Jim's Marketing Blog

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Why your blog comments don’t get published!

Ever wonder why you sometimes leave comments on blogs, but find they are not published?

Well, in today’s post I’m going to share some common reasons why comments are rejected AND share some ideas on how you can get your comments published more often.

Words count

Very short comments are often caught in spam filters or get manually deleted by bloggers.  The reason?  Commenting with just a handful of words is a common tactic used by comment spammers.  They will leave thousands of cut-n-paste comments on sites, like; “great post!” or “Just bookmarked this!” – Comments which could apply to any post on any subject at any time.  As a result, genuine short comments can get deleted by accident.

Why do spammers do this?  They do this, usually just to get backlinks for their site or client’s sites.  Each backlink is seen by Google similarly to a vote.  The more backlinks a site has, the more votes it gets and theoretically, the higher that site will rank in Google’s search results.  Comment spammers place these links into comments and then use software to attack thousands of sites; trying as many sites as they can, that have no spam protection.  Sites with no protection are flagged as weak and their URL distributed, meaning they get more and more spam!

Today, with tools on most blogs, such as the Facebook ‘like’ button or the Google+ 1 button, it’s easy to genuinely let the blogger know you like their post, without a 3 word comment.

Are you blacklisted?

If your comments are regularly not published, it’s worth finding out if you have been blacklisted (DNSBL’d).  Check your ip address.  Sometimes, a person using the same ip address range as you has been sending spam and been blacklisted.  This can result in you and everyone within that ip address range, being blacklisted too.

You can check your ip address for blacklisting on sites like this.  Alternatively, just search for “ip address blacklist” on your search engine of choice and try a few more.  If you notice your ip address on one or more blacklists, contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and let them know.  Then, contact the people blacklisting you and ask for reconsideration.  Some are better than others at managing their blacklists, so YMMV, (your mileage may vary)

Using SEO keywords rather than your name

When filling out the form before you leave a comment, enter your name into the name box and not a series of SEO keywords.  Some sites are fine publishing comments from someone calling themselves ‘cheap web design in Lincoln!” but others are not.  If you just have to insert keywords, I recommend you avoid keywords in that name section, which are commonly used by spammers.  These include; free, offer, save, webinar etc.

An ‘effin fast way to get your comment deleted

Avoid cussing or swearing.  Many blogs are set-up to send comments with bad language direct to the spam filter.  Others, like techcrunch, almost seem to encourage it.  If you want your comments published more often, match your commenting style to the particular blog.

Sell by dates

You may be commenting on a post that has had commenting disabled.  Many blogs disable commenting on posts, which are over a year old.  There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. Firstly, because people often fail to read the date on a post, you get comments on old posts saying things like; “HEY idiot, Facebook has 800 million users, not 100 million users like you wrongly state in your post!”
  2. Secondly, older posts tend to have high page rank and are targeted heavily by spammers.  Last year, I turned comments off the posts here, which are 12 months old or more, and saw an immediate 40% drop in spam.

Too many links?

Don’t put links into your comment unless you really need to and then, try and limit the number.  Putting links into the text of comments is a common ploy used by comment spammers, so many people configure their blog to either moderate or spam, comments containing links.

Additionally, some bloggers do not like people leaving any links in their comments, because they believe these links will cause their readers to click away from their blog.  This may seem as odd to you as it does to me, but it’s true.

Their home.  Their rules

If the blog has a commenting policy, check that you are not violating it.  I have a policy here, which is designed to stop people abusing my commenters and reduce the amount of spam I receive.  It works extremely well and you are very welcome to copy it and use it on your site.  You can read it here.

Many people who comment on blogs believe they have the right to say anything, no matter what the legal ramifications are or how racist, sexist or simply offensive their comments are, on any blog they wish.  The reality is that just as every person is different, every blogger has a different threshold regarding what he or she thinks is OK to publish.  In short: When we visit someone’s blog, we stand a better chance of seeing our comment published, if we play by their house rules.

Some people hate being wrong

Some bloggers hate to be proven wrong and will delete your comment, if it shows they were incorrect.  A commenter here recently shared a comment with me, which an a-list blog refused to publish, simply because she spotted a genuine flaw in the point made in the post.  Other bloggers delete comments, that disagree with them.  In my opinion that’s a bad idea, but it’s their site and their rules.

Summing up

Unless there’s a technical glitch, there are only 2 things that will stop your comment getting published on a blog:

  1. It gets filtered automatically, because software has identified the content or sender as a threat.
  2. It gets deleted manually, by the blog’s administrator.

The first hurdle is relatively easy to resolve.  However, every blogger has their own ideas on what they will publish, making the second hurdle trickier.  In my experience, most bloggers are happy to allow any comment through, which adds to the value of their blog.  If you believe you have something worth sharing but the blogger refuses to publish your feedback, it’s their loss – Not yours.  Go and find a blog, where the blogger values their community and encourages people to share ideas and insights.

Photo: j9sk9s

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34 Comments

  1. Great post Jim – and thanks for the reminder to make a “comment policy” for my blog. Been one of those things that has been on my to-do list, but nothing I’ve made a priority.

    Thankfully I haven’t had to delete or not approve any comments of late, but you never now.

  2. I simply don’t approve comments that are ‘good post’ even if it’s from friends. If you’re not contributing to the discussion it’s not a valid comment in my opinion. I’ve blogged about the commenting policy but I should put a link to it near my comment form so that it can’t be missed.

    • In my experience, most of the “Good post” comments that come through my blog are clearly by people who are looking for link love. A lot of those comments are coming from people in the WP community who appear to be trying to establish themselves and their site.

      In other words… a “Lookie Me” approach with their comment.

      • It’s sad when that happens Brian. I get some marketing people come here and do the same.

        For what it’s worth, in my experience, people can see through what they are doing.

  3. Justice Wordlaw IV

    December 21, 2011 at 23:42

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue Jim. A comment policy is a really good idea. I know that Danny Brown has one on his blog and I like how he explains things to the readers. The ordinary “great post” is something when I see it that this person maybe didn’t read the blog post.

  4. One of the best ways to know if your comment is going to be published is to ask yourself one question.

    Would I publish that comment I just left on someone else’s blog if it was a comment on my own blog?

    Well, would ya?

    • Hi Grant. That’s a useful way to look at it. Of course, it assumes they have a similar commenting policy to your own.

      I think this is why having an actual written policy in place is a good idea.

      Thanks for the feedback my friend.

  5. Jim,

    Thanks for the excellent list of reasons why blog comments are deleted.

    I used the link in your post to run a DNSBL check – and my IP is listed in 6 out of the 75 or so lists that were checked.

    Can this explain why my comments on some blogs are rejected? Do different blogs and their spam filters tap into different DNSBLs for their algorithms?

    Finally, is this something I need to notify my ISP about? The others on the list all show my IP as ‘green listed’.

    Thanks for your feedback on this – and for sharing this nice post.

    All success
    Dr.Mani

    • Hi Dr.Mani. It could explain why your comments don’t get through on some sites, though you came through here with no problem.

      Where you may find it a bigger problem, is sending email. If you do any email-based marketing, I would definitely contact your ISP and also ask for reconsideration, from those who have you blacklisted.

      The reason you show on some, but not all, is that they have different criteria.

      Hope that helps.

  6. Thank You Jim!

    There were technical things that I am
    begining to understand.

    Thank You, Grant Griffiths!
    Those moral & ehtical stuff, I have
    come a long way now.

    It would be interesting to paste
    something I had saved almost two & half
    years ago, & incidentaly it is from Dr.
    Mani.

    “WILL YOU – WHEN EVER YOU WRITE”
    – May 11th 2009 –

    ## think about what values you will
    espouse through your blog.
    # Will you be respectful of others’
    freedom and individuality?
    # Will you allow hate, sexually explicit
    and illegal subjects to be discussed?
    # will your blog have an underlying
    theme or philosopy you believe in?
    # Will you use hype, misleading or
    incomplete information or even false
    data?
    # Will you admit it, if you are wrong.
    # Will you try to always be positive,
    or helpful or critical?
    # Will your commentary be fair,
    unbiased and factual?
    Thanks Again.

  7. When I had just taken up blogging and was desperate for hits, had kept an open door policy. Then realized that WordPress does not record hits from spamming software and only manual hits were counted. Now have enabled the ‘required to log in settings’… not that it has helped the hit count only have less work cleaning up the spam.

  8. So, thanks to Jim for letting me test things out. What I’ve discovered is that it’s not the IP address or the text that I’m putting into the user name or indeed the comments that I’m making.

    Somehow, my actual website is being viewed as spam. Jim, can you tell me what you use to regulate your spam on the site? As I said in my earlier post, I did check with Akismet but they said I was not on their list. However, you may well be able to give me some more information to go back to them with.

    I would really like to get this sorted out as it is my business website and the whole idea of commenting is to get nice leads pointing back to it, whilst making friends amongst the blogging community by sharing good information and contributing to the discussion.

    • Hi Jo,

      In total, 7 comments came through from you, none were filtered as spam. However, as they were a series of test comments, I elected not to publish them. My blog uses Akismet to trap spam and as far as I can see, it has no issue with you whatsoever.

  9. I find so much obvious spam when I comment on some blogs. I’m like, “I never would have approved that previous comment.” I guess some people either don’t care, or they’re just excited to have anyone comment. Or they just don’t know it’s spam. But I see the generic stuff all the time. Also, about the age of a post, I won’t comment on blogs with old posts because more likely than not, if the blog hasn’t been posted to in a while, there’s no way my comment would be approved. Great post Jim. Look forward to reading more in the future.

    Merry Christmas.

  10. Jim this is a very detailed and thorough explanation of the reasons why a blog comment won’t make the cut. I think every blogger has had issues at some point trying to keep away spam blog comments. I particularly like your idea about freezing comments after 12 months although with some posts you may want to keep the discussion alive, do you think in that case you should write a new post related to that topic and reference the old one?

    • Hi Max. I believe that after 12-months, there should be a couple of hundred newer posts, to keep the conversation moving forward. That’s just my take – Not right or wrong, just the way I see it. Thanks for the feedback and welcome to the blog.

  11. Just been re reading and there are some very smart comments here.

    Thanks!

  12. Hi Jim, these are great and well thought out explanations to why a person’s comments aren’t showing up. I haven’t personally had this problem but know a few who have and will share this post with them. Thanks!

  13. Great post Jim.

    Come across this post whilst searching for information on ‘adding value with comments’.

    I go through the same process as above to decide on whether or not a comment gets published. A couple of deciding factors which always does it for me is ‘does this comment add value to my readers? and ‘will it get a conversation going?’. If the answer is yes to one or both then it will get published.

    I do however ignore ones which just say ‘Great post’…..they fail to tell me and other why it is a great post.

    Pritesh

  14. Rightly said. I sit and delete most of the comments made in my blogs, becuase they are just backlinks and no content or comment. And also, there are comments which do not correspond with the post in no way. Hence, I mark such type of comments as spam.

    Dr Maharaja SivaSubramanian N

  15. I am guilty of using keywords as my name. However, i find quite a few do get published, probably because i take the time to read the entire blog post and then leave a lengthy reply raising additional key points which (hopefully) are valuable to the blogger and his/her readers!

    I do delete all comments with “great post” or similar as well as comments that have absolutely nothing to do with what the blog post was about. If the person adds something of value i will let the comment stand and allow them to use keywords as their name. If you want a backlink – earn it!! don’t be lazy!

    Thanks Jim, that was a good read and the sell by date bit made me laugh.. i’ve seen that so often!

  16. You know this has really helped me out. for a while there I was just putting “Great post” and wasn’t sure if I was doing my SEO right but this helps me out Thanks….

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