Do comment links affect your page seo?
“I know that an element of your page SEO is gauged by the internal and external links on the page.
What about external links that someone may post in the comments? Can they affect the SEO for the page? Or is it just the page itself that Google reads?”
Yes and No. It can affect the score under two conditions if
- 1. It is linking to a spammy site
- 2. You “do follow” the link
Google views the entire post in terms of on-page SEO, inclusive of comments. So, this will even count towards word count in the search engines eyes. In effect, you could write an article of 1,500 words, receive and reply to 15 comments, which total 10,000 words. So, your post will be viewed as 11,500 words on that page.
WordPress automatically makes external links “no follow”. This simply means that none of your post’s page/ranking authority is passed to the external page that you are linking to. “No follow” is also a way of telling the search engines that you may not have verified, or even agree with, what is written on the external page. Plus, “no-follow” could mean that you’re linking to user-generated content, e.g. a forum comment, so you can’t verify that this person is an expert in this field (all your affiliate links should also show “no follow” and/or “sponsored”).
However, if someone has left a link within a comment, I would always check this before approving. Even if you aren’t “verifying” or “agreeing” with the content on an external website, you don’t want to be linking to what could be viewed as a spammy source.
You have the ability to alter, update, and change the comments you receive before you approve them. It’s your website, you own it, so you choose what content appears on there.
I often use someone else’s comments to create anchor text to link internally to another article of mine, or even to use an affiliate link to link to a related product.
However, if someone is leaving links within their comments, always check. You don’t want to be linking to a page/website that is full of ads, takes ages to load, or is simply lacking in any type of quality content.
“What happens if I answer comments and link to one of my other websites as an example. Will this become a back link or will it be ignored?”
Yep, I’ve mentioned above that all WordPress external links are automatically “nofollow” but you do of course have the ability to change this.
So, in effect, you could create a “do follow” link, which is indeed a positive backlink, i.e. you are passing on “link juice” or page authority to the website you are linking too.
I actually also do this when linking to authority websites that I don’t own, e.g. Wikipedia, Healthine, MayoClinic, TNation, Neil Patel, Backlinko, CNN, Fox, BBC, etc. depending on your niche.
Basically, if I remove the no follow attribute when I link to an authority website, they may be willing to return the favour. NICE!! Well, you never know.
So, yes if you’re linking to another website you own from the comments section you can remove the “no follow” attribute, and then you are passing on page authority from one website (or page/post in reality) to another website.
Simply leave the link as showing “no opener” “no referrer” that’s fine.
Basically as long as your link doesn’t show “UGC” or “Sponsored” or “no follow” within the HTML it will provide a “do follow” backlink.
“no referrer” doesn’t provide any referrer information, i.e. you won’t know who’s providing the link to you (Direct traffic), but this is still a “do follow” link.