What is Akismet and Why Should You Use It on Your Blog?

Comment Spam has been a matter of worry in the blogosphere since a very long time. In today’s time, this can be done either manually or can be automated. Today i am going to talk about a plugin named Akismet which is a product of Automattic, the company who created WordPress, and will tell you about why should you use it on your blog since day one.


What is Akismet?


Akismet is a plugin built into the WordPress system that will filter what seems to it as spam comments. It moves them into a specific spam folder to differentiate them from the genuine and legitimate comments.


Akismet , nowadays, comes as a stock installation when we install WordPress on our domains.The plugin’s name comes from Automattic (the company behind Akismet) and Kismet. Akismet is basically a comment spam filtering service. The plugin was founded by the WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg.


As per WordPress, it 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.


It empowers your blog with the following major features :

  1. It automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
  2. Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
  3. URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
  4. Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
  5. A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.


The algorithm used by Akismet Web Service  learns from its mistakes and from the actions taken by the participating websites. For example, when a number of websites start reporting similar looking content as spam, then Akismet will learn to identify that kind of content as SPAM in the future. As of June 14, 2013, Akismet has caught more than 83 Billion spam comments.


Why Should You Use It on Your Blog?


As I had discussed in my previous article, What is Comment Spam and How Can It Affect Your Blog? , the number of spam comments takes a hike with the growth and popularity of the blog and it can be frustrating for the blogger to handle them. This is where this helpful plugin comes to save your time and eventually save you from the stress of moderating your comments.


Usually, only 15 out of 100 comments are legitimate on popular websites. Thus moderating comments one by one on your own can prove to be a very time-consuming task. Akismet can save you hours by catching spam comments even before they land on your moderation queue as pending. Thus , this plugin enables you to focus on the needs and appreciations of your loyal audience.


Sometimes, Akismet can give false positives, i.e., legit comments that Akismet marks as spam. This usually happens when a number of blogs have marked your user’s comments as spam, Akismet will learn to mark all comments by that user as a spam.


Though it is not perfect as can be understood by the criticism it has faced in years and is still facing, but it is the best there available. It is a product of the world’s most used blogging platform WordPress and hence they are working on improving Akismet’s algorithm as the time goes.

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