Article Comments Traffic

On the issue of allowing comments on articles, EzineArticles Expert Author “Joe” writes:

First, thank you for promoting me to Platinum status. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve worked hard for it. Next, I have a complaint, not against you guys, but against people that are able to post comments on our articles.

Theoretically, anyone who is a member here can go to any article they wish, post a comment with their name as a hyperlink and basically steal not only my potential traffic, but yours as well. I say “yours as well” because your Adsense ads and affiliate links don’t reside on their sites. I have a total of two comments on my articles and both provide a link to a competitor’s site. It seems as if it’s easier to divert traffic from our hard work than to write the articles.

I’m just putting in my two cents worth here, but do you understand my point? That’s not right that someone should put in the research, time, effort and shared expertise only to have someone post a short comment with a link AWAY from our own article. What do you think? Please share your view on this.

Joe, thanks for sending me your thoughts and agreeing to allow us to post your question so that I can provide an in-depth response:

First, an opening statement: Allowing users, readers, fellow authors, students, competitors, or anyone to post a comment on your article engages the user, provides more unique and exclusive content which then adds more value to the article and allows for a market discussion along with more pages of unique and sometimes valuable content to be found by others.

You may not be aware, but we don’t approve all comments submitted. This site is not a democracy. We will not knowing allow comments on articles that are submitted with anger or malice towards anyone and our guiding rule is that we only want to accept article comments that makes the author look good, adds value or depth to the article topic, and would be well received by any of our advertisers.

In addition, YOU have the power to delete comments on any of your articles that are approved by our comment moderators at any time. Sorry, we can’t know who your competitors all are or are not, so if you don’t like the comments, delete them within your members interface.

We only encourage the search engines to index what we call the “COMMENT VIEW” of an article only if there is (1) or more comments on the article. When indexed, articles with comments are able to attract more traffic by themselves, further giving you a chance to snag another reader of your full article if they land on a comment view of one of your articles.

Some of our members even promote their EzineArticles to their clients or email newsletter subscribers and encourage them to comment on the articles because it expands the FOOTPRINT of each of your articles ability to attract traffic and readers. [side note: I’d caution our members to NOT encourage readers of your articles to post a comment on them by asking them to do this in your article because that becomes a problem when or if your article becomes syndicated on a site that doesn’t accept comments on your articles.]

Next, if you use FireFox with the add-on that allows you to see which links have the rel=”NOFOLLOW” attribute turned on, you’ll notice that all article comments have links with the nofollow attribute on them… meaning, we don’t bleed or encourage search engine spiders to follow the links left by those who comment on articles. This discourages SEO-commentors from trying to get high value links with thin comments…and encourages only honest comments by those who are posting the comment for the value of the comment and discussion and not the link itself as the motivator.

I think sometimes having a competitor who posts a comment on your article actually validates YOU as the better expert when perceived by a 3rd party but I would completely understand if you didn’t agree and wanted to delete the comment by any competitor.

Would be interested to hear how other EzineArticles members feel about this issue? Agree/Disagree? Why?

12 Comments »


1
Dave Saunders writes:

After all the time I’ve been publishing articles on this site, I have never worried that someone might “steal” my traffic. Of course, I don’t have a “loss and scarcity” midset to begin with, and we also know that the search engines continue to develop their systems to reward content that is organic and connected. By fretting over something that is unlikely to have any material imapact on my business, I loose sight of the real mission: To Develop Content!

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 11:56 AM

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2
Joe Stewart writes:

Hi Chris,

Since I’m the one that asked the question, I guess I should be the one to respond first.

First, I wasn’t aware that I had the ability to delete comments. This is “my bad”. I should have read a bit more in depth before contacting support.

Evidently, you felt it was a question that needed to be addressed or we wouldn’t be here now.

Second, I highly encourage comments on my articles that have “a purpose”. If someone reads my article and has something relevant to add or maybe has a valid “bone to pick”, please do so. I’m not perfect and would welcome input from others, so long as they are equally respectful if they don’t agree with my response.

My issue is with the people that read your article and then make a pointless post just to get a link up.

Example, let’s say I’m selling insurance and I’ve stated that I believe “Term” is the best way to go rather than “Whole Life”. I would be upset if someone just took the part about “Term” being the best and saying something like “Yes Joe, Term is the best by far. I think people should only buy Term. Term is definitely the cheapest.”

This comment would serve no purpose other than to get their link noticed. I had something similar to this happen with one of my other “niche” articles and that’s why I wrote you in the first place.

I just went in and deleted that post a bit ago and fixed my settings where I’ll be notified immediately from now on when someone comments on my articles.

Hopefully, this has helped some others remove unwanted comments from their articles too.

Thanks for your helpful explanation.

Joe

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 12:04 PM

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3

I think it’s much ado about nothing.

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 12:21 PM

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4

Joe,

I think you’re missing the part where I identified the fact that we add the NOFOLLOW attribute to the link, making it a worthless link to anyone trying to be SEO’y.

The default is that you are notified if someone comments on your article and we accept it.

And it sounds like the mere deletion of the comment has solved the issue for you… :)

I’d encourage you to not delete quality non-competitive comments as I am certain it will bring more traffic to your articles than the possibility of losing traffic to the exit click by one of the commentors… especially when a good discussion gets going with 2-40+ comments on an article.

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 12:32 PM

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5
Joe Stewart writes:

This is getting blown out of proportion. I already stated that I “encouraged comments that have a purpose”.

I’m outta here.

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 12:45 PM

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6
Shan Ferguson writes:

It never occurred to me that anyone would want to swipe my articles all they have to do is request to use them and then it helps you both.

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 1:29 PM

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7

Joe,

Sorry, I missed that point.

Ok, cool…

NEXT! :)

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 2:32 PM

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8
Chinmay Chakravarty writes:

I agree with Chris that comments can, in fact, increase the traffic.
As a new entrant I feel eager to know how they find my articles. Any comment is welcome. Even a bad comment will make me feel good, because I’ll defilnitely learn something from it.
I get angry whenever I see ‘zero’ against the comments counter.

Comment provided May 11, 2007 at 1:25 AM

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9
Lance Winslow writes:

I hope Joe takes advantage of posting comments on all my articles, as this will provide more links to his website, I want Joe to be successful, because he is a very smart person. Thanks for the intellectual debate Joe, that was fun. So you only have 11,111 articles to go as you start commenting on all my articles.

Comment provided May 11, 2007 at 3:15 AM

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10
Joe Stewart writes:

Hi Again,

It wasn’t my intention to be negative here in any way. I’ve already admitted my error in my previous post:

“I wasn’t aware that I had the ability to delete comments. This is ‚¬“my bad‚¬. I should have read a bit more in depth before contacting support.”

I also said:

“I highly encourage comments on my articles that have ‚¬“a purpose‚¬.”

In response to what you said Chris:

“I think you’re missing the part where I identified the fact that we add the NOFOLLOW attribute to the link, making it a worthless link to anyone trying to be SEO’y.”

That wasn’t my concern. I was concerned about someone having the ability to make “Spam” posts on our articles so that others might click on their link, rather than mine.

It was never my intention to be negative in any way, only to have my concerns addressed. They have been.

Lance, I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for your accomplishments here. It must have taken you an enormous amount of time and effort to get that many articles up. If my math is correct, it would take over three years at writing ten articles per day to achieve what you’ve accomplished.

Honestly, after all of your hard work I’m shocked that you would not be concerned about anyone potentially stepping on your toes. That makes absolutely no business sense to me, but that’s up to you.

Once again, I was wrong for not reading further into this before writing support, I highly encourage relevant comments on my articles and I never in any way meant to be negative. I apologize if anyone took it as such.

Joe

Comment provided May 11, 2007 at 8:38 AM

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11

Joe,

All is good.

:-)

I know there is some confusion with our members about how the article comment system works and we are working on a mega-comprehensive FAQ that will be searchable to help answer questions like this in the future.

For now, this blog is our best FAQ engine.

Rock on,
-Chris

Comment provided May 11, 2007 at 11:01 AM

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12
Lance Winslow writes:

Hey Joe, please keep that good attitude of yours. It is what separates you from the rest of the masses. Smile and stand for integrity, it shows and I see that in you. Yes it does matter you are correct. Shoot me an email sometime.

Comment provided May 15, 2007 at 10:17 PM

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