your post.
- You must always look out new ideas for blog posts. Most of the time, readers will ask you about a specific topic they want more details about. If you have not written about that topic before, this is a great idea for a novel blog post.
WordPress Comments Cons:
- The process of comment moderation is time-consuming. Offering high-value, detailed reverts takes time. Definitely, you are adding a great SEO value of the original article or content so that is time well-spent.
- Moreover, if the articles written by you are open to comment you can attract spam. The comment spam volume you get may reach the levels where you have to decide, is it worth or not.
Important SEO Facts about Blog Comments
Some bloggers entirely disable the comments in WordPress. It is because they fear of spammy comments and that they can negatively impact the SEO of their posts.
However, this is not the correct way to go.
It is because if used correctly, WordPress comments can drastically enhance the SEO of your post. The main reasons for this are:
- The algorithm from Google considers comments in blogs as a part of the article. Therefore, it enhances the word count of your post. The length of content is an important ranking factor. Therefore, good quality comments can enhance the SEO of your post.
- Usually, blog comments include words, which are semantically associated with a keyword. Hence, they add rich SEO value to the article.
- Blog comments signal user engagement with the content. This is an important rank factor and a perfect way to give your post a rich SEO value.
Definitely, comments of poor quality can have a negative impact on your website’s SEO. So, if the blog comments are enabled, it is best to moderate them. Make sure that only highly qualitative comments are available on the web pages.
How to Get More Comments for Your WordPress Blog
It is not easy to get your readers to comment on your post, especially when you are a beginner.
Just like many things online, comments on blogs can also be increased by following certain strategies.
- You can directly ask for comments. You can include a CTA at the end of your every post and ask for comments directly.
- Make sure you approve comments in your blog quickly.
- When a question is asked by commenters, begin your response with polite and welcoming words.
- Always give preference to commenters who make valuable or insightful comments. You can provide them prominence by reverting to them at length.
Over time, numerous third-party commenting platforms are available for WordPress. This platform has advanced moderation technology and interface. One such platform is Disqus.
To Sum Up:
Hope this article is helpful to you. You can now set up and moderate comments in WordPress and gain more value and SEO benefits to your post.