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.
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!
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).
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.
63 thoughts on “Blog Commenting for SEO”
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 =-.
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.
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)
Personally I automatically delete any comments that use a purely keyword title. Business names are better but I still don’t like them.
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…
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 🙂
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
That is exactly what I am saying. And it is interesting that I was just listening to a rank on roughly the same topic – that links are there for people to follow – on Search Engine Journal: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/dannys-rant-if-you-are-a-link-builder-or-think-you-are-you-need-to-listen-to-this/44573/ .
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