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Google On The SEO Value Of User Comments On Websites



Google On The SEO Value Of User Comments On Websites

Should you allow users to leave comments on your website? They could help with SEO, as long as you’re able to moderate them, Google says.

This topic was addressed by Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on February 18.

An SEO professional named Vahid Parsa joins the livestream to ask Mueller a number of questions, one of which involves user comments and whether they’re considered a ranking factor.

It’s not accurate to say website comments are a ranking factor, because your site won’t rank better simply by allowing users to leave comments.

Depending on what users type in the comment section, however, they have the potential to assist with search rankings.

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

How User Comments Can Help With SEO

User comments can add SEO value to webpages in the form of additional context.


If users stay on topic, and leave comments related to what the page is about, then that information can assist with search rankings.

Comments relevant to the subject matter of the webpage can help Google understand the content better and know which types of queries it should rank for.

Mueller states:

“What I think is really useful there with those comments is that oftentimes people will write about the page in their own words and that gives us a little bit more information on how we can show this page in the search results. So from that point of view I think comments are a good thing on a page.”

The reverse is also true.

When users leave irrelevant comments they could drag down the quality of the entire page.

Off-topic comments may send mixed signals to Google regarding what the page is about and which queries it should show up for.

Websites are responsible for user comments, even though they may be written by people who are not directly affiliated with the site.

If it’s on your website, you’re responsible for it.


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

With that said, it’s best to allow comments only when you’re capable of moderating them.

As Mueller says, the greatest challenge with user comments is ensuring they stay on topic:

“Obviously, finding a way to maintain them in a reasonable way is sometimes tricky because people also spam those comments and all kinds of crazy stuff happens there. But overall, I think if you can find a way to maintain comments on a webpage that gives you a little bit more context and helps people who are searching in different ways to also find your content.”

Hear Mueller’s response in the video below:

Removing Comments May Impact Search Rankings

If your website currently allows comments, keep in mind that removing them has the potential to impact your search rankings.

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

Cleaning up a comment section that’s full of irrelevant and/or spammy content may lead to ranking improvements.


On the other hand, removing comments that add valuable context to pages may lead to ranking drops.

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

“From our point of view we do see comments as a part of the content… ultimately if people are finding your pages based on the comments there then, if you delete those comments, then obviously we wouldn’t be able to find your pages based on that.”

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

Featured Image: Screenshot from, February 2022.

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Reach Success With The Future Of Ad Exchanges [Podcast]



Reach Success With The Future Of Ad Exchanges [Podcast]

Constantly looking for ways to optimize your ad spend? Dreaming of a high-ROI paid advertising future? We’ve got great news — The future is now.

Big changes are on the horizon, and we know how to amplify your ad potential into high-quality leads.

John Lee, Microsoft Ads’ Head of Evangelism at Microsoft, joined me on the SEJ Show to talk about the future of ad exchanges and their ability to supercharge your potential to thrive with high-performance, low-resource programmatic advertising.

People do hop, skip and jump around, so there are all kinds of opportunities to target consumers throughout their decision journey, and Microsoft advertising is a significant piece.–John Lee, 11:25

When people think Microsoft, a big chunk of the time, people assume enterprise business, B2B, and that’s the tried and true. While that’s still a significant portion of the bottom line for Microsoft, the consumer matters greatly, whether that’s gaming or devices.–John Lee, 22:46

There’s this shift in behavior online. We’re seeing effectively a new persona emerge. –John Lee, 46:05

[00:00] – A little about John Lee.
[05:35] – How does the Microsoft advertising ecosystem look like?
[07:25] – Where to find traditional advertising beyond Bing?
[09:38] – What you can find in the display component of Microsoft.
[12:02] – Targeting in LinkedIn with Microsoft advertising.
[17:13] – Are Microsoft advertising ads shown within the X-box experience?
[23:52] – Important & growing vertical industries that Microsoft has focused on.
[31:22] – Are people still scrolling down and clicking on organic links in the SERPS?
[37:45] – How important are images in search advertising?
[45:26] – The new emerging personas.


Resources mentioned:
Viva Goals –
Microsoft Game Pass –
Bing Webmaster Tools –
Shutterstock –

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All of these other developments, these feed-based elements are new flavors and additional flavors to make an amazing user experience. Whether you’re talking SEO or paid ads, all of it is working together to create an on-point user experience on the server, whether that’s Google, whether that’s Bing.–John Lee, 34:28

There’s a lot happening in the verticals space, and that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. –John Lee, 28:22

Just as a reminder to all of you out there that are SEOs and are running websites. All of your sites do have a feed. It’s called an XML sitemap. Make sure it’s updated. Google is able to fetch it and not serve errors. All of these engines work off of feeds. Also, don’t be afraid to submit your RSS feeds for your blog categories into the search console as well. Mimic that within Webmaster Tools on the Bing side too. Search engines have gone very feed friendly. This is the way to go. It’s also the way to go from an advertising perspective.–Loren Baker, 33:08

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Connect with John Lee:

John Lee’s enthusiasm for digital marketing is infectious, and he has the knowledge to match. He’s been at it for years, and he knows how to get results—both as an entrepreneur himself with Clix Marketing (which he co-founded) or in his current role as Head of Evangelism at Microsoft Advertising.

He has a great deal of experience with search engine marketing, display advertising, and social media marketing–Content creator, speaker, trainer, and fan of all things digital (marketing and technology).


Connect with John on LinkedIn:
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Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

Follow him on Twitter:
Connect with him on LinkedIn:


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