As your business blog grows, you’ll start to receive more comments on your blog posts. That’s a huge milestone that you should celebrate because it means your content is interesting enough that readers want to actively engage with you. However, not all comments are good comments, and I’m not talking about comments that offer differing opinions and often in unpleasant ways (and you’ll get a lot of those). I’m talking about the dreaded comment spam!
Comment spam is bad. It’s that simple. Not only does it detract from the conversation happening on your blog, but it also makes it seem like you don’t really care about your business blog, audience or conversations because you can’t even take the time to identify and delete those spam comments. People who spend a lot of time on blogs can identify spam comments faster than blogging novices, so it’s important that you educate yourself to identify, flag and delete spam comments.
If you use a spam filter or tool like Akismet on your business blog (and you should) then you need to understand that taking the time to flag comments as spam is important because doing so “teaches” the spam filter how to identify future spam. Simply deleting a spam comment works, but you’ll help yourself in the long run if you flag spam comments that your spam filter or tool doesn’t catch.
So how can you identify a spam comment? There are a few very common types of spam comments that often make it through spam filters but do nothing to hurt your blog and could even hurt it by cluttering valid conversations or leading your audience to inappropriate sites via links that don’t effectively reflect your brand image. For example, if you write a blog to support your child care business and a spammer continually leaves comments linking your audience to a pornographic Web site, then that’s something that could definitely offend your audience and negatively impact your business.
With that said, be on the lookout for the comment spam tricks described below that are often used to hide spam comments from spam filters and unsuspecting bloggers:
- The “Great Blog” Comment: Comments that say little more than “great blog” or “good info” could very well be spam.
- The Whole-Lotta-Links Comment: Comments that are filled with links are often spam.
- The Nonsensical Comment: Comments that make no sense or are filled with unrecognizable characters are often spam.
- The “Your the Best” Comment: Comments that are over-the-top complimentary are often spam. Be on the lookout for comments that say, “I’m so glad I found this blog. It’s the best. Keep up the great work,” which are, unfortunately, often spam.
- The Unrelated Comment: Comments that have nothing to do with the blog post are typically spam.
Always check where the links included with a suspicious comment lead to before you approve comments like the examples above. Often spam comments are simply phishing attempts by spambots to find sites that actually publish those comments, so they can exploit that site in the future. Furthermore, an increasing amount of comment spam is coming from individuals who are paid to leave specific text links across the Web in return for payment. I see a lot of the “Great Blog” Comments and the “Your the Best” Comments that are clearly left for no other reason than to publish a specific text link. By flagging spam comments appropriately and deleting them, you can save yourself from the headache of dealing with that spammer in the future and save your business blog’s reputation.
What type of blog comment spam do you think is most annoying? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.