How much does it impact SEO to disable blog comments?

31 replies
  • SEO
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Hi,
We have a large Wordpress blog with quite a few comments. In recent years, we have grown tired of comments from people who just want to argue. Can you tell me what kind of SEO impact would there likely be to completely disabling blog comments?

If possible, we would probably leave the existing comments in place and just close new comments sitewide.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!

Mike
#blog #comments #disable #impact #seo
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    Why don't you use some services like Disqus? The comments will be easier to handle.


    And by hearing your situation I can say that it won't effect your SEO negatively even if you choose to disable new comments, if that's what you are asking.


    But if your audience is genuinely interacting with each other then I will say that don't walk in that path to shut them off. Try to control, regulate and restrain them but don't shut them off.
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  • Profile picture of the author spartan14
    Well i dont think it will affect so much the seo of your website but comments are important as people will feel engaged on your blog
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  • Profile picture of the author surajchd46
    Using the moderation zone, start by keeping the obvious spam comments away.

    Your blog is written by a human with a name - "You" - and you'd probably like to get a real comment from another human with a REAL name.

    Spam comments are a big problem. Spammers use automated software to generate comments with backlinks leading back to their spammy site. You don't want to be associated with them in any way.

    One of the basic signs of spam commenting is that the comment will not be relevant to your blog post. It will talk about something generic like: "Your blog is not loading fine on mobile", "Your blog loading is too fast", and so on.

    Conclusion: Use comment moderation and Nofollow tag for your all comments, engage with your readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkellam
    Thanks for your responses!

    I'm curious - With comment apps like Disqus, can you block certain people from commenting? Or can you block keywords from the comments?

    We do have most of the spam filtered. The issue for us is more that in the last 3 years, it seems that people more often want to write essays in the comments about all the ways they disagree with us, rather than having a positive conversation.

    In the past, if people didn't like our message, they would move on, and we were happy for that as they were not really the target audience. Now, people who don't feel good about themselves for reasons unrelated to us want us to change our message so it validates how they want to feel about themselves.

    **The obnoxious people are only a small percentage of everyone**, but it still works out to a LOT of negative comments, particularly since the negative people, though small in numbers are more likely to comment than positive people.

    We do have someone else helping moderate comments, but we were trying to find ways to eliminate the negativity without having to see it all.

    Honestly, after a lot of years, we were wondering if a niche change might help!

    Thanks again for your thoughts!

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author expmrb
      Originally Posted by mkellam View Post

      Thanks for your responses!

      I'm curious - With comment apps like Disqus, can you block certain people from commenting? Or can you block keywords from the comments?

      We do have most of the spam filtered. The issue for us is more that in the last 3 years, it seems that people more often want to write essays in the comments about all the ways they disagree with us, rather than having a positive conversation.

      In the past, if people didn't like our message, they would move on, and we were happy for that as they were not really the target audience. Now, people who don't feel good about themselves for reasons unrelated to us want us to change our message so it validates how they want to feel about themselves.

      **The obnoxious people are only a small percentage of everyone**, but it still works out to a LOT of negative comments, particularly since the negative people, though small in numbers are more likely to comment than positive people.

      We do have someone else helping moderate comments, but we were trying to find ways to eliminate the negativity without having to see it all.

      Honestly, after a lot of years, we were wondering if a niche change might help!

      Thanks again for your thoughts!

      Mike

      As, I said try to regulate them. Many bloggers will kill just to get into a position like you, you know know that right?!!


      Getting negative reviews, people sticking to your site for their agenda etc only means one thing. That your site is getting recognized.


      Services like Disqus allows plenty of things. Look!! if you are so worried about negative comments or so then just make a moderation step for your comments. In which they will need to get approved before getting published in the live blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author Working jose
    In short terms, removing them completely I think does not affect SEO, but if you want your users to be more on your blog, you should not do it, well they get there to have such discussions.
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  • Profile picture of the author ZoyaHall
    It will not affect SEO, but it can affect your traffic, as some people go for communication in the comments.
    Try using special services for comments, or control them yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Business Shaper
    I think the best option is keep blog comments enable with moderation means someone have to approve the comments before posted it on blog posts because blog comments have various benefits.
    1. Blog comments are the proof that people engage with your articles.
    2. Sometimes readers explain their pain points in blog comments which can give you a idea for your next post.
    3. Blog comment is a best way to stick your readers with blog. Just Imagine, If a user express his problem in your blog comments and if you give him solution with the reply, it impacts that user and other user as well. It will show you as a helping resource and people love to visit your blog again.
    and the list is on.
    Like most of others website, we also get some irrelevant comments which are only submitted for the purpose of backlinks.
    The another option is, remove the URL option. This way no one can use them to get backlinks and your blog will still get some useful comments.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Manu
    You shouldn't give up the advantages comments bring just because of some negative folks.

    Simply make comments to go live only with admin approval, and only those with approved comments in the past to go live without moderation.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkellam
    Thanks a bunch for your replies! They have all been very helpful in getting some perspective and looking at how to better manage the comments! I appreciate it!

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Ape22
    I always keep my comments on But with moderation. Just like the warrior does. It says my comment is marked as spam. And they approve after reviewing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sats
    Mike, good question.

    Disabling blog comments doesn't affect SEO as such.

    What it does affect is dwell time on your page which is a ranking factor for SEO. If writing/browsing comments increases how much time people are spending on your website, you'll do better than someone else keeping everything else equal.

    Having said that, if you have a good domain authority and significant backlinks, you probably won't see a drop in traffic because of disabled comments.

    Comments are actually a great way to engage with your audience like some of the folks have said below, and am sure you understand. I would look into Disqus and IP blocking options where you can block the nuisance makers.

    Good luck! You know you're doing something right when you're annoying some people.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    It won't impact your rankings. Honestly, it might improve them. Comments usually do nothing other than dilute the content of the page.

    From a business perspective, if moderating the responding to comments is taking you away from more productive activities, just get rid of them. I wouldn't even hesitate.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonMorrisCMP
    I'm just curious about something. If there are so many people that disagree, is that information they are replying to you in any way useful to shape future content? I am not suggesting you are not doing that but, I wonder if the content can be improved or the audience targeting needs to change.
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    • Profile picture of the author mkellam
      JasonMorrisCMP - That is spot on the issue! Because of our niche, we have inadvertently attracted a lot of the wrong people - people interested in our content, but who are not the target audience. This part of the readers are welcome to read, but they do not buy our products and they have specific side agendas that are popular with some people in the niche at large, but not the portion of the niche we are targeting.

      At first, we didn't recognize that we were allowing that segment of the niche to pull us off message somewhat away from the target, but about 8 months ago, we realized the problem and have been pivoting the focus to the people who are the target audience and trying to be significantly less appealing to those who are not. We have actually been somewhat blunt that if you don't like our content direction, this isn't the place for you, which has helped refine the group closer to the target audience.

      We do require prior approval on all comments. Mainly, we probably need to hire someone to pre-screen the comments and delete the obnoxious ones without sharing the content of those messages with us. ;-)

      Thanks for your response!
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  • Profile picture of the author bkskarthik
    Why I am disabling blog comments?

    1) Spreading spam comments
    2) Commenting irrelevant post
    3) Using Software to posting comments for Backlink purpose
    4) Due to more number of comments the page loading taking more time [This point really affecting blog SEO]
    5) Some people are really giving good feedback but some negative folks making some irrelevant comments for good folk. Some time good folks feel bad about it.
    6) If I am ready to moderate the comments it will eat all my day

    But I know comments are proof of the engagement quality content blog and my getting good feedback but it eating my time.

    Disabling blog comments don't affect SEO but affect your Time

    #SAKA
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    I believe those comments are good for your site. Disabling them may be counterproductive.
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  • Profile picture of the author seofreetips
    Hire someone else to interact with comments. Use discuss to manage comment with filters.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sophie Leonard
    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. A successful blog does not come without its readers, so I feel that the least we can do for them as bloggers is to allow them to have their voice be heard if they choose to speak. Beyond the benefits for the reader, allowing comments on a blog provides benefits for the blogger as well. Reading through the comments of a blog post is probably the easiest way for a blogger to understand what else people want to know. This could help a blogger figure out what other posts to publish and possibly what products to create too. Another benefit is a large number of comments will spark curiosity and grab people's attention to read and engage with your blog post.
    But Yes Spam comment is a big issue. One way you can try to combat spam is by using third-party comment plugins. Some popular third-party plugins for WordPress include Disqus, Livefyre and wpDiscuz. Another thing you can do is turn off comments after 30 - 60 days. People who comment for link building purposes (spammers) typically look for blog posts with high PageRank. Typically, blog posts start out at a PageRank of 0 and only gain PageRank after a few months. This means that spammers are going to be targeting your older blog posts. Typically, the height of popularity for a blog post is within the first two weeks. That will also be when you get the majority of your comments (unless you don't update your blog that often). Hence, if you close blog comments after 30 - 60 days based on your preference, you will have a lot fewer comments to moderate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pasco Joemar
    I have run a couple of tests on my client's websites regarding the comment section. Before comments can be useful for engagements and also can give impact to seo once you have comments but due spamming the problem raises and many owners got annoyed by this annoying stuff. Disabling comment section is kinda good especially to your long-form type of content.
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  • Profile picture of the author smithmary01
    I think is not affect SEO, Because this time more comment is removed the main cause is low-quality comments, negative comments, relevancy issues, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author clickmatixptyltd
    It may help in reducing the spam score, but the loss will be terms of traffic flow. So the thing to be always remembered is to create an engaging content
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanIsra
    Not much, but your visitors may reduced when they found that they cannot post their thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author WBBSE TRICKS
    Yes, we always enable our comments as Google check the number of commands before ranking
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  • Profile picture of the author mkellam
    Hey everyone,

    Thanks so much for all of your thoughts.

    We do require prior approval on all comments, but reviewing the most negative ones ourselves is like a constant water torture - not bad at first, but the constant onslaught is tiring. The 95% of the commenters that are positive and rational are fine, but the 5% aggressive vicious stalker types for a while had us wanting to nuke the blog completely and start over in a different niche.

    We are moving toward an improved software solution (thanks for your suggestions) along with probably hiring a third party to pre-screen the comments and delete/ban the obnoxious ones without sharing the content of those messages with us to provide a level of insulation from the uber-trolls. ;-)

    Thanks again for all your great suggestions!

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author gravityofseo
    Hi Mike,

    I know the major issue with the comments are "They all are not legit or relevant". And it is indeed very difficult and time consuming task to read each single one of them and approve / disapprove.

    But apart from everything, i want to tell you that Blog Comments plays a good role in SEO. It gives your blog good length and enrich it with keywords.

    Further, it also provoke web crawlers to crawl your page again and again as they will found something new in there.

    Though, if you will disable them there isn't any direct impact on your blog or on its SEO but indirectly it will impact.

    Note: Its completely, what i have seen and experienced.

    Rest its your call, Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author CCarter
    Let them argue, it creates content, and gives people a reason to keep coming back and helps your brand long term. Turning them off will turn off the reason to interact with your brand.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoexpertinindia
    It would not affect much since you have told me that the blog is old. But you will not get the page updation which is recommended by Google. But not to worry there will not much SEO Impact you face.
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  • Profile picture of the author SethDunford
    Most of the blogs and website have disabled their comments, because of spam and stuff. It won`t be a big deal for SEO, all the needed optimization can and should be done on content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    First, you interfere with active conversation and general activities. So your blog becomes dormant and so it will drop in ranking.
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  • Profile picture of the author SalimSheikh
    Well I don't think it will affect so much the seo but comments plays a vital role as they can create or destroy your reputation. You can use other platforms to handle comments.
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