Comment Spam Not an SEO Shortcut

Comment SpamHere’s the deal Neal, if your name is Neal I’ll apologize up front.

Moderation is turned on for all first time comments at the blog lab.

Once you have achieved a level of trust your comments will post as soon as you submit them. Unless they have more than two active links in them, that puts them back in moderation.

The Do Follow plugin is active and the Lab is on a list of blogs that have the do follow plugin in place.

Unfortunately, there are some sniffing out the do follow and thinking these are good sites to salt a few comments around to get some link juice back to their site.

Not at the Lab.

  • “Nice Post”,
  • “Great Information”,
  • “Cool Stuff”,
  • “This is a really great post and I know many agents are too busy to write their own post so why not visit my site at #$^&(^(*&().com and we can do that for you”

Which some of you might notice was the one that gave birth to the “Don’t Be A Blog John” post.

None of these comments will every see the light of the Lab. There will always be those wanting to take the quick road. But here it will lead you to a statistic in Askimet.

SEO the Link Text fine but not here

Yeah someone came up with the bright idea to put keywords in the link text. There are lots of places I do this as well. BUT NOT IN THE COMMENT NAME FIELD.

Any comments I find with this going on get the name changed. I’ll do my best to find the name of the commenter and replace it. Sometimes they still slip though, but if I find them I will change them. Please use your own name or handle.

WHY?

  • Its my blog : ) Just wanted to throw that one in.
  • I want to comment back to a person, not “Peoria Real Estate” (as an example)
  • I’m already giving a link back with Do Follow (DON’T GET GREEDY)

None of us like greedy seller, or greedy buyers. Some times we hate working in Real Estate (LIKE MOST DAYS ANYMORE).

Then why turn around and want more more more. I won’t turn Do Follow off. But I will seriously consider canning the whole comment if I don’t see a name in the name field and the comment adds nothing to the discussion.

When I see a comment with an SEO Real Estate name it makes me wonder if the comment is genuine or just an attempt at an SEO Shortcut.

Newbies get more of a break. I was one once, and I got plenty of breaks when I did something out of ignorance and not design. And yes, we know who you are : )

Finally, sometimes you will see a comment like those I’ve mentioned above. Either I haven’t found it yet, or the commenter was in such a hurry to leave the comment and write another they didn’t put in a valid URL to their site.

Sometimes I leave those. Hey, we take our humor where we can get it.

Comments

  1. Hi Dave,

    I use to have the Do Follow plugin installed on one of my other blogs and you wouldn’t believe the amount of comment spam I received. Within probably two weeks, I went from no comments, to 10+ a day and most of them were just like you said, something meaningful like “Great Blog” or “Cool”, not. Eventually I removed the plugin and went back to regular old no follow because I just got so tired of the garbage.

    Hopefully it will work out better for you, I wish you the best of luck, it really is a nice feature and I respect the bloggers that use it. Oh and by the way, Cool Post! 🙂

  2. Jake,

    I would recommend you putting your comments on moderation activate Askimet if you haven’t and give it another try.

    Because I have found as the Lab ages some of the comments are as valuable to the discussion of RE blogging as the posts themselves. As such I want to encourage these posters and provide juice back to them from the lab.

    Yeah, I weed out the spammers, but in the process I get some really great bloggers dropping by and adding value to the Lab.

    It seems only fitting I return the favor with a modicum of juice.

  3. Dave,

    Just changed mine. Don’t want to even take a chance at being a SPAMMER. Appreciate all your help. There I said it without expecting any return! Ha Ha!

  4. Hi Dave.

    “Nice Post”. LOL. Just kidding. I don’t get very many comments on my blog. I have the askimet plugin installed and moderation enabled. Do you think I will get more constructive comments if I put the “Do follow” on and how do I put the “Do follow” on.

    Thanks

    Steven

  5. Paul,

    I should clarify this a bit. The using of Keywords for your name is not comment spam.

    Comment spam is when you comment on someones blog trying to get links back to your services and are commenting just to get juice and people to click on your link.

    Often they have not even read the post.

    Putting the keywords in the Comment Name while good SEO will depersonalize you and your comment.

  6. Steven,

    There are several WordPress plugins that will turn do follow on for comments. There are links to several on the post.

    A Fable Do Follow and Comments

    No Do Follow won’t lead to more constructive comments.

    Getting people to comment is a challenge for many RE bloggers. Here are a couple of suggestions.

    1. Leave comments on other blog posts you find of interest.
    2. Pose questions in your posts. (Make a reason for someone to comment)
    3. Find a post that provides more information on your topic and put a link to that post in yours.

    Trackbacks will notify the other author of a link back to his post. We are all curious and will click those links to see who has linked to us. This will often lead to comments.

    Time, it takes time to build readers and traffic to your blog. Keep it interesting and the sharing of more than just facts and figures. Believe it or not there is more than just Listings that readers are looking for.

  7. Nice post with great information and cool stuff.

    🙂

    Seriously though, a-freaking-men. I get a lot of the SEO text for names stuff. I just don’t have time to police it all (it’s daunting enough to go through the 400ish posts a day Askimet flags as spam to make sure there were no “false positives”).

    I think people just need to exercise common courtesy.

    I had the problem before I added do-follow, and it seems about the same since I added it. I don’t advertise my do-follow at all, so I don’t know if that makes a difference or not.

  8. Great post! I agree that spam comments are bad, but I have two questions.
    1. You said that people should only us their real names in their comments. I do not use my real name for security reasons. If I were to use my real name people could get my private infomation. Do you think that that is a valid reason?
    2. Do you think that non-spam comments help one promote his blog?

    Thanks!

  9. Yea Dave lay down the law. Comment Spam gets a little crazy. People get greedy wanting to put down Florida Real Estate or XBOX 360 as their name. The link sometimes just isn’t good enough. We appreciate you using the DO Follow.

    Jay your right people should just exercising some common courtesy and respect for the blogger. Dave we got your back. I’ll try and comment with some ramblings every now and then.

  10. AEL,

    Your Two Questions:

    First, I did not say people should use their real name. I said they should use their name or handle. You know “Dave”, “Bill”, “Fred”, “Dana” those are names. And if a name is a security issue then I have to assume you would never want to put a URL in a comment.

    Because someone might click on that and find your contact information or run a who is on the domain name and see who has the domain registered.

    For most in real estate the issue is getting your name and contact information out there, not security.

    Second, if a comment is insightful and adds to the information or discussion it most certainly will generate traffic to that commenter. I click on the names of many when I find I don’t recognize them and I want to see what else they have to say of interest or if this was the only original thought they have ever had and they left it on my blog.

  11. Karen Goodman says:

    I’m glad to hear that you are giving newbies a break. I’m still pretty new at the blogging world, reading my first blogs and starting my own last November. Everything I read at the beginning about SEO said to spend tons of time leaving comments on other blogs.

    I wish I had time, but lately I’m so busy with business that I barely have time to post to my own blog.

    But, I do know that I made some of the spammy errors at the beginning out of ignorance. I finally stumbed on a comment that Ardell made on one of Dustin’s Rain City posts that gave me a visual that drove the point home. She explained that leaving a live link or commenting just to get link love on someone else’s blog was like sitting on the front porch of someone else’s open house handing out your business cards. Simply bad manners.

    I appreciate the Do Follow…but you’ll never find a ‘cool post’ by me. Of course, given my lack of comments on my own blog, I think I would even be happy for some link spam 🙂

  12. Karen,

    That is a great example by Ardell.

    LOL In the beginning I felt the same way. I kept reading blogs about how much spam they were getting and would see all the comments and I had none.

    But time will change that. Keep writing good content and people will find you.

    I’ve also found that quite a few read but don’t comment. So it isn’t like no one is reading what you write if you don’t get a comment.

    It took almost a year before I started getting comments. Now, I like comments but it doesn’t bother me if I don’t get any. I know this is my passion and I keep doing it.

  13. Dave makes a good comment about comments. The fact is, the vast majority of blog readers don’t comment, and it can take a long time to get traction before comments (or readership) develops) — it’s really much like any otehr form of prospecting.

    It’s even possible you have readers you don’t know about. I read your blog on a regular basis Karen through a feed reader. Since I don’t “hard click” into your blog, your stats will never show me there.

  14. Jay,

    You make a good point and bring up an interesting subject. The more we read through feed readers the less likely we are to comment.

    It also mean we leave no footprint of ever having been to the blog.

    Therefore, “hard clicks” are even more valuable than in the past.

    BTW Jay was one of those cutting this newbie breaks when I got started blogging.

  15. Karen Goodman says:

    Jay – I’m honored to be among the blogs in your feed reader. I’ve gotten so much good advice from you, and know that you probably have hundreds of blogs to choose from to focus on. Thanks!

    I’m actually ok with my readership not being huge. Blogging for me is fun and a tension reliever, but the primary reason for it is to build my business. I know that I’ll never be huge all over the internet. That’s ok with me. I’m focusing on local stuff and providing a place where my new clients (or on the fence clients thinking about using me) can go to get educated on a number of real estate issues. It also gives me some great presentation materials for my initial meetings with new clients…simply print some of the classic posts and hopefully they’ll look up the blog and find even more info.

    I can live without comments if I’m getting clients out of it.

  16. Hi Dave,

    I have to agree with you. If you are going to make a serious comment then you should leave you name. I especially disagree with people that use obsene comment names to promote adult websites.

  17. I’ve started getting this same stuff on my real estate blog (I just use a Blogger account), and thought your only choice was to delete, delete, delete everything yourself. Obviously I have much more to learn, as I’m new at this.

  18. Jay,

    If you can use askimet. I know you will have to set up a wordpress.com account to get an askimet activation number.

    If not then check blogger for something you can turn on to block spam.

    It will only get worse.

  19. Thanks Dave. This is a great post, especially for newbies to blogging. In my blog training, I was taught to comment a lot on any blog I could find. I was also taught to use my keywords in my name. It seemed to make sense, but as I gained more experience, I saw more people frowning on this behavior. If I had read posts like this early on, I would have known better. I appreciate you keeping the follow tag. I have it on my site and don’t get that much SPAM. Maybe I’m just not popular enough yet.

  20. Dave,
    I learned early on on Active Rain that placing links in the comments was not good manners. I still see it occasionally on my blog there. I was very surprised recently when someone left the same comment on 5 of my different posts. I was thinking that he might have used some kind of spam program to place this comment on everyone’s blog.
    My new blog is still a baby, so I have no spam there what so ever:)
    BTW, I read your blog mostly in the reader.

  21. An interesting point, Jay and Dave, about the feed readers. As many people use feed readers for their favorite blogs, it seems to me that more and more spammers are having their comments read by other spammers. Seems silly. But kudos to you for keeping it on to provide a little “love” for those adding to the discussion.

  22. Hi Dave,

    Never been here before, but looked around a bit before posting this…

    I am quite late to ‘the party’ here, but was pointed to this post after making a recent comment on Jay’s blog (http://www.phoenixrealestateguy.com) using my domain name as the anchor. It’s not my first ‘rodeo’, nor was it the first time I’ve commented on Jay’s blog, in fact I’ve commented a lot and have had quite a few engaging ‘back-n-forths’. And, that is how I always comment, everywhere (using my domain name as the auther).

    So, my question to you becomes:
    In your opinion, is commenting and using my domain name a “shortcut to seo”?

    Of course, no matter which way you answer the question, the blog IS ultimately yours and you will do as you please with it… it’s your right!

    Oh, and if this use of my domain name is an issue for you, please modify it to my name as I would like to this posted and to hear back from you.

    I’ll check the box to notify me of followup comments here.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Pellerin – Realtor
    Phoenix Homes Team Leader

  23. Matt,

    I’m not sure when it all started replacing people’s names with keywords they wanted to rank for. The first place I saw it being talked about was on The Real Estate Webmasters forum back more than a year ago.

    It was considered to be a good practice for SEO to have your anchor text to your link be keywords. I still do this in some situations. Like in the context of a blog post link.

    But in a comment author tag is might be good SEO but it isn’t good social networking. Like I say in the post, I don’t want to be commenting back to Scottsdale Homes.

    The second reason for me, I give you a link back to your blog for every comment you leave. My posts get indexed and many have pretty good PageRank wich means juice to you. I could turn the Do Follow off and you would be getting no link and no juice. And I wouldn’t care what you put in the author box, but I doubt very much a Scottsdale Home can think, write, type, or post.

    But I pass both along to those who comment here at the lab. You get a link and juice for contributing to the discussion. This is rare, most blogs have the rel=no follow on all links to comment author blogs.

    I don’t have a good example so this if off the top of my head, so take this one with a grain of salt.

    I provide a filling station, give you gas for your car and you want me to pay for the oil change too.

    If I’m entering my sites into a directory, it is good SEO to put keywords in the anchor text.

    When I’m writing or posting about what I do, I put those keywords in anchor text. But when it is related to me and not what I do or sell, I put in my name for reasons mentioned above, no it isn’t the best SEO, but it isn’t all about SEO.

    I hope this explanation makes some sense. I tried to outline this in the comment policy page as well.

    And Matt, you are always welcome here at the Lab. Have a great weekend and stay cool.

    I say this because I’ll be on Phoenix Sun – Wed this coming week : )

  24. Thanks for taking a minute with me Dave.

    As far as commenting goes, I’m kind-of, sort-of, with you. In that I only allow real names or the domain names as the author link. So, we are only one step away in our policies.

    I run 5 blogs (NOT counting the POS ActiveRain blog I have too), but I only really speak to the general public on one, the other 4 all are business. Of the above 5, 3 are do-follow, 1 is not ’cause it’s still on Blogger (yuck-since Jan. 2005) and the other is not because it’s on a Drupal platform since the entire site is.

    It’s very interesting to see everyone’s take on this situation as I move from blog to blog. And, I have to tell you that Jay’s is the only real estate blog I read and comment on a regular basis. The rest are tech and internet related blogs, some of them are my friends and others I read are from their friends. Sort of a small group, and most want only real names and/or domain names.

    Let me read up on your blog a bit more tonight (with a glass of wine in hand…) and see what you’re all about.

    BTW, what-cha coming to Phoenix in the summer for?

    Matt Pellerin – Realtor

  25. Matt,

    If you are into WordPress you should find a lot of interesting reading here (of course wine glass in hand).

    It is only 110 here in Tucson so we wanted to go where we could get warm.

    My wife has a two day GRI class there on Tue. and Wed. I’ll be manning a WIFI desk at the motel room.

    Coming up on Sun afternoon as a traditional trip since Monday I’ll be 2 short of 3 score.

  26. I had read this post a while back but just came back to it from a link of Jay’s blog. I think of blogs as being more personal and I agree with your logic that you like to reply to a “person”

    There are qite a few people who I feel i know just from reading there blogs.

    I for a long time was a lurker on most blogs and rarely if ever commenting. I don’t read thru a reader but probably should.

    I have only used the Rain as a blog and mostly for advertising purposes.

    One of these days I will get my own blog going but for now I am content on reading and learning from the works of others.

  27. Rick,

    When you are ready to start blogging, I’m sure you will find a treasure trove of information here in the lab.

    When you are ready and have questions feel free to drop by the Lab.

  28. I have been looking through various blogs studying comments and how the blog author treats commenters. I have people following my real estate blog and some post really great comments. the best are from someone named anonymous who never puts a url in. Now that is a real commenter. The ones I absolutely hate are ones that insert urls that are completely unrelated to real estate and are classic spamidiots. Sure, I read and comment on blogs that have nothing to do with real estate, but they will be technology, finance and other blogs that actually interest me.

  29. Well, its true, everyone wants a quick fix and comment spamming is one way, but as a blog owner myself I always filter out the spam links. If you took 10mins to write a decent comment but had your keyword in the name field, I’d post it anyways. Comment spam is only really spam if it does not add to the conversation. So I kinda don’t agree with changing the name field back to the persons name if its an awesome comment, it should be rewarded. Just look at amazon’s reviews, especially the WOLF SHIRTS, amazing stories all made up thanks to Amazon Turks.

  30. Liz,

    I agree they should be rewarded, that’s why the do follow is turned on. That is the reward. The putting keywords in where the name field should be is like me offering you piece of candy and instead of taking it you reach into my hand and take two. And I don’t want to be trying to carry on a conversation with “Condos in Tulsa” or “Palmdale Homes”. I want to talk with “Liz” or “Sam”. But you are free to disagree. : ) And the next time you offer someone something and they ask you for more, ask yourself how that makes you feel.

    Dave

  31. Hi Dave – I had to smile when I started reading your blog. There are so many forums and blog links that are obviously spam out there so it is nice to see you know what is going on but keep folks on track.
    I hate it when people post links with just ‘great article’ or other nonsense. It does not really matter to me if there is no keyword rich link text allowed. It is nice to be able to read your article – nice image of the can of Spam by the way 🙂 – if you are kind enough to allow the comment and the link that is just fine by me.