With all of Google’s recent updates and crackdowns on link building schemes, many SEO professionals worried that the once widely-used practice of commenting on relevant industry blogs would be punished by Google. Aside from the opportunity it affords for linking back to your site or blog, it helps establish your brand as an industry expert and allows you to monitor and engage with relevant conversations in your industry. However, the head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts, recently spoke out in defense of blog comments – saying it’s a tactic he uses to build his own personal brand. Provided that SEO professionals do it correctly and legitimately, Google won’t penalize a solid blog commenting strategy. But what exactly does the correct way entail? Here are some of his hints:
- Use real name on your blog comment: Using a keyword-rich tagline as the name or headline of your blog commenting persona will raise a red flag with Google. It is also best practice within the community with which you are engaging; having a real entity attached to comments will go a long way in establishing legitimacy and trust with the blog audience, which is beneficial to your brand for several reasons.
- Don’t make blog comments the cornerstone of your link building strategy: Blog comments should not be the place from which the majority of your links originate; that will tip off search engines that your link building is less of a strategy and more of a scheme, which is frowned upon and punishable by Google.
- Stay on relevant blogs: Stay within your industry and relevant niche topics; commenting and linking on irrelevant topics is not only spammy, but it keeps you from targeting the correct audience, which should always be your goal with any digital marketing campaign.
Most of these guidelines are common sense, which leads to one conclusion: Google has no problem with an organic, meaningful blog comment strategy. As long as you are not setting goals of posting a set number of topics or generating a set number of links per day, you should avoid any penalties. Having a hard time figuring out where the best places to comment are? Need a more robust off-page SEO program? inSegment has the experience and expertise to help boost your boost your brand visibility online; contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals online.