Does allowing comments on your blog help or hurt your SEO? In this article, we’ll help you decide if you should allow comments on your blog. The quick answer is yes, under the right circumstances blog comments may help improve your rankings… but only under the right circumstances.
Overview: What are blog comments?
If you were an internet user in the early 2000s, you probably remember scrolling through comments at the bottom of almost every blog post.
Social media as we know it didn’t exist but blog comment sections, along with forums – the more organised form of comments – were among the first prototypes of modern social media.
Webmasters used blog comment sections to engage directly with their readers, answer questions, and learn more about what they wanted.
They also used them to boost their SEO rankings.
Do blog comments help improve SEO?
Today, you’ll still see blog comment sections here and there. And yes, they may help with SEO if they’re used correctly. Indirectly, blog comments may help improve your SEO rankings.
But let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to learn why blog comment sections almost became extinct.
Blog comments used to be an incredibly effective SEO tool…until they were abused. You see, once SEOs and webmasters learned that blog comments could be used for backlinking, the quality of blog comments began to drop.
And it wasn’t long before these spammers learned how to automate their tactics. Soon, every blog post that wasn’t protected by anti-spam software became inundated with low-quality commenters dropping barely-relevant links.
In 2005, Google released the nofollow tag (rel=”nofollow”) to help bloggers fight spam. The nofollow tag, also used on sponsored links and advertisements, tells Google’s web crawlers that your website does not endorse any information on the page to which the link points.
In other words, those spammy backlinks quickly became ineffective.
Additionally, the past 10 years have seen innumerable SEOs and reputable online businesses slowly shut down their blog comment sections, especially as social media engagement grows.
Why blog comments are less effective now for SEO
In 2020, Google released new tags to help website owners direct Google’s search crawlers to and away from specific content.
The new tags, also called attributes, tell Google what links are user-generated content (rel=”UGC”) and what links are sponsored (rel=”sponsored”).
WordPress has announced that they will be using the UGC tag automatically with WordPress blog comment links.
Today, low-quality comments submitted for the sole purpose of dropping your link on another blogger’s website won’t help your SEO. And honestly, it’s in bad taste.
Should I allow comments on my blog?
Here’s where blog comment sections get interesting. When it comes to your own blog, there is evidence that allowing blog comments helps boost SEO rankings.
How? Depending on the quality of your user engagement, they may be rich in relevant keywords that you may not have considered.
However, the effect of blog comments on SEO may not be worth the amount of effort you may have to put in to moderate those comments. It’s more of a personal choice.
Let’s weigh the costs and benefits of allowing blog comments so you can make an educated decision.
Advantages of allowing blog comments
As long as your blog comments section is crawlable by search engines, blog comments may help boost your SEO and encourage user engagement. Let’s jump right into all the advantages blog comments offer.
- Enjoy potential SEO advantages. expanding content with relevant keywords.
- Comments allow for two-way communication with your reader on a specific post or topic.
- You get unique reader feedback and insights.
- Reader feedback can inform you of your target audience’s needs, interests, and pain points.
- Readers get to experience a personal touch, deepening their relationship with you.
That’s a pretty convincing argument for allowing blog comment sections. The downside is this:
Disadvantages of allowing blog comments
Some webmasters refuse to allow comments. It’s not like the old days when that was one of the few ways to get in touch with the owner or writer of a blog post. Let’s see why some bloggers opt out:
- Even with spam protection plug-ins like Askimet for WordPress, spammy and low-quality comments still get through.
- For busy webmasters, there are often too many comments to moderate (one of the reasons why “Community Manager” is a job title today!).
- Now that we know social media isn’t going anywhere, some webmasters make better use of their time engaging in meaningful discussions on popular platforms.
- Depending on the comment section you choose to install, it may not be crawlable by search engines (we’re talking about you, Facebook!)
When it comes to blog comments and SEO, you’re in control. Whether you choose to allow comments or not is your personal decision that you should base on your time and budget.
Blog Comments and SEO: FAQ
As with all things SEO, there’s plenty of room for discussion. Below are some of the most common questions and blog comments and SEO.
Can I delete comments from my blog?
When using WordPress, as well as most providers, you are in full control of what comments stay and what comments go. You can even edit permissions, allowing you to moderate comments before they’re accepted into the comments section.
We recommend moderating before comments are posted to make sure the quality of your comments stays high. Even a day of spammy comments can deter new visitors from taking your comments section seriously.
Which is better for SEO: Disqus or Facebook comments for my WordPress site?
Both comment boxes allow users to interact and engage easily on your blog post.
However, Facebook’s commenting system is in an <iframe>, meaning it will not affect your total word count and any user generated keywords will not affect your ranking much. Many search engines will not crawl content housed in an <iframe>.
The benefit of Facebook’s comment section? Commenters are connected with hundreds or thousands of other Facebookers, which could mean you’ll get a great referral network and boost traffic, even if it’s only temporarily.
Disqus, on the other hand, allows user comments to be crawlable, adding to your total word count. Any keywords they leave in your comments section will help boost your SEO over time. Disqus also has an excellent spam filter.
Whether you choose to allow blog comments or not is entirely up to you.
In some cases, your time will be better spent engaging your audience on social media or directing your efforts to SEO tactics that provide bigger results.
For other, blog comment sections are a virtually passive way to improve search engine rankings via user generated content. Your decision relies on your unique business, funds, and resources.
But no matter what you do – don’t leave spammy links.