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If you search Google for “how to create backlinks”, most of the search results suggest commenting on other people’s blogs.
Does “blog commenting” work today?
The answer to this question is: Yes, It works.
However, the way it works is different than how it worked 5 years ago.
Google’s Look on Blog Commenting
Before I share my opinions on how to use blog comments for SEO, I want to quote from Matt Cutts as he is the head of Google’s webspam team.
Google’s Matt Cutts said:
“I leave topically relevant comments on topically relevant sites all the time. So somebody posts an SEO conspiracy theory and I’m like, “No, that’s not right,” I’ll show up and a leave a comment that says, “Here is the pointer that shows this is not correct,” or, “Here’s the official word,” or something like that. And I’ll just leave a comment with my name, and often even point to my blog rather than Google’s webmaster blog, because I’m just representing myself. So lots of people do that all the time and it is completely fine.“
So what we know, blog commenting is safe and a natural part of networking with the other people online. We shouldn’t worry once we leave a genuine comment under a blog post we have an opinion about.
Matt Cutts continued to explain where the problem with blog comments start:
“The sorts of things that I would start to worry about is it’s better to often leave your name so someone knows who they are dealing with, rather than “cheap study tutorials” or “fake driver’s license”, or whatever the name of your business is, often that will get a chillier reception than if you show up with your name.”
He warns people not to create fake personas trying to deceive Google’s algorithm with blog commenting.
Blog commenting was used as a very common blackhat link building practice. Many blackhat SEO practitioners commented under blogs with keyword-rich comments, and they also used the name section as the keyword that they wanted to rank for. Because the name section is the anchor text linking to the commenter’s website.
Matt Cutts also hinted that Google uses a mathematical formula that proportions percentage of blog comment links to overall backlink profile.
“If your primary link building strategy is to leave comments all over the web, to the degree that you have a huge fraction of your link portfolio comments, and no real people linking to you, then at some point that can be considered a link scheme. At a very high level, we reserve the right to take action on any sort of deceptive or manipulative link schemes that we consider to be distorting or rankings.”
Google very likely measures the proportion of any type of your backlinks to your overall backlink profile.
For instance, if you have a very high percentage of image submission or pdf submissions links in your portfolio, it can also work against you.
Matt Cutts added that if you are leaving a handful of blog comments under your favorite blogs and linking back to your website, you’re safe.
“But if you just doing regular organic comments and not doing it as an “OK, I have to leave this many comments a day every single day because that’s what I’m doing to build links to my sites,” you should be completely fine and it’s not the sort of thing you should be worried about it all.”
Why Does Blog Commenting Work?
Blog commenting works to help SEO. Both for the blog owner and the one leaves a comment under content. However, it is important to follow the right practices that Google recommends.
Allowing Blog Comments On Our Website
If you own a blog it may be a good idea to let other people comment under your content. It is a great way for people to engage your content and build your brand.
However, if not moderated well you will only get people spamming your website.
Here are the benefits of hosting blog comments on your website.
# Expands Main Content
Blog commenting expands our content by having more relevant text on our pages. I have seen many posts that are about 2,000 words long and expanded to 20,000 words because people engaged with the content and added their opinions about the topic. It is very much like having free content since we don’t need to write it from scratch.
Also, we as human are curious creatures. Most people spend more time reading the comments section than the actual content itself. It increases the time spent on site which is an important quality metric Google uses.
# Covers More Keywords
Expanding blog content will naturally cover more keywords. The more people comment under our post the more keywords our content acquires.
I have heard some people claim that it may change the keyword density of our content. I don’t think it is something to worry about. Because multiple numbers of comments from different audience profile will balance keyword density by itself.
# Freshness Ranking Factor
We already know Google counts “freshness” as a ranking factor. Because fresher content is more likely to help people today. Having blog comments under our content will invite search engine spiders to crawl our page more frequently.
Search engines will find additional information every time they visit our content. Having blog comments on a frequent basis will definitely bring our site a constant freshness boost.
# Sets You As An Authority
The more people comment on your blog, the higher the chances for you to set yourself as an influencer and expert in your niche. Allowing other people to provide their opinions around your content is a great way to grow your website’s authority.
# Increases Brand Awareness
There is no better way to build brand awareness for your website. Yes, you can spend money on Facebook or Adwords ads to introduce your brand to the market. However, in the long run, it is not as sustainable as having free promotion by allowing people to comment on your blog.
# Increases Search Engine Rankings
Higher user engagement, more comprehensive content, improved brand awareness will work together to boost your search engine rankings.
Commenting On Other People’s Blogs
Although the majority of the blog comments links are nofollow links and don’t pass link juice, they are still links. It will bring authority and definitely referral traffic to your website if used smartly.
Finding high authority blogs that people genuinely share their opinions and commenting on those blogs will boost your SEO rankings.
To find those blogs you will need to make a simple Google search by using advanced search operators.
For example, if you want to find blogs in your niche to comment type in Google search
“Add new comment” + “your keyword”
“Post a comment” + “your keyword”
“Leave a reply” + “your keyword”
“Leave a comment” + “your keyword”
You can even find educational or governmental sites to comment on.
site:.edu “you must be logged in to comment”
site:.gov “you must be logged in to comment”
There are so many different search combinations can be used depending upon the websites you want to leave a comment.
Comment Only To The Websites In Your Niche
If you have a blog about hiking you wouldn’t want to have a comment link from a site about aquarium fishes. Although it wouldn’t directly harm your website, it wouldn’t bring any benefit since it is not relevant to your niche.
Read The Full Post
Always read the full post before leaving any comment. Not reading the full copy is not only disrespectful to the author but also will lower your chances for your comment to get approved.
Use Your Real Name
Don’t use nicknames or fake personas. More transparent you become better blog commenting benefits your website. Why would anyone want to hide his/her original name if a genuine comment planning to leave?
Don’t Leave A Spammy Comment
Don’t just leave a spammy comment to have a backlink. Write an informed opinion about the discussion that people would love your participation. Don’t forget the goal is to contribute to the community and introducing ourselves with our well-prepared comment.
A good comment will definitely raise curiosity for people to click your link and visit your website.
Appreciate The Work Author Created
Don’t hesitate to thank people for the great work they have made. People love to get flattered. It will also increase the chances for your blog comment to get approved.
Find something you can create a genuine comment around
It is always the best picking up a specific part of the content and providing a comment with an authentic look. Writing comments like “I love your content” is not genuine enough since it doesn’t give an idea why you love the content.
Try Linking To An Internal Page On Your Website
Try linking to an internal page that most relevant to the blog post you are commenting on. It is not only more natural but more effective to bring traffic to your most relevant page.
Don’t drop Links In Your Comments
It is a bad blog commenting practice leaving your link into your comment. These types of comments are likely to get rejected even it intends making a genuine contribution.
Try Asking Questions That Engages Author
If the post is about “white hat SEO strategies” and you like it, you can simply comment as “I love your informative post. It really educates us. Can you also write a post about black hat SEO strategies?”
This type of comment is very likely to get approved. Because it is genuine, engaging and appreciating the author.
Avoid Leaving Comments To Sites Have Many Comments
Sites with many blog comments are likely to have an easy to get approved moderation. Spammy comments and low-quality websites can pass through the moderation of these websites.
Also, too many comments can be a sign of auto-approved blog comments which is a playground for automated link building strategies.
Filter the page you want to comment by searching certain spammy words. I am not going to type the list of those words because I don’t want my content to cover them. You can simply make a Google search to find those keywords.
If you come across even one comment that is obvious to be spam, quit the site and never comment on it.
Final Opinions About Link Building With Blog Comments
If you think you will not overdo it, build backlinks by commenting on other people’s blogs. It is definitely a low hanging fruit and offers great versatility for our backlink portfolio.
Blog commenting can be particularly helpful for new websites to get out of Google sandbox.
Manual blog commenting is fine, but if you want to find higher quality blogs that match with different search criterias I would recommend using some type of tool like Scrapebox.
All in all, it is up to you including blog commenting into your arsenal of link building strategies. Moderation is key, and many times the less can be well enough.