What’s With These Bizarre Blog Comments?

If you’ve run a blog for any length of time, you’ve probably had at least one of those Twilight Zone experiences:  receiving comments  with little or relation to the topic of your posts or the focus of your blog, seemingly left by ethereal beings who enter their input without showing up in your blog statistics.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve accumulated a large and bemusing collection of such comments, which run from the superficially  relevant and strangely complimentary…

Not too way back, I didn’t give plenty of thought to leaving responses on weblog web page posts and have positioned comments even less. Studying by way of by means of your good post, will assist me to take action sometimes.
(on the post “You Work Hard for Your Site Visitors… Now What Do You Do to Keep Them?“…)

…to unrelated product reviews…

I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well…
(on the post, “Answering the Question Your Visitors Will Never Speak” – which makes no mention of Zunes or iPods…)

…keyword lists…

online radio , online radio energy jeans , energy jeans monsoon clothes , monsoon clothes Reef women sandals…
(posted on the Online Marketing page, with no effort to mask these hyperlinked keywords as a human attempt to communicate…)

…and #1 in the “Say What?” category…

In the preoccupation of every someone being like the wind b flatly has a terribly portentous role. When choosing housing be struck by an urgent connections sustenance costs that are associated with use. Each overthrown regardless of the legitimate quality has to carry on its underlying functions, tailored to the needs of users. Thanks Mario
(I have absolutely no idea why the Online Marketing page won the honor of Mario’s outpouring…)

So what’s going on with such comments, you may ask when you receive them…should you be excited that your blog (or site) is inspiring feedback of any kind, however bizarre or off-topic?  Surely this means that your content is having an impact on its readers, even though they appear to be responding psychokinesthetically from an alternate dimension, with no correspondence to actual hits on your blog?

Unfortunately, no. These comments are about as authentic and personal as an Election Day robocall telling you that your candidate has already topped a winning majority.

The truth is that someone, somewhere, is taking a shortcut in following a key social-posting principle. To build connections in the blogging community, and to build traffic to your own site or blog, you need to post comments on other people’s blogs with trackback links to your own. Even if nobody actually clicks on the link in your comment, it’s still noted as an incoming link within the search engines, thus raising the rank of your site. Savvy commenters take it a step further, loading their responses with high-ranking keywords for their niche.

Unfortunately, the number of blogs on any given topic can number in the thousands! So robo-comment services have evolved, allowing you to blast canned comments en masse to many blogs based on XYZ criteria.

Problem is, these services undercut the most basic premise behind that social-posting principle: authentic connection. Even when the comments are relevant and coherent, the fact remains that they are not the considered response of a human being who has read your words. They’re spam, one-size-fits-all scattershot messages…the cyber-equivalent of sloshing a pot of spaghetti at the wall, hoping that at least one strand will stick. Not a good first impression if you want business credibility!

Bottom line: there just isn’t any substitute for reading and commenting on selected blogs yourself, with thoughtful, reasoned insights directly addressing to the content of the post to which you’re responding.

So how can you protect your blog? Well, a good platform will offer smart protection that evaluates comments against an algorithm of key patterns common to spam (for example, WordPress offers the Akismet plugin ). With the better protection services, you help to refine the algorithm every time you report an offending comment as spam. Other services offer varying levels of captchas – graphic images of words or numbers that must be manually typed before the comment can saved.

As robocomment services get smarter, however, it gets harder to eliminate all the bizarrities.  So your best approach is to use your platform’s spam protection tool, then moderate visitors’ comments (with a well-honed appreciation for the incongruous) before you allow them to be published. And tedious as it can be, the job does have its rewards!

After all, even when you know it’s impersonal spam sent  to X number of sites matching X criteria by someone who’s never seen your blog, a heartwarming robocomment like this one can still give an ego-boost on a dull day…

I absolutely adore reading your blog posts, the variety of writing is smashing. This blog as usual was educational, I have had to bookmark your site and subscribe to your feed in ifeed. Your theme looks lovely.

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