Blog Comment Spam

Do you have a blog? Do you accept blog comments? Are you tired of blog spam?

Let me start off by confessing as an Internet marketer, I’ve got some of those fancy tools that can find blogs willing to accept comments and post comments by the hundreds, but I choose not to.

I think most blog owners that allow comments on their posts want to let posters get a link back to their website or affiliate offer if the post was relevant to the conversation. Unfortunately, (based on comment rates from my network of blogs) I’d have to say that 95% of blog comments are blog or comment spam.

Here are a couple of examples of comment spam on SearchEnginePro.net – As you’ll notice, the blog article title is to the right. You can see based on the content of the comment that it is not even closely relevant to the original post.

As you can see, neither of these comments had anything to do with the article or post. On SearchEnginePro.net, I check each comment manually and even though I use some great tools for automation, I still post most of my own comments manually for relevance.

When commenter’s post comments that are not relevant to my article, I mark their comment as spam so they are unable to comment again using the same email address.

Here are a few questions for discussion:

  1. Do you use blog commenting software to automate blog posts? Why or why not?
  2. Do you manually post comments to blogs? Why or why not?
  3. If you’ve used both methods, which method has brought you the most consistent results?

I was in a back-link forum prior to writing this article and the main complaint from members was the lack of lasting relevant back-links from a service we are all using.

In my case, I was trying to get some good back-links for an automotive review site. Unfortunately, none of the back-links I received in my report were relevant and neither were the comments made on my behalf utilizing a third party service in India.

One tool I use is a plug-in for WordPress call Akismet, which is a fairly good blog spam detection tool.

There must be some value in placing hundreds if not thousands of crappy back-links on OPB (other peoples’ blogs) or the practice of comment spam would not be an issue today. One would think it would be easy enough with the tools available today to find relevant blogs to post comments to. The prize of course is a keyword link back to your site.

One of my most successfully threads has to do with Craigslist authentication. I currently have 85 comments all being relevant to the conversation. Many folks who added value to the conversation were rewarded with an approved comment and a back-link to their site.

How has blog comment spam affected your blog or business? Share your thoughts and comments below.

Pitfalls of YouTube Video Sharing

This article is not a recant of my previous position on third party video hosting or video sharing such as YouTube, Revver, Google video, etc., but it is a modification on how third party video should be used. With that being said, third party video will almost always reach a larger audience than video that you host on your own server / website.

Here’s why I’ve modified my position slightly on third party video; The other day I received a call from a customer in shock when the office manager looked at the video for the first time. When the YouTube video completed it displayed some “similar or relevant” videos at the bottom of the clip. One clip was some guy zoomed in on his arm-pit trying to simulate someone sticking a finger in a rectum. They were mortified as a medical practice that a potential patient or client would see something completely unrelated to their practice.

While YouTube does allow you to turn this feature off, it doesn’t hide unrelated video content if the person clicks through to YouTube. Third party video does have a place, but I’m not sure the best place is on a website where you are trying to control what your visitor may or may not see.

Negative Factors – Video Sharing Services:

  • No control over what other videos your visitor or potential customer might see
  • Third party video gives your visitor an opportunity  to click off of your website
  • Potential loss of a customer due to click throughs.
  • Potentially exposing your customer(s) to illicit, provocative, racial, or insulting types of video content.

Unless YouTube, Revver, or some of the other major third party video hosting sites can better control the definition of “relevant videos” and what a user might be exposed to, I would say that each business needs to evaluate how it uses third party video hosting and whether or not the video placement is the right option for your specific website.

For my customer in particular I will end up making the video self hosted.

What negative experiences has your business experienced by using third party video hosting such as YouTube, Google video, Revver, BrightCove, DailyMotion, MySpace, Vimeo, etc? Share your opinion with our visitors.