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.
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?