7 Things to Avoid While Leaving A Blog Comment

By Daniel Scocco

Many people already wrote about the rules of blog comments before. Most of them, however, focused on the so called blog comments etiquette. That is, they told you how you should always add value to the discussion, respect the other people, never feed the trolls, be genuine and yada yada yada.

While that advice is solid, I feel that it lacks some practical sense. There are other points that I see people doing almost daily when leaving comments, and they can be equally annoying for the blog owner and for the other readers and commentators. Below you will find them: 7 things to avoid while leaving a blog comment.

1. Using the bold or italic attributes to highlight your whole comment

Blog comments can send good traffic to your website, and if you manage to catch people’s attention with your comments, this traffic might increase. Now, attention should be grabbed with a funny or interesting comment, and not by making your comment text bold or italicized.

Use bold only or specific words that you want to put in evidence, and italics on names and titles of books and similar.

2. Signing your comment

As you probably have already noticed, most comment forms ask for your name on the first input box. That is, you already signed your comment even before writing it, so there is no need to finish the comment with your name a second time.

Apart from being redundant information, it is also annoying for some people. For more on this topic read “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.”

3. Including a second (or third) link to your website

The previous point applies to website links also. Most comment forms allow you to include a URL that will be used to hyperlink your name. If you include that URL at the end of your footer a second time it will give the impression that you are just spamming the comment section for some links.

4. Leaving a comment without reading the article first

Common sense you say? I wouldn’t bet on it. I have seen a huge amount of comments, both on my and on other blogs, from people that had no clue about the topic of the article in question.

Sometimes they knew what the article was about, but they interpreted the message from the author on a completely different way.

If you are going to leave a comment, make sure that you have read and understood the article to begin with.

5. Leaving a one-word comment

It might be the case that people leaving comments such as “Great!” or “Thanks!” truly read the article and mean it. Regardless, those comments will be considered as spam.

Just take the effort to come up with a complete sentence, will you?

6. Leaving a second trackback

If you link to another post on your blog, your blogging software will send a notice to that blog, which will in turn create a link pointing back to your post on the comments section. This is called a trackback.

Sometimes trackbacks will not work, and in this case you could leave a comment mentioning that you wrote about the post in question. If the trackback worked, however, you would be spamming that blog by leaving a second comment with a link pointing to your article.

7. Leaving a comment as if you are the know-it-all guru on the subject

Whenever I come across a comment that begins with “This is just stupid…” or “You are so wrong…” I already arm myself against potential nonsense ahead.

If you disagree with the opinions of the author, express it politely. Even if you are right about the issue you will be seen as a jerk if you come with the I-know-it-all attitude.

Just take it easy.

Update: Obviously these are my opinions, so feel free to disagree. And if you are guilty of one of these points, remember that it is not a big deal. Just keep it in mind for future comments!

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97 Responses to “7 Things to Avoid While Leaving A Blog Comment”

  • Farfield

    OK, I guess everybody will be very carefull while writing a comment on this post. I agree with all 7 points, and I’m happy to say I never made any of those mistakes myself. But I saw a lot of them, on my own blog but also on other blogs. So I guess it’s needed to have this post. Thanks!

    • Kamal Hasa

      5. Leaving a one-word comment

      Well not really is the same with my blog. I do get a 1 liner comments which is like so irritating.

      I just don’t approve them at all. Haha..

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Farfield, yeah I think so too πŸ™‚ . Usually those are good points to keep in mind even if you just want to promote your blog. They will minimize the chances of getting your comments deleted or marked as spam after all.

  • David Shaw

    How many one word bold comments are you expecting. My money is on 3.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @David, that is not an issue really. The problem is when people bold the whole comment text.

  • Ali from The Office Diet

    #2 surprised me. I must confess that I am guilty of “signing” my comments, but I do this because I sign emails (even though my name appears as the sender) and because I think it’s polite to sign off. I quite often sign forum posts too (partly because my day job involves forum moderation — our users are UK government professionals and we’re taught to sign off politely.)

    Didn’t realise I was breeching comment etiquette by signing my comments, though — oops!

  • spidro

    great tips, i never made any of those mistakes as far i remember, but it’s still good post to remind us not to make those comments mistakes

  • Joanna Young

    Hi Daniel

    I agree with them all except 2. I always sign my name – hadn’t thought it might bug people. It seems friendly to sign off with my name – I see the ID in the comment box as being as an identifier in the list of comments, not something that says this is from me.

    I think I’m going to stick with this one unless a lot of people tell me to stop!

    Joanna

  • dutch schultz

    Pretty cool list of common sense tips that too many people don’t follow. It was good to hear it from a pro and I am glad I have not been a rule breaker so far.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Ali and Joanna, the signing one is a polemic topic indeed.

    I also sign emails, but because they are more like electronic mail, so a kind of letter.

    A blog comment, on the other hand, is a short and faster type of communication, so I am not sure if its necessary to drop a signature at the bottom.

    Let’s see what the other readers will say πŸ™‚ .

  • MrCooker

    Phew, not guilty of any of these. Still good to keep in mind for the future comments.

  • Tom – StandOutBlogger.com

    Great!

    haha, just messing. the thing i hate is when people add extra links in their comments. Cause usually it is just them trying to get people to visit their blog!

  • Tony

    cool!….

    LOL, just kidding, I completely agree, although I find myself doing some of these things, thanks for the reminders

  • Matt

    I’m not sure I agree with you on not stating your name a second time. Signing off your comments isn’t a huge deal for people reading them. I don’t personally do it, but it sounds a lot like you personally get annoyed when you read these types of comments and just decided to throw #2 in there.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Matt, usually I am fine with people leaving their name a second time, but there are many people that are not.

    Check this post from Lorelle titled “If you Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork”

    http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/04/20/if-you-sign-your-blog-comments-you-are-a-dork/

  • Paula Mooney

    Gee…guess I broke all these rules!

    Okay – I’ll calm down on the bolding.

    But I don’t mind when people sign their blog comments — even if their names are above them as well.

    Our brains are just used to seeing the names below as well.

    Paula
    Paula
    Paula

  • Leora

    Leaving a one-word comment
    I think it’s fine to leave a one word comment, as long as it’s a descriptive word. For example, I sometimes write “Yum” in response to a recipe. Or to a photograph with no words on the post, “colorful” might be a good response. After all, the post itself didn’t have words! Do you need a lot of words to clog up your comment?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Paula, no worries not a big deal as I updated on the post.

    As for names, imagine a post with 30 or so comments, where every commentator would also sign his comment with his name. I think it would look a bit cluttered, while not adding anything useful.

    This is my take though, and other people seem to like the signatures.

  • Eric Odom

    I never sign comments. It’s just not something I do. That being said, I have no problem with it when other people do and it doesn’t really bug me at all. Not sure why or how that one made the list.

    The rest are spot on though. Good post!

  • Tiffany Monhollon

    These points have the underlying common thread that they are more than simply etiquette – though that’s not a bad thing. These tips will help make your comments more effective for a lot of important goals. If you’re commenting to build a relationship with the blogger, you want to be respectful of their space and add to the conversation there. If you’re commenting to build your presence or brand in a niche, it’s important not to look like a know-it-all and be accessible as a person. If you’re commenting to increase traffic to your site, you need to avoid looking like spam at all costs.

    It amazes me the number of comments I see that are, in fact, legitmate, but that turn me off to the writer because they’re either merely self-aggrandizing or entirely promotional.

  • Muscle Post

    I agree with all of these points. One thing that I don’t like is when someone leaves a polite but critical comment on a blog, and the author of the blog gets very defensive and doesn’t give any merit to the comment. He just tries to disprove it as if his post is the only possible answer and the comments section is just a means for people to tell him that. A lot of bloggers need to learn to take constructive criticism or at least not react so defensively as their first instinct.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Muscle Post, good point. I hope I don’t do that often πŸ™‚ .

  • Dana

    Thank you for some good common sense points that go beyond just the usual etiquette statements.

    I’m putting my vote on the side of no signing needed at the end of a comment. This is simply a comment, not a letter, or email. That’s almost like saying your name after each part of a conversation. If we already know who is speaking, we don’t need the name again!

  • Muscle Post

    @Daniel, haha no, that wasn’t directed at you at all just something I’ve experienced and seen on other blogs.

  • Internet Business Ideas

    This is a great post and very helpful too, I know this only your thoughts, but I love to sign my name in the end too. Sometimes I write my name in the name field and sometimes not, like this one here.
    Anyway I agree with all you other points and I too hate when people are spamming my blog

    Tanny

  • Bilingual Blogger

    The comments that drive me batty are the totally bland, generic ones, usually found on high-traffic blogs like Problogger.

    They are comments that add nothing whatsoever to the conversation and seem designed more to get on Darren Rowse’s radar because so many of these bland comments address him directly, including his name in the comment while thanking him for “great tips” or “really nice tips” or “wow, these are some really good tips.” Yawn.

    On a recent featured post on tools and techniques to building relationships with other bloggers, I had to wade through a bunch of those meaningless “these are great tips” type of comments before I read a comment that actually had something interesting/worthwhile to say.

  • Bilingual Blogger

    Regarding putting a URL at the bottom of or in the body of a comment, it is sometimes a necessary evil. I’ve had to do that on several occasions when somebody has blogged about my blog or referenced something I wrote on my blog but then they either didn’t put the correct URL or in a few cases they forgot to mention the name of my blog. There was one blogger who wrote an entire entry of roughly 300 words about my blog and didn’t mention the blog name once and didn’t post the URL!! And it was a positive write-up!!

    In those situations, I leave a comment thanking them for the mention and then I write something along the lines of if anyone wishes to check out the actual post or the actual blog mentioned, here’s the URL and then I list the URL.

    Why not just privately email the blogger, you say? Well, I do that as well, notifying them of the error or the oversight, but on two different occasions when I just relied on the person to fix the mistake, it wasn’t taken care of properly. I’ve learned that the best insurance is to send a private email to the blogger letting them know of the error AND posting a comment on the entry in question with the correct URL. That way you definitely have all the bases covered.

  • gratiaDei777

    Thanx!! lol

  • Mike

    I tried to think of something really funny to say… everything funny has already been said.

    I tried to think of something smart-alecky to say… that’s been done too.

    Then, I tried to be clever… i’m not very good at that.

    Good Post.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Eric, many people seem to not like signed blog comments, that I why I included it on the list. I agree it is not a clear cut though.

    @Dana, I am all for simplifying and cleaning things as well.

    @Tanny, another point I personally don’t like is leaving your website name or SEO keyword on the “name” section of the comment form πŸ™‚ . It sounds like those take away from the personal level and from the relationships that blogs are supposed to build.

    @Bilingual Blogger, on those situations I also think its fine to drop a URL to your blog or specific post in question. What I try to avoid are redundancies. As long as what you are doing has a purpose and has not been done before, that is all right.

    @Mike, at least your comment is honest πŸ™‚ .

  • sonia

    I think people do 5 and 6, and it’s okay. I don’t immediately assume they are spam. Some people just have nothing to say.

    But.

    I totally agree with “4. Leaving a comment without reading the article first”. Yes! Sometimes it’s so obvious that the only thing this fool did was read the post title, and form and opinion. Infuriatingly, he “agreed with me” and turns out I was pointing out something completely different about the subject matter.

    People, atleast skim. It’s not thattt hard.

  • Michael

    I’ve never actually seen anyone use bold for their entire comment, but if there are actually people out there that do that, they are gosh darn rude!

  • Trying Hard

    Pretty good etiquette. Personally the thing that annoys me most is when people fill out fake emails and fake websites. My site where I’ve noticed this doesn’t force you to enter it, yet they make up one. Granted these are always negative comments. Great post, hope to read more like this.

  • diy help

    You have pretty good pts thr bout not-to-do while leaving comments. Informative for sure. Espcially the #1, it’ always important to highlight the key point so tht ppl will know what you trying to focus and sometimes the #5 n#7 can be somehow quite annoying. haha…

  • suresh

    Saying that read the article first and comment next is very much correct and then only the comment add new and relevant discussion happens in the form of comment and gives improved ideas for authors.

  • Miguel Cangueiro

    I’m glad to release that i don’t do any of those things mentioned above when leaving a comment.

    Great job with this one

  • Ramiro

    Most bloggers here use blogspot, not wordpress. So, we need to sign our name because blogspot does not have our name on the first box of the comment.
    Very nice post and very well written as usually. Sorry for my english! I am from Portugal.

  • team ray

    shoemoney did a great thing with his comment section by taking away direct link in names field to outside websites

    me i personally hate when user just comment to drop their url link

  • TomGu

    There are also those who insert totally unrelated comments that should have been best left on the message board. I think, this should also be avoided.

  • Ajay

    i think 5th point is most important because most people ony write like
    good tips
    gr8 work
    nice tip
    this show that they are not reading the post only leaving the comment for the link.
    thanks for these 7 tips
    for 5th is the most important

  • Dean Saliba

    Very good advice.

    You’d think most people would already know a few of them but sadly not. πŸ™

  • LJ

    I agree with your guidelines. Having experiences a huge rush of traffic (for me) and the corresponding comments this last week, I would add one thing further…

    Don’t start a comment with “I don’t mean to be [insert behavior here], but…]

    I can almost guarantee when someone starts a sentence with the above, it will be exactly what they claim they are trying to avoid being.

  • Chris

    I would like to add to this list: Never comment with any variant of this phrase: “Keep up the good work.” I realize this is my own little pet peeve, but any time I see that phrase, I want to reply with, “Well, gee, I was going to quit, but now that you’ve given me the encouragement to go on, I will.” Arrrggghhhh.

    Thank you for letting me get this off my chest.

  • adapter

    There are actually a few different ones out there. I have been giving this software a go and see how it pans out.

    You have a great site and i return to it ever now and then as i find the time.

  • Evert de Ruiter

    Nice post. And they all make so much sense. Commenting is (for me) not about advertising but it’s about helping a fellow blogger out.

  • Suzanne

    I am guilty of always signing my comments, yes I know it’s redundant….but to me, posting a comment is like sending a note, which I would of course always sign!

    BTW, Daily Blogging Tips really does provide the best articles.

    -suz

  • Halim

    In my view, as long there are good responses to the post, it was not a big deal.

  • Biceps brachii (photos)

    I don’t make ‘the mistakes’ that you mentioned in the post.
    Am I right? πŸ˜‰

  • Eerik

    GREAT TUTORIAL!

  • Eerik

    Ok, sorry πŸ™‚

    I don’t think leaving a signature without a link is bad..

  • Ari

    It is also annoying (to me) when comments include emoticons, such as the numerous smilies and such in the responses above mine.

  • Jeanne May

    Yeah I’m guilty of signing my name at the end of my comments… and I enjoy it when others sign their name on my blog.

    I completely agree with 4 and 7 and have experienced both this week on my blog! I find it really difficult when people leave a negative comment, almost angry comment about something I’ve written that they haven’t fully looked into the topic.

    And I’m strongly resisting the temptation to sign my name — what will power!

  • Kerry

    Oh, Alack and Alas – I’ve committed the faux-pas of #2. For some reason, when I started blogging and commenting, I just couldn’t trust that my name would be there. I don’t know why…I guess because I’m a DORK. πŸ™‚

    Now I do it sometimes because my auto-generated name is my blog title and I like to leave my name also. Call me obstinate!

  • Stanium

    These are a good guidelines for a newbie commenter, except for article 2. Signing your comment, as many have argued. And I can imagine that article 7 is the hardest to follow for some people πŸ™‚

  • Barbara Ling

    I disagree. I feel that signing one’s name is merely being polite and following good netiquette.

    That being said, if the blogger proactively doesn’t want a name after the comments, certainly I’ll respect that. Shall I assume you would prefer sign off?

  • Sara

    I’m pretty much in agreement. The only problem is that by creating a set of unwritten commenting rules (not you in particular, just the entire conversation), the only people who are going to be discouraged are the courteous folks. Spammers will spam, but I worry about making those new to the art of commenting feel like they can’t just dive in and leave their thoughts without being laughed at.

  • Dana

    In response to Sara – I haven’t done a lot of commenting. So I appreciate posts like this giving me some guidelines. I always want to do things correctly, so any guidelines in areas like this are very helpful to me. Rather than discouraging me, it gives me hope that maybe I can make a comment without showing my commenting immaturity.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Sonia, agreed. Scanning through an article takes 30 seconds, and it is enough to give you an idea about it. Then again, depending on what you want to say on the comment you might need to read it in more detail.

    @Michael, I ve seen a couple of people do this.

    @Trying hard, good point and I completely forgot about it. Leaving a faking website or fake email is plain rude indeed.

    @Ramiro, yeah I guess for Blogspot different rules would apply. You guys should move to WordPress though πŸ™‚ .

    @Team ray, I am not a fan of that as well, though I don’t ban people like Shoemoney did.

    @TomGu, yes. If not that, they could be sent to the author via email.

    @LJ, haha that is true, and I remember the times I crossed similar comments as well.

    @Suzanne, but you sign your comment even when you don’t leave your name at the bottom πŸ™‚ .

    @Ari, I don’t have an issue with emoticons on comments, though I try to avoid them on the content. Interesting to know some people don’t like them though.

    @Barbara, if you want to sign your comments here I am fine with this. Though I still think it would be redundant information :).

  • Matt @ Face Your Fork

    I’ve actually never done anything that you suggested! Yay me! πŸ˜›

    I think the most important thing to avoid is leaving a comment that’s only a couple of fluffy sentences with no real meaning. I’ve found that comments that spur discussion are the best, so whenever I leave a comment I seriously try to think about what value I could add to the post.

  • comfort

    a good read. thanks.

  • BloggerNewbie

    I’ve often wondered if there is a time frame to leaving comments. This post is a few weeks old. Is it too late? Should a comment not be left? So what’s the rule on this one?

    Great tips. They all make sense.

  • SEO Genius

    I dont really think there is a time frame, if you think an article was rather good then comment on it. I also dont think article writers should discard any comment that was either 3 or 1,000 words long if it was a possitive comment i love getting comments which say thanks great article exetra exetra…

    Anyways yes good article πŸ™‚

  • Freya Sykes

    Ummm… well I think my halo slipped on this one and has been throttling me…I’m clearly not as good as the commentors above who have a clean driving licence when it comes to netiquette!! lol! I’m guilty of put my blog address at the bottom of every comment I make…it could be that I’ve done it now for so many years it’s simply a matter of habit, or it could be that I’m a bit like a dog marking his lampost…kinda like…it’s my comment and here’s my scent (??!) However if it’s taken as spam…apologises…it’s not meant that way! The way I view my comments and commentors are as follows: If you want to comment – feel free, and if you want to leave your name or blog address at the bottom…well you took the time out to comment on my blog, so yeah, feel free to do it…I’m pretty relaxed like that. If you leave a malicious comment…I’ll post it, even with a fake email address…but I’ll make you look a moron after it – I always put a “Freya Says” section on the comments as I moderate them onto my blog. That’s just the risk a spammer runs on my blog! When I say “moderate” too, I don’t think I’ve yet changed anyone’s comments. I’ve only ever not put one comment up in it’s entirity as it was legally slanderous about someone and that I don’t encourage or allow. I also bold out my own reply…am I self sinning here on my own comment I wonder? *giggle* Heck nope – the way I view it is it’s my blog and if you don’t like it…well “move along there’s nothing to see here” eh? Smilies don’t bother me either but that personal preference I think. Finally, as every blogger knows, comments are the life blood of every blog – otherwise it’s just a monologue. As long as you comment I’m happy. And here endeth my sermon!! lol! Good guidelines though as to what you don’t like (as such I’ll refrain from putting my blog address here! πŸ˜‰ )

    http://www.fre…..oh knickers…flaming habit – sorry!! *chuckle* πŸ˜‰

  • Matt

    -Matt


    Haha, got ya. πŸ˜‰ BTW, very good tips, thanks!

  • Bill in Detroit

    I’d say that one of the major mistakes made on blogs is little more than a holdover from Usenet. That is the tendency to try to dictate the fine points of manners to others. It didn’t work on Usenet and it won’t work here. Here we have better tools to deal with spam, but we still have to deal with the variances between people.

    Put another way, what harm is incurred if a person signs their name?

    Why put up a barrier that doesn’t need to exist? It doesn’t take much to push traffic away.

  • SEO ALGORITHM

    Hello Daniel Scocco,

    Your suggestions on the things to avoid while blog commenting is good. New thing I have learned here is about the “second trackbacks”. Though this has not complete understood internally, I thank you for that.

  • No Fixed Office

    I am just new to blogging and thankfully, have not (at least not against these points, over stepped the mark on any to date. I did only notice the trackback comments the other day when one appeared on my blog, sometimes kind of helps to see things like this to properly understand them sometimes.

    It would be interested to know how many people shunned point 4 and did not read this post before commenting?

  • Site Rank

    Your ideas are quite interesting. Glad to have found your blog in my online travels. Cheers.

  • affiliate.solutions

    I really liked your blog! You have some great content. Check out my blog and give me some feedback, thanks !

  • jane blast

    I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

  • Chef

    You should put a few more ads on your site as you could probably make a lot of money. This is great writing.

  • Ron Givens

    It’s funny,

    I used to leave my full name, URL, title with my company, etc, etc, etc… Until someone pointed out to me that this a blog comment “party foul”.

    Needless to say, I have dropped the bad habit!

  • Mike K

    Heh, I admit to being guilty to “signing” posts when I was a newbie to blogs – it was leftover habit from the Usenet days. But you’re right, and this is all good advice. BTW, I just found your blog and find it invaluable. I’ll definitely have to spend some time going over some of your older posts – good stuff!

    – Mike (ok, just kidding)

  • Zafar Majid

    Oh dear!
    I hardly dare leave a comment…
    I didn’t realise that there was a protocol to be observed when commenting.
    It’s a bit like learning which knife to use first or how to curtsy to the Queen

    At this point, I usually put my name… better not.

    Thanks for the advice.

  • Smackitta

    i read your blog everytime i can, because it’s so interesting !! and i agree 70% on this post, because the readers also have rights on commenting, and the “you’re comment will be published after moderation” thing is sooooooo annoying and comment-killer ! πŸ™‚

  • Darkfall Gold

    Saying that read the article first and comment next is very much correct and then only the comment add new and relevant discussion happens in the form of comment and gives improved ideas for authors.

  • Darkfall Gold

    it’s so cool…

  • Tool Guy

    Interesting points but are we all starting to put things under the microscope a little bit too much. I mean what is wrong with signing your name at the bottom of a comment just seems like good manners and a polite thing to do.

    If someone wants to do it great but I donÒ€ℒt think we should call them Ò€œdorksÒ€ because they have.

    BTW Good article.

    Mark.

  • kinderdagverblijven nijmegen

    Sometimes they knew what the article was about, but they interpreted the message from the author on a completely different way.

    Think its a most common thing. And that many people, (also here) dont know what the article is about, or can tell you the headlines. Its a shame for the people how writes this post.

  • Rusia Moldova O’Neill

    Thanks for your hints.
    I also read many people write about this topic. However your post is very useful for me.

  • Steve

    All in all a good post. I disagree with one point. To me, signing your comment adds a personal touch. One thing that annoys me as a blog owner is when people use their anchor text as their name. My name is “Steve”, not “Internet Business”. Yes, the link in the comment isn’t anchored with the preferred anchor text (unless your name is your preferred anchor), but it’s usually a nofollow link anyway. I delete those comments automatically.

  • Priyk

    There is no point as that to disagree with your opinions.. But some times come that we have to get many links within a certain period. That to for different types of websites. It happens only in seo companies. I think most of the seo service providers spam these blog comments.. Although they have good resource to write comments in different types of blogs, but when they need many links to show their clints then the all spam comes..

  • scott

    I think the most important thing to avoid is leaving a comment thatÒ€ℒs only a couple of fluffy sentences with no real meaning. IÒ€ℒve found that comments that spur discussion are the best, so whenever I leave a comment I seriously try to think about what value I could add to the post.

  • Naveen

    Thanks for the post.

    But you didn’t mentioned there whether we use any keyword related to our website theme in Name field Like “furniture Blog” if i have website related to furniture.
    please clarify this.

  • Vaneeesa Blaylock

    I’m confused by #6.

    kk – so SOME blog comment forms do include your URL with your name on the comment… but if I wrote something relevant a couple of months ago… having my main URL will never get readers to that post… don’t I have to give them the URL for the specific post?

    I was also unclear why you call that a “second trackback” – do you mean because the url at the top of the post is the first?

Comments are closed.