I recently ran into a problem with a guest blog post I’d published on a blog that supported comment luv. Comment luv is a popular WordPress plugin that allows people to build a do-follow link back to their own site in the comments left on a post. So I’d published my post, with a link to the site I own in the author bio. The post became relatively popular, and I responded to each comment. Each response I left also had a link back to my site. Comment luv turns your user name into the anchor text for the link back to your home page.
I didn’t want to abuse this system by using a search term in place of my name, so I just used “Tyler.” I thought, “Sure, why not?” More links is good, right? And if I’m not using search terms, Google won’t penalize my site, right?
My SERP ranking for the keyword I’d used in that blog post have plummeted, and I’m still working on regaining that lost footing. I’m not interested in persuading you to stop guest blogging, because I really like it and it’s definitely a great way to improve your SERP ranking for specific keywords and search terms. However, I’ve grown to dislike blogs with comment luv and keyword luv enabled, and I’ve got some advice on posting on these blogs.
Building Backlinks is Not the Intended Use of Blog Comments
The main reason I don’t like comment luv and keyword luv is because building backlinks is not what blog comments are for. Blog comments are for interacting with other human beings. I never use search terms in place of my actual name when leaving comments, but I know this is largely how comment luv and keyword luv enabled blogs are used.
While it’s true leaving keyword rich comments on blog topics that are relevant is a good practice, it’s important not to go overboard. Especially if you’re responding to readers commenting on your guest post, as I was! I didn’t even use keywords on these links, and I saw my rankings drop from the fifth result to the fifteenth in a Google search. Not the biggest drop, but it’s enough to convince me to change the way I use blogs that allow comment luv.
Google Frowns Upon Link Spam (Even Unintentional Link Spam)
Although in this instance I honestly wasn’t trying to spam, that’s how Google saw it. I’d suddenly posted around 30 links back to my site in the comments section, and the original search term I’d linked to in my author bio has fallen off the first page. Even though I personally don’t like comment luv and keyword luv, I recognize that do-follow links with valuable anchor text are a great way to improve SERP rankings. If this is going to be part of your regular SEO strategy, I’d offer a few words of advice.
First, only comment on blog posts that are related to your website. For example, if you run a party supply e-commerce store, don’t build keyword-rich links in blog posts about golfing, pet care, or foreign currency exchange rates.
Second, you should consider guest blogging as an alternative to commenting on blogs to build links. I use guest blogging as a major component of my link-building efforts, and have found it to be the most effective way of improving SERP results for valuable search terms.