Blog Commenting For Traffic and Authority – Why it Still Matters

Even though this article was written at the end of 2011, the concepts I discuss are all 100% white-hat and most of the information still applies today.

None the less, this is intended to be a demonstration of my ability to explain and teach Internet Marketing concepts, not an example of my most up-to-date marketing knowledge.

Ever since marketers first began to understand how search engines work, they’ve tried every method under the sun to use that knowledge to turn a pretty penny. How many times have you seen an “SEO service” offering to take control of your marketing for you, usually promising unbelievable results?

Today, the entire business of SEO has become intricately woven with how we market and do business in general, and that trend is only going to continue. Yet, there is a fine line between a good search engine marketing strategy and the trolling ways of a link spammer. You owe it to yourself – and to your business – to know the difference.

One of the most commonly misunderstood and misused methods of gaining search engine exposure is blog commenting, which originally began its life as a method of one-way link building. Blog commenting is often offered in bulk by SEO sweatshops promising big time results for pennies.

Wait, Back Up – What is ‘One-Way Link Building’?

It’s self explanatory – A one-way link is a link that only goes one way, or is not reciprocated. This means that there is a link from Site A pointing to Site B, but no link pointing from Site B to Site A. Reciprocal link building would include a link both ways, and is generally seen by SEOs as less valuable than a one-way link.

Obviously, blog commenting seems like a great method of one-way link building, since it should be easy to go around leaving lots of comments, right? And it is!

In fact, that’s exactly the problem. Blog commenting is TOO easy to abuse, and before long that’s exactly what happened. People developed software to help automate the process of blog commenting, and thus the method was quickly over-spammed.

Nowadays, blog comments are rigorously moderated by anyone running a website with any sort of authority, which makes getting legitimate one-way links from this method of SEO much more difficult (but not impossible, as we’ll discuss).

To make matters worse, search engines (aka, Google) quickly saw how easily abused the whole commenting system was and thus discounted the relevancy of blog comment links in their algorithms. That’s why too much blog commenting in a short amount of time will now trigger a penalty from Google’s algorithm.

You’re Telling Me Blog Commenting is Useless AND Difficult?

Well, to be frank, yes. It is. At least, the way that it was originally used by self-acclaimed SEOs is now defunct.

You see, without the aid of software that automates the blog commenting process (spamming thousands of websites in the process) this is a technique that will require a huge amount of time and effort compared to the improvements you see in your rankings.

However, the reward for this time and effort can still be well worth it, and that’s what I’d like to plead below.

Is Blog Commenting Even Worth it?

Yes, it is, but not when used for the purpose of link building. Rather, it’s effectiveness lies in its value as a pure marketing method.

If you’re looking at blog commenting from the perspective of link building only, then you’ll quickly find yourself frustrated. However, if you’re looking for traffic or name recognition, then blog commenting still has value. And lots of it, too.

The key to a profitable blog commenting campaign is to find relevant websites to comment on that get high volumes of traffic and already have a trusting readership.

How to Comment on Blogs the Right Way

There are two reasons that you want to be careful to do blog commenting the right way…

The first is that you don’t (or shouldn’t) want to contribute to the massive amount of spammers plaguing the internet day in and day out. The second is to protect the name of your website, blog or brand. You’re going to be trying to attract customers that will truly be interested in your website; you don’t want to lure them in like a used car salesman, you want to genuinely pique their interest.

Here are some pointers for blog commenting the right way:

  • Comment on relevant, authoritative blogs. Don’t comment on a music blog when you’re trying to sell plumbing services. That’s a good way to look like a spammer. Instead, find blogs that relate to what you do and sell.
  • Do not focus on selling in your comments. Participate in the conversation as much as possible. You don’t want to just show up, post your link and write “BUY BUY BUY”. Be a real person and not a troll!
  • Use your website as your personal reference. Instead of saying “Go to my website and buy my stuff”,  use your website as a reference or source of information. Remember, you’re trying to help, not sell. You could even try something like “I just published a post on X over at my blog, you should check it out”. Of course, you’ll need a trusting relationship with the webmaster to get away with that, which brings me to…
  • Build a relationship with the webmaster. This is probably the most undervalued tip in this article. If you spend a week or two commenting on someone’s blog without trying to leave a link then they’ll be MUCH more receptive when you do. Who knows, you may even be able to strike up a JV partnership!

Why Blog Commenting Still Matters

I’m sure that this all sounds like a whole lot of work for you, and you’re probably wondering why you would even bother. After all, you’re chief concern is high rankings, right? You don’t care if some other webmaster likes you or not.

So, how is blog commenting beneficial for search engine exposure?

Well, think about it like this – Google has made it abundantly clear that they are trying to make spammy links irrelevant. Therefore, blog commenting the old way (lots of 1-time comments for the purpose of one-way link building) is not going to be effective for very much longer, and that’s assuming it’s still effective at all.

However, that doesn’t mean you should cut yourself off from other blogs…Quite the opposite!

Google’s utopian Internet is one in which link building for the purpose of higher rankings is non-existent. Ideally, links would only ever be based on legitimate relationships between two entities on the Internet – Exactly what you build with legit blog commenting!

In other words, think of legitimate blog commenting as an investment, not just a method of one-way link building. You’re using them to network and build relationships with other webmasters in your niche, and in doing so you’re positioning yourself as an authority. This is very important, because Google is very good at recognizing authority… The rankings will come in time, you just have to focus on audience-acquisition and authority-building first.

Hopefully by now you realize that blog commenting is still a VERY powerful method of digital marketing with benefits well beyond the stereotypical spammer’s link-focused mindset. Done right, blog commenting puts you in a win-win situation, and it is a tactic that every aspiring publisher, blogger or business owner should employ with rigor and passion. Not only is each relevant comment you leave a potential stream of non-search-based traffic, but you’re also building yourself up as the authority in your niche both in the eyes of your readers and of Google.