It's 2020, and we all want more visibility on Google. We are doing everything we possibly can to keep up with modern-day SEO techniques. Overwhelming ourselves with strategies, and blogging several days a week, failing to achieve the desired outcome. What can we do to get a leg up in the competition when it comes to appearing in search results?
A History of Google and Blog Commenting So, you want to know how to do blog commenting for traffic? First, We have to go back to the old-school methods of SEO and think outside of the box.
Refer to the famous words of Theodore Roosevelt “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
When Google was still in its infant stages back in 2003 - 2005, ranking on page one was easy if you had enough backlinks. This was when it was really the wild west of blogging. People would constantly be commenting on blogs for backlinks. While this sounded good for some, it was a headache for others. The race for acquiring backlinks ultimately led to a lot of comment spam.
In January of 2005, Google's official blog made the announcement of introducing the Nofollow attribute. This single attribute tells Google to not pass on any link juice to the page the link points to. It was implemented to deter spammers from publishing their links across every website they could. This started to prevent people from commenting on blogs for backlinks.
In September and December of 2005, Google made some significant changes to their algorithm. First, they started with the Jagger update in September, which focused on cracking down on unnatural link building, followed by the Big Daddy update.
Fast forward to September 2019, and Google Webmaster's Blog has now introduced new relational attributes. While the Nofollow attribute still exists, Google claims it previously passed no value, but once again being used as a signal. Clearly, it is not as much value as pre-2005, but it's now adding some benefit.
Now that we heard it straight from the horses' mouth, it seems that dropping comments on blogs does help you out with SEO. Actually, what inspired me to write on this topic was that I read a blog by Neil Patel titled "Do High DA Backlinks from Blog Comments Help Rankings?" I found this article fascinating because Neil's findings prove that building backlinks from blog comments help you improve in the SERPs.
In Neil's experiment, he started commenting on blogs for backlinks. By doing this he built backlinks from blog comments to 183 unique sites. However, not all 183 sites received the same backlinks. Instead, he used 4 different groups of backlink criteria, and each site was assigned to one group.
The Backlink Groups:
Control - No links were built to these sites. Nofollow/High DA - Blogs with high domain authority above 50 but with the no-follow tag. Dofollow/High DA - Blogs with high domain authority above 40 but with do-follow tag. Also known as high PR blog comments. Dofollow/Low DA - Blogs with a domain authority between 20 - 40 and allowed do-follow.
To help paint a better picture, let’s take an example.
Blog A - Received only 10 links from HIGH domain authority NO follow blog comments. Blog B - Received only 5 links from HIGH PR blog comments DO follow blog comments. Blog C - Received only 10 links from LOW authority DO follow blog comments. Blog D - Received no links at all. :(
This is just to illustrate that no site out of the 183 received backlinks from multiple groups.
Control Group Results: In this control group, it was found that rankings still get you to grow organically, even if you have no backlinks. Neil reported that the average number of ranking keywords after 30 days of publishing a new article was around five. Yet, after 150 days, the average number of keywords ranking high would be closer to ten.
Nofollow/High DA: After measuring results of building backlinks from high domain authority no follow comments, rankings grew more. In the first 30 days, the average number of keywords ranking on page one of Google was approximately six. However, after 150 days, this was closer to fourteen. Now, it doesn't seem like much more than the control group of no backlinks, but more keywords on page one of Google means more traffic.
Dofollow/High DA: When Neil reviewed the results of do-follow backlinks from high PR blog comments, the data was impressive. During the first 30 days, the data appeared to be similar to the other groups, with an average of about 6 keywords on page one. Then, after checking back 150 days later, the keywords skyrocketed to beyond thirty keywords on page one.
Dofollow/Low DA: Looking at the results of this data, we can again see how gaining links from do follow blog comments really help move the needle. After the first 30 days, most blogs saw an average of 7 keywords on page one of Google. 150 days later, they were ranking close to 18 page-one keywords of that individual blog post. Now, you know why getting do-follow backlinks are important.
Clearly, building backlinks help you gain more visibility on Google, and getting links from do follow blog comments help even more. During this experiment, Neil only built out 10 links or less to each blog. Imagine if you commented on more blogs the kind of results you could get! Google wants to see that you are engaging with others on the internet. And is once again rewarding you for doing so.
After reading about Neil Patel’s blog commenting experiment, it’s clear that commenting on other blogs helps you get an SEO boost. But what are some other reasons you might want to comment on other’s blogs?
My thought is that one of the most important pieces out of all of these reasons is really relationship building. Making a good connection with another blogger can really help you open up more opportunities. For example, they could give you a shout out on social media. A mention on social media could help you gain more followers. Or they could invite you to collaborate on something with them like a blog article where you could earn a do-follow backlink.
Feeling pumped up to start going comment crazy? Pump the brakes! There are a few things you need to know before you dive into leaving hundreds of comments on blogs. You never want to leave a comment such as "This is a good article" and leave it like that. Most blog owners practice comment moderation before publishing them, and that would likely just get marked as spam.
How to Write A Good Blog Comment
Smartblogger compared leaving comments as if you were on a first date. You want to have your comments stand out, and you want to impress the owner of the blog. The first thing that you can do to stand out from a spammer and present yourself as authentic is to set up a Gravatar. What is it? Basically, it's an avatar or a profile picture of yourself that appears when you comment on blogs. The good news is that it's included in Wordpress, and the majority of bloggers utilize Wordpress.
Elements of a Quality Blog Comment
Using the above elements in a blog comment that you post will get you much higher chances of getting a response from the blog author or owner. Remember, you want to provide purpose to the blog post rather than just comment for your own benefits. Another pro-tip for leaving and receiving comments is to join Facebook groups to network with other bloggers. Groups like Bloggers Supporting Bloggers and New Bloggers Support Group for Women are great opportunities to help others and get help as well.
I dove into some of my comments from last year on my health/fitness blog to show you some examples.
Blog Comment Example 1
Why did I think this one was a good comment? Because Heena’s feedback was personal. She was able to tell me she is on her own weight loss journey and the types of exercises she does.
She also goes on to mention she needs to improve working out her core. Because the blog post I wrote was about the importance of working out your abs, it reminded her she needed that fit core into her routine.
Blog Comment Example 2
This is another comment I received on a different article from my health/fitness blog. I also think this was a great comment. Sarah has a clear and professional quality profile photo, which helps make her more presentable.
She also goes on to make a comment relevant to the blog post about accountability. Then, she shares some personal insights on what has helped her in the past. At the end of the post, she also signed off with her name and added her link. This, however, is not always a best practice as it's not of benefit to this blog article or my audience.
Blog Comment Example 3
Now that you have a better idea of how to do blog commenting for traffic, it’s time for you to do your own experiment. Once you start giving comments, you’ll start to get blog comments. After commenting on 15-20 blogs, keep an eye on search console and run a comparison report.
Check back in 30, 60, 90 days to see if that particular blog post expanded in the number of clicks, impressions, or positions. I would be interested to know how this information has helped you improve your strategy. Drop me a note below, i’m always happy to engage in a discussion.
Krista Brea is a digital unicorn, always on a quest for knowledge. When she’s not serving her clients, you might find her playing world of warcraft, or getting bullied by her Pomsky. Krista loves to find fun in all things that she does, and she currently lives in Chicago.