James has a good post with some Arguments for getting rid of comments (he’s going to do another balancing one tomorrow on why comments are essential features for blogs). I’ve heard each of them before except for this one:
‘The more comments you have the less links you’ll get – Comments lose you ranking
I’m quite serious about this. Do you really think that Dave Winer would get so many links if he allowed comments of his site? To take this down to a smaller (and perhaps more important) level, say there’s a writer who you’re really into who posts some really interesting material but doesn’t allow comments, if you want to respond then you’ve gotta do it on your blog, which gives you more links, a wider audience and…’
It’s an interesting argument and one I’d not really thought about before. There is some sense in it – rather than have the conversation on your own blog – not allowing comments forces people to take it to theirs with links back to you. On the opposing side I think you’d find that a lesser percentage of people would do this than leave comments – thus in taking this approach you might build your own blog’s ranking a little but you kill the potential conversations you might have.
I’m a massive fan of comments and value the learning that I do from interacting with my readers.