What is Akismet?
Akismet is a hosted web service that saves you time by automatically detecting comment and trackback spam. It’s hosted on our servers, but we give you access to it through plugins and our API.
How can I use Akismet?
There are a couple of ways:
The easiest is through pre-built plugins. WordPress is our most popular plugin, but there are over 20 others to choose from.
The other way you can access Akismet is through our API. The API gives you direct access to the Akismet service. In fact, it’s what all of the plugins are built on.
Whether you use a plugin or the API, you’ll first need to register an API key with us. The API key is a string of letters and numbers that acts like a username/password, allowing you to login to the Akismet service. You should never give your API key to anyone, as this will give them access to your account.
How does it work?
Each time a new comment, trackback, or pingback is added to your site it’s submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down. As a result, you don’t have to waste your time sorting through and deleting spammy comments from your blog.
5 things every blogger should know about spam
1. Web spam is different from email spam.
Email spammers want you to buy their product. You are the target of the ad contained in each email spam you receive. Comment/web spammers want your readers to buy their product. You (the blogger, author, moderator) are not the target.
2. Web spammers are social engineers.
Email spammers write messages to get your attention. Comment spammers write messages to escape your attention. They want you to believe they are real bloggers, real people, writing real comments, so you’ll approve the comment and publish it on your site. They use flattery, appeal to your good nature, and simply lie in order to convince you to give them the benefit of the doubt.
3. Web spammers are basically advertising on your blog..
..and they’re keeping all of the profits. They’re not even asking your permission first. Right now someone is offering to sell links from your blog to anyone willing to pay a few dollars (or a few cents). If your blog is well known, it may even be listed by name, with backlinks for sale at a set price.
4. It’s all about the backlinks.
Web spammers are selling links from your blog to their clients. They do this to game the search engines and trick your readers into visiting dubious web sites. Their clients are sometimes seemingly harmless, but are often peddling fake pills, porn, scams and malware. Sometimes they’ll use “buffer sites” – that is, innocent looking web pages intended to disguise the fact that they’re really advertising something more sinister.
5. Spammers employ humans.
Not all spam is delivered by spambots. Spammers are increasingly using humans to write and post comments by hand. Typically they are exploiting low-paid workers in internet cafes, schools and factories. Sometimes they are viral marketers paid to promote a new product. Either way they are trying to exploit your blog for their profit – and hoping to do it without you noticing.
How can Akismet help?
Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums, watching the methods and tricks used by spammers in real time. We know all about their spambots, comment factories, buffer sites and social engineering tricks. Akismet will use this knowledge to warn you when a spammer – automated or human – tries to sneak a spam comment past you. So if you notice a comment in your spam folder from someone you don’t know, or linking to a web site you’ve never seen before, take a good look at it before you hit the Unspam button: in all likelihood, Akismet put it there for a reason.