6 Things I’ve Seen While Cleaning Up Old Comments

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been spending time here and there going back to clean up comments. This is a daunting task by the way. The blog is over 5 years old and there are nearly 26,000 comments. The reason I’m looking at comments isn’t to pick on anyone in particular. What I’m doing is taking care of some maintenance because of Google’s Panda and Penguin and also because I had to get rid of that Broken Link Checker plugin and the one I’m using right now isn’t quite as good; okay, it’s not even close.

Sadly Sarah's clone took a step back in development, so it looks like she needs a vacuuming lesson with our trainer vacuum (complete with mysteriously vanishing hose).
via Compfight

With that said, as I’ve been going through some of the much older comments I’ve seen 6 different things, one that’s actually more a help to you if you decide to do the same type of thing than the others are. Let’s take a quick look shall we.

1. On WordPress blogs (I’m not sure about wordpress.com blogs but possibly), if you want to delete someone’s link you don’t have to go into edit or quick edit to do it. There’s an X right next to the link; just click that and it’s all gone. If you have CommentLuv it looks like it eliminates that as well, though you’ll still see it sitting there.

2. It’s amazing just how long some blogs and websites have been gone. While some blogs had totally disappeared, many blogs still existed somehow. By that, I mean there wasn’t anything new on those blog for 3 to 4 years, but most weren’t hooked to a website and weren’t on a free blogging site, so I wondered if the people paid for 5 years or more when they made their initial purchase.

3. I found that there have been some folks other than my buddy Sire who’ve been participants on this blog for a long time. Two of them, Rummuser and Ajith, have been coming by since 2009; thanks guys! Others have popped in here and there for the past 3 years; I thank you all.

4. There were some pretty good bloggers who have stopped by here and there over the years. I’ve looked at a lot of sites and some of them I decided to stop by and leave a quick comment on a recent post. It’s so cool seeing some old faces and I lament that we seemed to have drifted apart on the blogosphere. It kind of makes sense; how the heck could we all keep up with each other in the long run right?

5. There were a lot of bad sites as well. You know, when we first get going in blogging we just don’t pay much attention to the links that are coming into our sites, and as I was going through I was stunned by what I was seeing. Luckily I think BLC (see above) took care of lots of those links in some fashion but some of the rest… Folks, you need to make sure you take care of your blog by looking at some of the links people drop.

6. There were some old friends who’d stopped blogging for one reason or another. Out of three that I used to talk to all the time I know one stopped blogging because he got sick, another stopped blogging because she got a gig writing for her local newspaper, and the third… well, our bet is that he got sick and just up and disappeared because he had a pattern of doing that, and the previous time before this one he was laid up for 9 months. The rest… well, you just never know what someone’s circumstances might be, and as I think about it my belief is that one day it’s going to happen to most of us because I’m betting most of our spouses have no idea how to do anything with our blogs. So, one day there just won’t be any more posts, and unless we live close to a person we’ll never know what happens, only be left to suspect. Kind of sad isn’t it?

That’s all I’ve got. Any of you doing any maintenance on your sites? If so, what are you seeing?

18 thoughts on “6 Things I’ve Seen While Cleaning Up Old Comments”

  1. My commentators and responders to my posts via email remain more or less constant. I do not maintain my blog as it does it by itself. For me it is an outlet to express some of my observations and I do not expect too much out of it.

    1. Rummuser, I doubt you’re the type checking your traffic and other stuff like I am. I know that checking those links that are suspect has helped this blog over the past couple of weeks but it’s definitely way time consuming. But the types of discussion your blog gets is why I’m also checking comments better now because you have high quality things going on, even if there are occasional debates. lol

    1. Jacko, I’m not seeing any big companies doing it. I’m starting to get bigger companies wanting to have guest posts on my finance site but they don’t want to pay for it… at least not yet. No, all the sites have been horrible affiliate sites, stuff that just seems dodgy in some fashion.

  2. Interesting Mitch, I’ve been thinking about that as I’ve been trying to update a few old weak posts once a week. Sad to see so many bloggers that have given up. I’ve thinking of eliminating those without the gravatars too.

    1. It is a shame Lisa, but we all know that blogging can be hard for many people to keep up with. As for the gravatars, well, we know a lot of folks don’t have them, and we just need to keep teaching people about it & how to create one.

  3. I’ve just started my blog, but I already have seen a lot of spam comments. I couldn’t picture myself the reason, a fresh and brand new blog isn’t the best way for building backlinks for some SEO reasons, or am I wrong? Anyway, I always feel glad when I see that somebody has commented on my site, but unfortunately, there haven’t been any valuable of them yet…

    1. I have to tell you Renate, the site where your blog is has been blacklisted by some companies including Web of Trust, of whom I just wrote about after this article. That could explain things regarding your issues with spam.

    1. Shaun, they started penalizing sites that have either dodgy links or sites that look like they’ve taken in lots of paid links, or sites with tons of dead links. Since they don’t know for sure I’m betting they have sites that show drastic increases of links going back to them in a short period of time and know those sites weren’t legitimate businesses. My blog used to get major traffic and then it started to shrink for what seemed to be no reason whatsoever. Even though it’s rising slowly, it didn’t really start until I started looking back at old links and removing those types from old comments. It’s not anything I have to worry about on newer posts, but there’s over 26,000 comments on this blog and it’s been amazing what I’ve been seeing.

  4. I’ve seen a surprising number of bloggers who have apparently moved on to other things, for reasons unknown to me. These are people — and you know at least a few of them — who were posting consistently, and then just stopped. It’s sad, as you said so well in point 6: “…one day there just won’t be any more posts, and unless we live close to a person we’ll never know what happens.” We develop relationships with fellow bloggers, and they begin to feel like true friendships. But then we’re reminded of the limitations.

    Great post, Mitch. It really made me think.

    1. Thanks Charles, and it made me think as well which is why I had to write about it. One guy in particular was everywhere, a major presence, then suddenly he was gone and all my search skills couldn’t yield a thing. He’s not alone though, and that’s the freaky part of it all.

  5. My main issue on my site was with “ping backs” I found that I was getting ping comments from sites that had nothing to do with mine but were there to bounce websites, it was quite frustrating as I would get excited over the number of comments but then they would be spam.

    1. Sharon, I turned off trackbacks, the actual terminology, years ago when I noticed most of it was spam. I still have some old ones on here, but very few.

  6. I’ve never thought of looking through comments to see if any of the links were broken. None of them are ‘bad’ as I moderate all comments and I check on all links before they go through. My current blog has only been in existence since July last year, so it doesn’t have a huge number but it’s worth doing. I shall do that in due course, thanks for the tip, Mitch.

    As for commenters whose blogs have vanished, do you mean you delete the comments or the link to the blog that’s gone? I wouldn’t delete the comments, but I might delete the link. That said, I’ve links on my art website to a blog which links back to my old blog which is now gone, so I’ve just put a note in it that that blog no longer exists. I need the link to this person’s blog still, though, because she has work I did on photos that are good to use as examples.

    1. Val, I never delete the comments. Since I check comments anyway to see if they’re legit that’s not the issue. If the blog or website doesn’t exist anymore and your blog is relatively new then it probably won’t hurt you at all. But this one’s older with tons of comments from the past from sites no longer in existence. Traffic has started picking up since I started removing a lot of them; maybe it’s coincidence but who really knows right?

  7. Mitch, I’ve been here on your site for the past hour or so and I’ll have to say, your blogs are GREAT and your writing is very inspiring =) I hope you’ll be adding me in the list of Rummuser and Ajith soon 🙂

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