I recently commented on a post at BuzzBlogger.com and came in contact with the plugin CommentLuv. I had read about it before, but this was the first time that I actually used it as a commenter. The experience was pretty good, that’s why I now have integrated both CommentLuv and KeywordLuv on my blog.
If you don’t already know what CommentLuv is, read on to find out what makes this particular plugin a welcome addition to blogs that could do with a little more promotion!
What is CommentLuv?
CommentLuv is a free WordPress plugin that extends the comments area of a standard WordPress blog. It let’s commenters include with their comment a link to one of their recent posts on their own blog. This way, commenting is a win-win situation where the site owner gets user-generated content and social proof, and the commenter gets exposure and a backlink.
There are several settings you can use to customize the experience, most notably whether you want to make the comments ‘DoFollow‘ or not. By default, WordPress comments are marked ‘NoFollow’ to the search engines, which means that the so-called “link juice” is not passed through the links in a comment. If you mark your comments as ‘DoFollow’, they become more potent for your commenters, but they also attract more spam this way.
There’s a paid version of the plugin called CommentLuv Premium which boasts a lot more features. You can find the Premium version here.
I have now set my blog comments to ‘DoFollow’ to experiment with this and also to test anti-spam plugins. Let’s see how this goes…
What is KeywordLuv?
KeywordLuv is another free WordPress plugin that is a good companion to CommentLuv.
WordPress normally constructs the name of the commenter by using the provided website as a link with the provided name as the anchor text. This often leads to the commenters not having real names, but some random keywords as their display name.
KeywordLuv gives commenters the ability to provide both a name and a keyword in the form “Name@Keyword“, so that the may provide a real name and still get the benefit of a useful anchor text with their link.
What are the advantages of using CommentLuv and KeywordLuv?
As your comments will be very valuable, you can count on getting a larger number of them. This furthers engagement on your blog and adds a lot of user-generated content that is indexed by Google and for which you can even rank in the search results.
Readers of your blog also get to know each other a bit better through the added links. This can greatly enhance the sense of community around your blog.
Well, you might even be surprised one day to find out that the comments to some of your posts are more valuable to your readership than the actual content of the post!
Are there disadvantages?
You bet there are! The thing is, where there are ‘DoFollow’ comments, there is comment spam. Make sure you are ready to handle a large influx of automated comment spam, be it with plugins, blacklists or elbow grease (this is not recommended)!
I am currently testing a rather unknown anti-spam plugin called “Antispam Bee” and will provide you with more details on its effectiveness (and a quick fix for compatibility issues) in a future post.
You might also encounter a lot of very short (2-5 words) comments that are manually posted but that don’t add anything of value to the discussion. These are only posted to build a backlink back to the linked blog. You have to decide for yourself whether you leave them online or remove them manually. You might consider adding some kind of guidelines on what types of comments you allow.
So, the best way for you to get to know these plugins is by perusing the comment form below and leaving some feedback. Let the linking games begin!