Is it rude to leave links to your blog, or one of your blog posts, in a comment on someone else’s blog post?
Some people seem to think so. I’ve noticed some discussion on blogs and Twitter recently where people were being coached to “never-ever-ever” do this because it was rude and inappropriate. Really? I was already pondering how far we’ve come from “the good ole days” of blogging when someone left me a link for something they thought I’d be interested in.. and practically apologized for it.
Okay, that’s it. It’s time for an intervention.
The Classic Housewife’s List of Rules for Proper Link-Leaving in Other People’s Comment Sections
If a blog comment form includes a box for your website/blog address, it’s okay to leave one.
These types of comment forms automatically link the comment author name to the comment author’s blog. This allows the blog author and other commenters to click through to the comment author’s blog and return the favor, get to know more about that blog author, etc. Leaving your url here should never be considered rude because that’s what it’s for. (If your blog has a url box in the comment form and you don’t want one, a few simple edits in the code can fix that for you. Really, really.)
If a blog comment form does not include a way for you to leave a comment in any way other than “Anonymous” (because you aren’t on the right blogging platform, etc.), it’s okay to leave a signature – and link it.
I’ll be honest, my opinion on this one stems from the fact that blog author hasn’t created a way for people from other platforms to leave a comment in any other way. But that’s a etiquette topic for another post. I don’t see any harm in leaving a linked signature in cases like this if a.) you really are leaving a sincere comment and not an empty one AND b.) you really did enjoy the blog, would like to keep reading the blog and get to know them better. BUT.. if you do, please know that using HTML to link your name or blog name is a MUST– because long urls in a comment box can be unsightly and cause problems for some blog themes, hanging off into or under the sidebar. Also, not linking means someone has to copy/paste the url. Linking makes it easier for the blog author to visit your blog if they so choose.
If a blog comment form does allow you to comment with your name, but does not include a place to include your blog link, you might want to rethink leaving your link in the comment area.
There may not be a good reason why a blog author doesn’t include a way to link your comment author name to your blog. It may just be the way their blog theme came. Or they may have done it on purpose, and you just never know. In cases like these I opt NOT to leave a link, UNLESS.. I really really want to share something I have written that is directly related to the discussion at hand. Again, using html to link it the name of the blog post is a must. Avoid leaving long gibberish url links in comments for the sake of the blog author.
Just a thought: if you have your blog set up like this on purpose, it wouldn’t hurt to go a step farther and add a line above the comment entry form saying, “no links, please.” That would clear things up nicely.
If you have a blog post that you really want to share (yours or someone else’s), that you think REALLY adds to the conversation, you should go ahead and leave a link for it, but…
You should know that a.) you might catch flack for it, b.) your comment may get deleted for it and c.) it would be wise to SAY in your comment “This post really sheds some light on why that is,” or “I’ve been reading the same thing from other people” or “I posed the same question to my readers and this is the answer I got.” You get the idea. Most blog authors just really need to know that you really do just want to add to the conversation and not just leave a bunch of links lying around their blog.
You should also know that:
- If you leave links in comments, in most cases it’s not likely to help your SEO any so don’t just run around and leave a bunch of links in comments hoping it’s going to land you on the front page of Google.
- If you do run around and leave a bunch of links in comments on lots of blogs in the same circles, people are going to start noticing and you’re likely to lose some followers and traffic, too.
- If you get a comment with a link in it (and it’s obviously not spam – just delete those fishy ones), most likely the commenter had good intentions – so why not give them the benefit of the doubt?
- If you have WordPress and you use the Akismet plugin. You will almost never ever ever ever get a spammy comment that actually makes it to your blog comments section. Not even the fake ones. (You WILL on occasion get a legitimate comment that ends up in the spam bin, but you can rescue those.)
And last but not least you should also know by now that you can’t please everybody.
No matter which side of this “debate” you’re on, you’re going to get comments from people who do it differently, and comment on other people’s blogs who don’t agree with you. That’s just how it works. But really – is leaving links in comments really worth getting all in a tizzy?
Not in my opinion. Not on my blog.
So, please…If you ever have something of interest to share, leave a link, I don’t care. (If you’re just gonna “pitch” it, then you can just skip it.)
Other blog posts on (both sides of) this topic:
- Comment Etiquette for Do Follow Blogs
- BlogHer – Is adding your blog address in a comment rude? (Read the comments, too!)
- The Blog Etiquette Your Mom Didn’t Teach You