Are blog comments useless for link building?

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This week for Ask an SEO, we have a question from Ed in Memphis. He asks:

“Are blog comments useless for link building?” »

If you run or manage a WordPress site today, especially a site that hasn’t enabled Akismet for spam protection, you know full well that people like to try and comment on blog posts for the sole purpose of drop a link in the comments.

I can see how this might lead some to wonder if this tactic is an effective form of link building today.

To answer your question, Ed, blog comments are a useless form of link building today.

In fact, Roger Montti of Search Engine Journal listed blog comments as one of 18 link building tactics to avoid.

The rise and fall of blog comments for links

Blog comments were a popular link building tactic many years ago.

You might come across plenty of older information that suggests using this tactic, as it once worked extremely well.

Please hear me when I say this tactic was working.

This is no longer the case – and for a long time.

Like many other popular link building techniques, this one was quickly abused.

Gone are the insightful comments from people who have taken the time to read the articles and comment thoughtfully.

Instead, blog posts were quickly overrun with spammy, inconsistent, and generic comments left for the sole purpose of building links with keyword-rich anchor text.

Eventually, spammers developed tools to automate this process, and spam comments soon caused significant problems for site owners.

Most blogging platforms and other content management systems that allow users to submit comments have started implementing the nofollow attribute on all links added by site visitor comments.

The nofollow tag was announced by Google in 2005 to help site owners fight spam and for publishers to use on sponsored links and advertising sold on their websites.

When applied to an outbound link, we are informing search engines that we do not endorse the website to which that link is pointing, and no value should be passed in that outbound link.

Google recently released new attributes, rel=”UGC” and rel=”sponsored” to allow us to further qualify our outbound links. (UGC stands for User Generated Content.)

The UGC rel attribute is intended for sites that allow external visitors to contribute content or post a response to content on the site.

Another good example would be web forums.

Shortly after, WordPress announced that it would adapt the UGC rel attribute and apply it to WordPress comment links.

Are blog comments really useful?

Even though blog comments are useless for link building, when used correctly, they can potentially lead to increased traffic to your website.

Within the blogging community, it’s a common way to help gain exposure and build blogger relationships when interacting with others in your niche by posting value-added comments and supporting bloggers. other bloggers.

As a site owner, user feedback on your content can help improve your rankings.

Lots of comments left on a post will not only indicate that your content is very engaging, but it can also provide valuable, indexable additional content that complements yours.

User comments can provide additional information about the subject of this page and are usually rich in targeted keywords used naturally in the wording.

In particular niches, such as food blogs, recipe comments usually also include the ability to allow visitors to leave a note about the recipe, a very valuable feature.

So please do not use blog comments as a way to link to your website.

If you are looking to gain exposure in your niche, I would instead consider commenting only on relevant blog posts where you can add valuable and useful comments based on your expertise on the subject.

You may find that other readers will stumble upon your comment, find it informative, and also visit your site.

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