8 out of 101 experts mention commenting as a link building method

link building

Link building is a method of increasing SEO (search engine optimisation) for your blog or website.

The search engines value relevant links from respected and high ranking blogs back to yours. There are a number of methods, as shown in the infographic below:

8 out of 101 experts mention commenting as a link building method

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Of course the one I am interested in is #10, commenting on relevant blogs. This works best on blogs with a high ranking Domain Authority, the host post and comment are highly relevant, as is the URL to your relevant post which you submit with your comment.

Indeed Neil Patel in this post confirmed this practice was definitely worthwhile, proving it through experiments of his own.

Relevancy is a strong factor when it comes to building links. There needs to be a good match with search requests, the subject matter should strongly correspond with both destinations, and adding relevant keywords into the comment is certainly a beneficial boost.

How do you do link building for your blog?

If you would like to know more about link building, I recently participated in the roundup post 101 Experts Share their Top Link Building Techniques about acceptable methods of building links for blogs and websites.

Here there is plenty of excellent advice that will keep you busy for quite some time. However, if you want to find out more about how comments are involved, I was #21 and this is what I said:

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]Have you ever considered commenting as a method of building up links?

Whenever you leave a comment, you are able to submit an URL to your website or blog. This is an acceptable way of linking your comment to your site which isn’t considered spammy or is at the mercy of the moderation systems.

This link is usually not immediately obvious to a comment reader. It hides behind the name you also submit with your comment.

Therefore you need to do four things:

  • Use your real name instead of an alias or your company name.
  • Use an email that is connected to your gravatar to enhance your credibility.
  • Submit an URL to a post in your blog which relevant to the post you’re commenting on, not your blog’s homepage.
  • Suggest readers click on your name to find out more.

Commenting works as a good method of building up links if you:

  • Write substantial comments (at least 3 sentences) that add value, rather than just ‘Nice post’.
  • Make your comment stand out by answering a question or solving a problem.
  • Use quality writing to get yourself noticed and to entice readers to click on your name to visit your site.
  • Build a rapport with the blogger by using their name in your comment, to guarantee a reply.

Commenting helps with SEO because:

  • Search engines will recognise keyword matches in comments and index it accordingly.
  • Linking to a relevant blog post is attractive to search engines, which will value this relevance enough to increase your site’s Domain Authority.
  • Continuing conversations in comments increases the host blog’s popularity, which attracts interest from the search engines.
  • Regular commenting increases the chance of your comments getting noticed, indexed, clicked on and crawled back to your site.

Much of these practices can be adapted for social media, forums and other online activities, as well as commenting on blogs, with some excellent writing and a little imagination.[/thrive_text_block]

Who was on your wavelength about link building?

There were 8 other experts to mentioned commenting (as well as other methods) for link building. The best one was from my dear friend Phillip Verghese Ariel:

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#20 Philip Verghese Ariel

I entered the online community as a blog comment author even before having my own blog.

Even after building a good rapport with many experts and influencers I still follow this strategy as one of my top link building techniques.

Our value-added subject related strategic comments can bring in a lot of attention from the readers as well as from the blog owners and most often that leads to conversion.

I have published an article on this subject under the title “The Power of Blog Comments”.

Indeed the magical power of blog comments is amazing! It can be used as wonderful Link Building Techniques. [/thrive_text_block]

Phillip has been commenting properly for a long time, and as a result has built up his reputation and an increased awareness of his blog. For him commenting isn't only about link building, but also gaining attention (for the right reasons) so more people visit his blog to read what he has to say.

Another one on the same wavelength was Justin Germino:

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#8 Justin Germino

One of the ways I build backlinks is of course by leaving valuable feedback on other sites, videos and forums in a related niche in the same topics that I cover. This isn’t just a comment like “good article” but one that covers specific points talked about, asks questions that the article didn’t specifically address and maybe could have or adds valuable feedback for the content creator.

My intention is not to just simply leave a comment and backlink for the backlink sake but to encourage an interaction because getting known and noticed and having interaction is just as valuable as simply getting a link.

This still plays to my intention that interaction and engagement to me is a better form of link building than simply drop and go commenting or guest posting.[/thrive_text_block]

He understands the power of interaction should take precedence over the desire to build links. If this is done correctly, link building merely becomes a by-product from which everybody benefits.

And Janice Wald echoes what Neil Patel said in his post regarding commenting on high ranking blogs:

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#9 Janice Wald

Comment on blogs with a high DA. Make sure the blogs are in your niche.

This article recommends eight blogs with high DA’s that accept comment: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/blog-commenting-sites/ [/thrive_text_block]

Genuine and meaningful commenting

These experts referred to commenting for link building in an equally positive light:

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#12  Erika Mohssen-Beyk

In my opinion, the best strategy for building backlinks is genuine and meaningful blog commenting, which helps to connect and get known — but also creating valuable, helpful content that is worth linking.

Connecting through genuine, valuable blog commenting, and creating content that is a resource worth linking to will help to build quality backlinks. [/thrive_text_block]

Erika is right, comments that contain useful material which adds value to the post, helps the readers in some way, and is worth reading in their own right, is far more effective at link building than just writing a comment for the sake of it.

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#13 Lisa Sicard

The second way I generate links is to comment on relevant blog posts.

Do not comment just for the links but try to find at least 3-5 good blog posts relevant to your niche and leave comments on them.

Make sure they are at least a couple of sentences and add something to the topic! It’s a great way to network with others in your niche as well. [/thrive_text_block]

It is important to do the same as Lisa and search for relevant blogs within your niche, or where your target audience is more likely to congregate. Make sure your comments really count so they benefit you, the blogger, the other commenters and the readers.

Commenting as part of outreach networking

The other link building experts focus on relationship building, which includes outreach networking leading onto blog commenting.

In fact for many experts, commenting is one method used for outreach networking. It's all about building a rapport with bloggers to get them to know, like and trust you better.

A meaningful, helpful and relevant comment helps towards increasing indexable content. It should benefit both the blogger and their readers. The quality of your writing will draw attention to you, and consistent commenting will soon place you in the blogger's good books.

All bloggers welcome regular commenters, especially if they provide worthy responses. It is up to the blogger to respond appropriately, and any commenter worth their salt will be ready to reply. This will help create the beginning of a discussion.

Because discussion leads onto popularity. People are attracted by a flurry of activity, and a spate of commenting is no exception. If a blog is getting a lot of comments, the content must be worth reading. The search engines also apply the same reasoning, but for indexing purposes instead.

Which experts referred to commenting with outreach?

Only two experts actually mentioned commenting in passing:

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#27 Anil Agarwal

The best way to build links in 2020 and beyond in any niche is to build strong relationships with other bloggers. Hands down, relationship building is the most effective way to build highly relevant links to your site.

The key here is to link out to other bloggers who are sharing exceptional content. Also, share their stuff, leave thoughtful comments, spend quality time to network with other bloggers. [/thrive_text_block]

Part of getting a blogger to notice you, in order to create a blogging relationship with them, is to share their posts and leave a series of worthy and relevant comments on their blog. This should encourage them to visit your blog (via the link behind your name) to find out more about you.

If you successfully win them over, this may lead onto guest posting, participating in roundups, forming joint business ventures and goodness knows what else!

[thrive_text_block color="note" headline=""]#72 James McAllister

Take the time to develop an effective networking strategy, connecting with other marketers in your niche. Look for opportunities to provide value to them – comment on their posts, share their Tweets, reach out to them through email.

Those you’ve connected with will reciprocate this value and link out to you naturally – without ever having to ask directly! This ensures you’ll receive natural, relevant links over time, while also building meaningful connections as well.[/thrive_text_block]

The power of network relationship building will result in natural backlinks. Your friends will naturally advocate you, share your content, converse with your on social media and even comment on your blog in return. All this helps towards relevant blog link building.

How much do you know about commenting for link building?

OK, there is the overshadowing concept of no-follow and do-follow links. Adding links into your comment's body is not worth the effort, as they are automatically created as no-follow. Also they are not tolerated, and their presence sometimes gets picked up by the moderation systems as spam.

I can guarantee that do-follow links are generated by the Comment-Luv plugin. This automatically grabs the latest post from the commenter's blog and displays it underneath the comment. But it seems you don't get to choose the URL which is most applicable for your comment.

However, I suspect the URL you submit with your comment, the one behind your name, is also do-follow. (If I'm wrong, let me know in the comments below.) But I've noticed some successful and popular bloggers have disallowed URL submission within their commenting facilities. This is because this field is abused by spammers.

This is a shame, but I can see where they are coming from. Many spammers and other unscrupulous people will take advantage of the high ranking position these blogs have to spread their misery across the blogosphere.

However, if you comment on an ordinary blog, definitely take time to consider which URL you submit. It would be better from a relevant post rather than to your blog's homepage. Its relevancy will have far more impact on the search engines, and could even increase your blog's Domain Authority if you consistently comment.

Now it's your turn

Let me know in the comments below your thoughts, opinions and points of view about using commenting via link building. Do you regularly comment on blogs? Have you thought that doing so would help create links back to your blog?

Let me know your successes (and failures) regarding building suitable links to your blog. I'm sure we would all benefit from you sharing your knowledge with us.

Alice Elliott
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And let me know your thoughts about this post below...
  • I love the idea that commenting (and all link building, really) is about building relationships with other people. When I first learned SEO 16 years ago, I got so turned off by the fact that many SEOs don’t seem to really like people, just spam, that it took me another 12 years to see the value in good quality SEO for building relationships with people. Thanks for sharing these insights into link building and relationship building with other bloggers.

    • Thank you for your comment Paul. Commenting is all about building relationships with the blog’s author, their readers and the other commenters. And comments that succeed are the ones which add value, are helpful and are worth reading by being meaningful. Commenting for link building isn’t about shoving anything down, but thinking how it will benefit others. Having read my post, Paul, are you now going to start writing meaningful comments to build relevant and valuable links back to your blog?

  • Hi Alice! Great article and it’s nice to read the insights from so many experts. I really appreciate you including me in this.

    I love networking as a link building tool, and find commenting a great way to kickstart a relationship with other bloggers. I’ve found it can work better than just reaching out to people cold. However, the best benefits in my opinion aren’t even the links – the benefits networking brings are diverse and not always predictable. I know I wouldn’t be doing nearly as well without the help and support of my network!

    Regarding Commentluv, I use this on my blog and wanted to chime in since you asked. As far as I know Commentluv Premium allows you to make commenter links dofollow by default, make them dofollow only if the person presses a share button, or makes the links dofollow after the commenter has left a certain number of comments. I do believe most people leave the comments nofollow though, but I can’t be certain.

    If you own Commentluv premium, you also get to choose from the 10 most recent posts on your site, but I agree that even then, the links aren’t always relevant!

    Anyway, fantastic post and thanks for letting me know about it on Twitter – happy to connect with you!

    – James McAllister

    • Thank you James for your fabulous comment! You’re right, there is certainly a benefit in reaching out to bloggers, especially through the medium of commenting.

      Thank you also for your information about CommentLuv. Only today someone asked me about it, so I will have to investigate into it further. Do you have a contact there I could ask questions from?

  • Hi Alice, I enjoy commenting on other blogs because I can get to know the other bloggers better. The same when they comment on mine, sometimes I’ll ask questions of them too 🙂
    It’s a great way to network from home and online. We are not an island online, we have to interact with others to learn and grow.
    Thanks for the mention Alice, have a great rest of the week there!

    • Thank you Lisa for your comment. How else are bloggers going to get to know each other if they don’t comment on each other’s blogs? After all, blogs are where commenting started all those eons ago! Which kinds of blogs do you prefer to comment on?

  • Hey Alice,
    I’m glad to see my friends on this post sharing useful tips.

    That recent post by Neil shows that links form comments on high DA blogs do influence search rankings. But if we focus more on the links benefits, we may not have the long term results.

    Adding value and building relationships through commenting should be the driving force. The links will definitely come with healthy connections.

    Hope to be back again

    • Hi Enstine, thanks for your comment. You’re right, you shouldn’t comment purely for link building purposes, there are so many other very valuable reasons to comment that will benefit you more, such as building relationships and getting yourself known, liked and trusted by a different audience. I do hope you will come back to comment again on my blog – have you subscribed to it?

  • Hi Alice,
    I wonder, how come I missed this great share on blog commenting?

    Thank you so much for the highlighted shout-out about me and my comment strategies! LOL

    Yes, commenting just to get a back link is not a good strategy at all!

    There are a great number out there with this in mind and our in boxes are filled with such one word or one line comments.

    To stop this spam comments flow I publish a note underneath every published post on my blog, the comment policy of Philipscom, wherein it’s clearly mentioned that, there is no space for such comments on these pages.

    Thanks again for sharing yet another post on the comment strategies.

    I will be sharing this post on one of my prestigious posts, The people who honored Philipscom” shortly.

    Have an great week ahead

    ~ Philip

    • Gosh thanks Phil for honouring my post on your blog! I still love the fact you were a comment author before you become a blog author. I think everybody should do this, to understand the positivity of interaction as well as becoming better writers as well.

  • Hi Alice,

    I am new to your website but I want to tell you that I loved your post and I am still using this strategy for link building as well as user engagements. I love commenting on other blogger’s posts and enjoy reading the latest information.

    • Thanks for commenting Dinesh. Commenting is a good excuse to read lots of posts to gain more information. Then you have the opportunity to thank the author and say what you have learned and what you are going to do with your new found knowledge. This would make an excellent comment.

  • Hey, thank you for sharing such a detailed post on link building. Commenting links can drive quality traffic to a website. I will definitely focus more on commenting in my marketing strategy.

    • Thank you John for commenting. Yes, John, it is useful to comment for link building, but adding your link into the comment space is not tolerated, so I have removed it.

  • Hi Alice, I got here because I clicked a link about backlinks in one of your current posts. The way you explain this here has made a puzzling concept more understandable – very helpful, thank you!

    Will you clarify something specific about the website link I put in to the website field of my comment?
    I’ve previously just put the link to my main website home page. Reading your article it, it sounds like I should pick a link to a specific blog post instead, is that correct?

    I had a second thought that almost without paying attention, I shifted from commenting on actual blog posts to commenting on discussions topics on social media. The commenting exchange between commenters and between author and commenters seems more dynamic in social media posts. Do you think this has diminished the volume of comments on actual posts?

    • Hi Laura, good to see you here again!

      The concept of adding a link to a relevant post in your blog rather than to your homepage becomes more fruitful due to how it relates to the original post’s subject.

      Suppose someone reading your comment is interested in you, and clicks on your name. If they are then directed to your relevant post which extends the conversation further, they will be more impressed and may visit other pages (reducing your bounce rate).

      If they only arrive at your homepage, there will be no connection with the original post, and they will be more likely to leave and not read what you have to offer.

      And yes, conversations in social media are more dynamic because they happen in real time. The need to moderate comments on blogs has stilted this. But you may find that social media conversations may not be as deep or complete as on blog comments – at least this was the case before 2014.

      The majority of blog comments are usually not worth publishing, as they are either inadequate, over promotional or spammy. The Commenting Club was set up to try to rectify this.

  • The post is amazing! I met a guy who was supposed to do link building for me. Ofcourse he couldn’t expose the websites he was leaving comments or building the links on. I was wondering if you have a post with a list of websites where I can leave links on.

    • I do have a post about finding blogs to comment on, and an accompanying e-course. But I don’t have a list of particular websites as this should be relevant to your needs. Just visiting a website purely to leave a link via a comment is not what I’m advocating, by the way.

  • Link building made simple! The insights shared by The Commenting Club are incredibly helpful for improving online visibility. It’s refreshing to see a focus on genuine connections and meaningful interactions as the foundation for effective link building. Kudos!

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