I'm wondering if the spam comments or comments being marked as spam on my Hubs might have affected my page rank in Google (Where almost all of my traffic comes from).
I have some relationship Hubs, a few years old, with over 500 comments. Today I was looking at what spelling errors were detected with Editbot in the comments because I haven't been concerned with spelling errors or typos in the past when I've approved them.
All of my Hubs comments are set so that I have to approve them before they appear (In the past I've checked them to ensure no outside affiliate links or offensive language has been used), but what I noticed when I looked at the comments on these Hubs is that between all of the comments I've approved are a ton of spam comments which have never shown up for me in the Comments inbox in My Account, so I've never seen them before and unless I go though the 500 plus comments on these Hubs and check them like daily, I wouldn't know that they're there.
I can still read the spam comments they are testimonials about spell casters and have phone numbers and email addresses included within the text, and I can see that below each comment Hubpages has marked it with the word 'Spam' followed by the users IP address in soft grey text. As I see them I also can choose to permanently delete them, but I wish that they would show up for me to do that where my other comments are, because like I said I receive no notification of these spam comments they just appear marked as spam on the page, bypassing the approval process.
I am also concerned that even when marked as spam some appear able to be viewed when not logged in and that even having the word 'spam' and the spammers IP address on the page multiple times will affect page rank in itself.
I just found at least 20 of these on one Hub with the most recent spam comment about a week ago. The IP address varied most comments were from non-Hubbers but two were from Hubbers with no Hubs (And I flagged those profiles).
In the last six months or so I've been wondering why these previously popular Hubs which had steady page views for the last few years, through all kinds of changes would drop almost from around 800 views a day each to 20 a day, when I found no evidence that my content had been copied and my Hubs outside the relationship category which have not received any spam comments are holding steady with page views.
If your comments are all set to require approval, these comments shouldn't be visible to your readers. You can see all the comments that have been identified (sometimes incorrectly) as spam by visiting the Comments section of your My Account page and choosing "Spam" as the filter option:
To answer your question, yes, spam comments can hurt your rankings if they are visible to readers (which yours shouldn't be if all comments require approval). Make sure you are only allowing comments that are on-topic and add value to your article. Most Hubbers also choose to delete any comments with links in them as well for that reason.
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