Comments are one of the key elements which differentiate a blog article from just another web page. The interaction between the writer and reader giving the best blogs a whole personality of their own.
But blog commenting was a victim of such dire misuse that much of it’s value was lost.
Last week major content marketing site copyblogger decided to remove comments from their blog. Their reasoning (you can read more here) is that discussions have now moved to social media – Facebook, Google+. And as an very popular and highly ranked blog, their spam problem was massive.
A brief history
For many years blog comments were also helpful for search optimisation – writing a comment let you link to your website and gain a little boost from Google.
Then, of course, the SEO spammers moved in and blog owners were inundated with automated comments, usually nonsense and often linking to sites that you definitely didn’t want to click onto.
Here’s a typical example from my own blog “I delight in, consequence in I found just what I was obtaining a seem for. You’ve ended my four working day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a fantastic day. Bye”
It was an easy way for the less scrupulous SEO agencies to fulfil their quota of client links.
Blog owners despaired of the amount of rubbish piling onto their websites and spam filters struggled to keep up.
Finally Google took action, so nowadays links from blog comments have negligible value and if your website has a high proportion of links from blog comments, Google can penalise your site. Comment spam has reduced considerably, although there is still plenty about.
So as an SEO tactic, blog commenting seems pretty much dead – except that it isn’t.
The savvy way to use blog comments
These days, blog commenting, as with just about all SEO work, is about relationship building.
Let’s say you’d like to write a guest article for a particular blog. You’re not doing it mainly for the link (although that will be nice) but because that particular blog is read by your target customer.
You can use blog comments as a way to start building a relationship with the blog owner well before you send them your “Can I write an article for you” email. Don’t just use blog comments – build the relationship on social media too. But blog comments – particularly on a smaller blog which doesn’t get many – will get you noticed faster. So that once you send that email, it’s like making a suggestion to a friend.
Remember to use your real name, not your business name, and take time to write something which adds value to the blog owner.
Is blog commenting dying out?
It will be interesting to see how many blog owners follow copybloggers example. I suspect some of the big, well established blogs will be tempted.
But for smaller and newer blogs, comments are a valuable source of feedback, so I don’t think many will be dropping comments any time soon.