After a few years of blogging, I’ve become very against comments sections. Here are 7 reasons why you shouldn’t have comments on your blog.
1) 99% of WordPress Comments Are Spam
I wrote a long post about how to obliterate WordPress comment spam. The idea is that most spammers are trying to gain a backlink, so if you just auto-delete all comments with links, you’d be free of spam.
And as my blog grew, I learned that lots of spammers just say something along the lines of “Hi, nice post, you’re great.” so that they can then attack any sites where that comment got published.
It’s 100 to 1 spam comments to real comments. I could go through the effort of putting even more spam blockers in place, but that brings me to my next point.
2) Very Few Visitors Comment
In my first year and a half of this blog, I got over 90,000 pageviews. Of those pageviews, 10 real comments were submitted. That’s nearly 1,000 views per real comment. That’s just not enough engagement for me to justify dealing with all the spam.
3) Half of the Real Comments are Negative
Congratulations! A real comment has finally been posted to your blog! Oh wait, this person thinks you’re a big fat idiot, and you needed to be brought down to their level.
If you get 100,000 visitors, you’ll fight through 1,000 spam comments, 10 real people will comment, and 5 of those comments are putting you down. It really makes you ask yourself if all the effort was worth such little valuable engagement.
4) Your Page Will Load Faster
Not that regular WordPress commenting systems slow your website down all that much. However, 3rd party commenting systems do take time to load. And every second that your blog takes to load impacts your bounce rate significantly.
If your comments section takes your page load speed from 3 seconds to 4 seconds, you just lost 13% of your audience. Why risk that for a worthless comments section? I wouldn’t.
5) The SEO Advantages Are Negligible at Best
I hoped blog comments would help me win long-tail search queries in Google. That’s unfortunately not the case. Your blog received so few real comments that you’d already need to have massive amounts of traffic for any type of SEO benefit.
At 100,000 pageviews, you’re maybe getting 10 real comments. Five of which are negative. At that rate, you would need tens of millions of visitors to generate enough words to have an SEO impact.
If you’re already getting millions of visitors, is weeding through all these comments worth winning a few extra long-tail queries? You’re already generating enough traffic to replace your full-time job.
6) The Conversation Has Already Moved To Social Media
You don’t really need to have a comments section on your blog because the discussion has already moved to Facebook and Twitter, regardless. People link to your article, say something about it, and that will generate more comments on your articles than your comments section ever could.
7) You Won’t Have To Worry About Spreading Mis-Information
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, basically gives websites the ability to not be held legally liable for the things other people say on their websites. It allowed for social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit to come into existence.
In early 2021 that law still exists, and I’m not saying it’s definitely going away, but there is definitely anger at Internet companies within the current US government. It would not surprise me if this law fell at some point in the near future.
Do you really want to be hosting a bunch of awful comments on your blog when it does?