Can You Get Top Rank with Comment Spamming?

All of you avid bloggers must be aware of spam comments that plague your blogs. Any decent blog gets hundreds or possibly thousands of spam comments every day.

But why do these spammers spend so much time and money spamming thousands of blogs? Does comment spamming really benefit in any way? Can comment links really get good rankings for a website?

Same question was posed by a webmaster on Google’s webmaster forum. (

Get SEO Success with Comment Link SPAM?
I’m really confused as to how and why Google would allow for one of our competitors who’s entire linking profile comprises of +90% comment link spamming tactics across the web to be ranking so well for a very competitive keyword.

His grouse is that he has analyzed the backlink profile of the site though various link checking tools like,, SEO-spyglass and discovered that +90% of links are comment spam links. The site in question is doing very well across all the highly competitive keywords. The questioner attributes the site’s SEO success to spam links from comments.

Comment Spamming for Good Rankings?


I believe that the webmaster is mistaken in his assessment of the backlinks and their impact on the rankings for these reasons:

  1. Comment links are mostly “nofollowed”. There is no SEO value derived from nofollow links. So you can discount a substantial portion of these links from comments. The questioner is silent on how many links were dofollowed and nofollowed. Even if few blogs allowed dofollow links, were they enough to make a site rank so dominantly?
  2. Google has time and again strived to make such linkspam ineffective through algorithm updates such Penguin update. So it’s highly unlikely that a site can get good ranks solely on the basis of linkspam.
  3. The questioner focused solely on comment link spam which according to him constituted 90% of the link profile. He didn’t mention what kind of those 10% clean links were? A good link is much more valuable than we may imagine. Even if the site has a 90% spam links which (according to me) give him ZERO benefit, a portion of 10% clean links may well be benefitting the website in terms of SEO. These valid links may have been of high quality and very relevant. An oversight by the questioner?
  4. When comment spam is undertaken it is normally done in bulk (we are speaking of hundreds and thousands). Even if we assume that the website got 900 links from comments. That means the website has 100 genuine links. If among these 100 odd valid links, there are few high PR links on trusted sites, then the site’s SEO success can be attributed to these links and not the linkspam.
  5. The questioner is obviously biased in this assessment because he has not even mentioned the quality of the website. There is strong possibility that the site which is so successful and dominates the niche across all major keywords could be a really GOOD site. Why is to so out of the realm of possibility that the “offending” site is successful because of its intuitive UX, superb product/services, and great content!
  6. Link checking tools cannot be fully trusted to mine all the possible links. Only the biggest of the search engines like Google and Bing have the resources mine all the web. Any third party tool however good cannot give you the whole picture.

The fact is that the analysis of the questioner is colored because he is biased. That’s expected and we all are guilty of this. After all we are humans. If an unbiased analysis of the site is undertaken by the questioner I’m sure, he will discover the real reasons the competitor’s site has been successful. And these reasons are more likely to be:

  1. Good UI/UX
  2. Great content
  3. Great links( Which the site gets because of great content & marketing)
  4. Social signals

and much more…

Has comment spamming worked for you? Has anyone taken the path of relying solely of just commenting and has got great results?
Share your experiences with us!


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

How to Determine Which Backlinks Are Harmful?


That’s the frame of mind of every SEO and webmaster nowadays. And who can blame them? With arbitrary GWT warning messages about unnatural links and then disclaimers, the search industry is in a panic mode.

Almost every SEO must have at some point of time resorted to now defunct or discredited link building practices such as link buying, reciprocal link exchange, article distribution etc.

Google struck hard with the Penguin update on the links mentioned above. Those websites which relied heavily on link buying received GWT messages about suspect links. This created so much upheaval that all SEOs and webmasters scrambled to remove all the links that they thought could pose problems.

As a SEO consultant or a proactive webmaster the best way to avoid Google penalties or the dreaded GWT messages is to find and destroy the backlinks that are harmful.

But which links are harmful?

Finding and then determining which links are harmful is easier said than done. While it is particularly difficult is to find exactly if an inbound link is benefitting your website in anyway or is putting it at risk, there are some pointers which can at least give you a clue.

1) Is the page cached?
This should be the first step. Check if the page has been cached by Google. If Google is throwing up an error like in the image below then the back link from the page is doing nothing good for your website.


The worst part is that the site may have been de-indexed by Google for being a site which sells links or may have some other serious issues. Do you want to have a link from such a website?

2) Check the Google toolbar Page Rank

Check Google toolbar PageRank. While this is not an exact estimation but it can give you a fair bit idea about a site’s reputation in Google’s eyes. A link from a high PR site is a whole lot better than a link from a PR 0 site.

3) How many outbound links from the webpage?
Count the number of outbound links from the page. If it’s more than it should be (there is no fixed number), you can go ahead and get the link removed. Pages with reciprocal links are the main culprits here. On such pages, hundreds of links are placed. This should raise a red flag immediately.  

4)  Is the link from a relevant page?
If your inbound link is coming from a website/page with same or relevant niche then the link is safe provided there are no other issues. If you have a real estate website, a link from a building material supplier’s website can be thought of a relevant site. On the other hand a link from a health website may be a suspect.

5)   Exact match keywords
If the site from where inbound link is originating has too many links with exact match keywords then that site exists only for the purpose of providing links. Getting your link removed ASAP before Google thinks about taking any action will be a wise decision.

6)  Link position
In Penguin update many websites with inbound links coming from the footer suffered a drop in rankings. Site-wide links and footer links should be avoided so that your website doesn’t suffer the same fate.    

7)   Is the website selling links?
If you know that a site sells links, then staying away from it is the best option. Even if the site has good PR and is relevant on all counts, you never know when the site can be penalized for selling links and your site also incurs Google wrath as a consequence.

These are but some tips on how to determine which backlinks are harmful. If you have any more tips do share it with us.


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

Why Trying To Reverse Engineer Google’s Search Algorithm Is Like Fighting A Lost Battle

SEO consultants are always preoccupied with reverse engineering Google’s search algorithm. Most of their time is spent trying to find what can propel their site to Google’s first page. They are constantly sifting through top SEO blogs and websites in hope of catching that missing piece of wisdom that’s holding back their sites. They listen to each and every video of Matt Cutts, paying attention to every word uttered from his mouth. For many SEOs Matt Cutts is their demigod.

Poster for the sci-fi action drama Battle: Los Angeles

Alas, no sweet end for you like in the movie: Sci-fi action drama Battle: Los Angeles

It’s downright funny (and sad) that forums start working overtime every time there is a statement from Google or any of Google’s henchmen.  As soon as Google says that they have updated something or are using this as signal or introducing that change, SEO run back to their sites and promptly start making changes.

Here’s why SEOs cannot fight search engines

What a majority of SEOs do not understand or do not want to understand is that Google’s algorithm has evolved in to something way beyond the realms of our understanding.   Same is true of any major search engine.

Search engines companies hire the best brains when it comes to computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians and perhaps also scientists from other fields like psychology etc. To think of it that we SEOs can try to break their algorithm and workout patterns is a folly in this age.

Search engines companies hire the best brains when it comes to computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians and perhaps also scientists from other fields like psychology etc. To think of it that we SEOs can try to break their algorithm and workout patterns is a folly in this age.

Google has publically stated that they use more than 200 signals in their algorithm while Bing says they use more than 1000. The veracity of both claims is questionable. There is no way of knowing how many signals they use and how they measure use them in their algorithm. Google said they use social signals as well. When SEO companies heard this they scrambled to get more FB likes. But did they even wait for few minutes to think which social signals Google may take in to account, how much and how?

SEOs will have to understand that there are way too many variable to take in to factor. Thinking of it, the ways a Search Engine can start off evaluating a site is just mind boggling.

We can start with the design, content, presentation, navigation, speed, links, keywords, traffic and so on.  To add to the mess is how other sites are optimized for a particular keyword.

With social signals also thrown in to mix, the task for any algorithm becomes incredibly complex.  Before we forget, there are local influences too. Hence it will be safe to presume that search algorithms maybe the most complex code on Earth coupled with most sophisticated networks of servers and computer hardware.

Search algorithms are regularly tweaked by engineers. These algorithms are in a constant flux with new changes added, results evaluated and then few retained while others discarded on a daily basis. Even if some loophole does get noticed by any hawkeye SEO analyst, these are quickly noticed and fixed.

No SEO can hope to get a grasp of what algorithms are about leave alone try reverse engineering them. Search algorithms are moving targets, in fact, they maybe just like stars. Of course we see stars but we see is how they were millions of years back. Same way, what Search engines are way ahead of us.

Chasing Algorithms is futile!

What can you do?

If you’re feeling disheartened then don’t be. While trying to second guess or reverse engineer Google is out of question, what we should do is

1)      Attempt to understand what users/readers want

2)      Provide valuable and useful content

3)      Promote your content

4)      Make connections

Yes, boring but the only thing we can realistically control. Instead of trying to control what we can’t why not work on things where we can make a difference and that’s our sites.


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

What is a “link to pass PageRank” & Paid links ?

There is debate raging on internet over paid links and links to pass Google pageRank. Google webmaster forum also saw some action on this issue. There was a question “What constitutes a “link to pass PageRank” debate!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing–ranking/BNs_AOVr3M0

Bloggers are nowadays putting nofollow on any link that’s maybe paid for in cash or kind. This is hurting business owners who are paying for the links.  So essentially, if you have a product and you compensate a blogger for review, blogger will put up a review with a nofollow link to your product page.

So while you may get traffic and publicity from the blog post you will not get Google link juice?

The tricky part comes when a blogger approaches the business owner and ask for a free sample in lieu of a review. A business owner may want to have a dofollow link rather than a nofollow to get maximum SEO benefit.

Are blogger being paranoid or do they have a genuine reason. Are such link if dofollowed really come under Google’s radar for a being paid link?

Google’s John Mu certainly thinks so.

If those links are there because of money (or something equivalent) changing hands, then we would consider them to be paid links, and with regards to our webmaster guidelines, we’d recommend adding a rel=nofollow to the link.

He further stated that having a nofollow link can benefit in many other ways such as – your product will be talked about, people will click on the link and you will get traffic.

But are these benefits really tangible or substantial. A poster chimed in that his company sent out thousands dollars worth products as freebies but got nothing in sales. That means if you’re giving out your product to a blogger for a review and even if the blogger does  write a positive review, there maybe a very little chance of getting  any significant sales from all your efforts.

Now, what this poster says is at the total end of the spectrum While it maybe true for some products and bloggers, it is not the case with many niches and bloggers.

If you are a blogger with a good reputation then your readers may be inclined to buy a product or service that you review. Haven’t we seen it with bloggers with affiliate links for various products?

Bottom line is – give out freebies and try to get a positive review and  a link ( nofollow or dofollow). If you get dofollow links don’t overdo with obvious patterns. Have a good mix of nofollow links wont hurt. Do not use keywords as anchor texts and you will be fine.  


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

Cyprus Web Design – – Please Stop Spamming My Blog

Everyone who owns a blog know what a headache it is to maintain the comments. Each day one gets 100s if not 1000s of spam comments from all the dubious companies selling unmentionable products. I can understand those spammers but what pisses me off is that web design companies continually persist with comment spam to boost their backlinks and  rankings.

Instead of making some insightful comment, they  either add spam comments or fake trackbacks. They never link  back to my site or post.

One such company is which indulges in comment spam

Check this:

Cyprus Web Design – – Please Stop Spamming My Blog


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

Microsoft Snatches Yammer For $1.2 Billion In Cash

Ballmer: I hope i won't screw this one up

Microsoft is making a late entry to the social networking industry but it’s making sure that it has an enviable product to make an impact. Microsoft has announced that  it was buying Yammer The Enterprise Social Network for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer is set to become part of the Office division and current CEO David Sacks will continue to be at helm of affairs. Sacks will be reporting to Kurt DelBene, head of Microsoft’s Office Division.

Sacks wrote on the company’s blog:

I am pleased to announce that Yammer has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Microsoft.    After the close of the deal, Microsoft will continue to invest in Yammer’s stand-alone service, and the team will remain under my direction within the Microsoft’s Office Division.

As a Yammer customer, you will continue to get a secure, private social network—delivered with the same focus on simplicity, innovation, and cross-platform experiences.  Over time, you’ll see more and more connections to SharePoint, Office365, Dynamics and Skype.

With this acquisition, Microsoft aims to bolster its multi-pronged attacks on many threats. First of all is to capture a share of social networking crowd in which it has no presence. Second and much immediate is to counter Salesforce Chatter and other players such as IBM and Oracle. Third reason is Microsoft’s Sharepoint which inspite of being a great product hasn’t been able to keep pace with social space.

What all Microsoft will be able to do Yammer is still to be seen. Let’s hope Microsoft does something credible with this sound product which by the looks of it seems to be perfectly aligned with Microsoft’s business.


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

Confused about Penguin? You’re not alone!

Confused about Penguin? You're not alone!

There is a lot of confusion regarding Penguin update. Even well known bloggers like Barry Schwartz are confused on how and why Penguin update worked.

One can only imagine the hysteria Penguin has prompted among webmasters and search industry. To add to the mess, few other issues also came up almost at the same time as the penguin update – Unnatural links, Negative SEO, and  Over-optimization penalty.

Google started sending unnatural link warning  through Google webmaster tools. Realising that unnatural links can really get hurt a site’s rankings, the rumour that negative SEO exists picked up pace. Negative SEO refers to the act of placing backlinks of a competitor on shady sites which have a bad reputation or sell links blatantly with a hope that Google will notice it and suitably penalize the site.

Google also announced that it will start dishing out over-optimization penalty.

The sites that got hit by Penguin penalty shared characteristics of everything – poor link profile, paid link profile and over-optimization. So when the Penguin soup was served to people, no one could make out which ingredient gave it that bitter taste.

So if your site also was hit by Penguin update and are wondering why you were picked out then don’t worry (actually you should worry and read this to get out of Penguin update), you’re not alone.

After all, even so-called experts and industry insiders are confused.


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

Chinese Are Doing It, But SEOs Should Not!

Chinese are unstoppable! Trust them to shake up the world every once in a while. But now what a Chinese construction company is aiming to build is just astounding. It’s not just what they are trying to build but the how quickly that has raised eyebrows. The company called BSB (Broad Sustainable Building) wants to construct the world’s tallest building to be called Sky City of 838 meters and that too in measly 90 days. Yes, you have heard it right. (

Bad Idea? Chinese to make the world's tallest building in 3 months

Just 3 months to build the tallest building using prefab building technology. Will they succeed in doing it is questionable and still more questionable is if the building will be safe for its inhabitants?

If any aspiring SEO or company is taking cue from BSB and thinking of doing the same albeit in link building then, I have one advice – Prepare for failure.

Many SEO clients have a very short time frame in which they want to achieve top rankings in Google. Most of the time SEO companies willingly or unwillingly agree to such timeframes to get business and set themselves for grand failures.

Google and other search engines such as Bing constantly spider the web, retrieve the information and update their search databases. After lot of data crunching according to the search algorithms, the websites are ranked.

Any SEO work done to improve rankings takes times. It can be anywhere from few months to a year.  For good and stable rankings, consistent SEO efforts are needed. Backlinks have to be built over a period of time using various techniques.

Building backlinks in the same manner as the Chinese are building towers and hotels is not the way to go. In recent times, Google has been coming down hard on paid links and low quality links. Any unnatural and sporadic increase in backlinks will surely incur Google’s wrath.

A link building campaign which seeks to acquire large amount links in a short amount of times will invariably means getting low quality links or paid links. To even think that Google will turn a blind eye is the height of optimism. In fact it will be as tall as the Sky City if it ever will be built and will fail like the building.

So, while Chinese may be doing it, SEO should not do link building in such a manner.


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

Did You Notice Multiple Listings From Same Sites?

Last week, while checking out rankings for a keyword, I found search results showing listings from same site multiple times. I noticed the same trend for keywords after keywords and found it too strange.

That time I could not confirm if that was an isolated incident just for my niche or even for me.  In few days I saw some internet chatter and found that I was not the only one (phew!!).

The issue is quite problematic as same domain name is dominating the search results which means other deserving sites are getting pushed away. The results which are already crappy because of the Penguin update look even worse with same site listings.

If we didn’t have too much to worry about how to recover from Penguin, webmasters are facing at a new problem (or opportunity).  I am sure webmasters must be right now busy on trying to reverse engineer on how this things work and how can they get multiple listings for their own domain in Google search results.

Is this some kind of temporary anomaly or signs of things to come in Google. Check out the discussion here


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

How To Recover From Google Penguin Update

So you have been hit by Google Penguin Update. You can confirm it if your site’s rankings went downhill immediately on 24th April. Penguin update has been one of the most criticized update brought by Google. The quality of this update has been called in to question by industry experts as well as webmasters.

But in the end the fact is that Google has done its deed and it is left to site owners, webmasters and SEO consultants to make sense of this big change and try to retrieve the situation. Unlike other updates, Penguin update is still shrouded in mystery and no one really knows for sure why the sites got affected. While initially, it was thought perhaps it was an over optimization penalty which was proposed a few days earlier to the Penguin update, soon it was clarified it wasn’t the case.

It brings us to the question on why some sites got hit by this update. Various reasons have been ascribed to Penguin update but the broad consensus has been that Penguin update affected the sites that somehow fulfilled the following criteria:

1) Anchor text over optimization: Over reliance on anchor text with main keywords which sends out signal that links are natural.

2) Backlinks from low quality sites: If the majority of backlinks to your site from low quality sources then your site can be a prime candidate for Penguin update.

While there are many other plausible reasons such as duplicate content, over optimization, sites with malware, the first two reasons are the most obvious reasons and  therein lies the ways to recover from this update.

Here are some of the ways you can do for Penguin recovery.

1) Audit your website: If you have been hit by Penguin then the first thing after confirming that it’s indeed a Penguin disaster will be audit your website for all SEO related issues. Check robots.txt file, malware issues, sudden or unnatural increase in backlinks (especially since negative SEO seems doable). This will help you in at least getting an idea of where the problem may lie.

2) Vary Anchor Text: For too long, exact match keywords were used as anchor texts. This was a regular practice and almost every SEO consultant used to do this. But the rules have changed. Google perceives too many backlinks with same keyword frequency as a case of spamming. With this Penguin update it acted against those sites. The road ahead will be to vary the anchor text and make them look natural. Use your domain name, phrases and different variation of keywords to create a bouquet of links with different anchor texts.

3) Get backlinks from credible sources: Over the last few years, Google let websites with poor quality links dominate the search results. Their time is up now. Majority of your backlinks should be from high quality websites. If you have links from shady sites or low quality blogs then remove them ASAP.

4) Get backlinks from relevant sources: Not only should be a link be from a high quality site but it should be relevant site. If your website is about real estate then getting a link from a blog about watches will look out of place to you, me and Google.  In case you have links from non-relevant industries or niches then clear them and start link building afresh.

5) Create good content: Though this is a general point which can be found in any how to SEO guide, it begs a mention. If your website has pages full of low quality content and keywords stuffed in to them, then take the trash out. Obviously you created those pages solely to entice search engines.  Alas, Google has got wiser. Your website should have a lot of content but the quality takes precedence. The content should make sense to the users and educate/help them.

6) Explore social sites: Let’s face it. You don’t want to rely only on Google for traffic. Socialize using Google +, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest etc. and get more inbound and relevant traffic. But will it help recovering in SEO?

Google has started including social signals in its search results. Though, they may not make much difference right now but Social factors will become more important as Google+ gets popular.

7) De-optimize your website: If your website was over optimize with your main keywords propping everywhere then it’s time to take a step back and go easy on it.

Have you done whatever you could?

If you have done all the above mentioned steps and haven’t still recovered your rankings then relax. There is nothing more you can do at this moment. Keep up your work and wait for the next refresh of Penguin update.

If your website still doesn’t recover then as Cutts mentioned
And when all else fails, you might want to just start over with a new site”


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

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