And I’ll tell you why. Up until a few days ago, literally a few days ago, I was using Captcha on my blogs. Even with Captcha some spam comments would get through and I’d have to delete them. I’ll get into a bit more detail about this in a bit, but for now, let me explain what a Captcha plugin is.
Captcha is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to make sure that the response is generated by a human being and not scripted and automated. This process usually involves a computer asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer can verify and presume that the input was entered by a human. This is very common with blogs when entering comments. I’m sure you’ve seen this before, if you’ve ever wanted to enter a comment on a blog, you were probably asked to answer a simple math test, or enter some text from a distorted image. I have to tell you, that drives me crazy. Some of them are very hard to read.
So now that we all know what captcha is, why would you want to install such a plugin? It’s simple really, as I said above, it’s to ensure that your comments are entered by human being and not by some automated program.
But why would anyone automate entering comments on blogs?
Great question. Entering comments on blogs creates backlinks to your blog. Why are backlinks important to your blog? This has everything to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I won’t go into too much detail here, but backlinks are extremely important for SEO because of search engines, especially Google, which will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their result pages.
Having said all that, I was never one for commenting a lot on other blogs and the reason is simple, not because I’m a snob, but simply because I don’t have the time, commenting is very time consuming. But when I do have a couple minutes I will comment on some recipes that I think are great and I’d love to try. I know some people comment on a regular basis and that’s great, lots of backlinks for their blogs.
Back to the topic of Captcha. So I’ve been using Captcha plugin on all my blogs, but then I decided to look into Akismet. I always saw Akismet in my list of plugins and it always used to bug me that it was there, until I finally deleted it. So when I read about it to see what it does, well, I felt kind of stupid. I wish I would have read about it from the beginning because it’s a great plugin.
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. Therefore, no Captcha plugin needed. Your readers will no longer have to be annoyed with entering Captchas. Whew!
So far Akismet has been catching all my spam comments and my readers have not been annoyed. You want to make entering comments for your readers as easy as possible.
Akismet can be used free or if your website is an actual business it costs $5 a month, which I would say it’s a great deal.
One more thing I’d like to mention. If you’re on Blogger, make sure you enable the Name/URL option for commenting. So often I have typed out a comment on a Blogger blog only to discover there is no Name/URL option and so I leave. I’m not logging into any third party accounts to comment and neither are a lot of other people. You have no idea how much this has annoyed me, so please people enable the Name/URL option. Glad I got that off my chest.
How do you guys feel about captcha plugins in your experience, would love to hear from other bloggers.