If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I complain about people not commenting on blogs as much as they used to. I actually understand because there’s so much going on in social media where you can write a short line or just “like” something without having to take much time to write something legitimate.

sneaky self serving comments
sneaky comments…

Through the years I’ve said that people who leave good comments sometimes encourages others to visit their blogs or websites. If you write about the specific topic and you’re also know something about it, you enhance the quality of your comment, which always helps. However, there’s something new going on lately that’s been driving me nuts. Check out the example below:

My husband is complaining that his hypertension is always attacking him at night, followed by abdominal pain. I’m thinking of taking my time off from work to bring him into a medical service clinic to have him checked to ask for the appropriate medicines to take. Thanks for pointing out in your article that we want to know about all the details on what is going on, no matter how big or small it might be. Cheers!

This looks like a pretty good comment, doesn’t it? It was on an article on my business blog titled 5 Things Patients Want, and the topic matches up well with one of the points I wrote about in the article.

The problem… the link the commenter had went to a company that does that very thing. In other words, the comment was fake… well written, but totally disingenuous. It also used a subdomain to go more directly to a specific thing I complained about in the article. It was used more for the keywords in the article (not intention in my case) than anything else; I was definitely irked.

Then came this one:

Mitch, thanks for sharing these tips on how to help better organize your workspace. I would imagine that hiring a professional to help with office filing systems could also be helpful. This way you can have a well-functioning system that also looks great.

This one was on an article titled 10 Tips To Better Organize Your Workspace and was directed towards people who are self employed or have small offices outside of the house. Once again, the link went to a company that does office furnishings, this time for large businesses. On the surface it looks like a pretty good comment, but it’s easy to tell that the person who wrote the comment didn’t read the article.

I don’t know that everyone looks at the links that come from people who comment on their blogs, but I definitely do. I like to see what people are sharing with me, and sometimes I’ll even comment on their blog if I can. If it goes to a website I’m not necessarily troubled by it… unless it’s something like the two examples I shared above. That’s some pretty sneaky stuff, don’t you think?

If you noticed, in the title I mentioned “you’re doing it badly”. Obviously this means I’m going to tell y’all why this was horribly inept and how they could have been more meaningful and looked genuine. Let’s tick off a few points.

1. Both of the comments used gmail addresses.

In a post I wrote almost 2 years ago asking people if their comments were trustworthy, in my first point I mentioned that unless I know the person commenting I don’t always trust their comments if they’re using gmail. It’s especially an egregious mistake if a gmail address is used when representing a business. It makes you either look like an amateur entrepreneur or like someone hired to look for blogs to leave comments on. I definitely felt this was the case for both of the above comments.

2. Adding the subdomain.

Anyone who adds a subdomain that’s not for a blog attached to a business website is trying to game the system. It’s actually an old recommendation that used to be popular except for those blogs that have CommentLuv… like this one. It only works with actual blogs, so unless the subdomain link goes to a blog and not a blog article CommentLuv gives you the choice to select which blog page link you’d like to link back to, which eliminates the need to add one where your website link is requested. I know some bloggers don’t care all that much, but I’m not one of those people.

3. Proving you didn’t read the article.

The first comment above shows the person actually read the article… or at least a portion of it. The comment specifically touched upon someone I mentioned; it was a very good comment. The second comment was way off the mark. I can’t imagine many self employed people like myself calling a company like that and having them come in to design their office space. Maybe if their rich or have a large office area it would work to some degree, but nothing like what this guy linked to.

You know what I did? I kept and responded to both comments. I removed the links they left because, since I know they were hired to write the comments because they were way too obvious, I know they’re never going to read my response, let alone ever come back to the blog again. But the comments were passable enough to leave them on those particular articles… for now…

If you’re a blogger, do you care that some people are trying to use you for their advertising purposes without caring what you’ve written or are you happy you got a comment in the first place? If you’re interested, I’d love to read what you have to say.

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