Is Comment Kahuna Good Or Evil? (Do Guns Kill People?)

The denizens of Internet Marketing Planet are hammering inboxes this week with another promotion, this time for Jason Potash of "Article Announcer" fame. I have to admit that I haven’t been paying much attention to what he’s selling, if it’s even been disclosed, but I do know that he’s been giving away some software called "Comment Kahuna."

Comment Kahuna allows you to search for blogs and posts on a topic. So far, pretty harmless. The feature that’s being touted so widely is the ability to search for blogs that aren’t using nofollow on their comments. I’m sure we can all see what might be disruptive about that.

Andy Jenkins posted his thoughts on the Stompernet Blog, about the right way for commenters to participate in blog communities, and I couldn’t agree more. Comment Kahuna can be used for good, or evil… OK, maybe not evil, just unwise. :D

A cool thing happened after he posted – the first comment comes from Andy Beard, who does exactly what Andy Jenkins said commenters should do – he added value to the discussion. Kudos to both Andys for bringing some signal to the web, and not just with this one post.

Mr. Beard and I disagree as often as we agree, but I will argue to the end that he brings something important to the conversation.

34 thoughts on “Is Comment Kahuna Good Or Evil? (Do Guns Kill People?)

  1. Hi Dan,

    This is a bit off-topic but I was wondering when the 2008 version of SEO Fast Start was going to be released.

    Ant

  2. Hi Dan, i tried comment kahuna earlier in the week and didn’t find it very useful. Yes it seemed to find a lot of blogs with NF and good PR but the majority of them were unrelated to the keywords that i put in?? I feel this product could get really mis-used with people just posting on unrelated blogs just to get the link back. This would surely cause a lot of spam on those blogs!

  3. I didn’t find it especially useful either, but I’m part of a tribe that’s very well linked together and I have no cares about nofollow whatsoever.

    A lot of people will spam just like they do now. Those who heed Andy’s advice will find that their participation has significant long term benefits.

  4. I just downloaded the second release of the software. It seems to find more relevant posts based on the keywords I searched for.

    I didn’t like the idea that it sometimes pulls in more than one post from the same blog. It can be a good tool if used correctly, but it needs some more work.

    Brent

  5. I’ve used CommentKahuna and FastBlogFinder and at this point I prefer FastBlogFinder as the paid version seems to bring back better results at this time. Of course free is nice and I Jason puts out great products.

    Also just stumbled across http://co.mments.com/ which looks like it could be useful in conjunction with either of these programs.

  6. I was thinking about this some more on my daily ice tea run and came up with this rule for myself:

    “If I’m not prepared to get *involved* in the conversation I’m making a comment on, DON’T comment.”

  7. That’s a great way of putting it, Paul.

    Anyone who doesn’t run an blog would not believe how many junk comments I have to just delete. Someone took the time to type a lot of those in, but they wasted their time and mine, because they just wanted to get a link in.

  8. I’m with you Paul. I find out of every 20 – 30 posts I review only 2 – 3 are something I am interested in following up on. My rule of thumb, if I am not willing to hit the “Subscribe to Comments Button” and follow up, I don’t waste my time or the blog owner’s time by leaving a comment.

  9. I just checked out this app. Nifty, and in theory it makes sense. It does return some junk. There’s something to be said however about the old phrase “If its not going to be done, there is no sense in doing it at all”

    White Hat SEO is easy, not simple. Its about consistant quality, not quantity. The SEs, webmasters, surfers and content managers simply won’t tolerate useless efforts.

    As much as I love duct tape, that approach just won’t work in the long run. There’s a new one for black hats…they are the duct tape of the SEOs!

  10. Hi,
    I’m going through your SEO Fast Start and it asks for feedback here. What I have seen so far looks useful. Thanks. One of the things that bothers me a little is that you seem to be assuming that we are as knowledgeable as you. You give little snippets and expect us to be able to implement them for example:

    On Page 40
    Here’s what it looks like (in the HTML code) when you use it on a link:

    Privacy Policy

    That’s it. Simply adding rel=”nofollow” to the link tells the spider not to follow that link. I won’t bother to show you how to do this with JavaScript and Flash. You don’t
    need to know about that any more.

    I’m sure that is easy “if you know HTML.” However, I don’t.

    Here are a couple links I think should be blocked:

    About Us
    Condition

    So… there are lots of questions:
    Do I put it before the first <td? After it? Once I put it in does it kill all links after it or do I need one for each link?

    New comment:

    Page 2 says:
    A companion site (www.seofaststart.com) and a free private membership community (www.whitehatblackbelt.com) to keep you up to date and answer your questions.

    If I go to http://www.whitehatblackbelt.com I get:

    White Hat Black BeltsThis is a private community for readers of Dan Thies’ blog, books, and newsletter.

    Sign In
    This network is by invitation only. If you have an invitation, click the link in the email to join.

    There was a problem signing in

    I don’t have a password so I don’t know how to get in.

    Thanks again for the book

    Don McKee

  11. Don,

    Just subscribe to the newsletter, there’s an invitation link for the private site on the opt-in confirmation page, and in every issue of the newsletter.

  12. I’ve been using Comment Kahuna for some time now and see it as an important part of my SEO arsenal of tools.

    I do strictly follow the rules that if I cannot comment with useful info, then I don’t post.

    No follow doesn’t mean is don’t get a back link – you do. It’s just that the PR juice isn’t past down to your site. I post on do follow and no follow.

    To me, I find it interesting and enjoyable reading blog posts and commenting back.

    All the best from a sunny day in the South UK,
    Steve.

  13. I’m just starting out with Comment Kahuna / Fast Blog Finder. I think the ideas here are very good. If you can’t add something to a conversation then it might not be a good idea to comment.

    Part of commenting is helping to grow your brand as well as asking important questions. These valuable gains can be just as important as a random backlink.

  14. I am using the Comment Kahuna for a few times on my affiliated wordpress sites. But I found that my comments were sent straight to akisment.

    Anyone has similar experience?

  15. Hi everybody.

    Dan, your book SEO Fast Start is the first piece of solid literature I read on this subject when I decided that I needed to know more about SEO. It has been an invaluable reference and I was disappointed to see how much of time I had previously wasted reading SEO tips on other sites.

    I tried Comment Kahuna and in all fairnes, it is a good tool. But in terms of SEO, it is my opinion that the time can be better spent rather than just posting comments on other blogs. I find that the time it takes me to read another blog and attempt to write a meaningful comment can be better used in creating new keyword rich content for my site.

    As you have said incoming links are very important but content is KING. And many newbies to SEO, like myself, get caught up in the promises of instant traffic by using Comment Kahuna.

    From my experience, patience and diligence to content can be more rewarding in the long run than posting comments through tools like Comment Kahuna.

    A great application nonethless.

    Thanks for a brilliant website, Dan.

  16. Xaser this may happen because your comments were seen as spam. Short comments that are not relevant to the content of the site may be seen as spam. But I have also noticed that at times Akismet kicks in quite unnecessarily on my blog.

  17. I think as you try to build a site and develop rankings, software like comment kahuna and fast blog finder are useful in your seo. I think I lean toward fast blog finder. But as we move along, I believe content creation is a far more useful way of investing your energy.

    Dan, BTW, great article this past month on the Five Business Habits where we could all use improvement. We might all be better served to spend our time on website issues like weak copy, analytics, testing, conversions, etc. – instead of writing these posts! (lol)

  18. Yeah i agree with what some people said, its not useful to the blogging community if you’re using it as a spam tool, but i like to use it to find relative blogs to mykeyword, i’ve found several blogs that i subscribe to through CK.

  19. I’ve recently launched a website that I’ve pretty much SEO’d to it’s best potential.

    I downloaded CK and at first I was a bit sceptical about its benefits. As many have said above – it would be very easy for spammers to utilise to bombard our blogs.

    However, having read this article, it has filled me with a bit more confidence that it may help the PR of my webpage.

    Thanks very much for writing the above.

    Sheps

  20. I just got to know about comment Kahuna a week ago I have tried it but I don’t think is all that useful.
    Directory are much more better, just that is much more difficult to get listed.

  21. You know, I just heard about Comment Kahuna today. Thanks for clearing up a little about how it functions and what it can do – it seemed like all it’d do would be to increase the signal/noise ratio, you know?

  22. Seems like a GREAT tool to me. You can find relative sites… relative BLOGS, and post a comment with a link to your site. If you try to use it to just spam a bunch of sites I think the blog owners spam catcher tools would pick that up anyway. And if they don’t blog owners would manually catch irrelevant comments. I review every comment on my blog. So if any spam did get through I would just deny it. But akismet seems to catch it all anyway.

  23. I am just about to download it. I tried to get it working a while back and it would work as shown on his video. I think that it could be an excellent tool. It has the ability to target blogs by finding them based on your search preferences. I do not really care about no-follows because an important part of commenting is adding value to the blog and enhancing your brand reputation through referrals. Spammers do neither and while they may get some links, most approval engines and moderaters get rid of most of the spam anyhow. I think his tool can be more for good than evil :!

  24. OK. I promised an update. Here is what I have found so far. It IS a valuable tool. I had trouble on one computer getting it to work, but on another machine it worked per the video.

    We have good results. Our results are part of an overall SEO (white hat) strategy for this site. We have about 50 top five results in Google for targeted key words. We were also able to use some good public relations activities on industry sites using the comment kahuna tool.

    As discussed many times, including in these comments, you must add value with your comments. Adding value means that the blog owner (website owner) will get the benefit of improved content and also current content. Junk comments get deleted and annoy the hell out of the owner of the site.

    I would recommend its use if you are a small business who wants to find industry related commenting opportunities and you are able to spend the time to write valuable comments.

  25. I am actually using it now. I just did a Google search to see what others were saying about it. Naturally SEO Fast Start was right near the top of the search results!
    I’m quite enjoying using Comment Kahuna as I am discovering a lot of interesting blogs, reading a lot and posting what I think a worthwhile comments. It’s slow going though and I can’t help thinking there must be faster ways of achieving the same thing

  26. Super late with my response to this post, but what I want to know is if I download the Comment Kahuna software if it will be good or evil in adding some sort of crazy ad ware to my poor little PC.

  27. Here’s something I haven’t seen directly addressed by many webmasters or blog owners:

    If someone positively contributes something useful and thought-provoking to the overall discussion, do you as a blog owner care or concern yourself with the commenter’s possible ulterior motives?

    I’m guessing that, like anything else, it’s going to vary from person to person.

    “Brick Paver” above quite obviously had an ulterior motive for adding a comment here (as do I). But what he added was ultimately helpful to the discussion (as I hope mine is), and provided relevant, helpful material that had the potential to even broaden the discussion – thus adding to the targeted content of the page.

    So I’m guessing that the decision to let a comment stand requires two filters on different levels:

    1. Is the comment relevant and/or helpful to the topic and the ongoing discussion?

    2. Am I as the site owner okay with the commenter having the ulterior motive of being able to drop their link in exchange for their useful comment?

    While both are certainly subjective, it almost seems as if the first filter is easier and simpler to gauge and judge then the second one. As a commenter, I have a lot of control over the relevance of my words, but I have basically no control over the site owners feelings on the link dropping.

    Of course, not allowing URL’s to be left is one way a site owner can make their feelings quite clear I suppose…

    Btw…Dan…I first saw you years ago on the “I Help You” forums – always liked your straightforward approach to SEO. :)

  28. I found it just today but I seem to get a lot of 403 errors :(

    I always try to be very helpful and proper with my comments, I never try to leave just one word “awesome” or the cliche “great post” comments.

    I think blog finding software can be really great if you’re having trouble finding a particular category and niche of blog but it does leave it open for abuse.