Blogs are built around comments. It’s always fun and rewarding to see your blog have a lot of comments on it. Trouble is, comments attract spam and it’s not always easy to distinguish between legitimate comments and spam.

Here’s a scenario: your post gets popular on Delicious. You get a ton of comments from “SEO BLOG TIPS”  saying “thanks for great post”. Comments like that add no value whatsoever to your blog post. Heck, they devalue it. So here’s the question: do you allow the comment or delete it?

Personally, I consider comments like that spam, but on the other hand, it does get the comment count up. So there it is. A short post, but there’s a reason for it; it’s meant to spark debate, so go on. What would you do?

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  • http://pradeek.blogspot.com Pradeek

    Good point.However, not approving or deleting such a comment would make the commenter feel bad. If he/she takes up the time to tell you that you’ve done a good job, it is not good manners to delete that comment.

  • Tom

    In most cases, I will approve a few of those comments – but if the link goes to something obviously spammy, (SEO, Pharma, Weight Loss, Loans, etc.) – the link gets deleted, the comment (may) stay.

    I have a community directory – and in one case someone commented on a business and how they loved the service and would hire them back to do work at their house again. The link went to another company in the same industry as the business they commented on – but their company was in an adjacent state.

  • ComputeLive

    If the person tries to put links in the comment that has no relation to post whatsoever..I just delete it…

  • http://www.wptavern.com Jeffro

    I do a combination of things depending on the content and URL of the comment. The other part deals with the mood I’m in. Depending on these variables, I’ll either submit the comment as spam, delete the comment entirely, or publish it after I de-link the comment author.

  • http://dd32.id.au/ DD32

    Spam it straight away.

    If it isnt related to the current post, And is something which can be submitted to multiple posts and give the same value to them as it can to the current post, Its spam; Simple as that.

    However, If it does have decent content to the comment, and is related to the current post, Then it can go live, But i’ll de-link if i object to the link, SEO spamming is something i object to, so i’ll de-link (And i even go as far as adding a comment to that effect sometimes)

    Just deleting it is something i’d rarely do, I usually leave that for the utterly useless pointless drivel..

  • http://wpmututorials.com Andrea_R

    If the comment adds no value whatsoever, or is rewording of the text of the post, it gets nuked.

    If they have a legit comment, I de-link their URL.

    Rarely, I have someone trying to pull a fast one. They left a comment with a SEO title, so I changed their name to “spammer”.

    They came back and got mad at me for calling them a spammer. :D Yes, I explained why I changed his name and why it was bad etiquette, and he still got all offended.

    The rest of my regulars also gave him a beat-down.

  • http://www.ronmcdaniel.com Ron

    I do not think comments are that important to blog success.

    I am with Jeffro – depending on the situation, but usually delete.

  • http://kyleeslick.com Kyle Eslick

    This is an interesting discussion, and there may be some variables to factor in, such as whether or not your blog has a “DoFollow” setup.

    I personally used to approve all comments that weren’t obviously spammy. In other words, as long as the comment has value to the conversation, I would generally approve it.

    Over the past month, however, I have gotten to the point where I delete most comments that don’t have a Gravatar. If they don’t have a Gravatar, I review the comment closely to decide whether or not to approve it.

    I think eventually I will get to the point where I don’t approve any comments that don’t include a Gravatar though. :)

  • http://www.theistudio.com Judith

    If it walks like a duck…

    While it is rewarding to get comments, I don’t let my ego fall prey to those who are surely only trying to get some link juice. We all can spot that stuff a mile away…

    Blogging and therefore commenting is all about the discussion. While compliments are nice, if they are not peppered with actual commentary in regard to that specific Blog post, (unless they clearly are not a spammer) chances are the comment does not see the light of day. Same goes for those who don’t use keywords instead of their name for a user ID.

    I have a Comment Policy on all my Blogs that let’s folks know that I’m all about the conversation. Comments that meet my guidelines get approved. Those that don’t get deleted. Simple.

    Should we really worry about feelings being hurt if one’s generic compliments using a keyword user ID is deleted? Don’t think so…

  • Pingback: Approve, Delete, Spam – How Do You Treat Specific Comments?

  • http://www.michelfortin.com/ Michel Fortin

    Interesting topic, and quite coincidental, as I just posted about this on my blog yesterday:

    http://www.michelfortin.com/flustered-fake-friendly-comments/

    This has forced me to institute a new comment policy on my blog, and has brought up an interesting suggestion. One commentor suggested a plugin that would force comments to be of X characters.

    Similar to what vBulletin does, for example, where if your post/reply is less than 100 characters (customizable by the blog owner), an alert window shows up, saying something like, “Not posted! Insufficient content.”

    It would be nice if WordPRess had such a plugin. ;)

  • http://budurl.com/AboutJDH Joe Hage

    I actually had a competitor come to my site yesterday and leave a link-laden comment to bring business to his site.

    Talk about audacious!

    Sometimes if a comment has merit but the link brings readers to an undesirable place I accept the comment and edit out the links.

  • http://www.marketlikeachick.com Coree Silvera

    I think relevant comments are very valuable to your blog. Comments open discussions and will often lead to return visits from your readers to track the conversation and comment once again. It can also lead to inspiration for another blog post.

    Generally, if the comment is relevant to the post and the link is not to a spammy site I will keep it. If the link is to an obvious sales pitch and nothing else, the link gets deleted, and possibly the entire comment depending on the situation.

    I use Lucia’s Linky Love which will automatically does a nofollow until a commentor has left a specified amount of approved comments. This will sometimes discourage some of the less robotic spammers.

  • http://www.wptavern.com Jeffro

    @Michel Fortin – I use a minimum word count comment plugin on my own site. It’s by Will Anderson – http://www.itsananderson.com/plugins/short-comment-filter/ works just like the settings in Vbulletin.

  • http://www.michelfortin.com/ Michel Fortin

    @Jeffro

    Thanks, but it’s too bad the plugin doesn’t exist (the download gives me a 404 error). I’ll see if I can contact the owner…

  • http://www.michelfortin.com/ Michel Fortin

    @Jeffro – Looks like there’s another one:

    http://yoast.com/wordpress/minimum-comment-length/

  • Edward Dumchus

    My own feeling is that if someone leaves a comment which contributes something valuable and relevant, I approve the comment. If it just says “nice post” or “great job, man” (an actual comment I got more than 15 times on one blog on one day, all with different names, but only two different links)or something else meaningless, I delete it without an afterthought.
    I don’t worry about delinking URL’s, unless I know they are to porn, internet pharmacies, or gambling sites.
    (I found the link to this post reading Michel Fortin’s blog, he mentioned it in his post on fake friendly comments.)

  • Jeff @ WordPress Max

    I have a policy of deleting all drive-by comments, if you aren’t contributing… no link for you! I also moderate all comments and say so on the blog, comment twice…deleted.

  • Jim Gaudet

    I personally check every comment. If you put in a URL then I will check that URL. I will go to who.is and make sure it is a valid domain that is not going to expire any moment. Then, I make sure the link is not a redirect and not a “spammy” site.

    If all tests are passed, I approve the comment and reply (if needed).

  • Nehh

    Comments that are of two words..like “great post” which actually does not share the readers view to the post made..are deleted by me… like (used tries) said quality matters.

  • http://myboxtool.com Brad

    Comments on a blog post should be treated like comments in a forum. You wouldn’t post “that’s great” on a forum (or most people wouldn’t). No. you only post what is relevant to the topic. Same should apply to the blogs.

    I think most people are trying to link build to their own blogs or websites but are too lazy to read the articles and comments so they just leave something generic.

  • http://www.irepnetwork.com/blog Linda Stacy

    I address the issue in my comments policy. I explain that while we appreciate compliments, we delete these one or two word notes (or remove the links) because spam bots often leave these types of comments. Otherwise I’m fairly tolerant of links as long as the comment is relevant to the discussion.

    However, I’m sure as my blog gets busier, it will be more difficult to manage, and time constraints will likely force a new policy. Not sure which direction I’ll go… more tolerant or harsher tools to combat spam.

  • http://www.limogesfactory.com/ Jane @ Limoges Boxes

    Comments starts discussion, conversation and relationships. It also creates additional user generated content that keeps a certain post fresh. But I strongly advise that comments should be moderated to avoid spam. We always want to have a meaningful discussion and opinions on our comment section.

  • Nick

    Personally I’m never sure when to allow and publish comments. I agree with Brad, treat comments just as you would in a forum and not just to get a mention.
    Your right Jane comments do start discussions so maybe I will start allowing more comments on my blog from now on.