Blog Comments And SEO – Do They Help?
One aspect of blogging which is sometimes overlooked is the comments section. There is nothing better than getting some positive feedback from your readers but I do know from personal experience that, as a blogger, replying to them can be a pain – especially if there are a lot of them.
However, with the recent Google updates in their algorithm with Panda and Penguin – do blog comments help SEO? Will getting a lot of comments on your blog post increase your rankings?
One thing to bear in mind is that all comments are seen as fresh content in the eyes of the search engines crawlers. Makes sense when you think about it because if you receive 300 words worth of comments after your last crawl, by the time they crawl your blog again there is more content on your page which gets added to the index.
This is pure magic because it is seen as fresh, content creation and that is what people are looking for – up to date information.
What does this mean?
Well, this means that for every comment you receive you get more content added to your blog post. It can almost be viewed as an additional writer adding valuable content to your existing words! Super, right??
Yes! This is such a fantastic way of adding FREE and wonderful content to your blog because it is completely organic and 100% keyword rich, at least most of the time.
In this day and age, Google wants, and probably prioritises, websites with fresh and “current” content because people want information immediately and it needs to be up-to-date.
Think about this for a second;
If you had two articles ranked on the first page of Google but one was getting 5 comments per day with coherent, relevant questions and statements and the other article did not receive any comments at all – which one do you think will probably rise in the rankings?
My money is on the article which gets more comments. Naturally, there are many other factors into SEO and ranking but if they were on an even playing field – SEO wise – then I would say fresh comments would be a deciding factor.
User Experience Matters
The user experience also ties in with blog comments and SEO because one part of Google’s algorithm, is of course, how long a user spends on a website and/or the bounce rate. Now, it is only natural that if there are many comments on a post then there is more to read and more to engage the reader’s attention – which is GOOD!
Not only that but if there are previous comments on the page then it is more likely that another reader will contribute because they would want to be a part of the discussion.
You can see how this may cause a snowball effect;
comments = higher engagement = longer time spent on website = more comments…
= more keyword rich content = HIGHER RANKINGS
Not only that but if your content is engaging, valuable and gives your readership the answer to their question then they are very likely to share your post on social media which will increase the traffic. This increase in traffic will undoubtedly increase the number of people who would be inclined to… you guessed it; leave a comment!
Keyword Rich Comments Adds To Content
One more fantastic side effect of commenting on someone’s post is the organic and natural occurrences of keywords and relevant content. If you were to, for example, comment on this post here then you would most probably use words like “comments”, “SEO”, “content” and many more keywords which I hope to rank for by writing this very article!
Funny how the world of SEO works right?
You can see from this strange circle of events that the true value here comes from writing quality content as this will surely encourage people to comment and share your links – resulting in more comments.
How To Get People To Comment
I think the simplest way is simply to ask. “Please leave a comment below if you have any experience on this subject” could be a possible example. Try and prompt your reader at several points during your article to simply test their interest.
If they identify with your blog and like your writing then there is a reasonable chance they will interact with your blog – which is a wonderful thing.
Comments To Avoid
There are a few dangers though which you need to make note of. Google sees new comments as content creation, which it loves!
However, other comments could hurt your rankings if they are deemed to be unnatural or spam because they need to pertain to your content – in other words, be relevant.
If I get a comment like – “Omg! Your website is awesome and the weather is so good today that you have inspired me to go outside!” – and this comment appears on this article I am writing now, then I would not approve it. This is because it is not relevant to anything I have written. A complement, but not relevant.
Also, you need to avoid comments which leave links to other pages because you do not want to appear to endorse other websites if you do not know their credibility in Google’s eyes, nor if the website in question is relevant to your niche.
Although, your spam filter should catch most of the comments with spam links, etc.
So, with all that said, if you have anything to add to this post then please feel free to leave a comment below!