Should I Leave My Blog Comments Unmoderated?


Once you start a blog, as an individual or business, there are six possibilities:


You may:

  1. not allow comments
  2. allow comments and moderate them
  3. allow comments and never moderate it
  4. allow comments, moderate them, and interact with readers
  5. allow comments, moderate them on without interacting with readers
  6. allow comments, moderate and interact for a time and later suspend interaction but continue moderation


I've once stated how important it was to allow comment on your blog. That won't change here.


Allowing comment is actually not a ranking factor, on its own, but the content there in the section may support your SEO beyond your immediate expectation.


In that post, I remember warning you that allowing comments comes along with its challenge which was moderation. For if things were left unmoderated, you'd pay dearly for that with Google sanctions.


But now you're asking if you should just allow comments and never bothered to moderate it. 


I think I've given you clues to the answer. Yet, there is more to that. 


Yes, you can allow comments on your blog and never moderate it but not as simple as that.


Confused?


Let's break it down!


Moderating Comments is Not the Same as Interacting

One beauty of web 2.0 is its social setting. In a blog, the environment should allow interactions among people of the same or common interest.


Hence if you own a blog, ideally, you and your readers should be interacting in the comment sections.


Readers should not, in actual fact, accept everything you share hook, link, and sinker. And if they do, they may want to know more. 


The comment section is the dedicated place to do just that. 


Hence, if the comment section is disallowed or removed, you've deprived them of the original reason behind blogging.


However, it takes you the time, that should be invested in creating new content, to interact with these readers.


And if you can't afford the time, you may need human resources to fill that space (only if you can afford it).


Where the two are not available, what will you do? Disallow comments? Leave them opened and unmoderated?


The answer to the former is NO. The answer to the former is partly YES.


It's YES, to leave the comment section to be active. It's YES to let readers post their comments - allow other members of the community to interacts in the comment section.


Effect of Not Interacting in the Comments Section on SEO and Ranking

It's easy to believe that if you stop interacting with your readers, you're likely to lose traffic and returning visitors.


It may be tempting to get hooked to moderation and interaction with comments. Yet, the interaction part of it is not worth it.


Let's get this straight.


Of course, if you reply to comments, you can carefully carve your replies to be people and SEO-friendly - thereby helping your ranking.


However, there is the need to identify what's more important to you.


The ranking from the comment's content or writing enough content for your existing and potential readers?


See, one of the reasons some big boys in your niche won't allow comments at all, not to mention interacting with them, is that they'd understood the contribution of comments compared to the continued writing of new content.


Neil Patel once wrote at least a post per day. He later made that one post per week.


This is probably why this guy is one of, if not the leading expert in the content marketing niche.


I've actually read a hundred blogs, that never, or no longer allowing comments. Yet, they ranked higher than those allowing comments.


It's safe to say that once your posts have all for both people and search engines, allowing comments may not be that important.


Best Way to Avoid Comment Interaction Without Losing Ranking

First, if you allow comments, moderation is a must, for your own sake. It's even better not to allow comments, at all, if you can't moderate them.


I think the best way to do it if you want to allow comments without getting stuck to moderation and interaction is by only doing the moderation part of the job.


It only takes you a few minutes of reading and clicks per day to allow comments that you deem fit to appear below your content and disallow and delete that many harm your ranking and reputation.


Therefore, I suggest you allow comments, moderate them to a bearable extent and let the readers interact with one another.


With the community members interacting with one another, your content will still be enjoying ranking effects from their keywords.


You can then dedicate your best time to new researches, writing, and publishing.


Another approach is to allow comments for a period of time - probably for a few years. This time you should actively be interacting with other members of the community. Give answers to every possible question.


After that set time, suspend your interaction completely and let them move the talking forward.


Conclusion

I won't recommend closing the comment section or removing its widget for any reason. Unless, you're already a top leader in your niche, which I doubt if you're asking this question, let the comment section breathe on, even if you won't be interacting with readers as before or at all.


Dedicate a few minutes a day to moderate (allow and disallowed) comments. You allow comments that are related to posts and contributive. You disallow spam and off-topic comments.


I've personally quit interacting on a blog I started and got fully engaged with three years. I stopped after three years. I'd expected a serious drop in ranking for leaving my readers to do the talking but nothing was significantly affected. 


It took them a few weeks before realizing I might not be as actively involved in the discussion as before. But as soon as they adjusted, things got back to normal from their side. SEO didn't feel a pinch on its side.


Mind you, I never stopped the moderation because that's the responsibility required of me by Google if I must retain commenting on my blog.

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