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Marking up user-submitted comments to avoid perception of "low quality"
crobb305




msg:4613462
 3:42 pm on Sep 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

For nearly a decade, I have allowed visitors to submit comments/reviews, and I manually add them to the website (separate page for each year). My fear is that Panda (or any spam-detection algorithm) may see these as "low quality" pages, particularly if there is redundancy between comments. There are no links whatsoever in the comments. I do not use Wordpress or any other CMS. It's a traditional website.

These pages are helpful to visitors, but could easily be perceived as spam by a bot. What would you guys suggest I do, perhaps mark up the comments in a certain way (to let the bots know they are user submitted)? Noindex the pages? Delete them?

I suppose I am especially interested in hearing the best way to mark them for proper annotation.

 

tangor




msg:4613532
 11:08 pm on Sep 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of my sites has a similar user comment section, linked from a "user comment" index page which it, and all links from that page (to the sub pages) are noindex,nofollow

I've had no problems ... so far! :)

On another site, which lives by the user comments, those are personally inspected, and sometimes sent back to the user to revise, update, or correct... as their comments are bread and butter. Those are fully indexed, etc.

One needs to determine if those comments are site material, or site fluff.

crobb305




msg:4613632
 6:51 pm on Sep 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

On another site, which lives by the user comments, those are personally inspected, and sometimes sent back to the user to revise, update, or correct... as their comments are bread and butter. Those are fully indexed, etc.


Tangor,
Does this site use Wordpress or is it a traditional website? Do the comments have some kind of markup to tell Google/Bing that they are user-submitted comments? My concern is that I have pasted the user-submitted comments (via to me via email) onto the pages and I fear that the culmination of comments could be seen as spam. Let's say, for example, the year 2012 page contains 20 comments. Some users may have used a phrase "blue widget" or "green widget" several times, therefore creating some repetition. The comments aren't marked up, but just part of the regular html as <p>. Each comment has a date in front of the comment to show the date it was posted. My site suffered severely with Penguin and subsequent Pandas (I have wondered if Penguin increased susceptibility to Panda), so I am trying to reduce all spam signals. These pages have been very useful to visitors. Again, I never allowed links to be included in the comments, but any repetition of a word/phrase could be lowering the page quality. Just thinking out loud, and I am wondering if using a markup similar to Wordpress would impress upon Google that these are, indeed, user-submitted (assuming it matters, which it may not).

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