Digg & the Power of Commenting on Blogs

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Digg & the Power of Commenting on Blogs

On Saturday a story from Search Engine Journal on GMail storage space made it to the front page of Digg, resulting in :

  • Over 2,500 Diggs
  • 24,000 unique visitors over the course of the weekend
  • About 50 links from blogs covering the SEJ story (including Gizmodo)
  • 139 comments on the Digg page
  • 29 comments here on Search Engine Journal

GMail Diggs

The piece was the most Dugg story on Saturday, I can’t imagine the results if this had made it to Digg.com Monday – Thursday.

Tracking Outbound Links

When reviewing the site traffic statistics via MyBlogLog over the weekend, I noticed some very interesting outlinking trends from the GMail story.

The story sent the following amounts of outbound Search Engine Journal traffic to these sites:

  1. FileHippo : 1,087 users
  2. WindowsVistaUserGuide : 387 users
  3. NirajSanghvi.com : 137 users

If I look at the total outbound links from Digg users that day, links in comments were hands down the most popular:

Digg User Outbound Links:

  • Comment Links : 10%
  • Story links : 1%
  • Other SEJ posts & SEJ Search : 1%
  • Display Advertisement Links : .75%
  • Google AdSense Links : .5%
  • Blogroll and other outbound links : .5%

I find these stats intriguing as the NirajSangvhi.com site was the original blog post a cited for the news story. The other two outbound links were not in the news piece, but instead found in the comments.

Digg Users Love Comments

Digg readers love information and the fact that they did not follow the links in the GMail post proves to me that since the information from those pages was already presented on SEJ and on Digg.com, those readers did not want to waste their time with reliving the same info.

Digg readers did however follow the post into the comments area where a SEJ reader suggested using a program called GMail Drive for uploading and storing files on GMail.

Gmail Drive

This comment was the fifth comment after the post, and addressed the concern of another commenter. The link was to the FileHippo.com GMail Drive download page. From one comment planned at the right time, FileHippo attracted over 1,000 trickle down Digg users.

What really caught my attention was a different link in the comments. The FileHippo link seems to have been placed as a suggestion, but another user commented with an obvious “spammy” link their posting, via a signature style link to WindowsVistaUserGuide.com.

Windows Vista

The comment, left by James, was useless and gave no information. It was also the 11th comment in the string (amazing), but the link resulted in 387 clicks from SEJ to the WindowsVistaUserGuide.com.

James is obviously scanning blogs which appear on Digg and ‘contributing’ to the comments with a bit of spammy, yet somewhat targeted text, and the link to his site. If James’s site attracted almost 400 users from this comment ‘spam’ alone, I wonder how many users James attracts to his site in a week by commenting on blogs which appear on Digg? My guess is somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 users.

Lessons Learned for Blog Comment Marketing

Participating in blog comments is an Internet and social marketing strategy which yields multiple benefits.

Besides building your own reputation and traffic to your site via commenting (most blog comments offer linking capability), the end results also include the establishment of incoming links with desired Anchor Text to your site which are important for SEO.

In looking at the FileHippo comment and the WindowsVistaUserGuide.com, I believe that some middle ground between the two would be the set up for excellent comment participation marketing.

  1. Scour Digg, Reddit, TechCrunch, Del.icio.us popular, SlashDot and other sites for references which lead to popular blogs related to your industry.
  2. Don’t comment on Digg.com comments with a link to your site, you’ll get buried 99% of the time and sabotage your reputation.
  3. Take the time to read the blog post.
  4. Place a comment which addresses the story, holes in the story, or a counterpoint.
  5. Use your own name when filling out the comment form, don’t use Anchor Text.
  6. Link to a page for more information in the comment itself if needed.
  7. By contributing to the discussion and not spamming it, you’re positioning yourself and your site, or suggested site, as an authority.
  8. Monitor the comments made by others after yours, you may want to revisit and address the concerns of others.
  9. Rinse & repeat.
Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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