Commenting mistakes to avoid which could mark you as a spammer

mistakes to avoid

I am amazed there are people who continue to make a mess of their commenting. Especially when these are such simple mistakes to avoid.

Sometimes I wonder if this is due to ignorance, laziness or a having too casual an attitude towards commenting. They could blame it on not having enough time, a misunderstanding of the importance of commenting, or following bad habits done by spammers.

Whatever your excuse, if you want succeed in commenting, it's wise to be aware of which mistakes to avoid, which this infographic spells out for you:

Commenting mistakes to avoid which could mark you as a spammer

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Not using a proper name

Why are people so scared of revealing who they are when they comment on a post? Do they think there are severe repercussions for owning up to their identity?

Many readers would dearly love to know who the commenter is. It's not worth hiding behind a nickname, a company name or even a keyword fuelled statement (if you think this is helping with SEO, you'd be wrong).

If you want to comment, say who you are loud and proud. Own your contribution with pride. Take responsibility for your point of view and make it the best you possibly can.

Not having a gravatar

This is a globally recognised avatar which reveals who you are throughout the web. It allows the little image next to your name to show a real picture of you.

This image should not an icon or animation, an alternative image of an object or animal, or company logo. None of these represent you as a proper commenter in your own right.

Those empty or generic images of a head and shoulders or a funny little digital motif suggests you are either ignorant of what a gravatar is, or want to hide who you really are, like a spammer.

Using an inactive email address

This is what spammers do, which I don't understand why. Certainly having an inactive email address would prevent you from applying for a gravatar. It is the same email which is used throughout the blogosphere.

There is no need to worry about your email address being visible. It is used principally to bring up the gravatar. And any URL you use to submit with your comment is placed behind the name you provide, so this is also not visible.

Adding links into your comment

Including external links in your comment can cause problems. There are some moderators, like Disqus, who are intolerant of links and will send the comment to moderation, even if the commenter has been successfully accepted before.

Spammers tend to litter their comments with links. These are invariably irrelevant to the post. The idea is if this comment is unwittingly published, this will create backlinks to their unscrupulous websites.

If you want readers to go to a specific post which you think is relevant, use this as the URL when you submit your comment. Include a call to action in your comment to get readers to click on your name to visit your post.

Being irrelevant to the topic

Another one of the mistakes to avoid is going off-piste within your comment. This is not clever, and could mark you out as a spammer. It is also rude to the blogger of the post you are commenting on.

Any comment you write must be relevant to the topic of the post. It is a common courtesy to stick to the subject. How would you feel if your post was about apples and the comment was about the price of company shares?

Commenters that don't pay heed to the correct material can ruin their chances of their comment being picked up by the search engines. A relevant comment is just as likely to be indexed as the post itself.

Not reading the post first

This is a very common trait of commenters. And not necessarily spammers either. You usually find time-poor readers who skim through the post fail to properly understand what it's about.

It is impossible to write a decent comment if you don't know the subject enough. This can show you up in a very bad light. It is one of the easy enough mistakes to avoid and yet so many readers fail to take this seriously.

Repeating everything

A bona fide commenter will take the trouble to not only read the post, but the rest of the comments as well. It is pointless to repeat what has already been said by others, and yet so many commenters do exactly that.

If you want your comment to have any sort of impact, or stand out above the others, it needs to have an original point of view. You need to find an alternative opinion which hasn't already been mentioned.

This is one of the common enough mistakes to avoid. It just takes a little more effort to work out what the gaps are, and think of something suitable to write that could make a real difference.

Not adding any value

Another one of the mistakes to avoid is writing a useless comment. There is little of value in writing 'Nice post' or some other one-word comment that means nothing. How would this help both you and the author of the post?

If you want your comment to be worth anything, and to avoid being seen as a spammer, you need to offer something that makes a difference to others. What can you provide that's helpful, answers a question or solves a problem?

Are there any knowledge gaps in the post you could fill in your comment? This is a great way to enhance the post and at the same time make your comment look good.

Do you know any more mistakes to avoid?

I've only offered you eight mistakes to avoid, but I'm sure there are many more, especially what spammers tend to do. If you can think of any, please let us know in the comments below.

Alice Elliott
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  • The pitfalls to avoid when commenting are excellently outlined in The Commenting Club’s post. Quality over quantity, respectful tone, and relevancy – these are golden rules for effective engagement. A great reminder that thoughtful comments can contribute positively to online discussions.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}