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Does Turning Off Comments Result in More Links?   no comments

Posted at Jul 6, 2010 @ 10:37am TurnKey Marketing

There has been a lot of controversy lately about how best to use blog comments to boost SEO. While it might seem awfully counter-intuitive, several popular bloggers have demonstrated that turning off comments can do wonders for traffic. That is, if you happen to be popular to begin with.

They theory is that, by turning off comments, you force readers to respond to your articles on their own blogs and social networking sites, linking back to your post in the process. This not only encourages linking-in but it also prevents spammers from hitting your blog with their own links. If you happen to be a blogger with a loyal readership, I can see how this method might improve your traffic. However, I can also see how it could kill your blog—and fast.

Not only are you counting on your readers to stay loyal after you ban them from discussing your post on your site (which, frankly, is kinda rude), you are also counting on them to care enough about your post to write their own. Maybe it’s naïve of me, but I think people tend to be a touch lazier than that in real life. The beauty of comments is how easy it is to leave one. You read a post, you have an opinion, you share that opinion, you go on with your life. In a perfect world, comments demonstrate to new readers how fascinating your post has been to past readers, and encourage discourse among your budding fan-base.

When you turn off comments, you turn off the discussion. Unless your readers are super bloggers with unlimited time, and your content is, like, the most compelling thing ever, you’re taking a big risk. Not only are you shutting down a pipeline of traffic, your sending an elitist message to your readers. My advice: let people comment, heavily moderate for spam, and encourage readers to blog about your blog by writing good content. It’s the best of all possible worlds.

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