Kevin O’Keefe wrote an interesting post over the weekend about how some lawyers are using blog comments to market themselves. The problem with the post, and with Scott Greenfield’s original assessment, is that blog comments have absolutely nothing to do with Google rankings.
Let me explain…
Back at the beginning of 2005, Google introduced the ‘no-follow’ attribute for links. This was done so Google’s indexing spiders would ignore ALL links coming from within blog comments; and more importantly, according to Google, “those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results“.
That announcement was then followed by the insertion of the ‘no-follow’ attribute on almost every blogging software out there: wordpress, typepad, blogger, livejournal, drupal… In fact, I can’t think of a blog software that doesn’t use no-follow’s for comment links.
So, ethics and optics aside, which should be good enough reasons not to drop comment spam, let me say this. No SEO worth his or her monthly fee employs these types of tactics. If your firm is employing an SEO company recommending these tactics, that person or company is a shill, a shyster, a fly-by-night’er (I’ve got more, those are just the nice ones…), who will do more damage than good.
Not only do spam comments make your practice & ethics look disreputable, but this is a tactic that’s been completely ineffective for almost three years!
I don’t have a problem with Lawyers publishing blog comments on the posts of others. I recommend it as good way to introduce yourself and your blogging presence. But doing so in a contrived way, lacking authenticity, or forbid, hiring others to do it for you? Those are some of the quickest ways to deep-six your professional profile online.
What did your mother say about your inability to say something nice? That’s right. Step back from the keyboard, and go take a walk before hitting that submit button.
And please, don’t blame this shady tactic on SEOs. Most SEO companies know better.