There are two major areas of search engine optimisation that websites need to get right in order to stand out and take those top spots in the search results. The first is on-page SEO, which is all about optimising a website to make it as search engine friendly as possible. The second is off-site SEO, which is all about establishing a site’s credibility by building backlinks.
Backlinks are inbound links pointing to a website from other websites. The more backlinks a site has pointing to it, and the higher the quality of those links, the stronger that site’s off-site search engine optimisation will be. That makes gaining backlinks incredibly important to strong SEO. Unfortunately, it can also be tricky to get them, not only in quantity, but just as importantly, in quality.
One way to gain backlinks is through blog commenting. Essentially, the goal is to find relevant blog posts and leave comments including a link. Done correctly, this can be a great method to generate inbound links and boost SEO performance. Done wrong, it can bring heavy penalties from search engines like Google, and destroy a site’s ranking. So how can a website owner ensure that they’re doing it right?
Quantity is important, but not at the expense of quality.
This statement is doubly-true, referring not just to the quality of the links themselves, but also to the quality of the comments and posts used to generate them. The more quality links a site can gain the better the results will be, but just generating backlinks en masse with no concern for where they come from is ineffective at best, and could be detrimental.
When searching out potential blogs to comment on, one important factor is relevance. The more relevant the blog is the better. For instance, commenting on a blog about dog ownership to try to gain a backlink for a site about car maintenance probably isn’t the most effective use of time. The blogs chosen and the comments left need to be relevant to the site being linked to.
It’s also extremely important to make sure the comment is of high quality. The Internet is full of blogs with comment sections packed with auto-generated text and incomprehensible sentences posted solely for the purpose of trying to gain a link. Search engines – specifically Google – aren’t stupid, and they’re cracking down hard on that kind of SEO tactic.
To avoid penalties, blog comments posted for SEO purposes need to be relevant, on-topic, and well written. Sacrificing any of those traits in favor of quantity or speed is asking for trouble, and could result in seriously detrimental effects to a site’s search engine optimisation efforts.
Don’t waste time commenting on the wrong blogs.
Not all links are created equal. Links come in two varieties, do-follow and no-follow. Do-follow links pass on “link juice”, meaning essentially that they pass on authority from one site to another, and are more valuable for SEO purposes. No-follow links do not pass on any of a site’s authority, and therefore aren’t as beneficial for SEO. No-follow links can still be incredibly valuable, but when it comes to blog commenting, do-follow links are the type to look for.
Not all blogs use do-follow links in their comment sections. In fact, most don’t, as the majority of major blogging platforms automatically set comment links to no-follow in order to help ensure that the comment sections of blogs aren’t abused by people looking for SEO benefits.
Finding relevant do-follow blogs can be a bit of a task, but the time investment pays in the end. There are search engines available specifically for finding blogs with do-follow links, and Google even has a custom search available to target them. These tools make finding relevant blogs with strong SEO value much easier, but it still isn’t something that should be rushed or taken lightly. Again, it comes down to ensuring quality and not just quantity.
Blog commenting can be a fantastic way of boosting a site’s search engine optimisation, and done correctly can be very effective. However, it’s important to never forget that doing it wrong can have disastrous results. The Internet is riddled with spam and garbage posted in the hopes of improving rankings in the search engines, and those search engines have become very wise to the game. As a result, poorly executed or spam-like blog commenting will potentially result in steep penalties.
By ensuring that backlinks are obtained only from high-quality and relevant websites and blogs, and by ensuring that the comments and posts used to gain those links are of an equally high quality, website owners can avoid search engine penalties and gain the maximum SEO benefits blog commenting has to offer.