Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free

A recent study by WebmasterWorld found that an estimated 77% of all blogs on Google’s Blogspot service were spam. Similarly, AOL Hometown, had well over 80% of its results turn out to be spam. Even MSN Spaces, which as not mentioned in the report, is claimed to host an estimated ten percent of spammer Web site. (Note: See updated information below about the Blogspot study)

It seems as if nearly every major free blog hosting service has been either overrun or nearly overrun with spam. However, one services stands alone, a relative oasis of spam cleanliness, Automattic’s WordPress.com. Despite being just as free as its competitors and placing few restrictions on registration, WordPress.com has not endured the spam avalanche that other services have.

Though there have been spam attacks in the past, the spammers have been easily shut down and, overall, the service remains relatively free of the splogs that seem to choke up its competitors. Though paid services such as Typepad also enjoy a relatively spam-free existance, what WordPress.com does is very rare for a free service.

To find out how WordPress.com achieved this, I emailed Automatic’s founder, Matthew Mullenweg. The answer was very surprising.

A Technological Edge

Automattic, in addition to creating WordPress.com, created the anti-comment spam plugin Akismet.

Akismet works by taking comments submitted to a site and forwarding them to Akismet’s servers. Akismet then, using a series of tests and filters, determines if the comment is legitimate, spam or something in between. Spam comments are filtered out, gray comments are held for moderation and legitimate comments are posted.

Akismet is available for free for personal use on any WordPress blog with an API key, not just those hosted by WordPress.com. To date, Akismet has stopped over one billion spam comments and is used on thousands of blogs, including this one.

Both the WordPress.com site and Mullenweg hint that Akismet is one of their tools for keeping spam blogs off of WordPress.com. Though both are vague with their descriptions as to how it works, one likelihood is that any caught comment spam originating or pointing to a WordPress.com flags the site for inspection.

If true, this effectively turns comment spamming, one of the most popular means of promoting a spam blog, against the person doing it. Comment spamming goes from being a tool to help search engines find a blog to a means for administrators to easily identify the blogs that are likely junk.

That would be an interesting reversal of fortune for spammers and a very intelligent use of a seemingly unrelated technology.

Goodbye, Adsense

In late 2005, WordPress.com took what some considered an extreme step and banned Google Adsense as well as other advertising networks from its service. As of this writing, there is no way to add any advertisements to a WordPress.com hosted blog, other than “discreet” links, without a paid VIP membership.

This is obviously a tremendous deterrent to spam blogs, many of which rely upon Google Adsense to make money. This is in stark contrast to Blogspot, which makes it very easy to add Adsense ads to your blog and encourages members to do so.

Though Google’s reasons for doing this are clear, it is how they make money from the service, the prevalence of Adsense has undoubdtedly been a major contributor to the deluge of spam that has befallen the service. That is also why Mullenweg, in a comment on TechCrunch, said the following:

We’re considering ad options for the future, but for now disallowing adsense has been a huge help in keeping splogs off the system and hasn’t gotten much pushback from regular folks, only aspiring pro-bloggers. (Who should probably be on WordPress.org anyway.)

While it is true that this has no impact on the spam bloggers that are solely interested in using the splogs to gain search engine ranking via outbound liks, this missing functionality does a great deal to deter many of the laziest and least sophisticated spam bloggers out there.

All in all, while the lack of simple monetization might be a hurdle for some would-be WordPress.com users, it has played a critical role in keeping the service free of spam blogs.

The Real Difference

But while Mullenweg was clearly pleased with the role that Akismet and other tools played in stopping spam, he put the greatest difference on the human element.

According to him, Automattic takes spam very seriously and always has and that, in his view, makes the greatest difference of all. In his email to me he said the following:

If you ever come across something we host that’s spam just drop the link there and someone will look at it within an hour or so.

Akismet and a few other internal tools help, but I think it’s mostly that we take splogs pretty seriously and respond accordingly..

Mullenweg encourages people to use the “Report as Spam” feature in the dashboard across the top of all WordPress.com blogs to report any instance of spam. He says that all reports of spam are tracked and followed up on swiftly.

This is much simpler and more effective than Google’s complicated and practically useless reporting procedure.

This, in Mullenweg’s view, has kept spam from establishing a foothold on the service and kept WordPress.com relatively spam-free when compared to its competitors. Hopefully, it will be enough to keep it that way.

Conclusions

The good news in all of this is that it is possible to run a large-scale, popular and free blogging service that is relatively free of spam. The bad news is that there is no magic bullet in any of this.

Running such a service requires a great deal of commitment both from the people who run the service and from the community that uses it. It requires investing both resources and manpower into combating spam while having a genuine dislike for it. It even requires, in some cases, sacrificing features that legitimate users may want in order to make the service less appealing to the spam blogging community.

It also means that it may be far too late for Blogspot and similar services to turn the tide against spam. Though WordPress.com seems to easily be able to keep up with new spam that comes in, it appears that, if over three quarters of your results are junk, that the reversing the tide is all-but-impossible.

However, if Google were to take the simple, but drastic, step of banning Adsense on Blogspot, the effect on spam blogs would be drastic. However, the effect on their legitimate bloggers would be equally dramatic, causing many of them to turn away from the service.

This puts Google, and the other free blogging services, in a very tough bind. In order to effectively combat spam, they need to make sacrifices that will, most likely, cause them to lose legitimate customers as well as spammers. It almost comes down to a choice between being a spam haven and having their entire business model destroyed.

In that regard, spam blogs are like a cancer, often easily treated if caught and attacked early, but incurable if allowed to go on to long. Sadly, Blogger, AOL Hometown and MSN Spaces may be beyond any hope of recovery.

This is an issue I will be revisiting some time later this week.

Update: This article has really taken off. An appearance on Techmeme as well as Matt Mullenweg’s blog have really drawn a great deal of attention to this. So welcome to everyone who is visiting this site for the first time. Feel free to look around some and subscribe to the feed if you wish.

I did want to take a moment and respond to one very astute commenter who pointed out that all is not what it seems with the Blogspot study. As it turns out, the methodology of the study is both buried and confusing. It turns out that 77% of Blogspot blogs are spam for spam-friendly keywords. It is not a reference to the number of spam blogs on the service over all.

However, after thinking about it, I realized that a study of the blogs on Blogspot would be almost useless as Blogspot, in addition to splogs, is choked down with with inactive and abandoned blogs, the same as with any free blogging service or free Web service in general.

A better study would be to look at the percentage of active blogs on the service, something that can be determined, at least with some distinction, but the number of outgoing pings. A study from February of this year looked at exactly that and found that 51% of all pings from Blogspot were spam (Note: According to Pete, this study was taken before Blogspot began pinging new entries by default, it may show bias to spammers as they might be more likely to switch on the pinging feature. We will have to wait and see when a new study comes out.).

This means that over half of all new posts created and pinged out over Blogspot are junk. Though not the 77% mentioned earlier, that is still a tremendous problem. The fact remains that Blogger is, quite clearly, overrun with spam blogs and is unlikely to recover any time soon, not without making drastic changes.

My thanks to Pete for pointing out the error.

138 Responses to Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free

  1. cybele says:

    It's weird, I run into WordPress driven scraper blogs more often than any other. Perhaps it's that they are easily identified as being run on WordPress software than other ones. (They're not hosted on wordpress, just using their blogging platform.)

    • RV Roof Repair says:

      An extremely powerful anti-spam plugin for WordPress that eliminates comment spam, including trackback and pingback spam. It works invisibly without CAPTCHA’s, or other inconvenience to site visitors. The plugin includes spam-free contact form feature as well. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog!

  2. Angela says:

    Not to sound like a jerk but I like WordPress.com's prohibition of advertisements. If you want ads on your site, buy your own domain.

  3. cybele says:

    JB – that was exactly the point I was making. Though they're keeping it off their own free-hosting system, their easy to use system that accepts plug-ins means that many scraper blogs are using WordPress.

  4. cybele says:

    It’s weird, I run into WordPress driven scraper blogs more often than any other. Perhaps it’s that they are easily identified as being run on WordPress software than other ones. (They’re not hosted on wordpress, just using their blogging platform.)

  5. Angela says:

    Not to sound like a jerk but I like WordPress.com’s prohibition of advertisements. If you want ads on your site, buy your own domain.

  6. MacBros says:

    It would be nice if that would at least give the API to Digg so I can cross post my stuff to the WordPress.com site I have.

    I have a blogger Link page that I put my best Links to articles I’ve posted on my main site. Would like to do the same with WordPress.com.

    Just for PR ranking purposes.

  7. MacBros says:

    It would be nice if that would at least give the API to Digg so I can cross post my stuff to the WordPress.com site I have.

    I have a blogger Link page that I put my best Links to articles I’ve posted on my main site. Would like to do the same with WordPress.com.

    Just for PR ranking purposes.

  8. JB says:

    Cybele,

    Just to clarify, there’s a difference between being a WP-driven blog and one hosted on WordPress.com. WordPress.com uses WP as a backend but is a complete blog service, like Blogspot. A lot scrapers are using their own installs of WP right now because A) It’s Free B) Easily Automated and C) Has available plugins to do the scraping.

    Fortunately, WordPress.com has not itself fallen victim to this.

    Angela,

    I have to agree with you on that one. I don’t see why free blogging services should try to turn users into pro bloggers. Those wanting to profit from a blog should at least make the minor investment in their own hosting.

    MacBros,

    I’d wager that there are a lot of things that WordPress.com could/should do that wouldn’t drastically impact spam.

    I’d send the suggestions on and see if they take them up. They were very responsive to me and my questions.

  9. JB says:

    Cybele,

    Just to clarify, there’s a difference between being a WP-driven blog and one hosted on WordPress.com. WordPress.com uses WP as a backend but is a complete blog service, like Blogspot. A lot scrapers are using their own installs of WP right now because A) It’s Free B) Easily Automated and C) Has available plugins to do the scraping.

    Fortunately, WordPress.com has not itself fallen victim to this.

    Angela,

    I have to agree with you on that one. I don’t see why free blogging services should try to turn users into pro bloggers. Those wanting to profit from a blog should at least make the minor investment in their own hosting.

    MacBros,

    I’d wager that there are a lot of things that WordPress.com could/should do that wouldn’t drastically impact spam.

    I’d send the suggestions on and see if they take them up. They were very responsive to me and my questions.

  10. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free. I wouldn’t ever suggest there are no splogs on WordPress.com, I’m sure some have slipped through the cracks, but we do take the issue very seriously with both of proactive and reactive measures. « McAfee CEO Comment » [...]

  11. [...] Plagiarism Today—Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free It seems as if nearly every major free blog hosting service has been either overrun or nearly overrun with spam. However, one services stands alone, a relative oasis of spam cleanliness, Automattic’s WordPress.com. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. [...]

  12. [...] Monday, April 9th, 2007 in Automattic, Akismet, WordPress According to a WebMasterWorld study, 75% of blogs on Google’s Blogger are spam and 68% of all sites on the .info domain are spam as well. If true, that’s kind of depressing. Meanwhile, on WordPress.com we continue to shut down spam blogs as soon as we find them. [...]

  13. [...] spam blogs, and it turns out that most free blogging services are loaded with splogs. Except for one. WordPress.com It seems as if nearly every major free blog hosting service has been either overrun [...]

  14. Pete Hopkins says:

    Nice article! It seems that taking a “broken windows” approach (preventing spam from even getting a foothold) is pretty effective. I wonder if Matt sees much trouble with redirect spam, or if the limited template control on free WordPress.com makes that impossible.

    Oh, and just a heads-up that “77% of all blogs on Blogspot are spam” is a mis-reading of the study. Explanation here: http://www.goldtoe.net/2007/03/dumb-spam.html

  15. Pete Hopkins says:

    Nice article! It seems that taking a “broken windows” approach (preventing spam from even getting a foothold) is pretty effective. I wonder if Matt sees much trouble with redirect spam, or if the limited template control on free WordPress.com makes that impossible.

    Oh, and just a heads-up that “77% of all blogs on Blogspot are spam” is a mis-reading of the study. Explanation here: http://www.goldtoe.net/2007/03/dumb-spam.html

  16. cybele says:

    JB – that was exactly the point I was making. Though they’re keeping it off their own free-hosting system, their easy to use system that accepts plug-ins means that many scraper blogs are using WordPress.

  17. Another reason why Automattic don’t allow users to place their own Adsense units on free wordpress.com blogs is that Automattic themselves are putting their own Google ads there (http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/). A lot of people, like Angela, seem to be under the impression that wordpress.com is completely ad-free, but the fact is that you need to buy your own domain if you don’t want ads on your site. Automattic are a company, not a spam-fighting charity, and if the ‘no ads’ policy didn’t benefit them financially it wouldn’t exist.

  18. Another reason why Automattic don’t allow users to place their own Adsense units on free wordpress.com blogs is that Automattic themselves are putting their own Google ads there (http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/). A lot of people, like Angela, seem to be under the impression that wordpress.com is completely ad-free, but the fact is that you need to buy your own domain if you don’t want ads on your site. Automattic are a company, not a spam-fighting charity, and if the ‘no ads’ policy didn’t benefit them financially it wouldn’t exist.

  19. adam says:

    i’m surprised no one’s mentioned livejournal yet.

    i get a lot of spam on my wordpress.com blog. akismet just keeps it out of the public eye. nonetheless, it’s all there when i have to dumpster dive for the false positives.

    my livejournal account doesn’t get _any_ spam.

  20. adam says:

    i’m surprised no one’s mentioned livejournal yet.

    i get a lot of spam on my wordpress.com blog. akismet just keeps it out of the public eye. nonetheless, it’s all there when i have to dumpster dive for the false positives.

    my livejournal account doesn’t get _any_ spam.

  21. Jaypee says:

    A lot of people are confused or don’t know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress powered blogs. They think it’s the same thing.

    Regarding the entry, I think the reason why WordPress.com is basically spam free or is successful against it is because of the measures they have in preventing and removing spam. If only Google and other blogging sites would also put more priority into fighting spam, then I’m pretty sure they’d also be able to minimize spam blogs on their sites.

    Excellent post JB! Good read. :D

  22. Jaypee says:

    A lot of people are confused or don’t know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress powered blogs. They think it’s the same thing.

    Regarding the entry, I think the reason why WordPress.com is basically spam free or is successful against it is because of the measures they have in preventing and removing spam. If only Google and other blogging sites would also put more priority into fighting spam, then I’m pretty sure they’d also be able to minimize spam blogs on their sites.

    Excellent post JB! Good read. :D

  23. [...] incident is analyzed by Jonathan Bailey at his Plagiarism Today blog. He finds the lack of spam blogs at WordPress.com remarkable, given that the service is free. He [...]

  24. JB says:

    Pete,

    Thanks for the heads up and the link. I’ve looked at several different studies about Blogspot spam over the years and none have been good. The lowest number I’ve seen was about 50%. I’ll update the story with clarification in a bit, but it’s still pretty clear that Blogspot is pretty much overrun.

    Oh, and I think that the limited template control with WordPress.com makes such redirects impossible. I’ve only toyed with one or two WordPress.com blogs, but I know that wasn’t within the realm of possibility of what I could do easily.

    Cybele,

    Just trying to make sure we were all clear :) It can get a bit confusing.

    That Girl,

    As true as that is, even if the spam blog fighting is just a side effect, it is an important one.

    Adam,

    I’m in touch with Anil from Six Apart, I’m going to see if he has any insight as to why that’s true. I have my suspicions, but I don’t want to say anything until I hear back.

    Jaypee,

    I tried to clarify that in the post but I don’t know how good I did with that. There is a big difference between a WordPress.com blog and a WordPress-powered blog.

    I do agree with what you said, but I think it’s too late for those service, even if they decide tomorrow that they are going to put everything they have into it. It requires the investment up front, not later.

  25. JB says:

    Pete,

    Thanks for the heads up and the link. I’ve looked at several different studies about Blogspot spam over the years and none have been good. The lowest number I’ve seen was about 50%. I’ll update the story with clarification in a bit, but it’s still pretty clear that Blogspot is pretty much overrun.

    Oh, and I think that the limited template control with WordPress.com makes such redirects impossible. I’ve only toyed with one or two WordPress.com blogs, but I know that wasn’t within the realm of possibility of what I could do easily.

    Cybele,

    Just trying to make sure we were all clear :) It can get a bit confusing.

    That Girl,

    As true as that is, even if the spam blog fighting is just a side effect, it is an important one.

    Adam,

    I’m in touch with Anil from Six Apart, I’m going to see if he has any insight as to why that’s true. I have my suspicions, but I don’t want to say anything until I hear back.

    Jaypee,

    I tried to clarify that in the post but I don’t know how good I did with that. There is a big difference between a WordPress.com blog and a WordPress-powered blog.

    I do agree with what you said, but I think it’s too late for those service, even if they decide tomorrow that they are going to put everything they have into it. It requires the investment up front, not later.

  26. [...] Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free? Because WordPress.Com has Akismet and do not allow advertisements on free account. [...]

  27. GNC-2007-04-10 #257…This show is packed to with tech news and information along with a few bonus stories in the show itself. To all of the listeners out their thanks for your continued support! Sponsors: [Save 10% off on any order at……

  28. [...] Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free Long piece boils down to: you can’t run ads. [...]

  29. jez says:

    woot, really some 77% of blogspot are spam sites – I thought it was alot, but not that much!great write up, thanks for sharing!

  30. Owen says:

    Excellent post Jonathan, well thought out and researched.I'm a big fan of Askimet, it's kept my blog free of thousands, if not tens of thousands of spam messages so far.

  31. [...] to this, A recent study by WebmasterWorld found that an estimated 77% of all blogs on Google’s Blogspot [...]

  32. GNC-2007-04-10 #257…

    This show is packed to with tech news and information along with a few bonus stories in the show itself. To all of the listeners out their thanks for your continued support! Sponsors: [Save 10% off on any order at……

  33. GNC-2007-04-10 #257…

    This show is packed to with tech news and information along with a few bonus stories in the show itself. To all of the listeners out their thanks for your continued support! Sponsors: [Save 10% off on any order at……

  34. GNC-2007-04-10 #257…

    This show is packed to with tech news and information along with a few bonus stories in the show itself. To all of the listeners out their thanks for your continued support! Sponsors: [Save 10% off on any order at……

  35. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free (tags: blogger blogging spam wordpress malware) [...]

  36. [...] the blogging platform is an indication of the quality of the writing. WordPress has a history of quality writers, while up to 75% of all blogspot blogs are [...]

  37. jez says:

    woot, really some 77% of blogspot are spam sites – I thought it was alot, but not that much!

    great write up, thanks for sharing!

  38. Owen says:

    Excellent post Jonathan, well thought out and researched.

    I’m a big fan of Askimet, it’s kept my blog free of thousands, if not tens of thousands of spam messages so far.

  39. cybele says:

    I agree with Bill Brown – I see very few splogs that actually have Adsense on them (or any ads). They're there to boost page rank and authority for some other network out there (not that I'm going to click through and find out what it is). I love Askimet. I don't run WordPress (Expression Engine) but the plug in is available and does the trick. (It has blocked bazillions of spam comments, just a couple thousand since I installed it in January, but I have a lot of other things in place to reduce spam comments.)

  40. TechBlog says:

    Linkpost | 4.10.2007…

    • Help Key: Hosting a Kickass LAN Party • Blogger Code of Conduct: the tyranny of good intentions • Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free • Users Gripe About Speeds of Vista Start-up, Shutdown – Me, too! • New WiMAX broadband……

  41. TechBlog says:

    Linkpost | 4.10.2007…

    • Help Key: Hosting a Kickass LAN Party • Blogger Code of Conduct: the tyranny of good intentions • Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free • Users Gripe About Speeds of Vista Start-up, Shutdown – Me, too! • New WiMAX broadband……

  42. [...] you want more details, head down to Jonathan’s post Some related [...]

  43. Kimmono says:

    Aksimet is a THE feature that makes WordPress by far the best blogging platform in the world. I run other scripts with commenting and the amount of time that is spent on cleaning up is just depressing.

  44. [...] This article takes a look at it. Many reasons examined, but the best one is follow the money. One thing about WordPress.com is that wordpress and akismet are the primary businesses of the developers, not a side-model “we just bought it to add to our stable of other offerings” –other offerings such as, well, ads for the web. WordPress.com makes it easy to report spammers, and hard to add ads to a site. Google-owned Blogspot, on the other hand, makes it easy to add ads and hard to report spam. [...]

  45. Bill Brown says:

    AdSense is just one part of splogging. I would wager that a lot of those BlogSpot spammers are just using it to drive up their PageRank on non-BlogSpot sites. There is no reason why WordPress.com is immune from that sort of linkfarming–though I appreciate that they’ve built a nice system for reporting such infractions. (On the other hand, the human element requires a human to actually visit one of those linkfarms and I can’t think of why anyone would, so that might be a weak spot.)

  46. Bill Brown says:

    AdSense is just one part of splogging. I would wager that a lot of those BlogSpot spammers are just using it to drive up their PageRank on non-BlogSpot sites. There is no reason why WordPress.com is immune from that sort of linkfarming–though I appreciate that they’ve built a nice system for reporting such infractions. (On the other hand, the human element requires a human to actually visit one of those linkfarms and I can’t think of why anyone would, so that might be a weak spot.)

  47. You might also be interested in a tutorial we presented at ICWSM recently that surveys the problem –
    http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/blogger/2007/04/03/spam-in-blogs-and-social-media/

  48. You might also be interested in a tutorial we presented at ICWSM recently that surveys the problem –
    http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/blogger/2007/04/03/spa

  49. cybele says:

    I agree with Bill Brown – I see very few splogs that actually have Adsense on them (or any ads). They’re there to boost page rank and authority for some other network out there (not that I’m going to click through and find out what it is).

    I love Askimet. I don’t run WordPress (Expression Engine) but the plug in is available and does the trick. (It has blocked bazillions of spam comments, just a couple thousand since I installed it in January, but I have a lot of other things in place to reduce spam comments.)

  50. [...] update yesterday’s post about WordPress.com being relatively free of spam blogs, I was contacted by Anil Dash, a Vice President at Six Apart, about their LiveJournal [...]

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  53. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free “Though paid services such as Typepad also enjoy a relatively spam-free existance, what WordPress.com does is very rare for a free service.” (tags: wordpress blogging) [...]

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  55. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free A recent study by WebmasterWorld found that an estimated 77% of all blogs on Google’s Blogspot service were spam. Similarly, AOL Hometown, had well over 80% of its results turn out to be spam. Even MSN Spaces, which as not mentioned in the report, is cl (tags: blogging google wordpress spam blogger akismet mullenweg blogspam splogs) [...]

  56. [...] Reason to Like Wordpress A rather long and technical reason, but one I greatly [...]

  57. siong1987 says:

    I believe that WordPres.com stops advertising on their free account because they don’t want people to use WordPress.com to do MFA website.

  58. siong1987 says:

    I believe that WordPres.com stops advertising on their free account because they don’t want people to use WordPress.com to do MFA website.

  59. [...] Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free – PlagiarismToday [...]

  60. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free. WordPress.com is virtually spam free. Compared to other free blog services like Google’s Blogspot — an estimated 77% of blogs are spam, and AOL Hometown — over 80% of blogs are spam, WordPress’s numbers are pretty impressive. Bookmark to: Trackback This Post [...]

  61. [...] Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free – Plagiarism Today [...]

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  63. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free A great article that compares the major blogging platforms and gets to the essence of why free blogs at WordPress.com remain virtually spam free. (tags: wordpress adsense blogging akismet blog blogger) [...]

  64. RyanB says:

    The title of this post isn’t the best. When I read the title I thought you meant there was basically no spam comments on wordpress.com. I was going to say you may want to check your sources, because I was just over user 100, and I have had just under 17,000 spam comments.

  65. RyanB says:

    The title of this post isn’t the best. When I read the title I thought you meant there was basically no spam comments on wordpress.com. I was going to say you may want to check your sources, because I was just over user 100, and I have had just under 17,000 spam comments.

  66. [...] WordPress.com Is Splog Free: In PlagiarismToday’s Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free, Jonathan Baily reports on the recent study on Google Blogs spam blogs shows that 77% of all [...]

  67. Maria says:

    Thanks for another great article.Now if only the folks at WordPress could figure out a way to prevent their server-installation version of the software from hosting splogs…much of the feed scraping I'm seeing is being dumped on blogs using WordPress software.

  68. Patrick says:

    Congrats on the attention man.

  69. Maria says:

    Thanks for another great article.

    Now if only the folks at WordPress could figure out a way to prevent their server-installation version of the software from hosting splogs…much of the feed scraping I’m seeing is being dumped on blogs using WordPress software.

  70. [...] Y es que los blogs gratuitos como Blogspot están teniendo muchos problemas con el spam (o splogs ¿?¿). WordPress se ha puesto muy serio con el tema, hasta tal punto que es el servicio gratuito con menos spam. [...]

  71. Julie Wolf says:

    Interesting! Blogger has allowed my blogs to get stolen and spammmed. Just flagged for spam today, lets see their removal speed or lack of it.

  72. Keri Morgret says:

    Julie,

    My personal experience with trying to get a piece of stolen content off of Blogger was not good — you have to file a DMCA request with Google. I contacted the author of the blog first, the post was removed, and in its place was a flame ranting about me and telling lies.

    I much prefer WordPress.com. A real person looks things over and removes the obvious bad stuff within a day or two, and is available for follow-up by email if needed.

    The one beef I have with WordPress.com is the report spam feature is only available if you are logged in. If you aren’t logged in with a WP account, you don’t see any way to report that problem.

  73. Keri Morgret says:

    Julie,

    My personal experience with trying to get a piece of stolen content off of Blogger was not good — you have to file a DMCA request with Google. I contacted the author of the blog first, the post was removed, and in its place was a flame ranting about me and telling lies.

    I much prefer WordPress.com. A real person looks things over and removes the obvious bad stuff within a day or two, and is available for follow-up by email if needed.

    The one beef I have with WordPress.com is the report spam feature is only available if you are logged in. If you aren’t logged in with a WP account, you don’t see any way to report that problem.

  74. [...] Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free – I heart WordPress. (smile) [...]

  75. Julie Wolf says:

    Thanks Keri!Uuuu … your experience does sound awful.I will check them now and see what if any progress has been made. Who was bad-mouthing you Blogger?Both…Still has the spam on it and the flag is removed.I did not place the flag on again…On two others that they let be hacked and spamedI reposred in Blogger Group and they removed the spam and replaced it with this (in my opinion defaming ) message:" This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only "Is this what you meant when you said:"I contacted the author of the blog first, the post was removed, and in its place was a flame ranting about me and telling lies."I tried to contact the company that the hacker was an affiliate of and promoting… but the support email bounced. Ha! Spammers …. what DID i expect.Julie

  76. Julie Wolf says:

    Oh…And they do not allow me to login to claim authorship!I'm starting to now like Blogger…Julie

  77. Julie Wolf says:

    "not" like… sorry moderator.

  78. Keri Morgret says:

    My website wasn't on Blogger, but the person who copied my post was on Blogger. The person removed the post, but then made a new post with insults and lies. I let it go and did not post a rebuttal — right now that website is about 200-300 results down for my name, writing anything about it on my blog would have just brought more attention to the post.I believe part of the reason for the upset is another blog on WordPress was shut down because of copying another one of my posts, and the WP and Blogger blogs were people that knew each other, if not the same person.

  79. Julie Wolf says:

    Thanks Keri!

    Uuuu … your experience does sound awful.
    I will check them now and see what if any progress has been made. Who was bad-mouthing you Blogger?

    Both…
    Still has the spam on it and the flag is removed.
    I did not place the flag on again…

    On two others that they let be hacked and spamed
    I reposred in Blogger Group and they removed the spam
    and replaced it with this (in my opinion defaming ) message:

    ” This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only ”

    Is this what you meant when you said:

    “I contacted the author of the blog first, the post was removed, and in its place was a flame ranting about me and telling lies.”

    I tried to contact the company that the hacker was an affiliate of and promoting… but the support email bounced. Ha! Spammers …. what DID i expect.

    Julie

  80. Julie Wolf says:

    Oh…

    And they do not allow me to login to claim authorship!
    I’m starting to now like Blogger…

    Julie

  81. Julie Wolf says:

    “not” like… sorry moderator.

  82. Keri Morgret says:

    My website wasn’t on Blogger, but the person who copied my post was on Blogger. The person removed the post, but then made a new post with insults and lies. I let it go and did not post a rebuttal — right now that website is about 200-300 results down for my name, writing anything about it on my blog would have just brought more attention to the post.

    I believe part of the reason for the upset is another blog on WordPress was shut down because of copying another one of my posts, and the WP and Blogger blogs were people that knew each other, if not the same person.

  83. [...] Today’s recent post Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free discusses why WordPress is the most spam resistant blogging [...]

  84. //engtech says:

    Best of Feeds – 36 links – humor, programming, code, tips, gmail, seo…

    Tags: 300, Funny, GoogleReader, WordPress, amazon, amiga, analysis, ant, articles, attention, blog, blogger, blogging, blogs, blogsearch, business, career, cartoon, cat, cellphone, code, coding, comic, community, compsci, content, contests, copyright, …

  85. //engtech says:

    Best of Feeds – 36 links – humor, programming, code, tips, gmail, seo…

    Tags: 300, Funny, GoogleReader, WordPress, amazon, amiga, analysis, ant, articles, attention, blog, blogger, blogging, blogs, blogsearch, business, career, cartoon, cat, cellphone, code, coding, comic, community, compsci, content, contests, copyright, …

  86. [...] Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free Cool. Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free PlagiarismToday Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free [...]

  87. [...] order to avoid being caught in WordPress.com’s spam filters, I decided to write the posts myself, using my extremely limited knowledge of the subject and a [...]

  88. [...] 4 06 2007 A little OT, I know, but I think it’s important. Check out this article at Plagiarism Today discussing why WordPress.com is virtually spam-free: A recent study by WebmasterWorld found that an [...]

  89. [...] PlagiarismToday » Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free (tags: blogging wordpress spam) [...]

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  92. [...] aprovechar el tráfico de las páginas de tags y el posicionamiento que se puede lograr en aquí. WordPress.com dejará de ser virtualmente libre de spam [...]

  93. [...] aprovechar el tráfico de las páginas de tags y el posicionamiento que se puede lograr en aquí. WordPress.com dejará de ser virtualmente libre de spam [...]

  94. [...] WordPress’ reputation against spam blogs has been almost impeccable, it has proved to be very vulnerable to comment spam. This has given rise to an entire cottage [...]

  95. drmike says:

    The problem is that wp.com is not nearly splog free as implied by Automattic staff and others. The correct statement should be wordpress.com will usually remove a splog upon notification, unlike blogspot and the others. Logging in and clicking on the ‘Next Blog’ arrow at the upper right of the blue admin bar will show you tons of splogs. I got bored, hit it twenty times and got eleven splogs or blogs that violate the ToS in some way. (Usually sidebar adverts.)

    It’s a far cry from the 70 to 80% other services are quoted as being but it’s not completly empty of them either.

  96. drmike says:

    The problem is that wp.com is not nearly splog free as implied by Automattic staff and others. The correct statement should be wordpress.com will usually remove a splog upon notification, unlike blogspot and the others. Logging in and clicking on the ‘Next Blog’ arrow at the upper right of the blue admin bar will show you tons of splogs. I got bored, hit it twenty times and got eleven splogs or blogs that violate the ToS in some way. (Usually sidebar adverts.)

    It’s a far cry from the 70 to 80% other services are quoted as being but it’s not completly empty of them either.

  97. drmike says:

    As an aside, I would love to know which plugin is doing the ability to edit the comments. :)

  98. JB says:

    DrMike: That’s the reason for the “virtually” statement. I don’t think any large site is 100% spam free. I just think that some are havens for spammers, such as Blogspot, and others are not, such as WordPress.

    As far as the plugin goes, it’s a plugin called WP Ajax Edit Comments. I discovered it on accident. You can find it here: http://www.raproject.com/wordpress/wp-ajax-edit-comments/

    Hope that helps!

  99. JB says:

    DrMike: That’s the reason for the “virtually” statement. I don’t think any large site is 100% spam free. I just think that some are havens for spammers, such as Blogspot, and others are not, such as WordPress.

    As far as the plugin goes, it’s a plugin called WP Ajax Edit Comments. I discovered it on accident. You can find it here: http://www.raproject.com/wordpress/wp-ajax-edit

    Hope that helps!

  100. [...] of Policy: Automattic’s DMCA Policy Registered with USCO: No Comments: Though Automattic is definitely on the offensive against spam, their DMCA policy leaves a lot to be desired. While the actual policy is very complete, though [...]

  101. drmike says:

    I think the “virtually” portion of the statement is too strong. A simple spin around the wp.com system with the Next Blog link shows a fair number of splogs, a lot more than the single digit percentage that Automattic suggests. We’ve seen splogs hit the top100 quite often as well. Plus I’ve found many splogs on wp.com that have been there for long periods of time.

    Thank you for the link,
    -drmike

  102. drmike says:

    I think the “virtually” portion of the statement is too strong. A simple spin around the wp.com system with the Next Blog link shows a fair number of splogs, a lot more than the single digit percentage that Automattic suggests. We’ve seen splogs hit the top100 quite often as well. Plus I’ve found many splogs on wp.com that have been there for long periods of time.

    Thank you for the link,
    -drmike

  103. JB says:

    DrMike: Maybe the problem is getting worse then. This is an older article, from back in early April, so things might have changed. I did several spins on the next blog feature and found only one the whole time. Contrast that to Blogspot where most were spam.I'll have to follow up with WordPress on this.

  104. JB says:

    DrMike: Maybe the problem is getting worse then. This is an older article, from back in early April, so things might have changed. I did several spins on the next blog feature and found only one the whole time. Contrast that to Blogspot where most were spam.

    I’ll have to follow up with WordPress on this.

  105. [...] steps or Revver, which manual approves videos before posting, and WordPress.com, which has remained relatively spam free due to a combination of enforcement and user [...]

  106. [...] be certain, 2007 started out with a great deal of promise. WordPress.com showed us how to run a relatively spam-free service. A little while later, Blogspot hit back against blog spam on its service. Though the effect was [...]

  107. [...] good, relatively spam free, alternative is WordPress.com. However, if you don’t want to move your site to a new host, [...]

  108. jewellery says:

    Yep, that’s why I moved from Blogger and some of the other services to WordPress alone. Because they are just cleaner, and more friendly to work with… it just feels more seamless. Plus, Akismet works very well. I think their (controversial?) decision to remove Adsense was one of their biggest selling points for me. I really don’t like it when I see a blog so cluttered with a whole lot of adverts etc. Going to a WordPress blog, and having a WordPress blog, is just such a pleasure!

  109. jewellery says:

    Yep, that’s why I moved from Blogger and some of the other services to WordPress alone. Because they are just cleaner, and more friendly to work with… it just feels more seamless. Plus, Akismet works very well. I think their (controversial?) decision to remove Adsense was one of their biggest selling points for me. I really don’t like it when I see a blog so cluttered with a whole lot of adverts etc. Going to a WordPress blog, and having a WordPress blog, is just such a pleasure!

  110. Jewellery: I agree wholeheartedly about WP. If I were to go back to a free blogging service, WP would be it without any doubt…

  111. drmike says:

    Test comment again as it appears that comments are being eaten when I leave a link.

    WordPress.com is not adsense free. Automattic runs it’s own adverts on the site. I’d give a link but I’m trying to get a comment to show up here.

    Please kindly do a Google search for ‘WordPress.com google adsense’ and look for an article on the pascal.vanhecke.info site. It’s currently the 6th one down on the first page of results.

  112. drmike says:

    Test comment again as it appears that comments are being eaten when I leave a link.

    WordPress.com is not adsense free. Automattic runs it’s own adverts on the site. I’d give a link but I’m trying to get a comment to show up here.

    Please kindly do a Google search for ‘WordPress.com google adsense’ and look for an article on the pascal.vanhecke.info site. It’s currently the 6th one down on the first page of results.

  113. drmike: True, but the difference is that they do not allow users to run Adsense without paying some amount to the service for the right. WordPress may run their own ads, but those are to pay for the servers, no line user's pockets.Whether one agrees with this as a user or not is up to them, but it has greatly helped with the spam situation.

  114. drmike: True, but the difference is that they do not allow users to run Adsense without paying some amount to the service for the right. WordPress may run their own ads, but those are to pay for the servers, no line user's pockets.

    Whether one agrees with this as a user or not is up to them, but it has greatly helped with the spam situation.

  115. drmike: True, but the difference is that they do not allow users to run Adsense without paying some amount to the service for the right. WordPress may run their own ads, but those are to pay for the servers, no line user's pockets.Whether one agrees with this as a user or not is up to them, but it has greatly helped with the spam situation.

  116. [...] However, what is clear is that the 800,000 spam blogs removed by WordPress are an indication at how effective the site has been at fighting spam and that, despite the numbers, WordPress.com is still relatively spam free. [...]

  117. Oil Painting: I agree, that is why they are so wonderful as a free blog host. However, I think that their lack of affiliate support is one of the key reasons why they are so spam free. If they opened up their site to ads or affiliate links, they would be targeted much more and may not be able to hold off the rush.

    Besides, with hosting so cheap, it makes sense that anyone looking to make money should set up a paid hosting account. Just my two cents.

  118. Oil Painting: I agree, that is why they are so wonderful as a free blog host. However, I think that their lack of affiliate support is one of the key reasons why they are so spam free. If they opened up their site to ads or affiliate links, they would be targeted much more and may not be able to hold off the rush. Besides, with hosting so cheap, it makes sense that anyone looking to make money should set up a paid hosting account. Just my two cents.

  119. This is why I love WP more than anything else in this world. Hopefully, someday they can be affiliate-friendly. You see, as of now, they don’t accommodate affiliate links.

  120. This is why I love WP more than anything else in this world. Hopefully, someday they can be affiliate-friendly. You see, as of now, they don’t accommodate affiliate links.

  121. Is WordPress.com going Pro Spam?…

    Say hello to Poker 101.  I don’t normally link to sites filled with affiliate links and the like (At least I try not to.) but I’m making a big deal about this for one very good reason.It’s still there.You see,……

  122. Is WordPress.com going Pro Spam?…

    Say hello to Poker 101.  I don’t normally link to sites filled with affiliate links and the like (At least I try not to.) but I’m making a big deal about this for one very good reason.It’s still there.You see,……

  123. [...] prompted a response from Matt Mullenweg from WordPress who pointed towards an article promoting why WordPress is virtually spam free. But is [...]

  124. [...] an article on Plagiarism Today, Matt proudly claimed that wordpress.com is virtually spam-free, and as far as I can tell, that [...]

  125. [...] at the very, very bottom, where it talks about advertising. Then read this FAQ about why and this interesting interview of Matt [...]

  126. Helena says:

    Blogs from Blogspot have better rankings in SE.

  127. guia says:

    Akismet is a very efficient spam filter. It works well on own-hosted WordPress blogs too.

  128. [...] good news is that WordPress.com is a relatively spam and garbage-free site. The bad news is that, even on the best blogging sites, with the most vigilant admins, sometimes [...]

  129. [...] good news is that WordPress.com is a relatively spam and garbage-free site. The bad news is that, even on the best blogging sites, with the most vigilant admins, sometimes [...]

  130. [...] good news is that WordPress.com is a relatively spam and garbage-free site. The bad news is that, even on the best blogging sites, with the most vigilant admins, sometimes [...]

  131. lawyerswingham says:

    The lowest number I've seen was about 50%. I'll update the story with clarification in a bit, but it's still pretty clear that Blogspot is pretty much overrun.

  132. laptop dell says:

    Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog's "Comments" admin screen.

  133. Nab says:

    Akismet does the job for me, now i sleep well and dont wonder about spam anymore :)

  134. Tina says:

    Just saw this article now, looks like 3 years ago. In my blog you can find many automated replies made by software. They sound nice, like "great post" etc. but, none has anything related to the post. Spam free answers are sure, when you ask the poster to calculate 2+2 when he answers. After 5 software answers you get one 4 :) Check my blog at http://www.portrait-painting.com (Blog is in the footer)

  135. [...] the individual blogger. Matt Mullenweg, head of Automattic, which runs WordPress.com, gave a very enlightening interview on this topic a few years ago and I highly recommend you read it as it is still relevant for [...]

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