Remember back in the days when commenting on other blogs used to be a legitimate SEO tactic? You could get links back to your website simply by leaving a comment. Of course, this quickly turned very spammy, and to this day, you still see some people (and tons of bots) leaving irrelevant comments with keyword rich backlinks on blogs all across the web.
It’s no secret that blog commenting simply doesn’t cut it for SEO anymore. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other benefits to being an active commenter. When you leave quality, insightful comments on other blogs, you can build valuable relationships with the blogger and his or her readers. It can help position you as an expert, and it could drive a little traffic back to your website. These are good things! But even if you have the best intentions, you still need to make sure you’re going about commenting the right way. You don’t want to do things that might make you look like a spammer.
In a recent video, Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts answered the following question:
“Google’s Webmaster Guidelines discourage forum signature links but what about links from comments? Is link building by commenting against Google Webmaster Guidelines? What if it’s a topically relevant site and the comment is meaningful?”
In his response, Matt said:
“I leave topically relevant comments on topically relevant sites all the time. So, if 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 that’s not correct’ or ‘Here’s the official word,’ or something like that. And I’ll just leave a comment with my name, and I’ll even often even point to my blog rather than Google’s webmaster blog or something like that, because I’m just representing myself. So lots of people do that all the time and it is completely fine.
The sorts of things that I would start to worry about is it’s better often to leave your name so someone knows who they’re dealing with, rather than “cheap study tutorials” or “fake driver’s license”, or whatever the name of your business is, often that will get a chillier reception than if you show up with your name.
If your primary link building strategy is to leave comments all over the web, to the degree that you have a huge fraction of your link portfolio in comments, and no real people linking to you, then at some point it can be considered a link scheme. At a very high level we reserve the right to take action on any sort of deceptive or manipulative link schemes that we consider to be distorting our rankings.
But if you just doing regular organic comments and not doing it as a ‘Okay, I have to leave this many comments a day every single day because that’s what I’m doing to build links to my sites,’ you should be completely fine. It’s not the sort of thing you should be worried about at all.”
So, what did we learn from Matt’s response?
- Including relevant links in your comments is fine
- Use your real name when leaving a comment. Don’t use a keyword or a company name.
- Don’t use blog commenting as a link building strategy.