Akismet works. It stops a ton of spam on my blog (almost 3,000 to-date), and tons of bloggers use it. It’s an essential WordPress plugin for everyone, or you’ll go mad deleting spam from your comments.
But here are 3 suggestions for making it even better:
- Recognize trackbacks and list them separately in the WordPress Admin. Less trackbacks show up as potential spam (than comments), and sometimes they’re not spam, but links back from legitimate blogs. Most of the time they’re trackbacks to scraper sites and splogs, which you can choose to delete. It makes sense to list these separately because trackbacks are so important; seeing who is linking to you is critical for increasing your blog’s success. So being able to isolate trackbacks out of the rest of the potential spam would be great — I could then deal with these as a higher priority than the 3,000 other potential spam messages.
- Separate out obvious spam from questionable spam. There’s some comment spam that’s obviously spam (or darn close to being obvious.) But occasionally, a real comment gets caught. I wonder if there’s a way of separating the two within the WordPress Admin — creating two lists: “Very Likely Spam” and “So-So Spam” (or something like that.)
Akismet could develop logic for doing this, but also give bloggers some options. For example, if I could input some keywords and key phrases (cialis, levitra, porn, etc.) and say, “those are DEFINITELY spam”, tossing those messages into a separate page titled “Very Likely Spam” will make spam management easier.
Akismet could even ship with default keywords – because they know what the typical spam looks like.
- Auto-delete spam. Akismet now lets you automatically discard spam comments on posts that are older than a month, which makes a lot of sense – the discussion on those posts will typically be non-existent except for spam. They do mention on the Akismet blog that this new feature eliminates tons of spam automatically, but what about taking the keyword suggestion from above and auto-deleting off that? For example, any comment with the word “cialis” gets toasted. (Unless your blog is about cialis, in which case you’d want to change the keyword list!)