Google’s Matt Cutts: When Commenting On Blog Posts, Try To Use Your Real Name

Matt Cutts Video Screen captureIn a recent video published by Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts talks about are blog comments with links spam?

In short, most of the time, commenting and leaving links to your site or resources is not directly spam but like anything, it can be abused.

Matt offers some tips on how to make sure your comments are not considered spam by Google or the site you are leaving it on:

(1) Use your real name when commenting. When you use a company name or anchor text you want to rank for, it makes it look like you are leaving the comment for commercial marketing purposes and thus may look spammy.

(2) If your primary link building strategy is about leaving links in blog post comments and it shows that a majority of your links come from blog comments, then that might raise a red flag.

Here is Matt’s video:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Link Building: General | SEO: Spamming | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Chase Anderson

    That’s my question. I have to wonder if the comment about “SEO conspiracy theory” is a message at one of my previous posts about his pagerank management on MattCutts.com. Hmmm – touche Matt, touche…

  • davidquaid

    Is it just me or isn’t this just common sense?

  • http://www.clayton-nichols.com/ Clay

    Anything that Cutts says anymore is common sense.

  • davidquaid

    :)

  • http://www.searcheminence.com/ Byron Hardie

    I think the question was legitimate if only from the perspective that Google might necessarily frown on those that are very active in a community and comment a lot.

    While using exact match keywords is a sure-fire acknowledgement that the intent of the comment may have other motives, I think the advice of using your own name (as opposed to a company name, false identity, or made up nick name) is an interesting one as Google is increasingly shifting to tie individuals to the content they produce (and therefore develop reputation or authority value to the person and their content).

    This is clearly the case through Google Authorship but it is entirely possible that even the value of comments could be tied back to the online reputation of individuals.

    There are some comments that are nearly useless such as “great post” and there are others that are very insightful and help further the discussion while providing additional value to users. (not saying this is one of them but you get what I mean)

    Would it make sense that not all comments are treated equally and are themselves judged as individual blocks of content with their own inherent value assigned to the users who submitted them?

    This is purely conjecture of course but as the definition of “content” continues to blur and certainly the value of such content spanning a wide spectrum in terms of quality and usefulness it would only make sense that Google would want to index, analyze and attach some reputation value to an individual whether it be an article, a comment, or any other form of public communication.

  • Dan Patrick

    I think you can say that about the general direction of Google and SEO in general. Use common sense and some social marker coding for spice!

  • http://www.clifhaley.com/ Clif Haley

    Did Firefox give Matt that shirt for free? He really should “nofollow” that shirt so we know it’s not spam…even if he does like Firefox and their products. I, for one, cannot tolerate influenced endorsements even of things the publisher might like.

  • chrishambly

    Why yes it does help Matt, thank you. :)

  • http://www.kasyallen.com/ Kasy Allen

    “When you use a company name or anchor text you want to rank for, it makes it look like you are leaving the comment for commercial marketing purposes and thus may look spammy.”

    What about on a company blog, where you are answering Q&A? If we prefer the reply to come from our company, rather than an employee (in our Q&A section, not the authored blog posts), we’re going to look spammy, because the author looks like it’s trying to market the company?

    Would that mean that the a href should be taken down if it links to our main site from the company author, even if it’s nofollow?

  • http://emmettsmith.blogspot.com/ Emmett Smith

    Firefox has been using yahoo as there startup search engine. Hmmm

  • http://www.clippingpathindia.com/ Jannatul Ferdous Shumi

    Thanks I was just waiting for this tips. Now got it.

  • http://www.can-goldlink.com/ Alex CAI

    “(2) If your primary link building strategy is about leaving links in
    blog post comments and it shows that a majority of your links come from
    blog comments, then that might raise a red flag.”

    all of the links to your site are from blog post?I don’t think so.
    so,I think we should not talk about one blog’s links.

  • http://www.bollywoodshwobiz.com/ Mukesh Negi

    could i post a link after commenting. is this spam or not ?

  • Stavros Kourtidis

    What you talking…?
    My name ist: iamalink buildspamer….. whats wrong with that?

  • Guest

    Hi Barry,

    very good information regarding commenting and leaving links to sites. I
    like the tips on how to make sure that given comments are not
    considered spam by Google or the site you are leaving it on. Thank you
    Barry.

  • bosch

    Hey Matt, thanks for the great insight!
    We should all go and visit a great search engine like http://www.google.com or visit http://www.MattCutts.com for more valuable information, don’t we? :)

    Whoops! Did I raise the red flag on those websites? Most probably, because I didn’t use my real name. D’oh…

  • http://www.seoweather.com/ Jamie Knop

    It’s good hear this. Too many companies have been removing legitimate links such as helpful/relevant comments. Now they don’t have to! Unless they used a company name that is…

  • Adam Heaton

    SEO is typically common sense anyway, it’s when people think too much about things and try and push their luck when they cause problems for themselves, as such with many things!

  • Andrea Bosoni

    That’s why I love Disqus, it really helps to prevent spammy links and useless comments!

  • http://www.clayton-nichols.com/ Clay

    Agreed. I just like to consider that Matt Cutts is SEO’s politician. Everything is calculated and nothing of real value is ever said by him.

  • Durant Imboden

    Something else to think about: What if Google were to use “comment quality scoring” to influence rankings of pages or sites with large numbers of comments? That would encourage site owners to require verified user IDs and to moderate their comment threads–as many higher-quality sites already do.

  • http://www.kasyallen.com/ Kasy Allen

    Of course they’re not all from blog posts, but where we may have a couple of blog posts with 300+ comments, which is half from us because we’re answering questions, that could potentially be seen as spam according to this. Get it?

  • http://www.LeadDiscovery.com/ Jerry Nordstrom

    Sometimes doesn’t it feel like the message is – Corporate marketers stop marketing your business? Easier said than done, but perhaps Google should be first evaluating the value of the content and then determine if the link should carry value. I get a great deal of valuable advice and information from forums like this, I believe those individuals and companies posting that information should get some form of quid pro quo, not be punished.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com incrediblehelp

    A lot of comment links on blogs are nofollowed anyways so why should it concenr them so much?

  • Ralph T.

    How about privacy when you want to post a comment.. Does the whole world need to know the exact name and last name of the person that leaves the comment.

    Perhaps something to look into..

  • http://www.can-goldlink.com/ Alex CAI

    well,of course i really understand what are you talking about.actaully i’m better at baidu SEM than google,but when the bot or other programs ” raises a red flag”,maybe the really people will check it out,then,they will konw spam or not spam.that’s what i’m talking about.
    btw,maybe your site will not be influenced because of this change.

  • http://www.can-goldlink.com/ Alex CAI

    well,of course i really understand what are you talking about.actaully i’m better at baidu SEM than google,but when the bot or other programs ” raises a red flag”,maybe the really people will check it out,then,they will konw spam or not spam.that’s what i’m talking about.
    btw,maybe your site will not be influenced because of this change.

  • http://www.viralseoservices.com/seo/professional-seo-service.php MOS SEO Services

    Matt Cutt’s making a valid point. This was an interesting video from Google showing the SEO community how to use commenting correctly.

  • http://www.bluecorona.com/ Ben Landers

    “Try” to use your real name? WTF?! As if it’s very difficult.

  • http://searchsimplicity.com/ Gregory Smith

    A very useful and benifical piece of information — “IF” used correctly!

  • SEO Jaipur

    Matts says that Use a real name in blog commenting, Is increase your SEO search ranking in Google and Yahoo?. What is meaning of real name, your Google + Profile name and Company name?

  • http://topspot-official.blogspot.com/ Daniel Benny Simanjuntak

    I like the suggestion that when you’re commenting you comment using an account that is your personal name as opposed to using an account that represents your business.

  • http://topspot-official.blogspot.com/ Daniel Benny Simanjuntak

    I like the suggestion that when you’re commenting you comment using an account that is your personal name as opposed to using an account that represents your business.

  • Souvik Mallick

    Is there something new which i am missing?

  • goverhorticulture

    Thanks matt. This is true. I have to follow in future

  • SEO Jaipur

    thanks daniel benny

  • SEO Jaipur

    yes

  • http://www.clippingpathindia.com/ Rokaiya Yeasmin

    Thanks Matt for the great info. We should do everything looking natural like using a real name in the comment.

  • http://www.clippingpathindia.com/ Rokaiya Yeasmin

    Thanks Matt for the great info. We should do everything looking natural like using a real name in the comment.

  • http://commonstupidman.com/ Shahnawaz Sadique

    that a nice info we should use our names while blog commenting but how we gonna rank than for our focused keyword??

  • Jacqui Cooper

    I think you make a great point, let’s face it, anything posted online is ‘content’ of some sort or another, so why wouldn’t Google start to use comments as a ranking factor?

  • gettoabhi88

    Thanks for updating about blog comments.

  • gettoabhi88

    Thanks for updating about blog comments.

  • http://www.pearllike.com/ Jay Prakash Choudhary

    Hi,
    I would like to ask you one question that you mentioned in your blog to use real name. if we use real name then we will get back link for our name not for keyword or company name. if we search our real name on Google then Google will get our company website or any website or blog which is related to our name.

    Thanks,

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