So, what the heck is blog commenting anyway? And whatever it is, should you really worry about it anyway? Well, yes and no. If you practice haphazard commenting techniques with no real game plan, you’re unlikely to reap the rewards that could come from just a little advanced planning. Without a solid plan, you might as well answer that question with a resounding no.
The Growth of Commenting Systems
At this point in the development of blogging, there are a number of wildly successful content management systems available. Also known as a CMS, these systems are powerful web applications that are amazingly easy to install and can be customized to the point they appear completely bespoke, with your site seeming to be absolutely one of a kind.
As the blogs have developed and become more feature rich, their commenting systems have become more user friendly. The concept behind commenting on a blog is the real power behind the growth of blogs in general. A blog owner or writer can develop and publish their thoughts as a blog post, and should they have comments enabled, their readers can chime in with their own thoughts, questions, concerns; also known as comments.
CMS applications are constantly refining themselves, adding features, providing for spam protection and adding to the effectiveness of commenting. The more popular CMS’s out there allow a site’s visitor to leave their thoughts on a post along with a headline that can be the name of the person leaving the comment. Additionally, many of the comment names are transformed into links back to a website you’d enter into the comment form.
One of the challenges with these comment applications is that unscrupulous individuals (and computers generating commenting for that matter) tend to leave nonsensical comments with a number of links that if clicked by a site visitor will take them to some sort of spammy site that provides little value to anyone but the spam site owner.
SEO specialists have for a number of years now been promoting the concept of using blog commenting to build links to your target websites. Some practitioners of this have taken it to the extreme and instead of entering your name (in the name field of the comment form) they advocate you enter a keyword phrase that will become a link to your target web page.
Prevailing thinking is that by adhering to these practices you can develop quite a few incoming links to your target pages. Some real world challenges however come in just how effective these practices really are.
Many blogging applications have instituted a device known as nofollow linking. Effectively this means there is some additional code added to the links on the comment page that tell the search engines not to give much to the destination site that could enhance its standings in those results pages.
While nofollow is predominant, not all site owners adhere to using it. With some research you can find dofollow blogs that will allow you to leave your comment links and have them count for something with respect to the search engines.
At the end of the day, however, blog commenting has other purposes than just adding search engine juice to your pages. If you focus on a few concepts, blog commenting can be a highly effective technique for you to use.
- Leave comments on sites that directly relate to the topic of your site. If your goal is to get traffic back to your site, commenting on a pets related website linking to your SEO blog will not help much.
- Leave your real name vs the somewhat shady looking keyword phase approach. You can still enter a targeted URL that might direct someone clicking on that link deep into your site (versus just taking them to your home page.)
- To really take advantage of the time required in leaving blog comments, leave something that adds to the conversation. Blog site owners worth their salt are going to delete comments that just aren’t worthy of being on their post. “Nice blog post” simply does little for anyone involved, so don’t fall into that category.
- If you’re a little late to the conversation, but want to comment on the post anyway, it will behoove your process to read the previous comments before you compose your own. Yes this takes time, but it shows the site owner, and future readers of the post that you care and respect them and their time.
If you take the time and use blog commenting the right way, you will see an increase in your incoming links, and eventually your page’s ability to rank even higher in the search engines. Ultimately, through a number of channels, you’ll see your site traffic increase. What more could you ask for?
About the Author: This is a guest post by Steve Lazuka of Interact Media, a website content marketing firm based in Ohio. He also writes on his content marketing blog, providing useful information for fellow marketers.