Do comments on hubs affect the hubs' search engine indexing and traffic? If so, how?
My understanding is that comments show interaction, or at the very least updates to a page, and therefore "newness", so improve a page's web ranking in Google. The comments will also contain related keywords, organically increasing the ranking on those terms. Comments impact the hub score, which drives more hubpages traffic. So comments are good!
I agree with RolyRetro.
Google likes to see "fresh content". Comments are the best way because they often contain your keywords and generally aren't duplicate (like RSS or news feeds.)
You may have found yourself that when you Googled a question, the answer was displayed from the comments, not the original article.
Without any sort of link to prove it, I agree with the others - sometimes getting one new comment on an older page leads to me getting as many as twice as many views to the page the following day than usual, all from search engines.
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