The New Bloggers Phony Blog Comment Overview

Blog comments can be a blessing or they can be a curse.  When I first started my blog two years ago, I was excited to just get one comment.  From anyone.  Then as time went by, and I started getting comments for most of my posts, I was in heaven.  I’ve got Akismet set up to trap spam, so I was hardly seeing any spam at all.

Nowadays, I’m not exactly getting thousands of comments, yet I’m grateful for the ones I get.  At least the ones from real people.  And Akismet continues to do a pretty good job.  But once in a while something slips through that just makes me laugh.   As much as I can see why Graywolf turned comments off, and most recently Sugarrae also announced she’s no longer going to allow blog comments, to me, comments are still a life-blood aspect of my ability to connect and communicate with my visitors.  Especially since I only get a fraction of the activity either of them get.

For those of you who do allow comments and who might not know better, I’d like to share with you a few examples of comments that are just pure spam – because the quality of your comment thread is as important as the quality of your articles themselves…

The Hit and Run Blog Comment

Sometimes people just want to comment on your blog but don’t have much they want to say.  That’s all good and fine if it’s someone you actually know or have had contact with in the past.  Not everybody writes entire books in blog commenting the way I do.  Yet all too often, comments come in that might appear to fit this category, yet upon closer examination, turn out to just be spam.

Examples:

  • Nice Blog!
  • Thanks!
  • Good writing!

So unless you know the person who posted that comment, I urge you to send such nonsense right to the trash.

Blog Comment Evaluation Tip

If you are new to blogging and aren’t that connected yet, one sure way to tell whether a comment is from a real person who isn’t just looking to get a link to their site, look at the author information.  Is the person’s name real, or is it something like:

  • Cigarettes Smokeless
  • Cheap Viagra
  • Mesothelioma Info

If a person’s “name” is just it’s own cheap keyword phrase, you can be pretty much assured it’s spam.  But be warned – once in a while, a real person might not know better.  They might have heard that they should use keywords in their blog comments, yet still have a comment that really does fit a particular article’s subject matter.  In those situations, it will need to be an on-the-spot call on your part.

Also, some people like to use their Twitter Nickname when leaving comments.  Again – if the comment itself really does fit your article’s focus, you may want to jump over to twitter and see if it’s a real person.

The Blessings From Hell Blog Comment

Sometimes you’ll get comments that are pure complimentary of your outstanding ability to have saved their lives with your award winning blogging.  More often than not, these are also purely spam.  But they sure do stroke the ego, so it may be tempting to allow these through.

Example:

This webpage has absolutely transformed my perspective on this topic. Theres no way I wouldve thought about this by doing this if I hadnt appear throughout your web site. All I was carrying out was cruising the net and I observed your web site and all of a sudden my views have altered. Good on you, man!

Yes – that is a comment I got just this week.  So I’ve either helped completely transformed this person’s view on the topic at hand, or it’s just spam in the guise of a compliment.  The next step then is to look at their name.  This one looked real, but a quick look at the site they provided turned out to be a spam site promoting smokeless cigarettes.  Just like an earlier comment this week from a guy by the name of “Smokeless Cigarettes” :-)   #FAIL

The Foreigner Ploy Blog Comment

Okay so I’m an American.  I speak and write using American English.  Yet the web is a global world.  Some of my online friends and colleagues are from other countries.  Their English is not always “correct” as far as American English goes.  And I have no problem with that.  Yet honestly, I need to say that if a comment comes in where the English is so butchered as to make my head spin, that’s going to be a big red flag, especially if the comment isn’t even discussing the topic of the article.

Example:

Nice to become visiting your blog again, it’s got been months for me. Nicely this article that i’ve been waited for so lengthy. I have to have this post to complete my assignment in the college, and it has similar subject together with your content. Thank you, fantastic share.

Isn’t that great?  What if this was a real “English as a second language” college student, who came across my blog, and found it useful enough to want to thank me in the comments?

Well guess what?  It’s from another smokeless cigarettes spammer.  :-)

The Utterly Stupid Blog Comment

Then there’s the truly mind-bogglingly bogus comments that come in.  You know – where when you read it, you either want to laugh, or just punch someone in the face…

The business brokerages network will provide you with access to some large pool of individuals who’ve the details about companies for sale and buyers or investors searching for any company venture. By making good use in the information you’ve, you might be cutting a provide and make a handsome profit out from the transactions.

OMG hahaha  yeah – that was posted to one of my TopSEO’s articles.  The one where I question whether TopSEO’s is a shakedown operation or not. :-)   The comment “author” was listed as “Bradford Camenisch”. So even though that seems like a real name, the comment is just nonsense as far as it not relating to my article.  And the site Bradford linked to was all about some business brokerage group.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line in all this is that much of this is trapped by Akismet.  Yet it’s important to review any comments Akismet flags as spam because once in a while it will trap a legitimate comment.  So you need to be on your toes!  Don’t be afraid to delete comments you think are even borderline phony.  The quality of your blog is more important than possibly offending the rare person who posts a borderline comment.

Blog Comment Points to Remember

  • Comments should be on -topic.
  • Comments should be from real humans
  • People who use something other than their name need extra scrutiny
  • Comments should add to the conversation, with few exceptions

About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

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16 Comments

  1. Rebekah May says:

    As an owner of a newish blog, this is really helpful. Now please check out my new blog over at makeamilliondollars… no just kidding. Thanks for the great post Alan. I haven’t had to deal with much of the spammy comments yet so its nice to have some background on the type I should expect.

    I also wanted to say that I appreciate the fact that you not only allow comments but commentluv too. No dig on Graywolf or Sugarrae as I’ve read both their blogs and think they are great – but I am generally turned off by blogs that don’t even allow commenting – I kind of stopped reading after that.

    To me part of blogging is the solicitation of feedback and the possibility of sparking interesting discussions and meeting new people. A part of me thinks, why bother blogging if your not going to allow comments – yea you might not have time to deal with the spam, but you should have accepted that as a part of the job when you started.

    Anyways, I ramble. Thanks again!
    Rebekah May´s last blog ..WordPress- Conquering the elusive line breakMy ComLuv Profile

    • Rebekah,
      I checked out that great new makemilliondollars blog and… uh… hahaha

      Well I don’t fault either Michael or Rae for their decisions. Neither of them relies as much on blogging and it’s only secondary to their work. I do agree though that it’s annoying to not be able to comment, since I too think blogging is only bloggging when it allows dialogue, engagement.

      Let’s see how either of us feels when we’ve got tens of thousands of people reading our stuff every day :-)

    • Betsy says:

      I agree with Rebekah, no disrespect to those that don’t allow comments, but why blog if not for the community of information sharing that is created through your blog? I mean, look at all of the awesome posts that you have gotten through this one post.
      At the same time, I totally understand not wanting to deal with the spam and I am generally disgusted when I see comments such as “great post!” I think that they are kind of a slap in the face to not only the author of the blog, but their regular readers.

      • Thanks for commenting Betsy! One of the things I enjoy most about allowing comments is getting to meet others based on common thinking, or even on differing viewpoints. I consider the time it takes as being part of life. If you’re at a conference as a speaker, would you tell people at the end of it – thanks – that’s all. No questions please. And no, I’m not going to acknowledge you after I step down off the stage…” ?

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alan Bleiweiss. Alan Bleiweiss said: New Article: The New Bloggers Phony Blog Comment Overview http://bit.ly/d7sTp4 [...]

  3. Rob Woods says:

    Hi Alan,

    We don’t get a ton of comments either but we do have a core of folks that comment regularly. To allow them to comment without too much intervention required from us to stop the kinds of posts you mention above we moderate everyone’s first comment. After a commenter has one comment approved they are then free to leave more and those get auto-approved, though we do still review each of them. On the commenter name issue we sometimes get them where the name is something like Jane from XYZ Company – a hybrid between a real name and getting some keywords in the name. If the comment is legit we usually let that pass. Incidentally, I always use my real name when commenting and ended up sort of Google Bombing our home page for my name…even though my name doesn’t appear on the site it ranks #8 for my name.
    Rob Woods´s last blog ..robdwoods- -mattcutts while youre at it maybe you can teach ZDNet a bit about spam Look at the comment above yours http-googl-XiwzMy ComLuv Profile

  4. Halvorsen says:

    I can’t believe some of the comments that come through on my blog. I turned Akismet off after Edward Lewis complained about it. I now get on average 20-30 comments that are awaiting approval each day. All of those usually end up being spam. Some of them are legitimate comments so I will remove the crap links.

    It is truly a good link building tactic if you can find a blog that has follow links, especially one that has a decent PR or 3 or more. Just have to find a blog that is relevant (not the case to all the spam I see) to your link spam.

    The ones that get me the most are the ones left that deal with nothing on your site. I have over 4,000 comments sitting in my WordPress back-end. If I had to guess, 80% of them are for medications and Viagra. Keeping some of the Viagra comments should the time ever come that I’ll need it.
    Halvorsen´s last blog ..Upcoming Facebook Privacy GuideMy ComLuv Profile

  5. Jim Rudnick says:

    ;-)

    comments…yes, I have looked into same especially after Graywolf turned his off…and I too wonder if the time I spend seperating the wheat from the chaff, is worth it…

    ..sigh…

    Jim
    Jim Rudnick´s last blog ..Your Online ID- Are you being Honestly YouMy ComLuv Profile

  6. Josh says:

    I’m with you 110% Alan. I get the notification “You have a comment awaiting moderation” Happily I zip over to the log-in page and read something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE POST ITSELF!!!! One of the latest comments I got was on a post when I did an attempt to live blog at SSSS (I’m gonna own you btw in LA). The comment was something along the lines of “Hi this blog really help me with seo/sem/smm/ppc. This post is a great example of your knowledge. Link me and I’ll link you!” Umm no thanks, delete. Though now I’m starting to keep a select few spam comments up just to alter their screen name, and respond accordingly.

  7. Doc Campbell says:

    Great post, Alan. I imagine we’ve all been frustrated by seeing that we have a dozen comments on last night’s post, and then find that we have to delete ten of them as spam.
    I’d be following Michael and Rae’s example, if I didn’t have Akismet to run point for me, and I think I can safely say that I get just a little bit less comment traffic that either of them.

    Like you, though, I see blogging as a joint effort, between my readers and myself. If I turn off comments, I might as well just publish a book and be done with it.

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