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How Does Google Treat Comments With Hyperlinks?

Yesterday, we posted an article about link spam, and what is the easiest way to recover from it . While we're on the topic, we might as ...

How Does Google Treat Comments With Links?

Yesterday, we posted an article about link spam, and what is the easiest way to recover from it. While we're on the topic, we might as well turn towards another related problem, one which we have addressed periodically over the comments section, but never formally - comments with links in them, and how they're seen by Google. We see a lot of comments with links, both relevant and otherwise, so I figured it'd be a good idea to make things clear and easier to understand for our beloved readers in light of a video posted by Google's Matt Cutts on the topic.

So the big question is, how does Google see comments with links in them? Are they always considered as spam links? What if it's a topically relevant site, and the comment is really meaningful?

Well, as with anything, there's a good way to use it, and then there's a bad way to use it. Let's first talk about the 'bad' way to do it, so you may know what you're doing wrong and need to stop doing.

What not to do

To start off, do not make a comment with a fake name, or the name of your brand. People often use the name of their brand along with a link to their site, hoping to haul in some interested customer. And that is exactly where they go wrong, mainly due to two reasons. 1) They're not disclosing their own identity to their potential customers, and yet somehow expect them to trust the brand (trust works both ways, you see?), and 2) They're advocating themselves by making a comment, and not really adding value to the conversation!

No wonder they get a 'chillier' response. So please use your own name, and not the name of your business. People need to know who they're dealing with.

Another problem is, people tend to make a habit out of this. They comment with links on a regular basis, and it is usually a part of their agenda, a link building scheme, to create so and so many backlinks each day from commenting. That is a very wrong approach, one that used to apply pre-Panda and Penguin days, but not any more.

If Google sees that you have a sizeable chunk of your backlink profile dedicated to link comments, you're bound to get penalized. It these links come regularly in an unnatural amount/manner, you'll see your site get penalized.

However, if you're commenting to add something of value, there's nothing wrong with quoting a source, even if the source is your own website. This sort of a link is a natural link. And there' nothing wrong with even doing it regularly. But don't make this a large or sizeable part of your link-building campaign. Use links only when necessary, and find other ways of building links.

On a different but not-unrelated note, comments that you make should be relevant and interesting. Here at MBT, we follow a strict policy, and delete most promotional comments. We also do not reply to comments that have un-related links in them. Besides, all links in comments are nofollow, so why even bother? So if you want your question replied, make sure it is valid, and doesn't contain a link out of the blue. If it's a genuine link and necessary, we promise to read and consider your comment.

So, what're your thoughts on this? Leave your 'good' comments in the section below. Cheers :P



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: How Does Google Treat Comments With Hyperlinks?
How Does Google Treat Comments With Hyperlinks?
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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