The disadvantages that I know about are some sites guestbooks have recieved a PR0, and you leave your site open for spam. I would definatly not let people leave linkable urls.
I've never signed or even read any guest books ...
;) Well, that kind of sums it up, IMO.
Much better, I think, would be to collect any 'satisfied customer' letters or thank you notes you may have received, and create a Customer Testimonials page.
I never liked the idea of guestbooks on my site. Makes it look like a kind of Charlies first website kinda thing.
I have a testimonial page and I get regular warm fuzzy emails stating positive comments about the site. So to save time cut and pasting etc. I decided to create a guestbook.
Here's some tips.
Find yourself a good guestbook which has features such as naughty word blocking, ip blocking, pages stored in a flat text file and not in a html file.
Ensure the guestbook has a 'Thank You for signing our guestbook' facility as this creates a sticky which can cause the casual visitor to call back.
Well, I set my guestbook up 3 weeks ago. I was expecting quite a few postings in there. Todate, there are just 2 entries :(
I have tried guest books and they never really went over big-so I bagged them.
I never signed them myself and I do not know too many that do.
From a links and PageRank standpoint, guestbooks are now pointless as Google has factored them out of the equation.
agerhart - I'm not at all sure of that point. In even my very recent research I've observed guestbook links continuing to be recognized through Google. Iíve also found guestbook listings in the SERPís so Iím holding back on judging guestbook links at all right now.
Paynt, I also see guestbook listings in the SERPs, but I have noticed that guestbooks are not being listed when doing backlink searches on Google.
they are I've a PR5 guestbook link showning on one of my clients sites, op's just checked the guestbook link is a PR4 but it's showing
This brings the point back to why you should not have a guestbook. It leaves your site open for spam.