In the world of search engine optimization, or SEO, there are tons of known factors that get you ranked high in the search engines.
Quality content, user experience, site authority… just some of the established ranking factors. There’s no question as whether these help SEO. But one of the more arguable factors is… comments. Do blog comments help SEO?
This question comes in two viewpoints: commenting on another blog, or receiving comments on your own. And yes, both of them are indeed helpful for SEO… most of the time.
So how and when do these comments boost your site, and when are they a nuisance? Scroll down to find out!
Comments on Your Own Site
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Content is king. A long and researched post will have a much better chance of ranking highly than a rushed, phoned-in one. So where do comments come in?
The comments you get on your posts qualify as content for the post. Depending on how many comments you get, this could mean hundreds or even thousands of words extra.
This is actually why so many blogs you see in page one of Google have hundreds of comments. They’re in there because of their authority, but they stay thanks to the comments. And as long as the post stays in page one, it’s guaranteed more comments.
Another benefit is that the comments may provide you with ranking for other keywords. Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI) to help you rank, and comments are a vital part of that.
For example, if you wrote an article about Super Mario World, and a commenter mentioned the console it was released on, the SNES, you would be able to rank for keywords involving “SNES.” And that’s my best run-on sentence yet.
This section ain’t over yet! The very presence of comments themselves provide you with engagement, which is an important part of a successful site. Search engines like to see interactivity. It’s when a blog becomes a community. So always respond to your comments, yo.
Lastly, your commenters may just own authority blogs themselves. If they’re commenting on your site, they’re rising your profile. Some of their readers might follow them and check your site out.
Yeah, comments are 100% g- wait, what?
Comments can have their drawbacks too. Obviously, spam will hurt. And we all know how common spam is. If you auto-approve comments, be sure to have a defense up, preferably a CAPTCHA.
Actually, I hate CAPTCHAs. Best way to block all comments, if you ask me. So I’d recommend using some other defence instead. WP Spamshield is pretty good plugin.
Anyway, delete all spammy comments. They just weigh you down.
All in all, in terms of SEO, comments on your site are golden. They’re ignored by many, but when you have a lot of good ones your site can rank pretty high.
Now what about leaving comments on other sites?
Commenting on Other Sites
Personally, I value this a lot more. Leaving comments on other websites in your niche is an easy investment that pays off eventually.
When you leave a comment on another blog, you leave a link back to your site. In other words, a backlink. I’ve discussed backlinks before, and they’re very overrated. While you shouldn’t go out of your way to get them, backlinks can boost your Google rankings, if they come from authority sites.
The reason the links help your site is because they pass “link juice,” which is just a fancy SEO term for the power a link gives to a website. The more authority a site has, the more link juice it passes. Why it’s called juice, I don’t know. But the links you leave on *most* blogs will earn you bit of it.
The Nofollow Factor
Some blogs enable nofollowing on their comment sections. Basically, this means a link you leave doesn’t help you in any way. No link juice is passed. This seems kinda strict, but you can’t blame them.
Big sites auto-approve comments, so they’d have to use up a lot of time patrolling for spam. Since backlinks are the main (but not only) reason spammers do their thing, nofollowing saves a lot of time.
Other blogs go the extra mile and just turn off comments completely. This isn’t very common, and usually only happens with the biggest of sites. Obviously, there’s not much you can do in this case.
When you leave comments, it’s important to lay a few ground rules for yourself. Commenting isn’t just about the links, it’s about the reputation you’re building.
The most important rule is to be relevant. This goes without saying. I mean it. I just want a good word count.
On more serious note, it really is a bad idea to leave links to your, say, dog food site… in a comment you made on a football blog. That’s really no different from spamming. Don’t comment on blogs that mean nothing to you.
And when you are able to leave a link, be sure that your comment is a quality one. Make it long, ask a question, leave your thoughts, or any combination of the three.
Yes, Commenting Does Help SEO
Comments are, in my humble opinion, the greatest factor in how I view a site. If I see a blog without any, I get the impression that the site is dead. I know it may well not be, but first impressions can be lasting and powerful.
Having comments on your blog will make your site look that much more lively, while leaving comments will strengthen your site authority and build up your reputation.
Sounds like a win-win situation to me!
Don’t get carried away though. Comments are a huge part of SEO, but they’re by no means the only one you should focus on.
Do you comment often? How do you treat comments on your own site? Leave your thoughts below!
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