Commenting & Popular Posts: Should You Target Them?

Steven24 responsesBlogging
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Leaving comments on blog posts is one way of building backlinks. And the more backlinks you build from high ranking domains, the better your blog’s ranking with the search engines. So, yes, you should leave comments on highly ranked posts. Should you leave a comment on every highly ranked post you see? Now that’s a whole ‘nother story.

better blog commenting

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I remember the first time someone left a comment on my very first blog. I was so excited. I felt my blog had finally been “found” and I was only inches away from success. The next day there was another comment, and the next day another. It was three weeks before I finally realized I’d been had by some spammy blogger just trying to build backlinks. I deleted every single one and found myself some good spam detecting software.

The moral of the story is this: If you’re just wandering around Cyberspace dropping links at every blog you come across you’re eventually going to be found out and those links will be deleted. You’ll have wasted all that time and energy for nothing. All bloggers eventually learn the difference between sincere comments and spam and guess which comments get deleted.

Your time would be much better spent doing the following:

Identify high ranking blogs that are relevant to your niche. You can leave comments all over the Web if you want to but why bother? If your comments are engaging then other people reading those blogs are going to follow your link back to your blog. That extra traffic is nice but it’s not targeted. In other words, if you’re blogging about baby care you don’t need traffic from a sports blog so you’re only wasting your time leaving comments there.

Actually read the blog post you’re commenting on. Your comment should add to the conversation and that’s hard to do if you don’t know what the conversation’s about. When it’s obvious a commentor hasn’t read my post I just delete the comment.

Take time crafting your comment. Once you’ve read the post, sit back and think about it. How can you contribute to the conversation. “Nice post. Thanks.” contributes nothing at all and simply lets the blogger know you’re just there for the links. Again – DELETE.

Your goal is to make your comment stick so you can get that backlink however, if your comment engages other readers they might just click your link and come to your blog, too.

Subscribe to the comments when you’re finished. Crafting a well-written, thought-provoking comment also encourages other readers to engage with you, right there in the comments on someone else’s blog. Make sure you subscribe to the comments before you leave that blog so you don’t miss anything.

Don’t try to get spammy with your links. Most bloggers have set up their blogs so you can link your name with a URL. This URL doesn’t have to be your homepage, you can use any link you like. In fact, it’s better if you link to deeper content on your blog. Link out to an article that’s relevant to the one you’re commenting on. But don’t try to include anchor text or URLs in the body of your comment. Most bloggers consider this rude and it’s just one more reason to hit that delete button.

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  1. Ryan Sides

    I’ve never used blog comments as an actual link building strategy (although I’ve heard others do. And I’ve seen it first hand on one of my blogs). Wouldn’t google take into consideration what type of link is being used (ie comment link) in their algo and weight it less than a quality link?

    Have you seen first hand search engine rankings go up on account of comment links?

    1. Hi Ryan, it has indeed been said by Google that a comment link has less value than an in-context related link. However, don’t forget that working on your link profile, you need to have diversity.

  2. Bri Clark

    Hey Hun, I think your spot on here. But my personal guide is if I don’t make the first 25 comments I don’t comment at all. Back link or not I want to be heard. Now don’t get me wrong if I wanted to comment but wasn’t the first 25 I’ll at least share it and add my thoughts as I share it.

    1. Hey Bri, even if you don’t make it into the top 25 comments, you’ll be heard by the original blogger, and you’ll be part of the discussion. Moreover, you can post replies to the first 25 comments and get the discussion more lively…

  3. Ian Cleary

    Comments on blogs are typically no follow links so it’s not a link building strategy. It can drive traffic back to your site but the primary reason you should comment is to form a relationship with the blogger and their community.

    1. Hey Ian, blog commenting IS actually a link building strategy. A lot of blogs have DO-follow comments. And even if that’s not the case, building your website’s link profile is all about balance. It’s a good thing to build links, even no-follow ones because it will make your link profile look more natural.

    2. Ian Cleary

      I think in the new world we should be talking about building relationships and influence and having conversations with bloggers is one way of doing this.

    3. Agreed! Building relationships with your fellow bloggers as well as your readers is the key to building a successful blog!

  4. I get many comments from spammer who post comments that almost seem legit, and really they are just generic enough to almost not fool me. Sad for those spammers to tease my nerdy little ego!

    1. I hear you… I see plenty of these generic comments saying how amazing you/your-blog/your-post are.

  5. Izzy

    I agree that leaving well written and thought out comments is a good strategy, not only for backlinks, but also to strike up relationships with other bloggers and webmasters.I also disagree with the comment above that it is not a link building strategy because most are no-follow, I have seen sites rank on nothing more than blog comment links plus it is always a good idea to have a mix of no-follow and do-follow links in your backlink profile.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

  6. I also receive a lot of spam comments, but it’s not porn as you might guess. Mostly they are from unknown web shops or listings. it’s clear that owners of those service have bought a package of web site traffic without thinking the quality of traffic at all. Sad.

    1. Yes, it is quite sad indeed that people still buy this kind of spam link packages…

  7. Yes, sometimes I do that. I mean, I normally read and comment on posts I find interesting and where I have something to say. However, many times I just find a post/blog because of the huge number of comments or “+1” it already has, and then I read it and I am more willing to comment than when I read and see no comments at all. BUT, since I do have my own blog I really appreciate the importance comments have, and how well you feel when you see a new comment, so in last times I do participate more by commenting posts when I find them interesting.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Manuel.

  8. Julia Spencer

    Well, I think that your policy of commenting is a little bit strict, but of course, this is your business

    1. Sometimes you need to set some boundaries… I know it’s a little strict but I’m sure that my blog will stay clean and provide as much valuable information as possible to my readers.

  9. Jacob Curtis

    I fell for the spam comments as well! Guilty as charged!

    I was too excited thinking “my blog had been found” I didn’t realize it was all just spam!

    I still haven’t had my first “real” comment on my social media tutorial blog yet, however I will start to use your filtering methods if/when my blog starts picking up more comments.

    Can you explain why it’s better to link to deeper portions of your blog?

    1. We all did.. no worries.

      It’s better to link to deep pages of your blog because it brings more linkjuice to these pages and improves their search engine rankings.

  10. Anita Hovey

    Interesting. I’ve often wondered whether or not this would be worth my time. Is there any way to tell if the comment sections are DoFollow or not? For that matter…how can I tell if MINE is? LOL

    1. Hello Anita, the easiest way to see if a blog is DoFollow or NoFollow is to visit an article where there is already a comment and check the source code of the page to see if there is rel="nofollow" on the comment author’s link.

  11. Some good advice here, now how do we get it into the hands of those that need it? ;)

    Half the comment spam out there is done my automated software, which is why the G.A.S.P plugin works so well (the tickbox that asks you to tick if you are not a spammer.
    It is hard to tell comments that are an inexperienced or don’t speak English as their first language blogger trying to make their first few comments or a scammer, I mean spammer trying to sucker you. I use Comment Luv so I can see what content they are trying to linking back too, if it looks legit, then I approve it.

    1. Hey Sarah,

      For now I like the way GASP contributes to stopping spam in the comments, but don’t get fooled, it’s only a matter of time until the spam tools’ programmers find a way around it.

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