SEO

SEO & Link Building Via Blog Comments

I’ve always been an advocate for active blog commenting playing an important role in the online marketing mix for a massive amount of reasons, even beyond SEO.

By taking the time to comment on blogs, even one or two comments per day can lead to extremely positive results such as reputation building, expert positioning, and the building of inbound links, even if said blogs use the no follow attribute in their comment fields (and if they do not, all the better).

Blog Comment Etiquette

Why not worry about No Follows? Because ALL humans ignore No Follow. If you participate in a blog comment discussion and link to your site, chances are readers of that blog will follow the link … building to your site’s traffic. The more popular the blog, the more traffic you can build.

But do not place a signature link in the comment body itself except for critical circumstances. Linking to your own site in the comment body is not only spammy in nature, but can also get your name, site, email and IP flagged by ‘social’ blog spam software like SpamKarma, and get your comments automatically deleted from dozens of blogs which use the application.

Using blatant Anchor Text instead of a handle or name in the Name field of blog comments can have the same result, so don’t do it!

blog comments SEO & Link Building Via Blog Comments

Instead, just link to your site via the URL field in blog comments, this is an open invitation to link to your site.

The Value of Comment Links

If you take the time to comment on at least 3 blogs per day, with a back link back to your website, the end result will be an extra 100 incoming links per month, or 1,200 links per year – with little effort on your own part.

Even if those links are associated with a ‘no follow’, that’s ok. Why? Because they still count as backlinks in Yahoo Site Explorer. AND other search engines like Ask.com don’t even pay attention to the No Follow attribute.

The more backlinks counted by Yahoo also results in added recognition beyond SEO and can also bring monetary value to your website.

For example, Text Link Ads uses Yahoo Backlinks as a metric in determining the price of a link advertisement from your site (perfect example for publishers).

In a similar fashion, the SEOmoz PageStrength tool also counts Yahoo Backlinks into their equation, so a simple blog commenting campaign could influence your site’s PageStrength .. which you can then use as a proof of your site’s value when negotiating ad sales.

Not to mention the reputation you build for yourself by participating in comments, lending a helping hand, or just agreeing with someone. Think of blog commenting as an extension of forum participation, without the exclusivity of a forum.

So, before you go falling for one of those spammy blog commenting services like the one ripped apart by Darren Rowse of Problogger.net today, think about more efficient options in your blog commenting campaign.

  1. 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.
  2. Hire an Intern : One excellent way to train an intern is to have them read, process, and report on specific blogs on a daily basis. Have your intern show they understand the discussion in the blog by commenting on that blog and make sure they link back to your site in each comment.
  3. Have Your Linkbuilder Comment : Pay an SEO or Link Builder to build links for you? Discuss blog commenting as part of your link building package. If they are serious professionals, they will discuss the pro’s & con’s of blog commenting in your industry
  4. On the Mobile : If you commute to work via train, plane or carpool then you probably find yourself reading news from you industry’s niche blogs anyway. Find a way to comment from your cell phone or mobile device. If your phone or device cannot comment on blogs, the value of your commenting is well worth the purchase of a Smart Phone.

Have an idea or something to add? Then leave a comment :)

Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM SEO & Link Building Via Blog Comments
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM SEO & Link Building Via Blog Comments

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109 thoughts on “SEO & Link Building Via Blog Comments

  1. The key is to add the comments yourself. If you need to pay somebody to build your reputation for you then you are building their reputation, not yours.

  2. Nice post, I think there is as much if not more value in posting good comments. Intelligent discussion not only builds credibility, but you’re likely to learn quite a bit from the interaction with your fellow commentators…

  3. Great post! Since I haven’t done anything with ads on my own sites I found the part about negotiating ad sales a terrific tip for the future. =)

  4. Great post!…I try to do this myself weekly, and it does pay off. It gets your name and site out there for more people to see it.

  5. Thanks Hawaii SEO, that’s quite a nice tool, especially for identifying blogs which do not use the no follow attribute.

    As for the no keyword in username field suggestion (taps feet)… I guess you’re an exception because it’s your ‘handle’ not just some blatant keyword phrase (or is it?).

  6. Thanks!

    There is something on that list for everyone.

    I’ve been using this name for quite a while now. No one has ever complained because I try my best to leave helpful comments.

    I didn’t create it as anchor text. I live in Hawaii and do SEO and I hought it was both memorable and descriptive. Also… People love Hawaii & SEO, so I hoped that those positive feelings would transfer to me by association. (It’s just personal branding)

    Also… I personally know most of the bloggers like you. I might not be able to get away with it if I were just starting out in this point in time and didn’t have any friends in the industry.

  7. >Using blatant Anchor Text instead of a handle or name in the Name field of blog comments can have the same result, so don’t do it!

    I almost always use my real name in comment posts to avoid being spammy, but …

    it has nothing to do with my blog theme, so the anchor text isn’t a good one.

    That’s why comments are only part of the equation I guess. You also need strong back links with valuable anchor texts.

    Would that be correct?

  8. Even though I’m somewhat guilty of it myself… I don’t recommend using anchor text as a signature either.

    If you name yourself something like “Buy Viagra” and then link that signature to an MFA website… You might have your comment deleted regardless of the quality. Personal branding is one thing. Using transaction oriented keywords as a signature on a blog comment is a big No-No.

  9. Nice post Loren. The problem is bloggers need to write something compelling for me to leave a comment. I won’t go commenting on dofollow blogs or on high traffic blogs just to increase traffic, PageRank, or visibility.

  10. Thanks Halfdeck, I’ll be sure to send a memo out to the blogosphere asking it to be more compelling :)

    Seriously, I totally see your honorable point and your thoughtful comments which I’ve seen around the searchosphere have built a sense of trust and respect for you, your blog and your services.

    Which is much more valuable than just backlinks!

  11. It is about time someone wrote and reiterated this. I don’t know how many blogs comments I come across where there is blatant domain stuffing in the comment body and wonder and hope that that person got hit for it.

    Question for you though: how extensive does a blog comment have to be? Reason I ask is because I see so many people leaving one or two words as the comment. Does this hold the same weight?

  12. Vinny, I think the answer is ‘it’s what you say, not how long you say it.”

    From an SEO perspective, I’d say that the answer is content to link ratio. If your link is surrounded by original and relevant content, then ideally it would have more value than a link surrounded by comments like “great post” or “I luv yur blog” :)

  13. But I like leaving “great post” comments, especially on SEJ. =) The world needs more love and I could care less whether it’s transferring anything to my site… frankly, I’d prefer no one visit as it’s crap at the moment, but the alternative is not identifying who I am. Links are your identity on the web (not just SEO ho opportunities), e.g. … Hi, I’m posting on your blog because I either hated it or loved it, btw I’m a redhead from Jacksonville who digs primates and slow walks on the beach.

    My point – setting rules in stone is silly. We know a spammer when we see one, but sometimes they’re a harmless, confused soul. Or they could be someone just trying to make the web a little more human by pointing out a nice post even though they don’t have two minutes to go on and on about how amazing Loren’s timeliness, concise posts and wit make him one of the industry’s best bloggers. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience…

    Fun side note – I belong to a forum that used to ban anyone that posted a solitary “LOL.”

  14. Neil, it does not mean that they are counted in the Yahoo Search algorithm, as sites which link to you all have their own values and influence in terms of ranking juice. One site which links to you will have a greater or different value than the other.

    Like I stated previously, the links listed in Yahoo Site Explorer do count in web metrics solutions which judge the value of a site based upon the Yahoo measured criteria.

    What is amazing about such 3rd party metrics is that they are dependent upon influential factors such as building incoming links and a site’s Alexa ranking, which can both be controlled by smart marketing.

  15. Firstly I’d just like to say this was a useful post which will encourage me to post a little more on the blog’s I frequent. I’d also like to say I agree with Rhea in that there’s nothing wrong with a ‘great post’ comment if that’s all you have to say or if you are in a particular rush and I also believe that we should show a lot more appreciation for the posts we read I must admit there has been many a time where I have refrained from posting a simple short message of appreciation for a post for fear of it being flamed for its shortness but we don’t always have the time or the words to express ourselves properly.

  16. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a ‘twitter-esque’ section in the comments for the ‘great post’ & ‘awesome’ comments?

    As a blogger, it is always encouraging to read such posts, I love them. They’re awesome!

    As a blog reader, I tend to ignore such comments and sift for the meatier ones :)

  17. (IMO) Short comments like “Great Post” are only meaningful if the blogger recognizes you as “Real Person” and can appreciate the complement because it came from a trusted source.

    If a total stranger says something like “Great Post”, I would assume it’s some sort of spam.

  18. Great post!

    I like the 3 post per day schedule. And while this post is short, I tend to agree with Loren Baker that the short posts are great for the blogger but as a reader I would prefer to see useful posts.

  19. Blog comment links are good, but they should be mixed and matched with other types of one way links. I wonder if sites can get penalized if they have only blog comment links.

  20. The best part of blog commenting is that you can establish yourself as an authority in the topic and this adds up to your online reputation.

    We all know that offline publicity in turn affects your online publicity in a Big way.

  21. Great post. I think just sharing your views, knowledge and opinions with others and gaining from them as well is a great motivation in itself to post blog comments. Like you said, a good way to build reputation and at the same time, people can visit your website. If you post comments regularly in several popular blogs, this can develop into an important source of traffic in the long run. At the same time provided no follow link attribute is not used, you will be building inbound links and gaining TrustRank. Blog comments can also help you build search engine reputation as well as branding your own name.

  22. ” John Madden : I do that all the time…BAM! on all the blogs i post on…WHAM!”

    You’re the kind of odd exception where you are actually trying to position your site for a person’s name, being that your site is about sports video games.

    Blogging in the character of John Madden, however, pardons you from any wrongdoing!

  23. The best part of about blog Commenting is it forces you to keep up to date with what the masses are actually thinking. This may or may not be a pleasent experience, but it is certainly an eye opening one. As a fulltime web developer I need to get to know my vistors and those whose interests my website caters to.

  24. If you take the time to comment on at least 3 blogs per day, with a back link back to your website, the end result will be an extra 100 incoming links per month, or 1,200 links per year – with little effort on your own part.”

    How did you come up with this number? I easily leave dozens of comments on various marketing blog everyday. I am not really seeing that type of back link return.

  25. Loren,

    so you whole point is to actually ignore the NOFOLLOW tag beause ASK and others (MSN? knock knock?) don’t care about the nofollow tag…

    good point -I think that’s the reason why all those automated spam bots are still spraying their crappy spam comments around the web…

    Good suggestions on how to get rid of having to write blog comments, I for my part actually enjoy reading and posting on my and other blogs at night when the “real work” has been done – sometime around midnight :-)

    cheers
    christoph

  26. I like the three comment/day suggestion. That definitely breaks it down into chewable pieces.

    I think it is a good approach to use for blogging as well. One post a day will get you farther than most bloggers.

  27. Loren,
    Thanks for this article. Great tips, especially about 3 comments a day. That really works in all aspects of SEO too, to do small amounts on a daily basis, because it does build up over time.

  28. The trick will be how does G determine which comments (and links) are legitimate and which ones are not. The obvious spam is very obvious, but there is still lots of gray.

  29. One of my peers sent me this link and as per your advice, commenting on blogs add to traffic and I am taking your advice.

    I am actually getting a hang of the whole SEO biz and I see it real profitable.

    Thanks.

  30. That is a well written post and it has motivated me to put some of your thoughts into action.

    It is the routine of it that I think is what matters, as you so eloquently point out.

    Thanks, – Ian.

  31. I am torn about the nofollow thing — it seems like you need to leave _some_ way for search engines to find out about legitimate sites through comments. I agree about not leaving anchors in blog comments…

    Also I think some of the major search engines don’t support nofollow..

  32. Loren,

    blogs were made for interaction and dialogue. Forget about nofollow. Its just pagerank after all. Big deal. There’s more to the Internet than Google rankings. And I’m in SEO.

  33. My main concern is that you can’t guarantee every page of your website will be included in the SERPs. Considering I’m constantly adding new products to my company’s website, I need to be sure that customers can find them as soon as possible.http://www.seoptimizerz.com

  34. “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.” Simple yet effective idea. Kinda of makes me want to look in the mirror and go duh !

  35. Thank you very much for your very valuable free info, some of the comments were also good, I will be around for more, please let us have it, Thanks again, papajoe

  36. I wanted to test out something. I just made a post with my screen name that I always use, and it was flagged as spam. Well incase this actually goes through I will repost my original opinion: I believe that “splogmenting” is horrible because it injures blogging which is already taking alot of criticism, and it offers no value to the readers, however I also believe that people whom post on blogs should be able to have thier blacks given full weight.

  37. This was very informative. I have been publishing articles, press releases and have just begun the blog postings and commenting on others.

    My question is… Is it beneficial to have a link to your own blog from your website as far as SEO goes?

    Thanks,

    Michael

  38. Nice one there. Never took blogs so seriously before but I guess they will be worth commenting to and collecting valuable backlinks and some traffic as well.

  39. Hey, Even I won’t surprised to see comments hitting 100 soon, as this is the most interesting subject blogger loves all time.

    Hi Lorren, I am still wondering how come vigrx is still survived here in the comments?

  40. Seems like the spammers have taken this as an open opportunity to spam on this page :) May be you got to replace your spam prevention system Loren.

  41. I’m trying to build up attention for my new blog…the commenting works…but I guess at some point I have to get some sticky traffic….hopefully people will stay! :)
    -Raymond

  42. “I see a nofollow on the links!!” The nerve of that Loren, I mean here he is letting people post all this spam on his (I just admit rather intelligent post) blog regardless of the drivel and we little commentors think we’re getting free links to the promise land. Loren how could you do this us ? How Loren How ?

  43. Jaan – I think a simple mathematics would do with this calculations.

    (If you take the time to comment on at least 3 blogs per day, with a back link back to your website, the end result will be an extra 100 incoming links per month, or 1,200 links per year – with little effort on your own part.)

    …a month has an average of 30 days and a year of 12 months. A 3 blogs per day would have a possibility of having 3 backlinks. So multiplied by 30 days a month would come up with 90 backlinks. Basic rounding off method would suggest that we’ll make it 100 backlinks per month. Eventually in a year you will have a total of 1200 in which you have this with 12months.

    Thanks for the idea Loren! :)

  44. Loren you may actually get 100 comments by Halloween. I’m not so sure though that the types of comments you are getting is generating content of the nature that is going to help you. But hey you invited us to the party so where’s the beer ?

  45. Thanks for all of the comments and sharing of information. I’ve been playing with the NoFollow to see how the usage of NoFollow to filter outgoing links effects this site’s Google rankings.

    So, sometimes you’ll see NoFollow being used, and sometimes you won’t. I foresee in the near future however a permanent decision, leaning towards not using NoFollow for all comment links :)

  46. I read your post, it’s really good at least it can give some hints to others that how useful blog these days are and how one can utilize their valuable views to benefit their business online.

  47. Ronlad, nofollow tells the search engines NOT to follow the link it just found while crawling a particular page. For example if you right click on this page, click view source, find eurotechelite, the next command is a nofollow. However if I click on your name, it is a live link and I go to your site, just as you would go to my site if you just so happen to click on my name.

  48. Ah i see. So meaning this site will not follow with the url. It will just open to another tab I guess.hmmmnnn… Thank you Oneunder. I’ll be clicking your link now to go to thegolfballfactory.com…:)

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  50. This is a great post which explains the true value of commenting & link building

    Regards, Resonate
    SEO, SEM, Web Standards Consultant
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  51. Backlinks are very important for increasing your PageRank and link popularity. However, please be considerate and don’t spam other people’s comment box just for the sake of backlinks. Thank you

  52. The no keyword in username field suggestion, I didn’t create it as anchor text. I live in Hawaii and do SEO and I hought it was both memorable and descriptive. Also… People love Hawaii & SEO, so I hoped that those positive feelings would transfer to me by association, then link that signature to an MFA website… You might have your comment deleted regardless of the quality, The problem is bloggers need to write something compelling for me to leave a comment

  53. I ended up at this blog searching for a way to find out if blog commenting is still important. I am glad I am sold to it now!
    I am going to:
    1. Find list of do follow blogs and comment on them regularly – valid comments which make sense and add value.
    2. Comment on relevant blogs (even if they do have no-follow)

    There is a product out there called comment hut. I am wondering whether it is worth the $100 to buy it. Any opinions?

  54. Loren- I have been watching this list of sometimes meaningless comments grow since July and have reviewed them today. Now I have some idea as why your commentors were commenting, but I’m not really sure of what benefit all this was to Search Engine Journal. Perhaps you could do a blog entry “Why I allowed so many spammy entries in my quest to collect 100 comments .” Thanks

  55. Funny how I never thought about blog commenting as a valid source of links considering the no follow attribute, but despite the no follow, I must admit blog comments do produce click through traffic from a very targeted group of piers (a PR 7 or 8 link never hurt anybody) to boot.

    I really enjoyed the suggestion to find relevant on topic blogs to leave intelligent comments three times a day, as a valid source of page strength, link popularity bone fide link building.

    In fact link diversity is really the name of the game after all.

    Great post…

  56. This is definitely important and something that we all should do more, so long as our comments are genuine. I think if you take the time to read the blog post you are commenting on, and make a legit comment about that post, you help yourself by getting a link, and everyone else as well.

  57. Well i got the link to this site from one of my friends blog,and it was a really nice experience to read the entire post.Very helpful for new bloggers like me.

    Cheers

  58. Great advice on link building. I like the idea of having staff members block out time for posting comments on blogs, the links would add up quickly.

  59. You made a believer out of me…now let’s see if it works…3 comments a day shouldn’t be too hard…I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  60. I’ve been trying this strategy for the last week for a newer site I launched a few months ago and just saw our site move from 300 to 100 for our main keyword in Yahoo. Really surprised at how well it works! I’ve been mainly commenting on blogs that appear on digg’s first page which may be helping as well.

  61. Great post!…I try to do this myself weekly, and it does pay off. It gets your name and site out there for more people to see it

  62. Blog commenting is indeed a good way to build inbound links and reputation over a period of time. 3 blogs comments which adds value will only takes you less than 30 mins of reading and writing. Why not?