Policy statement

It has become necessary for me to articulate policies that will be posted on my blogs.

Outright spam is straightforward to deal with, but here and elsewhere I am increasingly receiving marginal, opportunistic comments that, while they may appear to contribute faintly, are mainly intended to benefit the commenter through their links and anchor text. I have struggled with how to respond to comments that fall into this gray area.

I don’t believe in the default WordPress nofollow function that is intended to prevent search engines from following links in comments. If you contribute you should receive benefit, and I am sticking with that position. But maintaining site quality is paramount — otherwise the time I devote to my websites would not be well spent and the visitor experience would be diluted.

Because I am posting them now does not mean that I did not also reserve these rights previously. I will be going back and cleaning up comments on older posts.

A link to the following statement will appear on all my blog pages (it’s in the left sidebar on this site).


  • Comment moderation: Comments on this blog are moderated. I reserve the right to edit or remove any post or element of a post for any reason. That said, I do try to be as hands off as possible.
  • Do follow: Links on this site have the nofollow function turned off. If people are contributing to the site’s content they should benefit from its links. (You can show appreciation by linking back or bookmarking.)
  • No keywords in author names: Either a real name or a handle is okay, but if I think you are using an author name simply to target keywords, I may edit or delete your name, website link, or comment.
  • External linking: Relevant links are encouraged, but comments and links intended mainly for site promotion risk being edited or deleted.
  • Detente: If I suspect your posts of being spammy or mainly self-promoting I might remove your links. If you keep posting and stay on topic I am likely to reconsider and allow the links.
  • Civility: This site supports free speech, but it also values civility. Abusive or offensive comments may be edited or removed.
  • Range of opinion: Comments reflect the viewpoints of those commenting and do not necessarily express my opinions or the views of the website.
  • E-mail: I answer most nonspam e-mail, often promptly but sometimes more slowly. Occasionally I might e-mail someone who leaves a comment.
  • Privacy: I do not share user information.

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  1. I don’t blame you for this; I saw a few comments on your blogs which were there obviously to get the PR and not to contribute. I’ve had to moderate comments on my blog as well – it’s utterly amazing what people will write on the Internet under the cloak of being anonymous.

  2. Yes, I think it’s best to make this clear before things get too muddled.

  3. Fair enough.

  4. I’ve just implemented a commenting policy on my new site, after a great post by David Culpepper at PureBlogging.com, it covers most scenarios and all the anchor text spammers that comment on my blogs!