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91% of ProBlogger Readers Don’t Fake It

A few weeks back I asked readers for their opinion on a reader question – Should I Add Fake Comments to My Blog?

125 comments were left and I thought I’d sum it up with a quick graph to help visualize how people answered. I think this speaks for itself:

fake-comments.png

Note – I changed the question slightly because of the way most people answered the question.

Update: If you want to know more about people’s reasons for using fake comments or reasons for not using them – check out the original post on the topic and the comment thread.

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.

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Comments

  1. I don’t know which is worse, the fact that 9% of them do fake comments or the fact that the first thing I thought of when I saw that chart was Pacman.

  2. Steven Noble says:

    What tool did you use to create the graph?

  3. Jose says:

    The next blue pill: take it and rise to not faking it anymore. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :)

  4. Rarren Dowse says:

    I think Darren is a brilliant guy for coming up with this graph. He wouldn’t fake comments. =)

    -Rarren

  5. Michael Martin says:

    I’m not sure about how accurate the results will have been there. It’s as you said; if word got out that you were faking comments, it couldn’t do any good for your blog. So, if you’re a blogger who has done that before, are you likely to post elsewhere admitting it? (Obviously you are the exception to that rule. :P )

    What are your thoughts on paying someone else to comment on your blog though? (Something similar to the forum posting services that you see around the place). It’s a similar, contrived, method of populating the blog, but is it quite so desperate?

    Michael

    PS – I’m still working on releasing my blog, so I haven’t used any of those tricks… yet ;)

  6. Gamermk says:

    Any summary on the ways people used fake comments? Would be interesting to understand why people feel this deception is necessary.

  7. adam says:

    okay – so who’s faking comments?

    pretty lame…

  8. Bowrag says:

    Fake comments?? What exactly do you mean? Having someone login as a fake name and say different stuff? Why???? To appear that more people are involved in your blog? This sounds silly. But you never know what people do

  9. Kevan says:

    I wonder how many of the 91% would be willing to lay their hand on a Bible and answer the question again.

  10. Darren Rowse says:

    If you want to know more about people’s reasons for using fake comments or reasons for not using them – check out the original post on the topic and the comment thread.

  11. We are an honest bunch, aren’t we! *=)

  12. Ashxx says:

    I did fake comments on my first few posts, but they didn’t really help start discussions.

  13. I get enough fake comments from spammers!

  14. Katie says:

    I never fake comments, but I did twist some friend’s arms to get them to leave comments in the beginning. Worked the same, but more real.

    What else are friends for? ;-)

  15. Nerrad Eswor says:

    Well, Darren would never fake comments! He’s a good guy.

  16. I think the reason why most people don’t post fake comments is because (I’m guessing) most people who come here have fairly successful blogs.
    Those who said yes don’t have quite such… active blogs in the comment world (like mine).

    So this might be a bad sampling… but maybe not. Who knows?

    If it is, it’s probably not too far off…

    Ok… that was a little ‘rambly…’ I don’t know what point I was trying to make…

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    Steven Noble – it was made in keynote (mac presentation too). I love the 3d pie charts – so cheesy :-)

  18. I’m glad to see many people do not fake comments. I think it’s wrong to post fake comments on a blog just to trick your visitors into thinking you have more traffic.

  19. HH says:

    I didn’t fake comments… but I must admit that I was tempted to let those Akismet comments appear on the posts so I get a bigger number of comments and that way probably ppl would click and see whats going on…

    Finally I realized it was a really stupid move and my brain took me to the right path again :- p

  20. Brad says:

    I’m proud to say I have never faked comments on any of the blogs I managed. Sometimes a family member or friend will write a comment, but those are never solicited and I have deleted many comments from family/friends because their inappropriate for the particular blog subject.

  21. lee says:

    You know, this is why I’m never going to get ahead in life. It never even occurred to me to fake comments. When I started my blog, I just sat around in a state of extreme anxiety, checking the darned thing every five minutes, wondering when in the heck someone was going to comment. Finally, they did.

  22. Mark says:

    It’s bad enough with all the spam comments I occasionally get on my blog! It’s fair to say I get enough fake comments without resorting to inserting them myself.

  23. Samir says:

    I haven’t posted fake comments on my blog thus far, even though it’s not really conversation central at the moment. I guess that will increase with traffic.

    I don’t see anything drastically wrong with the practice though, if you ask yourself the same question that you should ask when commenting on other people’s blogs: Is this comment going to add to the discussion? If the answer is yes, maybe its not such a bad idea to start things off.

    The main reason I don’t post fake comments is because I don’t think its the best use of my writing time. If I am in the commenting mood, I might as well do that on other blogs, at least it might get me a bit of traffic (and a *cough* undying fan following of couse). If I just want to write longer stuff I might as well write a new post and add to the actual content of my site.

    Then there’s the fact that I’m just plain lazy. :D

  24. Meeker192 says:

    I guess I’m like lee, it didn’t occur to me until I read the post here about it. Adding a comment with a different name is deceptive, and I wouldn’t want someone to leave a comment because they thought someone else had already when the first was actually me.

  25. Angela says:

    It’s never occured to me either to fake comments on my blogs and if I had that just seems like an aweful silly thing to do! I’d much rather spend my time and efforts writing great posts then trying to think of comments that sound intelligent.

    Sometimes I have made a post though and then added more comments from myself, which I wouldn’t consider FAKE comments, just me talking to myself -haha. Also, I always respond to anyone who posts on my blog which actually makes twice the comments because there’s one from me for every comment. It’s not intentional to get more comments though, I just want to respond to everyone who talks to me!

    Love the pie chart, very cool graphic and interesting topic!

    Angela Wills
    http://www.StarVA.com

  26. Erin Fogarty says:

    I’m so glad you tracked this. I was wondering about how many people do this after reading the original post the other day, and its good to know. I’m torn over whether I should be appalled that 9% of bloggers leave fake comments, or be grateful that it’s only 9%. I hope that the 9% will realize that they are out of “the norm” and their actions are frowned upon.

  27. DaveP says:

    I missed the original post, but now I’ve seen this, I’m shocked that anyone has ever thought of faking comments. The thought had never actually crossed my mind until now.

    Some of my posts get 10 comments, some get zero, and although it’s depressing to think no-one has an opinion on what you’ve written, you just have to take it on the chin.

    I look at the posts that got no response and learn where I went wrong. Usually it’s because I haven’t tried to include the readership at all, instead just offering cold hard facts. An opinion piece can often get a strong response, but sometimes nudging your audiece directly by asking them “Waht do you think?” can make all the difference.

  28. Darren, like you did at the earlier stage of this blog maybe leaving “fake comments” in your blog can be healthy eh? I mean you did gain more readership, atleast to some extent.

  29. Chef Jules says:

    This practice borders on tacky, IMHO. Though I wish more of my Readership would leave comments, hence their “calling card”, and not exclusively as a means to drop link bait, I understand I have a wealth of visitors who suffer from social anxiety or something akin to. :)

    It’s not necessary to be prolific or profound in comments. A simple greeting, some feedback, a request…your “footprint in the sand” would be nice, especially from the regulars!

  30. Omar says:

    Faking comments! I wonder why any one would do that? In what way would it one’s site benefit by faking comments?

  31. Al T. says:

    Never. Although I have to admit, it takes a lot of willpower to resist.
    I don’t click my ads either.

  32. I am 100% with DaveP (commentor #26). I had never thought of faking anything on my blog. Then again it doesn’t surprise me that people have or would.

    You kind of have to take some of the zero comment posts and do some analysis. Was it the writing style? Was it not accessed as much as the other posts? Was the headline not written well? Do some investigation on every post that doesn’t receive traffic, receive linkage, or generate comments. I have read some of the best blog posts (highly linked too with del.icio.us) and yet have little to no comments. Some readers just don’t take the time to post their thoughts.

    I’d be interested to see some kind of survey and results of those who comment on posts. Maybe those that comment on good posts vs. those that don’t comment on bad ones.

    Fake posts – there’s one for the record books. Thanks for sharing the results in a concise graph (much easier at-a-glance).