Like Me? Follow Me.
As administrator of the I-COM blog I've been seeing an awful lot of spammy comments recently. Much of it is coming from the same SEO company, on behalf of a number of their clients.
The company in question is, as far as I can tell from the e-mail addresses used, Broadview Innovations The name of the commenter is invariably 'martin' (always all lowercase, so I'll refer to him as 'lowercase martin' from this point on).
Here's an example of one such spam comment (click on the image to open in a new window). I've obscured the client's name and URL:
This comment was posted on a blog entitled "How 'Content' are Your Customers", which dealt with the importance of regularly updating your site with good quality content - nice and relevant then.
I have contacted lowercase martin at the e-mail address he provided - I asked him to please refrain from posting meaningless comments on the I-COM blog. As yet there has been no response to this e-mail.
Spam commenting is an issue for all blog administrators, and it can sometimes be hard to understand why they're doing it. Believe it or not this kind of practice has its roots in genuine SEO theory and, when it's done properly, can actually be a valuable addition to your overall SEO strategy - just not the way lowercase martin from Broadview Innovations is doing it.
Why Comment on Blogs?
So what is the thinking behind this kind of SEO practice?
- Posting worthwhile comments on blogs relevant to your (or your client's) field or industry sector builds a good reputation for your business.
- Whilst the majority of blog comments use the 'NoFollow' attribute (including the I-COM blog) in all outbound links (meaning they don't help to improve your search engine rankings, specifically in Google), they do allow you to post links to your website. Search engines may ignore NoFollow links, but humans don't.
- When you post a link to your website as part of a good, 'on topic' comment, the blog owner and their readers will take notice of you, making the comment a potential source of traffic to your website, and not just any old traffic - people who have already shown an active interest in your sector.
- Some blogs don't use the 'NoFollow' attribute, meaning any comments posted with links back to your site have the potential to improve your rankings in major search engines.
Of course this is all well and good, but when you're posting comments about coach hire on moderated SEO blogs, your activity has NO VALUE whatsoever and is therefore a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
Not only are the links NoFollowed, the comments you are posting are totally irrelevant to the blog owner and its readers and, perhaps most importantly, the blog is moderated so the comment won't be posted anyway.
So How Should they be Doing it?
The answer to this is simple: find relevant blogs and comment intelligently on the posts therein; that's the only way Broadview Innovations will ever gain any value for their clients. At the moment, they are wasting any money their clients are paying on futile, ultimately pointless activity.
Blogs have to be treated like communities, not link-dumps, so if you're going to comment make sure you engage intelligently with the content of that blog, and return to posts you've commented on to continue the debate. Otherwise you'll find yourself labelled a 'spammer' in a post just like this, and that can't be good for your reputation.