Akismet/Popularity Comment Count Workaround

When I moved to the new design, I switched the “popular posts” plugin to the much more feature rich plugin “Popularity Contest” by Alex King.  I really like the plugin and the features that it added.  I like that I can weight the different aspects of the posts popularity.  If I think that Comments are most important, I can weight them higher than pageviews.

One downside to the plugin is that it counts all comments made.  That means that any comment that a spammer leaves gets counted.  Even if Akismet catches it.  What that does when you have a couple of popular spam comment targets is to skew the popularity counts and make your spammiest posts your most popular.  In effect, it becomes a most popular spam post list.

I haven’t yet found a permanent fix to the problem.  One way I’ve found to help with it (I haven’t implemented it) is to use both Akismet and Spam Karma.  I haven’t done that because I  didn’t like Spam Karma the last time I used it.  Personal choice.

I did, however, find a bit of a workaround to the problem.  The plugin options page has a button for recalculating the numbers.  Every time I go to delete my spam from Akismet, I then just add the step of going to the options page for Popularity Contest and click that button.  It resets and recounts the counts without the deleted spam comments included.  Giving a bit more accurate list.

Of course, the downside is that if I don’t delete spam for several days it still will be heavily skewed until I delete them and recalculate.  I’d like for it to be automatic or just not count the spam queue comments altogether.  I’m sure that it could be done via some code to eliminate certain flagged comments in the DB, but I really don’t feel like tearing apart the plugin code to figure it out.  Hopefully, Alex will find a way around it in a future release.

Until then, that’s my workaround.

About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Sounds interesting in how it works to provide inaccurate info like that. I may take a poke around the code and see if I can sort a permanent solution for it as I’ve been thinking about using it instead of the most commented plugin.

  2. It almost seems like it’s more of an issue with WordPress/Akismet and how they count comments instead of an issue with the plugin. If you ask me, comments shouldn’t be counted if they are in the Akismet bin. But they evidently are. Of course, it will most likely have to be fixed through the plugin rather than the akismet or wordpress code.

  3. I have been doing that for at least a year – so don’t hold your breath for a quick solution. It is a nice plugin overall.

    Another thing to note is that, if you use any caching, the views served via the static pages are not counted.

  4. If you look in the code, you’ll see this comments noting that the hooks for this don’t pass along the proper data. It’s a shame.