Why I Will Never Comment On Your Blog (A.K.A. Die, Akismet, Die)

Why I Will Never Comment On Your Blog (A.K.A. Die, Akismet, Die)

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I still remember the days when I heard crickets at Traffic Generation Cafe – after all, it hasn’t been that long ago since it was founded.

I also remember the first time one of the “big-time bloggers” left me a comment on one of my posts.

I was flattered, excited, and motivated to do more and better.

And, quite honestly, that feeling hasn’t gone away.

It still flatters, excites, and motivates me when a more influential blogger graces me with a comment, like Dainis Graveris, the founder of 1stWebDesigner.com, did not long ago:

akismet 1stwebdesigner

Little he knew that I vied for his attention when I first started out online by leaving comments on his blog, trying to connect with him, other writers, and readers of 1stWebDesigner.

However, my comments never saw the light of day on his blog.

Or any other of these great blogs I like to read to keep up with what’s going on around the blogosphere in general, or SEO specifically:


akismet and searchenginepeople


Akismet vertical measures

…two of Neil Patel’s blogs:

akismet at kissmetrics image


akismet at quicksprout image

Don’t remember me ever commenting on your blog?

If you had been around Traffic Generation Cafe for any length of time, chances are I’ve TRIED to comment on your blog.

You just never knew about it…

The Problem

You are a smart cookie (after all, you ARE reading my blog); you know where I am going with this.


Someone convinced you that you HAD to have it to “protect” your blog from spammers… like me.

I am not even exaggerating.

As far as Akismet is concerned, I AM a spammer.

Here’s an email exchange I had with them a couple of weeks ago.

By the way, this was my fifth attempt to learn why my comments weren’t showing up on Akismet-enabled blogs, and the first time they actually decided to get back with me.

Me to Akismet:

Hello Akismet Support Team,

It seems like there is a problem with my website: www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com.

Every time I comment on a wordpress blog that uses akismet, my comments are wrongly flagged as spam.

Could you please see if my website has been blacklisted by Akismet?

I hope you can help me to get this problem sorted out.

Thank you very much.

Ana Hoffman

The response from Mark, Akismet support team, was as follows:

Most blog owners regard comments similar to yours as spam.

You can expect your comments won’t often be published.

That’s not the case everywhere.

Akismet is not a blacklist.

Each blog owner teaches Akismet which kinds of comments they wish to publish and which they do not.

That’s their decision and under their control.

Hold on a second; let me get over being left speechless.


I am just a regular spammer.

And according to Akismet, YOU choose not to publish my comments.

Of course, you and I both know that you’d never do that to me.

Or to any other reader who wants to be a part of the conversation on your blog.

However, you’ll never know that I or many other readers tried to comment on your blog.

Akismet won’t even give us the courtesy of sending our comments into spam, giving you a chance to actually see them when you clean out your spam folder every once so often.


Our comments will just DISAPPEAR.

How Do You Know Akismet is Messing with You?

Here’s an example of me commenting on two blogs.

One of them, SEO-Hacker.com, doesn’t use Akismet.

This is what I saw after I left my comment:

no akismet seo-hacker

You see that “Your comment is awaiting moderation” message?

It means that my comment is sitting in Sean’s moderation folder and will be approved when he gets to it.

Additionally, you’ll see your comment URL in the address bar, like this: http://seo-hacker.com/over-optimization-penalty/#comment-2847.

The last #comment-2847 part indicates that the blog “registered” my comment.

The other blog I commented on was Andy Bailey’s (creator of CommentLuv) personal blog FiddyP.

Now Andy is going to get some friendly spanking throughout this post and by the end of the post you’ll understand why.

When I left my comment on his blog, I saw nothing.

No “Your comment is awaiting moderation“.

No #commentblah-blah URL.

The page simply reloaded once I clicked on “Submit comment” button.

Now this tells me that Andy is using Akismet and that my comment is as good as non-existent.

Andy will never know how highly I thought about that post.

Truth is Andy will be just fine without my comment, but what about you?

Would you pass up an opportunity to be encouraged by another (possibly more influential) blogger?

The Solution

So what now?

Disable the de facto Akismet and let spammers eat you alive?

Of course not.

That’s where Andy Bailey comes in again.

Besides creating the great CommentLuv and, more recently, the incredible CommentLuv Premium, Andy also put together some other plugins, one of which is called Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin (GASP).

GASP plugin adds a checkbox to your comment form asking users to confirm that they are not a spammer (you can see it at work in my comment section):

gast checkbox

It’s a lot less trouble to check a box than it is to enter a captcha.

Plus, since the box is generated via client side javascript that bots cannot see, it pretty much stops 99% of all automated spam bots (leaving 1% for just in case).

The checkbox needs to be checked before the comment is submitted so there’s no chance that a comment will be lost if it’s being submitted by a legitimate human user.

Unlike Akismet.

I used to get hundreds of automatic spam comments per day when I used Akismet.

On one of my worst days, I got nearly a THOUSAND spam comments, sitting in my moderation queue waiting for my approval.

Meanwhile, I had several legitimate comments sitting in the spam folder and who knows how many have never showed up at all.

Since I installed GASP however, I don’t get ANY auto-spam.

Sure I still get human spammers who casually drop their junk at my doorstep, but I don’t consider 5-10 such comments per day to be too much of a burden.

Especially for a blog like mine.

Especially compared to what I used to get with Akismet.

Especially since I have CommentLuv enabled, and CL blogs tend to get more spam because of greedy link builders.

GASP Features

  • It’s free.
  • Stops auto-spam.
  • Never looses a single human comment.
  • It’s better than any other spam plugin I’ve tried (not exactly a feature, I suppose; personal opinion more like it).

And did I mention it’s free?

So here’s what I want you to do on your blog:

  1. Disable Akismet (don’t even think about double-dipping – you don’t need both Akismet and GASP).
  2. Install GASP.
  3. Share this post with your readership to make sure they too make their blogs more reader-friendly.

2 Steps to Take It Even Further

Why stop here when you can do more, right?

1. Come up with a cool message to scare off spammers.

Or at least, give your readers a laugh.

Danny Sullivan used to have a great one on his personal blog Daggle.com, but he recently started closing comments on his posts very soon after they would be published, so I couldn’t take a snapshot of it.

He did threaten the commentators to report them to Google’s top spam guy (Matt Cutts?) if their comments even smelled of spam.

Needless to say, I never saw any spam comments on his blog.

But then again, neither did I see my own comments published there – darn you, Akismet!

2. Get even more with CommentLuv Premium.

Yep, my opinion on CommentLuv still stands – I’ll take the benefit it provides to my readers/commentators over any potential SEO disadvantages any day of the week.

Just like Kim Castleberry said in her comment on this DragonBlogger post:

opinion on commentluv

And yes, the free CommentLuv is great, but the premium version is way better.

See how and why in this post.

Not only does CommentLuv Premium provide a number of features that will benefit YOU as a blogger, and not just the commentators on your blog, but it will also do an even better job at protecting your blog from spammers.

Its built-in version of GASP has these cool features not available in the free version:

  • Maximum number of URLs allowed in comment text.
  • Maximum number of words allowed in name field.
  • Minimum amount of words required in comment.
  • Minimum amount of keyups on comment (this combats semi-automatic comment applications).

And my favorite:

  • Minimum amount of seconds on page before commenting.

When someone tries to comment after spending less than 60 seconds on any given post on my blog, they’ll get a friendly reminder:

Please read the post before leaving a comment!

Yes, Andy Bailey is brilliant.

So why are you still using Akismet, Andy?!!

Disclaimer: I’d love to sell you a copy of CommentLuv Premium – and not only because I’ll make commission if you buy it through my link, but also because I firmly believe your blog will benefit from it as much as mine and hundreds of others have.

==>Download your own copy here

… and thank you.

Marketing Takeaway

There’s no reason to want to protect your blog at the expense of missing out on legitimate comments.

Even more so, on comments that will make your day.

Do me a favor.

Disable Akismet.

And let me know after you did, so that I can come back and finally let you know what I think about your blog/posts.

Unless you don’t think your content is that good… Then forget about Akismet and think about becoming a better writer first.

Either way, don’t forget to share the post!


traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

230 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Ana,
    This has been a frustrating situation, to say the least. None of my comments on Akismet enabled websites are showing. Since reading this post, I’ve disabled Akismet on my own site. The last thing I would want is one of my visitors to experience this same frustration. Thanks for this great post.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are welcome, Ken – it’s frustrating to know there’s little we can do about it. I simply stopped commenting on Akismet websites; why waste my breath, right?

  2. Hey Ana,
    I was searching around for techniques to stop spam, and after installing and modifying GASP, I found your site. In general, I agree w/ everything you’ve said, but much of it is beyond the scope of the site I’ve set up for my neighborhood association. As the users that will be creating content and (after my departure, some day in the future) maintaining the site have such a rudimentary knowledge of web technologies, Akismet would simply drop everything it doesn’t like into a black hole, and the users wouldn’t be able to find / fix the problem. Using GASP (hopefully) will stem the tide, but hopefully keep people active in moderating comments.
    One thing I had a problem w/ after installing GASP: placing a checkbox AFTER a submit button is, at least, to me, an enormous no-no. I don’t know if there’s some reason for this placement, but I modified GASP to place the checkbox before the submit button, and it works flawlessly.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I do see your point behind placing the box before the Submit button, but quite honestly, it never even occurred to me before you just brought it up, Daniel.

  3. I am SOOO glad I found this article. I’ve seriously been searching google for months on why 50+% of the comments I make on certain websites never show up. Now I know why. This is so frustrating, especially since I’m not just link dropping and I always write pretty lengthy replies related directly to the post and/or discussions going on in the comments thread. All my comments are genuine, give feedback, sometimes tell personal anecdotes or are asking questions. Why the hell would I be marked as spam? Is this mostly a WordPress problem? As far as I can remember, every comment I leave on Blogger websites always show up, even if there’s a minor delay for them to approve it first. Is the only solution to spread the word about Akismet so that more bloggers know not to use it?

  4. Hello Ana,

    I am writing a special report on how to avoid scams, and I’m broadening the topic by talking about things I recommend, for instance what you talk about here. Is it ok if I put this post’s link in the report?

    Also, I have a question. I followed your recommendation as soon as I read this post months ago, i.e. abandon Akismet and use GASP instead. I’m very satisfied with the results. However, as I came back here to get the link, I noticed there’s no date for comments. So how can I know if you still recommend using GASP instead of Akismet?

    I guess I should read you regularly to know the answer, but I plead guilty of not coming here more often, not because I don’t like your style, to the contrary, but because I spread myself too thin and I am finally trying to correct that.


    • Ana Hoffman

      I definitely still stand by everything I said in this post, Philippe, and glad to hear that it worked for you as well. Of course, feel free to link to the post.

  5. This is what i am really facing, most of my comments on wordpress blogs are marked up as spam and don’t know really. the first basic thing you learn from the blogging honchos to build backlinks, commenting is the best way to do so and a good comment is more appreciable. So following those tips, i started commenting on blog, usually made 5 to 7 comments out of 15-20 i read, than on one fine day, i just commented over 12 blogs including gigaom and after that my blog is listed in De AKISMETO SPAM list. i have contacted them but they haven’t replied. so can you tell me how to deal with them.

  6. Hey Ana, I have always used the combination between CLP + Akismet and very rarely I get spam but wow now you’ve got me thinking if I’m not losing real comments due to Akismet?

    I’m going to disable it for a few days and see what happens… 😉


  7. Jay Piecha

    I didn’t activate Akismet because I never know what me “key” is and it’s a hassle to go login and get it. That’s a bad reason isn’t it? lol

    I guess that’s why you DID comment on my blog – ok, an older blog of mine – that is no longer live – but you did…you did it, Ana! I still have the database back up if you need me to prove it!

    Love your blog. :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Not going through the trouble of installing something can apparently have its benefits, Jay. 😉

  8. I understand you perfectly, Ana, it happened to me, too, because I can’t help commenting to other people’s blogs and expressing not only my thoughts, but my feelings, too…

  9. Sorry for seeking this only now Ana. I’m still in TGC exploration mode. This is great. I was so happy switching over to Akismet and not having to deal with the 200-300 spam comments I get daily but now I’m too “fatiqued” I guess to even wonder if there is any great ham in the spam of Akismet. I’m sure there is but I seem to be just going straight to “empty spam” without thinking much. Afterall – it’s “just a comment” right. Wrong! Thanks for the headsup and GASP recommendation. I’ll give it a go!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I noticed you have your comment section closed to folks who are not registered on your blog, Lucas; any reason for that?

      • Thanks Ana for taking a look!!
        Reason is a sign of my frustration last night seeing hundreds of spam comments in Akismet. Move was temporary (and very successful I might add). All changed now – based on your great tip – with GASP up and running very nicely.
        Have a fantastic Sunday.

  10. Hi Ana, well NOW I know why I have not seen you commenting on my blog latetely.

    I do have commentluv premium so I guess I can just go ahead and turn Askimet off. I’m sorry they have treated you so badly, that’s a bummer.

    Feel free to come and visit, I’m turning askimet off, right after this post.

    • Ana Hoffman

      There’s definitely no reason to have Akismet, especially if you have CL Premium, David.

      • Yes, Great information Ana. I have disabled it and I suspect it has been blocking others as well. Thanks for that tip Ana.

  11. Hi Ana –
    Thanks for the great post and tips. From your post, one thing I did right was to NOT install Akismet on my blog – I did get slammed by spammers and almost signed up – then wrote a little “spammers will be deleted” note and now… I hear the crickets. Will give CommentLuv a try. Love all your information and will drop by often.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ll take crickets over spammers any time a day, Roxanne!

      Surprised that such a message would deter anyone though…

  12. sandeep kumar

    Hi Ana….
    After reading your article I have realized that something similar happening with me as well.

    One of my fellow bloggers asked me….”Am I black list by Akismet”… i said no…..then he said that he is getting my comments on spam folder…..

    I am also using Akismet but it is not stopping spamer it is just dropping their comments into spam forlder with some valuable readers comments as well.

    I’ll uninstall it right now….. and i owuld like to go for GASP.

    Thanks for sharing……

    • Ana Hoffman

      I definitely think that’s the right decision – for both your sanity (less spam all around) and your readers’ ability to leave a valid comment on your posts, Sandeep.

  13. Ammar Ali

    I am using akismet still it put some human and good comments in spam.. Never tried GASP.. Will try this from now. 😉

    BTW, You can come by and leave a comment 😉

  14. Hi Ana,
    Thank you so much for this excellent insight into the evils of Akismet. I have uninstalled it, no I lie, my techie husband uninstalled it and installed GASP and Commentluv. No more erectile dysfunction spam for me! Perhaps they should pay you NOT to write about them :)
    I’m excited to have found your blog, looking forward to getting many more tips on increasing traffic. Blogging life is very new but so much fun.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Hi, Molley – yes, I am still waiting for Akismet to contact me to request (or pay me) to take the post down. 😉

      Welcome to Akismet-free world!

  15. Kelvin Wealth

    OMG! Ana you got my heart beating so fast… I wasn’t really using Akismet and has never used it before… I must confess I was using a plugin called Comment Spam Swiper that really was working fine…
    But each time I get to see some top bloggers talking about Akismet every now and then and that makes me feel as though my blog is not protected enough.

    And just early this week I decided to try out Akismet until today That I got to see this post of yours and even before I finished reading this post, I already deleted Akismet and installed GASP.

    Thanks for saving my a**.

    But I got a mail just few seconds after installing GASP on my blog from a visitor that he tried to comment on my blog and he got a kind of Javascript error which I don’t know how to fix and I feel it’s coming from GASP… How do you think I can fix this up coz I don’t want to go back to Akismet for any reason.

    Thanks so much Ana

    • Ana Hoffman

      Not sure why that commentator had a problem, Kelvin.

      I just left a comment for you and it went through just fine.

      If you ever have problems like that, you can always contact Andy Bailey at Comluv.com; he’s always very good at looking into errors caused by his plugins.

      • Kelvin Wealth

        Thanks Ana,

        I just saw and approved your comment and I believe it is working fine… If I get any error again I will definitely ask Andy…

        Once again thanks for dropping a comment on my blog…truly appreciated

        • Ana Hoffman

          You are so very welcome, Kelvin – you take your time to read and comment on my blog; visiting yours is the least I can do.

  16. Excellent post Ana and for me very timely. I have recently installed CommentLuv Premium on my site and still finding my way a little.

    However, when set it up I also kept Akismet activated as it seemed to make sense as it offered better Spam protection I thought. So I appreciate your advice regarding disabling Akismet. I am going to do it straight away and monitor it for a while to see the effect after ensuring GASP is fully enabled of course.

    Once again thanks Ana for an interesting post, I would be happy to add my initial findings after a few days if that would be ok.

      • Thank you Ana for your link to the CommentLuv Premium setup page, much appreciated. I am off there right now and look forward to reading your suggestions.

    • Hi Ana, having implemented your advice and disabled Akismet I am now relying entirely on GASP for spam protection.

      Now after 4 days I am pleased to report that I have received less spam comments than previously so I feel confident enough to leave Akismet deactivated on my blog.

      Thank you again for your advice, your generousity is really appreciated.

  17. Augis

    To be honest – that’s the first time I’ve ever heard anything bad about Akismet. I wonder if Yaro (from Entrepreneur’s Journey) for whom you are guest posting disagrees with you on this point? 😉

    Anyway, I am in the mood to experiment and see if changing the Anti-Spam plugin would turn out to beneficial.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Just left a comment on your recent post, Augis – looks like you have GASP now and my comment went through just fine.

      Even though I am a registered author at Yaro’s blog, many of my responses on my posts were still stuck in spam. Not sure it bothers Yaro; he doesn’t usually attend to comments himself.

  18. Hmm… I’ll have to experiment with disabling Akismet for a bit and see how it goes.

    I’m one of those “ultra-paranoid” bloggers as I loathe seeing spam as a comment.

    And I never even knew about the GASP setting forcing a timer before commenting? (Since I usually READ the post and comments – go figure?)

    I’ll bite the bullet and give it a shot!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Just left you a comment on the post from your CL link, Jason – went through like knife through butter!

      I love it when you actually act upon what you read… what a novel idea! Similar to actually reading the post before commenting.

  19. I dump Akismet from every install I do whether it’s for a client or my own site. There are just too many problems to list with Akismet but you’ve hit on the big ones and the most important one most people would have never known. (By design?)

    I have had comment luv free on my sites for some time and figure it’s time to pull the trigger and get the premium. (Yep I used your link 😉

    I’ve not used GASP at all so I’m looking forward to trying it. I have been getting your comments Ana and I do very much appreciate them!

    Thanks for being a great resource,


    • Ana Hoffman

      You are very welcome, Rob, and always a pleasure to see you around TGC; especially, when you are buying stuff from me. lol

      Most bloggers accept Akismet as a de facto anti-spam standard, and of course, it’s anything but.

  20. Hey Ana, I’ve actually retrieved your comments from Akismet as I do other comments that I feel were not worthy of being in that folder.

    Even though I have Commentluv Premium with the latest additions to GASP I still won’t get rid of Akismet because it’s still doing a great job picking up all those comments that GASP lets slip through. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it takes me less time unspamming its errors than it would sorting through the ones GASP lets through.

    • Ana Hoffman

      See, from my point of view, it’s the other way around, Sire – Akismet is the one that let’s many spam comments through and GASP doesn’t.

      Agree to disagree?

      • I’m afraid we’re going to have to because if GASP was, man I hate those popups, right when I was typing my comment too! Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted, if GASP was catching all the spam then there would be nothing in the Akismet folder and there always is. I even disabled Akismet for awhile and the spam went right up.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Since nothing is ever perfect (like those annoying popups you see from time to time;) ), GASP does let occasional human spammers through.

          For those who are still dumb enough to try to spam my blog, I use WP Blacklist to get rid of them forever.

          I’ll still take GASP over Akismet any day.

  21. Hey, Ana!

    Phewww…luckily your comments on my site came through, although I have to admit it was straight to the spam folder…

    Guess what? I was actually thinking about looking for an alternative to Akismet, and here we go…loud and clear! Thanks a bunch!

    So I look forward into receiving less spam and also possible comments on the anti-spam message I plan to implement 😉

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s precisely why I don’t just delete my spam comments, Ruan – you never know if a legit comment slips through the crack, although it’s yet to happen with GASP.

      Good to see you again!

  22. Chris Bailey

    Thanks for the info Ana.

    So many conflicting opinions on various plugins out there, it’s hard to know which end is up.

    I just deactivated Akismet on one blog and installed GASP.

    Do you know if GASP prevents scrapebox comment spammers as I’m starting to see more of that on my blogs?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am not entirely sure what a scrapebox comment vs any other spam comment looks like, Chris, but since not too many spam comments land into my pending queue, I’d say the answer to your question is yes, GASP does send those comments to where they belong.

  23. This whole scenario does seem a little fishy on Akismets behalf. An obvious cop out excuse as a means of saving face in light of a clear coding issue.

    I have had troubles with their system for a long time and finally deleted it from all my blogs a few months ago. Thanks god for commentluv.

  24. Ana
    Interesting post-thanks.
    I run Akismet on my WordPress site & assumed it works well.
    I would like to test it now in the light of your post.
    I would be grateful if you would leave a comment on my blog so I can check if my Akismet is stopping you commenting (my middlename is not “Doubting_Thomas” but..). I hope that is alright-thanks & best wishes

      • Ana
        Thank you so very much for leaving a comment on my site in order to test Akismet for me!
        I found it in the spam folder!-you seem to be right about Akismet! Now I am more aware of this I can take some steps to improve this.
        BTW I have also emailed you a reply.
        Thanks again and best wishes

        • Ana Hoffman

          I guess Doubting Thomas put his fingers into the holes of Akismet… :)

          You are welcome, Richard.

  25. Prakash

    Akismet is also a problem for me. Not for every blog but almost every blog my comments are marked as spam so there are limited blogs where i comment. Don’t have any idea how to get out of it…..

    • Ana Hoffman

      Cleaning the blogosphere from Akismet is the only way to get our comments to see the day of light, Prakash; I am convinced of it.

  26. Tony Lum

    Askimet has always been a pain in the you know what, but thinking about the sheer amounts of spam it is just depressing… I’m switching to commentluv. Thanks for enlightening us on this topic Ana

  27. Hello Ana,
    I saw post yesterday, friend of mine shared it to me before I found it in my news reader :) Heh, and yet again – I feel bad :) I installed Comentulv Premium, but then my CDN worked badly and cached just part of it and it broke some parts on 1WD so I deactivated it and put Akismet back. Will do again CommentLuv part and really enjoyed your article and detailed explanations.

    It’s still interesting to test GASP fully to see how it fights against smart spammers..but we’ll get there! :) Heh, thanks for feature – very interesting and natural posting format -I never have done post like that.. but I must admit it is great marketing technique too.. I learn a lot from your site :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for jump starting this idea for a post, Dainis!

      Let me know what you think of GASP.

  28. Hi Ana,
    and why you avoid commenting on my blog? It’s “comment friendly” blog and your comment never will land in the trash without reading 😉
    BR, Chris

  29. Really this time update we gt the struck a lot.. you are not alone there are several bloggers which fight in that situation.. this really makes us a loose activity.. lets hope it will clear soon..
    Thanks for this good post..

  30. I understand that as bloggers we need to fight spam. But I don’t think it is user intended nor it is pleasant to mark a box that does anything to the user. Nowhere else you have to do this.
    I still use Akismet, but because I want users who don’t have a social network to be allowed to comment, but spam were banished from my blog when I only allowed Commenting through Facebook, Twitter or Google+ with Social Connect plugins.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I do see your point, Felipe; however, I’d rather check a box than never see my comment published.

      Most bloggers are used to commenting and are not bothered by a simple checkbox.

      Personally, I avoid commenting on blogs where I have to log in with my social networks.

  31. Thanks for sharing that information about akismet I had no idea about it being so aggressive. I have disabled it and I’ll let you know the results am currently trying disqus but only just started using it, it seems pretty good so far,so fingers crossed.

    Thanks for your insightful information.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I did try Disqus a while ago, Nathan; I don’t remember what the problem was, but I decided to get rid of it fairly quickly.

  32. What an incredibly useful post! I had no idea about this huge drawback to Akismet, and in fact I thought it was one of the few must-have plug-ins!

    I am really really stunned at the poor state of their customer service. It’s an Automattic company, and they really pride themselves on excellent customer relations.

    I’ll be sharing this post on Twitter, for sure.

    • Ana Hoffman

      They definitely need to un-automate their customer service, Kirsten, and actually use our feedback to make the plugin better.

      Alas, they rest on their laurels and this post is what they get as a result.

  33. I’ve read about these kinds of problems with akismet being over agressive removing comments. This is especially a problem with the default wordpress commenting system. This was one of the reasons I like using a third party commenting system to manage all aspects of commenting.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Akismet problems wouldn’t convince me to go with the third party commenting system, Richard, but I see your point.

      By the way, I’ve had a few problem with IntenseDebate not showing my comments either.

  34. Hi Ana!

    I had no idea Askimet worked that way. My eyes have been opened. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I’m shocked!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for coming by, Marlee.

      I haven’t been to your site for a while; just got back and love the new (to me) design and faith-based message.

      Have a blessed week!

  35. Hi Ana,

    I just wanted to let you know that you convinced me! I just installed CommentLuv Premium on my blog. Now I have to figure out how to use it (I’m still new at this!). I was pleasantly surprised to see that I already had GASP installed, which I guess is a good thing from what I just read! Now I have to figure out how to get mommy bloggers to read and comment on my blog. Your posts are VERY useful. Thank you so much!

  36. Ana Hoffman

    I hate CAPTCHA codes; about 70% of the times I end up entering them wrong and sometimes even have to retype the comment the second time around.

  37. Wow, I never new that Akismet could cause such a problem for people! I’ve been using them pretty much since I started blogging a few months ago and can’t help but wonder how many comments I’ve lost because of them. After reading your post here, Ana, I’ve happily gotten rid of Akismet on my blog and installed GASP. I have to say that I don’t see half as much as spam as I was when I had Akismet installed, so I’m certainly happy for that. Thanks for posting this otherwise I would have never known that I may be losing out on potentially great commenters!

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are very welcome, Felicia, and thanks for taking my advice to heart and getting rid of Akismet on your blog.

      It’s much better off because of it; no question in my mind.

  38. Urbie

    Akismet is really anoying and I don’t use it. I may be taking the risk being spammed, but I think Akismet is just another ‘thing’ that prevent people to comment on my blogs. Especially for SEO is this just killing. It’s great to read someone’s post and see she is encountering the same problems like I did. Thanks a lot for this great post!

  39. Venita

    Hi Ana
    Thanks for telling us about this dark side of Akismet. Although my site is still young and not traffic related I keep reading your blog as the information you share is most valuable.



    • Ana Hoffman

      You are very welcome, Venita, and I always try to write my posts in a way that many different niches can benefit from them.

  40. Caleb

    Comment Luv recently got even better with the ability for you to enter in common search phrases that those “greedy link builders(lol by the way!)” use in Google so that whenever they try to comment on your blog via those phrases they get blocked along with whatever stiff warning message you provide.

    For example, I had noticed generic spammy type comments from visits on posts from search terms like “blogs that use commentluv,blogs that instantly approve comments,etc.” so I entered in the phrases along with my message and it stopped comments coming in from ppl using those searches.

    BTW, something strange just happened with me trying to comment here where I received the following message:

    A feed could not be found at marketsecrets.biz?feed=rss2. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

    BUT once I figured to put a slash force_feed() after my url it then picked up my feed 😕

    • Ana Hoffman

      Oh, yes, Caleb – I completely forgot about that feature; it’s great!

      Of course, most people who comments on blogs by searching for those specific phrases are not people at all; they are bots and GASP does a great job not letting them through to begin with.

      So why are you linking to your RSS feed anyway?

      • Ahhh those bots are getting smarter as each month passes :roll:

        As for the CL issue, I’m not linking to my feed at all I put in my blog url and the mssg appears in the space that otherwise displays posts for me to choose until I add the slash force_feed() afterwards. Test it out by putting my url in your comment form’s website field and see what it does…

        • Ana Hoffman

          I tried your URL in Chrome browser (I am on Mac) and it showed your post selection without a problem for me.

  41. I just removed Akismet from my blog. I have also had comments just disappear into the Twilight Zone because of Akismet. I think many blog owners are paranoid about spam.

    I never was one to one to leave a “Love your blog, I learn so much” type spammy comment. I would actually have read it and make a relevant comment or ask a question related to the subject.

    That being said, CommentLuv and the Growmap plugin combined with moderating comments before publishing is all you need IMHO. It might take time to actually check the spam section, but until I start getting 100’s of comments a day, it really is not that hard or time consuming.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Even though I get a lot of comments on a daily basis, Mark, CL and GASP are still working wonders for my blog.

  42. I feel slightly better now Ana, here is a transcript of an email I sent them Friday, 13 May 2011

    I’m wondering why my comments never go through when dealing with Akismet
    > > blogs (including my own) I’m constantly having to ask blog owners to fish
    > > my comments out of the spam folder. (repeatedly even after they do it once
    > > or twice, and after which I’m too embarrassed to ask anymore)
    > >
    > > My comments are hand typed, and legitimate and it’s starting to get a
    > > little frustrating for me.
    > >
    > > Thanks for any help you can offer.
    > Most blog owners regard comments similar to yours as spam. You can expect your comments won’t often be published.
    > That’s not the case everywhere. Akismet is not a blacklist. Each blog owner teaches Akismet which kinds of comments they wish to publish and which they do not. That’s their decision and under their control.
    > —
    > Mark

    Sounds like they can’t even look into the issue and instead send an automated canned response. I have hated Akismet forever as it causes me tons of work looking for legitimate comments on my site. Many who are regular and always get approved by me.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Exactly, Warren – they can’t even take their time to take a look at your site before labeling you as a spammer in their response.

      I hope this post gets their attention. Of course, I’d like to also build some links to it to rank it for “Akismet” so that other people looking to find out more about that plugin can learn what it really does to legit comments.

      And as you said, even if a blog owner does fish your comment out of spam, Akismet doesn’t “learn” from it like they say it would and still sends your subsequent comments to spam.

      No win for anyone.

      • There was a period where I was fishing my own responses to comments on my OWN blog out of the spam folder.

        I’m sure I’ve mentioned Akismet before on my blog, I’ll hyperlink it to this post. I’m sure a few others will also in the hopes of creating awareness, and perhaps even a better plugin down the road.

        I love how many comments this post is getting! :)

        • Ana Hoffman

          Now that you mentioned it, Warren, I do recall having a similar problem back when I just started…

          Your link is much appreciated!

  43. I recently added commentluv to my wordpress website, and I love it. My blog is more image driven, but we do produce original, quality content specific to our niche, however comments are a rarity. I am still getting a hold on SEO marketing and making a point to encourage readers to comment. I will continue to work on driving traffic, but it is frustrating feeling like we are talking to ourselves.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Just got back from your site, Brynn, and it seems like you switched to Livefyre.

      Nothing against that commenting system per se, but when your readers see “Sign in” right above the Livefyre box, it might make them feel like they need to join something (which they in fact do) to leave a comment on your blog, which in turn, might sound like too much trouble.

      I wanted to leave a comment, but couldn’t remember my login info, so left without commenting.

      Also, for an image-driven site like yours (loved all the illustrations, by the way), I hope you are utilizing Pinterest to the best of its potential.

  44. I bought CommentLuvPremium thanks to you, in pre-launch back in October 2011 so I got a great deal! I’ve since got to know Andy too and was singing the praises of all 3 of you just a few days ago to a pretty prominent blogger friend who said spam got so bad on her site that she’d had to hire someone to deal with it. I’ve just sent her this post as it explains so succinctly exactly how CLP reduces spam while increasing comments.

    I bought the developer license and use CLP on all my client sites and my personal sites too but little did I know at the time it would be such a steal. So thanks for sharing great tools and for making me aware of this problem with Akismet. I agree comment link juice is a win-win and part of the process of real engagement. It wont stop me from leaving a comment but it’s a really nice way to reward those who do engage with relevant comments.


    • Ana Hoffman

      So great to hear you are taking full advantage of this great plugin, Debra, and even recommending it to others. Once I tested it myself when Andy first came out with it, I couldn’t help but tell everyone either. lol

  45. Ah, now I know why you don\\\’t comment on my blog Ana!But it\\\’s ok, I agree that AK is a paint in the A$$. I recently disabled the plugin and instead am relying on the confirm not a spammer button.So far it\’\\s working very well. I don\\\’t mind cleaning up a spam or two every now and then. That said, WordPress\\\’ default measures are doing pretty well to hold them up.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think I sent you a couple of “left a comment on your site, but it looks like it went into spam” messages, Sunil. lol

      Glad to hear to came to your senses… :)

      • just checked and have nothing from you Ana. nothing in spam either. when did you leave it if you recall? i can view historicals and see if there are any traces.

        the blog has accepted all your previous comments however (months ago) – but i don’t recall seeing anything as of late

        • Ana Hoffman

          Just left a comment on your AdSense post, Sunil; seemed to get through just fine.

  46. Hi Ana
    I am one of the happy blog owner that have had visits (and comments) from you on my blog more than once :-) I remember I was pretty happy with that the first time I saw your face on my blog. I have also dropped Akismet because many of the people I connect with on Twitter and that are often dropping comments on my blog started to appear in the spam folder.

    • Ana Hoffman

      And happy to stop by, Thomas – it does make a difference to have someone acknowledge our efforts in a comment, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for always doing it for me!

  47. I recently installed the premium version of common luv too and LOVE it so much more then ASkimet which was really giving me lot of trouble with spam.

  48. I have comment luv premium on my blogs (as you know). My newest blog never has any spambots comments (it’s quite small). As you said, sometimes human spammers still try their luck, but GASP keeps them for me to check before publishing.

    Once in a while I get a few great comments in my spam box but I don’t mind this at all when I consider the alternative.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am definitely a lot happier with GASP than I ever was with Akismet no matter how I look at it, Anne; glad you second that.

  49. Alex

    I had no idea that Akismet was so pernicious. I was one of those “double dipping” – until I got half way down this post!

    Thanks for the clarity!

  50. Hello Ana,
    thank you for a very useful post. I never knew there was so much too know just about commenting on blogs. I still don’t get why Akismet would consider your comments spam and how their policy works, but I do love the CommLuv plugin.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I realized that some things are easier and quicker to just fix than to try to figure out why they are happening.

      That was the case with Akismet; I just wish I would’ve written this post sooner instead of trying to “get to the bottom of it” with them.

  51. I run quite a few sites on WP platforms and have to schedule a time to hit each one to review the Akismet spam folder. I decided, after reading this post, to give G.A.S.P. a try on a couple sites to see how well it works and have to say that it’s a so-far-so-good situation. Not only has the spam gone down (to almost nothing), but the comment count has gone up! A site getting over 3,000,000 hits a month should really have more than 10 comments a month…

    Thanks for the heads up on this plugin. I will be switching all my sites over to it now.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Love to hear it, Tony – now your blog is more protected AND more reader-friendly.

  52. Huh. I had wondered why some blogs just refreshed after I commented, rather than letting me know that my comment was held for moderation. It also explains why a friend of mine who wanted to comment on a post from my old blog said that she couldn’t. Here I was thinking that she was telling stories, since I found *nothing* in my spam folder. Oops! Darn that akismet…

    Definitely getting rid of it ASAP!

  53. Ironically, this wouldn’t even be an issue for most had it not been that the comment system was set up for self serving individuals to post things for “SEO” and other things that have little to do with actually building the conversation.

    I used to not like to comment on platforms that used Livefyre and Disqus because of this. But over time, I have figured out that sometimes a comment is more about connecting to a community than simply placing an external value on what it will do for my ranking or business.

    It looks like you are collateral damage between the spammers and akismet, Ana. Which sucks. And akismet should fix this for you rather than issue white label explanations.

  54. Hello Ana – GASP works perfectly with CommentLuv free version, I also have it on my blog and almost all automated spam disappeared after removing AKISMET 😉
    BR, Chris

  55. Ok, so that’s why my comments on some blogs just vanish, with no “moderation”, no nothing, I just thought the owners hated me for some reason.

    I had this problem with one of my forums I’ve sold a while ago. Its really frustrating when I struggle to write a very interesting response to some article out there only to find that nothing happens when I click Submit. Oh yeah, and I generally believed the owners were mad on me for some reason since I had the ability to comment on their blogs in the past and one day, out of nowhere I couldn’t.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think once your comment ends up in spam on any given – for whatever reason, the consequent comments will automatically land there or disappear altogether, Cristian.

      It certainly discourages me to comment on some blogs altogether.

  56. I use GASP too, it was great plugin, but I don’t think Akismet is that stupid 😆

    I don’t see a sign that when there’s No “Your comment is awaiting moderation“. o rNo #comment-blah-blah URL. means the blog doesn’t using Akismet.

    My local WordPress install’s Akismet is off, but it keep shows me that comment ID, there should be another reason for that case may be.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Comment ID is shown when your comment goes through – whether it’s automatically approved or sitting in the moderation queue.

      That’s not an Akismet feature; it’s a WP feature.

      However, if after leaving a comment you DON’T see that ID, it most likely means that the blog hasn’t registered the comment, which is probably because the blog uses Akismet.

      Can there be another explanation? I am sure.

      However, I haven’t found another explanation yet.

      In my book, it’s always Akismet to blame. 😉

  57. Well, sounds like a really good info. Good thing I never used akismet. I didn’t know it works like that. This is very useful especially for those who are still using akismet.

  58. A very important topic Ana…
    I had to laugh reading your post(In a nice way)! Ana…

    As I also had issues with Askimet, and eventually needed to disable it….
    Mainly as comments were marked as spam, and I did not get a chance to approve or disapprove them(they were locked away in the spam folder)…..

    I use another program at present which is probably even tougher on spam than Askimet, though, at least I can moderate the comments….
    The number of spam comments I have received in a short few months, is fast approaching the 8000 mark, and every one has been caught….and some of the comments are real nasty(loaded with heaps of dodgy links)….

    About 95% to 98% of the comments that make it through the moderation stage, also turn out to be spam(just not as obvious)….

    What I have noticed(And mentioned before) many sites, including some big name sites, are actually allowing spam comments(bad to really bad) to get through….and I do find this quite interesting.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know what you mean about getting thousands of spam comments, Daniel.

      The reason you are most likely getting so many is the fact that your current spam protection does allow comments from automatic software, and although it sends them into spam, it makes it difficult to see if there are any legit comments stuck in there.

      GASP forces you to check the box when commenting, which eliminates auto comments altogether; that’s what I love about it.

      And yes, it’s amazing what some sites are willing to approve – the very sites that won’t let my comments get through.

  59. Like others said, it’s so frustrating to leave a real comment and watch it disappear. I had no idea there might be a program like Akismet calling me a spammer. However, I’ve always been able to switch browsers (from Firefox to Chrome) and the same comment works fine. Always – both blogger and WP sites. So, does that mean I haven’t yet run into Akismet, or does it only work in certain browsers?

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s interesting, Elizabeth; it never occurred for me to switch the browsers…

      From what I know, Akismet uses our IP address and/or email and website URL. I’ve changed my IP address; tried different email addresses, and of course, there’s nothing I can do about my URL.

  60. Ana Hoffman

    They are pretty much resting on their laurels, Michael – with a plugin like that, changes/updates have to be made constantly to keep up with the commenting trends; yet it seems like Akismet team is relying upon being a part of the default WP install to keep them going.

  61. Ana,

    You have shed the light on a problems that has frustrated many people that leave non-spammy comments on WordPress blogs.

    Thank you so much!

    I have commented on so many blogs in the past and don’t remember which ones. This was before I created a database to keep track of my comments (duh).


    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

  62. Ana Hoffman

    I bet it was a bit deflating to discover that it was WP messing with you; however, good news that it wasn’t your writing, HP!

    I do understand publishing border-line legit comments; ‘ve been there, ‘ve done that. BUT… speaking from experience: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/broken-link-checker/.

    Always need to plan for the glorious and brilliant future for our blogs…

  63. I’ve been wondering why my comments disappear sometimes! It is most frustrating when I write a long comment and the poof. Thanks for this information. I’m looking into GASP!

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s my problem as well, Debbie – it takes way too long to leave a good comment for it to just disappear.

  64. I only use akismet to check the quality of attached link with the commentator’s website. Otherwise it also increase the burden on your server. Since every comment has to pass through the large database of akismet.

    • Ana Hoffman

      How do you “check the quality of attached link”, Rakesh?

      Also, I never thought of Akismet making the servers work hard, but it makes complete sense.

      • Now akismet has a built in ability to show the thumbnail of the attached website link from the admin dashboadr, Thus without opening that link we can check the basic features of that website.

        • Ana Hoffman


          Still most of the comments that Akismet sends to the spam folder are most likely auto comments and checking each one to see if it’s a legit site (even though you don’t have to actually click over to it) is time-consuming.


          • No, I have another plugin as you mentioned in the article “Grow map anti spam” that filter all the auto bot comments. Now the filtered comments and their history is checked by this plugin “Akismet”. I only enable it for that period only. Thus taking the advantages of both the plugins.

  65. oh dear! I never got around to switching Akismet off on fiddyp.co.uk , I wonder how many people got stiffed by it in all this time? oo-er, so sorry Ana :-z

    I have switched it off now.

    I’ve actually got a number of support tickets recently from people asking why their comments don’t show. I’ve had to fish them out of the spam bin.

    Even worse, your comments don’t even appear in the spam bin. they appear to have been completely lost in the ether..

    I think it’s time I let the blogs go for a while without akismet. I keep it on comluv.com because of the sheer amount of human spam that it gets which GASP is only just getting the heuristics for.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am patting myself on the job well done – adding yet another thing for your to-do list, Andy. lol

      Anyway, look forward to becoming a bona fide commentator on your blogs!

      • well I have noticed that my site admin pages are a LOT faster now I don’t have akismet running.

        I was considering moving from my level 9 vps to a dedicated server but maybe I’ve got a few more months at this level now.

        I’m amazed that akismet uses up so much resources!

  66. I get a lot of Spam to but I had no idea what some of it could be true comments. I always click on Spam and then click empty. I NEVER read any of them. Now I feel bad thinking I could have deleted people who really wanted to engage with me. :(

    Thanks for sharing about GASP. I’m going to work on switching over to that now. :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Sounds like you were using Akismet for long enough to delete some legit comments, Ashley.

      I am trying to think if I ever tried to leave a comment on your blog to just see it disappear… I bet I have!

      • Hey Ana,

        So I’ve been using GASP for about a month and I’m noticing a TON of trackback spam. I don’t see any comment spam anymore just this new trackback spam that is BAD. Did you install the trackback spam plugin that GASP mentions in the settings to fight that or do you know of a better plugin to use?

  67. After reading your post I decided to follow your advise and install GASP. When I tried to install it, it said the “Warning: This plugin has not been tested with your current version of WordPress”. I have the latest version of WordPress but GASP is only compatible up to version 3.3.2

    • Ana Hoffman

      Sorry for the late response, Larry – I wouldn’t worry about that message; GASP still works like a charm with the latest WP release.

  68. Great advice as always Ana,

    I got rid of Akismet loooong ago and find that the GASP plugin works sooooo much better 😉

    The way the GASP plugin works from a technical point of view makes so much more sense, so I don’t think you need Akismet if you have GASP (I removed it and have had no problems),

    take care & best wishes,

  69. Ana,

    There nothing more deflating than posting a comment to a blog and having it disappear into the Cyber-verse.

    You take the time to write something thoughtful and provocative and then NOTHING… Hate Askimet…

    So I have actually done and have been doing for a while now exactly what you have listed above. Works great.

    Thank you for the excellent thoughts!

    Ryan H.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Precisely, Ryan…

      I don’t even bother commenting on some blogs knowing very well that Akismet will just kick my comments to the curb.

  70. oooops I never realized that I was doubling up on SPAM filters…. one plugin less :-) thanks for pointing that out and thanks Kimberly Castleberry for pointing out this post!

  71. Hi Ana,

    Luckily for me, I never installed Askimet. The first time I tried, it was to tough an install for me to figure out. Then, I read something about the perils of Askimet, and how perfectly good comments were being lost, so I deleted it. Thanks to you, I have CL premium, and use the checkbox method of preventing spam. And thanks to you, I have Topsy Blocker, which stopped trackback spambots (100 or more a day) in their tracks, 100%. What would we do without you, Ana?


    • Ana Hoffman

      So sorry for the late response, Lou – still making my way through the backlog of my moderation queue.

      Ahh… so sweet you are to me; you make all the hard work of blogging so worthwhile!

  72. My view is that if a blogger makes it so difficult for anyone to post on his blog then surely he should turn off the comments. After all, some of us do try to make a genuine contribution to the discussion, and that does take a little time and effort.

  73. Being a DIY sort of guy, I have never used Akimset. Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin was among the first few plugins I installed :)

  74. Hey Ana,

    When I first started blogging, I knew nothing about WP. I figured since it came with Askimet already installed, then I must need it. Wow, was I wrong!

    Thankfully, I learned the error of my ways quickly. I think I read a post from either you or Mavis Nong about GASP and once I installed it, I immediately removed Askimet.

    I am one of those bloggers who tries to read every comment, even if they ended up in spam. When I had askimet installed, I found that many of the quality comments I was getting, were ending up in spam. Who knows how many I lost altogether.

    With GASP, I no longer have to worry about losing good comments to spam. Although lately, I have been getting a lot of comments that are basically the same, just written on different posts, with different names and keywords. My guess is that someone is outsourcing their commenting to freelancers or using some type of software. Needless to say, their comments get sent to spam.

    Since I am ranting, you know what else bothers me. Other commenting systems, like Disqus or FB comments. Why can’t everyone be as smart as us and just use the WP comment system with CommentLuv. The world would be a much better place :)

    Thanks Ana,

    Ian from IM Graphic Designs

    PS. @Peter, Are you kidding me? So everyone who wants to get a link after commenting, is a spammer to you, huh. Then your blog must not get many comments. I feel that if I take the time out of my busy day to read your post and leave a comment, then I deserve to get that link back. How does everyone else feel about this?

    • Ana Hoffman

      Agree with every single thing you said, Ian, especially about bloggers choosing to go with a third-party commenting system; WHY?

  75. Peter

    My first comment was a little tongue in cheek. I appreciate the work you put into this post. I personally use GASP on my blog and it works well for me. I don’t blog in the IM space, but even I have been frustrated by comments not sticking when I leave them. Now I know it’s probably Akismet.
    But whenever this happens to me, I think to myself, why am I so upset that I can’t leave a comment? Just because I can’t drop my link? If this is the reason, then my comment probably isn’t worth leaving. And if it needs to be said, then I’ll leave it without my link.

    Perhaps I’m jaded because I see so many people leaving “great post” comments, just to get their link out there. It bothers me that people feel it is their right to leave a link, or they just won’t comment. Whatever happened to just commenting for the sake of joining the conversation?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think what mostly frustrates me, Peter, is the fact that it takes time to leave a comment, when you are NOT a spammer that is.

      It takes time to read the post, think it through, and leave valuable thoughts behind.

      After all this work is put into a comment and it lands in the Neverland of Akismet, it’s frustrating.

      Plus the fact that the said blogger won’t ever know that I took my time to give his/her work some thought…

      Getting a link is the icing on the cake.

      I do appreciate your thoughts!

      • Sorry for jumping in, Ana….

        I have to agree with your thoughts on this.

        It is really frustrating when, as you say, you put a lot of thought and effort into a comment, only to realize that it never saw the light of day….
        Some comments I had left on certain sites, were of very high quality(Hey I thought so)! yet they were sent of to the spam folder whilst spam comments(not even bothering to add anything decent to the topic—or not even related to the topic) were being allowed through …… that really sucks!

        • Ana Hoffman

          That’s PRECISELY what I see happen on many sites, Daniel.

          Thanks for chiming in!

  76. Obinna

    I have never used Akismet. It is the very first plugin i disable on my blog. So many negative reviews.

    I use AntiSpam Bee plugin, and i have not had a need to complain.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Smart move, Obinna – it took me a little while to figure out how negatively Akismet affected my blog.

  77. Hi Ana,

    I stopped using Akismet after a conversation with you on Twitter (before your break).
    I was already using GASP but I wasn’t sure if that plugin alone would be enough. After all, everybody recommends Akismet as basic.

    After 3 months WITHOUT AKISMET, using only GASP I can tell you that I’ve only got 2 spam comments and nobody has complained about being blacklisted or anything.

    I feel like Akismet was attracting spammers. I’m so glad I ditched it.

    Now you can come by and leave a comment 😉


    • Ana Hoffman

      Cleaning the blogosphere from Akismet – one blog at a time! lol

      I am glad you did it, Cristina; now I can check out that post you left as your CommentLuv link, sounds interesting.

      I’ll let you know what I think!

  78. Hi Ana
    I agree with you!!! Andy should buy a copy of commentluv through your link because he has Akismet on one of his blogs!! Just not on! LOL

    I had to get rid of Akismet as people were contacting me and asking why I was not letting them comment on my blog??? OMG I had no idea Akismet was spamming them and I certainly did not help the monster put them there!

    Anyway Commentluv saved me from all those annoying problems.

    Great to have you back :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      There’s a great idea, Mitz! I’ll see what Andy thinks about it. lol

      Thanks for coming by!

  79. Sarah Arrow

    I used to have the same when I used one of my business email addresses on Copyblogger. Fortunately Sonia knew I’m not a spammer and fished my comments out of the spam bin.

    Since then I’ve commented easily on CB but recently the business website got sent to the depths of helll in the search engines. That really annoys me as many sites steal my copy and my blOg posts (yes they can find me for that) and Google don’t care about that…

    Can’t Andy fish you out of his spam bin?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I tried several different email addresses when commenting, Sarah, but with the same result – spam bin or never even showing up.

      Unfortunately, many bloggers won’t bother looking through their spam folder to see if there are any legit comments that fell through and I completely understand why – time is short as it is.

  80. Well done Anna! I love it when bloggers take on big companies or brands who can’t be bothered to interact properly with customers or users. We need more people like you to challenge the status quo.

    @Peter : Why do you think comment forms have a space for you to enter website link?

    • Ana Hoffman

      They annoyed me enough for me to be willing to take the boxing gloves off, Carl. lol

  81. Hey Anna,

    Long time :)

    Very much agree that many comments end up in Akismet spam. As someone that travels a lot I’d like to add that it seems to be triggered with moving IP addresses as well.

    One other thing, GASP is great. I’ve been using it for well over a year so no need for Akismet. But in the last 2 months I’ve noticed some spam getting in. Just wondering if you have noticed that too?

    • Ana Hoffman

      Welcome back, Dave; good to see you in my neck of the woods!

      No, I haven’t noticed GASP letting some junk through…

      I always thought that changing your IP address might be a good thing when you are flagged as a spammer; some bloggers end up flagging an IP address and changing it might undo it. Just my best guess though…

  82. Just a quick example validating Ana’s suspicions.

    After I interviewed her, Ana was the first to comment – it went to spam.

    Ana Hoffman
    December 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm
    Wow, never knew my teeth were so white… LOL

    It was such a pleasure, Michael; this was the first interview I ever spilled so much for.

    You have a way of asking great questions!

    Looks legit to me :- )


    • Ana Hoffman

      And when you published your guest post on Problogger, I was the first one to comment as well, Michael, but the comment never saw the light of day.

      I couldn’t believe that Akismet team called me a spammer…

      Thanks for coming by!

  83. Great post, Ana. I disabled Akismet the day I installed GASP, and disabled GASP the day I installed CommentLuv Premium (because it comes with GASP).

  84. I agree with most of the comments here, I am interested in reading your blog not only as I am reading great content here. I would love to have a link in your blog where you and other commentors can come and take a look at my site too. I think it is mutually beneficial arrangement for each other.

    If I am just coming to your blog with the purpose of obtaining a backlink, then I am surely not doing a right thing

    • Ana Hoffman

      Even though in theory it might be a good idea to create a place where site owners can visit each other’s sites, I don’t think it’s something most of us will find the time for, Lynn.

  85. Thanks for the kind mention (and resurrecting a discussion over there that is still very heated). I’ve really enjoyed working closely with Andy in the development and testing side of GASP Pro (built into Commentluv Premium, currently). It’s a constant game of whack-a-mole to keep the spammers at bay but it works well enough that it handles high traffic (and high spam) blogs like yours and mine with grace. There’s simply nothing better.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are very welcome, Kim – I noticed that Danny Brown did switch all his blogs back to Livefyre… again.

      I can only imagine how hard it is to keep up with the spammers and their ingenuity; they always seem to be one step ahead of us.

      • One additional trick I’ve added to my game recently. This only became necessary when I allowed my content to be syndicated (as I will not backlink to auto-syndicated trackbacks, manual ones are different).

        I let my spam folder build up a nice “collection” of spam. Most of it is coming from GASP but I also send stuff there manually.

        Once I have a big list, I enable WP Blacklist, and go in there and grab all the URLs that were in the spam folder.

        Then I crop the URLs to their base URL as many are deep links. I also remove the http and www from the front.

        Then I take this big list of crap and drop it in my Settings -> Discussion -> Blacklist area….. and have made a single minor modification to wp-comment’s php to make it send all matches direct to trash.

        (And then, if I spam a comment that is borderline and I do not want to permanently be rid of someone, I send it to trash myself, rather than to spam, so it does not end up in this self-created filter later.)

        This gives me a self-created and curated blacklist with 100% ability to remove a url from it if someone gets there accidentally.

        I had originally thought I might share this list as a text file. However, because I have quite a few sites blocked for valid daily trackbacks, I don’t want them to think I’m calling them a spammer publicly.

        • Ana Hoffman

          Niiiiice; never heard of WP Blacklist and this is definitely something I could use.

          I used to do this by hand, but it’s way too much trouble doing it that way, as you can imagine.

          • I agree that doing it by hand SUCKED!

            I’d really like to see Andy add my process to GASP. Particularly adding the check box for the “send direct to trash” so I don’t have to mod a core file (not hard, but annoying, ya know?) He’s hesitant however, so if you think it would be useful, perhaps give him a poke.

            I also not too long ago added AntiSpam Bee to my stack. At first I liked it, but as I began to get things tightened down, it was simply un-needed. It has the advantage of lacking a central database. However, all of my attempts to contact the developer failed and I was unable to learn anything about it’s internal learning mechanism (I am not sure it has one). I removed it based on this factor – but you can tell that it is marketed (Free/GPL) at those of us that realize that a crowdsource database is dangerous at times. Something you may want to look at some time, as it wasn’t trash like so many others are and actually had some nice features.


            PS: Sent you a tweet with a screenshot of something yesterday.

            • Ana Hoffman

              Forwarded your screenshot to my tech person – I think it’s a pc thing; I don’t get the same on Mac.

              And wow – most of what you just said is waaaay above my head, my dear! lol

              Looks like Andy has an option of sending the suspicious trackback directly to trash; is that what you are referring to when talking about sending spam comments directly to trash?

              I hope he saw your comment when leaving his.

  86. If it’s any consolation, what you received from Akismet was a form letter and not something that specifically applies to you. I have the exact same problem and received the exact same reply when I asked Akismet what was up.

    I also came to the same conclusion as you, removed Akismet from my website and replaced it with GASP.

    I hope that more bloggers start to take a stand against Akismet because I’d like to see it removed from the default WordPress installation package. I guess that’s unlikely since Automattic owns Akismet and WordPress, but one can hope.

    Akismet does an extremely poor job of separating spam from legitimate comments. I think that could be due in part to Akismet’s user base, which I’d bet is mostly comprised of new bloggers — Akismet is free for them, after all — who are disinclined to approve any comment containing a link.

    If someone gets their comments marked as spam a few times, they’re effectively dead to the blogging community. This has been the case with my comments; although they’re all similar to this one, most blog owners never see them.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think it’s even worse to receive a boiler plate answer, Jack – wouldn’t it be nice if someone actually took their time to see if your comments are indeed spam?

      I didn’t know about the connection between WP and Akismet, but it makes sense.

      I find your comments always add value to the discussion, Jack; you are welcome on my blog any time!

  87. I kind of wonder sort of like Gail said if site owners mark a comment as spam that maybe shouldn’t be. I know people get in a hurry and barely look at them sometimes. If the link, email address, or comment remotely mentions or refers to something they consider spam they mark it. I don’t know I guess it varies from one site owner to the next what they consider spam.

    • It would probably be a good idea to remove the line in you comment form if you no longer want comments with they name @ keyword int the name field that says:

      TGC uses CommentLuv Premium, which allows you to use your real name and then @your keywords (maximum of 4 keywords). Click on the link above to get your own CL Premium – it’s pretty awesome!

      I understand your frustration, but if my comment is pending here, then it is kind of like a double standard. Is name @ keyword allowed or not? You form seems to indicate so. However, you seem to only allow name only lately. You should clarify and/or remove the info if not allowed. Just a suggestion.

      • Ana Hoffman

        Not sure what you are talking about, Ray – I still allow @keywords, just like my comment section says I do.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Good point, Ray.

      Personally, if I am not sure if a comment is actual spam, but it still doesn’t sound legit enough to publish, I’ll send it to trash vs spam.

  88. Hey Ana,
    I’d never put you in spam. Everyone knows that your comment always holds water.
    And yeah Akisment is too ‘Vicious’ is how I’d put it. I turned it off on all my blogs and use commentluv premium instead – works great for me thus far. Thanks for telling me that too by the way :)
    As always, great content Ana!

  89. There is NOT consensus among bloggers about what spam even is so if your blog even mentions marketing or offers anything for sale many bloggers will instantly click spam on you. I bet that even if your blog had nothing for sale on it at all and wasn’t even about marketing that if you comment more than a few times you WILL get flagged by Akismet as a spammer.

    That is why we all use GASP and not Akismet – “we” who WANT our fellow bloggers to interact with us that is.

    • Ana Hoffman

      And thank you for working closely with Andy to make this great plugin happen, Gail – it made my blogging life a WHOLE lot easier both on my blog and when commenting on other blogs who say NO to Akismet in favor of their readers.

  90. This sounds confusing to me Anna. Of course I’ve to link to my blog. What’s the need of commenting when there is no benefit for me. The thing is that must leave a quality comment, and not sound like a spammer. And as Oni rightly said, my blog is part of my identity.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Absolutely nothing wrong with getting a link from a comment, Michael – win-win relationships are the best.

  91. Interesting article, I can see where you are coming with this. The only issue is that, this has been addressed numerous times, and I might be wrong but this was an unwritten rule somewhere that most blogs have gotten rid of Akismet all together.

    Akismet is almost as bad as making people sign on to facebook(ONLY) to leave a comment on the blog. I have written enough times to blog owners to get rid of that function (I don’t consider it a feature).

    • Ana Hoffman

      Judging by how many times my comments don’t get published, I’d say most blogs still run Akismet, Hasan.

  92. Peter

    If you truly feel you have something to add to a blog post, submit your comment without linking to your website. You can still leave your name and build a relationship, but if you need that link back, then maybe you ARE a spammer?!!

    • Why must I submit my comment without linking back to my blog…when I have a blog?

      I’m sorry, but my name alone isn’t my online identity. My blog is a part of it.

      Based on your comment, anyone with a blog that comments on other blogs and links back to his blog is a spammer. I disagree!

      • I second that Oni. My blog is a very important part of my online identity. And while it is true that I stop by and comment to voice my opinion and to develop relationships, I also would like to spend that time for building backlinks to my blog which is my online biz!

    • Completely disagree!

      Your name doesn’t say anything. There could be twenty thousand other people with the exact same name.

      A blog is part of your online identity. Besides, what’s the point of leaving a comment on a blog without linking to your blog. The whole point of blog commenting is to contribute to a blog post or discussion.

      In doing so, if people like your comments; they should be able to visit your blog and checkout your stuff.

      Awesome post as usual Ana.

      • Ana Hoffman

        Sorry you are taking a beating, Peter. lol

        At least we know people are reading comments…

  93. Ryan Burnsworth

    Great post Ana.
    I never liked Akismet either, and had to see what you had to say about it once I read the headline.
    Thanks again