There are bloggers who say they never delete comments.
I’m not one of them.
If I didn’t delete some comments, my posts would appear to have a higher comment count, which in a superficial way carries a modicum of social proof. You might be surprised at the number of comments I delete and why.
I can assure you it has nothing to do with avoiding negativity or criticism, but you won’t know that for sure unless you criticize me at some point. Until then, you’re just taking my word for it.
Why do I delete comments? Let count the ways…
1. Obvious, stupid, shit-for-brains spam
And these are not just deleted, no. One of the benefits of using the Disqus commenting system is I can blacklist you. I can ban you by your email address, your name, even your I.P. address. And I will gleefully do so. UPDATE: I no longer use Disqus, opting now instead for the WordPress comments. In WordPress you can still ban commentors by email address, URL or IP address in the “Discussion” area under Settings in your WordPress admin. The reason why I don’t use Disqus anymore is that the service wasn’t reliable and kept having outages, which makes it too frustrating for readers to use.
2. Spammy garbage URL in your name
Even if the comment is of some quality, I’m going to look at the URL you leave. If it points to something that looks like a content farm or dubious operation, your comment is gone. We all have our own opinion of what qualifies as “dubious.” For you, that might mean adult entertainment sites. For someone else, it might mean sites in another language he doesn’t understand. I’m much more inclined to ban the latter than the former. Most of my readers don’t read foreign language blogs so I’m pretty sure not allowing your link and comment to appear isn’t depriving my audience of anything valuable.
I very much consider the industry or product or service provided by the site in the commentor’s URL. If it looks shady and cheap (design matters, folks), I mark the comment as spam.
I value my time, so it’s highly likely that I’m not just going to delete your comment, but mark it as spam and immediately blacklist these. I mean, seriously, why should I bother to put up with more dumb comments in the future?
3. Any URL other than your site’s home page
You so give yourself away when you do this. Of course we all would love to get traffic from our comments, but when you make it that obvious, it backfires on you. I’d have more respect for you if you put an outright link in your comment. I have no problem with that if the link is relevant and helpful. I will reply to your comment thanking your for sharing great resources with me and my readers.
But if the link does not help anyone other than yourself, burying it in your name link will not spare you from my ban hammer.
4. Comments which add nothing to the discussion
I don’t need your empty praise. Most bloggers have such needy egos, they will allow any comment which flatters them to remain, even if it has a spammy URL or no Gravatar profile picture. If you’re going to comment on Remarkablogger, you’d best be prepared to Remarkacomment, if you know-whut-ah-mean.
Look, if one of the main reasons to comment is to drive traffic back to your blog, then ferchrissake’s say something that will accomplish that. It just so happens that what will accomplish that is the same set of qualities that makes your own blog worth reading in the first place.
Meaning, that if you’re not a good blogger then you’re probably not a good commentor, either. So don’t expect the saints to come marching in when you leave a comment like, “Nice post I agree we should all do these things, etc.”
5. No Gravatar
If you bother to get a Gravatar that shows me you got skin in the game. That you’re playing with real money, so-to-speak. It shows you give a shit. So if you don’t have one, you’re communicating apathy at the very least, and evasiveness at worst.
For those of you who don’t want your real face to be known online, don’t use your real face. But put something there. Show me you care and I’ll meet you halfway.
Just the lack of a Gravatar alone will not cause me to delete your comment. It is simply one aspect I factor in with other aspects such as the content and URL.
6. I can’t understand what you’re saying
If your English isn’t good enough or you’re just plain too crazy to put the words together in the right order, I’m not gonna leave that laying around on my blog. If you can’t operate at the level required to participate, then you don’t get to play.
7. You’re from an SEO “company”
OK, you people are the bane of the internet. It almost doesn’t even matter what your comment is. If you’re from an SEO company there’s a strong chance you will have already tripped the wires for the quality traps I’ve already set with my previous reasons. But just in case you haven’t, then being an SEO means you’re probably gonna be banned.
And yes, the mismatch between the email address you leave and the URL you leave was a big clue. If your email is email@example.com and the URL you leave is http://someunrelatedspammybullshit.com and the comment is devoid of any real contribution to the discussion, I will ban you.
Bonus Reason: 8. Your Motivation is Obviously Self-Promotional
This reason is sort of the ghost behind some of my other reasons why I mark comments as spam and deserves its own mention. It doesn’t matter if your motivation in commenting is to get traffic back to your blog. Hell, I even use the CommentLuv plugin on Remarkablogger specifically to help make that happen for you, so obviously I’m not against that.
No, what matters is whether or not self-promotion is so blatant, crass and obvious that it outweighs any possible benefit to anyone reading it. Or that such ham-fisted self-promotion drags down the vibe of the entire post and everyone else’s comments like a bad house on the block drives down property values.
The more you try to truly contribute and make a difference and the less you make it about you, the better your “comment marketing” will be… because it won’t seem like marketing. The best way to promote yourself is just to be awesome and helpful and not self-promotional! Oh, the irony, it kills, it burns!
What about you?
Do you delete comments? Why or why not? What pisses you off about comments? Get it off your chest (unless you’re a spammer, lol)!
Image attribution: kodomut