As I have just sent a similar list to someone whose comments were held automatically for moderation (like all new commenters), and whose comments will not be appearing (I have yet to decide whether I will flag them as spam or just delete them), I thought I would post them here for reference.
This is a list of warning signs, which generally I spend just a few seconds on, though looking at a new commenter’s blog or website is something I try to do even if they leave a great comment.
- Short comments
- Off topic comments
- Comments that don’t add something very specific to the conversation
- Anchor text
- New Commenter
- Comment on very old post
- Difficult to determine referrer
- Link points to poor quality site
- Link points to site which doesn’t contain very specific personal information about the commenter
- Linking to something other than a blog (minor, just an alarm bell)
- Free email address (minor)
- Multiple comments in a row
- Deep linking (I like leaving deep links myself, but it is a warning)
- .ru .cn and a few other less common domain extensions – I have linked to Chinese and Russian sites, it is nothing personal – in fact I even once linked to a Chinese site scraping me because they did it so well with each paragraph being translated and the English equivalent as alt text.
- Linking to what is obviously someone elses site (an SEO link building for a client)
- Referral from a dofollow list
- Referral from a dofollow search engine
- Referral with something related to dofollow in the search terms
- Other complicated search expressions
I am a harsh moderator, I only have 2 options in the emails sent to me by Spam Karma
Mark as Spam
No delete option, so people who spam my comments rarely trouble me again, as the penalties snowball.
In the past I have also flagged otherwise great comments just because they linked to a junk site
You should never look on dofollow comment links as the sole reason to leave a comment, it should just be a bonus of taking a real part in the conversation making a real contribution to the community.
Here is a general rule of thumb – if I delete your comment, would it be missed?
There are regular members of the community here that if they write a comment such as “great post”, it will remain, because it is genuine feedback – a good indication of reaching that status is when you comments never get held for moderation.
I think I am going to add lots of this as an extension to my comments policy, feel free to add any points to your own.