Buy Blog Comments Followup

Teli Adlam —  July 20, 2007

Not too long ago, I wrote about a new service called Buy Blog Comments. In the entry, I mentioned what some of the comments might look like based on my experiences. Well, now I have definitive proof of what some of these comments look like.

The creator of the service decided to link out to a few of the blogs where comments were left so people could see some examples of the comments, then subsequently removed the links, I presume, because of the negativity they were receiving.

After reading a couple of the comments myself, I am astounded. Not by the quality of the comments, but by the complete lack of quality.

What’s troubling is that each of the comments are innocuous enough to be approved without realizing that they add no value to the blog entry and are not created to promote discussion. They’re merely there to give the URL linked to a boost in the SERPs and possibly some extra run-off traffic from your blog entry.

What’s even more troubling is that the URL in the first comment wasn’t even entered properly, so anyone who clicks on the link (including any stray search engine robots) will be directed to a 404 page on the blog.

People actually paid for this? I can’t help thinking of that saying attributed to P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Example 1:

_________ is quite expensive at the mentioned prices i mean ___ is huge

Example 2:

great _____ some people are truly creative

So, based on the above examples, the commenters don’t fully grasp the mechanics of English grammar, such as capitalization or punctuation and semantics. (Those commas and periods can be tricky, not to mention hitting a Shift+letter combination.) And don’t get me started on the anchor text or relevance to the entry’s topic. I can only say, thank goodness those blogs still had nofollow enabled.

Yep, those comments are probably worth about a quarter. However, if you care about your blog, I’d suggest you do yourself a favor: save the quarter and leave the comments yourself, or spend a half dollar and train someone to comment properly on your behalf.

To finish up, I do need to give credit when it’s due. From a purely business perspective, John saw a need and an opportunity and decided to front the service — can’t fault the man for that, though there is plenty of room for improvement. This actually reminds me of the PayPerPost scandal, except with PPP, bloggers were able to opt into it. With Buy Blog Comments, the bloggers get no choice in whether or not they’d like to be spammed.

[tags]buy blog comments, buyblogcomments, comment outsourcing, commenting service[/tags]

Teli Adlam

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27 responses to Buy Blog Comments Followup

  1. Wow this is a great follow up – I am amazed too at the quality at the comments that are received. I mean a human commenter can get tired and just post whatever that he wants to get his day going or finish his day – so quality will be poor as the commenter will see it as a “job”, so in essence the employee will just comment just for the heck of it and probably not even read the post!!

  2. You’re probably right, Ian. I’m still in disbelief myself.

    What I can’t figure out is why Jon actually thought those comments would show the high quality he touts on the sales page. If his employees can’t even be bothered to enter the URLs properly, or use good grammar, or even leave a comment that doesn’t reek of spam — basically do what they were hired to do — what exactly is the customer paying for?

    What Jon should do is put a screenshot of those comments on his examples page because the comment that’s on display now is misleading.

    ~ Teli

  3. Wow. Worse than I thought. Jon might be trying to provide a good service but at a quarter a comment he is getting how much can he afford to pay the “professional” commentator…even if they get half (doubtful) of what he charges you’re now looking at someone who is getting paid around .13 cents per comment.

    It’s doubtful you’re going to be able and attract a poster who will deliver quality comments for a pittance. Throw in the 48-hour turn around time he offers and you have extremely low-paid and over-worked commentators leaving dreadful comments on your blog. So even if Jon wants to provide quality service comments he can’t guarantee the comments won’t be crap.

    A black hatter might not care but what about the blogger in that niche database that now has to deal with these comments along with the spam bots and all the other garbage?

    At least he should offer an opt-out form so you can enter your blog if you don’t want these purchased comments on your blog so it’s removed from his database for commenting.

  4. Ya’ll should pay me a quarter for this tip I’m about to give. Spam is your friend. Instead of deleting it, edit out the offending stuff and put your own comments in.

  5. LOL Clara, thanks for the smile. 🙂

    Frankly, with the amount of spam I receive (well, received before implementing the challenge question), there’s no way I could edit each one to be a valid comment — I’d have no time for anything else. LOL

    ~ Teli

  6. I actually received 2 manual spam to a post I wrote a couple of days ago and those were actually better than these, but too on target to have been this company.

    The next wave is going to be the removal of TLA… it is already happening.

    Ultimately blogs attract subscribers because of content, but also community.

  7. I , occasionally, get comments on older posts that just say something like ‘ good post’ or ‘ yes interesting’. I automatically think they are spam but there is no link or even the name linked, so I can’t see it being spam.. or is it?

  8. Well if you allow a comment once, depending on the comment spam plugins being use, they get whitelisted, and the next time around there will be a link.

    With spam filters that offer some kind of global intelligence, such as Akisment, they might also be able to repair damage caused in the past on other blogs.

  9. Great post.

    Thought I may share another case study on how you can get great inbound links from pages containing high page rank through comment postings without paying a single cent. Won’t hurt to bump up a few levels of your page rankings.

    check it up at: URL Removed

    Incidently this is exact method used by my friend to get over 50 incoming links with good PR values.

  10. I approved the above comment to provide an example of how to disregard a comment policy and potentially have a comment marked as spam.

    Although the comment above starts out with a compliment (great post), it certainly doesn’t add value to the discussion and the only reason this comment was left was to drive traffic through an affiliate link to a product designed to help you find blogs so you can spam their comments.

    For all I know, this may have been a comment purchased through BBC, however, I doubt it — it was most likely a comment left with the software he’s promoting.

    ~ Teli

  11. @goldcoaster: Andy’s right. Although it may not appear to be spam because the commenter didn’t include his URL with the comment, some blogging systems, including WordPress, can whitelist first time commenters so they do not need approval to post additional comments.

    That’s the main reason some spammers will send through innocuous comments without any links the first time around — it’s their way of securing a license to spam on your blog with wild abandon.

    In the event that you moderate all of your blog comments regardless of who left them, you really wouldn’t need to worry about this; just be vigilant about who’s commenting and the links they’re leaving — you won’t be penalized for people linking to you, but you surely can be penalized for linking out to bad neighbourhoods.

    ~ Teli

  12. Theres nothing wrong with spamming blogs,

    You guys are jealous about the money

    Not to mention I sell peoples email address on Crak so I make a living from it and you are probably jealous as hell.

    my auctions
    [URL Removed]

  13. Bela (I’m willing to bet that isn’t your real name…one has to wonder, if you love spam so much, why the alias?), I’m sure there’s a special place in hell reserved just for you.

    By the way, Akismet knows you’re a spammer; I just dug your comment out so people can see just how asinine some spammers can be — and no, you get no link love from me.

    Go spam yourself.

  14. I have never heard of buying comments. Would this mean that a person would pay for another person to comment on a blog using their link in the link field on the comments section?

  15. In a word, Stefani — yes. That’s exactly what the company does.

    BBC allows people to purchase a certain number of comments, then the hired help goes out into the blogosphere and leaves comments on the buyers’ behalves.

    ~ Teli

  16. I can understand hiring people to leave comments for you, but what I don’t understand is the fact that there are these kinds of services providing such crap. Why anyone would even bother to comment on a blog with a comment like this is just amazing. It seems that spammers will always be out there looking for new places to get us.

  17. I believe the easiest way to deal with spam is to use the nofollow tag. Just out of curiosity why you aren’t using it?

  18. Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. To answer your question…

    1) Nofollow does nothing to prevent spam. Spambots don’t really care whether or not you use nofollow; the main objective is just to get the spam comment published and move on. (13 Reasons Why NoFollow Sucks)

    2) Each search engine treats nofollow differently. Some completely ignore it altogether. (How Google, Yahoo!, and Ask.com Treat Nofollow)

    3) The actual blogs which need to have nofollow enabled (i.e. abandoned blogs with comments wide open) are still left open and naked to exploitation.

    Nofollow ultimately penalizes the legitimate commenters who take the time to add and extend the discussion on the blog.

    The reason why I removed the rel=”nofollow” attribute on this website is for all of the above, plus I care about my blog, so I set a comment policy in place and I abide by it.

    Each of the links submitted with a comment are checked by me before the comment is approved. Therefore, I see no need to penalize those commenters who wish to add to the discussion and content of this blog.

    Quite frankly, NoFollow is reserved for advertising and pages which search engine bots truly shouldn’t waste their time crawling since they shouldn’t be indexed in the first place (think about “Print View” and “E-mail to a friend” pages).

    ~ Teli

  19. There will always be spamming until we see and meet the owners of websites! If there are no real persons, then there is no real content! Currently, web is made up of virtual persons and it is these persons who produce and attract spam, then spamming is bidirectional. You can send and attract spam! If you send spam, then you are BAD, but what are you if you are attracting spam? you are again BAD! The rule is: Send no Spam & Attract no Spam!

  20. Most of the service being offered for such commenting are just generated from a ready made phrases — whatever the closest phrase matching the theme of the site, bang! They copy/paste it.

  21. I wouldn’t say a absolute statement “Nofollow does nothing to prevent spam”, but as mentioned and becoming clearer to bloggers is the nofollow tag isn’t performing as well and we would like. There is a bigger picture to be seen not by the average surfer, but by the responsible media outlet. It is the main nofollow content links from articles like this one that gives the greatest impact to the serps of these spamming sites. Remove the nofollow links in favor of image URLs if visitors wish to witness the site in question. There is a larger picture to be seen by the phrase “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  22. I have no doubt, if your experience is true, that the service sounds like a scam. All they do is set an autoresponse service. Set-get-money-and-forget.

    If this was payment for the service via PayPal.com, an escalation to claim will only allow PayPal.com to TRY to get your money back. And PayPal has no guarantee for refunds on services nor virtual goods; they only guarantee refund for SHIPPING.

    BBB.org should shut this organisation’s service down. I am sure there are legitimate backlinking services out there who would actually fulfill the required number of backlinks and of course, to guarantee backlnks and comments of good quality….if not it’s only a matter of time those credible will appear (in all hope!)

  23. I am paid to comment and yes you people are right. I get tired. It’s a difficult job but it’s one that allows me to stay at home with my kids. Will you hate me then for that? I have 4 kids and I need to feed them.

    Do I spam? If you’re definition of spam is non related comment then I don’t. I leave useful comment and I read the articles that I am commenting on. If on the other hand your definition of spam is commenting for the sake of someone else unrelated to you – then I guess I do. But that does mean that it’s not a legit job?

    Do I hate what I do, yes! who does not hate their job? But it put food in the table and I live in the third world country. Do I hate very demanding, very inconsiderate clients who thinks they own the world, of course I do. But again, life is not all fair and we all do what we can to survive.

    So hate me if you must, but don’t generalize.

    I’m not leaving a link. I’m just expressing myself. I’m not trying to pass your radar just so I can leave a link the next I try to comment.

    And by the way Joy is my real name.

  24. As a blogger, I am not opposed to hiring someone to do comments on your behalf, promoting backlinks and publicity is something that nearly every organization and business does. What I am opposed to is purchasing bulk comments from a company that just add to the akismet spam that is caught.

    If you need someone to write comments for your blog, hire someone for an hourly rate or per comment rate on craigslist, teach them how you want comments done and make them send a link to each comment they leave so you can follow up and validate quality. That is my opinion on the matter.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Buy Blog Comments - Can You Buy A Quality Comment For A Quarter | Internet Marketing Nirvana - July 21, 2007

    […] I left a comment on Teli’s blog about how much quality can you expect at around a quarter per comment – well she has now updated us with examples of these quality comments. […]

  2. Blog Drive-Bys for 2007-08-15 - Untwisted Vortex - August 14, 2007

    […] Teli at the OptiNiche blog wrote a follow-up article, Buy Blog Comments Followup (naturally), to the Buy Blog Comments – The Changing Face of Comment Spam article. I haven't seen any comment spam like that here yet but I'm on the lookout for it. Although I have the "rel=nofollow" tag disabled and I don't restrict comments in any way, I still make time to check every comment that comes in. If it doesn't look like it belongs, it gets deleted. Judging from how poor the quality of the comments for that service is, it shouldn't be difficult to spot them at all. […]

  3. Buy Blog Comments: Buyer Beware - WordPress SEO and Blog Marketing - June 4, 2008

    […] Last year, a new service was announced. Basically, this service was akin to paying people to manually spam blogs on your website’s behalf in order to build back links. The service’s creator, Jon Warass, vehemently denied the comments would be anything but legitimate. That was later debunked when I managed to track down a few of the allegedly "high quality" comments and they turned out to be little more than gibberish. […]