Don’t forget about your blog comments!
Blog comments are a great way to build up your branding and authority within your niche.
As Pat Flynn says: " “Without comments, a blog isn’t really a blog. To me, blogging is not just about publishing content, but also the two-way communication and community building aspects behind it.”
I agree with him.
But how do you handle them with care?
The benefits of allowing blog comments
- Blog comments provide a form of social proof.
- Blog comments help you to understand what your readers want you to write about.
- Responding to comments helps you to deepen your relationship with your readers.
- The act of commenting theoretically increases the likelihood that the user will also engage in other ways, such as subscribing to your email list or even making a purchase down the road.
Three kinds of blog comments
Positive comments encourage the blogger to take his blog to a new higher level. Although some comments might be written poorly or off-topic then I would suggest not accepting them either.
There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism. Truly constructive criticism is usually easy to spot. it’s respectful. It allows for the other person’s opinion, even if strongly disagreeing with it. It assumes good faith on the part of everyone in the discussion.
Your opinion on a topic may be a unique one, not likely to match with others. If a comment disagreeing with your say comes across, try to see the topic from the reader’s point of view. If it looks better, make sure to congratulate him; if not, just point out his flaws with a touch of professionalism.
Comment Spam is a fundamental problem that has to be dealt with by all the websites which allow commenting on their articles and blog posts. People try to post a comment on an article to win a free backlink to their sites, thinking that the free backlink will improve their search engine ranking and their website will start to rank higher in search results.
Here is what Google says about such practices :
"If you’re a blogger (or a blog reader), you’re painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.” This is called comment spam, we don’t like it either.
Hence, website owners and bloggers need to be very careful with comment spam on their pages. Google clearly says that any content which appears on your website is your responsibility which means, that comments posted by other users on your webpage or blog post are also your responsibility. If you do not do any quality control on these web pages and allow spam comments to be posted, Google and other search engines will not like it. What is going to happen is that the search rankings of your pages will significantly drop in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others."
So, in other words, you delete such comments right away!
Holding comments in moderation
It goes without saying that you should first enable the moderation of comments on your website. That way you have control over them and can do good housekeeping.
Do negative comments affect your rankings in search engines?
All blog comments that a search engine can see will in some way affect the ranking of the site that the comments are on. The fact that the comment is text, the text is considered in the ranking algorithm.
The fact that a comment is negative, is that taken into account for rankings?
I would have to say “NO”, not as a ranking factor. People, on the other hand, will read said comments and decide for themselves if the comment is applicable.
Why not turn off comments completely?
Well, that's up to you to decide. I prefer to have you be able to comment on my articles. As it helps me to understand you, my audience better.
There is no correlation between the number of comments on a post and the number of links that post got. There is also no correlation between the number of comments and the number of views that post got.
I did not figure that out myself. Hubspot was so kind to take the time to investigate that for me 🙂
The data shows that blog comments are not correlated with increased traffic.
Your blog is not a democracy
Neither is mine.
As an owner of a blog, you have the responsibility to police all of the content, also your comments.
My comment policy is pretty basic: don’t use the comments to blatantly promote yourself, and don’t be an asshole. Disagreeing is fine, but don’t just tell me why I’m wrong, tell me what you think the alternative is.
I’m not going to publish vindictive comments, and if you just want to feel better, go and hit a brick wall or something. Then ask yourself, “What’s the alternative? Am I really adding value?”
I know this does not apply to the 99% of the commenters who are cool people, and the 1% who enjoy living in their insanity probably won’t read this, but it’s good to have it out there.
Remember, don’t talk to the trash, just take it out.
All the best,
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You’re spot on, Luc. As a long time blogger, since before social media, comments were the social component. While I don’t see as many now, it’s always gratifying when someone does post a thoughtful comment. And I’m with you on moderating comments and deleting the spam ASAP. It still amazes me that people think they can get away with that spammy behavior.