What is Your Blog Comment Policy?

Question MarkDo you operate a comment policy on your blog? I think spam is a curse at the best of times, but sometimes it is borderline, and how do we decide where that line is to be drawn. I certainly don’t want to hack off any genuine visitors, but neither do I want be used as a traffic generating tool by spammers.

Right from the start I’ve had a rather loosely defined policy which I’ll describe below, but now that the number and type of comments I’m getting are steadily on the increase, do I need a re-think? Should I tighten things up a little?

Firstly, let me roughly outline the comment policy I operate at the moment.

Comment Content

  • If it’s foul or abusiveTrash it
  • If it’s total gibberish – Trash it
  • Valid comment – Approve it
  • Short or generic comment – Reluctantly approve it
  • Foreign language – Trash it (sorry but if I can’t moderate it I won’t have it on my blog)

Backlink

  • To a blog or site of a dubious nature – Trash it
  • Direct to an offer landing page – Trash it
  • To a non-existent site – Trash it

Most of the above is fairly black and white, and although I don’t particularly like the “hey great site dude!” type of comments, I can at least live with them. What is more disturbing, is the growth in the number of backlinks to social media sites with very little info in the user’s profile, and to web sites which seem to exist for the sole purpose of collecting random snippets of other sites’ content. It kind of concerns me that some of these non-descript sites will suddenly be put to other more dubious uses once they have built up a nice collection of backlinks.

So what policy do you use? Have you ever looked back and found a backlink from a comment you had previously approved now pointed to more dubious content? Let me know – It may be about time for a rethink on my own comment policy!

22 thoughts on “What is Your Blog Comment Policy?

  1. I’m strict but fair; it’s mostly just common sense but I like to have something to point to when someone whines.

    It won’t deter most garbage, but again it’s backup.

    Mind if I point to mine? I’ve been blogging a few years now so I’ve added to it over time to pretty much cover anything someone might try to get away with so far. lol

    http://www.dennisedell.com/comment-policy
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Theme Customization Part 3 – Banner Advertising NOT for Sale! =-.

  2. Btw, my comment provides a good tip – I don’t know if you allow links in comments or not. 😉
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..48hr Downtime – Lots Done-LOTS More To-Do! =-.

    • Hi Dennis,
      thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s worth having sound reasons for deleting comments, so you can at least be consistent.

      I edited your link back in, but it leads to a blank page. Is this something you’ve not moved from your old site yet?

  3. I am finding this difficult. A new internet marketing ‘trend’ lately seems to be to use automated programs to leave comments on related blogs – but the comments seem to be hand written and make sense. So the comments may sometimes relate to the post, in a very slight way, and it can be confusing to know whether or not someone actually read your post and commented or not. I have to say, I do NOT like the idea behind these automated commenting programs at all – I think my anger about it is leading me to be a bit more strict these days lol! Shame though, as I don’t want to accidentally assume someone’s comment is spam when it’s not.
    .-= Ruth – Web Career Girl´s last blog ..Can A Blog Change the World? Blogoversary Post: My Blogging Journey and Where I Plan on Going In Future =-.

  4. Ruth is exactly right. I’ve seen these spam comments evolve and in some cases, it’s downright confusing. But then I take alook at their website link and usually it’s to sell or download things.

    Also, if they can’t make it more personal by mentioning my name…

    I don’t want to accidentally erase someone’s comment but the spam war is getting brutal!
    .-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..Clash Of The Titans: Pros & Cons of Various Types Of Passive Income Streams =-.

  5. Hi Ruth, Moon,
    isn’t it annoying? I’m glad it’s not just me! The ones that confuse me the most are Trackbacks and Pingbacks, these always appear to be auto generated, and when you follow the link back there is a list of links including a link back to your own post.

    Based on your feedback, I think I will block trackbacks and pingbacks, and trash any comment that shows no evidence of having read the post.

    I think it also shows more respect for my readers who do take the time to comment properly if their comments are not mixed in with spam.

    Thanks for your input,
    Des.

  6. AP – which link comes up blank?
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..UPDATED: Theme Customization Part 3 – Banner Advertising NOT for Sale! =-.

  7. I think that the interesting tell tale is the number of comments that are deep sixed by the spam filter – I never get to see them (and trust that the spam filter is just doing a great job.

    Recently I thought that the spam filter had fallen down on the job. The comment was somewhat generic, and posted to one of the older posts which is good fishing grounds for the spammers, moreover, when I followed back the link, the site had absolutely nothing to do with my niche, then I saw it! This was an ecommerce site selling Louboutain Pumps, and he commented on my posting where the title was “Pump Up Your Blog Income ….”. So I approved it on the basis of creativity, but now that I read your post here, I am thinking that it must be one of those automated comments … aaarrrghhh!
    .-= Valentina´s last blog ..Quality vs Quantity? One Blogger’s Reply to Pat Flynn =-.

  8. Works fine for me, still no good for you?

  9. I’d never advise blocking track/pingbacks; you could lose a lot of legit backlinks.

    Just take an extra minute to click over and see if it looks like a legit blog.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Would You Like a FREE Banner Ad Position? =-.

  10. Valentina – You don’t get to see the spam? Your admin doesn’t have a link to the spam folder?
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Would You Like a FREE Banner Ad Position? =-.

  11. @Dennis,
    The admin does give me access to the spam – I just have not gone there. Should I?
    .-= Valentina´s last blog ..The Week That Was: Mar 14 – 20 =-.

  12. Hi Dennis,
    following that link takes me to basically a blank page with the message “Not Found Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here”.

    I take your point on the trackbacks and pingbacks, but they rarely seem to be from relevant niches or even what I would call a true blog. I will continue to manually check them though.

  13. Hi Valentina,
    at the moment I still manually check all comments from new posters (anyone who has already had a post approved gets automatically approved unless I have to send them to the naughty corner :-) ).

    It is sometimes difficult to work out whether a comment is genuine or not. I recently had a slightly embarrassing one way conversation with someone who I thought was called Ollie. Until I realised it was something you do on a skateboard! LOL a mistake that gives away my age perhaps?

  14. When it comes to comment, my policy is validity. It’s easy to spot a comment that is spammy–those with links in it the and message is irrelevant. Anything that is not in parallel with the topic I trash it right away. :-)

    • Hi Walter,
      thanks for adding your input. I’m certainly going to be a bit tougher in what I allow from now on.

  15. Valentina,

    Absolutely, and as regularly as possible so they don’t build up too much.

    Akismet is the best spam catcher there is, but from time to time they do catch a legit comment.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Would You Like a FREE Banner Ad Position? =-.

  16. AP,

    Really strange, i have no idea why you’re getting that. I’ll ask around some.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Would You Like a FREE Banner Ad Position? =-.

  17. Drat! Never mind. I found the issue and am now irritated; it works though.

    In my search for a way to hide the page (I only want it linked next to the comment submit button, not in the nav. bar) one of the suggestions was to keep it in draft mode.

    They said this would work. They were wrong. It still worked for me because I’m always logged into my blog.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Would You Like a FREE Banner Ad Position? =-.

    • Hi Dennis,
      at least that explains it. I think I might just make a post with my revised comment policy, and link to it in my side bar.

  18. AP – That’s another way to go. I’d also suggest linking it right near the comment box I’ve done…there’s really no excuse for “missing it” then. 😉

    There were two other suggestions for hiding it which I will try.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Would You Like a FREE Banner Ad Position? =-.

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