I’ve written quite a lot about how useful blog commenting is for building links to your own site, and establishing a presence in your niche. But there’s a downside to this too, particularly if you support the dofollow movement. Recently I’ve noticed a big upsurge in the number of spammy comments I’ve been getting. Because I moderate comments they don’t make it onto the site, but even deleting them wastes my time.
Types of junk comments
These junk comments tend to fall into one of three categories:
- true spam – actually this is the least part of the problem because Akismet does such a good job filtering it out. Still, the odd one does slip through.
- auto-generated nonsense – keyword-laden, computer-generated garbage. No matter how many times you read these, they still don’t make sense. People promote these tools as the answer to your link-building needs – well, I beg to differ! For example:
An Alexa site widget on a web site can improve the site’s traffic ranking and enthusiastically shared their success stories to others through their blogs… Alexa toolbar users worldwide and from other “diverse traffic data sources”…
In some cases I guess these nonsensical comments are actually left by real people who can’t express themselves very well – either way they’re getting deleted though. If I can’t understand what it says, my readers won’t be able to either.
- generic human-generated nonsense – these often take the form of insincere flattery, for example:
I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.
Wow, thanks! Unfortunately when you keep receiving variations on this, or even the exact same comment over and over, you start to wonder about the sincerity being expressed here!
I guess the take-home message here is: don’t try to over-optimise your commenting strategy. Sure, you may be able to leave hundreds of comments using these methods, but how many of them actually stick? Far better, in my opinion, to leave a few hand-crafted, thoughtful comments that actually stick and enhance your reputation.
Part of the problem here is that people believe the hype that they can get the benefits without putting in the work – whatever the activity. While this approach might benefit those pushing the comment-generation tools, I don’t believe it’s beneficial to the average blogger, or to the wider blogosphere.
You can use blog commenting to great effect for building your site’s reputation, as long as you leave useful comments that contribute to the discussion. But abuse it at your own risk! You will do far more damage to your reputation than good by posting auto-generated or repetitive generic comments, and will almost certainly be tagged as a spammer. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
For the rest of you – those that leave good comments that do add to the discussion – thank you! It’s actually refreshing to receive your useful input (and of course you have nothing to worry about!)
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