Comment Spam Warning Signs

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

Approve
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.

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Comments

  1. says

    Dude, you really are a harsh moderator, I guess most of your time will be spent moderating comments.

    personally I enjoy comments on my blog and allow all of them, except for the annoying short ones, like cool psot keep it up and then | link | or Nice post.

    people should really take the time to at least read the post and then comment :/

    • says

      I am leaving your comment link as an example, but a bad one.

      Your website doesn’t have any personal information about you
      It seems to be a cookie cutter datafeed site

      I have no idea how much or how little time you spent modifying the descriptions.

      Your website would most likely be illegal in the UK and Europe

      That is the impression I gain looking at your site, and despite the fact that your comment is on topic, I am taking a risk leaving it in place as with dofollow, leaving a link from user generated content that I don’t 100% vouch for is a risk.

      I didn’t get hit by any malware, but I certainly wouldn’t buy from you.

  2. says

    To a lesser extent, email signatures within blog comments, adding an additional link to the commenter’s website. Not much need for it in my opinion, and normally I’ll edit it out if someone has already left a URL in the website field.

    • says

      That is actually one I thought about just after I posted

      These are all just indicators that anyone manually moderating comments might look at, and there is no hard and fast rule set in stone. I have known people leave a comment with a URL under their name, who didn’t include a URL in the box provided.

      I should also add

      Obviously fake emails, made of a jumble of letters
      Email address .cn .ru
      Repeat comments pointing to different domains
      Repeat comments with a different name field – sometimes 3 or 4 comments on the same post with different names, but all with the same IP address

  3. says

    Andy,

    I’m a pretty harsh moderator of comments myself but you’ve taken it to a whole new level compared to what I do.

    While I can see being this harsh has its advantages, do you find that as a by product of your liberal use of the spam button that you’re stifling the community aspect or report that you could be building with your readership?

    I think if I were to delete comments even harsher than I do now (ie, approaching what you do) – I’d be largely not allowing any comments through onto my site. From what I can see in the comments that generally get left around the place, a lot of people don’t have a lot of time to write comments – so I ‘generally’ let through shorter ones so long as they have some sort of substance to them. If the commenter is new to your site but they leave a short but good comment, are you likely to let it through or dump it because they haven’t taken the time to write something of significance/substance?

    Al.

    • says

      Al

      It takes time to build up a community.

      One thing I have noticed though is that quality comments encourage more quality comments, and junk comments encourage more junk comments.

      The other day I left a couple of good comments over on the stomper blog as soon as an article was posted.
      They were long detailed comments adding a lot of value, one of the posts was promoting Comment Kahuna before the Traffic Kahuna relaunch.

      I received 20 or 30 visitors from each comment, and a very visible increase in subscribers just based on the clicks I can track.

      In addition because I wrote a good comment, I also gained a link of appreciation from Dan at SEO Fast Start who I have a lot of respect for and recommend his ebooks frequently.
      That also sent me subscribers.

      I know that the subscribers I receive from those sources are much more valuable to me than typical blogging audiences.

      Those comments also set a great example. I actually like comment tools that help you discover new blogs where you can get a bonus link for adding value.

      I often have 100 comments to moderate per day, I have to draw the line somewhere.

  4. says

    first off great topic. yes i am a new commenter….i have a few blogs that i get spam on all the time…like turn your blog into a website comments…telling me they love the look of my blog..now go here and turn it in to a web site…i love how they make it seem they are interested in you blog…

    thanks again for the great post and watch out for those spammers!

  5. says

    You’ve written this post at a time when comment spam is of great interest to be, Andy.

    I blog with Blogger and of late there have been a few problems with this system. While I want to allow readers to leave comments and implement a do-follow system, the rise in spam recently is making this near impossible to moderate. So now I’m faced with the dilemma of only allowing comments as I have the time to moderate them (which may result in some comments appearing a day or two after they were left!).

    I don’t blame you for being ruthless with comment moderation at all. It’s one of the responsibilities of being a blog author, and so far you seem to be doing a great job of keeping your comments section clean.

    Thanks for a useful post when I really needed to read about others’ opinions on this :)

    • says

      Whilst I am not encouraging people to use Disqus on WordPress, I think for anyone on Blogger it is such a huge improvement to their workflow that they should forget about Dofollow and just use Disqus.

      I think Disqus profiles are still indexed, and over time it provides at least some benefit.

      The blogger comment system was archaic 2 years ago.

  6. says

    I’ve had a commenter leave comments slowly until they get past the moderation wait, which I think I have set somewhere between three and five. And then one day I wake up with a comment on every one of my posts from the same person.

    I don’t get it. Obviously I moderate my blog. Is it worthwhile for them to have a mass of links for a day or two? Plus that takes some patience just to never be able to comment again.

    • says

      That is also why people using Akismet are often hit with just randon junk, or links to Google.com etc.

      The spammers are trying to find blogs where their comments can gain some traction to sway the collective intelligence.

  7. says

    Nice list – I’m thinking of adding a little thing to my comment form that catches the query string and allows me to see the referal in the back end. Too many people land on my blog and leave a comment just because it’s a dofollow blog.

    Kinda defeats the whole object of the exercise if you ask me. Not to mention wastes mine and their time too.

    What part of read the comments policy can’t they understand I wonder.

  8. says

    I certainly agree with your stance, I feel like i am deleting more comments that I’m letting through, but this was somewhat expected.

    It is however a little disconcerting to see some of your rules, My email for instance is a mnemonic. not just a jumbled bunch of letters.

    But at the same time, your a strong blogger with great posts, I think that although harsh moderation might be a short term penalty, its going to be a long term blessing for you.

  9. says

    Lately I’ve been thinking about adding dofollow to my blog to encourage more comments but then I wonder if I’m just encouraging spammers.

    Like you said, a community takes times and often times it’s a long lonely road until you get there.

    • says

      I have a few different blogs, some follow, some don’t. It seems like the ones that follow might get a few extra hits from spammers, but it also gets a few extra hits from bloggers & writers in related fields who are looking for mutually beneficial communities. I figure I’m strict with moderation anyway so there’s no reason to put a blanket penalty on the few comments that get through.

  10. says

    While I do not seem to get much spam now (at one time it seemed like over 100 a day for one month) I wonder if my anti-spam measures aren’t too strong. My own comment got refused today. Not marked, refused.
    I have dofollow but I do not advertise the fact.
    I think comments to a blogger are like applause to a musician. I think we all want them, we just want them from someone who heard us and isn’t deaf and isn’t known for poor taste.

  11. says

    Hey Andy,

    This is a strange conundrum.

    It’s like my mother’s living room. It has extra nice luxurious carpeting which causes her to constantly fret when people walk on it.

    Regular house guests know the rules, but new ones don’t…

    I run into the same problem in my business. Often I feel like I want to add new rules. Most of the time, I realize that it’s only the 10% of idiots that are making this rule and its explanation necessary.

    I’ve experienced better results by just axing those 10% and continuing on my merry way with the rest who know how to follow instructions and exercise common sense…

  12. says

    I’ve never really been a good writer so, honestly, your rules make me nervous. I’m a new commenter and I’m going to take a stab at it here to see if I’m going to get banned or not.

    It seems to me like your biggest problem is that you have ~100 comments to moderate each day. I do understand that moderating such a huge list of comments is a time-killer and you have to draw the line somewhere, but shouldn’t you take it as a sign that your spam management software is dated?

    A few questions I want to ask are:
    1. How many of the ~100 comments you moderate are spams from bots?
    2. How many are spams from people (i.e. people who leave dumb/irrelevant comments to earn a do-follow link)?
    3. Are all new commenters always held for moderation? If so how many are real geniune comments?

    Before I go on, let me first say that I do not work for “Project Honey Pot” or “StupidFilter” or know anybody that works for them.
    I believe that you can block a lot of spams from bots by integrating something like Project Honey Pot into your site. In a similar fashion, you can integrate StupidFilter to get rid of stupid human comments (I’m axiously waiting for a non-beta release from these guys).
    Do you think these methods would help reduce your moderation queue and give new commenters a fighting chance?

  13. says

    Who knows if my comment will make it? :) I see your point though. unfortunately many people out there are out to manipulate page rank and search engine results rather than contribute comments on posts. The whole point of receiving inbound links is to show a vote of confidence, so it’s kind of lame that the comment spammers are so consistent. It will probably end up where comments on blogs are devalued.

  14. says

    I have received many spam comments and I tried to implement Akismet for it. But the problem with it was it sometimes marked good comments also as spam. So, even after implementing capcha, akismet, I end up moderating even the spam comments.

  15. says

    Andy, all I can say is “well said!”

    You introduced me largely to the dofollow community (on my personal blog during the the Technorati favouriting escapade!), but boy is it full of spammers! I think for a lot of them the doFollow logo is like a red rag to a bull! I have implemented it on my new blog, but I have to confess that I did ponder the subject for a while

    On this site I launched a commenting policy a while back, so at least they know what to expect going forward. I also use the “subscribed to comments” plugin as a bit of a guide, to see if they’re actually going to be interested in my reply if I do reply to them – after all commenting is about dialogue, not just gaining links right?

  16. says

    Hi Andy,

    I would agree with your view point. On my blog I’ve only got the first few comment, but I immediately notice that most comments seem to be geniune.

    I don’t mind giving anyone a link if they leave a comment.
    It’s kind of… a give and take situation where both parties gain something.

    By using the Askimet and Better Comments plug-in, I’ve now problems with spam at the moment. Hope it stays that way!

    -Riggie

  17. says

    For Andy:

    Thank you for the tip about using Disqus. I was looking into the possibility of Intense Debate as many of my readers have recommended this (and I think this service does allow followed links).

    My main concern is the comment spam though, and the ease of which my readers can leave comments so I will be sure to check Disqus out and see which service would be the best for Blogger.

  18. says

    Excellent post Andy, I have several blogs one of which got so much spam traffic that my ISP called me on the telephone to ask if I had changed my traffic generation tactics.

    I wish I could have said yes ;-) but that wasn’t the case and I shutdown commenting, backlinks etc while I cleaned out about 20,000 rubbish posts. I wrote a captcha script for the comments etc and haven’t had a problem since.

    On my very first website, the comments page was inundated with junk so that I shut that down as well but I can see from the logs that those pages still, 2 years later, get 4-5,000 hits per month. I redirect them to the index page but that doesn’t help much as it think it is mostly robot type traffic.

    Automated scanning systems will always let some through and block some legitimate comments, there really isn’t any substitute for the human brain for filtering. The best bet is block everything and be harsh. Shame it is necessary AND that it takes so much time.

    Regards

  19. says

    I started out to make a blog then put it on hold.I had this idea of using it in conjunction with my Web site.However,I relized that I don’t have enough time to do both.Today I find myself here by the way of a newspress article.It seems there are too many people blogging without a central system with a simple “branded” keyword connection.Your comments about spammers was also one of the reasons I held off making a blog.I have enough spam in my web site mail without adding more. Frankly you bloggers need something like a google blog central with central spam control.For without it you are mostly talking into empty space, not getting a lot of real everyday people on.At least that is the feeling I get here. I like the idea of typing in a topic and seeing who is talking about it today.I’m new,so if there is such a central system I was not aware of it please let me know.Please forgive me if this is a bit off topic on spam. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Richard

      First things first, that 302 redirect to http://www.picknbar.com/page/page/5739556.htm isn’t going to be something Google likes very much, and it could harm how people will link to you.

      Your site looks like a great place to pick up rare minerals

      In many ways I have got my comment system set up with a central management system using Spam Karma.
      With almost all my comments being moderated, I get emails sent to me, which include the comments, and I decide yes or no with a single click, most often after I have visited their site as well.

      It is a scaleable system – I could easily outsource comment moderation, though that would require the person performing the duty to have access to each blog, as clicking a link always leads to the comment control admin for that blog being accessed.
      As for a blog on your site, I think it would help though I am not sure of the best way to integrate it with your shopping cart, which currently isn’t very SEO friendly.

  20. says

    I question your policy of marking comments as spam or approved – no delete. This could have problems, especially if someone feels your rejection of them has libeled them and they are suffering because of it (as you say ‘as the penalties snowball’). I’d recommend approve or delete – let someone else decide how ‘good’ people are.

    Another aspect of that is the curtailing of open discourse – for example, as I prepared this, I seriously thought against commenting, since I didn’t want to risk repercussions. After all, if you have a bad day, or don’t like my tone, or my site, or my picture, the ‘spam’ click is an easy one, and I pay far more than I feel I should. So, why comment at all?

    It doesn’t stop there – what if to prove my point here I explain that my site is OK to link to? But if I talk too much about it, am I spammy, or trying to round out an example? And if my site is in your opinion ‘poor quality’, I suffer, no matter what I think.

    I agree that the ‘nice site’ style of comments are a shame, and should be deleted – but I think going beyond a simple delete can have a chilling effect on dialog.

    • says

      David one important aspect is that I don’t advocate using spam control that involves collective intelligence.
      I strongly recommend Spam Karma, and honestly hate commenting on any blog running Akismet.
      It wasn’t long ago I stated I won’t be commenting on blogs running Akismet… I am not doing bad in that regard, but sometimes it is hard to resist commenting on Robert Scoble’s blog, or Lorelle, or Engtech at Internet Duct Tape. They haven’t got a choice in which spam control they use.

      I suffer from the negative side of collective intelligence on a daily basis, and anything that would damage that situation is bad. Recently I twittered that I would happily pay $50 to be whitelisted on Akismet – I was serious.

      It was after I left a comment on Robert Scoble’s recent redesign – I have commented on Robert’s blog many times in the past, but I am still subject to the whims of Akismet.

      Akismet also frequently seems to block genuine pingbacks and that can snowball.

      I don’t censor comments based upon point of view, not at all, never.

      Just one extreme example Shoemoney once called me an F’ing idiot in my comments and it is still there.

      On my comments policy I tried to define what kinds of sites I allow links to, but thankfully the majority of people who in my opinion are leaving genuine comments for more than just link building never have problems in that regard.

      My quality guidelines are probably more lenient than Google’s own internal quality guidelines.
      I even allow some MFA and generated sites to get through, even with anchor text links, as long as ultimately my readers would benefit if they followed the link, be able to tell who left the comment etc.

  21. says

    Andy,

    I feel a bit perplexed as some of the above comments seem to be related to your post but yet you mentioned that they are bad because of the website it is linked to???

    So how would you rank the linked URL in terms of your decision to keep a comment or call it SPAM.

    The reason I ask is because my website goes against the grain, althought the service works and is NOT SPAM, on a first glance it appears so. This is the up hill battle I go through every single day.. :-)

    and some of my comments on well knowns blogs like this one have been deleted without cause???

    • says

      Uri it is actually fairly easy

      1. You didn’t use anchor text

      However I visited your site anyway…

      You have contact details on your contact form, but you could also add a slightly more personal touch to your about page.

      Then I also visited your blog. Your son Jonah looks very similar to my own recently adopted son.

      I hope you do well with you pay per keyword search engine

      Unlike many blogs, if you had used that as your anchor text, whilst I would have scrutinized the site a little more carefully, it would have remained with your comment.

      I am of the belief that good anchor text links help Google determine what a page is about, and that whatever authority my site has in Google can be used to improve search.

      However if you had 10 employees commenting on my blog, all with the same anchor text, I wouldn’t be able to follow the conversation, and neither would my readers.

      Thus if they were using anchor text, in some way they would have to include a name, or link through to a profile page that is personal to them.

      Otherwise it would be as sensible as Matt Cutts using “search engine” as his name when linking through to Google when he leaves a comment.

  22. John W. says

    I am not going to put a link to my blog. I don’t really use my blog for SEO or other promotional things anyway. It’s just a blog. I have other websites. I am also not a celebrity or wannabe celebrity or guru and my wife does not want information about our family or children “on the internet.” I can’t really say I blame her. Most of my blogging involves heath and other things I’d rather leave anonymous as well. So I see any link I make would probably be to a humble blog that does not fit the social butterfly criteria described.

    Anyway, I generally allow any comments in mine unless its obvious spam or SEO gaming. I get the pretty typical ” this was useful” comment with anchor text and link to a shady niche. I find that usually if someone takes the time to post anything over a couple sentences with any thought involved I’m not going to mind too much if they link to a blog.

    • says

      John

      I look on a link from a comment as a statement similar to

      “This is who I am” or “This is why I have this particular view” or “This is some form of disclosure”

      The name field is generally how people want to be addressed, but can be substituted for a more relevant term to gain a link with more meaning providing I can glean a suitable reference when I click the link.

      I am not sure how the new laws in the UK would handle an anonymous blogger who was making serious money as an affiliate marketer – legally they would have to have real contact details if a Ltd company, but that could be through a registered office.
      The new consumer protection rules on the issue would be murky.

      I have no problem with anonymous blogging, or blogging under a pseudonym. As an example wank.wordpress.com

      Then again there was this little problem
      http://wank.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/more-from-our-new-spam-overlords/

      The guy from Sphere copy and pasted the same message in multiple places, used Sphere as anchor text, and only included his name at the bottom of the comments.

      The name at the bottom of his comment on my blog is what saves it, but now I am not so sure.

      You see it is great to see a response from companies to bloggers, but if it is copy and paste you have no idea they read the post.

      These days it is so easy to create a generic comment, use a tool such as Comment Kahuna to find blogs that mention the term, and paste your comment.
      If the generic comment is open enough, maybe a question, 9/10 it will slip under the radar, but if you read it carefully there are almost always strange inconsistencies.

      I do frequently also see the same comment appearing on multiple blogs, often related to terms like nofollow and dofollow, and it is always most welcome to see them appear in my email box from comment subscriptions.

  23. says

    The list shows you are definitely very harsh on moderating comments hehe, but they are good guidelines nonetheless.

    I personally do not mind when someone happens to leave a comment on one of my blog posts because we both gain from it.

    I also liked the analogy that Alex Goad used about his mothers carpet. That fits this situation perfectly and I cant agree more.

    To each is to own I guess and I can respect the fact that you run your blog the way you do by reading some of your replies to the other comments.

  24. says

    Andy,

    you have likely thought/written more about this than almost anyone, and as always, there is good stuff here.

    One thing I might disagree with is the idea that comments should be blacklisted due to referral from search, DoFollow blog link collection, etc. Here’s why:

    You clearly are using DoFollow as a strategic form of advertisement for your blog (and rightly so, it took me a while to come around to your point of view on DoFollow vs. NoFollow ruining the social graph). So what is wrong with someone advertising this for you somewhere else, and people responding by heading over here?

    The only thing that counts in my mind is the quality of the comments. If it’s there, than it’s a fair trade: User generated content in return for a link, and possible further feedback effects down the line. Win-win.

    In an attention economy, you are “pre-paying” for the attention with the promise of a link. In a way it’s way more honest than the old ways of link-dealing. If you get hundreds more SEO-savvy bloggers to parade past your blog and take a look, that has to be good.

    [Personally, I tend to refuse to comment on (and thereby put my work into) a site that treats the comments with disrespect, like CNET.com among others. Shows they don’t get Web 2.0.]

    Similarly for deep linking, if it’s relevant, so what? That doesn’t take any more link juice from you than a domain link, no?

    If someone is on Bumpzee.com/no-nofollow, you’d think the reason is that they want people to head on over from there, no?

    Like you said, you can always take the link back/delete the comment, didn’t know that SPAM Karma pretty much forces you into declaring things SPAM or not (rather than just delete).

    Personally, I have quite enjoyed the “public shamings” that you dole out every so often, they only reinforce your image as someone who gets it and pays attention on a deep level.

    All this said, I have been working on getting the DoFollow and related issues worked out on my own newish blog for a while, and have gotten most things to work to my satisfaction. Especially the YAWASP plugin seems to have killed off bot spam comments. That may solve the CommentKahuna issue without a captcha.

    I am still trying to implement a comment ratings system similar to the “SezWho” that you use (though I didn’t really like their to me overly complex implementation). Then tie this to links getting turned off based on e.g. 3 separate “SPAM” votes by readers.

    Talking to Lester Chan to port his “post ranking” plugin over to comments.

    What has your experience been with SezWho so far? Does it have a way to “bury” or turn-off spammy comments?

    Best – Alex

    • says

      Alex they are really just indicators, and with every comment there is a judgement call.

      I have left a ton of comments that originated from people following dofollow lists, using dofollow searches etc.

      The problem is when your average SEO linkbuilder lands on an internal page with PR5, such as my dofollow plugin list, and proceeds to leave 3 or 4 comments for each of their client sites, or to their MFA / BANS etc

      Arriving from a dofollow list is a signal of intent, and on most of them I am not listed in the first position because of how they were spread, yet the quality of the comment left on all the preceeding blogs (I often get a few email notifications before they hit me) is almost always a one liner or if it is more, it is prepackaged.

      Typical are things like “I didn’t know that my blog has been using nofollow all this time. I am going to do some more research and maybe change my blog to dofollow”

      Normally it is not as well worded.

      The intent is obvious, it is purely linkbuilding

      Traffic from dofollow search has recently taken a hit, it is hard to have missed Comment Kahuna and similar tools in recent weeks.
      They are much harder to detect, but hopefully if people actually follow the advice of the creators then there will be much more targeted visits, and better quality comments which actually add to the conversation.

  25. says

    I like your list and that’s because I am a harsh moderator too. I do value comments that add to the discussion. I do not value comments from “link droppers”.

    The amount of comment spam that I received primarily in the form of commercial links, post links and blocks of signature links prompted me to introduce some new comment policies. Predictably, I enraged several habitual “link droppers”. Here are some excerpts:

    * Moderation: To ensure that nothing distasteful such as, but not limited to, spam is automatically posted to the blog, comments are moderated.

    * Link limit: This blog is setup to automatically hold any blog comment with more than two links in the moderation queue, which may delay your comment from appearing. Any blog comment with more than two links may be marked as comment spam and deleted.

    * Commercial links, post links and signature links: Including a link to your “personal” blog and/or website may be acceptable but all links are subject to review and may be removed prior to posting. Specifically, provided that the bloggers commenting are actually adding something to the discussion I do not remove their links. However, if I believe that they are just link dropping in an attempt to divert readers to their own blog post(s) then I do not feel the same way. I delete the links.

    * Comments on old posts: Comment boxes will remain open for up to 30 days following post publication, however, you are welcome to submit your responses to any older post at any time by using the Contact form below.

  26. says

    Andy-
    I commend you on your efforts to promote and support Dofollow. As a newer blogger I use Dofollow to encourage community participation. I suspect that if you changed your policy your participation would remain constant. Purely speculation on my part, but you are a well known and provide expert insight.

    You said:

    Akismet also frequently seems to block genuine pingbacks and that can snowball.

    This is an area where I have had some trouble determining how to moderate. Do you apply the same logic for pings?

  27. says

    I came to this article from the comments on Case Steven’s blog and for me, this topic is becomming more and more of a mind field of confusion.

    Having relied on Akismet and now reading through this post that I should not …

    Also, within your list, you have ‘multiple comments in a row’ … as part of a link buzz group, I do make comments on particular blogs for no other reason but for the interesting content they contain.

    Is there a ‘definiteve guide to commenting on blogs’? Seems to me it is needed with very regular updates.

  28. says

    I read through all the comments and a lot of it was more on the technical end. On my blogs I use Askimet and I use moderation. Both are do follow too- so I can appreciate being vigilant about spam. My husband I have a business blog that gets a crazy amount of spam- I am not sure if it’s for the PR 4 link or the
    fact that it says do follow or maybe it’s no particular reason at all.

    However on the site I run by myself- I tend to let comments in that are kind of in the first three bullets you posted
    “Short comments
    Off topic comments
    Comments that don’t add something very specific to the conversation”

    Why do I allow these, because I believe that some people aren’t spammers and are possibly shy or want to just point out the fact that they are a reader. I think it’s a little harsh to block someone who just says “great post.” Maybe they are intimidated by what the blogger wrote- especially in tech fields, but they want to be seen and that’s ok with me. I think if they get black listed and see that their comment never shows up- you might lose a reader. I certainly don’t want to lose my shy readers. JMHO-

  29. says

    Well, who doesn’t hate spammers? But, we all have to deal with them, no matter we like or we don’t. But I guess, a lot of your time gets choked into this as you seem to be a real harsh moderator! Are you a serious kind of a person in real life? Then, my blog is strictly a no-no for you. Well, I pen a little serious blog too.

    :)

    • says

      I am certainly serious about things that can affect my business, such as my domain being blacklisted for email delivery.

  30. says

    re: “Akismet also frequently seems to block genuine pingbacks and that can snowball.”

    Have you considered using Defensio, instead of Akismet? I switched to using Defensio on my wordpress install on my own domain. I’m very pleased with its performance and do not hesitate when it comes to recommending it to other bloggers.

  31. says

    Andy

    Thanks for the tips. Since my blog is a dofollow one, I usually receive junk comments.These tips will help me a great deal.

    But can someone help me explain this scenario. I sometimes receive junk comments on my blog but when I check my web stats I don’t notice any visitors during that particular period.Usually when someone leaves a comment on my blog, the timing of the comment corresponds to the time of the visit in my web stats.How do these guys leave comments on my blog without being tracked by the web stat application? Is my blog still secure?

  32. says

    Hi Andy,

    Okay my blog is also ‘do-follow’. And I get lotsa commentators leaving ‘keywords’ as their names. Can get quite irritating especially when some of the ‘keywords’ are really out-of-place (e.g. I got ‘manboobs’ as a nickname of a commentator once before!)

    Usually, if these comments pertains to the post’s content, I will close one eye and let them pass.

    But if the comment is obviously a generic one and is posted only to get link juice – I will delete them.

    As compared to those who leave their real names, I respond to them and their comments far more than those who leave a ‘keyword’ instead.

    Jag

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