Testing New Plugin to Reward Top Commentators



A few people have given me flack for my “Nofollow me to Wikipedia” campaign, suggesting that those in “nofollow” houses, shouldn’t throw stones. They’re referring to the fact that all links in the comments at Marketing Pilgrim have the nofollow command applied.

While others are testing removing nofollow from all comment links, I’ve decided to try another option. At the bottom of the sidebar, you’ll notice a new section labelled “top commentators”. Using this plugin, I’m allowing the Top 10 commentators each month, to have a sitewide backlink, without the nofollow attribute.

Cool huh?

Now, I can filter out any commentator I wish, so I’ll be watching for the “me too” comments in an effort to make the list, and the list will reset each month – so others have a chance to make it.

I’m hoping this is a good compromise - rewarding those that make a bigger contribution to the blog, with a link.

Thoughts?

[Bracing myself for a flurry of new comments ;-) ]

Update: We’ve added an official comment policy.

  • http://www.seonewsblog.com/ seonewsblog

    This is actually a good idea. I am planning on implementing this plugin later on myself.

    Thank You

  • http://www.markbarrera.com Mark Barrera

    I think this is a very interesting method and can’t wait to see how this affects this blog.

    I also think the idea of reseting it each month provides more incentive to continually participate. I know on SEOmoz, once you hit a certain point threshold, you get your profile un-nofollowed. This might not encourage long term discussions as much b/c people might get the link and stop participating.

    Your method seems more fair to those who continue to participate.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I can change the reset to any period I want, so we can see what works best for everyone.

  • http://copyblogger.com Brian Clark

    Great idea… I think I need to steal it. ;P

  • http://www.thejasonmurphyshow.com Jason

    ooh ooh. Me too. Me too!

    In all seriousness Andy, I think this is great. I’ve seen another plugin that enables no-nofollow on all commentators’ links for those who leave more than X number of comments. But I like the one you’re using. It seems to promote commenting more because not only are you getting a linkcondom-free link, it’s a sitewide too.

    Watch out for more brown-nosing and rib-jabbing to come!

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Brian, you’re welcome to! Just remember to link back to me (without a nofollow). :-)

    Jason – I get rib-jabbed enough, more brown-nosing would be nice! ;-)

  • http://www.ppclab.com Evan

    Andy, you are the coolest blogger in the blogosphere. (that the kind of brown-nosing you want?)

    great idea btw

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Evan – I never thought I’d hear those words from you. ;-)

  • http://doshdosh.com/ Maki

    There’s an element of competitiveness involved in using the Top Commenters plugin which can be fun or irritating.

    I would love to be a top commenter of the month, but somehow I guess I do feel a little pressure (motivation?) to comment on every post that now appears on Marketing Pilgrim.

    Discomforting? Not really. Fun? A little. :)

    Allenation.com recently had a short discussion about this and Allen suggested that the plugin was a comment-incentive which made commenters comment out of their own beneficial interest, instead of adding to the conversation.

    I don’t entirely agree with him but I feel what he means.

  • http://mimasm.com Chris Dohman

    Thanks for the heads up on this wordpress plug-in. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of the no-follow on my comments but have not done that at this point. This added incentive to attract comments should be good for newer blogs like mine which do not have a solid base of readers or comments yet. I might have to plug it in.

    This is also a great way for us new bloggers to contribute to other blogs, introduce themselves (hi, I’m Chris), plus you can’t ignore the chance for picking up a decent link in the process.

    Thanks again,

  • http://andybeard.eu/ Andy Beard

    I appreciate the backlink, but think it would be much better to use nofollow on comments for a number of reasons.

    1. It is permanent
    2. It is less of a juice leak if you structure your single pages with plenty of internal links. You are already using internal tagging, and a tag cloud to do this – you could easily increase the cloud size on posts that get a lot of comments
    3. If people are smart when leaving comment, they will use the link for deep linking to related content, which makes it a win win situation.
    4. Lots of Meme trackers are not very smart – there is a chance that sitewide link helped get me on Techmeme today (ok so I shouldn’t complain) – true I deserved it for my Polish Poets coverage, but you didn’t really link to me.

  • http://www.ecommercepartners.net Jordan Glogau

    Me Too
    Me Two
    Me Three

    Sorry, just couldn’t resist.

    ;-)

    Jordan

  • http://www.redflymarketing.com/ Dave Davis

    This also gives a great incentive to comment. I post on many forums and my reward for contributing is a link in my sig. Not powerful by any means, but a link back nonetheless.

    I think it’s great you have taken these steps Andy.

  • http://www.kineda.com Terry Ng

    Wonderful idea. Another incentive would be to include the person’s avatar next to their name in the top commenters list. :)

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    It will be a interesting experiment, mainly cause I’m reasonably high up the list at the moment!

    Mainly because there are plenty of stories worthy of comment here.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Well, look for a comment policy coming today. I already have one person who commented on half a dozen posts in just 6 minutes!

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    You’ve got to admire the effort! I imagine that’s a side effect of announcing the leader board. As it sinks in people will calm down to normal commenting levels.

    A bit like the the YouMoz Blog was chockha block when it first launched but seems to have settled down to a more reasonable level now.

  • http://www.redflymarketing.com/ Dave Davis

    You should also take a look at Andy Beard’s comment policy and set it up similar to that. It insures everyone reads it and I was impressed with his creativity. You are going to have the odd one or two abusing it.

    Also, maybe you may want to exclude commenters without a URL?

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    I would allow people to post without urls, sometimes you might want to make an anon post or something. Plus it might discourage some of the less experienced readers from posting.

    I think comments benefit from having as low a barrier of entry as possible.

  • http://searchenginetigers.com Simon Heseltine

    Agreed, heck the winner of the mybloglog iPod/Zune contest doesn’t have her own blog, but she still won :)

  • http://doshdosh.com/ Maki

    I’ve been getting a lot of updates since I subscribed to the comments for this post. Looks like it’s working! :)

    Anyway, I thought about it and agree with Andy Beard that NoFollow might be better instead of Top Commenters.

    Why? Everyone gets a benefit not just the zealous commenters. Someone might write an excellent comment that sheds tremendous light on an issue but write much less or nothing on other posts.

    You know, the usually silent but very deadly type of commenter?

    Of course, if you choose to run both No Follow and Top Commenters..you’ll have the best damn blog in the world. :)

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    All good feedback. I’m not going to insist on a URL for anyone commenting – Rhea is a good example of who that would penalize.

    While I agree that a single commentator could provide great value with just one comment, they would be out numbered by all the “drive by” comments from people just hoping to get a backlink.

    If someone leaves a really valuable comment, I try to add it to the actual post, with a full link credit.

    It’s all interesting to watch. One strange thing. I’m starting to get a glimpse of what it’s like to win the lottery. All of a sudden I have all of these friends, and I start question their motives. I’m sure I’ll shake it off. :-)

  • http://www.jasonblogs.com/ Jason Schramm

    Since I benefit from this currently I’d say it is a great idea. It does make gaming the system all the more important, because the top commentators link has a lot more juice. But it’s better than turning of NoFollow completely. Every since I turned it off for my site a few weeks ago I have had to monitor comments a lot more closely. And then you have the issue of deciding whether a comment should be approved, denied, or approved with links removed. It’s a big hassle that could be solved by a plugin that would let people choose whether to remove nofollow for individual comments in the moderation area.

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    I spose if you were against the idea that the leader board would encourage excessive posting, it might be possible to incorporate some kind of scoring system. So a few highly rated comments are more valuable than a ton of rubbish ones.

  • http://www.thejasonmurphyshow.com Jason

    Wow! I can’t believe the response you’re getting. I woke up this morning and there were 10 more notifications that this thread had been responded to. I think I’m going to respond to this thread 4 times too!

    Nah. My link doesn’t even show up. There must be another Jason I’m being confused with. Perhaps, if I feel like it, I’ll use my full name. But honestly, I’m not too concerned about it.

    There is a plugin somewhere that allows users to vote for/against a comment’s post. I’m not sure if it is compatible with the mods you have now, but if it were you wouldn’t be far off from SEOmoz.

    However, something else I’d strongly consider is moving to a “login required to comment” system. It will help you better manage/moderate abusive users and help you build a mailing list of internet marketers who may just be interested in a MP newsletter in the future.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Thanks Jason. I may consider that, if it gets out of hand.

  • http://www.alibiproductions.com Drew Stauffer

    Haha…that was funny about the lottery Andy.

    “It’s all interesting to watch. One strange thing. I’m starting to get a glimpse of what it’s like to win the lottery. All of a sudden I have all of these friends, and I start question their motives. I’m sure I’ll shake it off.”

    Can I borrow 50,000 links?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Ok guys, I think everyone’s had their chance to get a few comments using this post. I’m going to close the comments to this post, so it doesn’t get ridiculous :-)

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