Do Follow and Lucia’s Link Love

Lucias Link LoveA while back I wrote A Fable Do Follow and Comments when I installed the Do Follow Plug-in.   I’ve noticed more and more comments which have nothing to do with the post.   They found the blog lab on a do follow blog list and all they want is a link.

Just this past week I had three different link backs come into three of my blogs because they were on “The List”   One called this list “A Marketer’s dream!”   Well it might be a marketer’s dream but it can be a nightmare for you.

  • SEO/SEM “Do Follow” Blogs
  • Real Estate dofollow blogs – a marketer’s dream!
  • Search Engine Optimizer India linked here saying, “406 Not Acceptable – http://www.406notacceptable.c …”

The last one is a splogger picking up the first on the list.   Yeah!

Since I saw these links coming back into the blogs I’ve seen a marked increase in the number of comments.   Most are coming from real estate agents.   Many from new blogs which have no authority and only a few posts.   Most are using the Keywords in the author name.

Personally, I don’t care to have RE agents even leaving comments on my local blogs unless they are contributing to the discussion. “This is happening in Podunk Junction too” is not a valid comment.

Do I turn off Do Follow?

This is the very real question I asked myself this morning after getting the “straw that broke the camels back” comment on a post I wrote October 8, 2006 about Tucson being a buyers market and I get spammed from Ana in San Antonio, who obviously never read the post, leaves the innocuous comment:

“So its 2008 and its still a buyers market!! Is this good or bad news??”

DUH!

(Pause Mid Rant)

I’ve written about this whole comment span issue before.   I don’t mean to keep harping on this, but honest hard writing bloggers are being inundated with this spam tripe from supposed SEO sources saying this is how to build your blog.   Garbage, good quality content is how you build your blog. But that must sound too much like WORK!

(That wasn’t a pause, try again, Pause Mid Rant)

I consider myself to be a nice guy.   I still open car doors for others, I open doors everywhere for ladies, (some even not so lady like).   I consider myself to be a gentleman, (maybe a stretch there) and really like the idea of giving back links to those that engage in commenting and adding to the discussion.

(Remaining Calm : )   New Plugin Activated)

Enter Lucia’s Link Love

This plug-in provides me more control over the do follow options.   I really wanted to be able to check off next to each comment.   Do Follow Yes/No check box would be nice.   But, I didn’t find one of those and Lucias was about the best for my situation I could find.   Therefore, as of yesterday I’ve installed this plug-in.

It has a number of options including one for Max length of Name.   This means if a name in the name field is over a certain number of chacters that comment will have a no follow placed on the comment.   It also has the option of putting in your own name as an exclusion so when you comment it places a no follow on the comment so it doesn’t appear you are spamming your own site in Google (I never thought of that one).

I would recommend any RE blogger take a look at Lucia’s Lunky Love plugin for your own blog.

We protect ourselves again all kinds of spam with various services and spam filters installed.   It is common sense to do the same with the number of sites out there publishing our blog addresses as a good place for others to leave comments.

I guess the positive side is we get a link back (Probably a no follow)

Comments

  1. Good stuff…I’ve actually picked up some really good tips from this bog and that’s why I’m a subscriber.

    Changing gears…I work very hard on my site’s content and my thoughts are hey…if I’m gonna take the time to comment (when I actually have something to say) I’m gonna go ahead and use my KW anchor text!

    I have a different blog I just launched that I’m going to use this plugin on..thanks for the tip.

  2. @GO Zone Jeremy – Jeremy, Glad you are finding some useful stuff here at the lab.

    You can use KW anchors as long as I have a name along with it. But a KW anchor will probably cost you the do follow which in a very real way negates the KW anchor.

    Catch 22 I guess.

  3. If that’s the case…I’m assuming you don’t have this plugin activated at the moment?

    You will only be able to use a name for now on? How does it now my name isn’t really GO Zone Jeremy?

    Is it only going to allow one syllable?

  4. Jeremy,

    It is activated, your name is within the parameters. It isn’t limited by syllables. It is limited by a character limit.

    I’m allowing KW in the Name field if there is also a name. This is all contained in the Comment Policy for the Lab on the Comment Policy page. You fall within the parameters.

  5. @Dave Smith – Dave, you have a great blog here and I, as well as many others (I’m sure), appreciate the link luv! I do understand that allowing the links to be followed creates a lot of unnecessary spam from people commenting who don’t even read the post.

    I for one wouldn’t mind at all if you adopted the nofollow route completely. The fact of the matter is you have a great blog here with lots of good content. I’ve been developing my real estate website for many years now, but it’s only recently that we’ve created a blog. I’m new to the whole blogging thing and this website has already been a great help. So don’t be surprised if you see me posting in older articles because I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

  6. @Justin in Oahu

    You are always welcome here at the lab. Bloggers like yourself are the reason I created the lab in the first place. It is always appropriate to post comments on older posts.

    Leaving comments like “Nice Blog” “Great Stuff”. Those are the worthless comments, and you won’t see them here. I moderate all comments that are from new posters and those never make it to the blog at all.

    In the beginning of RE blogging it was pretty much a community of pioneers figuring it out as we went along. (I’m a wave 2 RE Blogger) Then it became the “thing” every agent had to have a blog. Along with this emphasis has come those “training” on how to get your blog to the top of the SERPs. Most of this training like most agent websites is worthless. It has lead to new bloggers being told to place comments on do follow blogs when the real emphasis should be on creating and building quality content on their own blog. This concept seems to allude many. It is a little more work to inform yourself about your community and write about what is interesting. It takes almost no effort or originality to post “Great Post” comments on other blogs which are providing content which is getting indexed.

    You are now entering and exciting place to be in RE. Blogging has rich returns for those willing to be patient and post fresh, new, relevant content about their community.

    Good luck and keep blogging.

  7. Hi Dave, I do get my share of the link madness on my blog as well. One being my blog is linked from Realtor.com, so I’ve been the target of this random uselessness of comments, and yes it does become a source frustration I do carry a PR3 at the moment. and when i was naive about linking i had some bad stuff happen. I do allow link love as long as its not random and i check bad-neighborhood.com com if all checks out, I’m good with it. Happy 4th

  8. My blog is moveable type. I created before I had a good of idea of what I was doing. Anyway long story short I have no follow and I still get tons of comment spam. I think the web is no awash in junk comments like “Cool blog check out my site at xyz.com”.

    Whats wierd is I feel like what I learn from blogs is way more valuable than a few links. So all I figure is these spam guys are missing out.

  9. (A little off topic so delete if you want)

    I wish there was a plugin that would allow commenters to edit posts after writing them. I keep reading comments I wrote and realized I mangled the english language. Ok, maybe I just need to learn to proofread before pressing submit 🙂

  10. @Ki Gray – That really isn’t off topic and I’ve wished the same thing. I’ve even gone so far as to post the correction and as the blog author to delete the original.

    If I know of one I would install it, the issue would be how the system knows it is you wanting to edit your comment.

    Your command of english is fine.

  11. @Anthony – Staten Island Real Estate Blog – Sometimes it takes awhile for it all to get sorted out.

    When you get a link from a national site it can lead to some real spam coming down that same highway.

    Have a great 4th yourself.

  12. Thanks for the info on this plugin. I can see that being very useful. But if you are a do-follow blog, many people won’t know that you are using it and will post bogus comments anyway. My blog has done quite well in the SERPs and has PR4, and is a do-follow blog. Fortunately I don’t get many of these quick comments just for linkage. I have done some backlink building, some from commenting on blogs, some from getting directory links, and grown some naturally. I found, like you say, that content is mostly what got me to the first page of Google.

  13. Bob Mitchell says:

    This has made me hyper-aware about trying not post something that can be seen as spammy – which is, perhaps, half the point of what you’re aiming for here.

    Anyway, I am in the process of researching dofollow/nofollow and comments for my own site (which doesn’t have comments at all right now) as I’m going to have to write it all from scratch.

    I can see that you have tried several/many things, but what, as someone that clearly has to moderate a lot, would you say is the feature that you’d like so see the most?

  14. @Bob Mitchell – Bob, I think Lucia’s Link Love will do pretty much what I want. If I were going to ad one more thing it would be the ability to additionally add or remove the do follow with a check box.

    I really don’t have to moderate a lot of comments. Most come from previous people leaving comments, those fly right to the post.

    Only new ones are moderated and only the first time. If someone has already marked a commentor as spam and askimet flags it as such I can delete it or approve. I don’t have to do that often. I do check it at least once a day as I’m actively in the admin panel of all my blogs on a daily basis.

  15. Bob Mitchell says:

    Not using wordpress LLL isn’t going to work for me directly, but I think I ought to take a look at it and… um… *borrow* concepts that work – should probably add a simple toggle for the link type as well.
    Thanks for the thoughts.

    (and if I ever need some real estate in Arizona I’ll be sure look you guys up)

  16. I use the no-follow free plug-in at my sites. It allows you to set x amount of posts as a minimum before removing the no follow tag, though I currently have it set at 0. I’ve heard good things about the one you are using, too.

    A lot of bloggers have comment policies, and I think if you’ve had a lot of problems it’s good to have them. I see you have a “comment policy” page, which is a good thing to have – but only if people notice it!

    I am on the fence about the name thing. For example, if I google “Chelle” one of my sites is #4 no doubt because of various comments I’ve left or people linking to me via my name. So to me, if they use the URL name (like I’d rather leave Upstart Agent as my name) I totally understand why they would do that instead of their name “john” which there are millions of in the world. But I’m not big on names like “Tampa Bay Luxury Homes For Sale” or “Low Money Down Mortgages”…those are just pushing it a little far in my opinion.

    Anyways, I’m new to your site, so hope I didn’t break any comment policy rules 🙂 Nice to meet you & your blog!

  17. @Chelle – You broke no rules : ) If you want to rank for Upstart Agent then Chelle Upstart Agent is fine, but I can tell you it exceeds the do follow limit for characters and wouldn’t get a do follow which would negate the help. You are very right about Tampa Bay Lux . . . ”

    Chelle you are always welcome here.

  18. Oh good 🙂

  19. Bob Mitchell says:

    @Chelle – Would you say that it’s good to state the mechanics of any comment rules, such as maximum number of words/spaces/letters or if there are any keyword blocking rules in place (assuming these are automatic)? Or if it’s left to a human filter is just a ‘don’t take the pi**’ policy good?

  20. Dave – have you considered using Intense Debate or Disqus for your comments? I’m not entirely sure of all their capabilities for managing follow links, but I’ve had a lot of success with Intense Debate in managing comments on my other blogs.

  21. @Bob – I personally let askimet do most of the work for filtering comments 🙂 I haven’t had any problems for the most part, so I don’t have rules on x amount of characters y amount of links. It’s all a matter of the blogger’s personal preference and the motivation behind having do follow in the first place – to attract new readers or reward the loyal/contributing ones.

  22. Dave:
    I totally hear what you’re saying, and think it totally sucks that people are abusing your allowance of do-follow. What content management are you using that you can’t edit your posts after you submit?

  23. @J. Bentz – Love the green bug bus.

    WordPress always lets you edit both posts and comments so not sure where I left the impression it can’t be edited. The specific do follow or no follow tags would have to be edited at the MYSQL level, which I don’t want to take the time or risk to do.

  24. Hi Dave – Hope you are doing well! Sorry to hear you have been getting spammed. I guess that is the one big drawback to a do follow site.

  25. @Bill Gassett – It isn’t a lot of spam, mostly from RE agents LOL, go figure.

    I think what bothered me most are people printing lists of do follow blogs and telling people to go leave comments on these blogs because they are a “Marketers Dream”.

    It isn’t any wonder people don’t like real estate agents, way to many come off as slimmy self promoting trolls. : )

  26. @Dave – Can you fax over one of those lists of do follow blogs? 😉 LOL

  27. I thought about this as well. I have seen a few “dofollow” list. There was one where everyone was begging to be added to the list. I thought to myself “man do they know what they are getting themselves into!” On one hand, it’s a great way to get more exposure (I actually think that’s how I found your blog) but on the other hand, you have to deal with more spam. I think “LLL” is the best solution. Reward people who comment often and contribute to the conversation and nofollow all the one and done commentors.

    All the best,
    Brad

  28. Commenting on real estate blogs has become all the rage for people trying to get more inbound links. Although worthwhile comments that actually contribute to the discussion are great, I really wonder how much, if any, effect will have for contributing commenters. Comments generally don’t have any PR and the posts and comments will eventually go supplemental.

  29. Bob Mitchell says:

    @Sam Chapman – Go on, I’ll rise to that one (suicidal though it may be). I can see the effect of just a few posts out there on the internet. The posts (and thus links) will appear on the front page for a while – especially in a stagnant forum/site – in a ‘recent comments’ list for a while.

    This isn’t even about permanence, just a surge or swam of activity that search engines like. besides, it wouldn’t take much to make sure this thread stays available for a long time.

    I still have backlinks (from back when I didn’t care about such things) from archives of long-dead forums – and don’t forget that content gets copied, quoted and re-published in other forms – all multiplying the effect of the original post.

    I’d say there is still ample opportunity for abuse.

  30. Maintaining a blog that has the Do Follow plug in is a pain. You notice a major increase in your comments which is usually good but most of the people commenting are just coming to the site for a free link. It’s nice to see you are enforcing your rule for people to contribute thoughtful comments related to the discussion.

    As they say “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

  31. Boy, oh boy. Sometimes I feel like i am getting a handle on what I am doing, and then at others – sheese (someone please turn on the light)

    New blogger, new to RE.

    I am not sure how this is happening, or if it has to do with the Follow – no follow issue – but I have sites that are picking up the info off my blog, printing part of it, and then linking it back to me. I don’t get it. The sites look like automaton types. The links and text end up as comments on my WP blog.

    Any ideas?

  32. Heather,

    Those are scrapper sites. When they link back to you (a trackback or pingback) don’t approve those comments.

    If they are only putting in an excerpt of your post and credit back to you they are only a nuisance if they are taking the entire post and putting a different author name on it those you want to go after.

    Start by writing a post saying “If you are reading this on Name of the Blog then you should know they have stolen this content.

    They don’t watch what they steal they will publish it.

    Jay Thompson and others have outlines some ways to make them stop. I haven’t bothered since it has been a limited issue and they seem to stop on their own after a while. I don’t know why but I hope it is (for example Google taking them down).

    One thing you can do I’ve heard Jay mention is to try and contact their ISP and let them know the site is ripping off your content.

    Finally, if your content is being stolen it is like a badge of honor among RE bloggers to be good enough and have enough content to be worth stealing. Welcome to the club and good luck getting them to stop. And don’t approve their trackbacks. : )

  33. Dave – Thank you! I’ve asked around a bit and this is the first answer I’ve received. Of the six or so sites that are “pilfering” there is one who took the whole post. I just posted a message there.

    I appear to be in need of a tutorial on backlinks and trackbacks. My friend hosted my site and I’ve just been muddling through – a little help from him and my son. Also just found your list of plug-in’s from last year – am going to pop over there and post 🙂

  34. James Wheelock says:

    I have already had major issues with scrappers and my blog is brand new. Three weeks to be exact. The first two I saw come in I wasn’t sure what I was doing and accepted them.

    How do I get these back off my comments page?

    And is there a way to get them listed as spam with askimet after the fact?

    @Dave – I chose to start out having my blog be do follow as I think it is neat to have a community and so feel that members should be rewarded. However, your post here has made me nervious about the time I will have to be spending moderating my comments.

    Anyways for now I will keep the blog as do follow and want to let you know that I would love to have you stop by awhile.

  35. Sorry to bump an old thread, but I was curious to hear your thoughts on the plugin now that’s its been several months. I’m considering making my blog a do follow, but as Ki stated above, I’m already getting spammy comments.

  36. Charles,

    Because I get a lot of spam here I have all comments on moderation till three approved comments.

    Those spammy comments go right to askimet as spam. I might get one or two more and they go the same place. After that they are always trapped by askimet on my blog and on every blog using the askimet plugin.

    What this means for me is I’m drawing out some spammy comments and contributing by getting them off the net. I’ve also noticed that since installing this plugin I’ve stopped showing up on lists of do follow sites.

    I like the plugin and am happy with the results. Spammy comments are way down in the past few months, maybe it is the economy : )

  37. I’ve been for more than fifteen years a real estate and property practitioner. And now I’m trying to utilize my marketing effort with a site call bestsurabayaproperty.com . Actually I don’t care about my website’s rank. However it’s been first until fourth page of search result of Google and Yahoo with more then 500 keywords of searching. Recently I’ve been always surfing in internet looking for site or blog correlating with real estate and property field. I know many people are using back link as a prime reason to lodge comment. But for me learning is above all. Ya, just learning. I want to study as much as possible about real estate realm abroad and how to present the product in the web page as good and effective as possible. The matter of link is just another side effect. Don’t you want to appreciate people learning and adore of your work ? Besides by do follow you look more gracious and friendly. By the way why don’t you use commentLuv Thank you for the precious articles and all of your kindness.

  38. Budi,

    I am using commentluv. But as I mentioned in the post on pligins it stopped working and I haven’t figured out where the conflict is yet.

    Hope to get some time today to work on it. It isn’t easy knowing when it is working since there is nothing to see to verify when it is or isn’t working. I don’t know if it is a conflict with another plugin or the latest version of commentluv.

  39. How people consider you- as psychic or lawyer? . 🙂

  40. I am using JS-Kit with comment luv and it is working fine except that I no longer receive notifications for comments in my email and comments do not show on blogger dashboard. I don’t really mind that.

    Jhangora ´s last blog post..Congress UPA Set to Form the Next Indian Government

  41. I agree Dave, that content builds popularity, and I understand that SEO guys like yourself are slightly opposed to RE bloggers using your blog as a dofollow backlink. However, I built a new site and I installed the dofollow attribute because I want to create a sense of popularity on my site. I think that I do write good content but baiting people to come to my site, hopefully it gives them the curtousy to read my post, enjoy it, and truely link to it.

    That said, I know there are pros and cons still, but I like the dofollow. Content being most important, I think those good content writers will emerge as the true top sites.

    Scott ´s last blog post..Solve this real estate mystery crime

  42. Scott,

    I have no issue with RE Bloggers getting a backlink that is why I have do-follow turned on, it is also why I give them a link back to their latest post.

    What I do object to, is keywording the anchor text and leaving a comment that obviously has nothing to do with the post. Even worse the ones that leave a comment and I know from what they wrote they never read the post.

    I like the interaction with those commenting and I want to respond to “Scott” not to Real Estate in Maryland when I reply.

    That’s my only beef. I want interaction with people, not states, cities, counties etc. I don’t believe Maryland Real Estate really left a comment, or read the post. I don’t think an inanimate object can read or contribute to the discussion.

  43. Well, maybe there are some ways to combat spammy dofollow posts that haven’t been explored yet. Perhaps you can add a pluggin that will require people to spend 5 minutes on the blog before they can comment. Or maybe require there comment to be a certain number of characters long. At least then they’ll be more likely to read the article.

  44. Well look at me bumping an old post… I received another comment update from “a fable & dofollow” and then found this thread.

    Dave, you mentioned that you wish you could check “yes/no” on comments. LLL does give you that ability. It tracks email address & URL, so if you delete the edit the comment and delete the email address, the comment automatically goes nofollow and the commenter doesn’t get credit for that comment. When I see something that’s borderline spam, but I’m not 100% sure, I’ll go this route.
    .-= Eric Bramlett´s last blog ..Austin Real Estate Stats: September 2008-2009 =-.

  45. Eric,

    Nice Tip, I’ll remember that one. That Fable of do follow is a golden egg post. It still gets a lot of traffic and a lot of comments. Most of which end up in the spam filter. I haven’t approved one for that post in some time.

    Glad I did the one this morning. It ended up in your comment and tip.

    Thank Eric

    Have a Great Day

    Dave

  46. that’s an excellent post thanks for sharing
    .-= scottish fold kitten´s last blog ..Scottish Fold Newborn Kitten Ears =-.

  47. To all Readers,

    The comment by Scottish fold kitten is an obvious spam comment. I’ve deleted hundreds like it, 6 just today. But these kittens are so cute and interesting. I’ve approved the comment.

    But cute or not, a spam comment is a spam comment.

  48. Almost every time I visit a blog i see spam. Its unavoidable. It discourages readers because the spam interrupts the flow of information being posted. I’ve seen so much cat spam its insane. I’m not sure what the connection is between spammers and cats but its uncanny.

  49. Nick,

    It is unavoidable to get it submitted, but it is completely avoidable from having it appear on your site.

    Dave

  50. I think the do-follow thing works as I’ve seen many high PR’s do the same thing. I do like the concept of being able to choose which blogs you follow and which one’s you don’t. There are too many tools out there that mass comment blogs which bs comments like “great blog” which totally kill it. As long as someone adds to the conversation or keeps it going, why not… right?

  51. I think you have to approve the comments on your blog, other wise you will get nice post, cool site ect. If the blog owner does not play editor then they will get a lot of spammer comments on the blog and weaken the content of the blog.

  52. David,

    No matter how you have it setup you better be moderating comments. There are plenty of spam comments left on blogs all the time, do follow or not.

    I personally have all my sites set to moderate the first three comments coming from anyone. After that their comments post automatically. That cuts down on a lot of issues. Throwing spam comments into the akismet spam folder keeps them from appearing in my dashboard in the future.

    Dave

  53. I agree the spam comments are a pain in the neck, but not for the reasons I see here. I was so puzzled by some of the (spammy) responses to my posts that it took longer to figure out what they were saying that it would simply to write a new post!

    Not everyone who come into my Open Houses are planning to buy, not everyone who asks me to prepare a property marketing analysis intends to have me sell their home, and not everyone who leaves an “atta boy” in my comments box really thinks I have written a good post.

    Still, it would be nice…

  54. I in person have all my sites set to moderate the primary 3 comments returning from anyone. subsequently their comments post mechanically. That cuts down on plenty of problems. Throwing spam comments into the akismet spam folder keeps them from showing in my dashboard within the future.No matter however you have got it setup you higher be alleviative comments. There ar lots of spam comments left on blogs all the time, do follow or not.