If you’ve ever operated or administered a blog, you can spot them from a mile away.
The comment appears in your moderation queue days or weeks or even months after the post in question was published. On the surface, it seems like the comment was written a by a real person and is really intended to chime in on the post in question, but upon further analysis, it’s fairly clear that the verbiage being used is actually very generic and intended to fit into a very broad and general context (the one’s I get most often are derivatives of “this is great SEO advice!”). Last but not least, the comment signature is jam packed with juicy keywords like “SEO Alaska” or “black belt buckles” or some other very obvious target keyword in someone’s SEO marketing program.
And then you have the completely overt, machine-generated garbage that doesn’t even attempt to seem human and consists of a sloppy menagerie of links and is clearly aimed at exploiting blogs that don’t have comment moderation enabled.
Why do these folks go through the trouble to secure some measly blog comment links and anchor text, you ask?
Simply put, because it works.
As those of you that regularly read this blog know, inbound links and anchor text are still the foundation of Google’s natural search algorithm. Therefore, securing links and anchor text is still a key piece of the SEO puzzle, and one of the easiest ways to secure keyword-rich anchor text (other than buying links) is to put it in the comment sections of do-follow blogs.
The marketplace has become so mature that there are even blog commenting software packages available to help streamline, manage, and even semi-automate the process of finding relevant blogs that allow for do follow commenting (disclosure: this is an affiliate link, I’ve used this thing, and it’s pretty darn good).
Now would I advocate blog commenting as the cornerstone of a White Hat SEO program? Absolutely not. But can it be a small, experimental portion of your overall strategy? Sure, why not. Especially, if the focus is on identifying relevant blogs and leaving genuine, legitimate comments that actually add value to the blog community.
When leveraged in this manner, it’s actually a very legitimate hybrid of social media and SEO that can help build credibility and relationships as well as manifesting the occasional keyword-rich anchor text link.
P.S. Don’t bother trying to sneak in unnatural anchor text into this blog via the comments section. Homey don’t play that (but do feel free to chime in!).