Marketing 3 min read

Removing Blog Comments can Hurt Search Rankings, Mueller

Werner Moser / Pixabay.com

Werner Moser / Pixabay.com

In a recent video, Google‘s John Mueller explained that removing blog comments can harm search ranking.

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content that users add to a page after it was published. These include reviews, videos, photos, — and yes, blog comments.

Along with creating a sense of community, blog comments also provide an opportunity to collect feedback. Besides, it can help your audience learn directly from their peers.

Last year, Google stated that it treats user-generated content and main content alike. In other words, the search engine doesn’t differentiate between the content you wrote and the one that users wrote.

The question came up again in the February 5th Google Search Central SEO hangout.

A site owner wants to remove comments from their site without losing ranking on the search engine results page. So, they asked John Mueller whether Google factors blog comments in its search rankings.

Here’s the response.

Removing Blog Comments May Impact Search Rankings Negatively

The short answer is: yes, Google factors comments into the ranking of web pages. So, it’s unlikely that you can remove comments from a site without affecting its ranking.

Mueller’s response reads:

“But ultimately if people are finding your pages based on the comments there then, if you delete those comments, then obviously we wouldn’t be able to find your pages based on that.”

According to Mueller, removing or leaving a blog comment is entirely up to the site owner.

However, as he pointed out, Google sees blog comment as part of the content. That means a comment that contains a piece of information that searchers are looking for could surface in search results.

For this reason, blog comments are valuable to a page if they contain additional information that the main content is missing. But, that’s not always the case.

So, how can you determine whether a blog comment is valuable?

Mueller recommends analyzing the search queries that lead to the various pages on your site. That way, you can estimate the impact of deleting all the blog comments.

It’s certainly not the case that we completely ignore all of the comments on a site,” says Mueller. “So just blindly going off and deleting all of your comments in the hope that nothing will change – I don’t think that will happen.

Watch the full video here:

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