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Should you add Keywords to the Name Field when you Leave Comments on a Blog?

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of May 2008 Reader Questions 0 Comments

ProBlogger-Community-Discussion.jpgThis weekend is a weekend for discussion here at ProBlogger and I’m posting some questions submitted by readers via Twitter.

jophllips asks:

“should you add keywords to the name field when you leave comments”

So another way to put it – should you leave your name, blog name or some other keywords in the ‘name’ URL when you leave comments on a blog?

This is a question we’ve debated previously here on ProBlogger and it generated some great discussion. Looking forward to hearing your answers.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • I only comment if I have something to add to the other site, but I do include my name and URL. I highly approve of networking. However, when I look at incoming comments to my site, I first look at the e-mail or URL it’s coming from. If it looks shady, I take a closer look at the quality of the comment. Most of the time it’s from what I consider a “spammer” and I won’t approve it.

  • (Sorry if others have said the same as I’m about to – I haven’t read all 100+ comments).

    IMHO, people who leave keywords, website URLs, etc. in the name field aren’t interested in having discussions, and totally miss the point of being in the blogosphere in the first place.

    I want to have conversations with people, not with keywords.

    How am I supposed to reply to a comment when the person’s name is Best-Something-Or-Other?

    If it’s not something you would answer to on the phone, it’s not something that you should be putting in the “name” field in your comments.

    If you want your name/personal brand/whatever to be synonymous with something, whatever that thing may be, don’t try to take a shortcut and put that thing as your name. Bust your butt (and your brain) and become a thought leader in your field.

    The one exception I make to this is if you are responding to a post written specifically about your website/company – because in that case it’s about disclosure and not misleading anyone who might think your remarks are from an outside/unbiased source.

  • I use my blog name in the name field. It is far more identifying, it doesn’t come across as trying to sell something, and I try to make my comments live up to the name. Writing under a pseudonym is not a crime. Just ask Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
    (I don’t claim that kind of writing skill, though.)

  • I feel that the problem lies in the quality of the comments, if they are too short and don’t really add to the discussion, then, yeah sure hang them for adding keywords into the mix.

    I always just put my name in there, because I want to selfishly brand my name as an authority and not the website or keyword.

    If I were to be a self promoter and a fool to the world of blog commenting, then I would spam everywhere and anywhere, but that in itself is foolish as untargeted and unplanned methods of spam get you nowhere.

  • For over a year I always left comments with my full name, JoLynn Braley. Only recently did I start leaving comments as JoLynn from The Fit Shack.

    I’ve never left a comment as “lose weight now” or anything like that – I personally don’t like that, but now after reading all of the comments above I wonder if I should just leave my first and last name. Why? Because the last thing on Earth I’d ever want to come across as would be a spammer.

    I started out using forums in 2004 and only started blogging in 2007 so for me, I’m like many of the others here who are interested in actually relating to other people. I’ve been hesitant to do this but I’m actually going to put together a comment policy now because I do want comments left with a person’s name – if they want to leave their first name and site name that’s fine, but I am tired of responding to comments left by someone named “diet pills” (an example, no comments have gotten through with that “name” on my blog) – sorry, I just don’t get how that’s a real person.

    Thanks for all of your comments, I don’t feel so alone now in how I’ve been feeling about this topic. And again, I’m wondering if I should just go back to using my first and last name and not even include my site name, but at the same time it’s natural for me to say “hi ya, this is JoLynn from The Fit Shack”, just like I would say on the phone, “hello, this is JoLynn from ABCD Company calling to speak to Jane Doe”, ABCD Company being my fictitious employer.

    I’d love to see a specific poll just on that – if a commenter leaves their first name followed by site name, do you consider that spam?

  • I agree with JoLynn, from The Fit Shack, leaving your name and title is nothing more than leaving the equivalent of your business card. As for links, it is your address which is similar to what one would place in a business letter.

    Jessica Bond
    Medical Careerist

  • Well I think its ok, with the most of us looking to improve our rankings (being webmasters) – why not give back something for the effort someone has taken to comment in the first place. I’d bet that keyword comments get more clickthroughs as well – which is maybe not so good for the blog hoster – but if we are in the business of rewarding contribution…

  • If any of you all would like to leave key words or your website on my blog that would be great. Then I would feel like someone was reading it.

    This is a great topic for us new bloggers, you never think about offending someone because of your signature. Thanks to everyone.

  • From a webmaster perspective, I immediately delete comments from rather than from a person’s name. I agree that leaving your name and URL is the equivalent of leaving a business card. However, you wouldn’t go to a networking event (which is what many blogs are) and pass out your business card and say “make $1,000 a day with Adsense!” everytime you passed it out. For that reason, I’m fine with just leaving my name and URL. If I provide value to the conversation, then I’m likely to get traffic, whether or not I use keywords.

    Using keywords in comments seems like you are taking advantage of another blogger’s good will and/or reputation to build your audience, and doesn’t seem right. It’s like if you arrive at a party and then announce that you are also having a party, but it’s more popular and everybody who attends your party will become better people. So I don’t think it’s a good practice.

  • In general, I am not against it. But if you are going to leave a keyword phrase in the name field, the comment better be good, and your site needs to have a blog. I have been deleting the url field for comments that don’t link to a site with a blog.

  • I have to laugh at the people who think that a name like Bill is just fine, but if you change those four letters to “debt” the letters now become “spam.”

    Spam is unsolicited email.

    Comment Spam is a made up word like Wiccan but does represent an intrusion so we let it live.

    But a word on a web comment, written by a real person, that represents that person’s topic (like the subtitle on a business card that explains what you do) is just fine.

    Bloggers who over-freak-out about using keywords in comment URL anchor text are probably broke anyway.

    Why do you think there IS a separate field in the comment field anway – it’s for anchor text! A clue…

    Rick Butts

  • the answer is no, i dont like to leave keywords in comments its a very cheap thing :P
    but you can leave the site name like me site name will not be keyword at all

    many webmaster thinking that its a good idea to leave keywords but they may mark as spam

  • I have no problem with the Name/Company or Name/Blog format in comments on my personal blog, but draw the line at Name – Keyword Keyword. Other blogs I write for have a range of different comment policies that are both more and less strict than my own, and that’s cool too.

    For my personal blog, however, I’d like to be allowed to think that commenters are responding in a genuine way to the post, and it’s hard to maintain that pleasant illustion when faced with a bunch of keywords.

    The other day, I was soundly chastised by one commenter for editing out the keywords in his name field — he thought I should be grateful that he was “helping search engines to know what this blog is about”! Wasn’t that thoughtful? Of course, it would have been even more so if his keywords were remotely on target… :D

  • The thread of comments in the post is just an educational as the post itself.

  • I leave keywords only at marketing blogs, and I only comment when I have something to contribute. I figure that marketers “get” that I’m not trying to spam, but I’d appreciate a decent keyworded link.

    By the way, nofollow doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get no credit for links. It just means that Google doesn’t share some of the page rank/Google juice, whatever you want to call it from the site.

    Anyway, I think it’s interesting how people use their keywords or sites names.
    – firstname @ domainname (without com)
    – firstname >> Site Title
    – firstname from the blog title
    – Site Name

    etc. I wonder which goes over best? Personally I’d never use the @ because a bot could come along and translate it into an email address.


  • Jay

    Keywords in the name area don’t matter, you don’t care if my name is Jay, just dont spam the comments and everything is fine!!!!!!!!!!

  • Personally, I use the name of my web site in the “name” field on every site that I leave comments on until I become a regular on that site.

    I think if someone recognizes your “name,” they are more likely to lend your comment to being credible. And since, in my area (sports) people are more likely to recognize my site name rather than my individual name (since there are 6 collective writers on my site), I use my site name as my “name.”

  • As long as the comment is relevant to the blog entry then the name used to publish the comment should be irrelevant.

  • Hi everyone, I have an important question please.

    When bloggers leave a one time comment on my Typepad blog and enter their url should I leave it or delete it?

    Once in a while they are relevant nice comments but i usually know which ones just stopped by to say something that I would ignore so they can add there link. Can that hurt my own Google rank or SEO numbers?
    I have been deleting the Url’s of non relevant sites and only leaving the comment if it’s relavant to the post. Is that recommended? Or should I delete them all together or leave them alone?

    I am sorry to ask so many questions but we have only been blogging a month and don’t know what to do.
    Thank you all so much and God Bless.
    Darrin & Josy

  • The onus is really on the site owner to define what sort of comments you want and what you will tolerate and then tell it to your commentators. If you don’t have a clearly defined policy then deleting someone’s legitimate comment for violating your unwritten rules makes you out to be a world class ass. If you don’t want keywords or people leaving their blog name it is up to you to tell them.

    In the end people who leave real comments are increasing your content, no matter what their name is. If you are just going to throw away comments because the people increasing your content want something in return, you are petty and unworthy of being read and commented on especially if you already are nofollow. Show your commentators some respect and you will get it in return.

  • i think its ok to add the keyword in name field because if you are going to add some thing on others site’s or blog so you also need the back and backlink is not the big issue, backlinks is not only way to get the top ranking you also need to do other only one thing can’t make change in ranking so keyword in name i think
    OK +1 :D

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  • I found your site on google, great site, keep it up. Will return in the future. Submitted this post to Google News Reader.

  • I like the info and will be linking back to you from my site. Also great looking site.

  • I am going to have to sign up to receive your feed. This is good stuff

  • I Really enjoy Reading Your Blog, it is interesting, inciteful and inspirational. Excellent. Keep up the great work!

  • Ken

    I would say using keywords as a name is spam.


  • I would love to write and say what a great job you did on this, as you have put a lot of work into it.

  • Great stuff. Nice to read some well written posts. A long way between them.