04 May 2009

My Policy on Comment Spam

This blog isn't struggling under the burden of too many comments. The 'Edit Posts' pages shows a total of 18 comments against the last 50 posts, a few of which were my own response to someone else's comment. The blog also doesn't get many spam comments. These are comments that have nothing to do with the subject of the post against which they've been entered.

It's surprising then that one recent post -- Chess Engines Don't Always Get It -- received two comments, both of them spam. Both comments at least had something to do with chess, and are in the category of what I call 'good spam', so I left them alone. A comment that has nothing to do with chess, like selling furniture (which I once received), gets deleted as soon as I see it. The URLs which the two comments were intended to promote were...

2009 U.S. Championship Information


...The first is the official site for the U.S. Championship and the second is a portal of RSS feeds. Both links are definitely worth a visit. Having said that, it's hard to believe that the time taken to post either of these comments will result in any sort of comparable return.

With the exception of total page views per day, I don't track stats on this blog, and I have no intention of doing so. Looking at the stats for other blogs, I reckon that most individual posts get no more than a few dozen page views total. Only a page view on the post itself displays the comment. Views of the blog's home page or of a particular category show that there are comments against the blog, when the visitor has to click through the link to see the comments. I never do this and I doubt that many other people do.

The comment promoting YourChess.net also requested a reciprocal link. I used to accept reciprocal links for my World Championship site -- and when I first started the site I even asked for a few links -- but I quickly discovered that they aren't worth the trouble. They result in a trickle of visitors, have no measurable impact on the search engines, and require regular attention to determine that the linked site is still active. Site owners have pestered me for months requesting a link, but no one has ever informed me that their site is no longer active. A broken link is a nuisance for me and for my visitors, not for the owner of the site that disappeared.

My policy is simple -- no reciprocal links -- blogs or otherwise. If I really like the site or the blog, I'll either link it without being asked or I'll mention it in a post. If it doesn't do anything special for me, I won't link it, and no amount of pestering will change that.

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