If there is one SEO trick everyone and their dog seems to know, it is that inbound links from reputable sites generate authority, and supposedly lead to a higher Google page rank over time; which of course will lead to more traffic/prospects/$$$/yada yada yada.
While this is all fine and dandy, the proliferation of social media tools on websites which allow for user participation (oh like this blog perhaps) has led to a nasty little bit of a gaming when it comes to inbound linking – what I like to call “comment duping”.
What is this nasty affliction you may ask? Simply put, this is when a comment is left with the sole intention of leaving a link back to their own site or blog, but is thinly veiled so as not to be confused with your typical spam comments.
How exactly does it differ from conventions comment spam? Well besides not being about suspicious pharmaceuticals, ways to increase your virility, or poker, these comments will at least attempt to half-heatedly acknowledge the post on which they are commenting before moving into the shameless self-promotion phase. Here are a couple examples from a post I recently read on the Canadian housing market: “Good post! Check out my Top Ten List of Crazy Cats :)” or “Canada is in a recession. Visit my blog for more details!”
Ouch. I don’t know about you, but if I was the administrator of a blog that had these comments show up I would be hammering on the “delete” button faster then you can say “captcha”. It is not even the fact that you are trying to game Google that really annoys me, but that people don’t realize that if you craft a genuine or well-thought-out comment people are going to naturally want to check out your site! It just needs a little more effort then simply inserting a URL.
In an effort to help administrators pick out comment duping, as well to help others make sure their comments are genuine & not misconstrued as dupes, I threw together a few commenting do’s and don’ts into a handy little chart. Feel free to use it, pass it around – heck, even sew it onto a pillow if you want – as long it helps one person create better comments, or helps one blog administrator from going nuts I am happy.
Have any other commenting pro-tips for the masses you would like to share? Leave a comment on this very post and let everyone know! That is if I haven’t already completely scared you off commenting for the next while…