Welcome to The Blog Report

I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find this blog an interesting read. I've been blogging since April of 2006, currently the author of six public and two private blogs. In the beginning I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Over the years through trial and error, frustration and elation, and a few tears I've learned a lot. However, the learning process when it comes to blogging continues to evolve. Here you will find a hodge podge of my blogging experiences, useful codes and how-tos, sprinkled liberally with my opinions. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Comments - The Good and The Bad

Over the past couple of weeks I have been doing a bit of research on blogging issues in preparation for moving my blogs to their own domains.  I came across a very interesting read on how blog comments are actually bad for your blog.  We have been told all along that comments are good for your blogs because comments mean interaction with readers that when properly managed attract more readers.  Blogger (owned by Google) announced last year that they were no longer honoring the rel=nofollow tag and hadn't been for a year before the announcement.  Blogger has this tag on blog comments by default.  In essence Google is following any links in comment which can spell bad news for bloggers when it comes to PR.

I have my blogs set to allow anyone to comment but all comments are moderated.  Each time someone comments using their Blogger profile link my PR is going from my blogs to that profile link which is rather useless all the way around.  Anytime any commentaries' link goes to their link my PR goes along with it.  So if I have a post that has 5 links coming in but because it sparked interest has 30 comments with say 25 links going out I have unintentionally ended up creating a huge hole just by one post.  If there are multiple posts of this nature it can certainly mean a drop in PR!  In some cases if the link leads to a bad neighbourhood it can even result in being banned by Google aka not getting indexed hence no traffic from Google.  With this in mind any commenter could maliciously affect your PR even though it may not look like that is what they are doing.  For example, they can leave several comments all with links pointing to their Blogger profile on one post or they can be a bit more discrete by leaving one comment a day.  Blogger should offer an easy way to deal with this problem but they don't.  Here are a few ways to deal with the problem:

  • don't allow comments - This is a drastic measure and one that many readers won't like but it can quickly plug the PR drain.  I don't recommend this but in some cases not allowing comments might be the best thing for your blog.
  • moderate all comments - This is an absolute must under Googles new rules with respect to comment now affecting PR.
  • strip urls - If the url in the comment points to the commenter's Blogger profile, strip the url manually before allowing the comment.  You can even go back and strip the urls from previously posted comments.  The less links going out to sites like Blogger profile the better.
  • always, always check any url before allowing it to be attached to a comment - Google is now getting stricter over comments, ignoring the rel=nofollow tag and penalizing bloggers with poor quality links.  That really means as a blogger you now have to be more diligent regarding what links you allow in comment.
  • contact Blogger - If you are using the Blogger platform, contact support requesting an easy way to disallow urls in comments.  If they get enough requests they may add this feature.  Use Blogger in draft mode to see and test any new features as Blogger decides what they will or will not be adding with respect to new features.


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