Leaving constructive comments is a great way to boost blogger's authority and an undeniable way to build backlinks.
So, how do you actually leave a comment and at the same time, placing a link within the comment without being labelled as spam?
This is where a great WordPress comment plugin called CommentLuv Premium comes into the limelight.
What is CommentLuv Premium?
CommentLuv is a WordPress commenting system (plugin) and it is used by thousands of blogs out there.
For every comment submitted, commenters are able to share one link in their comment which is good especially when it comes to search engine optimization.
CommentLuv Premium allows blog owners to control the number links shared in the comment, placing a DoFollow or NoFollow option and many more.
Due to this indirect link building method, CommentLuv is used by many major blogs and gained a lot of popularity among bloggers.
For more information about this lovely WordPress comment system, you can have a look at their official website here.
What I really love about CommentLuv Premium?
Ms Ileane from Basic Blog Tips is the ambassador for CommentLuv and thus, it is a no brainer to try it right?
As for the record, CommentLuv Premium has more than 24 features which is extremely great for both bloggers and blog owners.
Before going deeper into why I actually decide not to use some of CommentLuv's functions, let me tell you why I love this WordPress plugin so much.
I am a huge fan of social engagement (huge could very well be an understatement). I wanted my readers to drop me a comment and leave valuable insight. Yes this is great especially when the blog is new and you need boost your engagement level.
Having CommentLuv Premium enabled on my blog are able to convince readers (and spammers ~ ouch) to leave comment and in return, getting a backlink from my site.
You might think, "Hey, that's a good deal right?" ... and so do I!
I wanted to do something extra and I added some spice into it by allowing an automatic DoFollow if the commenter share the article on social media.
What did I get in return? 320 comments and counting. Not bad for a figure right?
Related article: My blogging journey after 60 days and 7,977 blog traffic.
The moment of truth - Turning CommentLuv Premium plugin off (partially)
I am quite well verse in SEO and I know one day, this will back fire. And by saying 'this', I mean the ability to link out through CommentLuv plugin.
Now, here's a few bad thing about linking out:
- The links might return a 404-error which means the page is not found or down
- The links could be from a penalized website or blog
- The links could be redirecting too much
- The links might originated from a site which has very less information
- And probably a few more down the road
Thought it was very real at the back of my head, I wouldn't really bother thinking about it since my blog is like 60 days old. No biggy right?
Here was where I was so ... W-R-O-N-G!
I am a big fan of Adrienne Smith's blog and I recently came across her latest article, Blog Maintenance: The Essential Guide written by no other than, Tim Bonner.
In the article, he said about broken links and immediately, it struck me like a thunderbolt straight through my heart.
As recommended by Tim, I used Broken Link Checker (web version) to find for broken links on my blog. I let it run and after sometime, the numbers keep increasing.
Yes! The numbers of broken links. From 10 to 20 to 30 ... and finally 60. I thought that was it but again, I was wrong. The process was still running! I ended up with over 160 broken links.
That was bad ... real bad. With rumors of coming Google update, I can't afford to do any mistake now. I basically slapped myself multiple times (virtually) as I been seeing the alert on Google Webmaster Tool on 404 errors and I thought they weren't important.
After some quick checking, majority of these broken links comes from CommentLuv plugin (remember the link building feature?). The thing is even though the broken links were coming from CommentLuv commenting system (indirectly), it doesn't mean that the plugin is at wrong.
What really happened to CommentLuv Premium?
Honestly speaking ... nothing.
So, what contributed to the broken links on the comments?
The answer would be the commenters themselves. From time to time, we change our permalinks, URL etc. And this is very common for new blogs. Let's say you are visited by these users and they share a link.
Through GASP which comes with CommentLuv Premium plugin, all URLs basically go through some sort of filtering before it goes into your comment box awaiting for moderation.
*If you are interested to read more about GASP, Ana Hoffman from Traffic Generation Cafe wrote about something about it here.
Now it all starts when these URL's go bad. This means that if the URL changes or goes into 404-error, there is no way to get notified automatically.
Unless you are using a link checker tool, then you would probably find the answer. Otherwise, you are left with ... nothing more than just plain dead links.
If broken links on your blog doesn't sounds bad for SEO, I don't know what else will!
Obviously, this isn't a problem with CommentLuv plugin but instead, the problem lies (as said above), on the commenters and the blog owners.
As a blog owner, we got to ensure that those links on our websites are good and therefore, we can't be lazy (like me).
My new CommentLuv Premium settings
After several discussions with my web host and an hour searching for the answer on Google, I decided that I am going to remove CommentLuv highly-rated feature; the link sharing ability ... for at least, a couple of months for some testing reasons.
I am absolutely sure that this is going to leave a huge impact on the my blog and the number of comments is going to drop rapidly.
In my point of view, I got to consider the SEO ranking and what Google actually sees on my blog. It is suppose to be a good website that shares quality content and NOT a site for linking out.
I even went the extra miles by setting the number of words and the duration before posting to further reduce the chance of spammers.
Why am I still using CommentLuv Premium?
Basically, disabling the link sharing could mean that I could easily ditch the comment system right?
Yes, I could but I choose not to because I wanted the GASP and ReplyMe features. GASP is the shortform for Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin which is great to control the number of spam on your blogs.
As a blogger, it is a known fact that spam is definitely your number one enemy.
On the other hand, ReplyMe is great to create a chance of engagement with both first time and repeat readers who leave comments. Don't forget, a simple 'hi' or 'hello' could go a long way when it comes to relationship building!
How to overcome these 'obstacles'?
If you are using CommentLuv Premium plugin like I do, then you probably might not want to face the same issue.
The way out is actually very simple. Here are a few methods:
- Use broken link checker plugin
- Use broken link checker web version
- Using Google Webmaster Tool
- Ensure that links are automatically NoFollow using CommentLuv setting
Here's a few thing you SHOULD know.
The first two methods have loopholes such as not able to detect broken links completely (possibility). For example, method #1 told me that I have 60 broken links but method #2 told me I have 80 broken links instead!
So here, you just got to be a little hardworking and double check from time to time.
On the other hand, Google Webmaster Tool is great and its track record is squeaky clean. Here's a little problem: It only detects broken links on indexed pages.
Method #4 is strictly to avoid sharing your link juice. All you need to do is to set all URL's shared to be a NoFollow and you would be fine. This method is great when it comes to URL control but it doesn't help in checking for bad URL's.
Question: Should I get CommentLuv Premium plugin?
YES ... Yes ... and yes!
I would still recommend CommentLuv Premium plugin to anyone who asked. It is one hell of a WordPress commenting system and I am sure it will always be that way.
Remember that CommentLuv doesn't only helps you control the number of spam comments but as well as the rich features of ReplyMe and it increases the chances for readers to leave comments on your blog.
Personally, I am not a hardworking person and thus, checking thousands of links monthly isn't really my cup of tea. After all, anything could happen anytime right?
What I am trying to say is that CommentLuv Premium is a very sweet plugin that you should get for yourself if you want to boost blog traffic.
Many bloggers are already using it and I see no reasons why you shouldn't.
Want to try out CommentLuv Premium plugin? Hover and click on this link to see what it is all about ... or simply click on the banner below!
*Important update: CommentLuv link sharing is enabled back to the site on 26th August 2013 after some short testings done for 72 hours.
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