Disqus is the largest and most popular third-party blog-commenting platform available today. I use the term “commenting” loosely, of course. It isn’t about simply leaving a comment – dropping your link and your two cents before moving on, although that is still an option.  Disqus takes traditional blog commenting up a notch, fully facilitating complete and relevant discussion.

Why Disqus is Awesome

Disqus 2012 is SEO ready.Disqus has been around since 2007, but only became SEO-friendly with the Disqus 2012 release. This release came as a response to Google’s announcement in late 2011 that it would begin executing AJAX and Javascript content for indexing. Google’s announcement inspired Disqus to create an update to their service that would be, they claim, SEO-friendly right out of the box. Now, the system serves an estimated 75% of blogs using third-party commenting services.

My favorite feature of Disqus is the Dashboard. Users familiar with Twitter will feel right at home almost immediately. You can both follow and be followed by other Disqus users, allowing you to keep tabs on those who may have similar interests. Additionally, a large portion of the dashboard is devoted to keeping you updated on places where you have joined in on the discussion. This section keeps a record of who you have replied to and who has replied to you, and with a single click allows you to view the context in which a specific comment has been made.

Using Disqus for SEO

Placing a link in Disqus is a little different but easy to learn, as it requires the use of HTML. Don’t worry – it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it. It looks like this: <a href=”URL”>Anchor Text</a>. These links will not appear spammy, as there aren’t any distinguishing characteristics from regular text. Your comments are usually posted right away (this facilitates real-time discussion).

Keep in mind that you will get the best results if you contribute to the actual discussion. Users have the option of upvoting, downvoting, and reporting spammy or inappropriate comments. Spam doesn’t last long on sites with active Disqus users.

Whether you plan on using Disqus for SEO purposes or for your own personal use, you’ll find it to be very user-friendly. Simply create an account using your Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email account and start contributing.

Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/8015841559/”>Sam Howzit</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>Photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>