This may be of some interest.
If you have ever left a comment on NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that there is no URL field.
Well, a few years ago, blog commenting exploded. I was literally getting thousands of spam comments a day from people just leaving a comment for the purpose of link building instead of providing value to the community.
Sure, there are spam plugins like Akismet, but it doesn’t catch everything.
Now, most blog comments contain the nofollow attribute in which they tell Google not to follow the link or drive any “SEO value” to that URL.
But still, people still leave blog comments for the purpose of link building.
So, over the past 7 months, I’ve been running an interesting experiment to answer the age-old question…
Do backlinks from blog comments actually help rankings?
First off, for this experiment, we used “domain score,” which is similar to domain authority.
If you want to know your domain score, the backlinks report in Ubersuggest will tell you what it is.
With this experiment, I sent out an email to a part of my list looking for participants and had 794 websites apply.
From there, I set the following criteria:
- English-only sites – It’s easier to rank on many of Google’s international search engines even without building links. I removed non-English speaking sites as I didn’t want to skew the results.
- Low-authority sites – I removed any website with a domain score greater than 20 and any site with more than 20 backlinks. The reason being is when a site has a lot of authority, they tend to rank easily for new keywords, even if they don’t build any new links.
- No subdomains – I didn’t want a WordPress.com site, a Blogspot site, or even a Tumblr site. Again, this would skew the results so I removed them.
After eliminating the sites that didn’t meet the above criteria, I was left with 314 sites.
Of those 314 sites, many dropped off because they didn’t complete the required work on their part (which was to write a blog post), so I was left with 183 sites at the end that participated.
How the experiment worked
The websites had 2 weeks to publish their content and then after 30 days, I looked up their URL in Ubersuggest to see how many keywords each URL ranked for in the top 100 spots, top 50, spots, and top 10 spots.
As I have mentioned in the past, Ubersuggest has a big database of keywords. We are currently tracking 1,459,103,429 keywords.
Now, most of these keywords are barely searched but a decent amount of them get hundreds, if not thousands, of searches per month. A much smaller percentage of keywords generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of searches per month.
In other words, the majority of the keywords people are searching for are long-tail phrases.
We then spent a month building links and then waited another 3 months to see what happened to each site’s rankings.
But here’s the thing: We didn’t build the same type of links to all sites. Instead, we broke the 183 sites into 4 groups (roughly 46 sites per group).
Here were the groups:
- Control – we didn’t build any links to these sites, we just wanted to see what happened to their rankings over time with no focus on link building.
- Nofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the newly written post and they were from blogs that had a domain score of 50 or higher and they all contained a nofollow attribute.
- Dofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 5 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the new post and were dofollow from blogs with a domain score of 40 or higher. (I reduced the domain score criteria for this category and the link quantity as we struggled to find a large number of high authority blogs that pass link juice in the comment section.)
- Dofollow low domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. Each link pointed back to the article and it was from a blog that contains a domain score of at least 20 but no higher than 39. (I was able to build more links here as there are many more low domain score blogs than high domain score ones.)
Keep in mind with the link building for groups 2, 3 and 4,
there was no specific anchor text agenda. Because the links were built through
blog comments, it was too hard to control the anchor text as we didn’t want to
And each comment left on the blog contained at least 75
words as we wanted to ensure that each comment provided value and the core
purpose wasn’t just link building.
Alright, so let’s dive into the results.
Do you really need links to rank on Google? Well, the chart below says a lot…
As you can see over time, you will naturally grow your search rankings even if you don’t build any links.
Of course, if your content is amazing and you do on-page SEO, you’ll rank higher, but still not growing your link count doesn’t mean you will rank for anything out there… instead, you will still rank for long-tail terms that aren’t too competitive.
Nofollow high domain score blog comment links
Now the results from this group were interesting…
As you can see, the sites in this group had better results than the control group even though the links were nofollowed.
Keep in mind, though, that it could be many variables that caused this, such as the content quality may have been better.
Overall, the sites did perform better than the control group but not by a substantial amount.
Dofollow high domain score blog comment links
Google is sophisticated, they are able to know if a link is from user-generated content (such as blog comments), so I assumed even though the links where dofollow they still wouldn’t have much (if any) impact.
But, shockingly, sites in this group had the largest gains.
As you can see from the chart above, links from high authority sites, even if it is through user-generated content, help with rankings. They just have to be dofollow.
Dofollow low domain score blog comment links
With this last group, we were able to build more dofollow links because we focused on sites with lower authority.
And as you can see from the chart above, it did help with rankings more than building nofollow links but it didn’t help nearly as much as getting links from blogs with higher domain scores.
We built 10 links instead of 5, but the quantity didn’t help
as much as having high domain score links. This group increased their rankings
by 337% versus 828% that group 3 experienced even though they had half the
Again, we still saw gains, just not as large as the previous group.
Who would have thought that building links through blog
comments still helps?
Now, if you are going to use this tactic, you’ll want to focus on blogs that have dofollow comments.
If you aren’t sure how to find them, you can perform a Google search for the following:
- “title=”CommentLuv Enabled”” KEYPHRASE – this will showcase blogs that have CommentLuv enabled which means they pass link juice.
- “dofollow blogs” – you find a lot of blog articles listing out blogs that have dofollow links. Some of them look like this but you will have to double-check each site as many are nofollow even though bloggers claim they are dofollow.
- Followlist – this is a directory of blogs that have dofollow links.
When building links, focus on higher domain scores as it has a bigger impact on rankings.
In addition to that, you’ll only want to leave a comment if you can provide value. Don’t stress the anchor text, focus on the quality of your comment as you don’t want to be a spammer.
Posting spammy links will just cause your comment to be
Lastly, don’t just leave a valuable comment for the sake of generating a link. Make sure it is on relevant blogs as well. And if that means the blog doesn’t have as high of a domain score that’s fine because the data above shows that even low domain score links still help (just not as much).
So, have you thought about leaving more comments on other blogs? It’s a great way to get your brand out there, generate referral traffic, and boost your rankings.
The post Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings? appeared first on Neil Patel.
Thank you for reading.
This may be of some interest.
It’s been more than a year since I launched the “new”
And over the last 12 months, I have made a lot of progress.
Just as a quick recap: Ubersuggest went from a basic keyword research tool to now containing backlink data, rank tracking, content ideas, site audit reports, and many more features.
If you haven’t played with Ubersuggest in the past few months, give it a try. Type in a URL or a keyword and click around.
The reason I am asking you to give it a try is that I need your help to determine what I should develop next so I can help you improve your traffic and rankings even more.
But before we get into that, let me first tell you what I am releasing in the next few months.
So, let’s break it down by section as I am making a lot of
small changes that should not only improve the data, but also the usability of
Funny enough, there will be changes to every section of the
Over the next month, the keyword overview is going to change in which I will start to tell you demographic data. You’ll see what percentage of the searches are done by males or females as well as the average age range of a searcher.
You’ll also see what portion of the clicks for any given keyword go to SEO results, ads, or result in no clicks.
I am also going to break searches down by mobile versus
More accurate data
Another big change that is happening, and this one won’t be
visual, is all of the data will become much more accurate.
From traffic estimations for a domain, to even keywords,
you’ll start seeing a more accurate database.
For example, when I look at all of the keywords
neilpatel.com ranks for, a lot of them are junk keywords that don’t drive much
Sure, the report still provides value as a lot of the keywords are good and can provide good SEO insights, but with more accurate data it should make your job easier.
New backlinking data
Another feature that I am excited about is the new backlink charts.
I’m adding historical link data over time as well as a
snapshot of daily new and lost links.
In addition to that, you’ll start seeing more data on anchor text or link distribution.
A huge problem with Ubersuggest is that you have to continually come back to get value. In the next month or so, you will start seeing email alerts that will tell you what’s happening with your site and what you should fix.
The overall purpose is for you to not have to come to
Ubersuggest to figure out what you need to fix.
The biggest problem with Ubersuggest is people don’t know
what to do with the data or how to improve their rankings.
This will be fixed in the upcoming months.
From an education center and demos to tutorials and more, we are creating a guided path so you can see better gains in your search traffic.
Alright, so now that you know what I am working on, I now need your help to figure out what I should do next.
Where do you want me to take Ubersuggest?
I have a few options for you, but I am not sure what you
want me to do with the tool.
Sure, I know you want more free features and I will do that,
but what’s going to provide you with the biggest gains?
Here are some options…
- Ad management – do you want an easy to use ad management system? From Facebook and Google to even smaller sites like Quora, there are tons of ad opportunities. I could create an easy to use system that helps you find all of the ad opportunities and optimize/manage them for you in an automated way.
- Free email marketing – I know there are tools like Mailchimp that are great, but what if I made it so you can send an unlimited amount of emails to an unlimited number of contacts for free?
- Chrome extension – what if I took extensions out there from tools like Moz, Ahrefs, Keywords Everywhere, and SEMrush and combined the best features and made it free?
- Or do you have any better ideas? I am open to anything.
I can take Ubersuggest in many different directions. There isn’t really a right or wrong approach and, wherever I take it, I will make sure that the product is still really easy to use.
The question is, what do you want me to focus on first?
That’s all that matters in the grand scheme of things because I am building this for you.
So, if you can, leave a comment below letting me know where you want me to take Ubersuggest. It can be one of the options above, or if you have a better idea, I am open to that as well.
Thank you for reading.