Comments with links

I have no problem with people posting comments with links to other web sites. I do however react less positive depending on who posts the link, and that person’s comment track record.

Let me explain what I’m talking about: if I write about a topic or release some code snippet or library, there are always people comparing to what other have written or coded, which is just fine. A comparison can be very justified, and make me re-evaluate my opinion or improve my code.

However, in this web site and others you’ll now and then see comments in line with these:

Interesting! Read my post at [insert URL of choice here]

or

Nice script. But my [insert link and script name here] script is much better, go download it!

And really, I can live with people pimping their own stuff. Hell, that’s how I did it when I had just started blogging and no one else knew who I was. The only way to get attention then (that is, from someone not close to you, hence forced to read) was to write good comments in other blogs with your name linked back to your own web site, and occasionally tell them that you’ve written something similar that might be a good additional read.

However, when the comments above are the only comments you receive from such a person, you soon get tired of it. Vary yourselves, please! Partake in the discussion, in-site, without one-liners and links back to your own web site every time.

Also, to me it very much depends on who does it. If it’s a beginner in the game, I have no problem with it, and I do sincerely hope it helps and gets them some new readers. I remember the first time I got a comment from someone I didn’t actually know, and it was exhilarating! But, if you’re fairly well-know in the web community, you really shouldn’t have to do this, unless you’re comment linkage is really, really valid in the context.

So, when you link away to your posts or code, please think about it again. Is this really proper in this scenario? Is this the only type of comment I write? Have I already done it five times in a row in this guy’s blog?

Is this just me being a cranky ol’ sod? Bloggers and readers, what do you think when you read/get such comments?

Posted in General |

11 Comments

  • Jeff says:

    I don't think you're just being a cranky ol' sod. If a commenter just says, "Interesting!" and posts a link, I tend to think of that as just spam. They didn't add anything to the conversation and if that comment were removed, your site wouldn't lose anything substantial.

    The second example is a bit different, but it doesn't explain why his script is better and is, again, little more than spam.

    If anyone cared about the things that I wrote about and left comments like that, I'd probably have to be convinced not to delete it instead of being convinced that I should. (Did that make sense?)

    I do, however, tend to not give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the Interwebs.

  • Rémi Pr says:

    Great article! But I've written a better one though — you can read it at… Heh just kidding :)

  • Erik says:

    I would automatically assume that a post like that was spam and delete it. Spam is spam whether it's bot generated or human copy and pasted.

  • I agree with You Robert but I just wrote about them, look here :P

  • oops, Rémi Prévost just posted this kidding :D

    However, without links Web will be a boring place … and the "line" between spam (wrote to do spam) and interesting external links is really tiny, that's why I usually prefere an admin panel to choose what's spam and what's not instead of moderation (post for free but please wait a minute to view your post).

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    The first one is clearly spam. The second one could be, but it could also be that someone really does have a script that is more correct in some way and wants to prevent people from using a less correct script out of ignorance.

    I had to disable comments a long time ago on my blog, since it was spammed to bits. As a moderator on a large forum I see tons of posts like those two every day. Some people will do anything to spam.

    I even had an email at the webmaster address of our office today, inviting me to list our site on an art directory. We're a government agency …

  • Steven Clark says:

    They do look like spam – wouldn't make it past moderation IMO… :)

    But sometimes its hard to tell honest pimping from the real spam. I guess its to do with context and relevance.

  • Remy Sharp says:

    I totally agree! I recently had someone post on my blog with just a link. As such, I figured it was junk and removed it.

    They promptly commented again saying that it wasn't spam, and that what I had blogged about was nothing new (and could be done in a more simplistic way). The guy had completely missed the point of the post, and ended up just ended up wasting his own time, and looking at little silly doing it.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Yes, it is very similar to the spam that's all over the web. But when it's not spam, I just hope that people will try and at least vary such comments with full comments, in-context.

    Wouldn't want to delete them, but just plead for some more input and comment balance.

  • Johan says:

    Good old SEO!!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Johan,

    Not applicable, since most comment systems add <code>rel="nofollow"</code> to the links written in comments.

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