49 thoughts on “Dangers of Blog Commenting

  1. I go through the same frustration on one of my blogs which gets about 80 or so comments a day and most if not all of them are "Hey nice blog" or offer really no value.

    I was told once any comment is a good comment but I am at the point to where I will approve about 1 out of 20 at this point.

  2. These are some really great items. I find myself guilty of two of them.

    1. Recently started putting keyword into name. Debated about putting it here. And did so this time to find out the reaction of others as to they also are put off by it.

    2. Have always put in the URL. Never considered this wrong. Why would the option be there?

    So far, nothing bad has happened, but I am also not a very frequent comment person, although I would like that to change.

    Lots of food for thought and waiting to hear what others think.

    David

  3. Nice post! Usually when I comment on blogs I do not think about backlinks and try to leave a pertinent comment about that post. I feel that auto blog comment software usually sets red flags with bloggers. I found this post to be extremely helpful. Thank you.

  4. Great post. I have gotten one comment, with links in it to a commercial site, but the site was actually helpful to the blog's target audience. Also the comment was 700 words (longer than the post), well thought out and obviously written for only my blog post. (Not copy/pasted).
    In many ways, it is a 'spam' comment, but it brings so much good information with it, it was worth keeping. I will probably even ask the commenter to guest blog a post!
    Hard to always rely on auto plug-in's decisions as to what is spam and what may be worthwhile even when it looks like spam (or is). Using an auto delete of comments (to me) seems no better than using an auto-blogging plug-in. Saves time, but it can also cause one to lose very good info that can enhance your post's value... even if it is really spam!
    (On the other hand, I sometimes allow those stupid one liners. Why? I can only think a newbie would be the only one stupid enough to post it and probably after being ripped of by buying an e-book by some 'guru' that mis-led them to believe that is a good thing to do. If their email bounces, I do delete them! As I do e-mail them and inform them that that is not a kosher way to get back-links... and highly ineffective as well. Yeah, I know... I am a softy and a sucker. Lol.)
    -I never put a commercial link in a blog comment. I do not comment on blogs for the back-link. Other people seem to be linking to my 'properties' faster than I could spam blogs anyway.-

    1. Thanks for dropping by Mark. I missed ya quite a lot! :)

      "also the comment was 700 words "

      Just to point out to everyone (Mark already knows it), sometimes Akismet even filters long comments as spam, even if the commenter is a regular one. It used to happen quite often with Mark, and I am glad that this time Akismet made an exception and put his comment in moderation queue instead of spam queue :)

  5. There are ways around Akismet's filters.

    1. Use a proxy
    2. Use a different e-mail
    3. Use a url proxy like tinyurl or bit.ly.
    4. Use a different name

    The above combination will get your comments past the screen.

    And there are a lot of auto commenting progs that allow you to use all the above and rotate them on autopilot.

    Use about 30 to 40 variations and you're golden.

    It's easy to get around comment screens with generic comments too.

    Use things like

    "Your blog didn't show correctly until I cleaned out my Firefox cache. Hope this tip helps other users"

    Be creative and auto progs work well!

    I use one that posts to 3K blogs in 30 minutes. By using the rotation scheme I never get caught.

    And even if 20% of those I posted to get through, I still get about 500 links.

    Every problem has a solution!

  6. I entirely agree, so many comments are made to my 90+ blogs by spammers. Most I just trash, but the ones that I really hate are those that are posted to my resources page which say something like "great post" etc. it isn't in fact a post but a page for my three way linking system. I have found that using the plugin wp-recaptcha resolves most of the problems - requires commenting individuals to complete two words as well. Any comment that comes through akismet, wp-spamfree and wp-recaptcha (and this is now very few) will be read and provided relevant will be accepted on any of my blogs

    1. Hi Alec,

      I don't favor captchas that much: I think they hurt more (by driving away good commenters) than help (the hardcore spammers would do anything to post a "spammy" comment). I mainly use captchas in contact forms. Regarding WP spam free, you may want to note that it is now no longer supported (at least last time I checked). I posted an update here:

      http://arindamchakraborty.com/huge-list-of-cool-wordpress-plugins-part-1#SpamControlPlugin

      On another note, just a fyi, Akismet put your comment in spam queue, not sure if it is because of the comment length or not. ;)

  7. I knew I needed akismet on my blog, but I never knew how it worked . The light bulb went off and I know now how to be a more responsible blog owner as well as a comment poster

  8. Great post i will check back soon....

    Hahaha only joking, though it is a great post :)

    I was guilty for about 6 months of using Brute Force (Peter Drew) software and it got to the point I was actually cringing at the amount of Sh*t i was putting on the web that had no value at all, yes you can automate setting up 10 blogs, 5 twitter accounts, rss feeds, article spinning blog and forum posting etc etc but at the end of the day all you are doing is making a rod for your own back.

    There are lots of software out there that just creates gallons of spam not just peter drews software but in an ideal world if no one actually used this spamming software everyone would find it easier to rank as you would not be competing against 100 million spam sites!

    The software would generate 5 blogs and spin articles from article directories and automatically link them to each other then it would syndicate all of these blogs and rss them to the rss networks and finally setup automated accounts on over 100 forums and post all these links into your profile etc that is without the creation and auto follow on twitter etc. all in around 30 minutes!

    Less spam and more value is the answer.

    No doubt i added around 10,000 inbound links to the target site in less than 3 months but the value of these links did little for the site so is it all worth it?

    Good SEO Rankings is the simplest thing in the world in my opinion you just need to be honest, proactive and provide a great site!

    Write good quality content.
    Write descriptive keyword rich meta descriptions.
    get links from related sites that are happy to link or exchange with you.
    keep your site fresh.

    1. Hi Rob,

      6 months with Brute force means quite a lot of money I guess. :)

      Anyway, since when could SEO be fully automated with software? :P Best thing is to outsource SEO to an honest firm if you don't want to do it yourself, but investing in SEO tools (apart from link checkers and keyword tools) is a waste of money IMO. :P

      One of my commenters has a good review on Brute force you may want to read:
      http://www.ademartin.com/online-biz-and-views/is-peter-drews-bruteforce-seo-a-scam-comparison-senuke-review/

  9. Hi Arindam,

    Glad I read this post. I get a lot of spam on one of my other blogs, which I readily mark as such. I rarely comment on other blogs unless the niche is very related to mine. What are your thoughts about backlink subscriptions? It seems to me that if they are using the same links for everybody, that could ultimately be considered spam as well.

    Cheers,

    Brenda

    1. @Brenda

      >>What are your thoughts about backlink subscriptions? It seems to me that if they are using the same links for everybody, that could ultimately be considered spam as well.

      Exactly what you said. ;)

      I would say the backlink packets are great for newbies who are struggling with seo, but when you get a strong foothold in SEO, you should find your own backlinks.

  10. Most of the auto tools out there let you search for blogs and sites in your niche.

    They are way more effective for link juice than other methods.

    UWCS is a nifty cheap of software and works well. Also SEnuke is pretty good.

    Like any software, you will only get good results if you use them well and wisely.

    Brute Force is not getting you links in your niche. It's getting you "generic" links much like Angel's packets.

    Find your own backlinks! There are lots of tools to find sites in your niche and get the PR rank for the site too.

    Better to get links from high PR sites in your niche. The vote counts for more.

    But as stated everywhere and anywhere, it's about content too. Longevity is another big factor.

    Don't try to guess how to rank well with SEO. Just do everything and hope.

    Even when you do find the magic G will steal it away eventually.

  11. Oh! And remember to cover your tracks! Use VPN and rotating proxy covers and your posts will go through!

    I use a free VPN called hotspot shield when doing auto stuff.

    A lot of marketers consider automated tools as black hat. They are really just automated tools.

    Don't think of it as black hat. ALL the big companies use automation.

    If you consider automation black hat then ALL SE's and outsourced linking, posting, etc. services are black hatters.

  12. A few weeks ago, I purchased a package that has thousands of high PR sites that I'm supposed to be able to comment on. Some of the sites I have gone to have been duds, however, overall it's a pretty good listing.

    I've been able to leave some very nice comments, and get a backlink. A lot of tedious work sifting through the sites, but I do what I have to do. I've been working on the .edu, and .gov sites.

    I have read that these types of sites carry more weight with Google. I have always preferred to use my name, and photo, because I just feel this is more professional.

    Thanks and God bless.

  13. Askimet does a great job of catching spam comments & is a real time saver - I love it.

    As for the page rank packets, I have purchased a few & they do seem like spam to me. I know absolutely nothing about a subject like chemical engineering or Japanese anime & joining a community just to put my link in my profile on their forum makes me feel like a spammer.

  14. Good post. I didn't realize that akismet was that random in how it decides what comments are spam. Most of the time it does get that part right on my blogs. I have it set to manually approve all comments before I post them. I do see a lot of obvious spam comments and wonder what the commenter thinks they are going to gain from that comment.

  15. I always wondered about Akismet. I have about 20 blogs and get hundreds of crappy comments. I also have Akismet insatlled but no key in them. Duh! I am off to fix that now.

    Cheers
    johnGG

    1. JohnCG,

      I know it is tedious but personally I get a new key for each of my blogs, unless the blog is closed to comments. From what I have heard, the moment your blog(s) start processing more than 10k comments per month, you need to pay Akismet a $5 per month fee or so. So, spreading it out should generally delay the paid upgrade :P

  16. My rule of commenting has always been that I won't comment unless I'm willing to actually *participate* in the discussion.

    The thought of outsourcing commenting makes me cringe, so I would love to see you do a post specifically on that and how to do it successfully and in a high-quality way.

    I think you're english is great, btw.

    1. Hi Paul,

      I am still doing my own backlinks. Duh! I would like to outsource soon. :P Actually I DID outsource to some folks but generally did not like the work much, for a variety of reasons :)

  17. I have tried so many things to comment in the high pagerank blogs. I think some keywords are blocked by akismet, and if your email blocked you can use another email.

    But the most important thing like said above, leave relevant comment

  18. Thanks for this comprehensive post. I get a lot of spam on my blogs daily and I am often amazed at what some people say, thinking that it is actually going to get published! On the plus side, at least all the time they are spending publishing useless spammy comments on other people's blogs will probably result in zero backlinks :)

    I use Akismet, but never knew the details of how it actually worked, so that was interesting to learn.

  19. In my network of bloggers askimet has been raising hell... Many people are going to spam even though we have not marked them as so and askimet are being unhelpful.

    I always leave legit comments :)

  20. Hi Arindam,

    First, let me just say, I really enjoy all of your posts, even though some of them are very, very, very long. lol

    You really do post very useful and informative information, such as the suggestions on how to determine if you have been blacklisted by Akismet, and how to check if it's a WordPress Blog...I just tried that right here to make sure I got the error message...I did!

    I have made the mistake of using an SEO name on a number of posts, and wouldn't you know it, on WordPress blogs too. Hopefully they didn't get tagged as spam, but thankfully, now I'm a bit more educated on that tactic, thanks to your great post!!!

    Second, you always say somewhere in your posts that it's going to be another boring post. lol, you are never boring, but you do present a lot of information and sometimes it's very hard to absorb it all in one reading. So, that's a good thing. Keeps my mind active.

    Anyway, thanks for the wonderful information.

    Art Howard

  21. i second @Art

    Also i think Arindam you are online as many hours as me each day :D I work 18 hours every day at my pc and I always think people should respond instantly on my websites and they never do, example I have some forums and people will post and ask me a question, I answer it within 60 seconds of them asking then it takes them 2 days to read your answer!

    But like me you seem to be very pro-active! :)

  22. >>I always think people should respond instantly on my websites

    It is always good to assume just the opposite. :P Well I am fairly online for a good amount of time, say 10-12 hours at most, so if you comment when I am sleeping then you won't hear from me until I wake up :D

  23. Sorry, I didn't find this article boring at all! As a matter of fact I found it really useful as I'm on both sides of the issue. I have a number of WordPress sites and I'm looking into how to get legitimate backlinks. So this is timely and one I'll keep for reference as I move ahead. Thanks.

  24. I think people will respond when they can and have time.

    To assume that your comment or post will been seen immediately and responded to in kind is way off the deep end.

    Some days I sit and watch and respond to my emails as they come in. Others I might not look at them for hours and then put aside time later for responses etc.

    And that might not be until the next day if I am doing something more urgent.

    I have over 300 sites and have to do a lot of work for them. I can't possibly drop 1 effort to do responses unless they are vital to my operations.

  25. Yes my last post did get hit! I wonder why?

    It was a fairly long post too!

    It was in regards to immediate post responses.

    If you are very busy and have a lot of sites like I do then it's impossible to babysit and respond immediately.

  26. Hi Scott,

    Yeah, ur first two comments were longer (I think) yet did not get into the spam queue, your third comment was shorter but got in the spam queue (!!), but of course the last comment again did not get into the spam queue. Can you spell w-e-i-r-d? :|

    As a matter of fact, I have retrieved some really good comments (for this post alone) from the spam queue. No wonder I posted this article-I think it is high time to teach every blogger to check their spam queue. :)

    Never mind Akismet, I love all nice comments (including yours) so pls keep them coming. :D

  27. Thanks Arindam!

    This one of the days where I am doing email almost in real time!

    I have a tool that I got form BHW. It is a blog posting tool:

    http://www.thefreeblogcommenter.com/

    It is very easy to use and of course free! It allows you to find blogs by keyword and PR.

    Super simple and very helpful. It is semi automated.

    Check it out. You will like it for sure!

  28. Hi Arindam,

    After reading your post, I was leary to make a comment!

    I have to take issue with your comment that if we delete posts where the English is bad, we might be considered "prudes." I had 85 spam posts on one of my blogs the other day and most of them were such poor English I couldn't even make sense of them!

    So, they all got deleted!

    1. Yeah, I agree. Maybe even I wud delete them, who knows? :D Thankfully I get very few of these commenters anyway. I used to get lots of them when I kept my posts open to comments forever. Now it is very rare. ;)

  29. I don't have as big a problem with blatent spammers as I do the 'dumb a*s', these are the legit person not even using a URL at all so you know it's not a spammer, just a dumb as* that leaves the 'great blog' comment with no real purpose to the comment what so ever!

    I certainly don't want to hit them as a spammer. They obviously are not being malicious, they are just being dumb.

    Maybe someone can come up with a
    "DUMB A*S" commenter plugin. When they use those 'being dumb' traits the plugin would flash up a lightbox saying "HEY, WAKE UP AND MAKE A REAL COMMENT!!!".

    What do you think? Wouldn't that be a hoot!

  30. @brian

    It wouldnt be difficuilt to write a javascript snippet of code that would match certaim keywords and popup an alert or autochange what they wrote to something else like "Comment replaced due to offering no value to the blog"

    @arindam

    I read that review on Brute Force and have to say I agree with the reviewer there was lots of problems in the operation of the software I simply utilised the bits that worked and gave up on the many parts of the modules that didnt.

    Im actually writing a website app that will be 100% unique and will give anyone 8 unique links to their website just for giving 1 in return, so it will be a 8 inbound links all unique from different people and websites in return for 1 link from their site, no point in asking me about it as it is probably at least 6 months away as I am having to work on it between paid projects, still got a mortgage to pay :)

  31. Hi Arindam,

    Thanks for the mention earlier, it's much appreciated.

    I find it quite amusing that no-follow started as Google's answer to blog comment spam and along come apps like Keyword Luv who radically embrace the do-follow scene and then have the nerve to do a complete 180 and as justification inform us, and I quote, "So why are people abandoning DoFollow? The answer is comment spam.".

    Well, like, Hmmm! Who would have believed that huh? How can we give these people any credibility at all?

    Without going into too much of a rant, Internet marketers have created a belief that people can spend a few minutes creating hundreds of autoblogs, spend a few more minutes blasting out automated blog comments and they will be rich.

    This in turn leads to frustration and in many cases desperation. I am not a do gooder by any means, heck I'm an Internet marketer, but I firmly believe that we have an obligation to our readers to deliver what we say.

    That's not really off topic because comment spam is the start of losing respect for your business and yourself so who the heck is going to buy from you anyway? I have to reinforce the point in the main post about using SEO-ed names. Using keyword stuffed names like "Terry Fat Loss 4 Idiots Review Jones" or "Pete Natural Haemorrhoid Cures Davies" absolutely says a lot about the commenter, and it's all bad!

    Personally I find it embarrassing to do this and if you are reading a serious and informative blog, like Arindam's for instance, which always gives solid information, then I consider it a mark of disrespect and demonstrates a lack of professional courtesy to comment in this way.

    In the interest of full disclosure :-) I openly admit to keyword stuffing in the past. We all have to learn.

    I can't comment on Akismet as it just seems to work for me with no hiccups but I appreciate the information on what to be aware of.

    High PR blog and forum lists are definitely something to be careful of. It's better to find your own than buy lists. I used to use these extensively with little results. Like most things in Internet marketing it's all smoke and mirrors. They are cheap enough to buy, which makes me disbelieve the claims about "only 50 packets being sold", but then we have to weigh up whether the results are worth the costs of either your time or outsourcing.

    I like the idea from Brian about the "DUMB A*S" commenter plugin" :-))

    Take Care,

    Ade

    P.S. There are some great comments here.

  32. So, That's why or the reason my comment sometimes just... couldn't post.

    I guess Akismet really do it's stuff.

    Anyway, your suggestion to throw away captcha solution interest me, as I usually put captcha to send away spammer, and yess! I do miss all the good commentor (they run away too)

    Very well perspective Arindam, love to see more from you.

  33. I have two or three blogs that get some serious attention from spam comment experts. Every time I go to the Dashboard I see the same rotation of 5 or 6 different comments.

    It's kind of funny sometimes, but really frustrating too. I have some family related sites and get people wanting to put links to their adult sites on them - like that is going to fly...

    I also get the guys who try to start a false controversy to link out to some money making ebook. They say "Why did you delete my useful comments that I personally use to make $900 a day..." and then trail off into their pitch.

    The rest seem to be non-English speaking guys who tell me of "Extremely beneficient response motives..." that they get from my blogs. Then they tell me how they are going to post my RSS feed to their web portals...

    Uggh, sorry to go on, just nice to vent on some of the garbage I see every day. If someone would just try to post something that shows they read a post and had something legit to say about it, I would approve the comments (except for the adult stuff).

  34. Wow,I get a lot of spam on my blogs. I added the Akismet to my word press and it stopped almost all spam. Captcha has been suggested to me before. I just dont like the idea.

  35. You would not mind most comments, but I am sure you would hate it if you get a comment with 10s of penis enlargement link in them. One of my blog is attracting those sort a lot. I am thinking of disabling comments altoghether on that blog, because they won't stop.

  36. >>I am sure you would hate it if you get a comment with 10s of penis enlargement link in them

    I don't even get to mind coz honestly Akismet stops almost all of them ;) But yeah, disabling comments is an even better idea, although you would still need to have Akismet in place for the spammy trackbacks. ;)

    On another note, this post is attracting a record number of spammers for sure. :P Only one or two managed to get through Akismet but I deleted and also banned them anyway :D

  37. I don't even get why those people pushing penis enlargement or sex toys try to make posts on regular blogs.

    There are enough places on the net that are a lot more savvy for them to post. Face it, the net is full of porn sites, chat groups, forums, and blogs that cater to their freaky stuff.

    And disabling commenting would
    1. Not allow any new and unique content on your blog (unless you wrote it)

    2. Negate the concept or need for a blog (you might as well just call it a website)
    3. Discourage blog surfers from even coming to your blog. The whole idea is to share ideas.

    There are a lot of reasons to allow comments and very few for not allowing them.

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