Out of all the convoluted metrics people mistake for SEO success, blog comments is one of the most ridiculous I’ve heard. No, seriously. One of our clients was once mad that the blog posts we were writing for him were not generating any comments. Just so we’re on the same page, qualified leads (in your service area) are a good measure of SEO success—definitely not blog comments.
Blogging has greatly evolved over the years—the definition of what a blog is has changed and, therefore, so has the point of having one. While blogs can arguably serve many purposes, the main goal of blogging used to be to offer your opinion and get others to join the conversation. Plenty of these types of blogs still exist, but most small business owners today are using their blogs for one-way communication; their primary goal is not to strike up a conversation, but to attract qualified visitors and convert them into leads.
However, more and more businesses have opted to build their website on WordPress—a content management system that was initially designed with the more “traditional” blogger in mind, where the goal was to generate a discussion and comments were necessary for doing so.
Blog Comments & SEO
In fact, when it came to SEO, blog comments USED to help in several ways. First, if people were leaving you keyword rich and relevant comments, that added to your page’s word count and keyword density. Next, if you were looking to build backlinks, you could go leave a blog comment on someone else’s site with the “name” section as the keyword you wanted to rank for and the URL as the landing page you were targeting.
The latter got out of hand real fast and is still an issue today. If you currently have comments enabled on your WordPress site, you’ve surely gotten your fair share of comment spam. In fact, there are robots out there that do nothing but scour the web for places to leave comments and get links. That’s why WordPress comes pre-loaded with a plugin called Akismet to help block the spam comments (though most people will tell you it’s a pretty useless plugin).
Why You Should Disable WordPress Comments
Many businesses choose to disable WordPress comments because of spam. Even if there was one valuable comment for every 1,000 spam comments, monitoring your comments every day is time consuming (especially when they’re not extremely valuable for sites anyway).
In addition, unapproved spam comments take up space on your drive and slow down your WordPress site speed. And in case you didn’t know—site speed is just as important for SEO as it is for user experience!
Webmaster Tip: Want to get rid of all of your unapproved comments in one swoop? Download this handy plugin called Delete Pending Comments. It’s Blue Corona Webmaster tested and approved!
Why Do I Still Get Comments After Disabling Them in WordPress?
There is a setting in WP where you can turn off comments, say you have to be approved to leave comments, or have to be a registered member to leave a comment.
But even after you turn WordPress commenting off in your site’s admin area and delete all comment boxes from your site, you might find that you are still receiving email notifications for comments being left on your site.
There are files you can delete from your WordPress theme to prevent future commenting, but this is best left to a professional. Delete the wrong file and you could really mess up your site! Also, with cached versions of your site out there, comments could still get through.
You could also install a plugin like Disable Comments, but make sure to read the FAQs for whatever plugin you decide to use. This one, for example, clearly states it’s not a temporary solution for deleting comments. Like that tattoo of a whale with a mustache you got after your last breakup (oh wait, was that just me?), that thing is permanent.
Need Help Maintaining Your Business’s Website?
I know what you’re thinking—it seems like you need an entire IT department to maintain your business’s website. In reality, you just need a really good online marketing company.
If you’re already paying someone to do your SEO, pay per click, or other online marketing, they should be able to make sure your website is maintained as good if not better than the White House lawn. After all, your website can and should be your #1 source of new sales and business.
About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
View more blogs by Lexie Bond
“Their predictions on how and when the campaign would start to bring us opportunities were spot on and continue to improve month after month. They have been very responsive to our needs, ideas, concerns and questions. Deciding to put our marketing in the hands of the Blue Corona staff has proved to be a great decision. ”