Comment Spam and PageRank Sculpting

Comments Spam and PageRank Sculpting

Blog comments are a hot topic at the moment and something we're constantly reviewing. Since Matt Cutts, at SMX Advanced, announced the 'nofollow tag' no longer passes pagerank, the blogging and more importantly the SEO community has been discussing the merits of page rank sculpting.

Barry Welford's post, Blog Comments and Google, gives a great run down of the situation and the merits of allowing comments on your blog.

We, at Makak Media, are interested in how a blog aids your SEO efforts and attracts visitors to the site but at the same time we're also mindful that this blog is primarily there for the reader. It's not all about getting visitors and gaining page ranking if your content isn't of quality and your readers can't interact.

Read Only Comments

We have recently adopted a similar strategy to Barry for comments, whereas after a period of time comments are closed on a blog post. This helps avoid those spammy comments that add nothing to the on going conversation and only purpose is to gain a keyword link back to the owners site.

Having had a lot of spam comments lately that have got through Mollom, our anti spam module, we've also had to introduce comment approval on the odd occasion. I think I'll do this on a regular basis to keep a closer eye on the quality of comments.

An additional note for those who do leave comments on this blog, please use your real name, keywords are not allowed and will be edited.

I'd be interested to hear how you handle comments on your blog?

Image credit stgermh


Barry Welford's picture

NoFollow Confusion

Thanks for the mention, Richard. I think Google has now completely confused the status of nofollow. I still use it to avoid bringing too much spider attention to unimportant pages such as privacy policy, etc. but apart from that I avoid it.

Richard Dewick's picture

Google NoFollow?

I agree Barry, I suppose that Matt Cutt's comments will not always be definitive but I feel it was misleading and adds to the confusion surrounding pagerank sculpting. I'm with you, using it to take attention away from forms and alike but beyond that I don't consider it an important factor.

William's picture

Blogs help to connect

Blogs help to connect people, build communities of alike-thinking minds, share knowledge and, of course, they help to build page rank. I don't know if blogging is the best way to do it but people has _as you have said_ become quite interested in writing comments on blog post just for the sake of having a link back to their site.
At a certain level, it's quite difficult to control spam through blogging and I appreciate the efforts that admins make to keep their blogs as neat as possible. In this way, they make it easier to follow interesting discussions and add some "salt and pepper" to any hot topic that may appear.
Personally, I try to control or check the comments that are published in my blog but I haven't used so far any "technical device" such as Mollom.

Gregor's picture

Do you get spammed much?

I notice that you have dofollow comments. Do you have to be extra careful with spam (a few dodgy links will hurt your site) or is it not an issue?

Either way, presumably the nofollow change hasn't affected this site?


Kikolani's picture

Moderated and Auto Approved

I have my dofollow comments set to be moderated if it is a first time user, or if they have posted more than 3 links in the comment. After someone has been approved once, their comments are automatically approved. I have accidentally approved a few spammers (what looked like a good comment turned out to be a copy and paste of an earlier comment i hadn't read yet). But overall, it seems to be working well.

~ Kristi

iSquare's picture

Extra Efforts

I have some of my blog's using dofollow but I need to extra careful to stop the SPAM. Extra efforts are requires but working well :)

Stu's picture

Even more confusion

At the moment all that Matt Cutts announcement has done is cause a great deal of confusion over the nofollow attribute and how it should be used. As for commenting, currently we have comments set as nofollow but we are looking at making them follow in the future.

The only thing holding us back currently is the fear of increasing the spammers attracted to the blog (it gets enough already!) so I'm going to start looking into the best way of weeding them out without adding to our workload too much. Kristi's approach to comment approval seems quite a good comprimise so that might well be my first port of call.

Mike Taylor's picture

I don't get a ton of

I don't get a ton of comments so I am just able to hand edit all of my comments. If someone leaves a terrible comment with no added value I just delete it. If someone leaves a good comment, but tries to add keywords in there I will edit it to their real name if I can find or just Bob.

Nihar's picture

I used to have dofollow

I used to have dofollow comments a while ago. But removed it because, i saw there were lots of spam comments started coming.

Gregor's picture

I use a plug in

I've just started using hobo-web's dofollow plug in which allows you to set a minimum number of posts before someone is given a dofollow link. If you haven't posted enough then you don't even get a nofollow link.

It works extremely well and means that you're not leaking out link juice via nofollow links.

Paznokcie's picture

I think that moderation, a

I think that moderation, a clear warning like you have here that spam will not be tolerated and a cutoff time that lets you comment only during a specific period of time after the original posting are great tools, and work even better when put together.
Add to that an IP blocker to filter out the spambots from India (or whatever the place they come from, "mine" come from India) - last thing you need is spending an hour/day going through comments that are 98% spam.

farooq's picture

We are using dofollow

We are using dofollow comment up till now as we are not getting too many comments but future enhancement would be controlling of comments which have more than 3 links on the post.

Jenny's picture

As somebody else has said it

As somebody else has said it before, blogs are a social product and the interaction between the readers of the posts generates a community. It's almost impossible to control spam, but if you have a program to help you and you do your own check up from time to time, you can be quite assure that everything will be ok-