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Blog Comments for SEO

If you’re going to write an article with link building tips for your readers, please do us all (in the SEO industry) a favor: DO NOT TALK ABOUT BLOG COMMENTS FOR SEO. There is one and only one valid, legitimate reason for leaving blog comments anywhere on the Web: You feel like you have something to say and you want to say it as part of a discussion on that blog.

It’s a shame that SEO bloggers continue to include “blog comments for SEO” among their dwindling repetoires of link building tips. There is absolutely no excuse — given how blatantly widespread the practice of dropping links in blog comments has become — for anyone to suggest that using blog comments for SEO is an acceptable “best practice”.

Using other people’s blogs for your cheap, parasitical links is the lowest form of SEO. Using blog comments for SEO is as black hat as black hat gets because you are literally treating other people as if they have no reason to exist except to promote your Website for your benefit. It’s deceptive. It’s manipulative. It’s intrusive, abusive, and completely despicable.

If you feel compelled to defend the practice of leaving comments on blogs for link building, you only prove my point. Using blog comments for SEO just serves to show that you lack the imagination and creativity to attract or negotiate links in a more legitimate way. You might as well be publishing doorway pages by the million, cloaking them, and hacking nursery school Websites to create crawl pages for the doorways.

People in the SEO community need to grow up and leave the bad advice of using blog comments for SEO behind along with participating in link farms, running reciprocal link software, deceiving niche Websites into linking to PageRank traps, using “badges” as bait-and-switch linking tools, dropping links in forum signatures and profiles, and using social media profiles for link building.

There are some acceptable practices for link acquisition that don’t entail being a parasitical schmuck who scurries around the edges of real discussions leaving little droppings like a cockroach. You cannot in any way to any degree elevate the use of blog comments for SEO to the status of a white hat technique. There is nothing “white hat” about using blog comments for SEO.

If you want to write some link building advice for people, take the time to practice good link building yourself. Stop and consider that stealing other people’s Web resources is NOT a “best practice” by any means. When you resort to using blog comments for SEO you make a statement about the limitations of your knowledge and ability to acquire value-passing links.

Blogs certainly do invite commenters to leave links — but if you don’t expect to leave any further comments on the blog, why are you linking to yourself? If the blogger has already mentioned you or linked to your site, then letting people know you’re that person by linking your name to your site is perfectly understandable. But if you’re just showing up to leave a “polite” comment, you’re doing it wrong. The next time you draw up a link acquisition plan, leave “blog comments for SEO” off the list.

The best way to build links is to get other people to talk about you. It’s far more preferable if they say complimentary things about you, rather than just try to drag your name through the mud. If you try to do SEO through blog comments you really don’t inspire people say much about you at all. You can make your mark through ingenuity and resourcefulness.

If you want to “blog” comments for SEO, you should leverage your site to gently provoke discussion with other sites by addressing points they raise in a thoughtful, considerate manner.

Or you could be like me and just say something like, “Don’t use blog comments for SEO”. Publishing a counterpoint to a point that someone else has made often draws some attention. If you make your case people will link to you. If you’re not getting the links then just keep writing, keep practicing, keep blogging.
Here is an example of a poorly thought out list of link building ideas:
  1. Leaving blog comments for SEO
  2. Buying links for SEO
  3. Buying paid blog posts for SEO
  4. Submitting articles for SEO
  5. Publishing press releases for SEO
  6. Leaving forum signature links for SEO
Let’s take a look at why these are bad practices.

Leaving blog comments for SEO – If your only reason for commenting on a blog is to help your SEO then your intent will pretty much reveal itself. A thoughtful, respectful, compelling comment lacking any link at all will create more visibility for you than a “great post! I like your blog” link drop. If you’re going to make the effort to leave a comment on a blog, make the comment memorable and notable enough that people will want to find out more about you.

Buying links for SEO – Now, I’ve often said that you’re free to buy and sell links as much as you wish, but if you’re planning on optimizing for search you have to take the search engine guidelines into consideration. It’s not very optimal to incur a 6-month penalty and lose all that search traffic, is it? If you’re going to buy links, buy the kinds of links that will drive traffic to your site and create visibility outside of search. That way you won’t care if they are followed or nofollowed.

Buying paid blog posts for SEO – Let’s face it: once the government starts meddling in the affairs of business, business affairs become the business of government. That is, don’t invite closer scrutiny by pretending to be more popular than you are. If you’re going to pay for blog posts, buy them because they will create visibility and drive traffic for you despite the fact they disclose the business relationship with you. People appreciate an honest endorsement much more than a dishonest one.

Submitting articles for SEO – Every link building article you have submitted to a free article directory is a wasted opportunity. Instead of writing something truly useful and helpful, you most likely turned out cheap copy designed solely to be “relevant” for your anchor text. That’s not marketing, that’s just looking like a schmuck who doesn’t understand marketing or advertising.

Publishing press releases for SEO – This is another favored can of worms that turns up much like using blog comments for SEO. There is nothing like a well-written press release and unfortunately in many SEO link building campaigns there IS nothing like a well-written press release. Although your press release may not inspire the media to publish dozens of stories about your Website, it should still be compelling enough to persuade other people to visit your site — and maybe even share your “news” with their friends.

Leaving forum signature links for SEO – People still ask about this link building trick but you don’t find many people suggesting that it works any more. With any luck, SEO bloggers will soon start pointing out that obtaining blog comments for SEO is equally as amateurish and wasteful. If you’re going to create a forum profile and signature, you might as well participate in the forum discussions with the passion and gusto that only a true devotee can bring to the table.

Link building can be organized efficiently. For example, here is a list of well-thought out link building ideas:
  1. Blog comments for SEO (without the links)
  2. Buying nofollowed links for SEO
  3. Buying non-linking blog posts for SEO
  4. Distributing articles without links for SEO
  5. Publishing press releases for SEO (with few or no links)
  6. Using forum signatures for SEO (without the links)
In case I haven’t made it clear, you can turn all those “worst link building practices” into useful link building exercises by omitting the one element you value the most: the links you intend to give yourself (or your client).
Let’s take a closer look at these ideas.

Using blog comments for SEO without including links to your Websites means you have to write comments that are so interesting, so informative, and so compelling that people will use the information in them to search for you (and your Website). You’re not allowed to include an unlinked domain name or URL reference. All you’re allowed to do, if you’re going to use blog comments for SEO, is to provide a really good comment.

Buying nofollowed links for SEO doesn’t mean I think the links will be followed or pass PageRank. Rather, if you know you’re denying yourself PageRank and anchor text then you’d better arrange for the link to be as visible and useful as possible, right? The true value of a link is not how much anchor text it will pass to your site but how many visitors it will send.

Buying non-linking blog posts for SEO maintains the pattern. Like using really interesting blog comments for SEO where the comments lack any links, if you’re going to buy blog posts you want the posts to be so fascinating, so interesting that people will search for your Website and find itbased on the information provided in the blog posts.

Distributing articles without links for SEO amounts to the same thing. If you want to submit articles to free distribution services then by all means do so — but write the articles for the sake of reaching out to the visitors of those services and making a name for yourself. Like the blog comments that don’t use links for SEO, articles that don’t use links for SEO have to step up to the plate and deliver the goods.

Publishing press releases for SEO without links is another way to force yourself to be creative. If you cannot embed links to your site that will be followed and pass PageRank and anchor text you must write a compelling press release. A well-written press release must be even better written than your finest blog comment — for SEO does not confine itself solely to obtaining links. You want to build query spaces around the strengths of your content.

Using linkless forum signatures for SEO means you have no reason to be posting in a forum except to share your experience and insight (or just your thoughtful opinion) with other people in an online community. If you can show those people you have something relevant to say they will appreciate you and you may even find they’ll occasionally link to your site for you. But you must deny yourself the opportunity to post in a forum if your only reason to do so is to obtain a link.

Driving traffic to a Website through search entails far more than trying to bludgeon your way to the top of targeted SERPs. You want to create content that ranks for queries you didn’t think about and you want to stimulate queries that are well-matched to your content.

Those are the three ways to optimize for search. So stop fussing over how to use blog comments for SEO — you’re just wasting your time and only showing how outdated and unimaginative you can be. There is nothing optimal in that approach to managing search.

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