Lee Odden

Blog Comments: Are You A Person Or A Thing?

Blog Comments Real ThingAfter 7+ years, I’ve seen it all in blog comments. Genuine people responding, asking and sharing in ways that inspire streams of comment responses and even blog posts elsewhere on the web.

I’ve also seen far too many bots that automatically find blog posts that are of a certain age, written on a certain keyword topic and that have follow vs. nofollow links. Once found (automatically using software) they scrape parts of previous comments to create a new one with embedded links to their Viagra SEO New Delhi Insurance Leads spam site. Bleh.

Then there are the benign “good job [insert blogger name here] comments or those that have been translated into another language and back into English. Here’s another good one: comments from reputable people from reputable companies that insist on leaving their full email signature in the comment. One link isn’t enough, they must have two or three or more. Greedy.

It’s truly amazing how some people choose to add value (and when doing so it defintely gets on my radar) but that so many choose to be spammy.  When people add value, I notice. When they spam, I am quick to blacklist.

What should you write in a comment? Opinion, reaction, questions, resources and most of all, something relevant. There are no bad comments when they come from a real person with real substance related to the blog post.

I understand people blog for a variety of reasons. TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog exists as an information source that gives our community a peek into the expertise and point of view within our marketing consulting agency. It demonstrates thought leadership and serves as a hub for our social media participation. TopRank Marketing’s presence on the social web is to engage with prospective customers, peers, potential employees, marketing partners, vendors and the media.

We do have a comment policy. It’s linked right above the comment box. It serves to provide readers a simple DO’s and DONT’S for commenting that creates value and that supports our purpose for having a blog.  Each time I see a new comment without a person’s name or handle in the name field, I have to ask: “Is this a person or a thing?”

We’re here to engage with people, not bots and certainly not comment spammers or greedy link-types. Many, many conversations have been inspired by the thousands of posts authored here over the past 7 years. We welcome them all. Agree, disagree, it doesn’t matter.

Hopefully if you have your own blog, you’ve created your own blog comment policy. It won’t stop the bots or the 5 cents per post offshore outsourced comment spam, but it will provide human readers some guidelines.

Mainstream blogging has been around for about 10 years or so, but there are many people who are new to reading blogs or are not familiar with what’s appropriate. Help them by providing guidelines. The benefits will be improved quality in the comments, which motivates others to join in and revisit the blog.

Some of the best content on a blog is in the comments, not the blog posts. When a comment thread takes off, that’s the magic in blogging (to me). The exchange between an Author and readers is a highly valued outcome. Inspiring exchange and discussion between our readers, between real people with opinions, is priceless.

If you’re a blogger or read blogs fairly frequently, what do you consider comment spam? What kind of comments do you find most useful, interesting and worth responding to?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (6 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Although I’m not a person, not a thing, just a crab, I agree. Nice job. Bookmarked. [Crap]

    I’d say the only way to enforce a comment policy, is, well, to enforce it. [Here comes my linkspam…] Mine works:

    I frequently make fun out of assclowns posting as keyword phrases or whatever disgusting scum just to drop their useless links, as a reminder and warning for noisy comment spammers who discover my blog via a dubious dofollow links list. 99% of the crap gets deleted, and most of it lands in the Akismet garbage dump.

    Sadly, moderating each and every comment is the only way to maintain a blog with comments enabled. Thanks to the spammers, that means prolly only one out of dozens of comments makes it to the daylight.

    There’s no such thing as a reliable “good comment” pattern. A great comment can be as short as a word or a sentence, or as large as the average paperback. Long comments w/o paragraphs sometimes become good, at least readable, when editited. IOW, I approve a good comment when I see it, relying solely on my build-in BS detector.

    • Thanks Sebastian – I suppose those avatars I have previous experience with in other channels where there’s been a history of interaction do need to be segmented from the other, seemingly artificial constructions 🙂 You are indeed the smartest crab I know 🙂

      What’s really humorous is when I make posts like this and someone does exactly what I’m pointing out!

      Like this one:


      Van Hire Birmingham

      This is very true that there are many reasons of blogging, but the problem of spam commenting is really very big and hectic.

      I like the post very much and I must it is really very useful for the bloggers. Keep sharing such information. Thanks a lot.

      Priceless idiocy.

      I agree, it is the price we pay for blogging, manually editing. While comment management systems and filters can help, it takes an editorial filter to really sort things out.

      I just wish Disqus allowed editing of the name and link fields. Some of these keyword crazies make good comments that I would approve if they’d just use their real names or a handle.

      Appreciate your feedback as always Sebastian 🙂

  2. Lee Odde how do you manage to write one post everyday? I cnt even think of doing it ? From where do you get inspiration & ideas ?

  3. Agreed, nice post 😉

    I tend to agree with Sebastian on this one. Granted there are sites that will have to automate much of their spam simply due to the volumes of it. After all, there really is so much of it, cue Monty Python sketch.

    I like leaving a link back to my site where possible. That way if you agreed, disagree or just want to mail me a nice bottle of scotch you’ll be able to find all of those details on my about us page. But always use a genuine name or at least a non-keyword handle.

    • I think that’s a good practice. I’ve been thinking of good schwag to give away and if a bottle of scotch would do the trick, I’ll have to consider. 🙂 I also need to figure out what to do with scotchenthusiast.com

      I prefer people leave a link in the link field for the reasons you mention. It makes it a lot easier for me to comment spam them back, I mean, to find out more about them 🙂 Cheers and thanks for the MP reference – I’m a fan. http://j.mp/9JbUUr

  4. Ah, comment spam, let me count the ways… :p

    I personally like comments that add some value to the post and that engender discussion. They don’t necessarily have to agree with the premise of the post; some of the best comments have an opposing view, which is terrific. I do think there’s a way to disagree, though; there’s no need for people to be rude or unnecessarily antagonistic in their comments.

    I’ve noticed something that I think is interesting… and it’s simply an opinion on my part at this point, I haven’t done any research into it. You could have a similar post – say one that you write as a guest post for someone, and that you later publish on your own blog. Depending on the community that has grown up (or is growing) around each blog, the comments on the two blogs can be vastly different in tone. Other than each blog’s community, I wonder if that has something to do with how much people know about the blog publisher and what their perception of that person is. I think it’s quite fascinating.

    In terms of spam, Lee, have you tried Livefyre? I’m not affiliated with them in any way, but it’s a really terrific comment system, and I’ve noticed the spam on my blog is practically nonexistent since I installed it. You might be interested in checking it out.

    • Exactly – agree, disagree – let’s have a conversation. I agree with you that there is a way to disagree that adds value vs. being a troll.

      It makes perfect sense to me that the comments would be different if cross posted. In fact, I’ve reposted the same thing a few times here about 6 months apart as an experiment and the social engagement and comments were very different.

      I have not tried Livefyre – been using Disqus for quite a while. The spam I get is the kind that is written by people posing – not the bot spam. That stuff gets filtered out with Disqus and akismet. Thanks for the recommendation though, I’ll check it out.

  5. To me, it’s comment spam when it clearly has no relevance at all to the post. I try respond to nearly ever comment that isn’t spam, and most enjoy those that offer a point of view that hadn’t occurred to me or ask a question that challenges me.

    I also have a comment policy, but I don’t think anyone reads it. Live people who comment thoughtfully don’t need to read it and they know it. And the spammers who need to read it, of course don’t bother because they don’t care.

    • Responding to comments is pretty important, I agree with you. It can be tough, since this blog is just 5-10% of my time, but if people take the time to comment in a way that adds value, it’s important to recognize that and participate 🙂

      Perhaps I am too optimistic about comment policies – but hopefully it does reach a few who just don’t know any better 🙂

  6. Ah, spam the bane of any site/blog’s existence. I have a WordPress blog and use a good plugin for stopping spam. Very little gets by it, and those that do end up on my blacklist, never to see the light of day again. It has come to the point where I find most of the automated/bot spam easy to spot, to the point where I find it laughable.

    As spam-fighting techniques become more sophisticated, so will the spam bots. It is always a cat and mouse game.

    The latest spam that I am getting now is the Trackback/Pingback spam, which is more of a pain to stop. I have had to install yet another plugin to deal with that type of spam.

    • I agree Paul, bot spam is pretty easy to get filtered. I turned trackbacks off entirely, so that hasn’t been the issue as much as overzealous marketers that feel they need to drop 5 links to their various websites and social profiles in each comment. That, or the people hired offshore to make comments on blogs for 5cents a piece that make little sense at all.

  7. Great post thanks, comment spamming is something I also feel strongly about. As well as the growing number of automated providers (but that’s a different topic). As I look at it the author has posted about a subject that he or she feels strongly about. So the least somebody can do is take the time to give a productive comment.

    Unfortunately the only way of moderating a blogs comment is manually, which can prove extremely time consuming. Thus adding to my strongly feelings again the growing number of automated services.

    • We use Disqus which ties into Akismet and that filters out quite a bit of the “known” comment spam sources and behaviors. Plus there’s a blacklist and whitelist option that’s been handy. Additionally, there’s a keyword filter that will hold any comment containing certain keywords in moderation. A mix of technology and manual review does the trick.

  8. Lee – Thanks for this, especially the comment on “greedy link-types.” I don’t have near the traffic you do and I get bombarded with similar comments and requests to share a link. It’s crazy!

    I’ll definitely be applying some of the suggestions you’ve shared.



  9. Hi Lee,

    This brings to mind a fun story. I was making a post about two weeks ago and logged into my blog. I always clear out the spam comments before posting and stumbled across one that wasn’t quite robot generated but not exactly the most intelligent response. It was human but definitely spam and the filter caught it.

    It was a caterer down in Miami and they used their keyword instead of a name to comment, then proceeded to also try and make links within their comment. Feeling a bit sporty, I decided to look them up. I found the website, got the contact information for the head Chef running the place… and called him on the phone.

    I was grinning as the phone rang and went through a series of polite questions asking him if he did his own link building or if he hired it out, talked about who I was and informed him that I had a lot of spammy links for his business on my blog. His response sounded like:

    “Well.. I…uh.. there’s been other people saying that to… soo… I uh think that one of my competitors is….um.. trying to make me look bad….” *click* and he hung up.

    I actually laughed pretty hard when he hung up because it sounded like someone shoving a phone into a cradle…but missing and fumbling for a few seconds. The poor guy acted like he just got caught smoking in the bathroom at school.

    If only I had the time to contact all of these business owners and affiliate marketers to tell them “stop it.”

    • That is hilarious! What I’ve done once in a great while is to call people out on Twitter. I don’t have a ton of followers there (25k or so) but when a known brand link spams us here, then I don’t mind asking on Twitter, “Did brand XYZ just link spam my blog?” and link to the comment. For this kind of thing, I like your approach – to let questions reveal the situation vs. making accusations. Cheers.

  10. Keeping up with the comment spam can be a full time job! I am stuck weeding 200-400 spam comments a day. It seems like the bots or spammers are getting wise and now post using names as the from name, but then throw in links within the comment.

    Since many users do submit comments with links to similar posts or topics, I am having to go in and actually check links which is taking up way to much time.

    • Tara, a comment management system like Disqus or Intense Debate can solve a lot of that bot comment spam. Or if you’re running WordPress, buy the Akismet feature.

  11. Avatar Anonymous says

    Ok. I guess I’m just a dork and a bit of a newbie. I don’t understand why anyone would use a bot to comment on a blog. I too have gotten those on my blog, but why?

    Can the people who use these bots really be getting business from these links? I realize they think it will improve their ranking in the search engines, but no one buys from a spammy site, do they?

    • Well it’s not so much about the business Julie. They just want to boost their link profile but they do it for any number of reasons: boosting PR to create a link-farm page to promote other content (like creating a hub for funneling link juice & authority), boosting spammy sites for adsense traffic, sending traffic to a squeeze page to gather user data or emails, manipulating stats for selling ad space, etc.

      For those sites that don’t moderate their comments and let things post freely it’s a field day for them.

    • Hey Julie, It’s a shotgun approach. Bots put links on thousands of blogs each day and eventually some people click on the links. That’s it.

  12. Wow, well that’s a pretty bold statement to say that most of the good content is in the blog comments and not the posts=). I am actually thinking that I would be better off hiring someone with the sole job of moderating comments, but then I would miss out on the fun it is ti reply to them. I don’t get as much traffic as you do here, but you know what I mean about replying to other comments. That’s why it’s such a drag when you get those sleezy bot comments that ad no value to the conversation, and just gunk up your page with useless malarkey.
    Is anything recommended over Akismet?

    • I really haven’t used anything but Akismet – maybe another reader has a recommendation?

      • I like intense debate, wordpress plugin. Ads plenty of social network buttons to increase sharing as well, black listing, all comments in dashboard as well.

  13. Definitely a person (I even pinched myself just to be sure). I think that leaving thoughtful comments on a blog are a reward and when you get spam, it is like a lump of coal.

  14. The funny thing about this, I just recently added a comment and pingback guidelines page to my blog. With all the talk about how content is kind, when relating to SEO, it’s funny how people don’t seem to grasp the fact that content even in forum and blog commenting is the same. Many just can’t seem to make the leap, and it’s not even all that much of a leap to make.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the points. Be human, post something valuable, use the comments as a means to allow people to get to know you. Usually, once they do, even no followed blog comment links get follows. It might not be a PR boost, but people that find interest in your value are sure to come seeking you out.

    Nice post, thanks for validating something I’ve figured out myself over time.

    • I actually don’t mind it when people use link in comments, if they are relevant and point to a deeper resource or serve as an example. I also prefer links to be anchor text since long URLS can be a bit messy.

  15. I do complete agree with lee but Lee what you think that we can considered all of blog commenter’s as spammy or genuine as if you are placing blog on well reputed website, you can assume that peoples read your blogs as genuinely. A bottom line of my conversion is that we can’t considered that all blog commenter are spammy….!

    Thanks for your sharing excellent text with us

    • Your name is Michel Terry (a person) and not True BusinessID: TheSSLstore (A Thing), correct? Thanks for making my point and providing a great example of a blog comment that does not add value.

  16. Yeah, case in point? I noted the comment by some of the key word people that have commented here – Virtual Office Assistant’s site crashed my browser. Nice.

    What I struggle with personally, is when I want to comment as a representative of my company, and when I want to comment as me, the individual. It’s not that I’d have a different view point, it’s that sometimes I think there are issues raised in a post that I’d like to address, but isn’t appropriate for me to address them as a corporate rep. Or, it could be just the opposite, where say the post is talking about tools and I think being plainly overt that I’m speaking as a corporate rep is relevant to the discussion.

    Maybe I’m unique. Maybe not. I imagine I’d have a conflicted view on this if I were still at an agency too. But I tend to log into comment systems, sometimes as a company and sometimes as me. In both cases, the profiles, whether personal or corporate, openly disclose who I’m affiliated with, or in the case of the company, who is behind the account.

    • That is an interesting situation Frank. I think that distinction is fine. When I started getting more involved with forums and blogs, the handle I used was TopRank. Personal commentary would be as my name.

      In my case, I eventually just started using my name since I’m kind of “always on” as a rep for my company in my role as CEO. There are quite a few people that comment here officially as reps for their company and then personally.

      The only thing that gets a bit much is when they go overboard with company signature links in the comment as if they’re sending an email.

    • BTW, Virtual Office Assistant has been blacklisted.

  17. Avatar John Newland says

    You ask what kind of comments you like to receive. I like comments that challenge my position on something I’ve written. It gives me the opportunity to go into more detail about what I was thinking at that moment, which helps me think more clearly. Also, it allows me to review my original opinion, and see if it “stands up”. Its a great way to interact, and for me at least, forces me to give myself a reality check.
    john newland

  18. Comments that add to the conversation or add new ideas is what I like to see in comments. Unfortunately, one of my blogs has somehow got into some type of spam network…at least I think it has. I get about 50 comments per day on that blog and about 90% of them are spam…they add no new ideas or nothing to the conversation. Now, on a daily basis I am keeping track of their IP addresses and deleting most of these comments because most of them are coming from similar IP addresses. It’s a pain and time consuming.

    John, I just read your “comment policy” and I liked it. I didn’t have one of these on my site, but I will soon! Thanks.

  19. So true Lee! The funniest is having a blog post call “testing” with no content … on a new site…it is all new to me to some degree… and having really great compliments on the content! Ha!

  20. Avatar gilbertogalea says

    That’s really, I’ve a blog focus and egaming (online gaming) to get in three month more of 3 thousands comments from bots or automats, of course I moderate all comments in, but is really hard to review which are or aren’t spam. For me, I really like comment some points of view or how i think about some particular post.
    Thanks by share,

  21. First off I really appreciate the post and agree fully that it is way to often that blogs get spammed, I currently have two blogs up and running, one is my own personal blog http://www.cjdeguara.com which basically acts as a platform for my opinions, sharing information and also a bit of comic relief; whilst I also take care of the company blog which just got launched – actually looking for a good wordpress template if anyone cares to suggest one. Having also set up and managed quite a few blogs for clients it is highly annoying that 80% of comments especially until a blog kicks off are completely spam and a complete waste of time. A BIG THANKS for your suggestion to set up a COMMENT POLICY I will look into it and suggest it to the team.

    It is a really pity because a blog can really be a useful tool and a great resource for people and as you said sometimes the magic is in the comments not just in the post itself and it is a pity that sometimes you have to sift through tons of spam to let the good comments get through. If you have any advice with regards to software etc that you have found useful as a filter I would appreciate the advice, however something not to harsh I do not want it removing all the junk – sometimes a compliment albeit botty is nice to have lol.

  22. Lee, Thanks for the post. Nowadays, it is so hard to tell the difference sometimes between real people and bots. Isn’t the point of blogging and posting to connect with others and not robots? I think in this day and age it is hard to tell the difference at times, but it’s important to engage with people. It is what keeps us connected and together as a community. Anyways, I enjoyed the post, thanks!

  23. As far as I am concerned, if the commenter is there for the link and not to be part of the discussion, the comment is spam. If I want to create a Web directory, I’ll create a Web directory. People can submit their sites and I’ll link out to some of those sites. But if I’m blogging, I’m only interested in hearing from people who want to share their opinions or maybe some information I haven’t considered.

  24. Avatar Airfoil PR says

    I consider comment spam to be a post such as “Nice post I’ll have to share this with my sister!” and nothing else is stated. Know one need bother write a post that consists of “Nice post” I mean really why waste your time. I however don’t mind if a link is left as a signature. Sometimes I have came across peoples comments I like and end up visiting their blog from the signature link. Many professionals that dabble in social media services do blogging or read blogs, there can be tons of worthwhile information out there. It all goes with moderation. Hard to say something should never be done.

    • I am confused by the handle you’ve used – “Airfoil PR” but your name is Angie and your email is for a SEO/Internet Marketing agency: Oneupweb. There’s something to be said for transparency when moderating comments.

      Who do you represent with your comment? Airfoil PR or Oneupweb? Are you a Oneupweb employee performing link building for Airfoil? On a post about comment spam? Really???

  25. I am just starting my blog and now heard about ‘dofollow’ to attract more commenters. Guess I’m rethinking that strategy…

    • It really depends on your readers. Try dofollow links out for a while and see if commenters are respectful of your blog. If not, turn them off. Either way, make your position known so readers understand the guidelines.

  26. Avatar Anonymous says

    Well said, Lee. I get tons of spammy congratulations comments over at fearlesscompetitor.net too. I think posting real comments on blogs is a great way to engage new people, so I highly recommend people take the time to add some thoughtful comments.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    Find New Customers

  27. Avatar Johannes328 says

    I’m a newbie marketer, with only 3 years experience, but can’t some plug-ins such as Akismet keep spam down to a tolerable level? I reply to each one individually and it can be time consuming. Any thoughts on that aspect?

  28. It truly is annoying how adept these spam bots are at mimicking lifelike text. I have to be continually look for these bogus posts in my blog. Great article.

  29. I started off blogging as a “job” but, as I read these blogs, opinions, stories and feedback…I found out I was learning a LOT. Some people have some crappy ideas, and others just amazing. Reading ideas and experiences from people who have been down the road of marketing and blogging, has helped me really step outside of the box and look at things from a different point of view.

  30. I can’t believe we’ve been blogging for 10 years, that makes me feel old.
    I still hate the spammers and the bots, I wish there was an easy way to fend the, off, moderating comments in not something I really believe in, freedom of speech and all that.

    Keep up the good work, your posts rock!

  31. Hi Lee,
    That little like has become the new “Great Post” comment. Bloggers often talk about disliking “Great Post” comments, but honestly, there are times when that really is all I have to say or time to say. Maybe it’s pre-coffee 🙂 I write on some business blogs and they don’t get commentary in the same manner as tech related posts – the audience is just not as comfortable commenting.

    I appreciate any real comments on blogs and would hate to discourage them.

    With regards to links in blog comments, I personally struggle with this one. If I know the blogger well and I have a relevant link to share, I might post it in my comment. If I don’t, I typically will ask and go back and add the link later if they want it.

    • When “great post” comes from someone I know, or someone who has contributed previously in a meaningful way it’s “OK”. But when such kudos is the ONLY think a user ever writes, it’s less appealing.

      Relevant links to me are welcome. It’s the gratuitous links in a signature within comments which is annoying to me. It’s a comment, not an email 🙂

      Thanks for your perspective Ginger.

  32. I think if a comment doesn’t mention something directly in your post or related to it (ie someone had to physically read the post) then its spam. Whats your opinion on using plugins that integrate facebook comments on you blog instead of blog comments? I think it helps avoid spam but in reality facebook can take all your comments away at their whim.

  33. You run your blog the way you think it should be run. I mean, that’s the advantage of controlling the channel. Your house, your rules.On my blog, I use Askimet. It was free for a few years, but I recently set up a blog for a client and I think it’s gone to a paid model. It’s fine, since it’s actually ware that works. But looking at your comment policy, it feels a little restrictive to delete posts just because they include a signature link. I like to include my link, since it answers the basic question “who is this guy responding on my blog.” It’s transparency. You can go to my blog (which I will bravely include in my signature in the hopes that it’s relevant to the conversation) and see my POV on other topics. If you posted on my blog, I’d welcome the link because I can see who you are. Sometimes when a person blogs something negative or positive on one of my blog posts, I follow the link and check them out. I’ve discovered quite a few interesting blogs that way. Sort of an organic StumbleUpon. Compelling, well-written marketing blogs like this one.At the risk of sounding bot-like, “good post.” (Link in signature to follow. I’m so daring! Whoo!)Buddy – [link removed]

    • Love the “link daring!” LOL! I understand what you’re saying about wanting a link to follow to get to know more about the commenter. But isn’t that what the link from your name is for? I don’t see the need for another link in a signature. What am I missing?

      Maybe a clever little tag line signature (without the link) would make people more curious to seek you out>

  34. Hi
    Great post! I think that the spammy comments are those that just are trying to sell something and those that aren´t relevant to the post´s topic. Thanks for the post it´s great!

  35. Hi,

    I simply loved reading this post. My blog has now over 3000+ comments that I have not published because almost all of it is spam. Some of the comments are completely unrelated and of course there are the typical comments that link to adul sites!

  36. “Great Post, Is your RSS Feed broken cause I can’t get it to work?”

    OH Come one… I hate getting these comments. There must be some marketing course out there with blog comments you can simply copy and paste. I’m so sick of this crap, and agree 100% with your post. How long does it take your to write that garbage that is just infesting the internet with useless waste, why not write something of value as this writer is requesting. Let me point out something else to. I can’t tell you how many people leave me legitimate blog comments, and when they do I now only approve them, I almost always check out their blog and see what their about. Great Post, You Nailed it!
    -Cheers, Chad

  37. When I first started blogging I was grateful for any comments, even the bots and Viagra ads 🙂
    Today I don’t mind the odd “Great post” comment, but when someone perpetually posts those short generic comments it becomes obvious what they are up to.

    I agree with @Buddy who uses his link in his signature, although per policy I will resist doing so here! But I actually agree that having a link at the bottom of the post makes things even more transparent.

    And as pointed out by several others, if the comments are not intended to be part of the dialogue, they are spam… even if they were written by real people.

    • Most of the “great post” comments are actually bots or people who don’t even read the post. They often contradict the actual post when they try to justify why the post is great.

  38. Hey Lee! Not sure I’m adding value writing this but you have misspelled definitely. You wrote “defintely” [sic!] instead.
    It’s sad to see that the longer blogging exists the more people seem to mistake commenting for a free billboard. I have contemplated a few measures to take but then resorted to moderating comments even more rigorously. My comments are still “dofollow” for real contributors but I’m often quite fed up with the others.

  39. I believe in commenting but I’d also like to avoid spammers. Commenting shows the world that you’re human in every sense as you provide your own insights to whatever write up that meets your interest. It’s sad that a lot of people take this for granted most of the time. I allow comments but still try to filter them removing what i feel are spam.

  40. Avatar Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny says

    Often I’m skimming around from blog to blog reading content – leaving comments sometimes, and every now and again, reading the comments that people leave. It’s a real treat when I step into a lively discussion on someone’s blog. Opinions and experiences and different points of view – it’s just like being at a party listening in to a vibrant conversation. These comments are catching my ear (or eye), so to speak. It is, as you said, like magic. Still amazes me how quickly people connect online. I think it’s because we need to focus on making our point as briefly as possible.

    • I can certainly say Twitter use has made me appreciate limited real estate for communications. Attention spans are shorter, distractions more abundant, so being succinct is a necessity.

  41. Avatar Ttonciu marinipomar says

    Its amazing! I just decided to built my own blog i guess you are the founding father of it ! thank you very much i shall keep in touch with my progression !

  42. I’m sorry, but what is wrong with leaving a comment for the purpose of linking? It seems to me that if you at least add some content to your comment that is relevant to the post, whether it is to leave your opinion, ask a question or just acknowledge that the writer struck a nerve; then all is good. I do agree that spammy comments are irritating and what’s worse is the comments that are just links…duh! blacklist. But really? one commenter above dissed people for commenting just to leave a link…even if quietly doing so; but then that same person commenting made sure his name was linked back to his website…hum; can you say “hypocrite”?

    I welcome real comments from real people, go ahead and link that way I can go view your site too.

    • Cindi, thanks for your comment. The links people have a problem with are not those from your name to your website in the comment form, but gratuitous and repetitive links in the comment itself.

      • Links in the comment itself are ok if they are very on-topic and genuinely add to a discussion, but even then I ask permission before promoting my own posts.

        And I do have a little problem with the name/website comment form links as well.. if the comment is nothing more than “great post, thanks for sharing.” Doubly so if the ‘person’ commenting is an insurance policy, cheap watch or a great beach vacation. These type of comments break the flow of the meaningful discussion, don’t add anything and are almost exclusively just posted for the SEO. It’s part of my comment policy – probably due for an update – but for now, I warn once; blacklist the next time a keyword-as-name ‘person’ spams my comments. FWIW.

    • Avatar Jonathan Kidder says

      I agree with Cindi!

      Side note – Most of the time. I’m viewing this blog on an ipad.. I can’t really type that much in the comment section.. Hopefully my comments are not seen as spammy..

  43. Avatar Edward G Gordon says

    I think that we all agree that genuine comments are more than just welcomed – we seek them for our blogs. It’s a sign that we are being seen, hopefully understood. I for one have no problem with providing genuine commenters a link back – at the end of the day we all need links and if someone is willing to read our posts and take the time to write a genuine comment the I say what the hell – but I hate bots and spam with a vengence.

    I wonder if Google and all the other search engines stopped placing such an emphasis on comment backlinks would commenting patterns change? Would spamming stop?

    I’d like to think that the genuine commenters would continue to share their praise, dislike or anger at our postings. Just a thought.

    • Good question Edward. I’d like to think most people here comment for the sake of conversation and sharing since links are nofollowed. That’s the case with most blogs and social sites these days.

  44. I agree with you. Reading comments can be even better than the actual post. Comments help me gauge whether my post was remarkable or not. If no one is offering any kind of opinion or insight, I know to try a littel harder on my next post. It feels good to know that others are thinking and have an opinion on what you’re writing about.
    I think the best comments are those that offer something additional to think about, even if their ideas aren’t parallel with yours. It’s more than just a “good job” or “this post sucks”. A good comment is genuine, it’s thought out, and it offers more than a simple thumbs up or down.

  45. Avatar Linda Compton says

    Your observation regarding the value of sharing genuine comments on blog posts resonated with me: “We welcome them all. Agree, disagree, it doesn’t matter.”
    I was reminded of the days when I facilitated interfaith dialogue groups and multi-faith conversations. What I asked of participants was that we shared from an authentic place, and that we respected one another. When significant differences occurred and were expressed, we agreed to disagree, and to do so agreeably. I always found that approach effective and enriching. I believe the same works well for blog posts.

  46. I couldn’t agree with you more. There is nothing more frustrating to see a bunch of blog posts to only find they were all “created” by a spammer computer or otherwise. I guess that is the world we now live in

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