Search Engine Land Community Guidelines

Search Engine Land welcomes comments and discussion on the articles we publish. You may comment on our stories for 90 days after they’re published. Comments close after that point.

Our biggest guidelines when it comes to comments are these:

  • Be respectful and polite
  • Don’t use foul language
  • Drop links only if they are relevant
  • Don’t use keywords as your name
  • Use common sense

Respectful and polite: We will merrily nuke any post if we feel people are behaving in some type of aggressive or immature manner that they’d never do to someone in person. Debate with each other. Disagree with each other. Argue forcefully with each other. Just keep it respectful.

Foul language: This site is aimed at a business audience and we expect our commenters to maintain a professional level of discourse using words that would be welcome in any business setting, big or small. We will remove comments with foul language, and ban the user.

Dropping links: As for links, they are allowed if relevant to the story. What’s relevant? Here are some good examples:

  • In this interview with Gabe Rivera of Techmeme, Don Dodge came along and mentioned a great interview he’d done with Gabe last year. Excellent. We want people to know that. Thanks for dropping the link, Don — it makes the story better!
  • In this story about Microsoft’s eye tracking study, Gord Hotchkiss had a good follow up post that extended what was written about and added other useful observations. We asked him to please come by and link drop. He did. And the story was better for it!

Overall, if you’re considering a link drop, just ask yourself if people heading over to that site are going to learn something new, unique or different from what’s already being discussed. If you somehow seriously miss the mark with relevancy, we’ll either edit the link out of your comment and/or remove the comment altogether. If this is a persistent problem for you, we may give you a heads-up and ask that you stop dropping irrelevant links. Accounts that clearly, persistently violate this guideline will be banned.

Real names: Have the courage of your convictions – use a real name when commenting. We will remove comments from people who use names like “SEO Company Topeka” or “Best Mortgage Rates.” This also holds true if you comment using a social media account that appears created purely for commenting in an anonymous manner. If there’s no way to feel confident about who is commenting, we will not allow the comments.

Common sense: Rather than us crafting a million specific rules, we ask those taking part in the community here to use good judgment about how they participate. Being rude, being self-promotional, not advancing an argument by repeatedly raising the same points – these are just some examples where common sense should tell a person if they’re not contributing in a valuable way.