Please Don’t Make These Critical Commenting Mistakes!“Great post!”
“Thank you so much for this post! It’s exactly what I needed today!”
Bargaineering was a magnet for comment spam. It was (still is) a PR6 site and we’d get comments, many were spam, all the time. We installed all the usual anti-spam plugins to help kill the automated stuff but there isn’t much you can do for the boundary cases – the “great posts” and the “thanks!” type of comments.
For those, I would mark as spam and eventually Akismet took care of it and the commenter was never heard from again.
If this is you, don’t feel bad… but you’re going about this all wrong.
If you leave your site name as your name in the comment, that’s not only wrong but dangerous (I didn’t say this, Matt Cutts said it).
If you leave a signature link or say “I just wrote about this here” and link yourself, you’re doing it wrong.
Why “Great post!” is Wrong
It’s a waste of a perfectly good comment!
You should treat each comment like a free ad for you and your site. You have the unique ability to leave a thoughtful comment on a site, why would you squander it by leaving a useless comment?
What happens when you leave that kind of comment?
- A reader sees it and thinks – “Zero added value, this comment is annoying, how did it make it through?”
- The blogger sees it and thinks – “Zero added value, what a jerk, how did I let this through?”
No one likes it. No one will see the comment and think “wow, insightful, who is this guy… let me click on his name.”
You also make the blogger look bad. It’s like they’re not minding their own store when they let a loiterer like you hang around.
Finally, all this happens only if your useless comment makes it through! If they’re mean like me, it gets spammed and the likelihood of future comments appearing on the site drops close to zero. Then you end up wasting your time in the future because you leave a comment that goes straight to spam.
Think of it like this: the blogger has invited you into his home to share your thoughts a subject he just wrote about.
Don’t screw it up by crapping on the carpets.
I think there is one exception to this rule – if someone is announcing something new, then a comment with words of encouragement (which could be seen as being similar to “great post”) are totally cool.
Why Site Names as Your Name is Wrong
Summary: Use your real name, don’t use a company name or anchor text because it looks spammy. Also, if your primary link building strategy is through blog comments then it might raise a red flag. Leave a good comment on a relevant site and you’ll be fine, you can even link to yourself.
Personally, I don’t mind it when the name is Jim @ Microblogger or something like that. I don’t know how it fits in with Matt Cutts’ opinion of commercialization though.
Why Linking to a Post You Wrote is Wrong
Matt Cutts just said, in above video, that sometimes he’ll leave a link to his own blog in the comment.
But you shouldn’t. It’s mostly because because you’re not THE authority on a subject like webspam for Google. If you’re the authority for webspam at Google, you can link to your own blog on the subject of webspam in Google. If you aren’t the authority, don’t link to yourself. It’s tacky.
It’s the equivalent of you going into a grocery store, stopping everyone who is about to check out, and telling them that you just opened a grocery store across the street that sells the same stuff. How long do you think the manager will let you hang out there? Not long.
It’s important to note that these commenting mistakes follow a similar theme. They look like comment spam. If you were a spammer, this is how you’d comment on a post. So don’t look like a spammer.
In summery: Be cool, leave constructive and insightful comments, and please don’t crap on the carpets.
If you have a comment policy page and you want to link to this post (or excerpt it or whatever) to convince people not to do these things, you’re totally welcome to. No need to email me to ask (though you can if you want), you have full permission.
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