Using Google Analytics to debug spam comment targeting

There are two sites I own which use the very nice blogging engine, and over time they’ve been constantly harassed by increasing amounts of spam comments.  Usually the sort of nonsensical garbage which is just trying to link harvest or some other mundane and stupid way to boost external sites’ page rank.

Recently this started to slow, as I implemented a CAPTCHA for all comments, enabled comment moderation, and disabled comments on old posts.  Intrigued by how automated scripts were targeting my sites, I turned to Google Analytics, and reviewed the Keywords for one of the sites which rarely gets any referral traffic from search engines.  This proved to be a bit of a gold mind (as you would expect), and as you can see from the screen capture below, there’s not much left to the imagination how spammers are targeting my sites.


Google Analytics Keywords Snapshot

What our creepy nasty spammers are doing is targeting sites directly, in particular where comment notification is found.  Now, I’ve gone around and removed the “powered by” text, and I’ve removed the notification checkbox and label, so I’m anticipating a big drop off in targeted spam comments.  Time will tell if these modifications will do the trick.

If you have a blog or site which receives undue amounts of garbage comments, I’d highly recommend that you carefully review the keywords and referrers and see if you can spot how these ugly spamming sods are finding your site via a search engine.  It’s a bit easier if you don’t have hundreds (or more) keywords, but I think with about 10-15 minutes of work, you might be able to find what’s attracting the unwanted traffic.  If you can remove the key elements, it may go some way to eradicating the spam comment problem for your site.

Best of luck!  R

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 thoughts on “Using Google Analytics to debug spam comment targeting”