There is a common idea in the SEO world that all links will help your site gain rankings so you should get as many as possible and blog commenting is an easy way to do this, thus the spam.
This actually did not start out as a experiment but rather a system designed to get relevant topical links from blogs to our websites. This work went on for 6 months. I have decided to post our work as this can help others make up their own decision on whether to go down the blog commenting path solely for the purpose of search rankings.
We built an application that gave the commenter the fields to paste in including the name field, the website url, email address and keywords they could use to find revelant blog posts for the website given, using a random search engine that would popup for them including google’s blog search, technorati and a few other smaller blog search engines that specialized in dofollow (only used 10% of the time). Google’s blog search was used the most as it was given a higher chance to show at 80%.
For the value of the name field that would be the link anchor text they were given random names made up of real names and combo SEO names: John and John best (best is used for many keyword searches). After they had finished commenting there was another field in our form where they could post the url where they commented at so that we could moniter their progress and scan for links. The application prevented them from adding in a URL they had already commented on previously.
I put a job up at odesk for data entry people because this way I could train them from scratch to use our system and follow our rules. I hired 20 people to begin with to test them over a 2 week period, I tested for english skills,ability to search for relevancy and write relevant comment, and how reliable they were. 20 became 4 different blog commenters after 2 weeks of testing and each were told to comment for 10 hours a week so that is 40 hours a week of blog commenting.
They commented on dofollow and nofollow blogs however they did not know about this nor where told about this, I wanted a variety of both.
- There were about 20 sites they built links for across various topics including finance, sport, ecommerce as well as other niche sites.
- They were mostly 10 page informational sites, 1 or 2 had product comparison so an extra 100 pages of categories with product listings and product pages
- No extra content was added to nearly all the site over the 6 month period.
The Blog commenter Rules
- Use the blog search engine that is shown to them (rotating basis) using the keywords given or related keyword phrases. Don’t use only the same one all the time.
- Read the blog post and make a relevant comment not a spamming one that is promoting something, never promote anything. Copy and paste the given values for the other fields on the blog comment form.
- Must comment on relevant blogs and put where they commented into our system so we could see their progress.
- After 3 months they were told only to comment on blogs that had at least 1 previous comment this way they didn’t waste their time commenting on blogs that were rubbish or never approving any comments. Although it maybe easier for an SEO person to spot a rubbish blog that they wouldn’t bother with, for a common person they might not know.
After 6 months the findings were
- The commenters averaged 5-7 blog comments per hour, so that is about 1 comment made very 10 minutes. This is good rate considering search time for relevancy, reading time and making a good comment.
- The average success rate of a blog comment (link gained) approval was only 26%. I believe this might be a little bit higher if we had put in the rule about only commenting on blogs with at least 1 comment from the beginning not half way through at 3 months.
- Of those comments that were approved, 35% were dofollow. This is high considering they mostly used Google’s blog search to find blog posts, this means there are a lot of blogs out there that dofollow.
Did it increase search engine traffic of any of the 20 sites, well basically NO. There were 2 sites that did have content added to them a few times and search traffic increased slightly for them but not much.
Our conclusion is that blog commenting can bring relevant traffic but not rankings it’s far better to add regular content to your site than link build. Adding content that is highly relevant to your audience attracts long tail search terms that you couldn’t even image before.
Happy blog commenting! If you like