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Blogging 101 – Comment Spam

Sometimes you will find comments on your blog which link back to commercial sites and are there to promote a product or boost the google-juice of the linked to site. Are these spam? Should you remove them all?

Here are two comments which were recently posted on Fractals of Change. IMHO, one is legit and one's not:

"what a nice post Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!***[commercial name removed] Challenge"

"We have recently created a free link exchange directory http://www.link-exchange-submit.com. Providing people use it fairly, it should help you with your SEO link building. It is automatic in terms of your link and suggested category being added. But it is also moderated daily in terms of spam removal."

The first comment is clearly spam in that it contains no internal reference to the content of the post. For some reason, the people or bots that post these almost always stick in a generic compliment thinking, perhaps, that you are starved for praise and will leave the comment posted. This one was deleted and reported to Typepad.

Since the post that the second comment was attached to WAS about links, the comment is right on target (although it could have been posted by a smart bot). My post was against link exchanges and this is clearly a contrary view; but that's fine – good, in fact. The service which is being promoted is something a blogger thinking about link exchanges would want to look at. So the comment is likely to be useful to readers of the post. It gets to stay.

Similarly, a post of how to make cheaper cellphone calls abroad is festooned with comments containing links to SIM providers and cheap or free calling services. Again, anyone interested in the post is likely to be interested in the links. Sure, they serve a commercial purpose and I don't get paid for them as would get paid for ads. But the comments expand on the post and make it more useful to readers. On FOC, that's the spam/no spam criterion.


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Gordon at link-exchange-submit.com

Thanks for letting our comment stay!

We suffer quite badly from automatic spamming with regards to link requests. Normally the backlink the spammers provide isn't listed in the google index and that is something we need to look at. As it dilutes the quality of our link exchange. We are in the process of writing a monthly purge!

Although your article was against link exchanges. Not all sites are equal in terms of how easy it is to generate quality content, particularly the e-commerce stores which can often be sparce on content. Links become quite important in that regard. And the spammers seem to have the upper hand!

Recently there has been a movement towards "Content Marketing", where commercial sites will commission the creation of quality content. Though it is probably only a matter of time before the spammers scrape the content and publish it elsewhere!

It is the wild west and few helpful links can make a difference.

Stephen L. McKay

I like your criteria.
I think we are all afraid to include a link because we will be predetermined to be "spammers", yet what is wrong with promoting ones wares if they are truly pertinent to the bloggers post?


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