One of the most common and clever questions we get here at Leap Clixx is: does blog commenting help with SEO? Like a lot of questions in the SEO world, this one doesn’t have a standard yes or no answer. It’s more of a “yes it does, but…” or “no it doesn’t, except…”
Below, we tackle this question and help you make sense of blog comments and SEO, so that you can focus on what works – and steer clear of shady, overseas SEO companies that point you (and your budget) in the wrong direction.
Blog Comments & SEO
The basic idea behind blog comments and SEO is simple: whenever business professionals – whether they’re employees, consultants, owners, etc. – comment on an article, video or anything else, they can (usually) add a link to their own website. In SEO jargon, this is called a backlink. The exception is if the website doesn’t allow links in comments.
Unless the website owner has told Google NOT to pay attention to backlinks, the commenter will earn a little bit of what’s referred to in the industry as “link juice”. Think of it as a vote from the website publishing the comment in favor of the website that is leaving the comment.
Turning Off the Link Juice
As noted above, some websites will tell Google not to look at backlinks (i.e. turn off the link juice taps). If so, then the answer to “does blog commenting help SEO?” is easy to answer: no, it doesn’t.
Why would a website do such an evil thing? Well, it’s not so evil. Some websites are overrun by comment spam, which are useless, pointless and annoying comments – usually some generic rambling – that are left for the sole purpose of earning some link juice. Websites that are victimized this way have three options:
- Invest a lot of time monitoring their comment board to weed out spam.
- Close their comments entirely.
- Make backlinks useless for SEO purposes (and therefore dissuade spammers from leaving comments at all – through sometimes they still do).
How to Maximize Blog Comments for SEO
So now that you know more about the story behind blog comments and SEO – and why some websites don’t allow comments in the first place – the next important question is: how do you maximize this opportunity to benefit your reputation, brand and SEO rankings?
Generally, there are 5 best practices that we advise:
Target Relevant Websites
It’s always a mistake to comment for the sake of commenting. Businesses should only invest their time leaving comments on relevant websites, which are those that cater to their target audiences.
Leave Thoughtful Comments
Just as blog posts and web copy must be quality content and not mere vehicles for keywords, blog comments should never be thinly veiled attempts to drop in a backlink. Each comment should be thoughtful, succinct and relevant. In other words: it should be an actual comment.
Some folks advertise their business (or a product/service) in their comments. This is almost always a mistake, because it looks unprofessional – and it often leads to the comment being deleted, and the commenter being banned from the website. The only exception is if the article, or another commenter, raises a question or identifies a problem that a business can authentically solve. In this way, it’s not advertising: it’s simply being helpful.
Use Naked Links or Branded Links
It’s never a good idea to use anchor text in blog comments, which is when a specific word or short phrase is linked to a website. This tactic is OK (if done properly) for web copy and blog posts, because the idea is to provide value to visitors – i.e. if they want to learn more about a topic/product, they click an anchor text link to achieve that goal.
But for comments, the best and only links that should be used are either naked links or branded links. Naked links are simply URLs, like www.leapclixx.com. And branded links are the name of a business, like Leap Clixx. As you can see, both naked links and branded links are very transparent. There is no confusion as to where people will end up if they click either option.
One Link per Comment
It’s almost never a good idea to have more than one link per comment. The only exception is if the comment itself simply demands more than one link. For example, a business may have two websites: one for businesses, and one for consumers. If as part of leaving an organic, honest and thoughtful comment it’s necessary to provide both links, then that’s OK.
So, Does Blog Commenting Help SEO?
In our experience, blog commenting can help SEO, but in a limited way. That is, it can be part of an overall SEO strategy, but shouldn’t be the centerpiece. If you decide to start or continue your commenting campaign, be sure to keep the above in mind.
To learn more about blog commenting and SEO, as well as other tactics for helping your business generate quality leads, check out our eBook below.