A few months ago, I joined the D-List. The D-List is run by popular blogger Courtney Tuttle, and is a list of blogs that implement the Do Follow tag (nice and quick – Do Follow means that Google follows the links made in comments, so that it improves your ranking in search engines). I thought “Brilliant, decent linkback from a decent blog, may get a few more readers from it”, but I didn’t get any of them. I did get one more reader, but he went under two names “Dining Room Tables” and “Music Recording” (he had the same e-mail address). Whilst I was away on holiday, he was basically comment spamming underneath those two names. It confused poor Debbie, who thought that this guy slipped through the net (they did, he commented once under his own name), and Rick thought it got so bad that he texted me whilst I was in The Rhine Valley, saying “People are stealing your google juice!”.
The trouble was, that he was actually leaving valuable, if a bit scary comments (things like “I can’t wait to hear about my friend Rhys when he’s back from his holidays!”), but the way he acted like two separate people grinded with me big time. In the end, I decided to test his “friendship”. I marked his comment as spam, and he disappeared after 2 comments appeared in my Akismet. If I was truly his friend, why did he not at least e-mail me when I marked his comments as spam?
Now, I’m not bashing the D-List’s (or indeed other similar lists) intentions, I’m sure Courtney Tuttle just used it as a resource for other bloggers. It’s just that being listed as a “dofollow” blog paints a huge massive bullsye for things such as Buy Spamming Crappy Comments from people with small penises. Hell, in threads like this on Digital Point, you get comments like “I have submitted a comment to all the blogs in the first page… Will submit gradually in all those blogs…..”, they’re not shy in peddling their wares around blogs, for little effort.
In Other Words: You Get Comments – Just By and Large Rubbish Comments
So, what now? How can you fight back so you don’t spend your days deleting comments?
Have a look to see who could be a Rubbish Commenter. I like spotting things like where they comment (if they comment on high PR posts, if they comment using different URL and keyword names, people who have keywords for their names). Usually, they comment in obvious patterns, and they make life wonderfully easy.
Implement A Comment Policy – And Stick To It
The easiest way to draw a line on the sand is to have a comment policy. It’s not the nicest thing in the world to do. Put it on your site, and stick to it. On my comment policy, I put the following:
- Must comment either as your name or pseudonym (not keyword rich).
- Blogs must look complete, no kubrick/default about pages.
- Websites must be hobbist/fun & profit sites, not business sites.
So, reward people who are likely to read this, rather than people who are Johnny Fly-By-Nights. It’s a good idea to get it down on a page, so you can not only refer to it, but you can get your readers to refer to it too.
Encourage Them In Different Ways
Do I think my readers are interested in “US Stocktraders”? No, of course not, why would they be? However, if they are promoting their blogs in a way like that and making the money they say they’re making, they surely can afford a little bit of cash to peddle their wares. One thing I’ve learnt from a thread of mine on Digital Point, is that you get nothing in this life without being a bit cheeky. So before deleting the comment, I email the address explaining my comment policy, and point them gently towards my advertising page and my brand new Bid Directory.
No Longer Make a Song And Dance about Being Do-Follow.
To be honest, the D-List thing has kinda died down for me, I get the odd comment spammy comment now, but it’s not so much. Largely because I’m no longer saying “I’m Do-follow”. I still am, just not really telling people. From now. Or now.
Of course, the danger of all this is that you will delete comments from people who are genuinely interested, or let through comments with not the best intentions behind them. It’s a risk you play social networking, I guess.
Any further tips on how to block targetting spams? Drop them in the comments!