Blog Commenting for SEO

by David Leonhardt April 15th, 2009 

Let’s start by acknowledging that this is a controversial topic. If you are a social media purist or a blogger who genuinely believes your material is so spectacular that nobody should ever drop a blog comment except to react to the profundity of your writing, then please close your eyes while you read the rest of this post.

There is a legitimate role for blog commenting in SEO, and this should not be confused with blog comment spam. We all hate spam. But we each person defines spam differently. Hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll know how to use blog commenting for SEO benefits without being a spammer.

Two women comment
Aislinn Ritchie

SEO Benefits Of Blog Comments

There are a number of SEO benefits from blog commenting.

The most obvious is that the search engines read the links in your comment (normally your anme is hyperlinked to your website) and you build your link popularity directly from the comments. However, most blogs are NoFollow, which at least in theory means that they carry no link value. But there are also a fair number of DoFollow blogs, and some give you a hyperlink both in your name and at the end of the comment to your most recent blog post.

All other things being equal, you might as well search for DoFollow blogs with the CommentLuv plugin; if you spend your time making intelligent comments, you might as well get link value for it. That being said, I never hesitate to leave comments at a blog whether it is DoFollow or not. Link value is something, but it’s not everything….and I’m not so sure the search engines totally ignore NoFollow links, either.

Another SEO benefit from blog comments is that every time you leave a comment, the blog owner takes notice of you. This is especially true for repeat visitors, so it is worth returning to the same blogs over and over. The other bloggers will undoubtedly visit your website. If there is anything of value on your website (remember that content is king) they will link to you in a post or they will invite you as a guest blogger (usually with a link back) or you can offer to be a guest blogger (with a link back). Yes, linking is in fact about building relationships.

It’s not just the blogger who will read your comments and follow the links to your website; other commenters will, as will other readers (another reason it is crucial to leave comments of value). For this reason there are two types of blogs you want to seek out:

  • Blogs on the topic of your own website.
  • Blogs that your target market read (even if the topic is not totally related to your website).
  • Blogs on topics of interest to you.

What’s that? Those are three types of blogs? Well, so they are. I never was good with numbers.

Yes, you should also frequent blogs that interest you, even if they are totally off-topic. I suspect I might be the only SEO consultant making this recommendation, but I think it is worth noting that if you are a hiker, you will have more intelligent comments to offer on a hiking blog – and you will enjoy doing it, so it will be less like work and more like fun. And whether the links are all keyword relevant, they still count and you’ll enjoy it a lot more than trolling for blogs only on your professional topic. So there!

Intelligent SEO

Have you noticed a common thread to all the advice above. Comment intelligently. As long as you are adding to the discussion, the blogger will appreciate your contribution. If you just write “Nice post”, expect to be deleted from any worthwhile blog. If somebody leaves a comment that could just as easily be left on any other of my posts, I mark it spam (see image below for the types of comments I wipe off with a little pesticide every morning).

SEO-ed blog comments

But that’s just me.

Remember how I said that spam has different meanings to different people? Some bloggers will consider it spam if you drop a keyword into your name. While I do accept comments that come from “SEO Ottawa”, for example, I prefer ones that come from “David Leonhardt SEO” or just “David Leonhardt”. The contribution has to be better for me to approve a comment that doesn’t have a real name in it.

But that’s just me.

Never mind me. Before commenting, take a look at what other comments have been approved and make sure you conform to the convention of the blog (just as you would look around how other people act at a wine and cheese or a church basement gathering). Then make sure you exceed what you see, as a new contributor, both in quality of your comment and in avoiding a spammy signature link that might get your comment deleted if the blogger is having a grumpy day.

It is also worth returning to posts you have commented on. If someone has responded to your comment, it might be worth your while to respond back. The blog owner will love you for it, because you are creating interaction on her blog. Plus, any comment worth debating or discussing attracts more attention.

It’s worthwhile dropping a really relevant and useful link in your comment, if it provides truly useful information to better appreciate the blog post. Otherwise, I recommend against it. Gratuitous link-dropping is considered spamming pretty much anywhere.

If your site is adult-oriented or fits into one of the other red-flag categories, don’t even bother commenting (with a link) on most blogs. The blogger will not appreciate it and your comment will be deleted. You’ll need to find really related blogs that will accept your links.

But David, why shouldn’t I spam? What about a robot that auto-posts comments to save time (and having to use my brain cells)? Well, there is no denying that you can build some links that way. There are some lazy blog owners who don’t moderate their comments and let them publish automatically. There are four reasons why this really is not worth your while:

  • Pretty much any non-moderated blog offers only NoFollow links
  • Pretty much any non-moderated blog is considered low-quality and low-trust by the search engines
  • Some non-moderated blogs do get cleaned out every now and then, and the spammers get reported
  • The search engines might even be able to detect a pattern, and if most of your links come from sites known to link to spam websites, your website could be flagged as untrustworthy – guilt by association.

If I was to sum up everything here, it come down to this; when you are on somebody else’s blog, you have a wonderful opportunity to build relationships. In the online world, relationships means links, and SEO is all about building the right kind of links (well, not quite “all” about).

But just like in the real world, when you are on someone else’s space, pay very careful attention to what is accepted and what is not. The real definition of a spammer is somebody who does something that is not accepted. Period.

Commenting on blog posts in a manner accepted by the blog owner can be an effective means of attracting good quality links to your website and help with your overall SEO efforts.

David Leonhardt is president of The Happy Guy Marketing, a creative website marketing company that focuses on SEO and viral marketing to make websites better known among their target markets. David can be found on his SEO consultant website and other blog posts of his can be found on his SEO and marketing blog.

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt is a Ottawa based SEO consultant. When not guest blogging he occasionally finds the time to update his own blog.

SEO Marketing Blog

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63 Responses to “Blog Commenting for SEO”

  1. David says:

    I have a Question. Suppose that you leave a comment on a no fallow blog but the comment does link to your website. Lets say you are just trying to be found by the search engines, do the web crawlers still fallow the link even though its a no fallow? and would this cause your website to begin getting indexed?

    • alex johnson says:

      This is a tricky one. Personally I think that (for Google at least) the answer is no – they ignore the link altogether.

      Essentially the nofollow is a webmasters way of saying "ignore this link, follow my other links instead". Google won't always follow every link on a site. If it follows a nofollow link, that might mean that a dofollow link gets ignored on that crawl.
      .-= alex johnson recently posted: set up ebay business =-.

  2. Mikael Rieck says:

    Excellent post David and I agree with you on every point. One thing that I think is worth mentioning is that when it comes to CommentLuv then that will not provide you with any link value if you're using Feedburner for your RSS feeds as that link will then point to Feedburner and not your site. You'll still get the visitors though.

    Personally I am mostly commenting on do-follow blogs within my niche as well as the top blogs within the niche even though it is no-followed. I do that purely for the building of a relationship as well as to get additional traffic from that blogs regular readers.


  3. Cool post man, I always wondered what difference nofollow made. But do you think I can get more comments on my blog if I make the comments dofollow and write a post about it?

    Not sure about it because some people might put links to bad websites and Google will just put my thingys down lol.

  4. David says:

    Well one way I have seen blog administrators deal with this issue is requiring a certain amount of post before the no fallow is removed. That way only serious people will take the time to post.. Do you check your post before you approve them? I know that could be time consuming.. You could have people register before they post, then check their website before approval..

  5. Raghavan says:

    Good post and I certainly agree that the comment that you post must create an interaction. But I always wonder how effective will this useful for a corporate B2B website. Do I have to post my name or the company name. Some times a controversial comment would lead to negative reputation and I would prefer choosing my name instead. I would like to add that blog commenting should express your views on the post rather than any irrelevant stuff that markets the website/your service.

  6. Honestly, I found your blog while looking for dofollow blogs to comment on, but now that this post is about blog commenting and you made it quite clear what you dont want to see as comments, I better make an effort :) Anyway I just wanted to add that I have been blog commenting for the last 2-3 weeks, and have seen very good results from good already.

  7. I'm still affraid that those comments don't seem sincere. I mean people know that you didn't visit their site just for its content.

  8. Kai Lo says:

    "Pretty much any non-moderated blog is considered low-quality and low-trust by the search engines"… I don't know about that one. Think you are over-generalizing that statement.

  9. Lee says:

    Hi David

    I don't normally post on 'no follow' blogs, why? Because I am normally doing what this article is about, looking for links from blogs. In fact, I came to this blog looking for a free link to my website, but unfortunately, it's a 'no follow' blog. You say you are not sure if search engines take notice of 'no follow' but given there are enough 'do follow' blogs out there to comment on, I tend not to bother with them. However, this article is an exeption because I really want to say something about this post and my experience doing what you suggest.

    I have been blogging for 2 or 3 weeks now doing as you suggest. I haven't been spamming the blog and have made sure I am able to contribute something meaningful to the conversation. However, I find that there are a high percentage of 'do follow' blog owners that are over protective of their blogs and they just remove anything with a link in. I have contributed some, what I consider, really useful info opinions/info to blogs which have sometimes taken me 20 to 30 minutes to type, just for it to be trashed as spam. Now it's not the fact that I didn't get the link that upsets me, it's the fact that my contribution with a lot of thought (albeit to get a link) has been trashed.

    Earlier today for the first time, I noticed a comment I posted on a blog that had the link removed. Now that, I totally respect the guy for. He didn't just trash my work, he removed the link but that I don't mind. The link is a bonus.

    So I just wish blog owners would just remove links rather than the whole post all together. It's just as disrespectful as spamming!

    Sorry this post is so long and hopefully, it won't get trashed!



  10. Amit says:

    Hi David,

    You did a great job as you described SEO benefits of Blog Commenting smoothly. Probably search engine don’t follow the “nofollow” links in blog, but you will get a good amount of traffics though the blog posting if you blog comment will be interesting and informative. So whenever you write blog comments for any blog post, try to make it more informative.

  11. blurbz says:

    >most blogs are NoFollow, which at least in theory means that they carry no link value

    This is a common believe. I've tried to get to it's origin by reading Mutt Cutt's and other Googlers posts. It seems that nofollow is an equivalent of 2 statements:
    -I don't want to spill my link juice on that site
    -I have no opinion about content at that site

    Nobody says that Google will ignore the link. So, as you said, post everywhere and on topic.

  12. I have about 40 blogs that I follow and comment one, yours being one of them. About half of them are "do follow" and I appreciate getting link love. I have gotten a lot form the other blogs as well, like traffic and credibility and exposure. In fact, I have been asked to guest post on 2 authority blogs based on my comments.

  13. Glenn A says:

    I think blog commenting is its own reward — you're contributing to the overall quality of the web and you're helping out the host blogger. However, I find that so many comment author links lead to commercial sites (borderline spam or flat-out spam), that they're usually not worth clicking. At least half of the comments I moderate have some commercial motivation, even if the comment is decent. For my own projects, I believe the time is better spent on Digg and the like. But still, I comment.

  14. I also highly dislike comments that are left that just simply say "nice post", its amazing how many people leave these types of comments. I wonder if they are automatic by a bot? Or if it is a real human that is actually going around and just posting that? Surely after their comments get deleted most of the time they would learn a lesson?

    Anyways, I think blog commenting is a great thing, and I most definitely would encourage everyone to do it.

    On one note… you said "The search engines might even be able to detect a pattern, and if most of your links come from sites known to link to spam websites, your website could be flagged as untrustworthy – guilt by association."

    Heres my take on that…. if that were true… wouldn't it then be easy to take down a competitor by placing ALOT of links to them from bad neighbor hoods? So I would think that as long as you dont link out to the bad neighborhood then you are ok?

  15. Sonny says:


    Great article, totally agree with you that search engines do give some type of value to nofollow links. You might not get any PR transfered over but your SERPs will still increase.

  16. Daniel says:

    The "nofollow" tells a search engine to stop passing on ranking to the website. It does not tell the search engine not to follow the website all together. There is a big difference.

    So although nofollow has less SEO value, it is still useful for indexing purposes.

    Don't forget, if a person follows your link, and then adds your website to their website/blog. Then it is just as effective as it it were a followed link originally!

  17. Great article, very informative. Do you feel blog commenting is the twitter of SEO? Or are more conventional methods still viable as well?

  18. Amelia Vargo says:

    This is really interesting! I have been thinking about the value of commenting on blogs which are unrelated to my sites but are on subjects that I find interesting. I haven't done so yet, but I may just have to start as an experiment. I've been blog commenting for some time now, on industry specific blogs, which is great as I've learned so much from doing so. I would highly recommend it for that reason alone!

  19. but there's still many blogs that are dofollow.
    I also use it for seo. But I try to give comment by read the post, so my comments are related to topics. And I don't like one liner comment, it's like spam.

  20. adam says:

    Hi David,

    I subscribe to Yahoo search, which is how I wound up here and ended up subscribing to your blog. Thanks for this post. I will now incorporate blog commenting on sites that don't relate to mine, but have specific interest to me.

    @Lee, I had the same experience having a comment rejected as spam at a dofollow blog the other day. They do seem to be on edge, those dofollow bloggers. What upsets me is the energy I spent reading the post, comments and trying to make a contribution. Out of principle, I never drop useless comments — I make it a point to engage in the discussion. The kicker — he/she managed to approve a bunch of one liners like "thanks, great post" instead of mine.

  21. This is the way that I normally do my commenting as well. I've always looked at commenting as not just as way to build links but also as a way to get direct traffic. And I especially like to find blogs that post their recent comments on the sidebar. I'll visit those blogs more frequently for the chance to get a site wide link.

  22. Daz says:

    i find posting on my industries related blogs frustrating, i try to add interesting information without keyword spam (even though i am trying to get a link)

    What ive noticed is none of not even the large retailers have many comments on their blogs, its almost as if the blogs are only an extension of their sites and posting just isnt allowed.

  23. I REALLY wanted to simply put Nice Post….probably not the only one to think of it of course.

    I've always looked at it like this – a link to your site (assuming it's not a link farm or porn) is better than no link to your site. Do or No Follow. Of course I agree with you – Do is better than No but I still believe people have a tendency to devalue NoFollow too much. There is much more to a link than page rank juice.

  24. I must say that I really enjoyed the information and thoughts you gave here. Comments should be well crafted, interesting, and helpful. This, in turn, will help you to become more recognized – and not considered a spam user on a blog.

    Great thoughts.
    Thank you,

  25. Take advantage of your staff : Your company has a staff of experts on hand. As part of their daily ritual, you should have them comment on a minimum of 3 blog posts per day. Once in the morning, once after lunch, and once before leaving. This method splits up the commenting so they are not overwhelmed and this does not interfere with their daily routine.

  26. I know on my blog, I got massive amounts of spam, and Askimet helped dramatically. I believe that even if you get links pointing to your website simply with your name, you will gain noticeable value – even though the anchor text isn't relevant – this is because you are building the trust between your website and the search engines… It's so funny, because the people that constantly spam blogs waste so much time that they could be spending obtaining valuable links that will be approved instead of trying to find a needle in a haystack.

  27. Unless there's anything offensive in the comment, it really doesn't bother me. At least people are visiting the blog and hopefully the content will keep them entertained enough to come back for a repeat visit?

  28. Email Fax says:

    Hey David!
    A fellow Ottawa SEOer :-) Fantastic post – I agree that I tend to visit websites of people who comment frequently in my industry – IF they appear to have something relevant to say :-)
    Myself I am going to check out this commentLuv plugin you mentioned and see what that's all about!

  29. Well, using blog commenting is effective for link purpose if it's dofollow, but also useful for traffic to come more visitor if it's nofollow. People who leave comment too in that same post, will see your comment. So better to use an interactive name or leaving a good and constructive comment so that people like that one.

  30. William Lang says:

    Thank you for this post, as someone who is still very much a student of SEO – this is useful information. As a business owner, I generally use the "Name" link to link to the index page of my company website. So, while this qualifies as link-building – am I correct in assuming that it doesn't exactly help SEO efforts in terms of ranking for the keywords that my site itself targets for?

    At this point, it seems I have more links pointing to my website anchored with my first and last name rather than the description of my business/services. Does that hurt me in the eyes of the search engines – as in making them believe the subject of my site is "me" rather than our products/industry?

  31. So what you're saying is that you'll accept my comment, right? 😛

    Hehe, anyways, I always try to make useful (I try….) comments. Regarding auto comment posters, they say nothing comes easy in life, so don't expect results with those tools


  32. Morgan says:

    We can still be noticed for commenting on the nofollow blogs, it is worth for the relationship. But dofollow blogs allow back links that will increase traffic.

  33. Ron Edwards says:

    I’ve always looked at commenting as not just as way to build links but also as a way to get direct traffic. Don’t forget, if a person follows your link, and then adds your website to their website/blog. Then it is just as effective as it it were a followed link originally!

  34. I have just started blogging and this this article has enlighted me on the difference between NO-Follow and Follow blogs.
    My question is, how can you know which blog is a non-follow or follow blog? I will be glad to learn more!

    Thank you

  35. Justin says:

    Its hard not to spam at Blog commenting though. Google requires you to do so much SEO and link building before it makes a differents.

    We can't be members at 1 million blogs each right?

  36. Ninah says:

    So David, can it safely be said that auto generated and auto posted comments are virtually useless for site and blog owners? I would never use an auto tool to post my comments because I personally find them irritating but lots of other bloggers still resort to this kind of stuff. They must be wasting there time then

  37. @David We don't know. The search engines tell us they won't follow the link, which theoretically means they won't index it. various people have set up experiments to test this, and the results have not been consistent. I actually published a speculative post on this very topic.

  38. The nofollow attribute is created by Google, and they respect it to the letter, Yahoo is much less considerate about it, and MSN tends to bypass it.

    Some colleagues and myself have done a couple of tests regarding this issue, if we can call it one.

    In the end, I don't really care much if the site I comment on is dofollow or not. There's a lot more value to gain from contributing intelligently than just a potential backlink.

  39. alex johnson says:

    Personally I automatically delete any comments that use a purely keyword title. Business names are better but I still don't like them.

    I like to be really strict about what comments I allow because that way the really good comments get more benefit. If you accept poorly thought out comments it seems less fair on the people who have put in a lot of effort.
    .-= alex johnson recently posted: set up ebay business =-.

  40. brent lee says:

    Isn't using this tool a way of generating traffic as well. If someone was to follow a link on a blog, they may decide to add your link to their site or their blog. You are then gaining traffic as well as a link. Spam is annoying but going to happen and in the end the people who do spam end up wasting more time then what they gain.

  41. This is a very informative post, buddy. I'm currently optimizing 7 blogs, and this is my first time in Search Engine Optimization. The blog commenting stuff really made me feel like I'm one of those spammers I get rid from my blog posts.

    Anyways, there are times that we are too lazy that we just have to ride on with the spamming mania…
    .-= Cebuana Blogger recently posted: Almalfi Oasis – Citta Di Mare’s First Residential Resort =-.

  42. Rachel says:

    I agree with you on every point. One thing that I think is worth mentioning is that when it comes to CommentLuv then that will not provide you with any link value if you're using Feedburner for your RSS feeds as that link will then point to Feedburner and not your site. Thank you.

  43. Michael says:

    I completely agree with your premise. I follow a single golden rule when it comes to this sort of thing: "Content is king." Whether you are creating content for your own blog, or commenting on someone else's, it should always be something that you believe to be helpful to others. Spam is not helpful. (I really hope this was helpful)

  44. manish says:

    Personally I automatically delete any comments that use a purely keyword title. Business names are better but I still don't like them.

  45. Tom says:

    Hi David,
    How much benefit do you get from blog comments in terms of link building if the writer name does not include keywords? Is it the topic of the blog that carries the weight of the link or the keyword itself? I hope my question makes sense…

  46. Haroun Kola says:

    Nice article. Most of my commentators come from Facebook so I've got a plugin that converts the JavaScript FB comments and embeds them in the database.

    I do get some regular comments from people who I know are just wanting a link from my dofollow site, but their comments are on topic so I do allow them :)

  47. suren says:

    Hi david
    Not all backlinks are created equal. When your strategy is to use Blog Commenting For SEO Purposes you want to make sure that the blogs your commenting on are “Do Follow Blogs.” WordPress Blogs are by default set to the “No Follow” setting. “No Follow” Links do not create links that affect your SEO, but people can click on them and go to your blog.

    In order for you to get “link love” blog owners have to remove or use a plugin to overide the “no follow” settings.

    Here are some ways that you can find out whether a blog is a “No Follow” or a “Do Follow” blog.

    1. View the Source Code Go to the blog in question and press the control key + u. Next press the control key + f. Type the following into the field that pops up on the bottom left side, “Nofollow”. It it’s a no follow site “Nofollow” will be highlighted.

    2. SEO Quake can also let you know if the blog you want to comment on is a “do follow”. Download it here SEO Quake

    4. Type of Comment Plugin the Blog Uses. Look for some of the Plugins that blog owners can use to overide the automatic “No Follow” setting.

    1. CommentLuv When using Blog Commenting on a CommentLuv site, you can create stronger back links by creating anchor text for your keyword by filing in the name box like this.

    Your Name@The Anchor Text You Want example. If I was Blog Commenting on someone else’s blog and I wanted to create a strong back link I would do it like this. John@Blog Commenting SEO Tips

  48. Daniel says:

    having run and moderated a Forum, I get where you are coming from when you want real names, but I prefer the graviator solution anyday.
    It will still authenticate me, but not in a way so that everyone can track me across the web. It is bad enough Google tracks my every move.

  49. DavidC says:

    Yeah, I always try to combine work and pleasure.
    I read blogs about things I am researching anyway, and while I am there, if I have anything to add I may add a little comment.
    Makes a lot more sense to me, plus most bloggers will answer questions and help out in the comments.

  50. Mike says:

    It is a good idea to interact with comments and provide useful information. Like you said, if you like a blog, come back to it and let them know you like it by commenting. I think for backlinks that using other online media and changing things up a bit will help. Choose from .org, .com, forums plus other websites to get your links. Shows a little variety and will help with seo.

  51. Blog commenting is still a main staple in the SEOs diet. It’s a little more refined than the SEO of yore where sticking your link in any old blog would do. I’ve personally never gone down that route, but obviously you see a lot of it about, and it still continues.

  52. Nice blog David. I was researching about SEO and currently learning or lets say understanding it. Although I have a long way to go to understand it well, your post helps a lot. anyways, how can we know if the link is a Nofollow or Dofollow?

    Thanks again.

    • Dean says:

      Jessica. You can always place the link and check afterwards in the page source. Personally, I always think its good to have a small percentage of "no follow" links in your profile. Would anyone agree with me?

      I hope that helps you out a little :)

  53. Pearson says:

    It is a good idea to interact with comments and provide useful information. Like you said, if you like a blog, come back to it and let them know you like it by commenting.

  54. Scott H. says:

    Blog commenting has to be the absolute easiest way to gain backlinks in SEO. It also has advantages of helping others out by rewarding them for their work in blogging. But most often you usually learn something when you provide a quality comment to the readers reflecting on what you have read and learned. That also helps in SEO. Spam comments have little to no effect on rankings and are just a waste of time.

    Of course, even though blog commenting is the easiest way for backlinks it is arguably the least effective. I am under the impression Google's search algorithm knows this all too well. That is why I value natural links within the context of an article or page. Similarly guest posts can be highly effective.

    • TomW says:

      I completely agree, blog commenting is great. And I am always surprised when I read posts about the death of blog commenting. Although you have covered this point too.

      Commenting is the least affective backlinking method. Although commenting does usually tend to pull an engaged blogger into guest blogging. So even though the act of commenting is not generating a huge build up of traffic of link juice, it does build relationships and confidence.

      Just a matter looking at SEO commenting from a bots view or a personal view.

  55. Hi David,
    Spamming comments is definitely one thing which should be avoided.Linking is important but spamming comments with excess links and keywords is a harmful tactic. Though a vast majority of blogs use nofollow in links, there are some websites which have dofollow in the comment links. But such sites are really attentive towards spam and genuine comments.
    Thanks for this post.

  56. Excellent article and I agree with one of the other comments above and always leave a comment whether it is no follow or do follow as the link is still there for other interested viewers.

  57. Caroline says:

    Excellent Post regarding blog commenting for seo, thank you.
    I am trying to become more active with blog commenting and this points out the benefits for your blog or website.
    Leaving comments on related articles to your industry is most important – it's just rude to spam sites with comments for extra 'juice' Natural links are always best!

  58. Lisa says:

    While blog commenting on no follow blogs does not pass link juice, consider that commenting is not just being done in a vacuum. Someone, namely the blog owner reads these comments and hopefully you can engage them in some kind of meaningful engagement. It is important to read the post and really understand what is the point of the article. You never know what may result from this form of communication. Sound naive? Maybe but even on the web there is often something more to be gained than just that backlink.

  59. Even if a blog is nofollow, at least the link will be there. And if someone like your comment, they may visit the link and view the site. If it is a dofollow, its even better.