Valuable Commenters vs. Comment Spammers

Comment spam. Everyone has encountered it. Even the typical blog reader who just stumbled upon an article for something they searched in Google has probably seen their fair share of comments from people by the name of Loan Modification that think that article is a “great post” and would also like to drop in the fact that they offer incredible deals. Here are some different viewpoints of valuable comments and comment spam from blog owners to link builders.

Blog Owners Perspective

As a blog owner, I engage in a daily battle with comment spam. Every day, there are several posts with moderated comments, waiting to be cleared, from people who have not even seemingly read the post, but comment anyway in hopes of dropping a link for link building or traffic generating purposes.

Do I ask for comment spam? Some people would think so, considering I made my blog dofollow with the added benefit of KeywordLuv. But I kind of consider those things rewards for good, valuable comments. If you can prove in your comment that you actually read the post and had some insight into it, then you deserve a link back to your site. If you can’t, then I will probably not approve your comment.

Link Builders Perspective

Blog commenting is quickly becoming more and more popular as a way to build links back to your website. So the link builder comes along, looking to build links to a site on computer financing. They find this perfectly relevant post by another blogger about computer financing, so they take some time, read the article, write a well thought out comment, and clicks submit.

There are three things that happen at this point. They are greeted with their comment being posted (rare, but it still happens), their comment is posted but with the friendly “your comment is in moderation” at the beginning, or the infamous white screen of death – similar to the blue screen, but this one likely means that the comment has just went into the Akismet spam folder, never to be seen by human eyes again. The comments in moderation sometimes get approved, but most of the time not. Why? Because the blog owner considers them a spammer.

The Common Thread

So what is the common thing that blog owner’s and link builders share when it comes to commenting? Frustration.

For the blog owner, it is trying to tell whether a comment is legit, and even if it is legit, they have to consider if they want to be linking back to the website the commenter dropped. The comment can be gold, but if it is linking back to an internet pharmacy, the blogger has to look at the fact that posting that link on their website, whether it is with a good comment or not, may hurt their own reputation.

For the link builder who is not a spammer, it is taking the time to really read a post and write a response, only to have it never see the light of day. The link builder could spend ten minutes writing up a wonderful comment, just to never see the comment approved, or find it is approved but with the link edited out.

The Chicken or The Egg

It’s like a vicious circle. The blog owner doesn’t approve comments from someone they deem a spammer simply because the comment came with a link to a search engine marketing company or real estate agency. The link builder starts to leave lazy comments because they don’t see why they should waste the time and the energy making valuable comments everywhere they go since over 50% of them will never be approved anyway. The blog owners then complain about the never ending barrage of comment spam.

Prove You’re Not a Spammer

So what should link builders do to prove they are not spammers and want to leave quality comments?

1. Leave quality comments.
This should be pretty obvious, but leave quality comments. Read the article, write a good response. Your response can be directed not only to the blog author, but also to other commenters on that post.

2. Get a Gravatar.
Associate the email address you use when commenting with a photo (preferably of a real person, not a logo or other image). Comments with photos are more likely to get approved since they can be associated with a real person instead of a bot, spam, or software.

3. Follow the rules.
Take notice of other comments on the site. Do they use keywords or real names? Does the site use KeywordLuv? Is there a comment policy? See what kinds of comments get approved, and what format they are in – make sure yours follow the same pattern, and they are more likely to get approved.

4. Don’t participate in “one night stand” commenting.
Sure, you want to drop your link on a post with high PageRank that is relevant to your topic. But why not also pick one other article on the site and comment on it to. This shows the blog author you care about more than just getting your link on a specific page.

5. Don’t participate in “drive by” commenting.
Sure, you want to drop your link on several articles on one blog. One or two, maybe three articles at a time isn’t so bad. But don’t go spraying comments on ten to twelve articles in one go. Most commenters who do this are in a rush and forget that comments are time stamped. If a blog owner sees that you left ten comments in the span of ten minutes, they know you didn’t take the time to read the article.

6. Contact the blog owner.
What will make your comment stand out from the crowd? If you see it goes into moderation, or you know that you are on the Akismet spam filter, take an extra moment to contact the blog owner through their contact form or email. Let them know that you read their post, submitted a comment, but fear that it might be lost in the spam folder. This will tell the blog owner you are taking more than just two seconds to drop a link and run.

7. Go above and beyond.
Have a Twitter account? Tweet the post, including an @reply to the blog owner. Chances are, seeing your name outside of their site will further stress the point that you are not just a comment spammer, but a real person interested in their site.

Your Thoughts

Blog owners – how do you determine if comments are valuable or spam? What could link builders do to get approved on your site? What do they do to get reported as spam? And link builders – how do you go about commenting to get approved?





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Comments

  1. says

    I recently added CommentLuv, KeywordLuv and a comments policy on my blog as a result of getting too many spam type comments.

    I can normally tell the comment is ‘spammy’ by:

    The name

    The advice provided

    No gravatar

    Another ‘trick’ I have seen lately is the first comment they leave is ok – so I approve. Then the follow up ones are just ‘nice post’ but as they have already been approved for their first comment the follow up ones are automatically approved. I go in and then delete them and add them to my ‘blacklist’ (discussion settings in WP).

    Andrew
    .-= New from andrew @ Blogging Guide Interview: Pawan Agarwal – MaxBlogPress Owner =-.

  2. says

    I think it’s always a battle with spammers, sometimes they can be overwhelming, this usually happens to me when a post is posted that has a keyword in it that a spammer is waiting for and they all fall on me like a tonne of bricks, I do have prefer commentators to have a Gravatar, I mean they are free, so what’s the problem!
    .-= New from Karen @ Blazing Minds Blazing Minds – Guest poem by Justin Germino =-.

  3. says

    The attacks by spammers in the comment section of our blog is increasing everyday, and those guys are using keywords that has nothing to do with our blogging niche from any angle, and this makes me think they are one of two.. spammers or dumb linkbuilders who don’t know what they are doing, and so many times I had to remove their comments completely and for ever!

    I am thinking to deal seriously with this issue by removing the keywords from the comment name link provided by (KeywordLuv)!
    .-= New from Hesham @ FamousBloggers Scribe SEO content became the official SEO plugin for FB Guest Blogging Contest =-.

  4. says

    Hey Kristi,

    You know, this has become a bigger problem from me as I’ve grown. I’ve noticed more and more people leaving short, useless comments, and those are easy to filter out.

    The ones that are a little more difficult are sneaky people leaving long comments, based on the categories and tags of my posts. It’ll be a long, fairly generic comment along the lines of “I know exactly what you mean, I’ve had so many experiences like this. I think this post really hits home for me, and it’s true – I’ve really got to start applying these strategies in my own [tag].” So sneaky, and it really is a chore cleaning them out.

    I don’t know a good strategy though, for me I just have to spend time every week trying to see how relevant the comments are. Often if it’s questionable I’ll just end up leaving it because I’m not sure – but I’m sure that means the comment spammers are winning =(
    .-= New from Sid Savara@Personal Development 7 Common Procrastination Excuses =-.

  5. says

    It’s usually very easy to tell which comments are spam. When I try to filter the spam out of my comments, my concern is with not linking back to bad neighborhoods. I don’t mind one-standers, as long as their sites aren’t junk and the comments are of value.

    Then again, I also don’t allow keywords in names. I don’t want any comments to appear like link spam to Google.
    .-= New from Anne Moss Is Someone Stealing Away Your Affiliate Revenue? =-.

    • says

      Well, that brings up another issue. Does Google interpret comments with keywords instead of a name as “spam”. Moreover, does Google interpret Keywordluv comments as “spam”. I really don’t think they do as of yet with keywordluv but i couldn’t say they never will in the future.
      .-= New from Josiah@Ads for Blogs Add Tweetmeme to Tumblr blogs =-.

  6. says

    Since starting my own blog, I never leave a simple “Great Post!” comment anymore, because I have learned that bloggers view this at spam. However, if you go to news site blogs such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN, or New York Times Blogs, you will see many “Great Post!” or other one-line comments.

    Some may consider it spam, but most of these comments are made by anonymous people with no links. These people have nothing to gain by leaving a comment. They have nothing to add to the discussion. They just wanted to tell the writer that they learned something from their post or article. Is that so wrong?

    I don’t think we should be so hard on our commentators, but that is real easy for me to say because I don’t get many comments. ;)
    .-= New from Dr. Kal Dr. Kal’s Weight Loss Tips =-.

  7. says

    I deal with this on a regular basis. I was actually thinking about just posting a spam post and allowing some of the spam comments, but then I figured I would only be amusing myself :) Another one that I see from time to time, and is not easy to track down is when the comment is an @ reply to someone. You then have to go, check the comments of that post to ensure they are actually talking to someone. Just make a comment that shows you’ve read the article and you’re good to go!
    .-= New from Justin@Web Marketing Helpful Marketing Discussion and Resources 2010-03-07 =-.

  8. says

    I will always moderate every comment in my blog. I dislike the comment contains any link. Usually, i will delete that comment directly. In the beginning of my blogging life, i will also afraid that people will treat me as a spammer. After some days in the blogosphere, i learnt to leave only quality comment in others blog. I used to say “thank you” to the author as i really learnt something from the article. However, some blog owners will treat the “thank you” as spam phrase too.
    .-= New from KS Chen Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool for Keyword Research =-.

  9. says

    I wonder how many comment spammers are actually bots and not even real people. Have you noticed how smart they have become? I’m seeing sentences taken from previous comments and re-posted as their own. I’m not so sure that too many spammers are looking to improve the quality of their comments, I think it’s just a numbers game. On the other hand I believe there are many new to blogging that are considered spammers because they have no idea what to do. I guess those would fall under the scenario you described.
    .-= New from Brian D. Hawkins The Five Hour Blog Post =-.

  10. says

    Good tips Kristi. Funny how I never thought about blog commenting as a valid source of links considering the no follow attribute, but despite the no follow, I must admit blog comments do produce click through traffic from a very targeted group of piers (a PR 7 or 8 link never hurt anybody) to boot. Some blogs are dofollow as well like yours. But you are absolutely right – it’s all quality comments that will matter.
    .-= New from Andy Forex robots – Forex trading robots =-.

  11. says

    Those are some good tips, Kristi. It’s a never ending battle and the more complex these spambots get, the tougher it is to deal with them. Like Mr. Hawkins said above, it’s getting to the point where they can take sentences from previous commenters and simply repost them. I just hope the anti-spam methods continue to evolve as much if not faster than these spambots.

    Till then,

    Jean

  12. says

    I actually approve the majority of comments if they are well written. The only ones I delete are the ones not following my comment policy or ones linking to obnoxious blog sites.

    I must admit though that it’s getting harder and harder to detect some of these spam comments.
    .-= New from Sire@People Search In Defence Of A Bloggers Right To Review A Product =-.

  13. says

    Thanks for the great tips Kristi. I am also plagued with comment spam and even though I keep deleting them, they just don’t give up – returning on a daily basis. Some are only in a type of code (oviously from the spambots) or even a foreign language. I agree with Jean’s comment above and hope that the evolution of the anti-spam software is quicker than those of the spambots.

  14. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I think there is a definite delineation between “commentators” and “link builders”. I’ve used commentluv since Andy first started it, and recently reinstalled a dofollow plugin back on my blog. I really like the idea passing some link juice to people who regularly read my blog, and take the time to leave a comment.

    However, I’m not at all a fan of people who find my blog via some list on the Internet; search out the most relevant post to their topic (even if it’s years old); then leave a comment with “perfect” keyword anchor text. What value have they added for ME? I almost always just trash these type of comments (unless I know who they are) … and if they are really egregious, I have no qualms about sending them to akismet land either.

    I don’t know if it works the same with other bloggers (but I suspect it might) … I’d say take the time to actually GIVE first. If it’s one of my online friends, and I know that they actually read my blog, and care about what they say when the comment, I have no qualms at all about letting them “spam” my site from time to time … they’ve earned the right.

    But for some stranger to show up on my blog, and EXPECT a perfectly keyword anchored, followed link, simply because they took a couple of minutes to comment on a post, is a bit presumptuous … and to be honest somewhat rude to boot.

    I think that blog commenting should be used first and foremost for NETWORKING. Any link juice that might flow your way directly from a comment is just a nice added benefit … but should never the primary reason for sharing your thoughts.

    … just my three pennies.
    .-= New from Todd Morris Does 41 Birthdays Make Me Old? =-.

  15. says

    The never ending battle between relevant and just-in-it-for-the link building comments. I hate it as much as anyone, but I continue to moderate my comments and hand pick the contenders. Usually it’s not too difficult to spot the spam mongers. And at random intervals I write articles, like this one, about relevant commenting. I do this to help educate my readers about how to not only leave good comments, but with the vain hope that spammers will be converted to true believers. Alas – most of them are unteachable!

    I am a do follow kind of girl, a strong believer and supporter of the concept of reciprocity. I tend to seek out like minded blogs to comment on. But in order to keep up my commenting and have my comments stay relative, I make an effort to find blogs that I really enjoy reading. I choose those that will enrich my thinking and spark my imagination. I want my cake, I want lots of icing and I want to eat it too.

    I want it all and spammers be damned!

  16. says

    I agree with Sid. I’ve had so many spammers hit my volunteer site over the past two months that I thank my lucky stars for Akismet. Perhaps it’s a new way for people to make money as the economic downturn drags on but I find it annoying. Especially when there is so obviously NO connection between what they’re hawking and historical preservation. So yes, I definitely make it a point to first clean out the spam before checking on the other comments. Thanks for posting on this problem. It makes me feel better knowing I’m not alone.

    Cheers,
    .-= New from Simple Observer Woodinville Mead: A ‘proper’ cemetery with a touch of mystery =-.

  17. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I have a simple policy. Anything goes. I believe you should make it as easy as possible
    to leave a comment.
    I’ve have a few “extreme” comments on my blog ( Hello mr. Insult), and I thought about removing them, but then I told myself “Eh, it’s a diverse world. Let everyone have their voice”.
    Comments that cover the whole range enrich the community.
    .-= New from Mars Dorian Whatever you think, think the opposite =-.

  18. says

    Great Post! Oh… errr, at the risk of sounding like a comment spammer perhaps I shouldn’t lead with “great post” *grin*

    I think you bring up some good points and I would argue that regardless what you do there will always be comment spam to fight and that this will still happen even if you have CommentLuv and KeywordLuv turned on.

    All these plugins will do is encourage legitimate commenters (such as myself and everyone above me) to share their opinions. I don’t think the carrot on the stick HAS to be dangled in front of people to get blog comments but I’m sure it helps a lot.

    Have you considered turning off the plugins to see what would happen?
    .-= New from Chris Guthrie@Make Money on the Internet phpZon Pro Plugin Review and Contest Giveaway =-.

  19. says

    You know I used to blog comment for link action, but now I mostly do it simply to interact with other bloggers and participate in the blogosphere. If it’s links I want I think there are much better ways to do it besides blog commenting.

    Also I think when people comment purely for link building purposes it encourage what you call “drive by commenting”. LOL that’s a good one! ;-)
    .-= New from Gerald Weber How to Write Better Press Release Headlines =-.

  20. says

    Sorting through the spam comments is by far my least favorite part of blogging. It is time consuming and annoying at best. I don’t have much of a system planned out for handling spam yet, but these are the basics for me:

    If the comment is full of links…. spam. If the comment isn’t related to the actual article (ex: “Nice site”)…spam. If the comment is about the article but too vague (like “Great post” or “I enjoyed this article”) its still spam to me. I do feel more comfy with those who use a gravatar, but that is not a huge deal for me. If the comment appears genuine, I’ll approve it.
    .-= New from Nea | Self Improvement Saga 5 Steps to Easily Influencing People Without Manipulation =-.

  21. says

    This was really well balanced Kristi.

    As it happens, I left 2 comments in moderation today so I could go back again and have a fresh look. Everything you mentioned is so true. It really is a balancing act sometimes. I usually follow the link and have a look at the site if it’s a new commenter. If the comment seems under developed but it’s from a new blogger just testing the water I tend to post it. If it leads to a sales page it usually goes the other way.
    .-= New from Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills Fear Lessons from a Bear, Rattlesnake, & New Yorker =-.

  22. says

    Let me be practical here. The commenter are smart now a days. Sometimes they provide smart comment without creating any doubt (you consider this comment as a spam.lol). There is a very thin line between spam and smart comment or so called smart spammers. Smart spammers provide a different kind of comment that you will never think as a spam. i.e I like what you are doing here. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and insight about the topic……blah blah blah….
    I approved few comments like this later I realized that it was a spam comment. silly me
    .-= New from Ricky Simplegant 1.1 WordPress Theme Is Coming Soon-Need Beta Testers =-.

  23. says

    I run multiple blogs, and have had one up since 2003. While its 98% there for my own personal outlet, and I don’t have anywhere near the readers I used to have, I know what you mean in re: to link spammers. When I comment on someone’s post, I attempt to make a relevant comment about the actual post, and I never add a link to the comment itself. I figure if someone is genuinely interested in what I had to say, my name is linked back to my site and they can find out more about me and what I do from there. *shrugs* I also bookmark the sites that I find genuinely interesting, and come back once a week or so to look for new posts.

    Remember when people would add you to their blogrolls just for being a regular commenter? lol

  24. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I nuke anything with more than 1 link automatically. The others I try to weed out but don’t get too fussed if they creep thru. Even the big boys like C Brogan get spam comments – i just ignore it and read the good stuff.

  25. says

    I have a handful of blogs I comment on, every now and again I fall behind but get back to it eventually. I wouldn’t say it is a link building tactic but I do like to anchor my text (even though have seen no real ranking value).

    I think I pretty much agree with you, I don’t care about anchor text or the level of comments coming in as long as the commenter has engaged with the post.

  26. says

    Over time I’ve become a bit more restrictive in what comments actually go live on my blog. Your points in “Prove You’re Not a Spammer” are excellent. Comments that tell me that “I have a wonderful site,” or “I have learned much from your blog” go straight in the trash.

    While blog commenting is a good way to build some links and get established in some communities when first starting out there are much better methods and tools for developing inbound links if you are in this for the longer term. Leaving worthwhile comments in any volume can become very time consuming.

    These days I mainly leave comments on sites that I like to be engaged in and that have a good community (like here). Plus I never mind a few extra backlinks here or there ;-)
    .-= New from Mike @ Computer Tips Belarc Advisor – Excellent PC Maintenance Utility =-.

  27. says

    Ha! You just reminded me of a relevant article I’ve recently read; my apologies if someone above mentioned it, I haven’t read all the comment.

    Be wary of even gavatar comments. These idiots are getting smarter daily. They know gravatars get approved more often so they have now started using them also. Ain’t that a blip.

    I’ve made this comment a few times in the past day or so…sorry, do follow or not, comment links are not your best bet for proper link building, they should be used for relationship building. :)

    On another relevant note: for all those interested in my Commentluv link, I promise you there will be heavy moderation goin’ on. ;) LOL
    .-= New from Dennis Edell UPDATED – $100 – 10 Winners – Comment Contest! ‘Till Months End… =-.

  28. says

    Kristi,
    Thanks so much for this post. I had no idea how people were able to get their pictures next to their comments. But now I have my own Gravatar. The picture was taken last summer after a softball game so I don’t look the greatest (it doesn’t get any more real than softball). But now I know what to do and can get a better picture in the future. Thanks much.
    .-= New from Kidgas Second Google AdSense Check =-.

  29. says

    I found some people are leaving same comments to all the post, they have content that was written very nicely and not touching anything corresponding to the post. For example “Hey I landed on your webpage by accident on ask while looking for something totally different but I am truly happy that I did, You have just added yourself another subscriber.” this is the one comment I received in my blog as I am not good in comment moderation I just approved the comment after that I noticed I am getting the same comments from different visitors saying I stumbled your site, i bookmarked your site…etc. I just took some time to find my site on stumbleupon let me say the truth I couldn’t find out. Another soam comments are from .ru extension mails if I found .ru in any comment I am sure it is spam. I hope bloggers should read your post. If you allow me I will publish this post in my blog please let me know your thoughts. vitalshop24@yahoo.com

    Thanks in advance.
    Gino
    http://www.vitalshop24.com

  30. says

    Good on you for being willing to deal with the added stresses of having a DoFollow blog. It’s difficult enough with all the legit comment spam that crops up from bots running rampant across the web. Then to deal with having to decide whether a comment from an actual person is worth it, well… that’s respectable.

    P.S. – I finally noticed you found me on MySpace. The other day I logged in to check my account for the first time in months upon months and saw your friend request. I tend to be more of a Facebook user. Still, it’s always good to have other IM’s in my network. We’re now officially friends over the internet :)
    .-= New from Jay @ how to make a video Overdubbing – Recording Voice-overs =-.

  31. says

    i usually sort them out, as soon as akismet catches them. but as the saying goes, blogging greatly falls on a give and take dilemma, so yes, you really have to deal with some of them with extra efforts.
    .-= New from dimaks@pacquiao-clottey-live Iron Man 2 Posters =-.

  32. says

    i usually sort them out, as soon as akismet catches them. but as the saying goes, blogging greatly falls on a give and take dilemma, so yes, you really have to deal with some of them with extra efforts.
    .-= New from dimaks@Pacquiao Clottey Live Iron Man 2 Posters =-.

  33. says

    Despite commenting for link building purposes, I’d like to consider myself as a value commenter. I actually read the posts and take sometime to come up with a respectable comment. But I leave that to Kristi to decide.

    P.S. I twitted about this post on my twitter account.

  34. says

    I guess than when it comes to manual spamming, the blog author really is the last line of defence ans plugins can take care of automated spam.

    I don’t “comply” with most of your ways to prove I’m genuine, although I will get a gravatar soon… promise.

    Some manual spammers should also put their two brain cells together: if it’s your first comment on one of my blogs, make sure you don’t comment to 10 articles in 5 minutes :) Start with one, make it useful and then once it has been approved you may come back and try your luck on another article.

    At the end of the day (how I hate this expression) the blog is yours, if you don’t find the comments genuine / good enough, you may lose some readers, but the overall quality of your blog should be the only thing that matters.
    .-= New from Leo Accountancy website design ? Now we can help! =-.

    • says

      I think that the thing to remember about spammers is that the ones that are really causing problems are using robots to post the comments, they aren’t physically visiting pages and typing in “Great post!” all day long.

      I get spam posts regularly on articles that get 0 page views according to Google Analytics, so the post itself is never getting accessed, just the url for posting comments.

      You may find the odd blogger running rampant through other blogs manually spamming, but that is always short lived since the return isn’t there.
      .-= New from LoneWolf@WWW Ramblings Internet Marketing Gone Wild =-.

  35. says

    I have run into this more times than I care to count. I agree that many plugins do a great job of automated spam, but manually posted spam is tough to automate. I run several blogs as well as forums. The blogs get more spam. I think because there are more hoops to jump through to register for a forum. On some of my forums I have zero spam.

    Blogs are tougher. I get a lot of the “you post was great” type comments. If I can’t tell that you read my post then you automatically get deleted.
    .-= New from Matt @ Rancho Cordova The Nooners Toastmasters Hosts Ted Gaebler March 24 =-.

  36. says

    I think the tweet tip is a good one… give a little love back to the blog that just loved you. Simple, quick, easy. Most of us make it painless for our visitors to tweet about us.

    @Leo – get a gravatar!!! It’s. So. Easy.

    I’m much less likely to delete a questionable comment that has a gravatar attached. It’s like another layer of authenticity.
    .-= New from James @ Photo Blog We Are Ninja! =-.

  37. says

    Spammy-looking comments are sometimes contracted people doing commenting jobs on mostly “do follow” blogs especially on related articles. This is becoming prevalent on freelancer job sites as part of the gig. You can track them through their IP or by analyzing their command of the English language.

    Although I find nothing wrong with the scheme as everybody wants to earn a living, at least, being mindful of some comment rules in place (in some blogs) and being genuinely sincere and intellectually sounding, I don’t see any reason why blog admins would delete/spam a comment.
    .-= New from Mathdelane @Software Critics HOW TO: Remove Fake Antivirus Software =-.

  38. says

    I was caught in a dilemma on Gravatar issue. I’m well aware, if I use anything else other than my real photo, would sounds like a spammer.

    The fact I dare not use my real photo is that I’m doing web design on part time basis, trying to build my online business while working on a 9 to 5. I was afraid my boss would stumble upon my online profile and the consequences of doing my own business which my company would say “conflict of interest” :)

  39. says

    I hate SPAM, I have to wade though at least 500 spam comments per day, and I agree with you Kristi, my blog is do follow because I want to reward good commenters and in reality, I think the spammers will be there whether the blog is dofollow or not.
    .-= New from JR @ Internet Marketing Free Automated Social Bookmarking Service =-.

  40. says

    I like to use a pseudonym and a gravatar which isn’t a real picture of me. I do have real pictures of me (for example, on my Twitter profile) and don’t hide my real name. I just like the sound of LoneWolf better than Bill. I know that this makes it harder to determine if I’m a real person or not, but I do tend to leave comments that make that decision easier 8=) I avoid the “nice post” stuff (even though this was a very nice post 8=).

    The biggest problems with spam is that it’s relatively cheap and it works. This is true of comment spam and email spam. Unfortunately, until we find a way to either make it cost too much or be less effective (or both) then we’re stuck with this battle.

    Just make sure that you don’t give up and eliminate comments all together. They are the life blood of the new internet and they make it worth blogging and reading blogs.

    I wonder if allowing other users to flag a comment as possible spam might be a good idea … a lot of angles to look at but it might be worth a thought.
    .-= New from LoneWolf Internet Marketing Gone Wild =-.

  41. says

    I have a wishful thinking that the amount of spam bloggers endure will eventually go down. There reasons are as follows:
    1. Comments are all sets on review mode, meaning spam comments will not pass
    2. It makes more sense to write 1 real relevant comment and get it approved instead of throwing hundreds of spams on the wall and hope that one of them will stick (usually doesn’t)
    3. Better spam fillers (helped with email spam, didn’t they)
    .-= New from Gene@NY Glass Response cached until Wed 7 @ 5:18 GMT (Refreshes in 21.34 Hours) =-.

  42. says

    @andrew:

    Spam because I have no gravatar? What do I care about gravatars? I`m not spamming, I leave good comments that contribute to the discussion 95% of the time because I`m interested; this very comment being the remaining 5%, a comment with no actual value but rather an expression of me being frustrated over people having dumb criteria for what they call spam or not. What about the content in the comment, does it get any better if I have a gravatar? Is my comment any less worth because I dont have a picture of my face attached to it?
    .-= New from Roger@Bensinkort Hvordan finne det beste bensinkortet? =-.

    • says

      I think you’re missing the point — @andrew is saying that no gravatar is one of the criteria (i.e. just part of the criteria used to judge). By itself, not having a gravatar does not immediately mean spam. It’s a quick indicator that the comment may be spam though. The name and content of the comment also come into play.

      As for your comment being part of the 5%, I disagree. Your comment does add value to the conversation. Even expressions of frustration and differences of opinion have value.
      .-= New from LoneWolf@WWW Ramblings Internet Marketing Gone Wild =-.

  43. says

    Getting a whole series of ‘Nice posts, thanks’ overnight on a number of different posts is pretty annoying, especially when the spam filters do not catch them. Takes too much time to remove the comments. Blocking the IP becomes a serious consideration.
    .-= New from Steve @ 2009 Taxes Benefits of TurboTax Online =-.

  44. says

    Steve,

    I agree. At the same time i find it weird that people prefer “Nice posts” comments over anything that actually makes sense. It takes 30 seconds to write a legit post and it pretty much guarantees that it will get approved and published.

  45. says

    Blog commenting can be very usefull but also very time consuming if you have a lot of properties to build links for. The main thing I have seen in my commenting is that I have most of my web pages in non English language and they see it as spamming.

    Novdays I try to use my name in the comments too to get the links approved from high quality domains like this one. If you are writing a comment you should also make sure the site owner gets some benefit from it so the higher the page prank of the site the longer I will make my comments and try to leave some nice keywords in my comment so that the website owner gets more high quality content for Google to spider on next time it visits the page with updated comments.

    Nice that you have enabled blogger luv and if you will publish my comments I will bookmark your site to my rss reader and will visit again to comment on your articles ;)
    .-= New from Sam@Mökki Lomat Vuokramökki Ahvenanmaa =-.

  46. says

    It is amazing how fast spam kicks in. I have a fairly new blog which isn’t getting huge amounts of traffic just yet, but I am still getting a steady flow of spam.

    Despite that though, I have just made my comment links DOFOLLOW. I have put a paragraph above the comments box basically saying that if you post a helpful, worthwhile comment you can have a link back to your site. If you just want to say “Great post” that’s fine, but you don’t get a link. And if you want to spam, your comment goes in the bin.

    It seems fair to use DOFOLLOW, afterall, commentors contribute to a site, so they deserve some recognition. Sadly, the endless stream of spam is the price we all have to pay for that… Sigh.

    Great post by the way ;)

  47. says

    The more traffic your blog seems to get the more spam your site seems to draw. I hate to go through the moderation and see nothing but blue links and a few lines of text. Great site. Love your template, I want more, best author around. Sure you are trying to build us up, but after a while its the most annoying feature of getting more traffic.

    The thing that I think blog commenters have to realize is you can learn so much from actually reading a blog. When you take the time to actually read a post you walk a way with so much information. In addition I have met some great people networking on blogs.

    I do want to comment on the keyword luv feature, as many say it is calling for spam. The thing with keyword luv is people may come to drop a keyword read a few articles and then be your biggest followers. We did a poll and it concluded that including keyword luv increased blog traffic by 32%.

    Did you experience an increase with keyword luv or did your blog have from the beginning.

    Lets see will my comment get the blink of death? Will it go to Askimet, or will it be posted for the world to see.

  48. says

    The thing is I just love commenting. I take an hour every day to read some articles and post good comments. This is one of the parts I really enjoy as a blogger. I get most of the time to read great content. I probably get a link back. And through writing a good comment integrate the ideas of the article.

    At the moment I am considering getting the whole package: DoFollow plugin, keyword and comment luv. They are fun and will bring me tons of traffic.
    .-= New from Alex@Zahnbleaching blend-a-med Whitestrips 56 Streifen im Test =-.

  49. says

    It is quite a pain in the rear while you’re digging through Askimet to find legitimate comments. As you said, sometimes it’s really hard to differentiate between a spammer and a link builder that made an actual comment.

    Gravatar is the first thing I look for because it’s so easy to set up. Secondly, I look at the URL (sometimes visiting) to see how the site is. Finally, if the comment is directed at the post – it’s usually game.

    I always get a kick out of some of the spam comments though, you can get some really extravagant spambots talking about all kinds of things.

    For any real commentor, just do your best to write a thoughtful or informative comment. You’ll be able to show your true self :)

  50. says

    Very good explanation of what you expect out of your commenters Kristi. I have about 20 blogs I’m subscribed to and choose them for the quality of content and for dofollow linking. I’ve been subscribed to your blog for at least a year, but am guilty of reading it from my inbox. I’m trying to make an effort to get out and comment more. I certainly will not spam you, as I know what if feels like. Most of the comments on my blog are spam as blogging about some home for sale somewhere isn’t exactly good reading. Except of course if you need to go to sleep!

    Anyway, I enjoy your blog as I learn a lot, whether from my inbox or from actually commenting! :)
    .-= New from Colleen@Kennewick Real Estate Tri Cities Washington Cold Winter Nights Makes For Abundant Springtime Babies =-.

  51. says

    One trick I am seeing more of is spammers will copy a sentence or two from the post or another comment and use that as their comment. For some of my older posts I cannot remember word for word what is written there and the comment at first looks legitimate, and intelligent ;-), but I also look out for the blank gravatar or spammy looking URL/email. I wonder if a future upgrade of Akismet will include looking for text matches between submitted comments and existing post/comment contents.
    .-= New from Michael Pedzotti@online business strategies Every 100 visitors is worth $240 =-.

  52. says

    Hey Kristi,

    I’m a relatively new visitor to your site and I’ve enjoyed your posts so far. I agree that it can be quite frustrating trying to moderate comments on your site. As you can probably tell by my signature I am an owner of an article directory. Unfortunately for my users, I had to make all of the links from their articles nofollow because people were bombarding my site with spam links. Just wanted to say props to you for actually keeping up with the comments on your site and allowing useful commenters to receive a little link love. (= Keep up the good work!

    -John
    John just posted Telemarketing within the Age of the Web

  53. says

    I used to have a message right next to the comment box which told users to use their real names when commenting. It made moderation a lot easier because you could easily tell which comment were posted automatically and which were from people who actually took the time to read.
    Techie just posted 6 Reasons to Track Website Visitors

  54. says

    The commenter vs spammer is one reason why I installed a new plugin which only gives a DoFollow if they leave X number of comments first. I do think people should invest in a gravatar and not abuse Keywords. We all can tell the people who leave comments just because they want to (I have many that don’t leave a URL at all) vs the ones who leave a comment specifically for the backlink.
    Justin Germino just posted Are You a Victim of KeywordLuv Abuse

    • says

      What’s the plugin called Justin?

      I found one from Yoast that only allows comments of a certain length to be submitted. It’s great because now everyone posts nice (helpful) comments that are longer and spambots don’t generate a huge server load because most of their comments don’t even get through to the database! I’ll leave the article I wrote about this great plugin in my CommentLuv.
      Techie just posted Creating Length Limits for Blog Comments

  55. says

    You make a lot of great points looking at both sides of the issue. The thing I think is frustrating is receiving comments that are simply two or three words long, don’t add value, and are simply for link building. Many of these slip right past the spam catchers.

    I hold off the nofollow tags on my blog as well because I feel it is the courteous way of blogging. More than anything I just like to see comments that let me know they actually took the time to read through the post.
    Brian just posted How To- Anchor Text & Link Structure

  56. says

    Hi Kristi ! I indirectly got about you (much more) from problogger and viperchill. I love your blog. Hmm … it happens sometime more frequently when people don’t read full article and just type few words: nice, good or just thanks. Maybe their link-building tactics or “few words” are normal for them as they might speak in their life.

    What I feel that a blogger, spammer and a reader; three of them comment in different way. A blogger comments are always good, whereas — readers can vary to any limit. And a spammer (black hat seo) really gives headache.
    Guru Talks just posted Doubts for Growth

  57. says

    Those plugins really sound like a possible help with the spam problem.
    I think another way to keep the one night standers at bay would be to close comments after a specified time, as discussed here: http://kikolani.com/closing-blog-comments-good-idea.html. Then again, one might miss out on some excellent new thoughts on older subjects. I guess it all depends on your tolerance for other folks and their timing and motivations.
    Keith just posted Oct 12- Girl With Christmas Doll- Norman Rockwell Peoples Popular Monthly 12-1917

  58. says

    That’s how should it be. Most blog commentator don’t follow these rules or tips. I used to do these mistakes you wrote above. But then I realized it just doesn’t work that way. If we wanted to stay long and get good posts we must follow all the rules to get what we deserve.
    Of course I wanted to get my comments approved so I do the best quality of comment I can. The question there is will our comments good enough for the admins to accept it. There might be some qualifications for us to follow so we know the admins policy of commenting. ;)

  59. says

    Hi Kristi,
    in my opinion, a valuable comment is always a comment that brings added value to a post. And this could be done in two ways:
    1) human way: by bringing added value to the content, either in a form of a question, a critic or a suggestion;
    2) SEO way: linking quality content, respecting good SEO rules.

    As a blog owner, I always approve a valuable human comment. However, I know that in most of the cases, a not so good human comment with a link to a page with a related content and keywords, is good for both of us.

    Cheers,
    J Campos
    J Campos just posted Qual a melhor estratégia de Link Building?