SEO

Link Building Via Blog Comments : Is It Spamming Or Not?

Like any other ‘minor’ link building – blog commenting is also useful. Because of how blog comment spam has arisen, the search engines are most likely to develop (or to be developing) ways to filter good comments from spammy ones.

So an important question arises: “If I build links via blog commenting – do I look like a spammer?

To see how comment spam can be identified algorithmically, let’s try analyzing Spam Karma reports (it was only fooled once or twice with my own blog). The plugin uses combination of the following ‘red flags’:

  1. It looks at the period of time the comment was posted after the page loaded;
  2. It analyzes if the comment contains an URL(s) in content;
  3. (If there is an URL in content) it compares non-URL comment length and the length of the URL itself;
  4. It looks if the URLs are linked or not;
  5. It filters some ‘spammy’ IPs;
  6. It looks how old the post is and how long ago the latest comment there appeared;
  7. It tracks if the poster’s browser looks natural (e.g. if it supports JavaScript);

A search engine can do pretty much the same plus it might be looking into:

  • comment relevancy;
  • overall comment content length;
  • similar/same comments around several blogs;
  • your linked comments acquisition rate (e.g. 100 per day might look unnatural);
  • some blacklist words like “porn” both in the author link and the
    comment body.

So if you avoid those flags and comment at relevant (established) blogs (that both follow and nofollow) you are both adding value to the discussion and doing some natural link building (btw, if you have a similar to the blogger’s post article, deep-link your author link).

 Link Building Via Blog Comments : Is It Spamming Or Not?
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
 Link Building Via Blog Comments : Is It Spamming Or Not?

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65 thoughts on “Link Building Via Blog Comments : Is It Spamming Or Not?

  1. I have always refused to use the “nofollow” tag in all my blogs despite some people just posting comments for the link. I don’t ever want to punish the ones that are legitimately commenting on my work just because a few bad apples are just attempting to link build. Comment spam has become a problem but I do suspect that you are right and the search engines are working hard on a way to filter out the bad from the good.

  2. It depends, doesn’t it? If someone posts a valid comment but then stuffs their Name with keywords instead of using a real name, that’s surely spam. But it’s a fine line between posting a valid response and pointing to an external resource that may just happen to be a site someone wishes to promote.

    By the way, technical question, does Technorati follow nofollow?

    db

  3. >>> By the way, technical question, does Technorati follow nofollow?

    Per my observations – no…
    I do get T links from ‘dofollow’ comments from time to time but never from ‘nofollow’ though…

  4. It does work in Yahoo anyway… For now. It’s only a matter of time before comment spammers get hit with a penalty. I don’t believe this would be a long term solution for anything. Sounds like it would ultimately be a waste of time.

    You would likely get more traffic and subscribers if you post a great comment early versus being the 50th person to post a comment on a popular blog post.

  5. I am just wandering if the blog commenting in the “no follow” blogs is a type of linkbuilding or does it help to get backlink?

  6. @Hawaii SEO

    “You would likely get more traffic and subscribers if you post a great comment early versus being the 50th person to post a comment on a popular blog post.”

    Search Engine Web (or whatever his/her name is) does an excellent job of identifying blog posts as they happen and being usually one of the first responders.

  7. We can’t deny the fact that there are some who are taking advantage of blog comments..that’s why some blog owners use “no follow” attributes on their blogs…I just feel sad because others who are not spamming the blogs also gets affected..I just hope the search engines can find other ways on how to identify these spam comments..

  8. @David

    “If someone posts a valid comment but then stuffs their Name with keywords instead of using a real name, that’s surely spam.”

    Are you sure about that? I almost always use keywords because I was told it was better for SEO purposes. Why would the search engines frown on using something other than your name? Using a “handle” or nickname is common on the Internet, and the name chosen is usually keyword-related.

    Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

  9. Hawaii SEO: you are right, link building is NOT (and should not be) about only link building. It’s like by commenting you: make connections – get visitors – get some links (last thing in the list); I focused on link building aspect just to show that people who post good relative comments do not look like spammers – and comment spam can be identified and discounted algorithmically…

  10. @David and @Colorado Mortgage Lender: I actually don’t think posting keywords in the author link differ much from posting your name. The main thing is NOT to spam and add value to the blog (allowing for mutual benefit for you and the blogger).

    Another thing – what these words are. Words like ‘free poker online’ might look like a spam (due to their well… ‘bad reputation’).

    Besides, if you post same keywords everywhere and build links only by commenting – you may look not quite natural too…

  11. On a daily basis I end up deleting loads of on topic comments because I couldn’t work out who had written them, and the site they linked to told me nothing about them.

    With Spam Karma it is quicker to just flag them as spam than go through the trouble of editing them.

  12. If you want to see how many people believe in commenting for links, check out this post:
    http://www.linkbuildingbestpractices.com/link-building/10-good-links/

    In 48 hours we had over 90 comments. We sincerely wrote the post trying to get people to slow down for a minute and pursue 10 relatively easy links (not stellar links – but easy ones), but as it turns out I think most people just took the 1 minute to add a short comment and get a link from our blog.

    We never imagined that we would get this kind of response. It will be interesting to see what happens to our blog post over time – will Google view it as a “spam post” even though we only accepted comments from family friendly sites, or will the lack of true input from most commentors show up?

    Only time will tell.

  13. Well most blogs are no-follow so that should not be giving any link authority.

    Sometimes I get to blogs and they are full of rubbish, well then I just go somewhere else as its the articles that I am after.

    But then I guess there are all sorts.

  14. I have the same opinion with Hawaii SEO.

    Comment spam is very effective on Yahoo. I know a lot of sites targeting very competitive keywords that have been keeping a top position for a long time by posting spam comments continually.

    Nonetheless Google would not allow it.

    Thank you for a good article.

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  16. i don’t think not putting your real name when commenting is a spam. Not putting your real name is a way of protecting your name or advertising your websites keyword.

    i don’t think we should define not putting your real name as spam but the comment itself should be evaluated carefully before considering it spam or not.

    “It tracks if the poster’s browser looks natural (e.g. if it supports JavaScript);”

    what if i disable java on my browser? it would be consider as spam? its ridiculous

  17. I have run a series of test using signatures like “Affordable SEO – Terry Reeves” and initially I ranked well for that term and many of the other terms that I tested.

    Then, all of a sudden, I was filtered to page 5 or more depending on the term I used. So, Google does filter the benefits of these links DEPENDING on competitiveness of the term.

    However, my long tail ranks from these terms have stayed well ranked and it is this traffic that sends me the best leads. So, the testing was a success.

    I have actually received clients and many more visitors from my signatures on SEO/Intermet Marketing blogs than Google sends me on an average day. Traffic is about 1/3 search and 2/3 referrals from blog posts.

    Also. My test proved that you can rank for moderately competitive keywords using only nofollow blogs alone IF the keywords or phrases are actually on your website. If they are not on your website, you will rank for a short time but then drop out of sight.

    @ SexyFun Adult Site Webmaster “The ratio should be 70% do follow” and 30% no follow”

    Personally, I believe that formula is backwards. I post on high traffic nofollow blogs more times than I post on any “followed” blog.

  18. One final observation.

    Keywords on the blog url+keywords in the blog post match keywords in your comment signature and appear on your linked site/page = success. It can be very hard to pull off but is well worth he find.

    People put way too much emphasis on PageRank when it comes to linking. PageRank is nice when you can get it but targeted referral traffic pays the bills.

  19. “Keywords on the blog url+keywords in the blog post match keywords in your comment signature and appear on your linked site/page = success.”

    A very great point! Thank you for that. Yes, relevant long tail works with blog comments links.

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  21. When someone leaves comments that is clearly not related to the article that you posted then thats one example of spamming.

    Nice Blog Ann; keep on posting.

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    One way links can be obtained from Directory links, press releases,forums,blogs comments,articles,social book marking sites,smo sites,rss feeds and related website links etc can help you tp build an effective linking campaign without the worries associated with
    exchanging links with sketchy sites.

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  23. Its not spamming, so long as you have relevant comments to make and bring something to the table when discussing the content of the blog.

  24. I agree — it’s all about content — if you comment intelligently and with real consideration of the blog post you’re commenting on, I don’t consider it spam.

  25. Well,Leaving a good comment on a post that adds to the conversation can be a great way to gain natural traffic. If your comment is good people will follow your links and in this way you can achieve link popularity.

  26. Submitting to web directories is a vital part of every successful link building strategy. Apart from driving traffic to your website through direct referrals, web directories provide static, one-way links to your site, boosting your link popularity and improving your rankings on the major search engines like Google and Yahoo.

  27. @global indiya

    “link bulding is most useful to us….”

    Really, is it? if you actually bothered to read the post you may realise that search engines will more than likely categorise your marvellous addition to this topic as spam. So going back to your original statement, link building is most useful to us…

    I think it may not be as useful as you think!

    Very sorry about that, I really despise the non-sensical spam cretins that patrol this digital plain like a endless plague of warped hillbillies,

    Yes I am insane.

  28. Linkbuilding by commenting on blogs is used by a very large % of bloggers in getting their blog rank up, but one should only post comments on topics that they have actually read and not just randomly commenting on every blog that they come across.

    When reading an interesting article , your comment should be useful and provide value to the author and to others that are commenting. When ever a comment has no value, such as @ Gawiw “To see how comment spam”, it should be deleted.

    Who is Gawiw talking to and what is he/she trying to say. I have read all the comments to see what “To see how comment spam” was referencing, I also have reread the article to see if I had missed something.

    One should remember that these short little comments (nice post,well done or great job) are just as much spam as leaving a link, they have no value and it just as well could be a bot.

  29. I only post comments on blogs that I come across when searching for a specific topic and since I am on the site already, I might as well comment. I definitely try to stay away from the “Thank you for your post” nonsense and respond with information/comment that adds to the conversation or address the question the poster asked.

    You can tell who comes for a quick link usually. Just look up a bit.

  30. I feel like as long as there is some relevance to the article, blob comments aren’t spam, even with a hyperlink or two in the body. Not too fond of people leaving comments under keyword names though, that’s always fishy looking to me, like commenting under the name SEO Master and such.

  31. Brian, I would have to disagree with you, links should not be in the body of a post regardless if it is a comment on a website or a post in a forum. A grey horse with a yellow coat is still a grey horse, in other words spam is spam no matter how you look at it.

  32. I think its spamming YES if the comment or blog doesn’t share anything to readers….NO if the one who makes the comment meant what was said in it and you could gain knowledge from it….You can’t just say its spamming if the sentences has their values.

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    1. Your comment will not look like a spam if you write a well explained comment related to the topic rather than to write something about what your site offer. Or put lots of links on your main comment going to different pages of your website. Look for related sites and put you comment about what is being discussed that way you'll not be flag as spammer.

  34. I like to say that commenting on blogs is one vital way to get back-links. There are many others ways too. Google likes them all. Multi sourse for backlinks is the best way to rank higher. I like blogs as sourse of information. Where there is informations about a topic there is a Mind. We should always thank that mind with the proper comment. Honesty is the key.

  35. Your comment will not look like a spam if you write a well explained comment related to the topic rather than to write something about what your site offer. Or put lots of links on your main comment going to different pages of your website. Look for related sites and put you comment about what is being discussed that way you'll not be flag as spammer.