Effect Of Comments On Blog Traffic: A Case Study

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As a blogger, there are a few questions that are always on your mind.

Things like:

  • How do I improve my blog’s search engine rankings?
  • How do I get my blog to be noticed?
  • What is the ideal length of a blog post?

Obviously, you have turned to the internet to research ways in which you can improve your blog- which is why you are reading posts from ShoutMeLoud!

In today’s post, I will discuss a topic which is not often talked about but holds a major role in the overall SEO and growth of a blog.

This post will change the way you look at your blog comments, as I share with you one case study that educated me about how blog comments play a major role in raising content ranking.

Can Blog Comments Help In Ranking Your Content Higher?

Let’s begin with one of the major aspects of on-page SEO– the length of a post.

According to a study done by SERPIQ, the greater the length of the content, the higher the post will rank in search engines.

ideal Content length for SEO
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Even here at ShoutMeLoud, the posts which have the most traffic are the ones which have more than 1200 words.

Here’s a good rule:

Before you decide that you will start writing lengthy content from now on, let me first give you some important information regarding blog comments:  

Your post’s comments are also calculated as a part of your post’s content!  

The number of high quality comments your post receives will also improve the overall ranking of your content.

If you read my previous article on LSI keywords and how to add LSI keywords, then you understand that it is important to have keyword variation in your posts.

Comments on your blog help to improve the overall keyword variation and quality of the content. At the same time, irrelevant comments on your blog posts do more damage than good.

This is one of the main reasons why I always ask ShoutMeloud readers to not use the CommentLuv plugin.

The CommentLuv plugin definitely helps you to get more blog comments, but at the same time, it adds a lot of unrelated links within the post’s page.

One major problem I faced after using the CommentLuv plugin was the issue of spam and broken links. Accepting all these random comments, you can inadvertently link to many spam sites or 404 pages after a domain from a commentator has been penalized or has expired.

So, I strongly suggest avoiding the CommentLuv plugin as it has the propensity to do more harm than good for your blog.

Case Study: How removing comments affected my blog traffic

Blog comment Traffic effect
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On one of the blogs in my network (relationship niche blog), I was receiving a great number of comments on a few posts, and those posts were ranking at the top of Google Search.

Later, I decided to shift from the WordPress comment system to the Google Plus comment system in an effort to obtain more social votes and traffic.

I was unsure how existing traffic would be affected if I were to remove the existing comments (which I did by disabling WordPress comments).

After replacing the WordPress comment system (November 22) with the Google Plus comment system, my traffic dropped by 40% in the next 2 days.

Note that the culprit here was not the Google Plus commenting system but my mistake of removing the existing comments from the blog post.

After 9 days, I reverted back to the original WordPress comment system (December 2) and my traffic started getting back to normal.

You can do a similar case-study on your blog and share your experience and results with me in the comments section of this post!!

One thing which this case-study made clear was the fact that comments definitely affect the ranking of your blog posts.

Having relevant comments on your posts will help you get more organic traffic, and these quality comments will attract more good comments.

Similarly, if you have an old blog with irrelevant and baseless comments, removing them can be helpful.

Note: Here at ShoutMeLoud, I have deleted over 4000+ comments from old posts which were pointless and not related to the post topics. Initially, I was a little unsure of my actions, but over time it turned out to be a great step. Manually removing old, useless comments is a tedious task, but it’s very important for good blog management in the long-run.

Also watch this video for better understanding:

Conclusion:

blog-comments-case-study
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The comments on your blog have a significant impact on the ranking of your blog posts, and it is well worth your effort to encourage users to comment.

When you encourage comments from others, make sure your readers add value with their comments. Don’t be shy about deleting any comments which are not relevant to the post. Quick, short-phrased comments such as “good post” and “nice post” do nothing in terms of adding value.

Also, be sure to analyze your top ranking posts and try to learn whether there is any relationship between the number of comments and the traffic received on the post.

Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section! (Relevant comments only!)

Also, if you find the information in this post to be useful, be sure to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

66 thoughts on “Effect Of Comments On Blog Traffic: A Case Study”

  1. Harleena Singh

    Hi Harsh,

    Lovely post indeed, and how could I not comment on this one when it related to blog commenting! πŸ™‚

    You are absolutely right about CommentLuv. I remember the advice you gave me about removing it from my blog when I had interviewed you on my blog, if you remember, and within a few days I removed it (I never used it again!), and I see the difference.

    There are NO broken links and those 404 pages, nor are there any spam comments or those 1 liners. I am SO grateful to my blog readers, and now little blog community and forum members also that I recently started that the quality and number of comments hasn’t dropped. If they did, now one knows who were there just for link-dropping!

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice rest of the week πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Harsh, Recently I read another blog post by Neil Patel on this topic. Yes I agree that Comments on the blog have really a great importance on the ranking of your blog post. Thanks for the case study.

    Best Reagrds

    Miraj Gazi

  3. Few months back I wrote a post about adding contact form in blogger and my post was at 14th position. Gradually I started receiving few comments in that post and now it is ranking at top position. As you mentioned in this post I think my ranking increased because of the meaningful comments I received.
    Thanks Harsh for sharing this great post.

  4. Great article Harsh, the posts which put forward some questions or ask for their opinions generally get more comments and rank better and if you have a active social community that helps in driving even more comments.

  5. I also got my blog traffic increased by answering each question asked by my readers in comments section.
    Questions asked by readers in comments usually get ranked in Google with exact phrase match and that also boosts ranking in Google search even if you have not highlighted that query in the article body.
    So its also important to answer each and every query properly for boosting website traffic through comments.

  6. Definitely blog commenting is an effective practice to get link juice to increase your website DA and PA. Blog comments increase page ranking. its also passion and encourage to bloggers regarding the articles. You are saying absolutely right above CommentLuv. I love and use in our blog. this post indeed. nice article.

  7. Harsh, that’s a great post.

    Comments help in ranking the blog posts for some narrow search terms, which blogger himself is unaware of!

    I many a times came across SML ranking for comment keywords in SERPs.

    It’s also worthwhile to note that number of comments and discussion on your blog posts also have an effect on rankings. Usually a content that is involving recieves great comments nah?

    Coming to CommentLuv, it’s a great way to encourage commenters on your blog. You also gave me an advice not to use CommentLuv (As you did for Harleena)

    However I’m still using the CommentLuv, but STRATEGICALLY.

    1. I remove luvs (links) for most of the generic comments, but I do not remove luvsfor comments that are above 50 words.

    2. I use broken link checker, so that I will be notified of any broken links. Broken links occur in WP builtin comment system. CommentLuv is not an exception.

    As you said CommentLuv, increases the number of irrelevant links in your blog. Removing unrelated luvs and allowing only closely related luvs makes sense.
    Including Luv is just a small favor we give to VALUABLE commenters.

    Great post, an eye-opener 😯 The role of comments in SEO (Semantic keyword) is great πŸ˜‰

    Cheers,
    Akshay.

  8. Rahul Krishnan

    Hi Harsh Sir,
    Yet another superb post. Certainly you are right. Comments play a vital role in our blog rank. Greater the number of comments, more trust you get from readers.
    Feeling blessed to jot down something after Madam Harleena. Who else can say the facts about commenting art!! Commenting is the buliding block of social relationship. Thanks for the awesome post.

    Regards,
    Rahul

  9. Hey Harsh

    You are spot on; irrelevant comments not only damage the ranking movement of a blog but it also put bad impact on readers, critics and eespecially advertisers.

    Yes on using or not using Comment Luv plugin there are diverging views as a huge majority of bloggers still using it but those who have established their voice now trying stand-alone commenting systems like G+ and Disqus.

    Readers engagement is also reflected with higher number of objective comments and many readers get influence to see huge number of comments and also share their views to add value in them.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post on one of the most relevant topics.

  10. Its more or less depending on the topic of the blog. SEO and “New Media” Blogs have much more Comments and Social Media Feedback than, for example, food and health blogs.

  11. Great post Harsh and I liked the commentluv part since there are bloggers from all different niches who post comments in your blog so you can get irrelevant links pointing to your blog posts which might harm it’s rankings in search results. Also I trick is that once you find that your blog post has got good rankings in searh engines and if that blog post is having good no of comments then you can disable the comment for that post to maintain the balance between keyword density and post length.

    Cheers
    Nicebloggingtips.com

  12. Interesting case study. I always believed the more comments you have, the better it is for your rankings. Of course, quality of the comments matter when it comes to SEO; however, never realized that deleting old ones could also be helpful in it. Anything that is keyword-rich, relevant to the subject and informative to the audience should be kept as it is and it will yield results.

    Engagement with the audience in comments is another way to boost your website’s credibility and build relationship with the audience, which obviously results in traffic generation in the long run.

    Nice case study. Thanks for writing this up.

  13. sangeetha menon

    Harsh,

    I was a great fan of comment luv plugin until I read your post on why shouldn’t we have it.

    I checked my broken links and was surprised to know the number of links that had become dormant over time resulting in plenty of 404 errors.

    As you said when I analyse my posts those ranked in the top are the ones having a great length of more than 1200 words!! Will continue to do so and will delete all the unnecessary comments too which doesn’t value add to me or my blog in anyway.

  14. I think blog comments are the form of content and hence keywords contain content of blog comment matters a lot. Hence they will rank for more keywords for sure.

  15. Hi harsh, Definitely comments helps in ranking content higher simply because it makes the content alive and tell google its a helpful piece. But there is nothing that have pros without its cons, there will always be work to do in thrashing some spam comments and a lot to do in removing those links too. To me, i don’t see a big deal in commentluv, is a game of choice anyway

  16. Very effective information about comments policy. This post really helpful for every blogger how to handle their blog post comments.

  17. Huge fan of blog commenting here Harsh, based on your observations and also based on Harleena’s feedback above. Commenting is a simple, clear way to build bonds with almost any blogger or earth….or, with the blogger’s community.

    Top bloggers need tools to form friendships with other top bloggers.

    I’ve no doubts my posts published on Shout Me Loud were the product, first and foremost, of my comments. We need some tool to pop up on the radar of influencers.

    Ryan

  18. Hey Harsh !

    Nice post indeed with an eye-opening case study but I completely disagree with your suggestion for not using comment-luv plugin. Actually this is a common myth among bloggers is that comment luv plugin do more harms as they pass your link juice to out going domains and often you end up linking to irrelevant sites.

    But let me you, comment luv plugin has settings included whether you want to make them dofollow or nofollow. And when it comes to moderation, you have to be smart enough to know where you’ll end up linking to.

    Thus, Comment Luv when used in smart way can bring more comments and engagements also.

    However, Google has also officially stated in its algorithms that the link juice should properly distributed among internal as well as outbound links also.

    So don’t you think your assumptions about the plugin is wrong ??

  19. I trust you 100% having few valuable posts then spend the time effectively to push
    your blog before writing another posts is that the best way to go, when establishing a gradual stream of traffic then you’ll write a lot of content and promote your new content.

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