How to Build Links Using Blog Comments
Blog commenting can be very helpful for building quality backlinks and increasing your rank on search engine result pages (SERPs.) Not all backlinks are created equal, so here are some tips to help along your quest for commenting supremacy.
Website Factors for Link Building
Before you can find the perfect page to leave a comment, you must first find the right blog. Here are the factors you should look for on a website level.
If you have a website that’s written about SEO tips, it won’t be very helpful to get links from a site written about knitting sweaters for puppies. Your first job is to find websites about your industry.
Filter through the industry related websites by ones that have pulled off the nofollow tag. These blogs are allowing authority to flow through the links created by comments. The easiest way to check this is to add the SEOmoz toolbar to your browser. Then click the “Nofollows” button which will highlight any nofollow links in pink. If they don’t light up then you’ve found a winner.
Page Rank (PR)/Domain mozRank (DmR)
The more powerful the website is, the more powerful it’s links will be. The old way of calculating link power was by using Google’s PageRank. The problem is Google only releases these updates to the public 3-4 times per year. This makes the information very unreliable. The SEOmoz toolbar you just installed has a highly correlated version of Google’s PageRank. It’s simply updated more frequently. Use the DmR calculation to get an idea of a website’s overall linking power.
Here are a few general tiers to help understand mozRank scores:
- 0-2 = A website that’s very small, brand new, or fairly unknown
- 2-4 = The average rating for a website
- 4-5 = A larger well established website
- 5-7 = A true authority website (Seen in local news websites, magazines, industry leading blogs, etc)
- 7-10 = Massive household name websites (Digg, StumbleUpon, Mashable, Twitter, etc)
For linking purposes the higher the better. That being said, you’ll most likely be looking through websites in the 3-5 range.
CommentLuv is a plugin that automatically checks your website feed and adds a link of your latest blog post under your comments. If you register your blog on the CommentLuv website (free) it will allow you to chose from your last 10 blog posts. This is extremely helpful.
Bonus Tip: Be careful if you use FeedBurner on your blog as one of its standard settings will steal your commentluv backlinks.
KeywordLuv is a plugin that allows you to choose the anchor text for your main comment link. Try to find blogs that use CommentLuv or KeywordLuv. If you find a site that uses both plugins, that’s just a Cherry on top.
Page Factors to Target for Link Building
Once you have found a website that passes your initial checklist the hard part is done. Bookmark this blog or drop it into your RSS reader to keep track of new posts. Now it’s time to find the best pages to comment on.
The Google supplemental index does in fact still exist. Here’s a trick to check if a webpage is on Google’s main index: go to Google and search site:exampledomain.com/* (don’t forget to actually substitute in the domain you plan on commenting on for “exampledomain.com”). Pick posts that turn up in these main index results.
MozRank (mR)/Page Authority(PA)
Jump back onto your trusty SEOmoz toolbar. There are two new rankings you’ll want to use. MozRank (Different than Domain mozRank) is a rating of the individual page’s linking influence. Page Authority is the page’s overall ability to rank well in SERPs. MozRank is calculated 1.0-10.0 and Page Authority 1-100. They’re both scaled logarithmically so a 3.7mR would be comparable in value to a 37PA. It’s helpful using each as a factor in your decision, but I would give a slight edge to mozRank since it’s specifically keying in on linking power.
The specific page content is just as important as the overall website content. This is where CommentLuv can really excel. Check the page title and read through the article to get a general feel for what keywords are being targeted. When selecting which CommentLuv link to leave with your comment, make sure to select a post from your website that’s targeting the same keywords as the article.
Bonus Tip: The CommentLuv site has a custom search engine for browsing sites that use the plugin. You can search through CommentLuv enabled blogs targeting your specific keywords. This essentially kills two birds with one stone.
Number of External Links
Let’s pretend Link Juice is actually a freshly baked cake. This would make external links all the hands sticking out trying to grab a piece. Since there’s only a certain amount of cake to go around, the more people waiting in line, the smaller your piece will be. Look for pages with a low external link count to enjoy a larger percent of the Link Juice.
Aim for leaving comments on articles less than two years old. If the last person to comment on the post was 2006 it may look slightly suspicious to be leaving a comment now. Additionally, there’s no guessing how long it could take for search engines to recrawl the page and give you credit for the backlink. Young pages with established authority should be your goal.
My last tip and possibly the most important is: Leave a good blog comment! Whatever you do, don’t put all your effort into finding the perfect place to comment only to submit the dreaded “great article” comment and be filtered out by spam software. Take five extra seconds to address the author by name and reference a specific area of the post. It’s an easy way to let the administrator know you are a real person.
So get out there, be social, leave some comments and enjoy the boost to your SEO link building efforts.
Jan 10, 2011 | Comments: 1