Wade published a great post on the SEO value of commenting on other blogs. His advice is spot on if your primary goal is improving your relevance in Google. I offer “Do Follow” links on my blogs for the express purpose of encouraging people like Wade to contribute to the conversation.
I’m a prolific commenter myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of comments I’ve left on other blogs in the last three years number well into the thousands. I’ve always taken the time to leave an appropriate link back, but it was never for the benefit of Google. I believe in the social value of commenting.
It’s so very hard as a blogger, to know if your ideas are resonating. Comments, any comments are welcome feedback. When I decided to post on other people’s blogs, it’s because I wanted them to know I was listening. I wanted to engage them in conversation. I wanted to forge a relationship with them.
During my stint as Fake Greg Swann, I wrote about how I love to argue. I try to keep that in check while commenting on other people’s blogs, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, my strong opinions lead to a comment of mine being deleted for no other reason than the blog author disagrees with it. That’s unfortunate, because, like I said, the whole idea was to forge a relationship in the first place.
On the other hand, comments are a two way street. It’s ridiculous to me to solicit comments, and only publish the ones who agree with your point. When one of my comments is deleted, I think, “who else is being silenced?” I also question if this is a blog worth commenting on. Who wants to spend the time to comment if nothing was ever to come from it? This happened to me today, on a pretty big RE.net blog. I doubt I’ll spend as much time there.
If anything can be taken from this, I would just say that comments are the 2.0 in Web 2.0. It’s important to treat comments like they are a face to face conversation. Don’t try get over on anyone, or BS them, or silence them, and you’ll be good to go.