<< by on April 29th, 2008
There has been so much buzz in the SEO community lately around the word “dofollow” – as in anchor text links that pass value to the links targeted site in search engine results. The “dofollow” tag actually doesn’t exist. But, the removal of the “nofollow” tag is the equivalent of a “dofollow” tag. A “nofollow” tag is defined as:
“An HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.
Most blogs, forums and social media sites use the nofollow tag to prevent comment spam. Google says that comment spammers “try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.” Which is the last thing you want to see on your SpongeBob Tribute Blog.
But what if you leave a legitimate comment on the SpongeBob blog with a signature link to your “Dora The Explorer” tribute blog (I have a two year old…). Don’t you deserve a little link love? Some blog owners are rejecting the “nofollow” tag with hopes of encouraging more comments and building a social community on their blog.
There are two popular software tools that you can use to find blogs in your niche keyword area: Fast Blog Finder and Comment Kahuna. Both tools claim that they are 100% legitimate SEO tools for link building… if your intent is legitimate to build non-spammy content links. Both tools allow you to segregate dofollow blogs from nofollow blogs. Both offer free versions that do produce ample keyword specific blog posts that you can comment on. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of the blogs they find are old blog posts with nofollow comments, and many of the blogs they claim are dofollow blogs actually aren’t. You could spend hours submitting comments, especially legitimate comments which take more time, to these blogs and the likelihood that you build a significant number of dofollow links is slim.
An alternative to these software tools, that gives more timely blog postings, is to combine keyword specific Google Blog Alerts that you can have sent to you every day and verify the blog isn’t using nofollow tags with a great Firefox Extension for SEO that highlights all the nofollow links on a webpage. Having this extension is also valuable for nofollow verification in using the comment link building tools discussed above.
In experimenting to see if these kinds of link opportunities actually exist, I can say that they do, but they are about as rare as the Goose that laid the Golden Egg.
My personal opinion is that if you are set on using comment link building to improve your SEO rankings and site traffic from those improved rankings, you need to shift your point of view about blog commenting. You should instead think of it as a way to build targeted traffic to your website or blog with some limited SEO link building potential.
Commenting on relevant blogs discussing your interests or business niche can establish you as a trusted authority, if you have something worthwhile to say. Getting referral traffic from those blog communities whether from a signature link or a link you pass along in your comment is targeted and valuable traffic.
I think the best use of Fast Blog Finder, Comment Kahuna and Google Alerts for Blogs is as tools to find blog discussions that you can contribute to, regardless of any nofollow tags. If you get any improved rankings from commenting consider it an additional bonus.