Why You Should Avoid Building Poor Quality Backlinks

backlinksOne common SEO mistake small business owners and solopreneurs fall victim to is building poor quality backlinks. Often times, these business people maintain their own websites, yet they don’t fully understand what backlinks are. Continue reading “Why You Should Avoid Building Poor Quality Backlinks”


How to Tell if Blog Comments are Spam or Sincere

[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:

Your post is very useful. Thank you so much for providing plenty of useful content.Thanks a lot for sharing these information. The post has also helped a lot. Look forward to your next post Your blog is very useful. Thank you so much for providing plenty of useful content. I have bookmark your blog site and will be without doubt coming back. Once again, I appreciate all your work and also providing a lot vital tricks for your readers.
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! 🙂

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SEO Tool: Backlinks and Page Ranking

One of the most frequently asked questions about search engine optimization I get involves backlinks. Namely, what are they? And why do I need them?

Backlinks are links from another website that point to your website. They are an important ingredient to SEO because Google rewards you with a higher page ranking when you have them. In fact, Google says on their website that “the more links you have, the more likely it is that the Googlebot will visit your website.” And the more frequently Google visits your site and sees new content, the more likely it is that your site will move higher up in page ranking.

However, Google also says it will penalize you if your inbound links come from web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” such as porn sites. So avoid these sites like the plague!

How do you get backlinks?

You can get them from a variety of sources including:

  • Article submission sites such as
  • Professional associations, charitable organizations
  • Directories – such as Yahoo,
  • Blog sites
  • Online Press Release sites
  • Social Networking – Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Don’t try to do all of these things at once. Spread them out over a couple of months time. Then, you can start checking on your progress by utilizing a free backlink checker site. Google’s Webmaster Tools can help you here. But there are also many other free sites available online.

I used two of them recently and got interesting results. The first one I checked was

This free tool analyzes up to 1000 inlinks (backlinks, inbound links) to arbitrary page (or website) and shows domains of backlinks. It shows separately different classes of URLs like .edu, .mil, .com, .net, .gov and other. It is similar to host and IP backlinks checker, but it might be a bit faster and doesn’t do IP address analysis of backlinks.

When I searched my own website, with this backlink tool, it turned up 96 backlinks.

Another site I tried out, found 182 backlinks to my website.  It also showed me “anchor” text, pagerank, total outbound links on that page, and nofollow flag for each of my available inbound links.

It is a good idea to check your link visibility frequently, or at least once a month. But don’t get impatient if you’re not seeing as many links as you think you should. Some get picked up by Google faster than others.