When link building in SEO, once in a while you might want to mix it up a little. Particularly when it comes to blog commenting.

Blog commenting is still a main staple in the SEOs diet. It’s a little more refined than the SEO of yore where sticking your link in any old blog would do. I’ve personally never gone down that route, but obviously you see a lot of it about, and it still continues.

Blog commenting is needed for variance in your backlinks. And you need those quality relevant blog comments for those extra brownie points in the rankings.

Choosing the right techniques should help your comments stay a little longer as well. It only makes sense. Spammy and un-moderated blogs don’t last long – they’re either cleaned up or Google catches on and those comments lose value (that is, if they had any to begin with).

Contributing is a win-win

It also helps as SEOs if we contribute where we can and stop making moderators lives a misery. I help look after this blog, and Akismet [spam prevention] only goes so far, so I should know. Sifting through spam is not fun.

Below are a few techniques that might help when commenting on blogs. The aim is to save time, have a better success rate, and ultimately, longer lasting, better quality backlinks:

Firstly, quit wasting time…

  1. Time is money.
    Check the quality of the blog and it is within the niche of the website you are SEO’ing for
  2. Make sure the blog is active
  3. Is the blog allowing outbound links
    …and if they are, then what are the quality of the comments and the links that are going out like

If there are literally billions of spammy links and comments on the blog it is probably best to stay clear and focus your time and energy on an organised site.

If you are failing to see any comments at all, check the blog’s front page and watch out for comment counts. If it is a ghost town with not one comment, move on.

If you can distinguish the difference between a spammy page and a post with genuine thoughts and discussions then you are half way there.

Don’t forget, niche-relevant backlinks are great for your rankings. Organised sites usually have a moderator checking what’s going on in their site and promoting sites within the same niche as the blog shows you’re legitimate, but deciding on what anchor text you are going to use is another battle. Look at other contributors on the blog and see what the moderator is allowing.

Secondly, read the post!

Reading the post you are commenting on goes a long way. You are more likely to pick out points, spot mistakes and be able to contribute to the blog showing the moderator/blogger that you read their post in the first place.

Remember, sticking in a comment “Nice post.” never makes the cut… Increase your odds by contributing.

Alternative techniques to blog commenting…

Here are some alternative techniques of increasing your chances of passing muster and having your comments up. Some are cheeky (in jest really), but hey, we gotta have those links right:

Important! Remember to contribute – increase your odds.

  • Be human
    Prove you’re not a bot. This is basic. Read the post, contribute, mention the author’s name – anything to make your comment stand out as being genuine.
  • Freemail is hate mail
    Bloggers and moderators like to see a real domain in the email addresses that come along with a comment. They’re suspicious of gmail, yahoo and Hotmail accounts. I am. Create a legitimate email address from the same domain you are SEO’ing for or create an email forwarder – a few blogs out there do create a bit of spam. Opt out of any newsletters if possible.
  • The charm offensive
    This is the more evolved “Nice post.” technique and combining it with being human, as above. Basic stuff. Add why or what you liked about the post. For those who are desperately inclined you could even change your name to the opposite sex and improve your looks (Gravatar permitting) – this usually only works if the moderator is male though (the odds are still good though).
  • Tweet Factor
    Blogger’s love a tweet. Using the charm offensive, further increase those odds by saying you’ve tweeted their post as well. They’ll reciprocate in kind.
  • Recommend by proxy
    In-comment links are nice, when HTML permitting. However, a lot of moderators and bloggers dislike this. It’s easy if you have a good site or resource to back you up. Simply work your link with a recommendation into the comment but do not associate with it. Remove your web address from the URL field – don’t give yourself away.
  • Integrate and delegate
    If you spot a comment with an unanswered question – reply to it with an answer. You’ve saved the site some time and they will appreciate it. Perhaps add something that will generate a reply back like, “let us know how you got on”. If they do reply back, well you should know the rest – more links (just make sure you have the same name/anchor text/url).
  • Google is your friend
    If you are unable to integrate and delegate, and having problems generating respectable replies/answers. Google is your friend. Search somewhere else for the answer and paraphrase. Never plagiarise!
  • Guest of honour!
    Guest posts can be exploited to a degree. Comment that you know the author like as if they were your friend. This is in the same vein as the charm offensive, but you’re putting an onus on the moderator/blogger to accept your comments because you say you know the author. An admin is unlikely to check whether the guest poster knows the commenter.
  • The Long Haul
    If the moderator or blogger is easily contactable, ask them a legit question – get to know them. Then boom! Hit them with a comment.

The moral of the story…

Being a cold hearted cross-dresser on Twitter might get you so far in blog commenting. But it might be easier to just build relationships ;D