I’m promising something different after this blog post, although it’s only going to occur on this blog post. I’m allowing every comment that shows up on this article to stay here so others can see how much spam I often get. I hope most of the people who comment (if they comment) are legitimate, but I’m not holding my breath. This means I’ll be pulling a lot of articles out of the pending area; I hate wasting my time, but I’m using it as a teaching moment.
way better than spam!
I’ll be removing links to any websites or blogs being shared, but I’ll leave the email addresses so you’ll know what’s going on. Then again, if you’re a spammer you’re never going to read any of it; you’re problem, not mine.
The problem, as I see it, is that sometimes a potential legitimate comment might not seem like one. It happens for a variety of reasons, which I’m going to outline in this article.
As it regards me, after all the years I’ve been blogging I tend to rate comments harshly. It’s because so many rules are broken, and I’m a stickler for rules. I’m also a stickler for comments that offer more than “I like what you wrote”, or other stupid things of the sort.
Thus, I’m going to highlight 9 reasons why people think your comment is spam… and they’re probably right. If you notice you’re doing something that’s on this list but you think you’re being legitimate… stick around and learn what NOT to do if you’re commenting on other people’s blogs.
1. Is there a comment policy?
People who comment all the time on blogs are usually proficient at doing it correctly, so if they skip the policy then it’s fine; they’re not going to make any mistakes. However, if you’re new to it then it’s probably a good thing to see if there’s a policy for commenting; if so, read it, then follow the rules.
Not only does this blog have a written comment policy, but I’ve taken the extra step of putting a few of the rules right about the box for comments… and I put it in bold lettering. No one’s trying to make it hard for people to comment on their blogs, but if you miss the rules when they’re right in front of you then you look like a spammer.
2. One line comments
In the mid 2000’s, almost every blogger accepted one line comments because we were all happy that people actually came by our blogs and took the time to say anything. Back then we didn’t have the issue with automated spam messaging for everyone, so it was seen as legitimate.
These days we know better, but new commenters might not know about this rule. On my blog, if your comment isn’t at least 15 words you’re going into the spam filter. For others, you might get your comment through, but let’s be serious. If you’re too lame to write more than one sentence, what kind of blogger could you be? You look like a spammer; sorry about that.
3. The name you use
Unless you’ve built up cache in a name, using stupid names, business names, names of your product in the name box definitely makes you look like a spammer. How can the blog owner legitimately respond to your comment if they have to call you by any of those names?
There’s a lady who comments on this blog regularly who calls herself Mother, which in general terms most people might question. Yet, she’s been a loyal commenter for a lot of years, and I’ve visited her blog; it’s touching. 🙂 She’s proven she’s a real person with real feelings and real thoughts. If you’re new, you haven’t earned the right to do the same.
4. Stuck in a subdomain link
In the late 2000’s, it was recommended that people not only put in a link back to their websites but put one in that goes to a specific page. People are still following that advice all these years later, but the majority of people doing it are spammers.
I run two anti-spam plugins along with using CommentLuv. Anytime someone adds a subdomain that doesn’t go directly to the main page of a blog or website, it gets flagged and sent to spam. This means I have to decide whether the comment is spam or if I have to go in and remove the subdomain link. Luckily for me 99.5% of these comments are spam, so I don’t have to do anything other than get rid of the comment. If you’re that .5% that’s legitimate, please stop doing this.
5. Getting the name of the blog author incorrect
My name is Mitch
While it’s true that not every person who owns a blog tells you what their name is, so sometimes you’ll get a pass. Most bloggers do tell you their name somewhere on the page, which makes things easy. If they don’t, you’re probably off the hook.
I say “probably” because these days if you call any blog writer “admin” you look like a spammer. If you call the blog owner the name of someone else who’s commented before you, you look like a spammer.
6. Not commenting on anything that has to do with the article
Let’s be clear on this; if a person’s writing a blog and they’re not writing total nonsense, they know when you’re puffing (old term which means using fake flattery on someone to put something over on them) and basing your comment on the title and nothing else. There’s nothing more irritating than knowing you’ve put time into writing an article of some substance, only to see someone say something stupid like “nice post” or “I agree, too many people write comments that look like spam” and leave without adding perspective. Why did you bother leaving anything unless you had more to say about it?
A small piece of a spam comment I received on another post was “I think it’s worth maintaining my presence until it becomes valuable to me for all the reasons you mention.” This is literally garbage. It didn’t say anything; this person was definitely puffing. No doubt this person was a spammer; it deserved going into moderation.
7. Copying someone else’s comment and using it as yours
I get it; sometimes commenting is hard, especially when you want to look original but someone else has already said what you wanted to say. On an article I wrote talking about LinkedIn, I received a comment with this line: “Thanks for your tips Mitch. I’ve got to do more videos on that network, I did one with very little views, All the information you shared is above is truly awesome.”
That looks pretty legitimate, doesn’t it? It was… except it was a short, copied excerpt from my friend Lisa Sicard, which means it wasn’t original but copied. Maybe the person was legitimately trying to look like he/she had something to say, but since I caught it (it seemed familiar) I treated this person like a spammer… nah; I knew this was a spammer! lol
8. Using a Gmail address when promoting a business website
Let’s face this reality; if you’re using gmail instead of the domain name of your website to leave comments on someone else’s blog, you’re either bad at marketing, don’t understand SEO or some kind of idiot. Yeah, that’s harsh, but let’s put it into context.
On one of my blogs, I use a Verizon.com email address. I also write articles for my accountant, and I use that same email address. Verizon doesn’t allow spammers to create a bunch of throwaway email addresses to use as spam, and since it’s the same email address that responds to other people commenting, and it has one more thing I’m mentioning next, there’s no way to associate it with spam.
Google allows people to create many fake, throwaway email addresses. More than 90% of the comments that show up here by first time visitors are gmail accounts. Unless I know you, and unless other bloggers know who you are, you look like a spammer.
9. No avatar or a stupid avatar
Whenever I leave a comment somewhere, my face is in the avatar which, on many blogs, is called a Gravatar; I didn’t come up with that. It gives a bit more legitimacy to my being a real person leaving a real comment, which I probably don’t need because I actually leave real comments on other people’s blogs.
What I see most of the time is no avatar at all. That makes sense if the person’s using a stupid name like openstudyoff or hp printers; idiotic! What I sometimes see is an avatar of a pretty woman with a man’s name; please! lol
If you’re Indian and you’re using an avatar that looks like an Indian but you’re calling yourself “Bob”, you’re immediately suspect, even if your name’s really Bob. If you’re lucky enough to get someone like me who’ll search through the site you’ve linked to, looking for your name to see if it’s there and I find it, then you’re good. If not, and if any name I find doesn’t look like an American name… you’re a spammer, even if you’re not… but you are.
I think I’ll stop at 9, otherwise I’ll be here all week. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I hope I’ve gotten my point across. There’s way too much email spam as it is without having to deal with is on a regular basis on my blogs. It’s the way of the world, but that doesn’t mean I, or anyone else, has to like it. Please, be a better… and legitimate… commenter… please!