Friday, December 1, 2006

How Comments Can Help Your Blog Rank Well in the Search Engines

A few weeks back I wrote a post titled 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog which got a bit of attention around the web after doing well on Digg.
As usual - the comments that a post gets when it is featured highly on Digg were mixed (both the comments on Digg and the post itself) but one of the recurring questions I was asked as a result of the post was:
Why would you want more comments on your blog?
There are many reasons why I think comments on a blog are good. Here’s three that I responded to the question with last week:
Feedback - I find that the comments readers leave help me to improve my blogging
Group Learning - the comments on posts often add to the knowledge base and learning that goes on as a result of the post. My ‘expertise’ on any given topic will only ever be partial at best - but between us we know a lot more
It Feels Good - OK - I’ll admit it. Looking at a post and seeing that a few people have wanted to take the time out to respond is a nice feeling.
I’m sure there are a lot more reasons that we could come up with (feel free to share yours) but another one that hit me earlier today was the impact that comments can have upon Search Engine Optimization.
Comments Present Search Engines with Fresh ContentOne of the many ‘rules’ of SEO is that search engines like freshly updated and changing content. This is one of the reasons that blogs do so well in search engines (if you regularly post that is) as your blog’s front page is constantly presenting new content to the SEs.
The beauty of comments is that they too freshen up your blog and present the search engines with something new to look at.
Each time that someone comments on your blog they change the page that your post is on and the next time that Google or Yahoo send their bots to index it they will find that it has been updated - which can’t hurt that page’s ranking.
The exception to this is when comments are spam comments with links to dubious sites - which can actually hurt your standing in search engines - plenty of motivation to keep on top of comment spam. If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to the Free ProBlogger Newsletter
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