One of the most important concerns of small business SEO clients is whether or not to approve the comments which appear on their blog. The answer to this depends on a variety of factors.
Traditionally, blog comments have been posted for the purpose of being able to share opinions, ask a question, or provide feedback. However, in a time wherein SEO has been a major tool for business success, blog comments have also been used by people for the purpose of creating links back to their website – an important factor which is essential for web pages to achieve higher rankings.
The Problem With Blog Comments
Because many people are using blog comments as an opportunity to post links to their websites, it becomes problematic for site owners to monitor every comment which appears on their blog and assess the purpose for having them posted. If you have a bunch of comments on your blog which are linked to bad websites, you might find that Google or other search engines frown upon those links. It can have a negative implication with regards to your rankings.
In the example below, the red boxes show the link that is being created for each of the offending websites. Notice how the comments are generic in nature and add nothing to the conversation.
One of the solutions to take into consideration would be the use of attaching the rel=”no follow” attribute, which will apply to all of the comments posted on your blog. With this tag in place, it is harder for search engines to trace the links which will be seen on your blog, making them less likely to penalize you for it. Since many spammers look for links which are “do follow”, this also minimizes the chances that your blog will be spammed in the first place. Using a simple plug-in can prevent following of the comments, specifically, the links which are attached.
SEO-wise, however, this option is not a good one. A better option would be looking at the websites of each person posting a comment on your blog, and performing an evaluation on whether these sites are good or bad. The problem with this option is that it can be time consuming, and an evaluation of the websites can be hard, especially for people who do not hold expert knowledge in the field of SEO.
Because of the fact that many of the links appearing on websites can prove to be nothing but spam, taking down the URL link from each of the blog comments can be a good move, although it can also lead to a reduced number of people posting comments, basically because they can no longer be recognized. Nonetheless, it can still prove to be an good option to prevent other users from spamming on your comment threads.
The Difficulty Of Managing Comments
By not allowing URLs (links back to websites) in your blog comments, you will be able to save a lot of time in terms of managing your site. However, if you have some time to spare in managing these comments, you can consider going through them one by one and see if they are legitimate or not. Frequently, the proof of a legitimate comment would be if the post shows that it was written by someone who has an interest in your post, or someone who has a useful reaction. However, it can be classified as spam if the comments do not make sense at all, such as simply noting “Thank you for this wonderful post, please write more on the subject”.
Blog comments can prove to be very useful for SEO, especially if you take the time to have them properly managed, although doing so requires ome effort. In the future, it would be better if search engines, like Google, had an effective framework in order to assess these comments, especially those which could actually prove to be useful in boosting the site.
The Case In Point
The point here is that you should have the ability to assess the comments posted on your site. Approve those which actually make sense, especially if they make your blog better. Reject the comments which are of incredible nature, especially those which do not make sense, or those which are directed to questionable websites. Proper management of blog comments is needed, as these comments will assume a significant role in triggering interaction.
Deciding whether or not to approve comments is a decision most blog owners make on a case by case basis. Use your best judgement and follow the guidelines outlined here and you will continue to maintain a healthy blog.