Each and every day, the Google algorithm robots are finetuning their programs to catch yet another way in which webmasters are trying to dupe the indexing system. Google Penguin, for example, is primarily responsible for downranking low quality, irrelevant or redundant spammy content. But what if you, the domain owner, aren’t responsible for some of the content being left on your page via blog comments, for example? How should you referee the open forum? Should you just deactivate user comments to make it easier? Or should you just leave it as a free for all, because the more the better, right? All of these are great questions, and hopefully ones you might have if you’ve ended up reading this article.
Should I allow users to comment on my blog or article?
Absolutely. It’s important to leave an open line of communication between the reader and the author, and provides free content for your page. However, it’s important to screen what commenters are contributing because they could be spamming your website for their own gain, and that hurts the both of you SEO-wise. While these spammy link posters are soon to find that out the hard way, hopefully you’ll catch this no-no before it ends up hurting your website. If you aren’t careful about cleaning up your comments (anything unrelated to the post can usually just be deleted or responded to privately), Google Penguin can sweep in and punish your site for trying to manipulate the indexing system, even if you weren’t responsible for the spammy content in the first place.
On the bright side, if you enable comments and experience any sort of virality to the post, it’s likely that readers will comment, potentially adding new, valuable information to your site creating their own related topic-related discussion below the post. And you’re better off for it. We recently wrote an article about Noah “N.D.” Brown of Alaskan Bush People and had 28 different users comment on the post, each offering their own unique perspective and response to the article. This only made our post stronger, increasing the keyword vocabulary and interaction on the page, something the Google bots like a lot: unique, user generated content.