Friday, November 6, 2015

Hyperlink Comments Can Hurt Your Blog

by M. J. Joachim

It seems counterintuitive, I know, especially since hyperlink comments make it so much easier to find one’s blog when you are blog hopping, but there’s a downside to all this comment love supposing to make your life easier. The obvious one is that any link on your blog other than yours, directs google and other search bots, away from your own post. The downside is that you don’t know what’s in the html code hidden behind the link, so while it may be all well and good, there could be some coding in those links that doesn’t work so well for your blog.

I wrote about how spam negatively affects blogs and websites the other day, and much of that information can apply to hyperlinks included in comment signatures. They appear to have good enough intentions, especially if you’re blog hopping like crazy, and it saves you a few seconds from visiting someone’s profile, but can you trust every link you click on, do you really want to and why would you risk it?

Easy buttons and flattery are not always safe in the world of blogging. I’ve been down that road myself a couple of years ago, and discovered some very disturbing things about added links, only to realize, I was as guilty as the next person, adding hyperlinks to my blog names in my signature. Mine only had my blogs in them, but they still directed juice away from the blogs I was visiting, and that wasn’t very nice of me at all. It was like stopping in for a visit and taking a few things out of the fridge on my way home, which is rude unless your mom is trying to get rid of leftovers, because she made enough food for you anyway.

Unless you know exactly what’s in the link, do you really want to click on it? We’re constantly told it’s not safe to click on links in email or spam. We are warned of the dangers of clicking on foreign links, where we have no clue to where they might lead or how they might infect our computers. Yet we willingly join blog hops and click on hyperlinks in comments, because it’s a little bit easier and would be rude not to? We click on links in people’s posts, especially if they’re for us and are flattering to our friends. It’s easier than opening a window, and you know we have to check out all those links to make sure they lead to the right page.

They could lead to the right page, after a short detour that takes juice away from you and your blog. These are links we’re talking about, and clicking on “unknown” links is not a safe practice for anyone. The problem is, you don’t know where the links lead, and link schemes really do happen. There are people who get most of their traffic from the links they leave in comments on other people’s blogs. It’s not illegal or anything, but they visit blogs leaving their links, to direct traffic to their own sites, which can be detrimental to the sites they visit.

According to Google, “Comments are a great way for webmasters to build community and readership. Unfortunately, they're often abused by spammers and nogoodniks, many of whom use scripts or other software to generate and post spam. If you've ever received a comment that looked like an advertisement or a random link to an unrelated site, then you've encountered comment spam.” Comment spam can be detrimental in a number of ways. It definitely has the potential to lower your page rank, but more than that, it can slow down your site, which can cause problems for your reputation, because who wants to visit a site that won’t load quickly and easily, right? As mentioned above, you don’t know what’s in those links, so comment spam could also wreak havoc by suctioning traffic from your site, or infecting it with malware and viruses.

Google frowns upon people who link drop, gaining most of their traffic via links they’ve left on other people’s sites in the comments. Too many hyperlink signatures spread around can be considered a comment scheme, which is another reason not to contribute to it. Besides, isn’t it just as easy to click on a person’s name and find their blog through their profiles to visit them? It’s a whole lot safer, and sure beats the risk of getting damaged by clicking on unknown links. I’ll go ahead and beat the dead horse on this one, it’s probably wise not to publish comments with hyperlinks in them on your blog too. Better safe than sorry, and the risk simply isn’t worth it.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope this article provides added security and assistance in all your Internet experiences,

M. J.

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