Background to this is thinking about when Google changes things and it results in a drop in SE traffic. That makes me read what it is that they are now 'against' and looking for.
So far the recent ones (my simplified take on it) have included a preference for above the fold to be used for useful and related info. I took that to mean they were not too keen on lots of ads. at the top of the page.
Then there was something about new material on the page and frequent updates, which seemed to favor blog style writing. It was also said that comments added fresh value to the page too.
Now here is where I am at and really confused - we have sub-domains so our accounts are seen as 'independent of each other' so a Hubber with 'weak or poor pages' should not affect others. You can no doubt sense a 'but' about to appear here
But, if we have comments on our pages with 'live links' not just to off-site links but to here (Hubber's profiles); can they alter how our hubs are 'valued' by Google? Also the change to the fashion section seemed to seed my pages with many other people's pages so how is that not putting me back to how it was before sub-domains?
To simplify the response to this I am just trying to guess if switching off comments might solve the latest Google tweaks.
I do not need to make a decision on the Fashion section changes - I have an action plan in hand on that.
Personally, I feel that all the second guessing of Google that people are doing here is a waste of time.
That link Izzy posted a few days ago, which showed a blank blog making the no. 1 SERPs spot for the term make money online, just shows that there's plenty of gaming going on and that Google is still crap at weeding it out.
That's assuming that Google really *wants* to weed it out, because let's face it, they make money off it.
Thank you as your comment here is useful to me EmpressFelicity as it matches a growing feeling that I have. I have never chased SEO or played SEO tricks; yet I lose out here just the same as if I have written spam and spun articles. I think the only way forward for me is to write what I want to and ignore the ups and downs of the traffic I get.
Comments ad value to your article if the comment pertains to the article subject. You can delete comments that add no value. Instead of not allowing comments.
I agree with EmpressFelicity! Its a waist of time trying to figure Google out.
I would definitely agree with the weeding out of comments part. Some comments do add value to the original article, regardless of any SEO benefits they might have. So it seems a shame to block all comments. If you set your comments so that you have to moderate them before they appear on your hub, that is the best compromise. They can sit there unmoderated for as long as you like, too, so there's no pressure on you at all.
Totally agree about trying to figure out Google. I do what I can to use keywords (still a learning process) but am not interested in chasing the carrot. My sense is that the finish line is continually being moved forward. I just try to write the best hubs I can using the best keywords, photos, etc that I can.
As far as I know, comments are viewed and based on how relevant each is to the topic of the article. It would be one aspect/factor which an author need to be aware of and possibly monitor.
If you have a bunch of comments which are not related to the content of the article then it will obviously devalue the overall page's content. If any Search Engine decides to not value a page, then doing so would have a negative effect on the location where your link will be in search engines.
Comments add to the freshness of your overall page too, which is beneficial as well, but that's again, just one factor used by Search Engines.
If you're thinking about deleting all comments from a Hub, I have done this and tested it for a 6 month period, in which earnings didn't rise and traffic dropped. Some Hubs did worse than others after comments were removed, which was half expected/anticipated.
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