What Makes YOU see Red?

Updated August 28, 2012

Doc Sheldon

I’ve been out of pocket quite a bit, lately, with more work than I could squeeze into an 18 hour day. But I’ve often chastised others in the same boat, telling them to make time, so I suppose I should set aside the hypocrisy and practice what I preach!

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of threads in some LinkedIn groups I belong to, asking questions like “Why are copywriters so low-paid?”, “Should I rat out this crap-hat SEO?” and “500 Blog Commenting Sites”. Sometimes, temptation gets the best of me, and I don my snark-cap and go-a-posting. Usually, though, the convo seems to be following a productive path, so I try to keep my comments to a constructive nature.

But believe me, with that last one, about blog commenting, it isn’t always easy to contain myself.

Seeing RedI was sorely tempted the other day to say something like “1997 called, and they want their cutting edge technique back”. I resisted the temptation, but just barely. It especially drives me nuts to see folks posting things that can be misconstrued as valid strategies or techniques by website owners that aren’t aware of the risks.

Come on, people! Those of you that are suggesting that blog commenting is a great focus for building meaningful links… think about what you’re saying! How about making a few important facts clear to the readers that may not be experienced, such as:

  1. Blog comments carry very little PR juice (when they carry any, at all);
  2. Commenting on blogs that are not highly relevant to your site, and particularly the page to which the link points, is risky, at best;
  3. Even when you leave constructive comments on a niche-specific blog, these should only be a very small portion of your link profile;
  4. Blog commenting is much more about building relationships and credibility than about PR.

Telling people half the story, and painting as a viable strategy, something that can put their site in harm’s way is irresponsible. It’s the sort of thing I’d expect to see on one of those makemoniezonline-ish sites that is obviously based upon some clueless WSO, backed up by a PLR ebook intended to establish the credibility of the equally clueless “author”.

Which is precisely what I found when I pursued the link to the cited list.

There’s a name for that garbage… crap-hat! Granted, it’s not the worst example of crap-hat SEO most of us can find, any day of the week. But as far as I’m concerned, it deserves a dishonorable mention.

This is posted by a guy that bills himself as “… an expert in traffic generation, SEO(search engine optimization), social media marketing, video creation, link building, list building and affiliate marketing”. He also states his objective to be “to develop and implement online marketing campaigns that are effective, ethical and exhibit a positive ROI for my clients.”

Really, mate? That’s your primary objective? I think you’ve missed the mark… by a mile. Or could it be that you’re a bit less than honest?

Those of us that hate to see folks led to slaughter see red when we come across this kind of crap. And on LinkedIn, there’s no shortage of it. Usually, the comments from more conscientious and knowledgeable readers will at least raise the question of whether one should take at face value what the OP says. That’s really the most effective way to combat misinformation.

Some of us do it in comments in such threads, others on forums, our own blogs or on sites like SEO Bullshit or Silver Bullet SEO.  But I think it’s important to do it, however and wherever you find it.

Hell, if you do it in the comments on the offending blog, maybe you’ll get some of those killer links. 😉


  1. Robin Jennings says:

    I can’t seem to get enough of SEO Bullshit. I’m actually beginning to refer clients that are reading way too many blogs on SEO to the website so they can see for themselves some of the crackpot theories people come up with so they can be armed with a better bullshit radar.

  2. Alan Chatfield says:

    Hi Doc,

    I enjoyed this article, thanks for sharing it and some good advice.

    I personally don’t worry too much about SEO and care more about relationships. In fact I don’t really like the idea of a ‘link-building-strategy’ and prefer to see it as I should comment because that’s what I would like others to do when they have read and enjoyed my posts.

    Your point above actually made me wonder whether I really should leave a comment here as we’re not in the same ‘niche’, but then it’s a genuine one and so I thought I would leave a comment anyway,

    take care & best wishes,

  3. Hello, Alan-
    Sounds to me as though you have the right approach! I think that quality content breeds engagement and links… not the other way around.

    As for being in a different niche – hogwash! Engaging comments should always be welcome, and it’s nice to hear from someone with a similar philosophy.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope to see you around again, soon.

  4. Bloggers should be careful when it comes to link building campaigns. I can’t remember exactly which Google update, Panda or Penguin, penalise such SEM techniques. On the other hand, bloggers have lots of tools (especially on WordPress) that prevent blog commenting spam.

  5. Make It Mine says:

    Nice post. Well I’m following every point mentioned above and it’s really working me like fantastic. Although thanks for sharing. It really helps!

  6. businesscardholder@cardFila.com says:

    I’m actually beginning to refer clients that are reading way too many blogs on SEO to the website so they can see for themselves . Thanks so much and please share more

  7. Hi Doc,

    I enjoyed this article, thanks for sharing it and some good advice. Your point above actually made me wonder whether I really should leave a comment here and I thought I would leave a comment anyway.


  8. Alan, I tend to agree with you. I try not to worry to much about links either and focus more on the relationships. But there are ways to build relationships and connect with others that build links as well, and I like that.

    But I have come to realize that it’s the relationships that have made the most difference, not so much in links but in trust and loyalty. In fact, a lot of the commenting I do nowadays are comments I feel compelled to make because I want to make a statement or add a personal idea, which is what commenting should be in the first place.

    Liz 🙂

  9. Hi sir, I admire on how you foresee things on this type of issue with regards to the topic. I do agree that relationship is way important than anything else, and building links would be the secondary motive.

  10. Get what your saying, but after a year of trying everything I started commenting more and leaving my link (I always read the articles and give my comment thought) and all I see is more traffic and improved alexarank. I have found that there is so much conflicting information about what “works” and what “doesn’t work” that the only real way I’ll ever know is to try things and examine the outcomes, and thus far commenting has been the only boon to my page ranking yet. What makes me see red is Adblock forums talking about how great it is to deny revenue to websites. I consider it censorship.

  11. I try not to worry to much about links, I focus more on the relationship side of things. If you watch what you’re doing, you can build relationships and connect with others that build links at the same time.

  12. Not sure whether my comment is valid but it seems to me the social network side of things is more valuable than link building, which can be dubious these days.
    Thanks very much for the commonsense article.

  13. I’d recommend not looking at social media and link building as an either/or thing… more like two different aspects of site optimization that can complement each other.

  14. Sarah Park says:

    I totally agree with the post. Blog commenting isn’t about PR and website promotion at the most, but rather an interactive way to value each ones opinion on certain topics you are most aware of.

  15. Nice article, I enjoyed it !
    I care more about relationships and I don’t worry too much about SEO. I think that quality content breeds engagement and links… not the other way around. I try not to worry to much about links either and focus more on the relationships.

  16. It’s so hard to keep guessing what tune Google wants us to dance to when we don’t have the full picture of what they want. From what I see it’s all about content marketing and sending the right social signals to create organic links. Anything else we can do with our white hats on that gets Google approval is a bonus! At the end of the day business is about building relationships irrespective of whether that is online or offline. If you focus on that with integrity and a genuine desire to give great customer service you’ll always have customers. Thanks for the post!

  17. I agree with you that blog commenting was primarily designed to ensure effective communication and discussion among bloggers. And portraying it as a method to increase PR is misleading. At the end, the quality content is what matters the most. Thanks for sharing Doc.

  18. Ron@PLR Articles says:

    Love it!! I am so tired of people duping others into thinking that the only way to get quality traffic is to do just as you are saying…comment on unrelated subjects and blogs. I have been doing this for 12 years now and have found that first and foremost your relationship with your readers/customers is most important! I pride myself in excellent customer service and making sure they KNOW me. We are after all on the internet, we can be whomever we choose to be, and most are NOT who they claim to be! Thanks again for opening people eyes.

  19. Gautham Nekkanti says:

    I complete agree with you, a High quality contextual link is worth thousands of blog comments no matter it is EDU or GOV blog comment. Commenting is a great way to share thoughts not to share links