Have Spammers Killed Blog Commenting For Links?

Blog Commenting For Links.

If you are using content marketing and blogging for your business you have more than likely already had a run in withSpam - Is blog commenting still worthwhile? comment spam.

Whether you use a spam filter plugin such as Akismet or moderate comments by hand you can clearly see that 99% of comments submitted are either a load of jibberish, a link filled keyword sandwich or an oddly worded ramble that has no bearing on your articles actual content.

The reality is that it’s rare for a member of the general public who visits your business website to leave a genuine comment. Commenting on blogs is usually a practice employed either by other bloggers or SEO workers.

While other bloggers and website owners may comment to add value to your post, give kudos to you as a writer and in return, get a link back to their website from a relevant page, the SEO guys just want that link.

The problem has gotten much worse in recent years with the uptake in use of auto comment submitting software, this software will push out a comment to thousands of websites in the hope of landing it on to some un-moderated blogs.

The jibberish comments you see are produced by this software when it ‘spins’ the content to make each individual comment look unique – for example “The brown dog jumps the fence” becomes “The red canine leaps a boundary”, spin that another hundred times and you get some crazy nonsense.

Spam Blog Comments

Allow or Disable Blog Comments?

For your average small business blogger it is likely that the time spent dealing with the spam will far outweigh the value of a rare thoughtful comment, I advise some of my website clients to just have comments disabled across their site.

Deciding on whether or not to allow comments on your blog depends on the type of content you produce and your goals for the website.

Allow or disable blog Comments

If you write ‘how to’ type articles then you may get a fair amount of real comments and questions, if you write about your new branding and corporate event, you probably wont.

If you want to cultivate conversation on your website you may want to encourage comments, if you would rather just educate a visitor and then have them call you, you could disable comments completely.

Some bloggers have switched from the native comment function in WordPress (or whichever content management system they use) to a third party commenting platform like Disqus, LiveFyre or to Facebook comments to enforce better commenting habits.

So if blog comments are being abused so much and webmasters are turning off the function, is there any point in commenting on other blogs to build links for SEO?

Blog Commenting For Links – The Right Way

If you want to start commenting to get backlinks you should follow these best practices to ensure your comment sticks and you don’t end up in the spam folder.

1. Be Relevant.

Take some time to find relevant blogs/websites that allow comments, read the post, absorb it and then make a comment that adds value, if you can’t add anything then ask a relevant question or play devils advocate to stimulate discussion.

2. No Thank You’s.

Just commenting to say thanks is really not worth the time, it adds nothing. At best it looks as if you have not even read the post and are just building links, at worst it looks like an auto submitted comment – either way, it’s going to get deleted.

3. Use Your Real Name.

The section of a comment form where it asks for your name is the text that is linked to the website URL you enter, so a common tactic of spammers is to use the keywords they are optimizing for as their name so that the link has the desired anchor text associated with it. Google is cracking down on over use of anchor text so it’s not a good idea to use your keywords as your name.

4. Don’t Link In The Body

Don’t add another link into your comment body text, most spam filters will wipe you out immediatley. You can only really get away with doing this if you have had comments accepted on that blog before and the link is super relevant to the topic.

5. Do It Manually

If you are commenting for backlinks it can be tempting to outsource or automate the task. If you aren’t willing to do it properly then don’t do it at all.

The real golden opportunity from commenting on blogs is not really a link back to your website.

Done well, blog commenting can allow you to tap in to another bloggers community. People who read that blog, will certainly read others, so think of your comment as an advert for YOUR content. If you appear like you too are an authority on the subject then you may well see some traffic start to flow towards your website from that comment.

And Finally…

As always you can leave a comment below this post if you have anything to add or have any questions, abide by the best practices outlined above and be among the 1 per cent of commenters who actually get published on this blog.

5 Comments

  • Treuemax August 19, 2013 at 7:20 am

    In order to get more back links to their sites, the spammers misuses the commenting facility. A moderation level should be setup so that we can check whether the comments are relevant or not.

  • Heera Krishna August 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    While commenting in a blog observing the quality of the blog should be the first thing. Getting back links from a quality page is only valuable. Read the content well and if it is interesting for you , comment on it by writing your opinion.

    • Jon Bradley September 3, 2013 at 7:47 am

      Thanks Heera,

      Yes the quality of the blog you are commenting on is of high importance, adding a link to a site over-run with spam will get you no-where.

      Jon

  • Brent September 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Hi jon,

    Nice informative article that is easy to understand for the average small business owner doing his own website seo. I do the typical website content updating and work on my homepage, trying to make it original and load faster. I didn’t know that by commenting on blogs, it helped create backlinks, but now it makes sense. Around a year ago i was in the top 3 spots of Google generic search. I have slowly been moving down to a current position on the second page, position #2. The reason is probably do to the fact that i used to comment on a couple of different websites about saltwater reef tanks and koi fish. Even though the websites I commented on have nothing to do with my website, the links must help somewhat. So its time to start commenting again and see if it helps my positioning. I would love to get back to the top spots.

    • Jon Bradley September 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Brent, thanks for reading.

      You are on the right track, intelligent, thoughtful comments on quality sites will always help as part of a varied link profile.

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