There seems to be a new trend with internet marketers running some kind of mentorship or bonus program.
It runs something like this (though I haven’t signed up to one to get exact details)
- You sign up to the mentorship program
- One of the tasks is backlink building from Dofollow blogs
- The new internet marketer runs around leaving comments on Dofollow blogs, but uses backlinks to the blog or salespage of the internet marketing guru
- After dropping a certain number of backlinks, the new internet marketer qualifies for a bonus
The backlinks are sometimes the link reserved for the comment author, or sometimes product mentions within the comments.
I Regard This As Comment Spam
My normal reaction is to hit the spam button, which will eventually prevent me seeing future comments by the people on the mentorship program, even if they eventually start leaving comments on their own behalf.
I haven’t got time to edit links even if the comments contain some legitimate content.
The mentorship program is effectively burning legitimate link sources for the people taking the “course”.
In addition, the chances of me giving an editorial link at some time to the “guru” or promoting one of their products as a JV partner are hugely reduced.
Legitimate Employees And VAs
As a blogger, I want to know who is leaving a comment.
I don’t mind anchor text used in comments, if my blog passes juice it might as well pass anchor text as well, but anyone following the link needs to be able to determine who left the comment.
This is a lot easier with personal blogs, or blogs run by a single person.
If my friend Michel Fortin left a comment with the anchor text “Copywriting” I am not going to worry about it. You go to his blog, it is clearly his blog.
Joy Gustilo works for Russell Brunson – that is a link to her profile on DotComSecrets and Joy often uses “Internet Marketing Joy” as anchor text – that is great, I know it is Joy and not Russell leaving the comment.
I have a few other readers also competing for that SERP so I should probably balance that out a little
If Courtney used “Internet Marketing” when leaving a comment, I wouldn’t have a problem – his blog is personal
You have probably seen Dwain Jeworski on various social networks. He used to work with Rich Schefren, and now is with the Internet Marketing Center as their Affiliate Manager. If Dwain used “Internet Marketing Dwain as anchor text in a comment, that would be appropriate. Just using Internet Marketing wouldn’t, because it would be impossible to tell if the comment was written by Dwain or maybe Derek Gehl.
The IMC have over 100 employees – can you imagine if a few of them all had a conversation in my comment area each signing their name as Internet Marketing?
One thing I would love to see on the IMC site is staff profiles which could be used as landing pages for social media link building. It would be possible to funnel juice from those landing pages through to pages where it is needed, which is much harder to do with links directly to a home page.
That is something Joy should think about with her comment links as well.
I am not quite sure how I would deal with comments from Jim Boykin if he was using anchor text such as “Internet Marketing” – I think anchor text would be appropriate for a link to his blog, as the blog is clearly his, whereas a link to the company site I would want some kind of identifier in the anchor text as to who left the comment.
Then again Jim’s ninja’s would probably use some kind of landing page method.
Of course Josh could link through to his Internet Marketing Blog as much as he likes. Again it is his personal blog. (some more on Josh’s blog coming up soon)
So ends my “SERPs Neutral” overview of acceptable linking practice, though there is a good chance I have missed a few people out from my readers.
I am Not Going To Name & Shame
At least not yet…
I left a comment on one blog regarding this practice, and it seemed to stop, at least on my blog, but the comment didn’t appear on the blog, and was not acknowledged directly.
Another “guru” when contacted about this last year offered to chat about it, but didn’t apologise.
I have noticed it starting again over the last few weeks, not just spammy linkbuilders, but quite obviously new internet marketers under some kind of mentorship.
Come on guys, behave… I’m serious