Unique tips of blogging

Submit Blog Comments and Getting a Blank Page?

When it comes to link building, a great way to develop links is to comment on blogs.  Now I’m not talking about comment spam, but real genuine comments to the posted article.  Quite a few people do this, and many are finding that when they submit their comments they are going to a blank page.
Spam is a huge problem for bloggers.  Just last week I received over 3,000 spam comments.

Fortunately I run Akismet, a plugin for Wordpress that is intended to combat the onslaught of blog spam.  The downside to this is that good/genuine comments can be returned as a false positive.
Last week I was doing some solid blog commenting for one of my sites and noticed that on most blogs I went to a blank page after submitting my comment.  Curious as to what the problem was, I decided to comment on one of my blogs.  I got the same result!  Now the detective in me came out.  I wanted to find out what the problem was.

I used a different variation of my name to submit a comment on my own blog.  I still went to a blank page, and the comment was not recorded in my admin.  I then changed my E-mail address, and the same thing happened.  The comment still did not appear in my admin area to approve/deny.  I then changed my domain, and presto!  The comment went through.

In normal situations, the post would just go into the Akismet comment section of my admin area.  But in cases where Akismet thinks you are a spambot, your comment never even hits the admin area.  With a little research, I found that Akismet dishes out one of the following to spambots:
delay a response

HTTP error 503 (Service Unavailable), showing a simple blank page.
HTTP error 403 (Forbidden), showing a simple blank page.
HTTP error 403 (Forbidden), showing a Drupal generated page.

Ok, now that we know Akismet thinks we are a spambot, can we fix the problem?  The good news is yes, the problem can be corrected.  The bad news is that Akismet is typically very slow to respond to “unblock requests.”  By slow I mean people have waited months to get unblocked.

If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you should do.  Contact Akismet and provide them with the following information.

Your IP Address
Your E-mail Address
Your Website Address
When you contact Akismet, let them know that you are a human and are getting a blank page after submitting comments.  Also indicate that your blog comments are genuine and that you read each post before submitting a comment.

As I noted before, Akismet can be slow to respond to unblock requests.  To speed up this process, provide them all the information you can as noted previously.  You may find that they unblock you with a day or two. :)
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