SEO

Should Your Blog Allow Every Comment with a Link?

A few months ago I decided to turn my blog into a do-follow blog to see if it helps increase activity, but honestly I can’t really say how much it’s helped or not. Sure, I’ve gotten some spam comments, but I always remove them. Just because it’s a do-follow blog doesn’t mean I have to approve every comment or allow every link. However, I have a moral question for all you bloggers. Would you approve ANY comment with a link you feel is just wrong or illegal on your blog? Before you answer, let me provide some back story.

Last week I was going through comments yet to be moderated on my blog (I know I need to be better at that) when I came across a comment that was really good, but the link in the user name (which wasn’t spammy btw) scared the crap out of me. I won’t mention or even link to it here. Let’s just say it was among the extremely perverted illegal type. At first I removed the link, comment luv from it and I almost approved it. Then I trashed it completely. I couldn’t with good conscious approve a comment from someone promoting such a vile site. It really made me re-question my position on continuing my blog as a do-follow. But then again, if it were a no-follow would I still get the same comments?

No matter if your site permits followed links or not, allowing usernames to put a link on your site, you’re the one hosting that link. I’m not talking about removing a competitor’s link when they comment or disallowing the little blue pill links, but your own personal and even professional ethics. Would you allow a comment with a link to a site that:

  • Promoted a particular political party?
  • Came from a site with bad service?
  • Sold illegal drugs/services?
  • Personally attacked another person?
  • Contained illegal images (child porn, etc.)?

How ethical should we be as bloggers when it comes to allowing links in comments on our blogs? Would you consider allowing the comment to be posted even if it were legit?

On the off chance you get a link from a site you feel should be looked at by the proper authorities; here is a list of some resources where they can be reported.

1d41278e998726cc8fca88c5ee31c199 64 Should Your Blog Allow Every Comment with a Link?
Joshua Titsworth is a SEO Analyst that is passionate about all things Internet related. When he isn’t online tweeting or blogging, he can be found tracking down shanked golf balls across public courses.

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25 thoughts on “Should Your Blog Allow Every Comment with a Link?

  1. Hey Josh, I totally agree with you about the linking to weird / perverted sites, I don’t think you should ‘follow’ them, mainly because it makes you site look back to a) ur readers and b) the search engines.

    I’m all up for link luv, but if it’s gonna put a bad vibe on your site / blog, then obviously this can’[t be tolerated.

    But I have seen the same things on my blog, where I get a great comment, but the link it totally out of context, even offensive to some. I usually just delete the comment completely, as I know it’s not really bringing any value to both my site and the readers.

    If your content is worth reading, you shouldn’t have to debate if the comment is worth posting, I think the link someone puts in there tells you how much they were really trying to contribute to your post.

    1. I totally agree Wayne, if the content is good there shouldn’t be a debate. I really love this, “the link someone puts in there tells you how much they were really trying to contribute to your post”

  2. Well now this is the question i asked to myself twice every time i am deleting the comment which talk some thing really useful but with that promoting some illegal or immoral website (pron)

    well i think it very from person to person if it comes to me i would gonna say ‘NO’ (ALL CAPS) it good to provide some powerful information or view but if someone is promoting spammy or immoral content then i would say NO and the reason is if people like the comment 50% – 60% of the people may go to his website or whatever site he/she is promoting, now to move to any spam website or to move to some immoral content from my blog or website this is unethical to me so i ll never gonna approve the comment.

  3. I won’t allow links to illegal sites and that is clearly stated on the comment policy. I usually delete the link but publish the comment just to show to the commenter that the link is not allowed. This way, the commenter will know that you appreciate his contribution to the discussion except the link of course, thus next time a different and appropriate link may be inserted on his comments.

  4. I have the same experiences / dilemmas. My blogs are dofollow, but I don’t want any shady links or content going out.

    You shouldn’t have to debate if the comment is worth posting, but in my experience, I occasionally need to. My solution is to post my regulations right at the comment box, so I don’t feel guilty deleting a post on behalf of my site’s SEO or more sensitive readers… no matter how good the content is.

  5. Allowing illegal and unethical links in the blog which has no moral values would be like promoting and encouraging them from our side too and we too are equally responsible. I would love to see my blog empty rather than filling them with such comments that makes me feel guilty for my work and knowledge. Was really a great post Joshua keep on posting!

  6. My site, it runs by my rules. If folks link to what I consider to be icky sites, I have no problem deleting the comments. I wouldn’t allow ickness in my own home, it doesn’t go on my blog either.

  7. I think this goes along with Personal ORM. We talk about ORM from other sites, but isn’t it just as important internally? If Lindsay Lohan gets all her PR people to clean up TV and websites talking badly about her and then she goes out and does a line of coke, doesn’t that just cross out what her PR people were trying to do?

    I say yes. Your ethical standards are who you are. You have the right to censor your work. Not everyone will like it, but that’s your choice. Who you “hang out” with matters, online AND offline.

    This issue needs more discussion! Thanks for bringing it up.

  8. Do you use Akismet to protect your blog from spam?

    For good content with bad links keep the comment but
    delete the link.

    I hate Google for even introducing this DoFollow – NoFollow
    plague to the Internet.

  9. What I really get bent out of shape over is making comments to other blog articles, and the blog has rules stating “You must use your real name”, and “Cannot add link in content”, as this is all about getting a little back, taking the time giving to someone in the first place. Not referring to you Josh by any stretch. Nor, do I plan to put a link in this content. As long as the link is not offensive, I allow them in my blog comments, having a nofollow blog. Do not see a drastic increase in responses either, follow or not. Do not really think it matters. If someone wishes to comment, they WilL, and if not, they won’t. Very hard to get people’s attention and excited
    over h o u s e p a i n t i n g. So, I try making an informational article someone can gain knowledge as I can. End with the note, I like writing articles, along with making comments, and forcing anyall to use proper name is an outrageous rule, glad Josh does not follow.-Cal

  10. “Would you allow a comment with a link to a site that:

    Promoted a particular political party?
    Came from a site with bad service?
    Sold illegal drugs/services?
    Personally attacked another person?
    Contained illegal images (child porn, etc.)?”

    Simple answer to your question.

    Not just no, but hell no!

  11. When the main reason people are posting on a forum or blog is for the link, in time there is going to be a lot of junk to clean up. Generally, you have to more strict as you grow, and you have to be more liberal to get growth started.

  12. When you ask the question as an absolute, the answer is clearly “no.” Each blogger should set their comment policy and decide whats appropriate and what is not. I will not link to anything shady, nor will I let anyone abuse the comments by saying their name is “Arizona Short Sales.” Remember, blogs are more about community than selfishly leveraging for links and SEO value.

  13. Beyond the SEO world, blog comments are actually about discussion. They’re not about pagerank, and nudging one’s site up the SERPs. If that happens it’s a side-effect. The majority of people really don’t care, they just want to have their say.

  14. I would say that anything illegal should not be promoted by any site.To keep a site clean,no matter how crafty and useful a comment maybe, if someone put a vile link to your site, then one should remove it.

  15. Ultimately, the blog is your blog to manage as you feel is appropriate. Clearly stated guidelines might help if there are concerns with controlling content. I think we also have to recognize that there are unethical people who will abuse privileges by posting inappropriate content/links.

  16. JP has a point. It’s YOUR blog, hence you manage it as YOU see fit. My own policy would probably be to publish the good comment but strip it of any dubious links. With my own comment on the reasons immediately following.

  17. I agree if it is not suitable or morally questionable delete or trash it as it is your blog and you can do really what ever you want with it… if you don’t get much engagement it’s not going to be a big deal to most, but i’m sure if SEJ turned off the comments there would be an outcry based on the very high level of engagement!

    Around the issue of dofollow comments, i’m just thinking it will provide a possible incentive to be trickier around what comments you leave and you might inadvertently dofollow a bad comment from the past you forgot about. It also leaves open the sneaky links left that 301 to a different page or affiliate website….

    If you really want to pass the love do what some bloggers do and put a update note within your post to links to the article or product you feel should get benefit or exposure, but wouldn’t be in a rush to open the flood gates.

  18. Well, in my case, if comments are quite helpful but contrary to the link they post then I’ll retain the comments and remove the link. Whose readers would be happy to read about business resource topics when readers were forwarded to nasty sites? But I’ve seen other cases when publishers retained comments and removed links, the commenter who owned the link and saw his link removed would be back to your site and inject some script which ruined the whole site…So I would rather choose to off comments than sacrificing the whole site…anyway, readers would still come if they found your site very helpful and informative, and you can still offer them another option for them to contact you anyway.

  19. Well, in my case, if comments are quite helpful but contrary to the link they post then I’ll retain the comments and remove the link. Whose readers would be happy to read about business resource topics when readers were forwarded to nasty sites? But I’ve seen other cases when publishers retained comments and removed links, the commenter who owned the link and saw his link removed would be back to your site and inject some script which ruined the whole site…So I would rather choose to off comments than sacrificing the whole site…anyway, readers would still come if they found your site very helpful and informative, and you can still offer them another option for them to contact you anyway.