Are You Spamming Your Own Blog?Written by: Anyonita Green on
Welcome to the Blogging Crash Course!Helping you grow your blog into the powerhouse you know it can be!
Last week, we looked at the golden rules of guest posting. This week, we're deviating from the schedule and are going to discuss comment spam.
Don't skip over this post, guys! It's vitally important and relevant especially if you host link parties or reply to all of the comments on your blog.
We're going to discuss what Google deems as user-generated spam, what their new regulations regarding spam mean for your blog and how to protect yourself.
I've had a Google Alert set up to monitor this topic for quite a while now and in the last few weeks, the momentum has really picked up. Now's the time to share what I've found with you.
In the blogosphere, we all strive to please the Google gods. They run a tight ship over at Google HQ and that trickles down to all of us, whether we want it to or not. Google has recently made some changes to its algorithm regarding how they view and treat comments on blogs that we all need to be aware of.
In a nutshell, comments that do not add value to your post are considered spam. It's not necessarily what is being said in the comment but how it is being said that concerns Google and raises their red flag.
Here's a brief example, for you. These types of comments are likely to be triggered by Google's spam monitor:
This looks good!
These types of comments are better because they contain detail and valuable information:
Yum yum YUM! Nutella AND nesquick?! Incredible combination! Pinning these now to my 'It's a Sunny Summer' board. Enjoy the Manchester weather - my family have all been raving about it too - visiting at the end of July, I wonder if it will still be hot!? :-D
Mmmm, these look so good! Perfect for these hot days, though we're in the 90's here most days. 70's sounds beautiful right about now.:) Pinned these; my boys would love them. Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire Me Wednesday! Featuring you in this week's issue.
As you can see from the examples, both sets of comments say pretty much the same thing. But the second lot is better because there's details and relevant information specific to the post the comments appeared on. The first two comments could apply to any post on a food blog. The devil's in the details ... so's Google.
Under Google's reformed policy, those first two comments could be considered spam and a number of spammy comments would result in your blog losing its Google rankings that you tried so desperately to secure. For more information on what Google doesn't want, check out this post.
How to protect your blog and what to do about Google's comment policy:
- Don't publish generic comments (like those first two) and make it a general rule of thumb not to publish comments that are three words or less. Unfortunately, this includes the "You're welcome" comments many of us leave after someone thanks us for hosting a link party. :( While it's good manners, Google could consider it spamming your own blog.
Last week, I noticed that same of my "you're welcome" comments had been put in my spam folder! So I did a bit more research into why and this new comment policy is the culprit. Unfortunately, I've had to go through my entire comment log and remove every instance of these two word comments and other three-word comments that could be effecting my blog negatively.
- Don't allow anonymous comments on your blog. Although it may seem a bit harsh, this is a great way to ensure the people leaving comments have some sort of credibility and can't hide behind the guise of anonymity.
- Turn on comment moderation. No one likes captchas, but if you're not using one, your blog is vulnerable to spam. Using a comment system like Disqus or Comment Luv helps ensure that spam is kept to a minimum without forcing your visitors to use a captcha. Alternatively, and best for Blogger users, G+ comments do the same but also link up your post's G+ activity with your comments.
- Disallow HTML links in your comments. There are a number of ways you can do this on Blogger: first off, Blogger automatically treats anchor text links in comments as no-follow links. This means links that look like this won't get followed by the search engine bot and won't negatively effect your blog's rank. Links like this: www.anyonita-nibbles.com don't really matter and if you must leave a link, do it this way instead.
If you use G+ or your comments (which I highly recommend) I assume it treats all anchor text links as no follow as well, although I'm not 100% sure. G+ allows anchor text links, so this requires a bit more looking into.
What this means for Anyonita NibblesIn light of this discovery, I've drastically changed my commenting style and policy. Anyonita Nibbles will no longer publish or leave generic comments on this or any other blog. As a result, I'll be stricter about what comments get published on my blog. I've also implemented the G+ comment widget on my blog so anonymous comments will no longer be accepted.
I've also removed the content from all of my old comments that were three words or less. Going forward, I will still accept the lovely "Thank you for hosting this link party" comments on my blog, because I fear too strict regulation regarding comments would destroy the friendly community link parties build. However, I will not be replying "You're welcome" to these types of comments. Please do not take offense.
- I hope you all have found this topic insightful. Well, I'm no industry expert, I'll try to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to comment below! What are your thoughts on Google's reformed comment spam policy?