Blog Comments That No One Talks About

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This is the 11th post in a series of seventeen posts I’m doing following Kim Roach’s list post of “17 Copy-And-Paste Blog Post Templates“. You can see all the posts from this series on my blogging challenges page.

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I love blog comments, and I hate spam.

I think a lot of us feel that same way, it’s the blogger’s biggest love/hate relationship I can think of.

Thanks for blog comments we can engage with other people, we help others and we can know who’s reading and what they think about what we wrote. I always try to comment on every single post I read, but sometimes I don’t really have anything to add to the conversation, but I will still comment showing approval of what was said and sometimes thanking the author for a great post.

Because of spam comments, we need to take time or install plugins to try and weed them out and keep our blogs clean, this can sometimes be very time consuming, but we do it because we want the advantages that blog commenting brings to our blogs.

What makes a blog comment a genuine comment or a spam comment?

There are comments that you just know are spam, like when there is no Gravatar, a name that isn’t a name but a keyword and the link that goes with it. The comment is usually something vague that can apply to any website, something that looks like this:

Spam Blog Comment

That comment is an easy decision to hit the spam button (assuming you aren’t using an automated plugin).

You also have great comments, one were the person has a Gravatar picture of themselves, a real name, and a quality comment. It will look something like this:

Good Blog Comment

It wasn’t hard for me to accept that comment, and even reply to it and now that’s to this comment, Brankica gets a contextual link to her website Online Income Star.

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of both of these types of comments, hopefully more of the second kind. However, there are some comments that contain a little bit of both. Sometimes it’s hard to know if it really is a spam message.

Here are some of the more common “hybrid” comments I get and what I do.

Weak Comment with a Real Name

The first type is a comment along the lines of “nice post, thanks for the share” but there’s a real name (or at least seems real) and a gravatar. Depending on my mood and how many comments I have pending I may just hit delete on these types of blog comments, but other times I’ll approve it but remove the link from the name of the person who left the comment. If there is no Gravatar then I’m much more likely to hit delete on these types of comments.

Decent Comment with a Keyword Name

This second type of blog comment is a comment that actually relates to the post and shows the user read something or at  least skimmed it, but instead of putting a real name entered some keywords they wanted as an anchor text for their link. If I can deduce their name from their email, website or something in their comment I’ll replace the keyword with their real name. Again only if the comment is worth something, and if they have a Gravatar it will help too. This goes the same for users that will put their real name followed by @Keyword, I’ll remove that part.

Good Comment with a Spam Website

I always check the website the user is trying to link too with their comment, if it’s anything spammy or something I don’t like (i.e. Porn, Illegal, Racist), I’ll remove it and accept the comment without the link. Some people will put links to specific blog posts, that doesn’t bother me at all, while it does bother certain people, not sure why though as long as the name and comment are real.

I know I’m taking more time to work through them than I should, but it’s only when I have the time, other times unless the comment has all the right stuff it won’t get approved and will just get marked as spam or deleted.

The most common reason for comments is for the backlink, and I accept that, heck I do that, but at least read the article, and leave an insightful comment with a real name.

What do you consider to be a spam comment and how do you handle them?

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16 Comments

  1. Hi Jamie, I can relate to your attitude with the “sometime I will, sometimes I won’t.”

    I wrote on the subject of comment spam and have an interesting take on what to do with those comments. You can find it at: http://robcalhoun.com/blog/trackback-trickback-comment-spam/

    • I like the creative thinking you used in your post in how you deal with the spam comments Rob, I just left you might thoughts 🙂

  2. Oh yeah, You might wanna mask Branika’s email. The spammer gets the karma they deserve!

    • Thanks for pointing that out Rob, I fixed it, I did the spammer’s one too just to be safe, but I doubt the email address is even checked 😉

  3. Product Listing Site

    Well, you were right about spam commenting on blog post. And to keep away spammer from website we need to be take care of some sort of thing but as a seo person like me who do there clients work like blog commenting to get backlinks. we need to use title in name to share backlinks we have generated for the website. I am a regular blog commentator and I do read post when going to comment on it as I did for this post as well.

    • Normally I would just delete this comment, but because of the posts subject matter I figured I would accept it minus the link.

      I understand SEO, and I do SEO work for my customers, but I always use my real name to comment, I would rather you use the anchor text in the comment if it relates to the post and comment.

  4. Hey Jamie,

    Well you used a good one for this example. Brankica does rock.

    Oh spam comments, how I hate those. Let’s see, the “great post” or ones I see everywhere else will get trashed instantly. If you don’t have a gravatar and you don’t use your real name, trashed. If what you said makes no sense at all, trashed. If you link to a product or service, definitely trashed.

    Those are the ones I can think of at the moment and luckily, I don’t get a whole lot of those anymore. I love GASP, it’s really helped cut back on that.

    This is my first visit to your blog so I’ve missed this series. Will look forward to those yet to come.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ~Adrienne

    • Thanks for stopping by Adrienne, and for the tweet 😉

      I only discovered GASP a few weeks ago thanks to some wonderful tweeters (@AnaTrafficCafe & @CCAnsbjerg) and I’m loving it so far!

  5. Hi Jamie,

    Have to admit that I had been leaving comments and thought my Gravitar was active (however my pic was not showing up). Had it not been for reading Adrienne’s post on the topic and yours (about how no image can seem spammy), I probably would not have been as adamant in getting that fixed.

    Needless to say, it has been changed (rating issue). 🙂

    The more real you are and more value you add in your comments, the better the odds of your blog getting visits. Think that is key and everyone wins from that formula…

    Thanks for the info!

    • Hi Vanessa,

      It’s good that you got it fixed, I usually accept comments without the Gravatar as long as the person uses a real name and has a real comment, but the Gravatar definitely helps on a lot of websites in getting your comments approved 🙂

  6. I notice comments containing gravatar with comments that somewhat relate to the post yet there will be other comments with a totally different gravatar and name but link to the same url. Not sure if that is really spam or not, it’s sort of borderline so I have been approving them but if others come by to visit and see this as spam then it may discourage them from commenting 😕

    As of yesterday however I made a change where I’m not showing gravatars in the comment section but do show them in the sideabar’s recent comment area partly a s a test and also because HostGator sent me an email saying showing the Gravatar plugin was one of the main things slowing down my site and adding to the stress on their servers from my account.(I still believe they are trying to force me in to dedicated server plan though LOL!)

    btw,
    I’m surprised you don’t use CommentLuv here as it has G.A.S.P., keyword name, and Twitter link plus incentivised social sharing options all built into it.

    • Usually you can tell by the comment itself if it is spam or not, do you have a link to some you think are borderline? I could take a look and give you my thoughts on them.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right about them trying to upgrade you lol

      I’ve tried a few times to get it working with my theme, but they don’t seem to play nice together 🙁

      • After having a bit more time to investigate I see that some are live comments instead of using an automated program but the comments don’t always make sense as far as the proper syntax goes plus I’m noticing the same ip addresses for supposed different names and websites 😕

        Just looks like I’m going to have to be extremely strict from now on.

        btw,
        Do you happen to know the php code for displaying gravatar in comments versus using the actual plugin?

        • Yeah the IP adresses are a good indicator. Some people can be really creative with their spam so it can be harder to detect.

          Gravatar support is built into WordPress, I don’t use a plugin, looking at your site I think it’s the theme you are using that opted against using them. You can add some code to your theme to add them though check http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Gravatars#Theme_Support_for_WordPress_2.5.2B

          • Well although that link didn’t quite provide the answer I needed it did allow me to further investigate til I found the answer…

            As it turns out, my theme does allow for it but some time long ago I turned off displaying avatars so the Gravatar plugin would stop double displaying. Of course this was way,way before I knew it was a supposed drain on hosting resources 🙄

            So not only did I have to turn that back on with my WP Admin discussion option but also had to add a bit of coding in my threaded comments options so it would display in replies to comments as well.

            Thanks Jaimie, I’ll have to stay in touch with you 🙂

            BTW, did you get that email from Andy on the latest feats of CommentLuv as he just put some serious comment control in there like the ability to deny comments where the user arrived via a search for banned terms like dofollow or leave a comment or anything you choose, seeing how long someone spent on the page before comenting, where they came from, what terms they used and more!

          • Glad you got it to work Caleb 🙂

            I did see the email, I want to use CommentLuv but it isn’t playing nice with my theme, I’ll have to sit down and work on it at some point.

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