I wrote an article called “Thoughtful Conversation Welcomed” in which I laid out the case for disabling Comments on your blog. My reasoning hinged around the fact that Links are more valuable (in Google-juice) than Comments. Authoritative inbound links are more interesting to Google than comments, so why not share links instead of comments?
So I told people to turn off Comments on their blog, and – if they had something to say – write a blog post with a link back to the post they are commenting on. This is called a TrackBack, and if everyone did it, I felt this would raise the quality of online commentary while also improving people’s rankings in Google.
Backtrack instead of TrackBack
While the technical reasoning is still sound – getting a single inbound link from a .gov web site will outweigh ANY quantity of Comments on your site, as far as Google’s ranking is concerned – people simply didn’t do it.
I envisioned a lively back-and-forth between alternative viewpoints on controversial topics like #1 vs The Best, and Apple vs Google and Differentiation = Life. In these posts I take a firm and outspoken stand on a controversial issue. “This is one people are going to have something to say about!” I would think to myself.
And they would!
But even when I prodded them to put their thoughts down in writing on their blog… they didn’t!
So was I wrong? Or…
…ahead of the curve?
Technologically speaking, TrackBacks are the high-value way to do things, but they take a bit more work. As the internet gets noisier and noisier, worthless comments are going to get filtered out more and more as people move toward this op-ed commentary idea using TrackBacks.
So maybe I am just 3 or 4 years ahead of the curve…
For the time being, I have turned on comments on my site. Feel free to comment on any article I have written over the last three or four years, and I will read them all!
Thank you for participating!