Blog Commenting: Do’s and Don’ts

Blog commenting is a typical part of link building campaigns intended to raise the visibility of a site, but of course as with anything that helps, there are guys that over-do it to the extreme. When that happens, the big SEs make adjustments that decrease the effectiveness in a way that affects more than just the bozos that employ it wrong. Such is life.

You can go to any webmaster forum and find someone willing to take a small fee for a link building campaign, and in most cases they’ll describe it as “manual link building” and assure you they’ll be adding “quality” comments. Then they’ll quote you a fee of $50 to comment on a billion or so blogs.

I have to believe somebody is paying for their services, if only based on the amount of spam comments I see summarily canned by Askimet and similar spam guardians on blogs I work. I also have to believe that given women are just as involved on the web as men these days… roughly half of the people employing such services are female.

Here’s my question:

Where the heck were all these gullible girls when I was single?

Anyone that pays someone to spam the heck out of blogs is just dreaming. Sure, there are blogs that are unattended or built solely for the purpose of accepting such nonsense comments, but generic machine driven comments on any blog worth a backlink will be deleted manually if not tossed automatically. The few places they stick will be populated with a hundred similar comments… all guaranteed to fool people that’ve been on the net less than 5 minutes only.

Thank you for this marvelous post dear! I was searching for this most worthy information. Please post more about this topic. I have bookmarked this site and will come back often!

Yeah… obviously the work of someone that felt a burning need to commend the writer. For the record, its always a treat to hear from you, mister QualityTransmissionsRepairandHairSalon.co.whatever. Please stop in again (you dork).

I don’t think blog commenting is a waste. Anyone that actually takes the time to write a blog instead of relying on similarly worthless “auto-blog” software is always thrilled when somebody takes the time to read their work and make a comment that shows a sentient being engaged their brain and posted a reply.

Of course I figure when I finish this one… if nobody replies I can assuage my loneliness by going to the spam filter to see the comments no other human will ever see. No doubt I’ll have at least one that says…

“Thanks for your share!!! I am adding your RSS feed!!!”

~ QualityTransmissionsRepairandHairSalon.co.whatever

Argh. Lord, please take me now. ~ Rob :)

PS: If you’re looking for blogs on the topic of your choice that are NOT auto-written… see the BOTW Blog Directory.

Getting Social at BOTW Local

No, they aren’t sending staff to charm school… we’re talking Social Media in this case. If you peruse the various BOTW products you’ll start seeing more social media integrated into the listings and pages.

For example, on BOTW Local even the FREE “Jump Start” listings have newly added fields for Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in. Not bad for a freebie.

Incidentally, while most directories SAY they offer a free option but pretty much just ignore their free queue… I can assure you the Jump Start queue in BOTW Local is very actively worked. In order to not accidentally over-promise, our documentation says we’ll make an up or down call inside 6 months… BUT… the Local Team had actual times down to a month a while back.

Oddly, even though that’s a fraction of what’s needed to meet our promise, even *that* wasn’t good enough. Staff asked us to add people to that team so we could get it down even lower. Last I checked it was hovering around 2 weeks out. If we add anybody else in there we’ll be approving them before you send ‘em. :)

Anyway, just thought I’d mention that if the marketing budget’s too tight to go for an upgraded route at present, do NOT just walk away empty handed. The BOTW Local Jump Start listing is IMO one of the best bargains you’ll ever find on the web. “Free” is a tough price to beat… and if the business qualifies for a listing it WILL get listed in a timely manner.

Hope everyone has a great week out there. ~ Rob

BOTW PROMO: Last Call

Last call eh? Now you know where I spent all my time in college. :)

Just a note to remind you you have until midnite to use the BOTW February 2011 promo code. Don’t miss out on this chance to save 20% on one or a combination of the following directory products… BOTW Directory, the BOTW UK & Ireland Directory, and the BOTW Blog Directory. For details, see 20% Off BOTW Submissions.
BOTW February Promo Code

Promo code is FEB20. Be the first kid on the block to get your shiny new discounted BOTW submission. You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood. ~ Rob

BOTW UK & Ireland Directory Promo – Save 30%

Happy 2nd Birthday to BOTW UK & Ireland Directory
Best of the Web has enjoyed immense success with the growth of the UK & Ireland Directory in a relatively short time since it’s inception in 2008, thanks in no small part to the timely addition of a crew of editors in that same time frame who spoke the language and knew the terrain.

[Some things you just can't leave to the colonials ya know!]

From an editorial perspective there’s simply no substitute for boots-on-the-ground with local knowledge when dealing with a culture just similar enough to lull some folks into thinking they *might* be able to edit such a product from the opposite side of the pond. It might be done, just wouldn’t be done right.

Giving Credit Where Due
As we celebrate our second birthday for that directory I’d like to offer a huge “thank you” to the editors from that side of the pond who have poured countless hours and edits into making it possible (and to the techs that translated their vision into a reality… long as we’re giving credit where due, cause tomorrow I go back to pretending I had something to do with it).

The New Star in the BOTW Firmament
In a short timeframe the UK & Ireland crew has taken the framework of that section that originally existed in the original BOTW location and restructured it, fattened it up, and turned it into a thriving concern. Kudos to each of you. You pulled it off despite the occasional “help” the rest of us provided. :)

I also understand that one of the other well known UK directories out there (can’t bring myself to call ‘em “competitors”… lots of elbow room in the directory world) is pulling out of the UK Directory biz, so that’s probably a windfall for us. Hard to complain about it, so instead we’ll wish them well, and share the no doubt boundless wealth to come our way with the guys that make our jobs possible, the submitters.

November Promo: 30% Off UK & Ireland Directory
Starting immediately and running until the last day of November, BOTW is offering 30% off on all submissions to our UK & Ireland Directory. It’s currently one of the fastest growing products in the BOTW family… so take advantage of the discount and join today.

Promo Code: uk30

Thanks again to all concerned, and Happy Birthday! Have a piece of cake, then grab a promo code and get your UK related site into one of the fastest growing directories of its kind.


Regards ~ Rob

Volunteers – The Other White Meat

Volunteers – The Dmoz Days
Having spent the better part of a decade working at what some of us exes refer to as “TOD” (The Other Directory)… I still have fond memories of the time there. Entered as a rookie webmaster that ran across it back in its early days (1999), and over the years there learned a ton about the internet, SEO, and of course the nature of volunteer work.

If ya can’t laugh at yourself…
As the directory there grew it managed to become a target of a lot of folks. Some of the criticism was valid, some not, but inside it was common practice of some of us to sorta make fun of ourselves based on the stereotypes. Sure, some of the stereotypes were spot on… but as is the case in many instances, a lot were just imagined. Either way, you can argue or you can laugh, and laughing is much better for the blood pressure.

BOTW Volunteers
We have a volunteer program at BOTW too, in our Blog Directory. Obviously not of the same scope as theirs, but then we have a core group of OCD types on staff here that edit like a few thousand volunteers each, which negates the need to rely heavily on our volunteers.

We keep the program available because it offers folks that’d like to add sites at their leisure in an area of their interest. Since we rely on the paid staff for the bulk of our input, the volunteers arent under pressure to produce. They are like guys collecting butterflies… they add the ones they like to the collection when they run across them.

Maintaining the Integrity of the Program
Having heard for a decade that the Dmoz volunteers only join to add their own sites (ok, that’s occasionally true, but more often not)… the policy we’ve adopted with our volunteers is pretty simple. If someone gets a volunteer login and vanishes after a couple of adds… those are removed. Our program will not be subject to criticism for that particular reason… better to have a few that enjoy it than many that abuse it.

How Does the BOTW Blog Vol Program Work?
Basically adding blog sites is pretty simple… you pick an area of interest, you add sites that fit the criteria. If you have a site in that field, start with the other related blogs in your own blog roll. Look at related sites on THEIR blog roll. Piece of cake.

Can we add our own?
Sure. Long as you aren’t here just for that purpose, no problem. Consider it a bonus for helping. Just be aware that if we do Quality Control checks and find someone added the same site 4 times in the same category, we execute the adds, their login, and if they’re nearby… the editor. [Dang, talk about "tough love".]

Honestly, there isn’t generally a problem when we get volunteers, and as we did in my early days at Dmoz… we have a pretty good time in here. Much to be said just for the social interaction with some of the folks here, and if you enjoy what you’re doing it really isn’t “work”. [Don't tell Greg or Rob I enjoy this, they still think I'm laboring away at this job.]

Bottom line, if assisting as a BOTW Blog Volunteer appeals to you, we’re always happy to look at new folks. Just fill out the app correctly and you’ve got a fair shot at getting in. Let me know if you have any questions.

Regards ~

Rob Jones
Proud Member of The Nerd Herd
Best of the Web

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