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The wrong way to comment on blogs

"Hi! I totally agree with your post. Here is a link to a not-really-related post on my own site that I’m shamelessly trying to promote by posting this comment.  In fact, the only purpose of this comment is to create a reason for me to link to my post. I don’t realize that I’m embarrassing myself with this cheap tactic.  What’s I really seem clueless about is that if I made a substantive comment that added value to the conversation, more people would want to read my blog. But instead, I just turned off all your readers. Oh well."

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  1. Jesse Petersen April 23, 2008 at 7:28 am #

    Man, I need to start following your stuff closer. This is one of the best sites I’ve seen in some time. I know what I’ll be reading during lunch today.
    Thanks for Twittering this post. It’s about as spot-on as it gets.
    Will you be at SOBCon this year?

  2. Roland Hesz April 23, 2008 at 8:01 am #

    Hi, I totally agree with your post.
    Ok, be seriously, this is so true. My Akismet is full of this kind of comment – or rather, was, until I switched to a comment hosting service.
    And Ed is right too, it can help with google, and such, a link leading to the site from a high traffic, high PR websites is value.
    Until the high PR website is dragged down by the weight of these parasites – is that possible? Something I remember tell me that yes, but not sure.

  3. Craig Rentmeester April 23, 2008 at 10:11 am #

    Hi Andy,
    I agree with the thrust of this post that useless comments turn off readers. However, the thing that most people do not realize is that PageRank, or link juice, is not often passed along from comments on blog posts, because most blogs default is to use ‘nofollow’ links.
    In fact, this blog uses ‘nofollow’ links, which is good because it keeps search indexes from rewarding non-value-added comments like the ones you mentioned above.
    More information on nofollow links from Wikipedia:
    “nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.”
    I hope this clears up some myths.

  4. Aaron Cruikshank April 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm #

    Hahaha. You’re going to make more than a few people paranoid – going back to check their comments to see if they’re on topic or not. Good show!
    But moderated comments? Bad form, chap.

  5. Aaron Cruikshank April 24, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Never mind that last bit. Your “post a comment” script says you hold comments for quick approval but apparently you don’t. Nothing personal. I’m from the blogging school of thought that says “allow all (non-spam) comments or none at all”.

  6. Barry Welford April 25, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    I’m in the ‘benevolent dictators’ school on this one. I ‘dofollow’ commenters’ URLs, but I plainly state in my policy that I will delete anything that in my opinion is not really of much value to subsequent readers. I think that is for the greatest communal good. I also use Akismet to cut out the most spammy of comments. I encourage anyone who feels their powerful prose should have survived my scissors to get in touch.

  7. Paul Chaney April 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    Amen! I NEVER start a comment with statements like “great post.” That shouts comment spam to me.
    BTW, great post Andy. My URL is… :-)

  8. Buzzoodle Ron April 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    The sad thing is it might really be a great post, but you cannot come out and say it.
    Maybe the spammers should try another tactic. “Your blog sucks. Mine is much better and located at….”
    Then if you do not post it, they can say you are not open to criticism – Then they can say “Gotcha!”
    (Just kidding)

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