Perspective On Human Spamming

Just be patient about the fact that, be patien...
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Are you getting human spam on your blog?  I am.

If you are running Disqus right now and have some pages with page rank there is a good chance that you are getting hit with human spam from site owners trying to accomplish some bargain basement SEO requiring the bare minimum of work.  This isn’t limited to Disqus, but since Disqus continues to leave NOFOLLOW off of the link to the user’s website in their username they have become a specific target.

It’s pretty trivial to mark these guys as spam and the worst of them are easy to recognize because they’ll move from page to page leaving the same worthless comment, but there are a few that have an interesting perspective on what they are doing and it’s worth thinking about before you start blowing away all the comments that they leave.

In comments left on my blog and on a thread I started about this problem on Disqus’s forums I’ve seen an attitude of entitlement from the Spammers that put the smallest amount of effort to customize their spam comment to the content of the page.  Their logic (?) is that comments add value to a site and by leaving a comment that is somewhat on target they “earn” the link and the SEO value that it instills.

There is some truth to this perspective, comments mean a lot to a blogger.  They add new content to a page and keep it active and updating something that Google likes to see, they can also provide new search terms and enhance the keyword usage on the page, helping it rise in the search results.

What human spammer’s fail to take into account, and where their perspective diviates so far from that of mine, is that comments are encouragement and validation of a bloggers work.  That engagment is worth more than all the SEO benefit a spammer can offer me and why I take such offense at their half hearted attempts and sense of entitlement and why so few of their comments will be allowed to stand here.

That’s my perspective – what’s yours?

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Disqus SEO Looks Good From Here

I was a little hesitant to install the Disqus comment system, but I took the plunge to see how I liked it and I find many of the features so helpful and superior to WordPress‘s native comment system that I’ve decided to make the switch permanent. The Disqus dashboard, the universal login for all other sites using Disqus, and the ability to reply and delete comments by responding to the notification e-mail are all major reasons that I’ve decided to stick with the switch. There were two concerns that I had that almost had me hit the uninstall:

1. SEO - I’m not an expert in SEO but I have explored the basics and have seen the value that comments on a post can add to your search ranking, so I was concerned about losing that traffic source. In looking into the subject this issue was one that many bloggers had expressed and is one that Disqus is taking seriously. For WordPress users, the Disqus plugin uses their API and there doesn’t seem to be a problem. I did a little experiment to make sure that the Disqus comments are being indexed correctly, and while I can’t say they have the same value as a WordPress comments, what I see is good enough for me:

WordPress comment w/ #1 rank from my post helping people having trouble opening files with an .efw extension:

#1 Google rank from WordPress Comment

Disqus comment w/ #1 rank from my interview with Profy VP, Svetlana Gladkova:

#1 Google Ranking from Disqus comment

Obviously not heavily searched terms, but it’s what I could quickly pull from my existing comments, I encourage you to try the same thing for yourself. You’ll also note that there is no duplicate content from Disqus showing in the searches.

2. Not Hosting Comments – The problems with not hosting your own comments were made clear this past week as a database error at Disqus made all comments unavailable for a short time. Hopefully this point will be moot in a month or so as Disqus implements the export to WordPress feature that’s in the works. If Disqus goes down, you’ll still have all the data. It will be a huge reduction in risk and should help sway those bloggers who aren’t quite sure about making the change.

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