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I was asked by a friend today if posting comments on blogs with no follows is a good way to build links for SEO. When I asked him what other strategies he had for acquiring links he mentioned this was going to be primary source of link building!

Why link building using comments is on its way out?

Just like the good old days where keyword stuffing and meta tag stuff used to work quiet well, search engines and especially Google are now catching on to comment spamming.

Links in comments are now devalued regardless whether or not if they have no follows. This is a direct response to the huge amount of spam comments now appearing on blogs, if you have ever ran a blog of your own, you will know what I mean, even the most obscure, hard to find blogs on the strangest topics can attract spam comments.

Its actually not hard for search engines to determine if  a link is from the comments section of a blog, a quick look at the code in wordpress.

<ol class=”commentlist”>
<li id=”comment-1372″>
<a id=”comments”>

Not hard for search engines to look for these tags and devalue the link-juice within them is it?

Don’t despair, comments are still useful

While comments are no longer useful for link-juice / reputation passing, they are still useful for the following reasons;

Driving qualified traffic

Lets say you own a fishing / lure store and you come across a blog post from someone complaining he isn’t catching any fish. This would be a perfect opportunity for you to leave a comment with fishing tips and suggest some lures he could use; at the end of the comment, be honest and say you own a fishing store where they purchase these products, with one link to your website, not ten!

You already have the target audience thanks to the blog post, now its simply putting together a well constructed comment.

Be mindful how you structure the reply, comments that look like a cut and paste job or advertising fluff will be deleted. Trust me, these type of comments are not hard to spot.

Ask yourself, are you providing any added value to the post, if a friend came to you with a complaint that he isn’t catching any fish. Are you going to give him a bunch of random lure names without telling him why he should use them? Of course not, be conversational. don’t write your comments like robots, because they will be treated like one.

Quicker Indexing

Comment links can also be used to get your website indexed quicker by search engines, if your website is new and not showing up in Google index; it is most likely in Google’s Sandbox.

A method I have found to be useful is using blog comments on popular blogs to naturally drive Googlebot to your sand boxed website.

Follow the advise above with comment structure and don’t spam. You will find once you have a few decent comments approved on blogs, it will move out of the sandbox faster, in most cases I have found this process to be faster than manually submitting your website to Google.

( Don’t forget to setup a Google webmasters account, if your sites not been found it could be other issues causing it, don’t assume its just been sandboxed, I will be posting about Google Webmaster Tool soon, stay tuned )

Making Connections

Blog commenting is one of the simplest form of Social Media Marketing! Good comments generate discussion, and this is what every blog owner wants. Subscribe to comment updates via email so you know when someone else has responded to your comment, this is where you can really engage with your target audience and offer your services / products.

Good comments can still land you juicy backlinks, most blog owners appreciate good comments and will reward you with a link from an actual post perhaps mentioning how your fishing lure has helped him catch more fish!

Not only do you get a backlink from an actual post which would pass on the link juice, you have just gained yourself a loyal customer that will potentially refer others to your website.

Closing thoughts on blog comments

So hopefully you will take my advice and stop comment spam once and for all on the internet!
But seriously, blog commenting is a great internet marketing tool, but for link building purposes they are clearly not as useful as they used to be. If you are solely focused on an SEO campaign, cross off blog comments please!