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While sorting through some comment spam today I found that one UK printing company had been dropping spam comments on my blog.

This sort of behaviour always strikes me as strange because surely any SEO company knows that links from blog comments are worthless?

My blog uses nofollow in the comments links but I'm quite sure that Google devalues blog comments links even if they don't use nofollow.

This started me thinking about all the other SEO strategies that are almost useless but that are still widely practised around the world:

  • Mass directory submission
  • Bulk article submission
  • Forum signature links
  • Comment spam
  • Link exchange requests
Of course sometimes these techniques *might* give some results but the way that they are generally approached makes the chance of any ranking improvement almost zero.

Why does it seem to take so long for people to realise that these methods are no longer working?


Published 26 February, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

Comments (12)

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Nikki Pilkington

Hi, sorry, but I completely disagree when it comes to forum signatures.

If done properly they can really boost a site's rankings in a short time - of course it depends on the original post and the forum, but they do work.

Article submission can help too, but like you I hate those people that promise to submit to 12.000.000 sites!

Great blog!


over 8 years ago

Richard Hartigan

Richard Hartigan, Industry Manager at Google

Although I agree many of the techniques described above do not have any direct impact on organic rankings, there is an indirect effect to all of these tactics.

Also, you cannot underestimate the importance of getting eyeballs onto your site, especially for a company with a fledgling online presence. If these eyeballs come from reputable sources, such as relevant forums then even better.

In fact many of the techniques that can be used to gain traction in the natural rankings for a new site have little direct SEO benefit. This may include:

- starting a paid search campaign,
- display advertising,
- sending emails to customers,
- brand building,

The most simple example would be my comment on this post. It may pass no direct linkjuice to my site but if enough people click to my own blog, there is a small chance that some people may link to it.

over 8 years ago

Richard Hartigan

Richard Hartigan, Industry Manager at Google

Of course it would help if I set the link up properly!

over 8 years ago

Chris Turberville-Tully

Chris Turberville-Tully, Managing Director at Inspiration Inc


Nicely done - for those not in the business though the critical word here is *might*

All the best and keep up the good posts!

over 8 years ago


Kaya PPC, Internet Marketing Manager at Optimised Media

I've always generated a reasonable amount of traffic from forum signatures. Posting in related forums helps generate better quality traffic.

over 8 years ago


Stuart Bruce

I think you're missing the point about comments and forum signatures, any SEO benefit is just in addition to the real benefit, which is actively participating in the conversation with real people. The links are intended for human beings, not simple machines.

over 8 years ago


Krunal Chauhan

Well I would not very much agree with this.. few of my niche sites got quick ranking within 2 days just because of Mass Dir Submission and Article Submission...
it has no link requests, no SMM, no Onsite SEO ... Just link bombing

over 8 years ago


Bill Kruse

If you can't get traffic interested in your site from related blogs, related forums, etc. just where do you think it'll ever come from? If you go write meaningful comments on a forum then you'll have traffic for sure because everyone trucks over to see who the new guy is. Assuming people will be impressed with what they see, no doubt you'll get a link or two out of it. It isn't the forum link or the blog link or the articles themselves that are the point of the exercise, it's their consequences.
You didn't know that?


over 8 years ago


James Gargan

From experience I'd have to disagree with some of your comments here, especially with regards directory submissions and article submissions. We do this regularly with new sites albeit in niche markets and the results are very productive.

Given that you believe these five are no no's. After writing killer content and meta-tagging a site, what do you think the best next steps are?

over 8 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

I think that directory submission is ok but *mass* directory submission looks like spam to Google, so avoid automated / batch tools.

While "pull this lever and submit to 10,000 directories for $199" is tempting, very few credible websites would amass 10,000 links in an hour / day / week.

Try taking a manual, drip feed approach, which looks a lot more natural to Google. It takes more time, sure, but should be better in the long run.


over 8 years ago




ok let us tell the MAGIC method you are using for Serach engine optimization

just for knowledge right :)

about 8 years ago



You are wrong about commenting on blogs, by the way this will be the last time that I read or comment on your blog because your don't respect your readers enough to give a dofollow link. However, I have experimented with just using comments, good relevant comments, to build links to a site as the main source of inbound links and have tremendous success with that site.

So your company has a huge network of blogs that you populate with links to your sites and clients. You sell this to your clients and put down other methods. I hope your link network doesn't get discovered or you will be up the creak ;)

almost 8 years ago

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