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If you have ever left a comment on NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that there is no URL field.
Well, a few years ago, blog commenting exploded. I was literally getting thousands of spam comments a day from people just leaving a comment for the purpose of link building instead of providing value to the community.
Sure, there are spam plugins like Akismet, but it doesn’t catch everything.
Now, most blog comments contain the nofollow attribute in which they tell Google not to follow the link or drive any “SEO value” to that URL.
But still, people still leave blog comments for the purpose of link building.
So, over the past 7 months, I’ve been running an interesting experiment to answer the age-old question…
Do backlinks from blog comments actually help rankings?
First off, for this experiment, we used “domain score,” which is similar to domain authority.
If you want to know your domain score, the backlinks report in Ubersuggest will tell you what it is.
From there, I set the following criteria:
After eliminating the sites that didn’t meet the above criteria, I was left with 314 sites.
Of those 314 sites, many dropped off because they didn’t complete the required work on their part (which was to write a blog post), so I was left with 183 sites at the end that participated.
Similar to my previous link building experiment and my on-page SEO experiment, I had these websites write a 1,800 to 2,000-word blog post on whatever subject that was relevant to their site.
The websites had 2 weeks to publish their content and then after 30 days, I looked up their URL in Ubersuggest to see how many keywords each URL ranked for in the top 100 spots, top 50, spots, and top 10 spots.
As I have mentioned in the past, Ubersuggest has a big database of keywords. We are currently tracking 1,459,103,429 keywords.
Now, most of these keywords are barely searched but a decent amount of them get hundreds, if not thousands, of searches per month. A much smaller percentage of keywords generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of searches per month.
In other words, the majority of the keywords people are searching for are long-tail phrases.
We then spent a month building links and then waited another 3 months to see what happened to each site’s rankings.
But here’s the thing: We didn’t build the same type of links to all sites. Instead, we broke the 183 sites into 4 groups (roughly 46 sites per group).
Here were the groups:
Keep in mind with the link building for groups 2, 3 and 4,
there was no specific anchor text agenda. Because the links were built through
blog comments, it was too hard to control the anchor text as we didn’t want to
And each comment left on the blog contained at least 75
words as we wanted to ensure that each comment provided value and the core
purpose wasn’t just link building.
Alright, so let’s dive into the results.
Do you really need links to rank on Google? Well, the chart below says a lot…
Of course, if your content is amazing and you do on-page SEO, you’ll rank higher, but still not growing your link count doesn’t mean you will rank for anything out there… instead, you will still rank for long-tail terms that aren’t too competitive.
Now the results from this group were interesting…
Keep in mind, though, that it could be many variables that caused this, such as the content quality may have been better.
Overall, the sites did perform better than the control group but not by a substantial amount.
Google is sophisticated, they are able to know if a link is from user-generated content (such as blog comments), so I assumed even though the links where dofollow they still wouldn’t have much (if any) impact.
But, shockingly, sites in this group had the largest gains.
With this last group, we were able to build more dofollow links because we focused on sites with lower authority.
We built 10 links instead of 5, but the quantity didn’t help
as much as having high domain score links. This group increased their rankings
by 337% versus 828% that group 3 experienced even though they had half the
Again, we still saw gains, just not as large as the previous group.
Who would have thought that building links through blog
comments still helps?
Now, if you are going to use this tactic, you’ll want to focus on blogs that have dofollow comments.
If you aren’t sure how to find them, you can perform a Google search for the following:
When building links, focus on higher domain scores as it has a bigger impact on rankings.
In addition to that, you’ll only want to leave a comment if you can provide value. Don’t stress the anchor text, focus on the quality of your comment as you don’t want to be a spammer.
Posting spammy links will just cause your comment to be
Lastly, don’t just leave a valuable comment for the sake of generating a link. Make sure it is on relevant blogs as well. And if that means the blog doesn’t have as high of a domain score that’s fine because the data above shows that even low domain score links still help (just not as much).
So, have you thought about leaving more comments on other blogs? It’s a great way to get your brand out there, generate referral traffic, and boost your rankings.
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