<< Sigh >>.
Paid blog comments suck.
Why people insist on paying others to leave comments for them is beyond me. Well, not really. Apparently people do this because they’ve either read or been sold a service which touts that leaving comments will get them better search engine placement. You know, leave a comment, get a link to your site from blogs like this one that are set up as “do-follow” blogs ((Do-follow means that links left here are followed by search engine spiders. Most blogs default to “no-follow”. Blogs that are set to do-follow are providing some “link love” to those that leave comments.)), and good things will happen.
And that is true to some extent. This blog is a do-follow blog for a couple of reasons: 1) in theory, do-following encourages comments; and 2) I appreciate the fact that people take the time and effort to read and add a comment to the conversation. Do-following is a small reward and token of my appreciation.
The problem is, there are companies out there that will prey on people’s ignorance and desire for better search engine placement. I’m not going to link to any of them, but they aren’t hard to find.
So people sign up for these services, and pay some fee (I don’t know how much, but it’s too much). Many such services make claims that “your” comments will be undetectable as a paid service and also make wild claims of success.
I think people fall for these claims out of ignorance. They simply don’t know how they work, or how bloggers handle comments.
Here are a couple of comments that came into Phoenix Real Estate Guy early this morning:
I’ve blacked out the URL to protect the “innocent” and other info to protect me from potential hassles. I’m going on the assumption that the owner of this site just doesn’t understand what he’s paid for, nor how he’s getting ripped off.
OK, so how do I know these are paid comments?
For one, the IP address of the person leaving the comment is in Amsterdam. As in the Netherlands. Yet they are supposedly being left from someone with a real estate web site in Atlanta. As in Georgia.
Second, I can not comprehend what discounted homes for sale in Atlanta has to do with the Veterans Day post I wrote in 2007, nor how it’s connected to the sixth post ever written on this blog some three and a half years ago.
Third, while it’s possible, I really doubt an agent in Atlanta is reading 1 to 3 year old posts at 4:30 in the morning. On a Saturday.
As one can see at the bottom of these emails, I am provided with two options for handling this kind of comment. I can either “Delete it” or “Spam it”.
In this case, I chose to delete them. While they are obviously spam (not to mention a violation of this blogs comment policy against blatant advertising), I try to be a nice guy and give people benefit of the doubt. The option to spam these comments will send them off to spam databases, where the IP, URL and email address will be added to lists of known spammers. These are not the kind of lists people generally desire to be a part of.
I then email the real site owner and tell them they would be advised to save their money. Curiously, the real site owner in this case had no email contact on his site, though I was able to reach out to him through his Active Rain profile ((Active Rain is “social network” for real estate professionals)). (Note to real estate agent readers — if you want to be contacted via your web site, provide a way to contact you…)
Now the nice guy routine, while genuine, only lasts a short while when it comes to comments like this. The beauty of Gmail is I can (and will) easily check the next time I get a comment like this. If it comes from someone that has been previously notified, then *poof* — off to spam databases they go.
So seriously folks, stop wasting your money (and my time) on paid comments. Here’s an idea — try actually spending a little time on some blogs. Try reading the articles and leaving comments that contribute to the conversation. You may find it beneficial in more ways than just getting a link. Maybe we can get to know each other, help each other, send some referrals back and forth, and learn from each other. Isn’t that a lot better than paying some spammer in Amsterdam (or wherever) your hard earned cash for a comment that just winds up in the garbage with you looking foolish?