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  • #974839
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    Hi Solo-ists,

    Is there any SEO benefit from setting blog posts to automatically close comments after X number of days? I think I remember reading somewhere that this may in effect tell Google that ‘nothing’s changed here’ and to trawl other articles on the site.

    #1070674
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    I don’t expect you will stop G re-indexing a page just by closing comments. Re-indexing frequency is more likely to be influenced by incoming links to specific internal pages.

    Closing comments will have an impact on SEO. Not necessarily plus or minus – just different. Comments that are “on topic” should enhance the pages ranking but comments may be more likely to be “off-topic” and reduce ranking for a specific search phrase.

    Then you have the issue of how a specific blog page can be accessed on the site – so many options for accessing/archiving and each should have a different impact on how “link juice” is passed through the site to individual pages.

    The inherent characteristics of blogs make them unstable SEO platforms and poor vehicles for specific keyword targeting.

    As far as I can see, updating a blog with fresh comments has negligible impact on a page’s ranking to a specific keyword. It is what the comments are that will make the difference in its ranking.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1070675
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    Thanks John,

    Would you therefore say that it is good practice to close comments after say 14 days? Or does it depend?

    #1070676
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    I don’t think you can predict whether the SEO outcome will be positive or negative.

    If the entire blog site and its comments are very tightly focused around an information topic/theme then it could be better to leave them on.

    If a blog’s home page encompasses article topics as diverse as:

    Graphic software
    Email addresses
    Making PDF files
    Domain names
    etc.

    Then, the next article published is likely to be about something equally unrelated.

    In this case, I believe whether comments are “on” or “off” will be totally irrelevant.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1070677
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi David,
    I get the impression that you were thinking the freshness of a page’s content boosts it in Google’s results.

    Goggle said years ago that part of the ranking algo was associated with “freshness” of a document. Originally, they advised that a ranking boost kicked in depending on the search volume for a specific topic.

    Thus, the freshness ranking factor for “olympic” pages may kick in every 4 years.

    This article hit me today.

    How Google Might Track Changes on Webpages
    http://www.seobythesea.com/2011/08/how-google-might-track-changes-on-webpages/

    About half way through is:

    “I was also reminded of Google’s patent, Document scoring based on document inception date, while reading about this calculated age patent. In that patent, we’re told that for some queries, a fresher document might be preferred, while for other queries, an older document might be a better result, and that the age of a document might be included as part of a ranking score for that document.”

    In 2009 when G “upped” its indexing frequency, this “freshness” and ranking issue hit the news big time. At that point many started touting that page “freshness” meant higher rankings and that’s why “Google loves blogs” and we should all be publishing them every day.

    I don’t ever recall seeing any evidence to support the accuracy of these opinions, from Google or any SEO whose opinion I’ve learned to trust.

    As far as I can see, page “freshness” still only kicks in to ranking results occasionally.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1070678
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    Thanks for your help John.

    #1070679
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    I agree with John, the ‘freshness’ thing is one of the great myths of SEO – “write blog posts frequently and you’ll rank better…” and so on.

    It is nonsense of course, Google only uses the QDF (query deserves freshness) algorithm where it is warranted.

    For example if I now search for “rugby world cup” it would be entirely reasonable of Google to skew the results to info on the imminent RWC and less about the previous ones!

    #1070680
    Samith
    Member
    • Total posts: 187
    DavidM, post: 88094 wrote:
    Hi Solo-ists,

    Is there any SEO benefit from setting blog posts to automatically close comments after X number of days? I think I remember reading somewhere that this may in effect tell Google that ‘nothing’s changed here’ and to trawl other articles on the site.

    Hi David,

    I’m not a big fan of closing comments after a number of days, unless you write specifically trend or news related posts, you should probably let the users communicate with you and other users through comments, this will keep the freshness of the post and is a good signal to Google that your website is active. This is a positive signal to improve or maintain your rankings.

    Assuming you are talking about smallbusinessplanned.com you have already done the right thing to stop comment spammers (by no following links on commentators) and I’m sure you moderate the comments, the quality of comments on the site are really above average and genuine.

    Now that’s the happy part, but there’s a not so happy part as well. If you have any issues getting your articles crawled on smallbusinessplanned.com following could be the reason.

    Your website is using a wrong robots.txt file, have a look at the following,

    http://smallbusinessplanned.com/robots.txt

    This should be corrected to allow all search engines to crawl your site, as below,

    User-agent: *
    Allow: /

    and then the location of your sitemap.

    There’s another thing as well, your article comments are creating duplicate content, making the actual number of pages multiplied as below,

    Actual Post
    /your-logo-3-design-fundamentals-you-must-conquer/

    Comments
    /your-logo-3-design-fundamentals-you-must-conquer/?replytocom=365
    /your-logo-3-design-fundamentals-you-must-conquer/?replytocom=366
    /your-logo-3-design-fundamentals-you-must-conquer/?replytocom=367
    /your-logo-3-design-fundamentals-you-must-conquer/?replytocom=368
    …..

    You can easily fix this by letting google know that the variable replytocom should be ignored, if you have Google Webmaster Tools set up for your site, have a look at “URL parameters” under “Site configuration”.

    If you haven’t done already, enable pinging in your wordpress backend, and install the plugin sitemap-index. These two will make sure google knows when content is added or updated.

    Just my 2 cents hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Samith

    #1070681
    DigitalDomination
    Member
    • Total posts: 184
    DavidM, post: 88094 wrote:
    Hi Solo-ists,

    Is there any SEO benefit from setting blog posts to automatically close comments after X number of days? I think I remember reading somewhere that this may in effect tell Google that ‘nothing’s changed here’ and to trawl other articles on the site.

    Hi David,

    There would be no noticeable result in turning comments on or off after ‘x’ amount of time.

    I don’t want to hijack this thread, but some of the comments made above are totally wrong.

    You should disregard these comments;

    1. The inherent characteristics of blogs make them unstable SEO platforms and poor vehicles for specific keyword targeting.
    2. As far as I can see, updating a blog with fresh comments has negligible impact on a page’s ranking to a specific keyword. It is what the comments are that will make the difference in its ranking.

    I have 6 blog sites that all rank #1 for specific keywords and on the 1st page for countless variations. Saying blogs are unstable SEO platforms is totally wrong.

    Keeping a blog up to date reinforces your subject matter, increases internal links, encourages readership and is also a major part of Googles new rollout of their revised home page where you can now request a date related search.

    Every business should blog.

    #1070682
    DigitalDomination
    Member
    • Total posts: 184

    Actually, to reinforce how wrong some of the above comments are;

    One of my blogs returns search results for my keyword phrase as the FIRST SECOND THIRD AND FOURTH result.

    #1070683
    Samith
    Member
    • Total posts: 187

    Wordpress = SEO nirvana, just a matter of knowing how to tame the beast.

    #1070684
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    DigitalDomination, post: 88343 wrote:
    I don’t want to hijack this thread, but some of the comments made above are totally wrong.

    You should disregard these comments;

    1. The inherent characteristics of blogs make them unstable SEO platforms and poor vehicles for specific keyword targeting.
    2. As far as I can see, updating a blog with fresh comments has negligible impact on a page’s ranking to a specific keyword. It is what the comments are that will make the difference in its ranking.

    Hi DigitalDomination,
    I’m afraid I must offer a very different opinion to you on this.

    Let’s see if I can explain what I mean with a simple, real blog example: seo-link-building-strategy.blogspot.com.

    I know this is a huge post but please keep with me.

    There is a lot of B/S posted about blogs and if you are a user of them you may find clues as to why your blog is underperforming in the following discussion.

    The example blog appears to have been going since Apr 10 and Google has indexed 55 pages from it. Yahoo has indexed 54 external links to it of which 87% are to its Home page.

    Its Home page title is: “SEO Link Building”.

    A page’s title is one of the main messages Google is looking at for guidance as to the page’s information content. If the visible text on the page is about the title topic, the page will rank higher for search phrases that contain these words.

    Now look at the blog articles on its current Home page. They are:

    • The Necessity of Web Design Dubai
    • The Necessity of Web design UAE
    • Benefits of Article Submission
    • Manual Distribution List : 500+ directories
    • 785 Do Follow Social Bookmarking site List
    • List of social networking sites
    • Link Building Strategies: PageRank Formula : Number of Backlinks for a Website

    The Home page of this blog contains 7,500 words. Most of them are a meaningless shopping list about nothing and precious few are about “SEO”, “links” or “building”.

    The blogger has gone extensively “off topic” over the 16 months that this blog’s articles have been rolling over on its Home page and as a consequence its ranking for the targeted search words will have been decimated.

    Go back to when the blog started.

    In Apr 10 the only article on the Home page was about:

      High Page Rank Social Bookmarking List

    In May blogs were posted about:

    • Next Google PageRank update schedule
    • A Video about Google keyword tool and keyword research for SEO
    • List of DoFollow Social Bookmarking Sites
    • 1453 – Social bookmarking sites list

    In Jun & Jul were:

    • Do Follow Blogs edu Auto Approve List
    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Link Building

    Can’t you see how the Home page has been constantly changing the topics it has addressed ever since its inception?

    With all those changes will come a roller coaster ride of constant changes in the Home page’s ranking for any search words.

    Wouldn’t you call this instability of the blog format?

    Now consider the impact blogs can have on external link values as these have a big effect on a page’s ranking. Remember, 87% of this site’s external links as assessed by Yahoo are to its Home page.

    But when were they created, why, from where, and what was the link text?

    • Was a link made to the site’s Home page back in May 10 because of the article about the Google keyword tool video?
    • Was it from another page about the keyword tool and
    • did the link text include “keyword tool”?

    All that would be great for enhancing the value of a link to the actual blog article page but as there is no article now on the Home page about “keyword tool” such a link to the site’s Home page has been dramatically devalued.

    As a blog ages and its articles are archived, more and more of the external links to its Home page are likely to have their link values deteriorate as the link topics no longer occur on the blog’s Home page.

    Wouldn’t you call this instability of the blog format?

    I could go on about a lot more inherent blog problems like wasted “link juice” but I’ll stop here.

    I must strongly disagree with your advice to ignore my comments and I will let others make their minds up based on this explanation.

    If bloggers don’t know the inherent limitations of the platform they are using and how to overcome them, then they can’t get optimal SE referrals.

    Every business would possibly benefit from publishing more web pages. Whether they are in a blog format or not has nothing to do with SE rankings or referrals, in my humble opinion.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1070685
    DavidM
    Member
    • Total posts: 329

    Cheers for your comments everyone.

    Samith, post: 88212 wrote:
    Your website is using a wrong robots.txt file, have a look at the following,

    http://smallbusinessplanned.com/robots.txt

    This should be corrected to allow all search engines to crawl your site, as below,

    User-agent: *
    Allow: /

    and then the location of your sitemap.

    I can’t seem to locate my robots.txt file on my server. It’s not in my root directory nor in public_html. Where would it be hiding?

    #1070686
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    DavidM, post: 88387 wrote:
    I can’t seem to locate my robots.txt file on my server. It’s not in my root directory nor in public_html. Where would it be hiding?
    Hi,
    Has one been created?

    There won’t be one if you haven’t created and uploaded it to your root directory.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1070687
    bradzo
    Member
    • Total posts: 335

    Hi David

    Just a quick (really!) quick response.

    I don’t allow comments on my blog at all – well, not WordPress one’s anyway – I prefer Facebook comments.

    But I had a look at my Google rankings for the search term “diy web server” and right now, I’m number 4 on page 1 for that phrase.

    And amazingly, the big G put the following text on its SER:

    “And that’s just three, open-source, free web applications you can download, install and host on your very own “server”.”

    But that text appeared at the 24th paragraph of a previous blog post!

    So I’m very happy, as you can imagine! And I have no idea as to how my reply might help you, except to say listen to what @JohnW has to say, and also @DigitalDomination, and lastly, keep posting articles to your blog!

    You’ll get there if you keep on-topic, and provide real “value” to your readers (even if your only “reader” is Google)

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