[tweetmeme]One of the participants of a free webinar I held recently on blogging strategies for business asked, “How do I tell if blog comments are really spam, and they’re trying to get backlinks to their own website?”
Unfortunately, spam is a fact of life when it comes to blogs. If you’re just starting a blog, the majority of comments you get at first will likely be spam. Spammers hope you let the comments go through with the links intact so their websites can move up in the search engine rankings.
Blog Comments Designed to Get Backlinks
Here is an example of someone who’s trying to make their comment look authentic, by praising the article. But I think you can see the “real” strategy here:
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Thanks for the great idea you have post. I’ll wait for another info which will you share. zenithink mobile 2 sim wrist phone gpad spy cameras i found it very interesting and at the same time very informative i will definitely bookmark this site for future reference…
I leave a lot of comments on a lot of blogs each week – but there is one situation where I rarely leave a comment – even if the post deserves it.Good work
The words in bold, zenithink mobile 2 sim wrist phone gpad spy cameras, contained links to his website. Why he thought I’d let that slide and post this comment on my blog is beyond me! (Not to mention, I wasn’t going to include them in this article either!)
Blog Comments Should Reference Your Article to Win Approval
Let’s say I get a comment like this: “Great SEO tips. I enjoyed your article.” I’ll tend to give the person the benefit of the doubt and approve it, even though the commenter may have only read the title and is trying to get that all-important backlink.
On the other hand, if that SEO comment was intended for an article about Facebook that didn’t mention SEO at all, that’s a different story. That comment gets deleted. End of story.
Here are some sample comments to one of my articles about email marketing, and how I responded, to give you an idea:
As you can see – the second commenter had some kind words to say about the article, and specifically referred to the topic. But I think he also wanted to promote his own site. I decided to click on the link and see for myself. After checking it out, I found there was some useful information to share, so I didn’t mind giving him the backlink.
Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Blog Comments
Unfortunately, every once in a while, you’re going to get a negative comment on your blog. If someone disagrees with a point you made in one of your articles, you can safely assume the comments are NOT spam (even if they are unpleasant to read). But just because the comment is negative doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post it or respond to it.
If you think the commenter is wrong – tactfully say so. And if he’s right, acknowledge it. It shows your readers that you’re only human! Plus – it’s a great way to get into a dialogue with the reader – and who knows, you may wind up turning him into a client or customer!
Anti-Spam Filters Work… Most of the Time
Most blogging platforms do have some type of spam blocker service to weed out the junk comments. For instance, WordPress uses Akismet as their anti-spam filter. But Akismet is not infallible. Every once in a while I’ll see a comment that hit their spam filter that should not have been flagged. In that case, I just take it out of spam and post it. Akismet uses that info to adjust its alogorithms.
Have you found any interesting comments that got flagged as spam by mistake? Share them in the comments below – just don’t spam me! 🙂