Just thought that one easy way to discourage spam comments is to replace comment_author_link() with comment_author().
Or, make comment_author_link() go to a profile page that lists the info for the comment author, i.e. name, email, website, etc. In this way, the comment author can still have a website link in his/her profile, just not directly from the comment.
I’ve been doing the first suggestion and also remove the form box for adding a URL for years (on over 50 sites) and though it prevents any author links from the comments the vast majority of comment spam is automated so it doesn’t stop spam. Akismet deals with the vast majority of the automated spam.
What it does reduce is the very low quality real comments just for links. You know the sorts of comments where the author tells you it’s a great post, but adds nothing to the discussion and they just so happen to have a keyword rich author name for the link 🙂
Replacing the author link for author name and removing the website URL form box is achievable at theme level, so no need for the developers of WordPress to do anything new. Edit your comments file and replace comment_author_link with comment_author and comment out the URL box.
Anyone worried this will stop people commenting, I’ve not had any problems, got posts with hundreds of comments. People want to comment.