Evil Top Commentators Trick For Traffic & SEO

To encourage comments, many WordPress blogs use a Plugin call Show Top Commentators. This Plugin encourages feedback and discussion by rewarding readers for making comments. My Top Commentators are displayed on the right sidebar (under Recent Posts) along with the number of comments made in the past five days. The commentator names links back to their sites. Unlike links in the comments, the links on the Top Commentators are full links without a nofollow tag. That means the commentators gets loved by Google as well as traffic.

Looking at my Top Commentators lists, I can see that, from a SEO standpoint, three commentators are doing it right and the rest are doing it wrong. Getting a link on the Top Commentators list offers more SEO benefit than traffic benefits. It’s the same as buying a text link. The link sends you traffic but its main purpose to help you improve your Google ranking. Knowing this to be the case, then the anchor text for the top commentator link should be anything but your name (unless your name is very descriptive).

If you’re going to go after the top commentators position on a bunch of blogs, then it’s to your advantage to link back to your blog with something other than your name or blog name. Webmaster Labor is doing this correctly with Cheap Custom Content and Article Checker. Yes, he holds two spots on the Top Commentators list. Pretty evil, huh?

While it’s great to have your name on a bunch of top commentators lists, you have to keep in mind that these links are more for SEO than traffic. Ask yourself what anchor text do you want to rank for and use that as your name. You’ll still get traffic, but your Google ranking will increase.

126 thoughts on “Evil Top Commentators Trick For Traffic & SEO”

  1. yeah, i see what you mean, I’d better get started and be evil!

    1. I can see that there are already so many people taking advantage of the plugin.

    2. uncle sha says:

      get in line buddy, haha 😈

  2. Thanks, John! By the way, email me back on your thoughts on that guest article I proposed. It would make for a great tutorial on yet another way to make money online πŸ™‚

  3. maybe for those who are not doing it right, they just don’t want the benefit that it’d bring

    1. Marc says:

      I just always thought it looked cheap and cheesy.

      Then again, I’ve done lots of cheap and cheesy stuff in the past…

    2. or maybe they want their name to be popular. Although, with so many people having the same name? hmm..

  4. have you noticed the shoemoney avatar showing on your sidebar? if shoemoney is reading your blog, you know you’re doing well, very well indeed.

  5. well, thanks for the tips, and i’m staring to be evil.

    1. let us know how long it takes for you to become fully evil πŸ˜€

  6. I come and visit your blog daily, but I never took the advantage and left a comment. will start doing that from now on and hopefully will get some link love very soon

  7. Ed Lau says:

    Takes way too much work to get on that list…although there are fewer 200+ comment posters these days.

  8. Hi John

    I read your blog every day. The best make money online trick are in english and your blog.


  9. Nice trick. I will use that evil 😈 plugin also on my site.

    That’s a good example of thinking behind the obvious: “nofollow” on comments”und “follow” on the top-list


  10. santosh p says:

    And now as johnchow.com is pr6 you should see your comments sky rocketing now on as per my prediction.

    There will always be a dog race over a free link from a PR 6 site. πŸ™‚

    1. To pass 31 messages in 5 days could not be so hard, but now John put it as an advice, I think the count will increase.

  11. By the way, the reason for the double entry in the Commenter area is I changed anchor text.

    1. Court says:

      So are you saying that the article checker one is going to drop out? 😈

      1. Yep, its dropping as we speak πŸ™‚

        1. Marc says:

          Did you switch because the first one was ineffective or because it was so effective that you thought you’d target another segment?

          1. Not that the first was ineffective; I’d like to think both names are pretty strong…it was just time for a cool change. 😈

      2. yes. it is already dropping. too bad.

  12. Mubin says:

    I wish there was a way for me to know how many time I posted so that I know when to stop!

    BTW I noticed the drop in comments and was wondering what you were going to do to fix this.

    1. Ronaldo says:

      But if you wanna get to the Top list and stay there you can’t stop commenting.

    2. Think constant and relevant posts, Mubin; you just got to keep at it. πŸ™‚

    3. Marc says:

      To fix it? I’d say he’s doing this πŸ˜› Since he wrote this post the numbers are climbing.

  13. I’m not really trying to do any SEO yet. I don’t even have a page rank!

    1. Court says:

      You’ll get some next time if you stay on the top commentators list and get some other links.

    2. Ronaldo says:

      I have only 7 links, but one of them is from the review of JohnChow.com, that was enough to give me a PR 4, so it may be worth to try even with a zero PR.

    3. Marc says:

      You do have a page rank even though it might not be showing on any reporting tool. Page Rank is calculated far more often than the toolbar PageRank is updated. Don’t be mystified by the little green pixels.

  14. i’m having pr 3 after the google pr update. so will start doing some evil marketing with the top commentator thing.

  15. Eric says:

    Thanks for the advice John, interesting information, although I think that it would be better to have a ‘Quality Commentators’ list. Seems to me like a top commentators list just encourages spam commenting. Won’t stop me from trying to make it on your list though!


    1. Court says:

      It seems to me that most people here contribute quite well actually. The person he talked about that holds two of the spots comes up with some really good stuff.

      1. Thanks, Court, I appreciate that a lot. πŸ™‚ It ain’t easy, but I always make sure I post high-quality comments as well.

  16. Steve Yu says:

    This is evil. I certainly like to get to the top spot for the top commentator.

  17. I am still surprised you don’t have nofollow for the top commentator area. OH, and I need to find some good text to link to my blog with… hmmm.

    1. maybe to find the good text anchor is the most difficult part of this.

      1. Marc says:

        It is. I’m a long tail hunter. So there while there are a few places I could work to bump my rankings, I don’t see that are worth the effort at the moment.

  18. Hustler says:

    haha…damn..it seems like John encourage you to comment spam.

    1. Marc says:

      He has been for many months πŸ™‚ Nothing new here except the technique.

  19. Chris M says:

    As long as the comments are decent and relevant, then I would have no problem. I would have a problem with a post whore!

  20. Louiss says:

    Not that all Boss, I think we need the real thing, SERPs.

  21. Jack says:

    Encouraging people to become useful members of society, and fair competition throughout the land. Maybe not so fair, but it encourages competition for sure.

  22. I wonder if anyone has thought through the difference in meaning between a “Commentator” and a “Commenter”. Almost seems like “word inflation” to call simple comments attached to a blog post a “commentary”.

    Commentator n. A broadcaster or writer who reports and analyzes events in the news.

    I know for example some of my comments may run too long and wordy, but I simply make comments, not “commentary”.

    1. Eric says:

      Hahaha, Dave, while I was writing my post, I was thinking the EXACT same thing, but decided that since John lists them as ‘Top Commentators’ I would just go with the flow. That’s hilarious though. That’s an example of a comment that is link worthy… QUALITY Dave, quality.

    2. Brendan says:

      This question has plauged me for months. I personally like think commenter is more appropriate, but i guess commentator sounds better? Who knows.

  23. That’s a great tip, I better start using my full name as anchor text, because I don’t even rank 1st in Google for my name. And that’s mandatory to achive mogul status πŸ™‚

  24. Are the top commentors list updated every month?

    1. John Chow says:

      Running five day total.

    2. isn’t it updated in real time?

  25. Shaun Carter says:

    It’d be nice if there was a star rating system for comments like John has for his blog posts. Then the top commentators plug-in could use a combination of post frequency and rating/relevancy to determine who gets listed in the top spots.

    That was comment spam would become less of an issue as people would actually post genuinely relevant comments.

    1. actually that sounds like a really good idea – I’d be interested to see that.

    2. John Chow says:

      There was a digg like thumbs up and thumbs down plugin but everyone got into negative ranking no matter how good their comments, so I removed it.

      1. Unfortunately, I kind of expect this sort of thing. Jealousy is an ugly thing and a rating system can end up used for evil – and I don’t mean your kind of evil. πŸ™‚

  26. Not a bad idea, John.

  27. Eric says:

    Shaun, that’s a great idea!


    1. Shaun Carter says:

      Anyone here knowledgeable enough in programming to do this? I know I’m not!

  28. comment whores ftw!

  29. I can also get a very temporary links on “Recent Posts” πŸ˜€

    1. I think no, because, there you only see a link to the article commented.

    2. Sorry, you are right but it is recent comments, not recent posts. but yes you are right, the thing is if there is enough exposure time to get crawled by google, you cuold be there, for some time and just when google comes, you are not anymore, the same could happen with top commentors, will be a matter of luck πŸ™

    3. John Chow says:

      Recent Posts comment have nofollow on them.

  30. John also get rewarded with more content to scanned by google, so that more chances to get visits. πŸ™‚ 😈 Evil too 😈

  31. mmm, so i better start checking out your archives and start commenting more 😈 😎

    1. Commenting more is the most obvious technique to get a spot in the top commentators list. However, your comments from older posts won’t count (sadly). You can always start today and just follow-through from here on. πŸ™‚

    2. John Chow says:

      Comments are closed on posts older than 20 days.

      1. Steve Yu says:

        So that mean no one definitely go and post a comment for your 20++ days posts. The commentators are evil too, they learn from you. πŸ˜€

  32. 123-Network says:

    I suppose if someone wanted to be really evil they could use the name “make money online” πŸ™‚

    1. This can only help. I don’t see the evil here.

  33. Bob says:

    That’s what I ment in one of my recent comments when I said that this blog is losing it’s personality.

  34. cheap custom content definitely know how to do it, and do it right

  35. In some ways, I agree it is losing a little something but what exactly?… It’s freshness? Or is it just that we visit too much, eh?!

    I like John’s wit and his ingenuity. His ideas are so often elegant and simple at the same time.

    Keep going, John.

  36. with the trend of bidding for top commentator, i can see that from now on, each and every post will easily achieve 100 comments

    1. There was a time when older posts reached 100, even 200 comments, one after the other. I haven’t seen much of the previous top commentators either; I guess it’s time for the relatively newer commentators to battle it out for the top spot.

  37. It’s great advice but I’m curious if other bloggers with Top Commentator sections might consider it somewhat ‘spammy’ in nature. I suppose if John suggests its ok to do, others will follow suit.

  38. well, robert, it can be “spammy”, but as long as the commentators make reasonable comments, then what’s the problem?

    1. Personally, I don’t have any issue with it. I was just thinking that some bloggers may see it as such. I agree that ultimately the blogger in question has the power. I was raising it only as a potential concern. If your comments start getting banned because your link is perceived as spam (regardless of comment content)then you lose all benefit. Just a thought.

  39. john obviously has the total control over the situation, if he thinks that it goes out hand, i’m sure he will put a stop to the commentator or the whole thing all together, but i doubt it

  40. Frank says:

    hmmm. I don’t know. There is so much spam in comments.

    1. Steve Yu says:

      ya, obviously!!! We are starting to get evil like John. 😈

    2. Yes, I will stay this way a week or two and then all will be the same again πŸ™‚

  41. o,good, i had noticed the effect of “Top Commentators” for SEO. and it did accelerate my Google PR.

    but, on the other hand, it will bring too much spamming.

    1. I’m not entirely sure of that statement. After all there are some fairly powerful tools available for WordPress to limit spamming. Spam Karma is my particular favorite. It automates much of the process and can be tweaked to alter its sensitivity level.

  42. That’s a really great (and evil) idea! :mrgreen:

  43. Daniel says:

    John, not sure if this is a good idea. Your comment section is looking like a promotional extravaganza.

    “Comment by monetize your blog”
    “Comment by Cheap Custom Content”
    “Comment by Como jugar al ajedrez en linea”

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Not to worry. John is probably thinking of an evil way to monetize the Top Commentators section. πŸ˜‰

    2. thanks for giving us a mention, isn’t this the whole idea of being evil. having said that I do not post spams, so i guess that’s fine with john, fow now anyway

    3. Actually the entire blog starts looking more or less like an advertising extravaganzza. I think that this is the intention.

  44. Javier Marti says:

    Hi John,
    By posting “if you are going for the top commentators spot…” you are acknowledging, accepting and encouraging comments that may not always be useful for your blog or other commentators, but are purely done to reach those top positions.

    I suppose guys that you’ll hate me for this, but

    1) if you are doing this in several blogs, isn’t it time that you stop for a moment, and try to get a real life?

    2) wouldn’t a better long term strategy for your site to really provide interesting comments to the sites you visit or shut up if you have nothing really interesting to say?

    3) do you realize that as powerful as Google is, they’re changing the rules all the time? Do you really want to live your live in function of Google or someone else’s blog?

    I am not accusing anyone, not even John. We all look after our interests. But in that case, wouldn’t some people need to re-prioritize their marketing actions to make them more effective and less dependent on SEO?

    I know it sounds like Google talk, but really, what about giving to the community something positive back instead of just trying to game it?

    Javier Marti

    1. Actually John does not do any of that. He just encourages readers to do it. It is a SEO lesson, and like all lessons, it is a bit exaggerated. You can learn it and move on. And there are not so many blogs out there with such numbers of comments from the same people, so I would say it is rather easy to get on the top commenters list with 4-5 comments. Many blogs reset the list monthly, not weekly. You can check out my blog and see how much time you need to get on the list 😈

  45. That’s a devious idea–I like it. 😈

  46. LOL! Is this evil enough? 😈

    1. LOL that’s definitely a contender for John’s featured site Free Male Enhancement. πŸ˜†

    2. πŸ˜† You made my day! Let’s associate: you go for that, I go for Free Chicks, we find some more 2-3 guys to help us, and we fill the sidebar with the best links ever πŸ˜€

      1. lol. that’s not an evil idea. that is already wicked.

  47. πŸ‘Ώ ha, that guy knows how to do it!

  48. I don’t see what anchor text I could use on a personal blog with no specific subject.

    I should start using my full name instead, because I don’t rank 1st in Google for my name. And that’s a requirement for mogul status. πŸ™‚

    1. You could use a keyword string of one of your particular posts, and you could use that URI as landing page. This will help you out with organic search (if only you manage to stay on top as long as Google is needed to count your link)

    2. Javier Marti says:

      I would use your own name. For example, in my case, there is a teenager tennis player in Spain that is also called Javier Marti. He has got in the news sometimes, so some high PR sites linked to him and he’s given me a hard time πŸ˜‰ in the past to stay on top of his sites in Google. Sooner or later someone with your own name will appear, and in order to be first (and thus have more control over your identity online) you’ll want to have as many links as possible associated with your name as soon as you can.

  49. javier marti, don’t you think your statements are kinda contradictory?

    1. Javier Marti says:

      No. I don’t think they’re contradictory, but if you want to explain me where you see the contradictions, maybe I can tell you what I think.in greater detail.
      Although English is not my mother tongue, I think I explained myself clearly enough…


  50. PSP Skins says:

    Great place to think πŸ˜‰

  51. Now that you told us, I expect the commentators’ names to disappear from the sidebar, and to be replaced by some SEO-optimized anchors.

  52. Shashank says:

    The evil inside of me is now awake.. 😈

  53. Very interesting read, thank you!

  54. Cucirca says:

    I agree with you john πŸ™‚
    I would suggest to reset the top commentors every week. That will give us the chance to be in the top πŸ˜‰

    1. Yes, but if you stay in top for only one week, what benefits does this bring for your blog? I did not figure this out yet.

      1. Marc says:

        It’s already on a 5 day running total, so it’s even less than a week right now. You just have to start commenting in order to make the list.

        1. Exactly…the sooner you post those relevant non-spam comments, the higher the chances you get to see your name up there.

        1. well it is a way to prevent people from spamming. like just saying “wow” or people just using one liners to increase the number of their comments.

  55. Recent Comment Posts has nofollow tag in them..that’s evil John..haha.. I learn a lot from you..More and more of my friends are coming onboard 😈

    1. not evil. just the right thing to do. since 1 post should not earn you a good link from a pr6 site.

  56. I’ve been using this method on many blogs…I think it is the reason I went from a pr0 to pr4! in such a short time and my great content…you can’t find anywhere else on the net!

    1. Whit that comment, you will get also traffic from here, just for curiosity, I in this moment going to see your site.

  57. Thanks for the tip! Never knew that the top commenter sidebars could increase SEO stats. Thanks man!

    -Sam from MarketMatador.com

  58. And the journey to reach top commenter level status begins!!! 😈

    -Sam from Market Matador

  59. SEO Blog says:

    Just out of curiosity, how often does your Top Commenter list reset?

    Not that I plan on commenting simply for the link benefit or anything 😈

  60. Eliot Dill says:

    Its only evil once everybody finds out “the secret” and starts abusing it…


  61. jan geronimo says:

    Well, count me in then. I have the evil commentator streak in me, too. Now if I only remember to get back here every day I’m all set to be up there in your sidebar. “,)

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