Aug 02, 2012

Do spam comments affect PageRank for blog sites?

My department has a blog on WordPress. It's primarily to keep team members and customers up to date on nonproprietary developments that could affect the business, but we also want to drive some traffic to our main website. Apparently the comment filters weren't set up and in the space of a couple of months we had over 50,000 spam comments before anyone noticed. It's a pain to remove them on WordPress, since it has to be done in 150 comment groups. You can do the math, but 50,000 divided by 150 equals a lot of time waiting for pages to load while trying to stay awake. Anyway, we have changed the settings to prevent this from continuing, but do all those spam messages, which of course have links to thousands of different sites, cause the blog to have its PageRank penalized?


On WordPress, I think you have to use a plug-in to insert the "no follow" attribute.  I'm not sure that the plug-in will add the attribute retroactively to all of the existing spam comments.


One thing about it is after you have had to remove all those spam comments, you won't forget to set up comment moderation in the future!  I've removed thousands of spam comments manually before, and it is a tremendous waste of time.  It makes me want to put another pin in my spammer voodoo doll just thinking about it.    

You should get Akismet installed on those blogs ASAP. That will help you cut the spam down to almost nothing.

See Google's page about comments here. You may want to look particularly at the no follow part of it, at least until you get the spam removed. That will stop those comments from affecting page ranking.


"Together with Yahoo! and MSN, Google introduced the "nofollow" HTML microformat a few years ago, and the attribute has been widely adopted. Any link with the rel="nofollow" attribute will not be used to calculate PageRank or determine the relevancy of your pages for a user query. (For example, if a spammer includes a link in your comments like this:

This is a nice site!
it will get converted to:

This is a nice site!
This new link will not be taken into account when calculating PageRank. This won't prevent spam, but it will avoid problems with passing PageRank.
By default, many blogging sites (such as Blogger) automatically add this attribute to any posted comments."
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