For years, link building has been a cornerstone of SEO. Webmasters have used links in blogrolls, anchor text, forum signatures, user profiles and comments (just to name a few). Linking strategies have ranged from building links naturally to buying links. While links to readers’ websites are tagged no-follow by default in WordPress, bloggers who use the CommentLuv plugin have the option of easily enabling the do-follow attribute on links left with comments. With all the attention that Google has been giving to “unnatural” links recently, what should we do? Should we contact webmasters and ask them to remove links to our site? Should we make all of the CommentLuv links on our site no-follow? Let’s take a look at this topic in this week’s #FridayFinds.
This post is part of the weekly series, Friday Finds, featuring news that deserves a closer look. Today’s finds focus on installing the Google+ Commenting system on your WordPress blog. Some well-known bloggers have been addressing this issue recently and it’s a topic that deserves our attention. Let’s take a look at 3 articles that will give you some insight on some of the pros and cons that have been raised and a little background info that I’ve gleaned after taking a closer look.
Some Simple Background on the Google+ Commenting System
FYI – you’ll find greater details by reading the articles that I’m highlighting this week but a brief recap of the Google+ Commenting system is:
- Your visitors must have a Google Plus account to leave a comment.
- There is no direct SEO value to using this system. (Although, there could be benefits from social signals.)
- Comments that are left are stored on Google and are not part of your SQL database. (Google owns those comments not you. If you turn the system off, the comments no longer appear on your blog.)
- If you switch to this system from CommentLuv, some of your readers may be disheartened by no longer having the do-follow backlink to their blog.
- You can run the Google+ Commenting system alongside your current commenting system. (It definitely works with the CommentLuv plugin. If you have read that there are compatibility issues with another system, please let me know.)
Ms. Ileane Smith’s Announcement on Basic Blog Tips
Ileane Smith (a well-respected blogger and early advocate of the CommentLuv commenting system) recently caused some ripples in the blogosphere when she announced that she was (at least temporarily) moving to the Google+ Commenting system and disabling the CommentLuv features of the CommentLuv Premium plugin on her site.
In her post, Ileane makes it clear that CommentLuv is still a worthy option and she mentions that it’s a “fantastic” plugin but she also mentions that a lot of her peers have been switching their commenting systems. Ileane’s post makes for some interesting reading along with a lively dialogue in the comments.
Kim Castleberry’s How-To Article on Adding Google+ Comments to WordPress
Most of you probably know Kim Castleberry as a respected resource. Kim specialties include WordPress and Facebook as well as a wealth of other talents. In this post, Kim provides instructions for adding the Google+ commenting system:
- Using code
- Using the Thesis theme
- Using the Genesis theme
- Using a WordPress plugin
Kimberly also addreses the question about whether or not the Google+ Commenting system has any SEO value. (Because it runs in an iframe, it does not. Although, there could be some benefit indirectly through social signals.)
Kim Castleberry’s SEO Explanation on Ileane Smith’s Blog
You may have already seen the detailed explanation that Kim left regarding the potential SEO benefit (or lack of benefit) from using Google+ comments. One conversation occurred on Ileane’s blog and it goes as such:
7 Reasons for Not Replacing CommentLuv with the Google+ Commenting System
Suresh Khanal’s post Why Google+ Comment System Can’t Replace CommentLuv? builds a well thought out case for not switching from the CommentLuv plugin (which runs on the native WordPress commenting system). He takes a closer look at the database, SEO and spam issues that are being raised.
In Suresh’s reply to the comment I left regarding SEO, he mentions how there may be some SEO benefits from Google’s system because their algorithm counts social signals:
Suresh closes his post stating:
I may replace native comment system with Google+ commenting system when these issues are addressed. May be there will be plugins available in near future that enters comment to the blog database in addition to submitting to Google+. Until then, I think, it will be like jumping off a cliff into the great unknown!
Over to You:
What do you think? Have you installed the Google Plus commenting system on your blog? Do you plan to? Do you think it’s a good idea to keep the system that you’re using now and add Google+ to it? Personally, at this point, I agree with Suresh. At least for now, I’m sticking with CommentLuv Premium and I’ll continue following the discussions.
It’s no secret that the official launch of the CommentLuv Premium (CLP) WordPress Plugin is today. If you read any blogs or are on any of the social media sites, you can’t avoid hearing about CLP, how great it is etc. Personally, I like it. In my most recent article, “Will CommentLuv Premium Make Your Blogging Life Easier?”, I discussed some of the reasons why. But is it right for you? Well that depends. How do you think you’d benefit from using the premium version of CommentLuv?
Blogs are powerful tools that can be leveraged as part of an overall business strategy. They’re a great way to build awareness and drive traffic to a website for an existing business. Blogs can also be a business themselves. Some people are able to monetize their blogs and there are a number of people who start blogging in hopes of making a living solely through blogging.
There has been some buzz lately from bloggers worried that CommentLuv leaks link juice. Researching this question became more than just an academic question for me, as I have been seriously considering about adding CommentLuv to my blog, Internet Marketing Remarks.
Looking for low-cost ways to drive traffic to your website? Establish an online presence, build awareness and make connections – basically the same methods that entrepreneurs and businesses have been using to promote their products and services for years. In addition to networking on the Internet by participating in forum groups, message boards and social networking sites, you can also comment on blogs. There are even online communities for people who are serious about commenting. One of the more popular ones (and the one that I’m a member of) is the ComLuv network. CommentLuv is a “plugin”/program that works with blogs. When a member of the ComLuv network comments on a blog that is running the CommentLuv plugin, in addition to their comment, a link to one of their blog posts will be included. This is a wonderful opportunity for a blogger to get a “backlink” (link back to your blog/website). Thousands of blogs have installed this simple plugin. In addition to building awareness, useful and constructive comments can help to build a reputation too.