I don’t frequently do tactics articles, especially on SEO. This was one occasion I couldn’t pass up.
Many overlook the power of comment love from blogs ( like this one! ) who provide do-follow rel tags on all of our post links and comment links. While comment spam is understood by most blog owners to be bad, many are starting blogs without any conception of why they should provide do-follow rel tags on comments (and posts). As someone who’s been knee-deep into SEO since well BEFORE Google, I’ll enumerate them briefly:
1) Do-follow does NOT mean that spammers automatically get in a comment!
Akismet and Disqus are each more than adequate in catching bot-generated spam (and anything that could possibly be spam). Unknownest to many blog owners, those who regularly post spam comments by hand and have been flagged thus, typically are recognized by most spam filters they were caught on as “potential” spam, and thus must still be marked as “not spam” manually by the blog owner to get through.
2) Do-follow shows your visitors that you value them and where they come from. In SEO, this is called “comment love” and isn’t it grand? Comment love is about respect for your interlocutor as part of the conversation. It’s a time-honored tradition in blogging and be sure that it’s not going away any time soon.
3) They count for link juice and increase rankings in the short term, for your site, and for your visitors sites being linked.
There is a persistently growing myth that Google doesn’t reward comment links that are do-follow, and while there may be times when Google is depreciating their value (as part of their tactics to shake things up for SEO technicians), in general, this is just not the case. In fact, there is way more evidence that Google continues to honor their weight over time than it would non-blog content pages. The only possible reason that Google would diminish their value over time is due to the
“freshness” factor of blog posts. But since they are typically THE content type of choice on the internet, and since blogs that seem to be blogs give more info about themselves, there is less potential for running afoul of best practices as it evolves over time.
Mark Brimm is Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Marcana.com and is author of AdWords University: The Complete Guide to AdWords and other previous related books on search marketing. He is currently working on a forthcoming book on social media strategy.
Mark consults on SEO & SEM, general web marketing and social media at Interface Communications Group where he is Partner and Director of Digital Marketing. Some of his specialties include SEO (search engine optimization), social media optimization (SMO), as well as PR campaign concepts, marketing plans and general web marketing related project management. Mark is married and currently resides in Houston, TX.