Who you link to matters

Some people might wonder why I do not approve their blog comments. There are a few reasons.

1. The comment is pure spam. Sorry, that does not contribute to this blog so the comment gets nuked. Kaboom!

2. The comment is pretty useless, not contributing much and it’s pretty spammy and I am not in the mood to give a free keyword rich link to someone who is not really contributing. Sorry, but that’s my prerogative.

3. The link is to a website that is either in itself distasteful (my personal, subjective opinion) or is in a category that I don’t want to link to, either because of personal views or because of the message it sends the search engines (such as gambling, for instance).

Point #3 should be noted. From an SEO perspective, who you link to matters. A lot of people comment on this blog because they know I use the Do Follow plugin or because they found me on the list of Do Follow blogs.

On another note, if you do come here to comment because you know the link is good for SEO, please do me the courtesy of either linking back to my site or at least social bookmarking the post. When you social bookmark the post, you are also helping yourself, because it increases the authority of the page that is linking back to your site. And it is sooooo easy to social bookmark each post. See the icons across the bottom of this post? Just click those icons at the bottom of any post and you can bookmark at dozens of popular sites. If you want to make it easy for your visitors to bookmark your blog posts or web pages, you can get this social bookmaking cut-and-paste script at http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php.


  1. As a newbie in this, I was trying to figure out how this back linking worked. Reading up on many sites about the importance of backlinking. So I was about to go on a linking spree, get links from and to anyone and everything. Now I come across your blog. I soppose there are many like this, who are in a way carefull about who they link to. If there are so much nonsense out there, how do you build up quality links? I’m almost like, hey I” link to anyone as long as you link to me. But your advice is no.
    Perhaps you good blog about this in more depth for newbies like myself who need to no all the pitfalls of this type of think

  2. Here are three cardinal rules of linking:

    1. Try to keep most of the links relevant to your site.

    2. Do things in as natural a fashion as possible. If 100 links from directories all show up within three days, and none show up for several weeks before or after, that is not natural.

    3. Don’t link to anyone you might blush about sending your mother to.

  3. This is most helpfull.


  4. This is a good post – goes well with a post I just did on getting .gov and .edu backlinks: http://www.tysblog.com/2008/07/14/gov-edu-backlinks/. And I stumbled this post for ya (in fact I discovered, reviewed and tagged it)!!!

  5. I used Dofollow for awhile but it attracted way too much spam and I found myself deleting a bunch of comments because they were useless. I don’t like that I have to penalize everyone though so I am still debating whether or not I should use it again. I did get more people making comments but I found that I was spending more time moderating them then I wanted to spend.

  6. Hi Jeff. I agree, there is a trade-off. But the garbage is easy to spot and I am getting way more good comments that add to what I say or challenge what I say; either way, it’s all good. For what it’s worth, in my experience the good way outstrips the bad.

  7. Good point David… I might just have to enable Dofollow again.

  8. People could at least make interesting comments!!! My brother has a very famous blog about celebrities in Brazil and his site has no do follow. Anyway he always delete a lot of comments not useful everyday. I wouldn´t say that do follow is totally guilty for this.

  9. Thank you David!

    I came to this post because linking is something I am passionate about; but I got enthused over the little Marketer Script at the end of the post and have been busy setting this up on my blogs.

    If you want some feedback on that script; I think that tool tips for the itsy bitsy little icons would be very helpful to those of us with bad eyesight and with poor visual memory.

  10. Hi Rhys.

    Thanks for the feedback on the icons. At some point, no idea when, we plan to overhaul the link. It might mean fewer, bigger icons.

  11. If you nuke spam how come you are letting commenting with link text like “London Cosmetic Dentist”. This is blatant spam as far as I’m concerned. Whenever I get any comment like that from the “Web Design Lancaster” crowd or the “SEO Utah” mob I just bin them or might just remove the link and change the name to their email name or annon.

  12. Hello Celina.

    Your question deserves a direct response, and I guess it all depends on what a person considers spam. I delete about 3/4 of the comments, because they add no value. If the comment is one that could apply to any post, such as “Good point, I hadn’t thought of that.” I consider that to be trash. It adds no value.
    If someone throws in a useless link into their comment, I throw it out (although I might keep the comment itself).

    If they go by a username that has keywords in it, I have no problem with that. It just means they have optimized their link; it does not in my view affect the value of the comment. Often when I leave comments, I use David Leonhardt SEO or David Leonhard SEO Consultant as my username.

    This explains where I draw my line. Others will draw their lines in different ways, and however a person chooses to separate a legitimate comment from comment span is their choice. Please don’t judge me or any other blogger by your definition of a word that has almost as many definitions as “good” or “bad” or “reasonable”.

  13. Thought provoking article David. I’m experiencing agreement, and a bit of disagreement too.

    100% agree with the concept of moderation, that is, not publishing posters who really don’t have much to say.

    I’m not sure spam is always the issue. There’s something psychologically satisfying about clicking that submit button, and we’ll see one line junk posts in great abundance in many venues where there is nothing else to be gained.

    I’ve become convinced that moderation is the next wave of Web 2.0. Which shouldn’t be surprising, editing and editors have long been at the heart of successful publishing. We just need a bit longer to get over our amazement with systems that empower everybody to say anything. This too shall pass.

    I might take gentle issue with your request/demand that posters should link back to you. If a post is good enough to be approved, that poster has already paid their bill if you will. Adding thoughtful comments takes time, and a dofollow link in return is a fair deal.

    But again, if a comment does not add value, it doesn’t merit publication, or link love either.

    Ok, now it’s time to see if I make the cut. This is so exciting! 🙂