In the latest webmaster help video by Matt Cutts he addresses a question that seems to relate to outdated SEO practice that is still often found on the web and now those of you that are still using comment links as a way to increase backlinks into your site, you have now been warned.
The video, recorded to answer a question from ‘Chase' in Denver, CO asked:
In the resulting video, Cutts reveals that he too still uses his name and links into his own blog when leaving relevant comments on topics that relate to the nature of the comment, pointing out that he links to his own site in order to show that he is representing himself and allowing others to know who they are dealing with.
He goes on to point out that comment name links are not immediately in violation of the Google guidelines, however if a person was looking to build a link profile specifically based on them, they would be running the risk of being found to be trying to conduct a link scheme and higher level action could be taken following a review of your link building activity.
Cutts revealed that Google would expect you to use your real name rather than a keyword anchor as an alias when making comments, pointing out that Google would see this as a way to manipulate the anchor text diversity within your profile, pointing out that other users that were looking to interact with your comments may well find themselves confused in regards to who they are addressing.
You can see the full video that Matt Cutts recorded below:
We have always advised clients that they should be looking to avoid making comments on other sites due to the misconception that these style of links will be enough to give you the upper hand when trying to go up against competitors but reading between the lines it looks like Google are willing to allow you to use your name and will pass equity through the do follow examples, saying "It's not the sort of thing that I would worry about."
Will you be looking to interact more with your industry through comments or like us, will you continue to avoid this style of link placement in fear that Google will once again turn the dial to make all comments into what they believe to be SPAM?