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Is it OK to Leave Links in Comments?

A great discussion is happening over at the Authority Blogger Forum started by Khalid about leaving links in comments. Head over and leave your thoughts?

Personally I agree with the excellent first answer by DazzlinDonna

I would only leave a link in a comment if it was necessary – such as to prove a point, or people really need to get more information that only the link could provide. In other words, I’d have to feel it was essential to the conversation.

I don’t really like it when people drop links that are irrelevant or are simply to their blogs, for example “comment signatures”, as there is a perfectly fine URL attached to your name and mine even have no-follow switched off so you get full link juice.

I think people in part do that to get better anchor text, but then we get into the other thing I don’t like where instead of their name people sign comments with “SEO Affiliate Dorset Cheap Phones”.

What do you think? Do you allow or remove such comments? Do you edit comments? Do you leave links in comments? Let us know here in the comments or over at the forum thread

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Comments

  1. I am fairly new to blogging and trying to take a lot in, however I have just started commenting and love it, I did leave a link the other day but it was only to point people to a web page about some software that I recommended and it was relevant to the article. Do you think that is OK?
    Regards.

  2. Links are ok. Links are essential part of the web. If I had a post that says more about that I would link it over the previous sentence. That is the point of what we are doing here, right? That doesn’t mean spamming, that is “contributing to the discussion. Like, somebody is reading your post… then continues reading the comments. Finds something interesting and maybe wants some more info. If there is a link there, that is great.
    For the same reason that names of commenters are with links to their sites. If I want to know something about a particular commenter I can go there and meet a person.
    And contributing to the discussion (with or without links) is awarded by do-follow. :)
    Spam is another thing. But spam goes to trash can immediatelly.

  3. I am fairly new to blogging and trying to take a lot in, however I have just started commenting and love it, I did leave a link the other day but it was only to point people to a web page about some software that I recommended and it was relevant to the article. Do you think that is OK?
    Regards.

  4. Links are ok. Links are essential part of the web. If I had a post that says more about that I would link it over the previous sentence. That is the point of what we are doing here, right? That doesn’t mean spamming, that is “contributing to the discussion. Like, somebody is reading your post… then continues reading the comments. Finds something interesting and maybe wants some more info. If there is a link there, that is great.
    For the same reason that names of commenters are with links to their sites. If I want to know something about a particular commenter I can go there and meet a person.
    And contributing to the discussion (with or without links) is awarded by do-follow. :)
    Spam is another thing. But spam goes to trash can immediatelly.

  5. I personally don’t like links in comments but I allow it if it’s on topic and only on topic. I’ve been around long enough to quickly sniff out when someone just wants an easy ride.

  6. I personally don’t like links in comments but I allow it if it’s on topic and only on topic. I’ve been around long enough to quickly sniff out when someone just wants an easy ride.

  7. I sign my name as “Name from Site” – I think it’s a mix between the two. I sign my name because it’s me, and then my site because if you’re interested in the topic, you might want to click it. If you aren’t, then you’ll know to pass on it.

    The one time I feel guilty about that is when the layout clearly wasn’t built for names that long. (In which case, I’ll delete the “from site” bit the next time I’m there if I remember).

    How would you feel about that?

  8. I sign my name as “Name from Site” – I think it’s a mix between the two. I sign my name because it’s me, and then my site because if you’re interested in the topic, you might want to click it. If you aren’t, then you’ll know to pass on it.

    The one time I feel guilty about that is when the layout clearly wasn’t built for names that long. (In which case, I’ll delete the “from site” bit the next time I’m there if I remember).

    How would you feel about that?

  9. If I were to leave a link in a comment, I would only use a textual format. For instance:

    www dot myinterestinglink dot com

    Anyone that wants to visit can then type it in but it doesnt register in the comments. To take this further… not only do I not like links in comment that are not relevant to the discussion, I don’t really like links that don’t offer anything to the discussion. You know the type, the ones that say “Great post thanks”

    Maybe someone should make a WP plug in for comments that has a minimum word counter. You cannot make a comment unless it has substance and is at least 25 words…

  10. If I were to leave a link in a comment, I would only use a textual format. For instance:

    www dot myinterestinglink dot com

    Anyone that wants to visit can then type it in but it doesnt register in the comments. To take this further… not only do I not like links in comment that are not relevant to the discussion, I don’t really like links that don’t offer anything to the discussion. You know the type, the ones that say “Great post thanks”

    Maybe someone should make a WP plug in for comments that has a minimum word counter. You cannot make a comment unless it has substance and is at least 25 words…

  11. “SEO Affiliate Dorset Cheap Phones”. :lol:

    Comments like that would normally head straight for Akismet, the moral dilemma occurs when some calling themselves that posts an insightful comment…. Rare I grant you, but it does happen. I tend to leave it and they rarely return so it’s not a long term issue.

    I’m perfectly happy with Michael’s style of name leaving, as it tells you who he is, but helps him out a little as well.

    I put a quick post up on this setting out my thoughts in May, so I’ll just drop a quick link in he…. ah, click on my name if you’re interested ;-)

  12. “SEO Affiliate Dorset Cheap Phones”. :lol:

    Comments like that would normally head straight for Akismet, the moral dilemma occurs when some calling themselves that posts an insightful comment…. Rare I grant you, but it does happen. I tend to leave it and they rarely return so it’s not a long term issue.

    I’m perfectly happy with Michael’s style of name leaving, as it tells you who he is, but helps him out a little as well.

    I put a quick post up on this setting out my thoughts in May, so I’ll just drop a quick link in he…. ah, click on my name if you’re interested ;-)

  13. Relevant links OK, even to the commentor’s own content–as long as it’s relevant. I’ve had people leave comments on my blog that I rejected because of irrelevant over-self-promotion, links or no. I’ve actually been commenting less myself, lately, because if I can’t think of a good way to add value to the conversation, I stay out of it.

    In an effort to be truly helpful, I’ve left several links to resources in comments on others’ blogs, because they were relevant and supported the blogger’s post. When you write helpful comments, people wonder who you are and they’ll click your name to check you out.

  14. Relevant links OK, even to the commentor’s own content–as long as it’s relevant. I’ve had people leave comments on my blog that I rejected because of irrelevant over-self-promotion, links or no. I’ve actually been commenting less myself, lately, because if I can’t think of a good way to add value to the conversation, I stay out of it.

    In an effort to be truly helpful, I’ve left several links to resources in comments on others’ blogs, because they were relevant and supported the blogger’s post. When you write helpful comments, people wonder who you are and they’ll click your name to check you out.

  15. This is up to each individual blogger, but relevant links (including commentor’s own content) should always be okay. The web is built on links; even in this age of search engines, many people get where they’re going by following links. Plus it gives us interesting content to read at work ;)

    It’s usually obvious when someone is spamming or doing something for blatant self-promotion, and those should be trashed immediately. Most other times, though, people are genuinely trying to add value to the conversation.

  16. This is up to each individual blogger, but relevant links (including commentor’s own content) should always be okay. The web is built on links; even in this age of search engines, many people get where they’re going by following links. Plus it gives us interesting content to read at work ;)

    It’s usually obvious when someone is spamming or doing something for blatant self-promotion, and those should be trashed immediately. Most other times, though, people are genuinely trying to add value to the conversation.

  17. Strange, but I often have to email/urge regular readers to leave links in their comments! (So far, only spammers seem to do it spontaneously, without invitation.)

    I invite links because many of my commenters have sites/blogs that would be of interest to my readers, and I think a link to a specific related post would actually add real value – so sometimes I will, myself, link to a commenter’s post when I post a reply…

    A very well-mannered group, aren’t they?! :)

  18. Strange, but I often have to email/urge regular readers to leave links in their comments! (So far, only spammers seem to do it spontaneously, without invitation.)

    I invite links because many of my commenters have sites/blogs that would be of interest to my readers, and I think a link to a specific related post would actually add real value – so sometimes I will, myself, link to a commenter’s post when I post a reply…

    A very well-mannered group, aren’t they?! :)

  19. Thankfully Akismet takes care of most of my comments that have links in! I’m of the opinion that the link has to be on topic and not just a sig link otherwise it is removed.

  20. Thankfully Akismet takes care of most of my comments that have links in! I’m of the opinion that the link has to be on topic and not just a sig link otherwise it is removed.

  21. Comment signatures are something that I don’t like. As you said, they’ve already been given a link in the “website/URL” field when filling out the comment form. Putting in a signature is unnecessary.

    However, as long as the person has left a meaningful comment, that has helped the discussion, I’ll usually let them get away with leaving a signature link.

    Having said that, I’m planning to write an official comments policy for all of my blogs, and I’m considering putting a “no signature links” line in the policy.

    Beyond that, I essentially agree with Eve’s comment that you quoted in the article.

  22. Comment signatures are something that I don’t like. As you said, they’ve already been given a link in the “website/URL” field when filling out the comment form. Putting in a signature is unnecessary.

    However, as long as the person has left a meaningful comment, that has helped the discussion, I’ll usually let them get away with leaving a signature link.

    Having said that, I’m planning to write an official comments policy for all of my blogs, and I’m considering putting a “no signature links” line in the policy.

    Beyond that, I essentially agree with Eve’s comment that you quoted in the article.

  23. If the link is given to prove a point, yes. Otherwise it smells of spam.

    If spammers leave links with intention to improve their link popularity, the bad news is that most blogs attach no-follow attribute to all the links in comments, which means no authority is given to such links. So, it’s just a waste of time.

    But then, if spammers knew this, they wouldn’t be spamming in the first place :D

  24. If the link is given to prove a point, yes. Otherwise it smells of spam.

    If spammers leave links with intention to improve their link popularity, the bad news is that most blogs attach no-follow attribute to all the links in comments, which means no authority is given to such links. So, it’s just a waste of time.

    But then, if spammers knew this, they wouldn’t be spamming in the first place :D

  25. Actually I recently wrote about this in an article about how anyone can become better commenters (and thus make the whole experience better for everyone else as well).

    I link directly to it with my name so you can read the article in full if you should be so inclined:

    “When you refer to someone else’s work you should link to it. When you refer to your own relevant work can you link to it. In all other cases should you not be linking. Links are like words meant to add something besides itself. Don’t pull people out the conversation for no good reason.”

  26. Actually I recently wrote about this in an article about how anyone can become better commenters (and thus make the whole experience better for everyone else as well).

    I link directly to it with my name so you can read the article in full if you should be so inclined:

    “When you refer to someone else’s work you should link to it. When you refer to your own relevant work can you link to it. In all other cases should you not be linking. Links are like words meant to add something besides itself. Don’t pull people out the conversation for no good reason.”

  27. If a comment is related to the blog post, whether or not there’s a link, I’ll always post it. My blog isn’t getting enough traffic (yet) to get comment spam, but I’m sure it’ll come.

    I sometimes leave a link in a comment I write – but only if I’m linking to a blog post I’ve written that deals directly with the topic at hand. Even then, I link with caution.

  28. If a comment is related to the blog post, whether or not there’s a link, I’ll always post it. My blog isn’t getting enough traffic (yet) to get comment spam, but I’m sure it’ll come.

    I sometimes leave a link in a comment I write – but only if I’m linking to a blog post I’ve written that deals directly with the topic at hand. Even then, I link with caution.

  29. A bunch of us had the same conversation in comments at my blog and a few other dofollow blogs, especially after I wrote “the dofollow plugin that shall neither be linked or named inside the comment. We also discussed the dreaded “SEO in the Name box” which I just committed. :)

    It’s clear bloggers have a range of feelings about links in comments and “SEO in ‘name’. I don’t mind them if the links are relevant and the name box at least contains a name that can be used in conversation.

    But I do mind irrelevant links and equally bad: a second signature link. Newsflash: the “name/ website” boxes are your signature. Readers don’t need it twice.

    Still because different bloggers have different points of view both about the links themselves and whether or not they wish to “dofollow” them, my plugin gives an option to dofollow links in comments, and or dofollow long names left in SEO.

    (Have I succeeded in posting the longest possible relevant self promotional comment ever?)

  30. A bunch of us had the same conversation in comments at my blog and a few other dofollow blogs, especially after I wrote “the dofollow plugin that shall neither be linked or named inside the comment. We also discussed the dreaded “SEO in the Name box” which I just committed. :)

    It’s clear bloggers have a range of feelings about links in comments and “SEO in ‘name’. I don’t mind them if the links are relevant and the name box at least contains a name that can be used in conversation.

    But I do mind irrelevant links and equally bad: a second signature link. Newsflash: the “name/ website” boxes are your signature. Readers don’t need it twice.

    Still because different bloggers have different points of view both about the links themselves and whether or not they wish to “dofollow” them, my plugin gives an option to dofollow links in comments, and or dofollow long names left in SEO.

    (Have I succeeded in posting the longest possible relevant self promotional comment ever?)

  31. Jan’s comment is a perfect example where is ok (and actually expected) to give a link, not in the name, but in the text.

  32. Jan’s comment is a perfect example where is ok (and actually expected) to give a link, not in the name, but in the text.

  33. Yes, of course. When it adds value links in comments are not only ok they are the best possible comments. On topic, value added links are very valuable and should be encouraged in comments. SEO names are bad and I delete comments without real names (almost all the time…).

  34. Yes, of course. When it adds value links in comments are not only ok they are the best possible comments. On topic, value added links are very valuable and should be encouraged in comments. SEO names are bad and I delete comments without real names (almost all the time…).

  35. I don’t mind people using their site names when commenting, although I appreciate it when they add their personal name, such as Michael from Pro Blog Design does (above).

    Dawud Miracle prompted me to add a little extra after my name, in an excellent post about branding yourself in blog comments.

    As it is at present, my signature gives people a very quick insight into who I am, and the background I’m commenting from.

    I fully agree that links within the comment box should only be used where completely necessary, and to add to the conversation.

  36. I don’t mind people using their site names when commenting, although I appreciate it when they add their personal name, such as Michael from Pro Blog Design does (above).

    Dawud Miracle prompted me to add a little extra after my name, in an excellent post about branding yourself in blog comments.

    As it is at present, my signature gives people a very quick insight into who I am, and the background I’m commenting from.

    I fully agree that links within the comment box should only be used where completely necessary, and to add to the conversation.

  37. @jsanderz – Yes, links that add something to the conversation are always ok :)

    @dandellion – Yes links are essential to the web, where appropriate

    @Martin – Yeah while good links are valued a lot of clumsy link drops are counter productive

    @Michael – I think that is a fair compromise

    @Novice – Not a bad idea :)

    @Chris – Agreed, I am mainly interested in knowing who is commenting

    @Michael – I find myself clicking peoples names a lot to follow them back to their blogs, I am sure it is a popular thing

    @sam – Yeah I think truly on-topic links are to be encouraged

    @Jen – It’s nice to have polite readers :)

    @Gavin – Indeed, I have my settings quite strict also :)

    @Adam – Unfortunately a lot of people don’t read the policies but it is good to have one to point to when people complain ;)

    @Mohsin – Good point :)

    @Jan – Interesting stuff, and also strange that we tend to write about the same things ;)

    @Brad – That caution shows you have the right attitude :)

    @Lucia – I think you did very well :)

    @John – Yes I always hope to get and leave comments that really add something, links or no :)

    @David – Tagging something on the end of your name, or in quotes such as Chris “Love Guru of the Universe” Garrett is a reasonable compromise between having your name and branding/anchor text :)

  38. @jsanderz – Yes, links that add something to the conversation are always ok :)

    @dandellion – Yes links are essential to the web, where appropriate

    @Martin – Yeah while good links are valued a lot of clumsy link drops are counter productive

    @Michael – I think that is a fair compromise

    @Novice – Not a bad idea :)

    @Chris – Agreed, I am mainly interested in knowing who is commenting

    @Michael – I find myself clicking peoples names a lot to follow them back to their blogs, I am sure it is a popular thing

    @sam – Yeah I think truly on-topic links are to be encouraged

    @Jen – It’s nice to have polite readers :)

    @Gavin – Indeed, I have my settings quite strict also :)

    @Adam – Unfortunately a lot of people don’t read the policies but it is good to have one to point to when people complain ;)

    @Mohsin – Good point :)

    @Jan – Interesting stuff, and also strange that we tend to write about the same things ;)

    @Brad – That caution shows you have the right attitude :)

    @Lucia – I think you did very well :)

    @John – Yes I always hope to get and leave comments that really add something, links or no :)

    @David – Tagging something on the end of your name, or in quotes such as Chris “Love Guru of the Universe” Garrett is a reasonable compromise between having your name and branding/anchor text :)

  39. I leave the links in as I am guilty of doing it myself, if the link adds, gives a different view it is worthwhile having it personally

  40. I leave the links in as I am guilty of doing it myself, if the link adds, gives a different view it is worthwhile having it personally

  41. I think that the hyper linked name of the commenter is more than adequate. Generous blogs such as your offer the opportunity to get complete link-juice as the links are do-follow (if there is such a term :)

    Of course, it is an entirely different matter when relevant and illustrative links are placed in the comment.

  42. I think that the hyper linked name of the commenter is more than adequate. Generous blogs such as your offer the opportunity to get complete link-juice as the links are do-follow (if there is such a term :)

    Of course, it is an entirely different matter when relevant and illustrative links are placed in the comment.

  43. About my link policy:
    ———————

    I mainly ditinguish between deep-links and links to the main URL of a blog or website.

    I do not allow any deep-links attached to the commentator’s name.

    The reason is that I do not want to put in the time and effort to check the content people link to. However links to the main URL are welcome; I have nofollow off.

    Links in comments are allowed by trusted commentators or if there is some context given.

    Links to Wikipedia are almost always allowed.

    New commentators, who simply drop deep-links will get their link unlinked – I simply remove the http:// from the URL so that it isn´t clickable anymore. ;)

    Regards and good night from Germany,

    René

  44. About my link policy:
    ———————

    I mainly ditinguish between deep-links and links to the main URL of a blog or website.

    I do not allow any deep-links attached to the commentator’s name.

    The reason is that I do not want to put in the time and effort to check the content people link to. However links to the main URL are welcome; I have nofollow off.

    Links in comments are allowed by trusted commentators or if there is some context given.

    Links to Wikipedia are almost always allowed.

    New commentators, who simply drop deep-links will get their link unlinked – I simply remove the http:// from the URL so that it isn´t clickable anymore. ;)

    Regards and good night from Germany,

    René

  45. I personally see nothing wrong with adding relevant links, though I do feel a bit funny about adding my own (only have done this twice that I can recall). I figure that if the author sees a link as spam, then they can simply remove the link… that easy.

  46. I personally see nothing wrong with adding relevant links, though I do feel a bit funny about adding my own (only have done this twice that I can recall). I figure that if the author sees a link as spam, then they can simply remove the link… that easy.

  47. When I first started blogging, I would sign the majority of my comments with a link to my blog, a signature. Before I thought it was fine but now I realize it’s rude. I agree; a link should only be there if it’s necessary.

  48. When I first started blogging, I would sign the majority of my comments with a link to my blog, a signature. Before I thought it was fine but now I realize it’s rude. I agree; a link should only be there if it’s necessary.

  49. I recently removed 4 links from a comment. I have no follow switched off, and have no problem with giving link love to commenters. But, I guess I think, throwing in a bunch of extra links is pushing it a little. Unless like Dazzling Donna said, it is one relevant link, to the comment. Emma

  50. I recently removed 4 links from a comment. I have no follow switched off, and have no problem with giving link love to commenters. But, I guess I think, throwing in a bunch of extra links is pushing it a little. Unless like Dazzling Donna said, it is one relevant link, to the comment. Emma

  51. To me,if i found anyone post a irrelevant comment signatures link,i will remove it.I don’t like anyone post a link on comment if it is not to show a link relevant to that post.to me,i haven’t post one link on comment words from i starting blogging.

  52. To me,if i found anyone post a irrelevant comment signatures link,i will remove it.I don’t like anyone post a link on comment if it is not to show a link relevant to that post.to me,i haven’t post one link on comment words from i starting blogging.