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!

In person.

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!

Now go and read about how to Crowdsource Quality Reviews, or how to Redefine Your Value, or how to shake off and get out of The Half-Working State and become fully productive at work.

Thank you for participating!