I just received a spam comment on my blog, from "Justin", promoting the company Element Tea. The comment linked twice to their website, and listed a long string of spammy keywords.
Why do people do this? Comment spam is totally unnecessary. I think it's perfectly acceptable to post comments on blogs as a means of letting people know about your website, so long as you are sincere and respectful of the blogger, writing the comment out of a genuine desire for communication, and not a blatant attempt at promoting a website by writing text that is clearly written for a search engine, not for a human.
Most bloggers, including myself, are very generous about approving comments. If someone wants to include links in their comment, that's fine...even if it's a link to a page selling or promoting their product. But the key is to post a relevant comment, written for human readers.
I don't know if the owners of Element Tea made this comment, or if it was an unknowing employee or friend thinking they were doing a good deed, or if it's someone they've hired to do SEO. There are times when a company hires someone as a consultant to improve the search rank of their site, and then that "consultant" goes around comment spamming. But either way, it's not a good idea. I'm always open to genuine discussion, I love learning about new tea companies, and in fact, I love putting out effort to freely promote companies through listing them on RateTea, adding them to twitter lists, and writing about things that I like about them. There is absolutely no need to ever spam my blog!