Friday Finds: LinkedIn Profiles, Google Spam Updates and Google Commenting

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This week’s post in the Friday Finds series highlights: the new LinkedIn features for beefing up your profile, techniques that can get your site flagged as spam and another look at Google’s commenting system. As always, I’ve chosen posts that add value and also have healthy discussions going on in the comment sections. I hope you find them as valuable as I have.

How Can You Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out?

Earlier this summer, LinkedIn added features that enable us to enhance our profiles by adding visual content like photos, videos and presentations. To learn how to make your LI profile stand out, check out Mike Alton’s excellent post Does your LinkedIn profile lack curb appeal? Add images and links!

What Techniques Does Google Consider Spam?

Have you ever wondered what Google’s Web Spam team considers to be spammy behavior? While paying a visit to DiTesco’s IBlogZone.com, I found an excellent article Avoid Spamming to Be Safe From Google Update in 2013 by Stephen Moyers. In his article, Stephen takes a closer look at these 7 techniques that can potentially get your Website penalized for spam.

  1. Keyword Stuffing & Hidden Text
  2. Unnatural Links
  3. Thin Content
  4. Parked Domains
  5. Clocking & Redirection
  6. Hacked Sites
  7. Pure Spam

Still thinking about installing the Google Commenting System?

Over a month ago, I took a closer look at the Google Commenting System. That post highlighted some of the pros and cons. One of the major concerns that was raised was the risk of spam. (Google comments do not go into your moderation queue.) At some point in time, there will most likely be a solution to this but at least for now, it’s a very real risk. If you’re interested in hearing how other bloggers are handling this, check out Why I Removed The Google Plus Comment System On My Blog by Babanature. He has a great discussion going on in the comment section.

Over to You:

What are your thoughts? Have you taken advantage of the new features in LinkedIn? Did Stephen’s article give you a better understanding of what Google considers to be a spammy site? What are your thoughts abou Google’s commenting system? As always, we’d love to hear from you.

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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  1. Hello Sherryl,
    So sorry for coming late, i was caught-up doing some stuff 🙂 .
    These are some nice roundup if i may say. I seriously haven’t been on linkedin that much and i must confess that i am not that good in using Linkedin. I only recently know that they also use harshtags, which i know many people have known for long. Now that you include Mike’s blog about linkedin, i will surely check his blog out to strengthen my scope on linkedin.

    Thanks for including my blog for this week roundup. 🙂 . Have a blessed week…

    1. Hi Babanature,
      You’re welcome. Thanks for dropping by. LinkedIn is my 4th source of referral traffic to my site (far behind Twitter) but it’s my top source for meeting people who have eventually become clients. The value to me lies in the ability to develop meaningful relationships while establishing your presence and reinforcing your online brand.

      I think it would be a perfect fit for you. You have a lot of knowledge to share and a lot of the bloggers who you know are active there.

  2. Sherryl, This is a great round up of Friday finds. I started showcasing some of my art on my Linked In profile and find it a great tool. With all the new Google commenting rules, this article about Google spam is quite perfect timing. I too have not really looked into Google comment systems because of the spam problem but as you say, Google will probably fix it soon. 🙂

    1. I’ll have to checkout your profile Susan. I’m a big fan of your illustrations. I bet they look great on your profile.

      Hopefully, Google will listen to the outcries from bloggers who want to use their system but aren’t happy with the way it is. We have to remember that their system was initially designed to be used on Blogger before they decided to roll it out to the rest of us.

  3. Sherryl — thanks again for these excellent articles. I confess I have not kept up with the discussions about the Google Commenting System. I have not installed it and don’t intend to after reading your post. I need to get more images on my LinkedIn profile. I had a guest post on my site about that a few weeks ago. So this is another nudge to get going!

    1. Jeannette,
      At first, I was adamant that I was not going to implement G+ commenting. Then, I considered adding it in addition to keeping CL. Now, I’m back to waiting until all the kinks have been worked out before I reconsider it.

      Recently, I read that if you leave a comment using Google, that you’re also giving that post a +1. I haven’t verified that myself but I have no reason to not believe it to be true. That alone has made me rethink leaving comments on other blogs if I have to comment through Google. In fact, I noticed a similar thing with Triberr. I commented on a post on my Triberr account and that comment showed up as a comment on their post. Commenting is getting complicated! 🙂

      1. Sherryl — If I’m understanding what you said, if I comment on a blog in my stream in my Google+ account it also appears on their blog in the comment section, or did that just occur with Triberr? If you’re willing to comment on a post in Google+ and it gets an automatic + I’m not sure that’s a problem. I’m assuming you’d like the post by commenting.

        1. Jeannette,
          What I read is that if you leave a comment using Google+ that it also give a +1 to the article. (I need to verify this myself.) That individual did not like having all those +1s and she said that she would no longer leave comments using the Google system.

          What happened to me is that I commented directly in Triberr and then I went to the post to leave a longer more insightful comment. The comment that I made on Triberr was on the post (attributed as a comment via Triberr.) I hadn’t realized that would happen.

  4. Sherryl, I’m happy to say that when I added photos to my Linkedin profile a couple of months ago it looks much more professional and interesting.

    As you know, we agreed some a couple of weeks ago that Google + commenting is not yet an option because of the problem with spam. Every day Akismet removes a couple of hundred spam comments on my site. And every other day a couple of them manage to not be detected and I remove them.

    Glad to note that I’m not violating Google’s rules for spam. There may be some more broken links but I remove them as soon as they are detected.

    1. Hi Catarina,
      I haven’t checked out your profile recently. I’ll have to take a look at it and see what you’ve done. I have not revamped mine but I know I should.

      I didn’t know you still used Akismet. Is there a reason that you’re not using GASP? The version that’s built into CommentLuv Premium gives you a lot of flexibility and I find it to be much more effective than Aksimet. (IMHO)

      I’m trying to keep up with broken links too. Pointing to parked domains was a big issue for me. So, I’m really keeping an eye on any URL that the BrokenLinkCheck.com site identifies as a “bad host”. (That’s how I found them.)

      1. Don’t use Comment Luv Premium:-)

        Am waiting for Google + comments to include moderation i.e. eliminate the spam problem. Would be good if there was G+/Comment Luv combination.

        1. I knew you have CommentLuv installed. I didn’t realize it was the free version. There’s a free version of GASP too but if you’re happy with Akismet, that’s good too.

          I’d like to also see a way to keep our G+ comments if we ever discontinued their system too.

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  6. I’m glad to say that all the spammy techniques listed in the article are completely foreign to me. Although I’ve heard of some of them for the most part I wouldn’t even know how to do them.

    1. Heather,
      Even though you would never intentionally spam, you still need to be careful that someone with a spammy site isn’t linking to you. Recently, I discovered a spammy site that had over 1,200 links to me. (You can check for sites that link to you using Google Webmaster Tools.)

      1. Unfortunately I can’t use Google webmaster tools because it can’t verify me. This happens to a lot of programs that require inserting a line of html into the head area of my blog or a folder. None of them can “see” the code. It’s very frustrating but I’ve come to accept it as there’s nothing that I can do about it. I just don’t have the skills to understand why it’s not working.

        I’m still going through my old posts and deleting bad links, so I’ll do what I can manually. I just don’t understand why Google would penalize a site for other sites linking to them when the site owner has next to nothing to do with it. I’m constantly removing the few spammy comments that Askimet lets into my spam filter. Why isn’t that enough for google? It makes no sense.

        1. There are so many good tools in GWT including the ability to upload an XML site and asking Google to index it. I usually verify sites by uploading the HTML Verification file. Have you tried that? You should be able to do that either through your cPanel or I use Filezilla for my FTP (file transfer protocol) program.

          I believe Google’s intention is to penalize sites that buy links. Unfortunately, innocent sites get caught up in this.

          1. I would love to try GWT. It looks like a great tool, but I don’t know how to upload the code to folders. I usually have my hosting company help me but when I tried to do something similar to be approved on Pinterest and Alexa it didn’t work.

            I only tried an FTP once and it almost killed me! SO confusing. After 15 minutes of trying to figure it out I was bawling. Never again!

            The whole html thing is very difficult. I’ve gotten a bit better at understanding it, but it’s still so confusing. But this isn’t your problem Sheryl. I wish I could find a site that could help fix all the kinks and small issues on my website. One preferably that was affordable. So far I haven’t seen anything like that.

            1. Great thing about G Webmaster Tools is that there is no charge!
              Also, it is very simple to set-up. I’m sure Sherryl was able to get you more info via emai.
              What you’ll love about GWT is how it provides metrics on your site rankings in G search as well as HTML errors and suggestions from your site. Not sure what the kinks are on your site but it will definitely help get your on-page optimization together.
              Good luck.

              1. Thanks for encouraging Heather Sarah. I think the biggest obstacle to setting up Google Webmaster Tools is the site verification. I’ll try to remember to grab some screenshots the next time I set them up for a new site.

  7. Hi Sherryl.. I’ve been wondering about whether I keep or remove for completely the G+ commenting system. I actually discussed this with Ileane via email, and on a hangout with Kim, they brought it up saying that in principle “it poses” no risk… I’ve been seeing way to much spam and although you can mute it, my problem is finding them. I’m really kinda in between about this. How about you, what do you think – good, bad?

    BTW, thanks for the mention. Have a great weekend

    1. Hi Franciso,
      I was opposed to using it initially because I don’t like not owning my own comments and I don’t want to impose another barrier to someone leaving a comment. (I suspect that the majority of my readers may not have Google+ accounts.) I was starting to be swayed by bloggers like Ileane but there are still a lot of unresolved issues as far as I’m concerned. So, I’m going to continue in a “wait and see” mode for now.

      You’re welcome for a mention. Thank you for the link in your Speedlink 30:2013 as well and you have a nice weekend too!

  8. Hi Sherryl, I had not seen Mike’s post on LinkedIn Profiles – I’ve got some work to do there. I’m constantly checking what Google wants or not, that one on spam is familiar but what is thin content really?
    I’ve seen several bloggers use the new Google comment system and some stop using it too. Interesting the pros and cons. I’m sticking with Comment Luv for now 🙂 Love it! Thanks for sharing Sherryl and have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I’ve always thought that Google defines thin content as content that doesn’t add value. You made me wonder though. So, I “googled” 🙂 and found this in their Webmaster Tools: “Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.” So, I guess I was close!

      I seriously toyed with the idea of adding the Google+ system to CL but I believe someone I follow said that when she comments on a post using Google, it gives it a +1. I haven’t verified that myself but I trust her. (Maybe someone else here could confirm that.) – You have a nice weekend too!

      1. Thanks Sherryl, that helps me with the retail website – to understand thin content bettter. I’ve been using more of our own verbage on product pages. It comes easier and more natural on blogs.

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  10. I didn’t realise Google was penalising parked domains Sherryl. For some reason my main domain was parked and the old domain which I do longer use was the main one. Both had the same content. Although I wasn’t penalised it slowed my site and after making the change the site speed has improved dramatically.

    Regarding LinkedIn I haven’t taken advantaged so this article is a good reminder.

    1. Susan,
      I had not read that Google penalizes parked domains before but when I went through that massive cleanup of links, BrokenLinkCheck.com identified many URLs as being a “bad host”. When I checked them a lot of them were parked domains and the ones parked at GoDaddy in particular stood out as being riddled with ads.

      That’s great that you found out that your domain names were switched. Are you forwarding your old domain to your new domain now?

      I haven’t taken advantage of the new features on Linkedin either.