Three words describe spam: evil, desperate and manipulative. While that may sound like the description of a soap opera villain, it is also true for spam. Spam is an illustration of the old adage that the means do not justify the ends.
True, you want to build a bit of a buzz for your blog, but spamming is not the way to do it. In fact, it may even do damage to your blog without your realizing it.
Understanding Spam Comments
One type of spam is the spam comment. These first started sprouting when online guest books began to appear on websites. Unscrupulous marketers bombarded these guest books with links back to their own sites. Any comments that are included are vague such as “cool post” or “nice site.”
The spammer simply creates a message in the form of keyword heavy text in the guise of a comment and posts it at random on other blogs or websites that allow the display of hyperlinks or back links.
Why Spam Commenting Does Not Work
Leaving spam comments may seem tempting as a way to promote your blog, especially if you hear of some piece of software that is supposed to do it for you automatically. (I don’t even know of any such software that exists for the Mac, but plenty exists for the PC. This is another case in which Mac users are protected from a lot of the more questionable software.) In any event, you will be wise to avoid it if you wish your blog to be taken seriously. Here are some reasons why spam commenting is not the way to go:
Leaving Spam Comments Will Artificially Increase Your Blog’s Ranking
Although this might seem like good news and it will allow your site to appear higher in the search engine listings, this will be only a temporary effect and will eventually wear off.
This is, of course, especially true if your blog has nothing to offer. Visitors who have arrived at your blog through a search engine listing (which was achieved artificially) will leave your site once they find nothing there.
You’re Being Watched
Nowadays, if you spam someone you can be branded for life, or at least your blog or the business you are trying to promote can be. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 can also apply to comment spam.
Being associated with spam is bad news for your blog and your reputation. People hate spam, and many will be happy to report you to your hosting provider or even the affiliate companies you are associated with. Akismet and a host of other spam fighting plug-ins for WordPress and other blog hosting platforms will also be watching.
You Will Be Violating Various Unwritten Codes
The whole purpose of the commenting system on websites is to provide people with a platform in which to interact. Blogs and forums are virtual meeting places that are open to everyone with the implied agreement that those there will follow the rules. By leaving spam comments you break this implicit code of trust.
You’ll Be Marked As Unprofessional
Spam commenting is for the uninformed, lazy and desperate. Why else would you be using such an unsavory technique? If you project an unprofessional image, your customers and visitors may have a hard time trusting you in the future.
You will be Penalized
Leaving spam comments gives website owners permission to become a witness against you. Your hosting provider may drop you, as may any companies that you are offering affiliate products for.
Should this happen to you, you will have to start all over again, and with a tarnished reputation to boot. And of course, if you should fall into the trap of leaving more spam comments in the future, you’ll be repeating the vicious cycle all over again, much to your detriment.
The bottom line is that it is far better to concentrate on providing quality content than to allow your efforts to become diluted by experimenting with questionable methods of blog or website promotion.