Most every SEO related post on the topic of commenting is about back linking. I really wanted to talk about the importance of engagement on your blog. Showing the search engines that your content is comment worthy and interesting. How those traits can drastically benefit your search engine ranking. But, before I get to that I will share with you a sweet little backlinking resource.
One of the problems with using blog comments to build backlinks to your site is that there is no guarantee that the comment will get approved, or it might not be “Do Follow”. Thus wasted time.
If you could pick your (link hosting) site out of list, knowing that it was going to be auto approved. Or, if you could pick that site knowing that you could include anchor text in the comment, it would be pretty cool right? That is the purpose of http://dropmylink.com/ . Search the web for your keyword and filter those results but blog platforms that auto approve. You will want to select “KeywordLuv Blogs” in this case. Advanced users will want to use a tool like SEM Rank or SEO MOZ to see the rank and authority of the site before commenting (to only spend time on the high quality sites that will benefit you the most). Do yourselves a favor and only post high quality, well thought out, constructive comments (leaving a backlink to your site/post of course). You want your link and your reputation to be associated with well thought out, quality content.
There are a number of services and methods to build backlinks. I personally believe manual or “organic” backlinks are more powerful (even if there are far fewer). You will also get more targeted traffic resulting from this method (especially if your comment is interesting). If anything else it is certainly a more “White-hat” method of building links to your content.
Commenting on your site
OK, now that I got that out of the way. As I said in my social traffic post, it is important to engage users socially for a number of reasons. This illustrates that your content is interesting to humans, and worth talking about. This metric can positively affect your SEO rank, and should be taken into account.
If you have trouble getting comments on your posts, it could indicate a number of things:
- You don’t have enough traffic
- Your content isn’t interesting or controversial enough to talk about
- No one wants to be the “first to the dance floor”
If this is your issue try to solicit comments from friends, co-workers, or of course from your readers. Regardless of what the reason is, or if those methods don’t work, sometimes starting the conversation in the comments section is necessary. This can be done as the author, and as a visitor. While I don’t comment while posing as a visitor, if I was starting out and having trouble collecting comments, I would strongly consider it. By having 5 or more comments on a piece of content, your rank on that content can be positively affected.
Every blogger has seen their far share of SPAM comments. These comments tend to have little to nothing to do with the post they are associated with and often contain a link to some obscure site. You will want to do you best to trash these, or mark them as spam. The most effective way to cut down on these is to use a plugin called “akismet”, which will filter known spammers. Do you best to limit the SPAM comments, and outgoing links if they don’t pertain to your subject matter. If you are unsure, you can always remove the website link and keep the user’s name and comment.
If getting comments is not an issue for you, and you find yourself with an abundance of them. You will want to edit your theme, (or use a plugin) to “paginate” or collapse your comments. Limit the number of comments to 20 per page. If you are consistently getting a volume of comments that warrant this, you might want to consider adding a forum, threading your comments, or adding some other interactive element to your site.
Something else to keep in mind is while facebook comments look and feel great on a site; facebook comments are often in what is called an “iframe”, which is typically not crawled by the search engines. If you have a talented programmer, it is possible to get around this. Make sure to read up on methods at developers.facebook.com.
In conclusion whether you are increasing engagement on your own site, or driving links back to your content, comments are a powerful tool for SEO & visitor engagement. The importance of engagement will be an ever growing factor in your site’s search engine rank.