Maybe I am a little sensitive to blog comment spam issues, but I like genuine members of my community gaining a little link juice for their comments. Many comments you find on my blog are better than full blog posts elsewhere (sometimes the comments are better than what I write)
The best way to guest post on my blog is just to write a great comment.
Wide Circles ( http://www.widecircles.com/ nofollowed link for good reason) have a number of offerings.
- Forum sigs – this for me is a grey area, I know many forums that allow affiliate links in sigs, and there is a market for forum sig links on some of the large webmaster forums, though they don’t offer much traffic or juice benefit. I suppose they are good for sites that can’t get better links.
- Comment spam – this takes the form of a social signature (again a nofollow link), leaving a link underneath a name when leaving a comment. They do stress that commenters
should check the rules for each site before spamming them.
- Wiki spam – they add links to pages or create new pages – some SEOs are going to thing “great – cool service”
They also list general comments, guestbooks, polls and classified ads
You will find blogs that will allow a link to be left under a name, especially when a link field is not provided. The problem is that these fields are specifically intended to link back to a person’s own site and where they are not present a link drop as part of a sig though accepted, would still be expected to link to something related to the person leaving the comment.
This helps other readers find out who they are, what might influence their perspective, and might even be looked on as a method of indirect disclosure, as long as there is an easy to find disclosure statement for anyone clicking through.
Evidence For The Prosecution
This comment was posted on a post about Blogrush
wide circles or widecircles is really great service http://www.wide circles.ca
To add insult to injury, this was posted on my post slamming the practice of comment spam as part of internet marketing mentoring programs
wide circles or widecircles is really a great service indeed http://www.wide circles.com
Note: I added a space in the urls above to ensure even on splogs they get no link credit
Both comments came from the same person using the following IP
(IP: 188.8.131.52 , S0106001839263935.cg.shawcable.net)
Maybe I should contact Shaw Communications Inc. about abuse, though I am not sure ISPs look on comment spam as seriously as email spam. It did get sent to my email address however, and if I was using subscribe to comments, it might have gone to 50+ email subscribers.
The legal issues around blog comment spam can start getting nasty.
They also make fun claims such as
This single signature with the link can attract many users who are intrested to find out about the service or product being offered and it will also help with search engine optimization strategy and rankings, since every comment made by our publisher is esentially different.
…complete with their spelling errors.
Anyone using the comment spam service is lining themselves up for a reputation management disaster, because just like I am making this blog post about Wide Circles, other people don’t like being spammed either.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that I headed off a rather delicate situation with the mentoring programs comment spam. Shawn, one of my regular readers and a SEO in Scotland was getting sick of comment spam coming from these so called “internships” and was quite prepared to go on the warpath..
I advised caution, because other than the mentorship programs, the people involved are actually quite legitimate marketers, and contacted a mutual friend to see if things could be handled more diplomatically. The jury is out on that still.
Another thing to be cautious about, these are paid links, even the forum links, and Google are always on the lookout for link buying, especially on obvious web destinations such as popular webmaster forums.
This isn’t the only incident today. I had another one where I caught a SEO linkbuilding for a client – I just contacted his boss – link building through comments is extremely risky both for the client and service provider.
It is especially risky on SEO blogs, and many dofollow bloggers are very well aware of all the tricks – they know their regular readers.
I have argued in the past that paid blog comments can be legitimate, but it is under very specific circumstances, that Wide Circles just does not meet.