Recently, I was reading a post on the ‘health benefits of brisk walking’. It was an interesting post in itself, but what attracted me more was the comment section. The writer’s effort with the content was clear but so was the carelessness of the webmaster. The comment section was filled with stuff like ‘buy cheap phones’ or ‘get better ranking in Google’. In short, they were filled with spams. Being a content writer and online marketer myself I was wondering why people are still using such black hat SEO tricks!
Aren’t we beyond that age already? The new Youtube comment powered by Google+ is a clear indication that the search giant is taking comments seriously – as a mode to start meaningful conversations. Youtube being a product of Google, it was probably easy for the search giant to put such limitations. But when it comes to blogging, it is indeed more challenging to impose such limitations. Nevertheless, Google can always penalize you for such practices.
Every day we come across blog comments where marketers use keyword rich anchor text or their company name where they should have actually used their own name. This is the segment that hyperlinks to their site and marketers think that using keyword rich phrase will help in their organic ranking. I guess these people hardly know SEO as these links do not count. Few days back, Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts published a video warning webmasters about two types of SEO practices when it comes to blog commenting.
He warned about -
Using blog commenting as one of the key link building strategies
Using your company name or keyword rich anchor text, instead of using your real name which creates a credibility
While discussing the second point, Cutts described what he does –
“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.”
This will also help you build credibility. Chances are high you already have social presence in sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where you are also participating in topics relevant to your business. These practices are often recommended and practiced by marketers; now add the blog commenting using your own name to it and you are one step closer to establish yourself as a market expert. Besides, this will help you to avoid situations like receiving a chillier reception.
For many marketers blog commenting is the key part of their link building strategy. But Google can penalize sites that have a lot of backlinks, which are coming from such blog comments. The search giant is very particular about deceptive and manipulative link schemes. Thus, websites with large numbers of link portfolio comments should immediately reconsider their link building strategy and focus on getting mentions and backlinks from quality and relevant blogs and sites while following blog commenting best practices.
While commenting on blogs, you should –
Once you have decided to leave a comment on a blog post, you should make sure you’ll add value. Forget about writing just one or two words or one sentence. At least write 3-4 lines to make your participation worthwhile. Of course, you’ll need to read the post from top to bottom.
It’s good to have a list of all those niche-relevant blogs where you would like to comment on a regular basis. What’s more important, however, is that you should be one of the early commenters. Blog posts that get 100s of comments make it difficult for readers to notice or read every comment. If your comment is one among the top 10, you’ll attract attention easily.
Link to Other Pages (not just the homepage)
Usually, people link to their website’s or blog’s homepage while leaving comments. The best idea is to link to all those site pages that you would like search engines to pay good attention to. In fact, you can also link to your own social media profiles or your company’s business pages on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.
Blog commenting is a good content marketing tactic. But you’ll attract attention, engage and build relationships only when you post comments on a regular basis to your selected blogs.
That being said, we know marketers will continue using blog and forum commenting as a part of their link building strategy. And I guess Google is not asking you to stop it entirely, but just to tone down. Even as Cutts explained that “doing regular organic comments” is completely fine and marketers need not worry about such practices unless they are bulk commenting every day just to build links.
What’s your blog commenting strategy? Please feel free to share your experiences, opinions or tips below.