How effective are links obtained on blogs that allow DoFollow comments? I’ve been asking myself that more and more as I’ve experimented with various link building techniques, including leaving relevant comments on DoFollow blogs.
As with many others, I started using DoFollow comments on blogs to build some links to several sites that I run. I have started one link building campaign over the last few months using this method, leaving on average 20 – 30 comments on DoFollow blogs each day. I have been extremely careful at varying the title tags that would be used in the links, and have ensured that each comment is posted on relevant sites, with relevant content.
At the end of each week, using Yahoo Site Explorer, I checked the number of backlinks obtained from the blogs and monitored the ranking of my site in the search engine results pages for the variety of keywords I was targeting. In addition, monitored the traffic statistics to the site, trying to determine if traffic was increasing and if so, where was the increase of traffic coming from. This was tracked in Google Analytics.
After 2 months, I have seen about a 5 percent increase in visitors to this one particular site, which was much less than I had anticipated seeing how I had left approximately 2000 comments on a variety of DoFollow blogs. It was a little lower than I had anticipated primarily because I had hoped to see a increase in both SERP placement and referrals from these sites. This lead me to investigate why the results were less than expected.
The first thing I noticed about the pages where I had left comments on DoFollow blogs was many of these pages had either been dropped from the Google index or had not yet been indexed. This meant these dofollow links were not being counted towards improving ranking. It also meant that it was highly unlikely that someone was going to find these pages and click on the link to generate a referral. Overall, about 40 percent of the pages fell into this category.
Of the other 60 percent of the pages remaining, many of the blog owners (approximately 60 percent) had converted their blogs back to NoFollow because of the problem with comment SPAM. This eliminated about another 40 percent of the overall links obtained from providing any boost in ranking, especially in Google where the majority of traffic for my site was coming from.
That left 20 percent of the original links remaining. Careful examination of the analytics data and the log data collected revealed that these links were accounting for about a 2.5 percent increase in traffic to my site from direct referrals. This left the remaining 2.5 percent increase in traffic coming from search engines. There was also no way of determining if the dofollow links obtained through these blog comments resulted in this increase in traffic seen from the search engines.
Yes, commenting on DoFollow blogs is a great technique at building links. However, I now question how effective of a technique it is. The increase in traffic from referalls amounted to a very minimal increase in traffic. Plus, the increase of traffic from the search engines could have come for any number of reasons.
Some will argue that the links were not from relevant content areas. However, each link was selected carefully and placed on a blog that had relevant content posts.
In theory, this should have provided a small boost in ranking which in turn would have increased traffic. I would have also thought that anyone following the blogs would have read through relevant comments and perhaps visited the site in question.
This is obviously not the case.
Yes, DoFollow Blogs do provide linking opportunities. There are obviously some blogs that will provide better links than others depending on the niche occupied. It is important to keep this in mind when utilizing blog comments as a link building technique.
What impacted the results that I had seen?
The two most obvious reasons was the lack of blog posts being indexed in the search engines and the addition of the NoFollow tag on many other blogs. It would also be reasonable to assume that many visitors to these blogs are perhaps interested in obtaining a link for SEO purposes, and not interested in reading the comments.
Another reason could be the fact that the site was well established, with very strong back links. The value obtained by these DoFollow blog comments was perhaps minimized. It would be interesting to try this exercise with a new site and analyze the effect of ranking and traffic.
I am not convinced just yet that DoFollow blog links have no value, I am somewhat hesitant to put a considerable effort into this link building technique. I would be interested in hearing about how this technique has worked for anyone else.