A couple of weeks ago I outlined my strategy for strategic commenting – go ahead and read it if you haven’t already – the key for me is building relationships with other bloggers. Taking over the world one blog at a time, if you want.
But with any strategy, even a good one, there’s normally room for improvement, so while last time I spoke about my philosophy of commenting, today I’d like to mention a couple of tactical tips you can apply to maximise the benefits of your comments to your blog’s authority and traffic. They’re actually closely related – I’ll give you a little hint: neither involves nofollow links…
You probably know what nofollow‘s all about already, but just in case you don’t:
…nofollow is 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 use it by default in their comments section, and what this means for you, the commenter, is that although some readers of that blog may click through to your site, the link won’t benefit you as far as search engines are concerned. This is obviously not very good if you’re trying to get your content listed higher up in the search engine results (and if you’re not, you should be!).
The good news for us commenters is that there’s a bit of a revolution going on – many bloggers believe that nofollow is evil, against the spirit of co-operation that defines the internet, and will ultimately do more harm than good.
There are two nifty WordPress plugins that work around this in different ways: Dofollow and Top Commenter (actually there are several implementations of Dofollow, but they all do more or less the same thing).
This simply strips out the nofollow tag from your comment link on a blog that has it installed, so that you benefit in terms of search engine juice, as well as any traffic that may result from people following your link.
Top Commentator plugin
This doesn’t reward every comment with a dofollow link; rather it does so only for the most prolific commenters on a site. The advantage this gives you, the commenter, is that often these top commenter lists are displayed in the sidebar or footer, meaning they are present on every page of the site! The downside though is that you don’t stay at the top of the list forever – eventually you will be overtaken by other commenters unless you comment frequently.
Now if you can find blogs that use both plugins and/or have decent PageRank…
Why be a sucker?
Why do some blogs allow themselves to be “taken advantage of” like this? Well, if you think about it, they benefit from increased traffic, as other bloggers come in search of links. And because dofollow bloggers tend to moderate their comments more than most (for obvious reasons), would-be commenters won’t get far without at least skimming the content. So basically they’re getting more eyeballs on their posts, more pageviews, and thus have more options for monetizing their sites (revenue is proportional to traffic).
How to find Dofollow and Top Commentator blogs
Ah-ha, the million dollar question! Well, some sites maintain lists, like Yan over at thou shall blog (which by the way uses both these plugins).
You can also find them at dedicated dofollow search pages like CommentHunt (thanks to Barry Wise for the tip).
Update: This site now hosts its own Dofollow Search Tool to help you find Dofollow and Top Commentator blogs – enjoy!
And I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that this blog uses both plugins too! So what are you waiting for…get commenting!