How to Use Commenting for Effective SEO

commentingYes, it’s an obvious thing that most people tend to think that commenting is blasé. However, the fact remains that commenting can be an extremely effective method of doing SEO. In fact, it can be probably the most effective method of doing SEO. The only thing you need to know is how to do this correctly. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Commenting?

For those who are new to the whole SEO business, commenting is probably the easiest method there is for doing SEO work. After all, almost every blog and newspaper online today offers some kind of a commenting function and there are a number of software programs which can tell you which blogs have do follow commenting (though that’s not necessarily what you want – more on that soon).

Don’t Do it Wrong

However, as I said while commenting is very easy to do, it’s also possible to do it badly and in fact, it is possible to even hurt your own reputation if you do it badly. It’s all a matter of how you use the concept and what exactly you do with it.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that you don’t overdo it. You see, with the Penguin update which has recently been introduced by Google, if you spam comment boards repeatedly, you can actually find your website penalized. Never mind that a great many websites will permanently ban references to your website if you happen to leave spam comments all over the place.

Speaking of Spam

footprint

You know the old saying, leaving nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures? Well here, you should leave nothing but useful comments and take nothing but information. No Spam!

For some reason that I simply cannot fathom, millions of people still think that they should use software which will spread spam comments far and wide using badly formatted spintax. The comments generally don’t the slightest bit of sense and are never ever the slightest bit relevant to the blog posts that are being comment on.

These comments also pretty much never get published on blogs which are worth getting them published on (decent blogs and websites tend to manage their systems and will delete comments which are worthless or will even refuse to post comments until they are checked by a moderator).

However, in spite of all this, such nonsensical junk clogs every website on the planet and everybody who has a comment board of any kind tends to have thousands of such spam comments in their spam filters.

The Right Way to Use Spintax

I personally don’t support using spintax in most cases because it’s too easy to mess things up. However, if you insist on trying to use some kind of automation to post comments on thousands of blogs at a single time, there is a way to use spintax (by the way, for those who are not familiar, spintax means that you can create multiple versions of the same comment so they look unique to Google).

Basically, this does require a little more forethought than the generic junk, with the “nice blog, I’ll definitely keep looking” variety. In essence, the way you do this is to create a generic comment which is specific to a particular subject.

So for example, let’s say you wanted to target the keyword “high risk car insurance pool.” This is a fairly specific keyword which gets a decent number of searches each month. It refers to a special kind of car insurance for those who have had multiple accidents and need to pay a small fortune to buy car insurance from special companies because the regular insurers won’t touch them.

The thing about the high risk car insurance pool is that unless you keep having accidents, nobody stays in the pool permanently. Eventually, if you keep your driving record clean, you can get out of it. So, you might create a spintax which mentions this in a generic way. For example:

{All I have to say | The only thing to say| The one thing I can say} {about|regarding|in regards to} the high risk car insurance pool is that it’s {at least temporary| something you don’t have to live with forever|a problem that eventually goes away}.

The above spintax formatted paragraph will yield dozens of variations of the same comment and unlike the generic junk that most people use spintax for, it actually makes logical sense and sounds like something which a real person might say. The thing is, it’s tricky to do this correctly and I find that most people who use spintax tend to do it extremely badly.

Don’t Just Go for Do Follow Blogs

Another common mistake that many people when they start using commenting as a way to build up their stock of backlinks is that they immediately rush to find only the do follow blogs to leave their comments on. There may once upon a time have been a good reason for doing this but these days, doing so can hurt you more than help you.

First and foremost, more than ever before, Google has been hunting down websites which engage in over optimization. That’s what the Penguin update was all about. Now think about this logically. If you were to look for natural kinds of links, would you expect that 95% of the links to your website would be on do follow websites and just 5% would be on no follow sites?

In reality, if you were creating links purely organically rather than engaging in SEO, which is after all an effort to manipulate the system, the majority of your links would be no follow because the most popular websites on the Internet tend to be no follow websites (which makes good sense when you consider the fact that so many leading blog owners made their sites no follow to discourage spammers).

Google’s engineers are not stupid and I can imagine that even though they may not index no follow links, they probably use algorithms which note the number of no follow links as a percentage compared with do follow links. They then do some logical figuring and realize that you are obviously engaged in over-optimization. Then, wham, you get dropped in the rankings.

You Also Lose Out On Some Quality Sites

In addition to this, you need to remember that no follow links posted on a popular blog are infinitely more useful than do follow links posted on a blog which barely ever gets any traffic. After all, the original reason for links in comments was to allow people to follow interesting commenters back to their original websites so that they could see what else the person has to say.

Bottom line, don’t be afraid of the no follow links. Just go ahead and look for quality websites which deal with your own niche and leave good comments.

Speaking of Leaving Good Comments

mona lisa

Your comment doesn't have to be a masterpiece, but it should be worthwhile to look at.

If you want even more exposure for your links, take the time to leave quality, thoughtful comments on the blog which you visit. This is one of the reasons that I said that even using spintax correctly as above is not the best of ideas. Remember that if you leave a good quality comment on a popular blog, you are likely to attract lots of people to follow the link and see what else you have to say.

Those spintaxed comments, even if they make sense and get posted won’t necessarily give your potential readers any reason to drop by and see what else you have to say. Of course, they do serve a purpose – on less trafficked blogs, you may want to use quality spintax comments in order to automate creating more link variety.

However, for the better known blogs, be sure to write comments which are original and insightful and which actually show that you read what the article had to say. Not only will you be more likely to get traffic from it, but you may also get mentioned by the blog owner in an update to the blog post or in a later blog post.

Try to Be Amongst the First 10 Commenters (Ideally First 5)

This is a great trick to follow for the popular blogs. A blog which isn’t getting much traffic anyway will probably not have too many comments on any given blog post. However, if a blog is constantly visited by people, there could be hundreds and in some cases even thousands of comments on a single blog post.

Let’s face it – unless you are extremely masochistic and or have an unnatural abiding interest in whatever the blog post happens to be about, you are not going to bother reading through the hundreds or thousands of comments on a particular article. Instead, you’ll look at the first few. Perhaps as many as the first 10, though many don’t get past the first 4-5.

Thus, if you want to get your comment noticed by people (and as I said above, on a high traffic blog, this could mean thousands of direct hits which have nothing to do with Google and other search engines), you need to be in a realistic spot. Of course, even the 100th comment has some value – a handful of people may scroll through and of course, Google may index it, but you get the idea…

Don’t Forget Disqus Profiles

Disqus is a new commenting system which has been adopted by a number of leading online magazines and blogs. To the best of my knowledge, links on Disqus are no follow. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, Disqus comments are themselves not indexed at all by Google and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo.

However, Disqus also has a feature which few people pay attention to. It allows you to include a short “description” of yourself in your name title. So it would appear as “EricHammer, Writer, Journalist.” You can write anything you want there though, including the address of your website. This means effectively that on a popular newspaper or blog, you can get direct traffic with interesting comments left on the site.

By the way, speaking of Disqus, most sites do allow you to post without the need to wait for a moderator to approve your comment as long as you are a registered Disqus user. You can also (in many cases, though not all), post a link in your comment without it going into moderation (a handful do ban particular words and or require that comments with links be approved).

This means that you can write interesting comments and include a link back to your website which everyone will be able to click on these places. And while those links are as I said, no follow links, they do serve the purpose of grabbing plenty of direct traffic back to your website and will generally not be removed unless you were engaging in obvious spam.

CommentLuv

I wrote about CommentLuv in the past and it was one of our most popular posts here, garnering dozens of comments. This service does two things. First and foremost, it turns on do follow commenting on your website. This in and of itself will encourage people to leave comments on your site because they know the comments will be indexed.

In addition to this, CommentLuv sites also often include a front page sidebar widget which actually gives the top commenters on a particular website some additional exposure. This means that you don’t just get a comment buried on an inner page but you get a link on the front page, which makes it much more valuable.

Finding CommentLuv enabled sites is a bit of an effort though. You can either search for them using Google (i.e. search for “leave a comment” AND “CommentLuv.”) or you can use the CommentLuv search engine to find blogs which are relevant to your own website.

Bottom Line

If you use commenting correctly, it can easily be one of the most powerful tools there is in the SEO tool chest. On the other hand, if you don’t do it correctly, you can easily end up wasting your time or even worse, causing your site to be de-indexed or at least drop in the rankings.

8 thoughts on “How to Use Commenting for Effective SEO

  1. Thanks for the overview on commentin, but I am very skeptical that commenting provides much in the way of an SEO benefit. Given that comment links do not signal content quality, the search engines probably attempt to minimize the weight they assign to them. However, I agree with you that commenting on sites that include links back to your website generates visitor traffic, can be a good relationship builder, and gets you name in front of a larger audience

  2. I especially like the information regarding nofollow in terms of the penguin update. I admit that I’m still a bit confused, however it seems that natural links reamin the key.

    1. Listen, that’s my own idea. I cannot absolutely promise that no follow links are useful but my guess is that they do allow your link portfolio to look much more natural than they otherwise might.

    1. Glad we could help. Is there any specific thing that you really liked or that we can further expand on for you?

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