The quality of your website content directly impacts your search engine rankings, yet so many businesses that approach us for online marketing help have content that is clearly outsourced and reads extremely poorly. Not only will poor grammar hurt your search engine optimization efforts, but potential customers will be more likely to exit the website if they sense low quality. Page content needs to be written for the consumer first and the search engines second.
According to a new Google webmaster video released on February 10th, Matt Cutts explained that grammar in he actual page content is important, but comments posted by website visitors will not impact the search results in a negative manner since the website owner doesn’t have full control over this, and truthfully there are going to be individuals that leave comments that do not use proper grammar. Now, this won’t apply to every business since not all websites allow comments on their content. Here is the video:
If your site does accept comments here are some suggestions to keep low quality comments from appearing on your website. Even if they are not left by you, they do reflect on your business.
Anti-Spam Plugin: If you are running a WordPress based website and allow comments then there should be no reason that you don’t have the plugin Akismet installed. This plugin is responsible for preventing millions of spam comments daily. It takes just minutes to set up and begins to work immediately. This will solve the majority of your spam comments.
Manually Approve All Comments: There will be some comments that slip through the Akismet plugin that are not done by automated software and contain outbound links to spammy sites. You don’t want these on your website, so it is a good idea to change the discussion settings to require all comments to be manually approved before they go live. It requires a bit more work but this gives you 100% control of what appears on your site. If someone posts a comment that is littered with poor grammar then you don’t want to approve that either. Website visitors might see that and associate it with your business.
Making sure that your website content is high quality is very important, but so is controlling what others place on your site. While you know it is a comment left by a visitor, a potential customer might read it and assume you have the same opinion as the individual that left the comment. Even though Google doesn’t weight comment grammar into the equation it is still important to make sure you monitor them and keep them clean. One way is to assume that they do impact your search rankings, and maintain them accordingly.