Google on the SEO value of user feedback on websites

Should you allow users to leave comments on your website? that they can It helps with SEO, as long as you’re able to tweak it, says Google.

This topic was addressed by Google search attorney John Mueller during a Google Search Central SEO open-hours hangout on February 18.

An SEO professional named Vahid Parsa joins the live broadcast to ask Mueller a number of questions, one of which includes User comments And whether it is considered Rank factor.

It is not accurate to say that a website’s comments are a ranking factor, because your site will not rank better once you allow users to leave comments.

Depending on what users write in the comments section, they have the ability to help with search rankings.

Here’s how Mueller explains the SEO value of user feedback.

How user feedback can help SEO

User feedback can add SEO value to web pages in an additional form Context.

If users stay on topic, and leave comments related to the topic of the page, this information can help with search rankings.

Comments related to the topic of a web page can help Google better understand the content and know what types of queries it should be ranked for.

Muller says:

“What I think is really helpful there with these comments is that a lot of times people write about the page in their own words and that gives us a little bit of information about how that page shows up in search results. So from that point of view, I think comments are a good thing on the page” .

And the opposite is also true.

When users leave irrelevant comments, they can lower the quality of the entire page.

Off-topic comments may send mixed signals to Google regarding the topic of the page and the queries for which it should appear.

Websites are responsible for user comments, even if they are written by people not directly affiliated with the site.

If it is on your website, you are responsible for it.

Comments containing spam links, for example, may make you liable for a penalty or demotion in search results.

With that said, it’s best to only allow comments when you are able to moderate them.

As Muller says, the biggest challenge with user feedback is ensuring they stay on topic:

“Obviously finding a way to keep them sensible is sometimes difficult because people also spammy these comments and all kinds of crazy things happen there. But overall, I think if you can find a way to keep comments on a webpage It gives you a little more context and helps people who search in different ways also find your content.”

Hear Mueller’s response in the video below:

Removing comments may affect search rankings

If your website currently allows comments, keep in mind that removing them will likely affect your search rankings.

Depending on your situation, the effect may be good or bad.

Cleaning a comment section full of inappropriate and/or spam may result in ranking improvements.

On the other hand, removing comments that add valuable context to pages may cause a drop in ranking.

Mueller addressed the impact of SEO on removing website comments in a previous hangout, saying:

“From our point of view, we see comments as part of the content…Eventually if people find your pages based on comments there, if you delete those comments, we obviously won’t be able to find your pages based on that.”

There are a lot of aspects to consider when it comes to user feedback, as it can both help and hurt SEO.


Featured image: screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, February 2022.

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