Comments on blogs have long been a link building method of choice for many SEOs.

That was until a couple of years ago, of course, for people who know anything about SEO. Many people, and companies, are still building many of their links by leaving anchor rich comments on blogs and don’t seem to realise that eventually this is going to catch them out and threaten the online presence of their business.

Blog Comments for Link Building

Chase, from Denver Colorado, asks:

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines discourage forum signature links but what about links from comments? Is link building by commenting against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines? What if it’s a topically relevant site and meaningful comment?

Great question, Chase – it’s one many have needed an answer to for years.

The answer is fairly obvious for those with a clear understanding of what Google is trying to achieve with their search results, but clarification for those ‘not in the loop’ can only be a good thing.

Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google, answers:

I leave topically relevant comments on topically relevant sites all the time. So if somebody posts an SEO conspiracy theory, I’ll show up and leave a comment with a pointer or official word with my name and a link to my blog.

Real Name – No Brands or Keywords

In the future, when it comes to leaving comments on other blogs, ensure you’re using your real name rather than brand or keyword rich anchors so as to save yourself from getting burnt in the future.

That’s not to say that you can’t have a couple of these links, but, as Matt Cutts noted in the video, if a large part of your link profile consists of these kinds of links then it could potentially raise a red flag at Google and you could see your site penalised for participating in a link scheme. Play it safe – don’t do it at all.

Here’s the video:

For the record, I will occasionally leave comments on other blogs just like the majority of you, and I always use my real name and link back to my website. That’s completely normal.