Digg & the Power of Commenting on Blogs

SMS Text

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.
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  • Ahmed Bilal

    3. Take the time to read the blog post.

    you think they would, but they dont 🙂 If they did, they’d probably learn something better than using comments to get traffic to their sites 🙂

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Yeah Ahmed, but not to belittle comment participation as a form of traffic building.

    I mean, almost 400 users for a 10 second comment, not bad 🙂

  • Cvos SEO

    Another benefit to commenting on hot blog posts is historical traffic. I still see clickthroughs on comments I made a year ago on dugg stories.

  • Ahmed Bilal


    didn’t mean to diminish the importance of comment participation.

    It’s certainly an excellent way to win readers and get long-term traffic provided its done right.

  • Hawaii SEO

    Amazing! I comment frequently on about 50 blogs. If I had more time, I would comment more often. I don’t do this for any other reason than for my own enjoyment.

    However… As a side effect, I have made some great friends and connections that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. What little traffic I do get to my own blog (which is usually neglected) is from comments I have made on other blogs. I have never tried to use this as a marketing strategy but it’s good to know.

  • Mike

    Great info Loren, spot on as usual. Congrats on the server excitement over the weekend.

  • Lucas Castro

    I live in brasil. Here we don’t have a digg. Thus, digg doesnt work well for another languages…

    So, there is no boom here, but i like digg and sej 😉

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Lucas, fazemos um Digg por Brasil, que idea boa!

    I do agree that the right people working in the right International markets could take advantage of the lack of Digg in other countries. Brasil would be a perfect example. I could envision your company launching a Digg for Brasil, and people loving and using it.

  • Ahmed Bilal

    Loren – since its an idea mentioned on SEJ, maybe you should start it? 🙂

  • Andy Beard

    I have seen traffic from Digg stories where I have commented, but never in those numbers.

    Then again I rarely drop links in message bodies for comments, because they are more than likely to be caught by comment filters.

  • Roman Viliavin

    This is a great idea to find out popular themes in Digg (and others as well). I used only direct commenting without seeking what’s popular now.

    Thanks for a great coverage Loren!

  • Ravi Karandeekar

    Oh my god! Loren, this is quite a time consuming job & honest hard work! I don’t mind doing it. In fact, i do it quite often but without expecting any fruits/returns. See, my blog, Ravi Karandeekar’s Blog, is local (Pune, India) and about Real Estate Marketing. Not a typical Realtor stuff with listings. Niche in the niche! So sometimes i wonder, why i am westing my time? What i am going to get out of this? Traffic? No Way! But you sound very logical and you have made me think and find some creative solution to generate traffic by commenting. Thanks!

  • Spirulina Wizard

    Whenever i have tried to leave a link in digg comments the html link just never works. I only leave relevent comments and will link to one of my sites only if it is of use to the original post readers so why does digg ignore my html?

  • Goji-Girl

    I have seen this method used more and more frequently but although it may be a good trick to drive traffic to a site it’s not targeted traffic and therefore pretty much useless unless your site is packed with paid affiliate links and google ads. For those with real products to sell from their sites, their time is definitely better spent elsewhere.

  • SEO Web Design

    This is a good link bait even though the writer may not have the intention of creating it. This is a good example of unique and quality content get natural links and traffic.

  • The Spirulina Guy

    The use of this in internet marketing is now proven. Taking a little time to read the artical and post a commet that adds somthing to the page is the kind thing to do, other wise its just a little rude. After all, all we are tring to do is make the internet a better place.