December 14, 2017

We experiment with SEO strategies to help optimise our clients’ websites every day. Comment backlinking is one method we’ve been looking into to build links.

What is comment backlinking?

Comment backlinking is where you visit blogs that are similar to your website’s niche and post a comment. The comment should include your website along with relevant anchor text you wish to rank for. This ultimately generates a backlink, causing your search rankings to improve along with various other domain markers.

Does comment backlinking work?

The short answer is that it depends on the blog. Most blogs that are built with WordPress now include a ‘nofollow’ tag within their anchors. This renders your backlinks useless as it tells search engines not to follow the link. We imagine WordPress built this functionality into their open source platform due to people abusing this method.

Let us also add that it depends on your comment too. Before making any comments, you must ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Does the comment add any additional value to the article?
  2. Is your comment respectful to the author or is it just a plug for your company’s website?

If the answer is no, then commenting bay do your website more harm than good in terms of SEO.

How can I check for the ‘nofollow’ tag?

If you don’t have basic knowledge of HTML, this may be difficult. But this is hopefully still possible to learn with the guide below.

Every modern browser has a developer’s console that allows you to inspect certain elements of a web page. In this example, we’ll be using Google Chrome‘s developer tools.

  1. Find a blog that already has some comments with links pointing to other websites, normally hidden inside the anchor text of the author’s name.
  2. Right-click the link and click Inspect. This will open the developer’s console interface.
  3. The source code of the selected element will already be highlighted if you’re using Google Chrome. If the highlighted anchor code contains ‘rel=”nofollow”‘, backlinking through this website would have no result to improve your domain’s rankings.
Method of opening the developer's console in Google Chrome

Right-click and Inspect the selected element on a website to open the developer’s console.

 

Checking if an anchor tag uses 'rel="nofollow"' for comment backlinking purposes.

Checking if an anchor tag uses ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ for comment backlinking purposes.

Should I even bother link building through comment backlinking?

Again, this depends on the two questions above. You must provide value through your comment, whilst keeping it related to the article itself. However, it still seems to be a popular way to build links and allowing you to network your website.

Whilst it might be hard to find blogs without the ‘nofollow’ tag, there’s still some out there. Even if you’re having no luck with blogs, there’s various niche based forums, subreddits and other discussion-based platforms you can backlink from.

Tools to find niche based blogs

Google Search

Whilst an obvious one, simply search your topic into Google and locate all the blog results by clicking each link. A handy tip to locate only blogs within search results is to use terms such as “guide”, “how to” or “top 10” within your search’s query.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a tool that you can use to generate a list of links that fall under your chosen topic. It’s really simple to use and allows you to skip the normal method of checking the topic’s relevance. As an extra; a big benefit of this tool is that it has the ability to check for key influencers behind social media shares of specific content.

Example of a Buzzsumo search for "web design" related articles

Example of a Buzzsumo search for “web design” related articles.

Helping clients get more clients.


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