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YouTube comments -- do you keep them switched on?

lots of spam and flaming

8:40 am on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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votes: 22

I'm pretty new to doing YouTube videos, but i'm up to about 30 videos on my channel now, and i've got enough views to attract plenty of comments. And i was just wondering... are comments worth it? A lot of them just seem to be people flaming each other's views, or plugging their own channels and videos.

My videos are not in the least bit controversial, by the way. They just show different locations. One of them is for a museum, for example, and rather than talk about the museum, the comments have evolved into a discussion about museums in general, and how they supposedly "steal" artificats from other countries. This has pretty much descended into a flame war -- none of which has anything to do with my video, or even the video's location.
The video has also attracted a number of dislikes, which i'm pretty sure relate more to the comments than the video. Lots of people are arguing, and if they dont agree with what the others are saying then they naturally click 'dislike'.

My question is this... does the number of comments on a video help you -- enough to make you ignore the content? Is it worth keeping them turned on just for the ranking boost? and what about 'likes'?

To be honest, I'd rather just switch those things off completely, because i cant be bothered with the hassle.
8:36 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I have never really found a reason to have comments. The people that like the video can give it a thumbs up or down, so I don't really see the need to have anyone add anything else.

With a very active channel, you could have hundreds of people commenting and you would have to respond to many of them. Not my idea of a good way to spend my time.

There may be a boost to ranking with lots of comments, as they can be seen as a citation, but nobody really knows for sure how much weight they pull, except Google.
1:10 pm on Aug 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think this depends a lot more on your business model. After all, YouTube is often seen as a Web 2.0 site with user-driven content; to me, this makes it a highly suitable tool for building a community. And if it makes sense for your business that the community will get a voice, I would see no reason to undermine that. Even if that would involve more work for you.

If you want more control over the comments, disable them on YouTube and embed the videos on your own site where people can post comments.