|Google Quality Standards Crazy Blog Commentors|
So basically I was hit with the Panda update and I took a real hard look at my sites and realized that I was probably using the wrong business model.
I am out to create my first quality website with the best quality. I have hired a GREAT writer that writes some very engaging articles.
Now my question is, lets say my website is about nice furry widgets ;).....
I am starting to get a lot of comments like:
"OHH pawsome post mum really enjoyed the read, thanxs fur posting on such a grweat topics"
My question is should I invest in a way to try and figure how I can hide these from google or would that be frowned upon?
I would pre-moderate blog comments for best results. Have some decent standards and don't publish if the comment doesn't measure up. On the best pre-moderated blogs, the comments can be as good a read as the article itself. (I'm talking about the comment's content itself, not spelling and grammar.)
The problem is that its an "icanhascheezburger" type of talk. They are meaning to talk like that. So in order to create engagement on the blog the last thing I want to do is go around and block their comments.
The website is a pet related website and most of them talk as if they were a cat... I know it sounds crazy but.....
If Google started to penalize web sites because of bad grammar with the user comments, there wouldn't be many web sites left outside of academic ones. Do delete the ones that use text speak though (ex: see u l8er), that's just disrespectful laziness from kids who should know better.
Agree with the pre-moderation idea... but that's a lot of work. HOWEVER, if there's a landing page/index that is semi-static, let google have that and deny the forum itself is another alternative. Sounds self-defeating, but it actually works. I've used that method on several sites on various topics which occasionally garner weird, crazy, even offensive, speak.
BUT, even with a deny in place for the gbot... if a thread has been linked elsewhere the gbot does come... so at best, one can only SLOW or DELAY entry into the Greater Index In The Cloud-Like Sky.
|If Google started to penalize web sites because of bad grammar with the user comments, there wouldn't be many web sites left outside of academic ones. |
To be honest, generic comments are quite a common spam technique - my blogs catch loads, usually with usernames that are exact keyword matches and homepage URLs that are deep links. So if you've let any of these at all through, it might be worth cleaning up shop.
The autogenerated comment spam aside, there are loads of people that manually "link build" by posting a variety of "me too" comments. I rarely let any of these through.
Pure speculation, but if was Google and I was looking at ways of determining the quality signals of a blog, the comment moderation process is something I would explore. Given I have access to a wealth of information about websites, it wouldn't be too hard for me to (for example) footprint common spam comments and downgrade websites that allow them to be published. Of course, as Google, I'm also a moron that doesn't really care about individual webmasters so there's a good chance a lot of decent quality blogs that happen to have poor comment moderation systems in place will get smacked down to. I'm Google - I rule!
Use Disqus or a FB commenting system, that way the comments don't reside on your site anyway. You're not getting much of anything out of Google from them, and something Facebook-y might bring you more traffic anyway.
I have posted here previously that after the quality guidelines were posted, I will get an avalanche of on-topic comments with one word misspelled.
I thought it was just a misspelling by the commenter, but when you see 100-200+ comments all with the same pattern -- 1 word misspelled -- then you get a sense that someone is trying to screw you by deliberately misspelling a word
I edit the comments to remove dropped URLs, so I just go ahead and correct the misspelled words.
Matt Cutts went on record as saying good spelling and grammer is not a ranking factor, and that the fact that well spelt sites rank is corralation, not causation. However much salt you want to take with that tidbit is up to you. I took it with a fair amount.
My 'gut' feelings - A lot of search users are part of online communities where that sort of 4Chan-esq language is used. Google would be throwing a lot of babies out with the bath water if they put in place a blanket 'Bad spelling = penalty' flag. If spelling and grammer is a ranking factor, its much more nuanced than that, and will be applied in conjunction with a whole host of other signals. I wouldn't worry about the comments from an SEO point of view.
Besides, if I were a black hatter and I wanted to get your site done for spam, I wouldn't be anywhere that subtle. I'd hit your site with 10,000 comments about Viagra and Boobies, keep hitting it faster than you can remove them with a bot, and point a load of crummy backlinks from the shadiest bits of the internet while I was at it.
Are there links being added with the comments? It could be a spam bot or agency with grammer like that.
If you've been hit with Panda (How do you know it's Panda, by the way? There are plenty of ways to get delisted from Google besides onsite content and design elements) I'd look elsewhere for the reason if I'm honest.