CommentLuv – A Link Builders Dream Or The Latest Waste of Time?

by Guest Author on August 27, 2010

in Blogging, Guest Posts, Search Engine Optimization

First off I’d like to say I have never used comment spam, and I never plan to, I will admit that I have partaken in some forum spamming in my early days, before I seen the light.

Matt Cutts and Google decided that they wanted to put a stop to this spam and the nofollow rule was born. Since 2005 nofollow has spread like wildfire. It’s now tough to find a site that will allow do follow links. Did this approach work? I know I still get plenty of spam on my blogs. Akismet does a great job of blocking most, but there will always be some that get through, can we say for definite that nofollow has worked and done exactly what Google had intended it to. Did Google intend it to be used by webmasters to try and sculpt page rank, have my doubts. It doesn’t look like nofollow is going anywhere and even though I despise it, it will always have a place on the internet. Fact of life as a link builder I guess.

Now we are seeing the rise of CommentLuv, that instead of trying to stop crappy spam links it encourages posters to get involved in the discussion and in return they get what they want, a dofollow text link, it seems everybody wins, the commenter gets a dofollow link and the webmaster gets more content onto their pages.

There really isn’t much to the CommentLuv plugin, read the post, add an insightful comment about the article, wait for it to get approved and you’ll get 2 text links back to your site (sounds like a link builders dream).

As a link builder you need to be able to assess the opportunity when a link or in the case lots of links present themselves, it’s a case of effort versus reward and I for one am not sold on the idea that this is a viable and useful source of link building. I would rather spend time researching a link opportunity then diving straight in only to find I have wasted my time with no reward at the end.

I have to say my research is ongoing and as yet is not conclusive, but here is an example of one site that does a lot of link building with CommentLuv:

Since May of this year when the site was launched, they have built over 3500 links predominately using CommentLuv and because they are such a prolific user of this plugin they receive, do follow site wides as well as home page links on good PR sites. But the home page of this site is still a PR 0. So you might say that this site has built too many links in too short a time frame and has been penalised for this or there just hasn’t been an PR update since the site was launched. But all the other sites I have reviewed tell a similar story, one of lots of links but no rankings.

Now for the plus sides, CommentLuv could really fuzz up the link graph allowing you to disguise the keywords that you are trying to rank for, helping to put your competitors off your scent. If you add a comment to a well trafficked page, you can expect some of the run off to click on one your links so there is an obvious traffic bonus.

Link building for me is about the bigger picture it’s about the sustained traffic that comes day after day with high rankings, which can only be achieved by building quality links and this takes time and a lot of effort.

With this said, I hope I am wrong, because this type of link building could make my life so much easier and I would get paid to spend half my working day ready tech blogs. If anyone has seen success from implementing this type of link building it would be great to hear from you.

(Guest Post) About the Author: Neil is a tech writer and head of marketing for eMobileScan, one of the leading UK’s handheld Barcode Scanner Specialist. We work closely with companies to help them increase productivity and lower the running costs.

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad August 27, 2010 at 07:22

For me it was a waste of time, however I am in favor of it.

My blog has never really been successful, so its never seen real use.

However as you said, even with almost all blogs/sites out there being no follow, it doesn’t stop the spammers from spamming.
Brad recently posted… Another Nail In Flash Coffin- H264 To Remain Royalty Free

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Neil August 27, 2010 at 12:10

Thanks Brad, I wrote this post more out of curiosity that anything else, It’s something I have been thinking about for a while so I thought I would put the question out there and see what people have to say.

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Murlu August 27, 2010 at 14:51

CommentLuv has really given a boost in traffic and links overall and has helped in the networking aspect so I have to go with the pro side of using it.

When I first launched my blog I wanted to get the word out and because it shows others the latest post it really helped with getting people interested especially if you write a supporting topic to the one you’re commenting on.

It is a shame that spammers go so heavily after comments but we, as bloggers, have to accept this and actually make it straight forward that it won’t be accepted on our blogs.

I’m sure you’ve seen blogs with great posts but the blogger blindly accepts any comment just for the sake of having a comment. This encourages spammers and doesn’t add value to the other commentors.
Murlu recently posted… What Do We Get For A Fiverr A-ny-ting You Want

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Kathy August 27, 2010 at 14:59

I am a huge fan of the Commentluv plugin and I use it on my own site. I am also a huge fan of dofollow blogs that reward their commentators for visiting. And yes, just like you, I always make sure I actually read the post and contribute in a thoughtful manner that adds a new keyword variation to the page. That is the least I can do to say thanks to the blog owner for giving me a most awesome link.

I have a tendency to bookmark more of those types of pages using my social bookmarking accounts and I have a much stronger tendency to subscribe to the blog.
Kathy recently posted… Teleconferencing And Conference Call Services For Internet Marketers

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Sarah Schager August 27, 2010 at 19:10

I have been questioning the value of blog commenting in terms of link building as well. In this case, I think it’s appropriate to say that I hope you are wrong too. I hope they do provide a “vote” for your site.

Also, thank you for mentioning the bigger picture. So many link builders get caught up in quantity over quality, and never step back to look at it holistically.
Sarah Schager recently posted… sarahschager- Thank you to @socialbigtop for hosting my first guest blog post! Id love everyones feedback http-wwwsocialbigtopcom-twitter-list-

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Regina August 28, 2010 at 01:27

For me, commenting on blogs has a very important role in a link building campaign. I agree to Sarah that every comment is counted as a vote for your site (if it is a dofollow blog). So, as you’ve said, most of blog sites nowadays are nofollow because of spammers, then commentluv made a move so that to help those real bloggers to optimize their website. It is on their plan and strategies of how will you get the most out of it. Just like you have said, quality is the most important.
Regina recently posted… LCD TV- Great Addition for Home

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miley@external hard drive August 28, 2010 at 03:11

I blog and comment and if comment luv is there i’d rather comment on that site more thann I would on a non cl site.. why ? well we all want to get something from anything we do .. and this does just that. Nothing to do with spamming or anything – simply value for money for our time is commenter or simply as i prefer to think of mysels as a contributor.
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Neil August 28, 2010 at 15:50

Hi Guys
It’s great to read your comments and how you think this plugin is working for you.
Kathy a great suggestion about adding another keywords variation, It never even dawned on me and Miley getting something back for commenting sums up this plugin in a nutshell, but what are we getting back??
if you throw so many links at a page something is bound to stick sooner or later, eventually you will reach a tipping point where you will get the ranking you want, how long it will take you to reach that point is the big question, for me it’s effort versus reward, lets say I decide that this is a viable source of links, I allocate 1 hour each day to finding these sites, reading the post and adding a comment and I can do 12 of these in an hour,( is this even possible).
I can write about 2 posts in an hour which I can give to the sites that will allow me to guest post.
Which is better?
12 links, off topic, any link juice that does flow through these links, will be diluted between all the other links on the page ( I make it 12 external links already on this page)
VS
2 posts 2 links, on topic and relevant to the industry I’m in, (well most of the time, it’s tough to write about barcode scanners) if the site doesn’t use commentluv I will be more inclined to try and get the post into the channels and throw some book marks at it, any link juice that passes won’t be diluted and I am slowly build credibility in this industry, if the post is picked up and is good enough to warrant it’s own links more link juice will also pass to my site.

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CommentLuv Sucks August 28, 2010 at 16:08

I can whole heartedly say that commentluv is rubbish every point that is has been made in the post have been proven in the comments, it seems strange that a post about links on a site that uses commentluv has not attracted one comment from a link builder, that has used link building as their anchor text instead there is off topic links that won’t help the commenter at all.
Look at directories, everybody knows they are rubbish but they will still submit to them and it will be the same with the commentluv.
I say if a post is thoughtful enough that should be reason enough to leave a comment not because they are dangling a carrot in front of your nose in the form of a crappy link
Rant over

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GetBrowser August 28, 2010 at 16:27

In most cases, it is still a link builder because I think it can help build a kind relationship among bloggers.
Of course, I don’t use it because I can’t avoid spam effectively.
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James M. August 28, 2010 at 21:28

It may have been just coincidence but my blog only started to get PR when I installed the plugin. But it has stopped at PR2, and my blog is over a year old already.

I like the plugin but I still can’t take any side on the debate about pr leaks and other related arguments because I haven’t seen hard evidence on both sides.
James M. recently posted… Automatic Photo Scanner Picks

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Danny August 29, 2010 at 03:53

I found and bookmarked your site through a friends site that has commentluv. I saw your link in regards to commentluv because it was a topic that interest me. If her site was not commentluv I may never had found your site. Here is a clear example of the value of commentluv , now times me against all the others visitors that found you this way.

So even if commentluv provides no seo value which I could debate anybody on that but that is a story for another day, it does provide value in building your audience, increasing comments, networking and a whole lot of other topics.
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Klaus August 29, 2010 at 15:36

Hi Danny. You make a good and valid point 🙂
Klaus recently posted… TweetAdder 3 Has Arrived The App That Got Me 16-000 Twitter Followers

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Goutham October 27, 2010 at 08:32

I agree with Danny. I also found this post form the CommentLuv Link.
I am sure CommentLuv is worth to use in blogs. 🙂
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Mitch August 30, 2010 at 02:07

I’ve been using CommentLuv for more than 2 years now, and it was one of the best things I ever added, and that I ever see on other sites. Link building; truthfully, I’ve never cared all that much about it. What I like it seeing the topics other bloggers are writing about and deciding if there’s something worthwhile I want to read. I think that’s really the beauty of it all, visiting other blogs, leaving comments on topics you like, and being able to select which of your recent blog posts to highlight in anticipation of peaking someone else’s interest to visit your blog.

It’s not a waste of time at all; outside of Askimet, it’s the best plugin I have.
Mitch recently posted… Setting Up Twitter Tools

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Ileane August 30, 2010 at 02:32

Hi Neil. Honestly it was rather difficult for me to read beyond the first paragraph of this post. You see I’m a huge supporter of CommentLuv and I almost felt like covering my ears at the thought of hearing someone speak out against it! 🙂
Seriously, I do support CommentLuv but I have to keep an open mind about these things – as a blogger you can’t have tunnel vision. So I tried to be objective as I read the rest of the post. Here’s what I think could be a deterrent for some users of CommentLuv with sites similar to yours.

For someone that has a site with no blog (or a blog that’s hard to find) there might be traffic generated by CommentLuv that tends to “bounce” simply because they come to the landing page and say to themselves “where’s the blog? I want to reciprocate by finding a good post or two and leaving a comment.”
Keep in mind I base this on my personal interactions but others might see things differently. So here’s my suggestion, when you leave your link on CommentLuv enabled blogs, leave the link for your blog vs. your landing page. I’m not sure if that will defeat the purpose of your landing page or not, but either way the traffic won’t leave so quickly.

Btw – I did find your “blog” link and I’m going to check out a few posts. Please don’t give up on CommentLuv yet, just try making a few adjustments like the one I suggested to see if they make a difference.

Cheers!
Ileane recently posted… CommentLuv Gives Your Blog Heart

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Thomas Retterbush @ Completely Free Ebooks August 30, 2010 at 23:10

You have literally asked the million dollar question, but I too think it will take some more time to see the results of the people testing dofollow commenting techniques. Like me.

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Brian Rogel August 31, 2010 at 06:01

Hey Klaus, I just posted this comment over at Famousbloggers regarding CommentLuv. It has major implications to a large amount of people who use this plugin for link building and it is almost always overlooked.

“If you use CommentLuv along with FeedBurner, Feeburner will actually steel all the credit/link juice for the backlink. All you have to do to check is simply scroll over the link on your posted comment and see what shows up in the bottom left corner of your browser. If it shows a direct link back to your site then you are in the clear, but if it says …feedproxy.google.com… then Google is taking the linking benefits. It’s a simple one click solution in the FeedBurner settings, but it is automatically switched on by default and most don’t even realize it.”

I just recently noticed the issue through tracking my backlinks and anchor text with Google Webmaster tools/SheerSEO, and then found that the solution had been discussed over on the CommentLuv website.
Brian Rogel recently posted… How To- Anchor Text & Link Structure

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Klaus August 31, 2010 at 10:17

Good point, Brian, but I think Feedburner actually changed it in October 2009 so that the setting per default was to “forward link juice”, as I wrote about it in this blog post. – I don’t know if they’ve changed it again since, but up until October 2009, you’d have to actively go and change the redirect method if you wanted link juice…
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Mike Hobbs August 31, 2010 at 13:50

I love the commentluv plugin lately. I have been seeing more comments since I posted it to my blog. Even if the linking takes some time I believe it helps your personal blog get more feedback for sure.

Mike
Mike Hobbs recently posted… Drop Cards Do these little 100 bill drop cards REALLY work

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Klaus August 31, 2010 at 14:09

Hi Mike – thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. Did you come to this post through a CommentLuv link somewhere, by any chance? 🙂
Klaus recently posted… Intro Offer- Advertise on TechPatio – 10-month 033 CPM

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Neil August 31, 2010 at 14:17

Hi Ileane
This one wasn’t meant to be a cringe worthy post, I was hoping to write a post that looks at commentluv from an objective angle, from the amount of comments already here I think it couldn’t be clearer that commentluv works, but I still can’t answer my own question,does it hold value as a link building tool

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Gail August 31, 2010 at 19:42

CommentLuv does NOT affect your PageRank – at least not at this time. There are tons of CommentLuv enabled blogs that are PR4 including mine, Kikolani.com, BloggingWithoutABlog, WeBuildYourBlog and many, many more. While Google COULD choose to penalize CommentLuv blogs they have not so far.

There have been many debates about how CommentLuv or KeywordLuv might hurt your PageRank because of all the outgoing links. I do not believe that either. If it did then surely no post that has 479 comments in it as my KeywordLuv post has with almost every one of them containing two dofollow links could not be PR4.

The point of using CommentLuv is not ONLY links. It is to get to know each other better and faster. Without it, who knows how many of your readers have a related site that YOU could be interested in that your readers want to know about? With it, you learn more about them each time they comment.

While some are just seeking links what we need to be doing is building relationships. Don’t comment willy-nilly. Comment in blogs you actually want to read. Get to know all the others who are sincerely interested in their content. Follow their links and read their blogs.

This will introduce you to the very best quality blogs in your areas of interest. Then write about each other. Link to each other. Join our other collaborations and learn to blogging best practices. Instead of learning everything the hard way you’ll have friends who will assist you.

THAT is what CommentLuv and BloggerLuv and SBC are all about – not just links: Relationships!
Gail recently posted… Why I Recommend BloggerLuv- CommentLuv- SBC

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Jarret September 14, 2010 at 06:27

First thought, the last Google toolbar PR update was April 3, 2010, so the blog example can’t have PageRank yet by the old toolbar. I think you did acknowledge this…

SEO aside, Commentluv does seem to work for many blogs to encourage thoughtful comments and in some respects fights spam. Most people know that they have to write a better comment in order for it to get accepted on a dofollow blog.

Bots will target either regardless, so that’s a wash.

As for Gail from Growmap:

“If it did then surely no post that has 479 comments in it as my KeywordLuv post has with almost every one of them containing two dofollow links could not be PR4. ”

I’ve wondered about that too and certainly seeing how well your blog and Kristi’s does in terms of post rankings or PR on posts that have hundreds of comments seems to contradict that as you suggest.

I might be wrong, but I think it’s because a single page can only leak so much PageRank anyway. That amount just gets divided up among all of the links on the page, so having 5000 dofollow comments isn’t really a big deal in that sense. It just means that the people commenting on the post are getting virtually no pagerank for their efforts 🙂
Jarret recently posted… Supplement Updates is now Commentluv Enabled!

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Neil August 31, 2010 at 21:17

HI Gail,
I agree with you that commentluv won’t effect a pages rank, but I have come to that conclusion through different reasoning and that is that Google doesn’t allow any juice to flow through links that are placed between the tags. it seems that you are reinforcing my belief, 479 outbound links and the site is still retaining it’s page rank ( this is just what I believe, but it’s nothing more than theory)
The rest of what you say I agree wholeheartedly agree with

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Jarret September 14, 2010 at 06:30

Neil, as I just mentioned above, from what I understand, a given page can only leak so much pagerank. If you have 10 outbound links, it gets divided by those ten links. If you have 10,000 links, it gets divided by 10,000. More outbound links doesn’t mean you hemorrhage pagerank, it just means that each link gets less.
Jarret recently posted… Supplement Updates is now Commentluv Enabled!

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Gail Gardner September 21, 2010 at 22:48

Since I am link happy in my posts and all blogs have many other links on any given page who knows how pagerank really works?

The priorities of many of us who are part of the CommentLuv community are different than traditional business. We believe in doing what is most ethical and best for all and do not concern ourselves with competition because we believe collaboration is far more important.

Comment for Neil (author of this post): Have you checked out Alexa, Compete and backlinks for any successful CommentLuv communities or blogs? I offer for example mine, Kikolani.com, WeBuildYourBlog.com, BloggingWithoutaBlog.com, BloggingJunkie.com, DennisEdell.com, DazzlinDonna.com and many more.
Gail Gardner recently posted… How CommentLuv Grows Businesses and Blogs

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c5 September 1, 2010 at 00:47

I just activated CL recently and 3 of my blogs are CL-enabled. Mainly, I thought it’s a good way to network rather than give/get link juice.
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Cole Stan September 4, 2010 at 19:32

At least the commentluv thing can help every blogger build a community in his/her site. The discussion as well as the comments can create useful insights to everybody. For sure, commenters won’t leave any useless stuffs because they personally know they are getting a clear benefit out of that blog.
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Harsh Agrawal September 10, 2010 at 11:35

I always prefer comment luv blog but not really for backlinks but for referral traffic…. Blog where I comment on I found very little blog who have dofollow with Comment luv so it hardly helps me.. But one thing in particular which I like is blog using comment luv have an active commentator community and more over they send good referral traffic….
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Jenna November 30, 2010 at 08:21

Yeah I think this is a very good point, with. Showing a real last blog post gives you the chance to get follow through traffic from people interested in what you have written about, rather than those just having a quick nose and bouncing back out again.
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Cole Stan September 10, 2010 at 11:55

@Harsh: You are right, you also get referral traffic besides the active commentators community!
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Alex Pablate September 11, 2010 at 14:55

Yes, I read all of your views and let me tell you one thing that commentluv is right at one place.

Its reviewer responsbility to reject those comments that are not related topic!

We all blogger or internet marketer in one way or some ways we are promoting ourselves, this thing is known by everyone!

But those visitors who are not aware of commentluv and link building they would have problem reading the comments and mos of the comments are not appropriate!

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Rachel September 25, 2010 at 00:23

I just wanted to point out, as Jarret also did, that there hasn’t been a toolbar PR update in about half a year. So if you’re using PR as a metric for measuring whether or not CommentLuv backlinks work, you have to wait until the next PR update. At the same time, there would also be an implied assumption that the only inbound links to the site came from CommentLuv links, which is not necessarily true. So if the site got a good non-CommentLuv link from a PR4 page, that alone might be the reason for the site’s PR to go up to PR1 or PR2 and the CommentLuv links would have nothing to do with it but it may seem like there was a benefit from them since that’s our only metric for performance. A better way to measure would be to compare visitors and rankings over time, as more backlinks are built.
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ntagas September 25, 2010 at 13:58

I think all the blogs should be dofollow. The moderators should check the comments and if it looks like spam they should delete the spamy post. If a blogger writes a helpful post, why dont give him a backlink ?

Regards from Berlin

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Joenade September 25, 2010 at 18:23

Google seems to suggest that a ‘dofollow’ link pointing to your site is usually indicative of an editorial vote for your site – but they frown upon attempts to manipulate pagerank and I would be surprised if they haven’t already devalued all ‘commentluv’ based links.
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Grant@ Corporate photographer London October 4, 2010 at 19:02

I have installed commentLuv and it is very good- i was concerned that I would get lots of spam but that has not been the case. Grant

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omurice October 11, 2010 at 17:53

hurm, i really like about comment luv…i can save time to promote my new entry….it give people appreciate our effort to help other who comment at our blogs…but poor to me, i still cannot install it…
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John Baines November 19, 2010 at 14:51

More blogs should have comment luv!
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career test December 4, 2010 at 12:13

This is an awesome explanation of how keyword luv works. I’ve only just started using it. Thanks for the in depth info!

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silpada December 11, 2010 at 20:47

I have visited many sites that have PR5 and higher but they have no CommentLuv plugins. I think there many other factors that Google counts and then raise the PR of the site. CommentLuv have its own beauty of delivering do follow links.

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Roko Nastic January 7, 2011 at 20:50

There was no PR update since April so site you took as an example isn’t appropriate for measuring effectiveness. Also, PR itself isn’t good measure of successful link building. Do they rank for their targeted keywords? for keywords in their title, keywords they used as anchor?
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Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny January 28, 2011 at 19:08

I love seeing commentluv connected to the comment box! Precisely because it is a win-win for everyone. I scan the blog titles next to each person’s comment and I click through the ones that catch my eye. Does it lead me astray when I should be doing something else? Most def! Must practice self-control.
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Gustavo February 1, 2011 at 23:40

Do you know why do some of the commenluv links have “http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/” when someone comments?

Is there a way to change it so that it shows the actual link?
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Klaus February 2, 2011 at 20:31
Gustavo March 2, 2011 at 02:54

Thanks for your help. I was able to remove it with that guide.
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Damon Day February 5, 2011 at 10:23

CommentLuv is a great plugin. When I first started my blog it not only helped me to build page rank but I actually met a lot of interesting bloggers in my niche and created relationships that I found to actually be just as valuable as the link building. So it was a nice two fer looking for and commenting on do follow blogs with the commenluv plugin.
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Kaira February 9, 2011 at 03:50

Commentluv is not a waste of time. What so great about it is it attracts people to visit in your site. By the way if you wanna get some free seo software just drop by to my site seosoftware.org

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Minnesota website design February 16, 2011 at 03:01

Link Builders has a never ending job. patience and hardwork will work effectively. ComLuv plays a big role in SEO and link builders love comluv.

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Pete February 17, 2011 at 20:48

I just started commenting on blogs as a method of link building. I also installed it on my main blog to increase the comments there. It should be a win win situation for every one if used properly.
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external blu ray burner March 17, 2011 at 08:30

And it gets you free content, i mean look at all these comments search engines will pick it up and might even get some traffic from it.
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Oli March 18, 2011 at 22:33

My views on CommentLuv are mixed. I like the idea of being able to give people the benefit of participating in my site, but at the same time, i already have to sift through hundreds of bland comments a week, do I really want to increase that?

For the record though Page Rank sculpting has not really worked for quite some time now! Check out Matt Cutts’s blog for more info on that.
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Mike T. March 19, 2011 at 04:42

I am a big fan of commentluv. I think it helps a lot!
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Harryjohnson March 25, 2011 at 16:00

Every blogger needs backlinks to increase their SEO and page rank. Blogs that have CommentLuv help with link building when you leave a comment.

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Oksana May 5, 2011 at 09:52

I have mixed feelings about commentluv, but I do use it. I don’t know if it has helped me at all in the search engines, but I have seen some referral traffic from it when I comment on blogs that are somewhat related to mine.

I wonder, though, how long it will be before Google looks for the commentluv footprint and discounts those links. Who knows, maybe it already does.

A good way to cut out spam comments is to use the Cookies for Comments plugin. Since I started using that, I get no automated spam. Just human commentluv spam.
Oksana recently posted… Commentluv- keywordluv- dofollow- top commentator enabled

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steam cabin May 7, 2011 at 22:12

It is right comment luv has advantage of do follow links but it is difficult to control the spammers. Some spammers are slipped from Akismet.
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