One of the biggest complaints and comments from new business owners who have just launched their websites is the amount of Spam they receive. Let’s review all the places your website can see Spam, how you can minimize the Spam, and the truth about eliminating website Spam.
The most common places we see Spam on websites is through either online forms or through your blog comment areas.
Online forms are often found on your contact page or other pages on your website where you want to ask your visitors to reach out or leave you a message. To keep these forms from being overrun with Spam many web firms use a feature known as CAPTCHA.
A CAPTCHA is a way to test to see if the person entering the data is human by showing words or numbers in an image and having the human type in what they see. Many of us have been frustrated by these fields on websites like Google and LinkedIn. I know I always have a hard time reading the words in the CAPTCHA. Still, this feature is one of the only ways to cut down on Spam for online forms.
If you have a blog on your website, and nowadays most of us do, Spam can enter through the comment fields. Depending upon the platform your blog is built on, a third-party Spam blocker can help cut-down on the amount of the Spam you receive. Our favorite Spam blocker for WordPress is Akismet.
The Truth About SPAM
Completely eliminating Spam is not a reality, though third party applications like Akismet and adding a CAPTCHA to your forms can help cut-down on Spam . The reality is that Spam is on the rise. Here is a great report from Akismet on the Spam report for 2012.
Hackers and bots trying to break your CAPTCHA systems was another rising trend of 2012.
What To Do?
Be sure that your website features both a CAPTCHA for online forms and a Spam filter and blocker application to cut down on the Spam you receive. Pay attention to any increase in your Spam and ask your web developer to check for updates on these tools. Also keep in mind that not all Spam is from bots; some is from real people. Blocking a human will be much more difficult and, truth be told, I’d rather deal with a little Spam in business then alienate my customers.