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31DBBBBlog Tips

#SITS31DBBB: Can You Find the Spam Blog Comment?

By Jun 28, 2011July 3rd, 201485 Comments

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blog comment spamIt’s Day 20 of our Problogger Summer Challenge in the forum. Today is all about commenting on blogs, which is something we take very seriously in these parts.

Blog comments are the primary reason why The SITS Girls was founded. Three years ago, blog commenting and social media isn’t what it is today.  To find other bloggers in the same niche was a bit more of a challenge.  Thus, the idea for this website was born and SITS became a place for bloggers to connect via blog comments.

Since that time, blog comments and the posts published about how to comment {and how not to comment} have come fast and furious.  There is a ton of information on the web that can help to make commenting on blogs a successful strategy to build your readership.

Here are a few of my favorites…

The key to a successful blog comment strategy is simple: be relevant, add value, and be consistent.  Doing so ensures that your blog comments are not mistaken for spam and deleted, thereby negating the time and effort that you’ve spent on a website or blog.

The tricky part is ensuring that your blog comment stays out of a spam filter.  Separating the “real comments” from the spam is not always an easy task.  Sometimes, a blog comment may seem incredibly relevant, but when you click over to look at the referring link, you might second guess yourself.

Let’s play a little game.  Here are a few examples of recent blog comments we’ve received.  Would you approve these on your blog?  Why or why not?

1.Blog comments that appear relevant, but the linked page is questionable:

From Free-Form Rainbow Lollipops:

My two youngest (ages 8 and 4) would love doing this. What would be really good to, would be to sprinkle nerds on them as well. Or any candy for that matter. Thanks for sharing!
kencraftcandy.com/wholesale-lolli-pop-supplier

2. Super short blog comments, such as:

:D OR Hi

3. The call to action blog comment:

Thank you for this post! I LOVED it. It is super relevant to what I am writing about on my own blog. You should really find me on Facebook because our opinions are sooo similar!

4. The great blog comment, with the not-so-great gravatar:

blog comment spam
Wow! I love this post. Your tips on how to use Google Keywords effectively for SEO is really going to help me out on my blog. Thanks for the good piece of advice.

5. The curiously vague blog comment:

Great post! I find the articles published on this website to be incredibly insightful. Please continue to publish more!

6. The personalized blog comment that you don’t really understand:

Hey sis… Yo, yo, yo… i b ur SITStah… no wait… Ur sister from another mother…? um err… … Why am i here… Mmm… Because i like U…. i like ur smile… i like ur great posts that are real and not scripted… okay so i think that…i was in lov wit U 4 ever

So, what do you do?  Leave a comment on this post and let’s discuss!

And Before You Go…

In the spirit of blog friendship and all that SITS represents, let’s keep blog commenting alive!  Below is a MckLinky.  If you are in a blog comment kinda mood today, link up your blog and then visit the two bloggers ahead of you in line.  Get to know someone new and leave a blog comment worth reading!

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.

85 Comments

  • sammy says:

    Commenting about comments…interesting! I’ve never thought so much about a comment, but most of them would grab my attention because I love reading every comment I get 🙂

  • I’d probably let the first one go and not the others. I hate comments that say ” Come join my “whatever” link party, or I’m folliwing you, follow me, and don’t even acknowledge anything about my post. Loved the “comment vomit” article!

  • I’m a little late to the party, but I just linked up! So, are you going to share which one of the comments above were spam? I honestly had a hard time deciding on a few of them, and I’ve gotten pretty good at filtering spam since moving to WordPress.

  • Katrina says:

    I don’t get a ton of comments. Usually the people that do comment are very nice and actually take the time to read what I’ve written and leave something relvant. Sometimes I get spam comments that are extremely obvious and I just delete them. 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I absolutely love this post. Crap comments are one of my biggest blogging peeves. Especially when someone says “Just stopping by from sos and so. Hope you’ll do the same (insert url)” And no comment on content!
    I wish every blogger would study this!

  • Maria C says:

    What a great and informative post. I just wanted to throw my two cents out there since I recently just added my post to Mcklinky and thought I would take a gander at all the other bloggers on there.

    What I noticed was that I was much more inclined to click on a blog that had an interesting, bright, cute graphic logo as a picture than those posts which featured pictures of the actual bloggers (or their babies, or their dogs etc). I’m not sure what it is! Maybe it’s just me! But maybe it’s also something to think about when bloggers are trying to attract readers…Does anyone else feel this way?

    Maria xx
    http://www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

  • Very good examples – I often find I really have to look at the URL that’s left, or even the email address to detect a spam comment as there are SEO farms out there using all sorts of dubious methods and hiring people to spam blogs. I’ve nipped quite a bit by installing the GASP plugin and also a trackback plugin where many automatically go to my Spam filter to manually approve or delete.

  • I have been blogging for just over year, but only recently have been “stepping out” and discovering ao many other wonderful blogs. I found SITS because a blog I visited had a button! Funny, I didn’t even know being vague was unappreciated, but I have made a point of not being vague when I post comments. I don’t think I’ve been spammed yet.

  • I would probably let a few of those comments slide… I actually have a regular blog-reader who links her comments to her online candy store because that’s her website! I know she’s not a spammer so I let those in (LOL)
    I appreciate the newish blogger spam-catcher – since then I’ve been able to get rid of my word verification and allowed anonymous comments because on blogger that’s the only way you can let non-bloggers comment.
    I wrote a post about this topic (commenting) about a month ago…
    Here’s the link: http://www.greatfun4kidsblog.com/2011/06/gentle-art-of-commenting.html
    PS I promise I am NOT a spammer!
    LOL
    xx

  • This is a great post about blog spam. I get them everyday. It’s rare that Askimet deems one by a real reader spam. I find that as my traffic increases, so does the spam. Which leads me to wonder – how do spammers find you?

    Thank you!

  • I have been getting a lot of spam lately. Some of the complimentary spam is hard to delete sometimes. I would love if someone came to my blog and actually meant that I wrote the best thing they have ever written or that I should keep up the great work. Akismet does an excellent job of catching 99% of the spam that comes through my blog.

    I think that all of the comments in the post look like spam to me, although a couple of them could be questionable. I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt. If it seems like my article was actually read, then I will leave the comment alone. If the spammy behavior happens more than once though, I will delete.

    I always wonder about the spammers that leave really negative comments. What is the point in that?

  • Heligirl says:

    Sometimes I’ll go in and delete a random link in the questionable link one. The inappropriate photo one is more a sign of the commentor, not spam. If the comment is relevant, it stays. Thing is, I have great spam catching software with my WordPress blog and it catches some of these above sketchy things. More often than not, I permanently delete them.

    By the way, I think some folks are quickly posting to the linky but not reading through on the SITS side of the deal – comment on the two blogs posted in the linky before you. I posted on several, but mine has received no comments since I linked. 🙁 I’m bummed. I was hoping to meet some new people that came to see me.

  • SharleneT says:

    I’m not sure I’d count the first one as spam. It could be someone trying to comment but not sure, yet. I haven’t had any spam, as yet, but I’m sure it will come along. Most of my commentors have been very nice and pertinent to my posts and I’ve found some wonderful friends. I try to reply on both my blog and with emails. However, I do loathe the verifications that have sub-sub-sub-levels before comments can be left. This is Blogging not high espionage and I think there’d be far more comments on a post if the blogger didn’t make it so difficult. I’ll go one level but not three and four. And, lately, Blogger has been creating problems with constant re-signing into an account and still not working. My primary blog is definitely a niche site and sometimes I would like folks to visit my other blog, so I put buttons on each in hopes they’ll visit.

  • Thanks for the linky and the great info on spam comments! Sometimes, it is really hard to detect spam 🙁

  • Camden says:

    I wouldn’t approve any of those – they just seem way too spammy. I also don’t approve comments when people use just their keywords rather than a name. I just want things to look nice!

    Here’s another comment question for those of you who sponsor blog hops:

    When you ask someone to leave a comment at the end of the blog hop so that you can follow them, what kind of comment are you looking for? I usually just say something like “Thanks so much for hosting.” Hopefully that’s not spam?

  • XML error: undefined entity at line 9, column 0

  • Lauren says:

    I definitely delete spam, even if it leaves me with zero comments. I think spam looks sadder.

  • Comment luv giving an xml error line 9

    Funny the post was about comments, so the first sitsTah comes flying by to let me know she is from sits – a fly bye comment – hmmmm – not sure the lesson took very well, Re-Read for her I guess. Thanks for the linky – do those create backlinks at all

    • Francesca says:

      Let me know if you are still receiving an error message, Eileen. Comment Luv was showing me love today.

      We create our linkys through the MckLinky website: http://www.linkytools.com/

      You have to pay an annual fee to use the tools, but it is worth it for us. They are a ton of options that you can enable on the linky, including backlinks.

  • I wouldn’t approve any of them. The one that I might think about approving was #4 but not with that avatar. 🙂 I’ve gotten a lot tougher about the comments I will publish. I realize that the comments on my site say as much about my site as the content that I publish. So… no spam gets through anymore, and when I make decisions I error on the side of not gonna publish.

  • mcgilli says:

    I often get the spam about boycotting american women???? Weirdo. I love commenting and I love to get real comments from likeminded bloggers…I have some great relationships thru blogging and have learned a gazziolion things from some pretty interesting peeps… the negative comments have taught me something too..not everyone is as nice as me. Hehehhee.

    • Francesca says:

      People definitely get brave when they are behind the computer. It’s crazy.

      And we SO get that boycotting American women comment. All. The. Time. Whoever is behind that spam campaign either has way too much time or money.

      Both of which I can always use more of. 😉

  • Mrs. Zwieg says:

    I did use a spam filter until I switched to Intense Debates and now everything just goes through. I do not get much for spam though.

    I agree with Feylla as I want my comments to mean something too. I want to connect with the writer and establish a common connection.

  • I have not had any spam on my blog, which I am really thankful for. I have to admit I’m a snitch. I will report posts like those listed. They irk me. I have not patience for it. I have a plug in that allows moderation on my blog but I haven’t needed to use it yet.

    I am a commenter, but only if I really have something to add. Two things.
    1. I like my comments to mean something to the person reading and to add to the coversation.
    2. I like my comments to be worthy of repeating, mentioning, and/or responding to.

    I like to ask questions at the end of my posts to get a conversation going too. Also, when I respond to comments I try to ask questions to engage people.

  • OK, all of the comments made me cringe and seemed to only be there for personal gain. The really “personal” one is crazy funny. Who would do something like that?? I didn’t know whether to cringe or laugh, or do both! When I get a comment I want it to be left sincerely. Don’t leave me a comment advertising your own blog ( unless we are blog hopping). This happens to me sometimes. I’ll write a post I’ve put so much into it, and I’ll get a comment of something like. “Nice post – come to myblogdomain.com for laughter and fun.” Clearly the person did not read anything at all.

    Great post ( and I REALLY mean it) :0)

    • Francesca says:

      Haha. You are making me laugh, Debbie. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      And I agree. When someone is clearly putting time and energy into a post, IF you choose, to comment, it should be done so sincerely.

  • I would not approve any of the comments in your list. My plug-in catches spam but I still need to read through in case someone is there that has a valid comment. I’ve found a few future friends by checking.

    Before I put in the plug-in, I was drowning in spam!

  • Diane says:

    Sometimes it is just so exciting to get any comments that I end up approving all of them. But over time I have my regulars and I love to hear from them! And I would have approved only the first one! I know its a link to another website…but it still seemed like it had good intentions. But again, I’m a sucker for anyone who reads my blog! 🙂

    • Francesca says:

      I actually did approve the first comment on SITS, Diane. Too funny. The same thoughts were running through my head…even after I clicked over to the website.

      I thought, what the heck?

  • Michelle says:

    I delete any comments that seem like spam — I love comments, but there is no place for spam in my opinion. Another way I’ve noticed to detect spam is when there are a lot of grammatical errors in the comment, for example (someone actually said this) ‘Maintain up the excellent function!’ …I think they meant ‘keep up the good work’ – that was obviously automated though! I have a plugin for my site that detects spam for me & puts it in a ‘spam’ folder so I don’t even have to see it.

    • Francesca says:

      Akismet is a beautiful thing. I love how wonderfully it works for WordPress sites.

      • I *love* Akismet! It catches almost all of the spam and I have my blog setup to moderate first-time posters so I rarely have to deal with spam. I do go through the spam filter before deleting all of the message, though.

        I probably would not approve any of those comments. I agree with Lauren that a blog with only spam comments is just sad and says to me that blogger isn’t engaged.

  • Audra says:

    I don’t think I’d approve any. The one with the questionable avatar would be the closest, but due to the nature of my blog, I probably wouldn’t publish it since it isn’t a family friendly picture.

  • Susan Silver says:

    This year I really have been trying to leave more comments. Usually I have a test, which is basically if I have a reaction in my head I try to type it in a comment. If I feel kind of “meh” after reading then I just tweet if the post contains good info.

    I used to never comment. I was too afraid I had nothing to add. When I started blogging more seriously I realized that even leaving a simple comment can brighten someones day and encourage them to keep up with their writing practice. It is really discouraging in the beginning of a new blog not to have any comments.

    • Francesca says:

      Oh my goodness, yes. Those early days of blogging can be so critical as to whether you stick with it.

      A simple comment can make all the difference in the world.

  • I’m with everyone who says they’re all spam. Yeah, I wouldn’t approve any of them.

    Well, the questionable avatar might make it through, depending on what their link is in the the website part of the form 🙂

    • I don’t think the last one is spam, but I’d question why someone who’s writing like that would visit my blog (or be involved with SITS for that matter. LOL)

  • Sara Strand says:

    I recently had to start moderating my comments because I was getting some super bizarre ones. But I get annoyed mostly with two things: 1. People who are blatantly trying to advertise their blog in my comments. 2. People who leave the great “great post, have a good day!” crap. Really? Did you even READ the post? No, you probably didn’t, and frankly- it’s a spam comment.

    I have one blog in my reader who every time I check it, she’s posting about pretty much nothing. Even with a post about absolutely nothing, she has 80+ comments on EVERY post. I don’t get it. Every post I read I really try to leave a comment not because I really liked/disliked what they had to say, but because I feel like it’s a tip jar almost. Like, thanks for blogging today.. here’s your tip. 🙂

    • DeNae says:

      Sarah, that is a great analogy! And a lot of times those are the kinds of comments I get, too. If they come from friends, I know they’re just saying, “Hey, I was here, read your stuff, you know I love you but I don’t have anything to say about this one right now.” If they’re strangers, I think of them more as “stuff for the tip jar.” The thing is, if the same person keeps “tipping” me, I assume that’s really as good as it gets from them and I appreciate it for what it is. But that “tip jar” image? Brilliant.

  • Done and done! Thanks for the linky!

  • Jenny says:

    You could post about this a million times till your head explodes and people will still leave bad comments. That’s why my WP Trash folder is bursting at the seams 😛 HAHA!! Great post though. Hopefully SOMEONE will learn…

  • I’m loving this post and the linky! I feel like I’ve been challenged and that challenge is accepted! I’m going to try to comment on all the blogs linked up! 🙂

    So far I’m finding SUPERIOR content all around. It’s really AMAZING the quality talent SITS draws!

  • Mel says:

    I’m trying to get better at commenting in general but find that sometimes its hard because I don’t have really anything add, but want to at least let the blogger know i’m there and reading. I try to make my comment more than just saying hi and I rarely leave a link, but struggle sometimes to say something relevant. I’d hate to think I was considered spam!! Thanks for the tips and links. Oh and thinks for the blog hop too cause I’m on the search for some new reads and SITS to the rescue!

  • Carol says:

    I would remove the 1st one (blatant advertising), the 2nd one (looks like a mistaken push on the send button, if not, it’s a waste of space), and the 4th one (you can use whatever picture you like as an avatar, but I don’t have to look at it).

    I try to remove comments that are off topic or include linked advertising. I DO allow links to other sites that are on-topic (but I go and look first). Bland comments I leave. Even the illiterate ones. 🙂 I appreciate readers taking time to comment, even if they can’t think of something brilliant to say.

    Carol

  • Hmmm–I don’t get many spam comments. I do hate when people comment with a link which has absolutely nothing to do with my post though. If you posted something relevant to my post, fine. But don’t link your blog about laundry detergent to my post about wine. Just saying.

    And I think all the comments looked spammy.

  • Brankica says:

    Had a good laugh because as soon as I started my blog I got flooded with spammers. I actually had a guy that kept sending the same comments but they seemed related to the post. I checked his blog, great Google PR, great Alexa, so I though he just didn’t have the time to write longer comments.

    However, one day I Googled his comment and saw it on like 25 other blogs!!!!!! Talk about spam.

    I actually wrote a whole post about it which he reacted to saying he hired someone to comment for him. Not something I would call a good explanation! But, even 6 months later, it is still the most popular blog post on my blog so I guess the result was good for me, lol.

    I always enjoy reading this type of posts.

  • I just had a comment similar to the first one today, before I read this. I left it on thinking at least it was a comment. There were no other comments on that post from January.

    I use word verification so whoever it was at least did it by hand and it filters out a lot of spam.

  • i pretty much am ok w/ any comment left on my blog that’s not total blatant spam

    reading this, now i wonder if some of my comments seem spam-y. sometimes i link to a post on my blog in a comment b/c i genuinely think the blogger would be interested – i.e., their post is “My toddler is so fussy at mealtimes!” and I have a post “Three ways to deal with a fussy toddler at mealtimes” but reading this, now i wonder if leaving my own link w/ “you might be interested” seems spammy… hmm, your advice? what’s a girl to do?

    • I think that’s fine. Personally, I try to leave insightful comments every time I comment on someone’s blog. I read the post and write what I think about it or like about it. Sometimes that includes a link to my own site.

      If people feel that’s spam… well, I probably wouldn’t get along with them too well personally and it’s best we stop communicating with one another. I love it when people point me to useful links and frequently ASK for such links in my comments.

    • Francesca says:

      I agree 100% with Lynda. If the link you are leaving is relevant and serves a purpose, you should definitely incorporate it into your comment. Not only is it a great way to connect to a blogger, but you are showing them how interested you are in what they had to say before offering a solution, feedback, or maybe even another line of thought.

  • Laura says:

    Yes, this is my second comment of the day, but after reading the above articles, I have a question & what better place to ask than on SITS.

    If someone asks a question in a comment, is it better to reply to that question in the comment section of that article or is it better to email the person who left the comment (I get email notification whenever someone leaves a comment, so it is easy for me to hit “reply” and answer.) Just curious what others do.

    Laura

    • Audra says:

      I tend to reply in the comments. I use Intense Debate so I know that the commenter gets the reply right in their email as well. When I used the basic Blogger system, that made things tricky because I didn’t know if the commenter would be back to read the answer and couldn’t always find a way to contact through the blogger id. Now, if it is a fairly personal issue, I will respond in the comment with “Thank you for your comment. Check your inbox – I’m sending you a message.”

      • That’s a great idea Audra, esp if the comment is personal. One of my probs using the standard blogger comments is that unless a commnter has their email address showing in theor profile you can’t actually reply to them via email anyway 🙁
        I briefly used Disqus commenintg system but found that people were unwilling to comment when they had to sign in every time (or sign up for One More Thing).
        It seems that the intense Debate system is more visually appealing/simpler, and has the binus of being able to Use ComLuv… BUT do you still lose all your old comments?? This is what puts me off… don’t want to lose those hard-earned babies!

        • Audra says:

          You won’t lose your old comments. Old posts with comments will retain the blogger format. Old posts without comments will get the Intense Debate setup. New posts will have the Intense Debate setup. I actually did a tutorial on my blog – just look under my Bloggy Basics series if you are interested. There were a couple quirks I ran into to get things working correctly.

    • Francesca says:

      I agree with Audra. Replying within your comments is a great strategy to keep the conversation moving. Case in point: this point! If we were to be having a dialog off-line, I would have never seen Audra’s reply re Intense Debate…something that I have never heard of before…and wanted to chime in.

      As a blog reader, sometimes the comments can be as good (if not better than) the post itself.

  • Christina says:

    I can at times be a vague commenter or comment too much on a post. I think I can usually tell what is spam and what is not. Although if it ends up in my inbox as not being spam I usually approve it. I haven’t gotten many people who try to promote there companies on my blog. Not yet anyway.

  • Laura says:

    I’m not doing the SITS31DBBB (I did it last year), because of school & having to study for a major test, but I can recognize spam comments & I delete them immediately. I do get my share of anonymous comments, but I hate the ones from companies who cleverly try to leave their link in the middle of a comment, but I just hit delete. I don’t want anyone getting free advertisement via a comment.

  • I probably wouldn’t reply to those comments, and would probably remove most of them. Spammers are the worst, because they make people feel like they have to use those super annoying word verifications. Hate those! After reading one of Melissa’s Momcomm posts, I started asking a related question at the end of each post to encourage commenting. It seems to be working for me, I’m getting quality comments and actively engaging with my super cool awesome readers!

  • I used to leave comments on every blog I read, every day. And then I finally told myself it was okay not to do that, in part because I didn’t always have something to say! I love comments:)

    • I’m with you there Karen! I used to do that too, but it’s time consuming. Plus I didn’t want to leave comment vommit just for the sake of commenting. I think most bloggers would prefer quality over quantity.

      • kathy says:

        I do believe comments are meant to generate valuable conversation. I’m with you on the comment vommit! Like the post but have nothing to add, I tweet it or share it. That says thanks your post was awesome in addition to sharing something valuable with your followers!!!

  • I’d most likely ignore all of those comments except *maybe* 1 and 3. #3 bothers me, though. When someone posts a link asking me to go to their blog, I tend to feel like they are commenting JUST to post that link. If the commenter had written more about the subject, brought the info from his blog to you, I’d feel differently. The thing is, if someone adds something insightful in a comment, I don’t need them telling me to go to their blog; I’ll do it automatically.

    • Francesca says:

      So well put, Sandy. I love what you have to say here.

      You’re right. If the comment is a good one, there isn’t a blogger on the planet who wouldn’t click over.

  • Eva Gallant says:

    The spam comments are a real pain. I catch most of them, but I’m sure an occasional one gets by me.

    Good moring, SITStahs. Hope everyone is having a great day.

    Stop by my blog to check out a review of a book by another blogger!

  • The “sprinkle it with nerds” is pretty funny! I will admit to being a vague commenter at times although, not a spammer! Great advice about looking at the link. When the volume of comments is low, like in my case, I read each one and take note of who submitted… I may want to re-check the links! When the volume is so high, like with SITS, how do you monitor it all?

    • Francesca says:

      We have a spam filter on SITS that helps us filter through a lot of the comments. It flags comments based on the number of links, the type of referring site, etc.

      It is a life saver most days. 🙂

  • Jen says:

    I think that they all sound like spam and probably wouldn’t approve any of them. If I am wrong, then darn it I am missing a lot of comments on my blog.

    • Francesca says:

      Funny! It is hard to say with some of these, isn’t it? Ultimately, I think what we approve is a personal choice.

      I actually let the first comment (example #1) slide on SITS.

    • Yeah, these type of comments get caught in my spam catcher….they sound weird.

      I really dislike comments like that! I always try to leave very personalized comments.

  • Marcy says:

    I think it all sounds like spam! I have had some comments that were relevant, but the link seemed like spam. I let one or two of them through, figuring at least they read the post. I’m curious to hear if other people let those comments through. (Spam has really been bugging me lately!)

  • I really appreciate this post, when I first has a blog I was so overjoyed to receive blog comments that I left them all there unless they had a link to something spammy, these days I delete the ones that seem like spam or have questionable links.

    I hate the comments that say, I just followed you, come and follow me at …

    I would say that short comment like ‘ I really like this post’ or whatever I am inclined to leave, because when someone first comments on blogs sometimes they’re not sure what to say and I don’t want to put people off getting involved.

    I started asking a related question at the end of each post to encourage some of the lurkers to take part in commenting.

    • Francesca says:

      Asking questions is the tried and true way to start a discussion on a blog post. Love that suggestion, Jade. Thank you!

      And I totally agree about newbie commenters. Sometimes they just don’t know better. 🙂