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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:

  1. Feedback – I find that the comments readers leave help me to improve my blogging
  2. 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
  3. 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 Content

One 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.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Razib Ahmed says:

    I have noticed that comments can even attract your website in an interesting way. For example, sometimes, I write on a topic and someone added some more information in the comment section. I have noticed on two occassaions at least that the new info in the comment section brought more hits for me than the entry itself.
    Of course, the obvious benefit of having a comment is personal satisfaction that someone found the entry thought provoking.

  2. JimmyLee says:

    I see you fix the issue…

  3. Good stuff, Darren. I’m trying out some new techniques @ my blog to increase reader participation via comments. Hopefully I’ll see some improved results soon.

  4. Vincent says:

    My comments helps my blog to rank well for a certain keywords that is totally out of topic. Example: My commenter’s name is “ABC”, and he commented on my entry titled “Picture of Mugs”. I’m shocked when I saw someone visit my blog by searching the keyword “ABC Mugs”. It’s kinda good although the visitor is not targeted.

  5. jeff barson says:

    I’m wondering if, in the future, search engines will start disregarding comments or consider them ‘gaming’. I’m not aware of any but there has to be a system or Bot that automatically refreshes or changes your comments.

  6. All 3 reasons ring true with me–the SEO is a bonus.

    I’ve found it fascinating that I have been almost totally wrong when anticipating which posts will generate comments. You just never know what will spark someone’s interest at a given moment.

    Keep up the fine work and concise suggestions…you practice what you preach.

  7. jordan says:

    You sometimes don’t think enough like a regular Joe. Saying get rid of the blogger bling? I dont know exactly what you mean by that. I guess your trying to say get rid of blogger blogs all together. I dont get the logic behind that. I have a site I am building on and I am building my own media blog catalog in hopes of recieving money from google. I use blogger because its a great tool for people. I dont have the expertise to simply build my own site. Blogger is a wonderful tool. I use photoshop to make my blog stand out from the others. What Im saying is that blogger is good. The regular joe that stumbles on your blog from a google search, will not know the difference and wont discriminate. I say as long as you use blogger and add your own touch their is absolutely nothing wrong. Darren I admire you deeply but some of you criticisms about blogger is not necessary. It is a wonderful tool!

  8. Luis says:

    Comments also help in getting new viewers. I have seen on a few occasions, search engine results that would appear based on the comments.

  9. Mike M says:

    Here’s a “little feel good” for ya….
    :-)

    ps – I find that asking for comments does help a little. I do really need a lot more somehow though…maybe I need to be more controversial

  10. Frankly who doesn’t love to see comments on his posts? I know that I still shiver of excitement every time i get that email “Someone left a comment on your post X”.
    However my % of visitor/comments is still VERY low :(

  11. Darren Rowse says:

    Jordan – I think you misunderstand this post. I didn’t write anything about blogger – I linked to another article that did. Follow the link and you’ll see what they had to say.

    Now in terms of Blogger as a tool – I’ve written previously that it’s not a tool that I use (I did once use it to run my first blog) or recommend – however it’s about personal choice and if you’re happy with it and it gives you all the features that you want – then it’s a good tool for you and you should go for it.

  12. Terra says:

    I kind of came accross your site by accident, and it is one of the most informative blogs I have ever seen!

    But, I’ve always wondered if the frequency of posting on a particular blog makes a difference in ranking? For instance, if I post once, or twice a day…. rather than every other day?

    maybe you have already address this topic..but I was just curious.

    Again, great blog.

    cheers!

  13. Sheryl says:

    I’m new to the blog-o-sphere, but if you get the right people visiting your site then it seems to me that you would need comments for the feedback – like you said. That way, the readers can help to guide the direction of the site too.

  14. jordan says:

    Yea you are right Darren, I meant to write on the post below. Thanks for clarifying that for me. I am a loyal reader and I plan on learning tons from your blog. Happy Halloween!!!

  15. My Hot Image says:

    Comments are your loyal SEO expert

  16. darrenh says:

    Comments help search results. That’s a great plus. I must admit I like them most for reason 3. It is always cool too when you can comment back and get a little dialogue going.

  17. My Hot Image says:

    Comments also gives you better feedback on the topic that you are discussing

    and more than that is being happy to know that people liked what you wrote and gave you free minutes of their time to reply back

  18. masterofthe says:

    i have heard a lot about posting comments on other blogs specially those that are related to your type of blog or business.

    What i’m interested to know is if there’s an actual data on showing how fast and accurate these backlinks become indexed by search engines and how long do they last as links or if they disappear as a link if the owner of the blog where you have made the comment deletes it.

    anyway, thank you very mucho for the information and details.

    thanks a lot,
    masterofthe

  19. sam says:

    I also love comments and i love visiting blogs but unluckily i myself only gets a few of them because i don’t have much time to promote my blog sites.

    i am also pro to comments on blogs and since they help gain traffic and prestige

  20. mascot says:

    comments are the best way to gain links but most of all gain friends and co- blogger sympathy and to make other bloggers feel important.

  21. Ell says:

    We can learn from the comments readers opinion and in some cases something new. When you see new comment, you understand that someone has read your post or simply visit your blog. It is pleasant.

  22. Deal-master says:

    If you want new partnership “Anything Deal Dominos Goes!”, save this site to bookmarks IE..
    or this

  23. The tricky part sometimes with regard to comments coming in as trackbacks etc, is how to determine if the site is a spam site or not?

    Any advice on how does one identify a spam site? What are the typical tell tale signs?

  24. Java Rocker says:

    thx a lot…..im new to the world of blogging and your article made me learn new things that i would never know……thx a lot again…keep the good work going…cheers…

  25. I have a same question as “Anmol Mehta | Mastery of Meditation”… any idea how to differenciate whether a comment is a spam… and how to justify a good commenter by allowing them to insert their link.. some commenter do feels justify by doing so… infact I notice some blog that doesn’t allow any links back does not have good response…

    Azlan
    Online Business with a kampung boy

  26. samee says:

    I’m wondering if, in the future, search engines will start disregarding comments or consider them ‘gaming’. I’m not aware of any but there has to be a system or Bot that automatically refreshes or changes your comments.
    http://moneysecrets.110mb.com

  27. I’m wondering about comments on other websites pointing to my own, does this help with search position? Is it worth searching the internet for blogs that allow posting and writing a quality comment just to get your link on their site? Or do search engines ignore comments on blogs?
    Financial planning and financial advice

  28. I just started my blog last week and have enjoyed reading your tips on getting started and building traffic.

  29. This had a lot of helpful tips. I have recently reactivated my blog after a hiatus of several years, and am happy to see that I am using a couple of these “techniques” already. One thing I did recently was respond to a particularly good comment as a new post, which caused people to dig back and see what the original post and comment had been about and become interested in the topic.

    Funny thing is that I wasn’t thinking of that as a “techniques”, just doing it in the normal course of interacting with my readers. The other funny thing was that the comment actually caused me to rethink some of what I had said in the original post.

    Thanks for the great ideas.

  30. William says:

    Thanks Darren for the great, helpful tips. You have really got me thinking about how to use my blogs correctly. I have one blog that to me is just pure love. I think I will fix on this one and see what I can do to tweak it up. http://rockandroll-forever.blogspot.com

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