You know that place in a comments box that asks for your URL? That’s like asking for your business card. When you comment on something or offer information somewhere online, it’s okay to identify yourself, and you should if you want to build your brand. That’s the point of an article by Deborah L. Jacobs on Forbes Online, “How to Grandstand (Gracefully) on the Web.”
For those of us web editors who find it self-serving and irritating to find someone posting a Web address on our website – yes, it can be. But there are good reasons for it to be there, both for the poster and for us. For the poster, it’s a good way to get their name and their business on the Internet. For us, it’s an enticement to commenters to interact on our site and it offers certain SEO (search engine optimization) benefits. The only downside to us is when it is spam – when someone is abusing the comment section to freely advertise a business or product without providing us any benefit in return or – equally bad for us – when their link looks dubious to search engines and drags down our search ranking.
On Web Editors blog, we are fine with commenters who continue the conversation on a topic and include their URL with their comment. However, we never allow spam on our site. Your website or blog may decide to do it differently.
Deborah tackles Web “grandstanding” etiquette – or the lack of it, and gives examples of what others are doing, along with some useful links. It’s a worthwhile read.
Do you find others sharing their website URLs bothersome? Do you do it when you comment on a blog or website? Let us know what you think.