One of the most satisfying and useful metrics for a blog is whether posts generate comments or not as well as the quality of the comments. With increased traffic and visibility comes increased interaction but it also attracts comment spam or comments of no value.
This blog is old enough and has enough daily visitors that a comment policy is appropriate. so here goes:
1. Comments are welcome and encouraged. There is no better metric of how much impact a post has with the readers and many times, it is the content within the comments that provides the most value. If you’re not sure whether to comment, go ahead. If you’ve crossed some kind of line, I’ll email you.
2. Comments should add value. If a comment is clearly spam, I will delete it. If the same person or IP makes spammy comments I will add their domain and IP address to the blacklist of our anti spam software. Most comment spam is caught automatically, but a few slip through from time to time.
3. I consider keywords in the “name” field spam. Is your name REALLY “SEO Minneapolis” or is it Bob Jones? Handles and nicknames are fine as are real names. When people use keywords in the “name field”, I will email them in most cases not to. Future occurrences are automatically edited or deleted.
4. Links must be relevant. For the most part, linking to another site is fine as long as it adds value to the conversation. Linking to other sites that have nothing to do with the blog post is spam as far as I’m concerned and will be deleted.
5. I am not a fan of signatures in blog comments. If you do it, I may delete it if it looks irrelevant or spammy.
I am coming out of the gate with this comments policy on the conservative side, but the need to manually police comments takes up an increasing amount of time that I would rather spend replying to comments that add value. The huge increase in readership to this blog is very much appreciated and comments are a big part of what makes a blog successful, so feel free to add your insights and observations. Comments are welcome!