This is a notice, and a small heads-up, that the normal blog commenting system (WordPress-based) will disappear from TechPatio.com during Summer of 2013, more specifically, during June and July for sure, and I may even extend it to cover August as well. The WordPress-based commenting system currently supports users leaving their name and website link along with their comment, as well as the CommentLuv plugin which allows commenters to include a direct link to their own latest blog posts.
The WordPress-based commenting system will be replaced with Facebook comments, as you are probably familiar with from many other sites. I’m publishing this post a few days before the change happens, in case I might receive some feedback in the comments before I remove them. Not everybody can/will comment using Facebook, I get that, but most people do have a Facebook account and pretty much all legit bloggers have a Facebook page of some sort, and I believe you can comment as your Page name too, so you don’t have to use your personal Facebook profile to comment.
There are 2 main reasons for during this. The 1st one I will explain now, the 2nd reason is below in a “short” version and a “long” version.
First reason is that moderating comments takes a lot of time. Even with plugins such as Akismet and G.A.S.P., a lot of spam still makes it through, this includes people who think their name is “trying to conceive tips” and “fashion guide”. TechPatio.com is not a “link central” where you can just spam your links and get do-follow juice, that’s not how it works, buddy. So, because I have a lot of work to do around the house this Summer, and because I would like to actually enjoy the outside a bit, for once, I don’t want to waste time moderating comments. I have a feeling that with Facebook comments, I will get rid of at least 95% of the current spam.
Second reason, SHORT VERSION:
I would like to see if I can increase TechPatio’s search engine rankings and impressions if I don’t have a lot of external (do-follow) comments, and I reckon I will need at least a couple of months to see if there are any changes at all. With over 13,000 blog comments currently active on TechPatio, there’s bound to be a bunch of “bad neighborhoods” in between. Either the domain has changed owner or the website owner might have been hacked or something like that, either way, it’s very possible that TechPatio – via blog comments – is actually linking to something that Google doesn’t like, which in turn hurts rankings (and therefor impressions).
Google recently deactivated AdSense because I had a link to an online casino website/portal in an article, which AdSense claims was against their policy. I read through their policy and lo’ and behold, I’m actually based in one of the countries that is allowed to link to online gambling sites if I want to, according to Google AdSense’s own policy. After I pointed that out to them, in a friendly manner of course, AdSense was re-activated a few days later.
A few days after that, TechPatio.com traffic started to decline – and so did impressions in Google Search results. A coincidence? I don’t know, but I think it’s one big coincidence that just two days after, traffic starts to drop, and 2 weeks later, traffic and impressions are down 50%. All the traffic I had built up for the past 3 years is now gone, as TechPatio is now back to 2010-level, traffic wise.
So in an effort to get back on track, I’m trying to disable blog comments with links (and instead offer Facebook comments, so people who have something valuable to share, can still do it), which also allows me to focus mere on content and improving the site, instead of moderating blog comments and worrying about where all the links/CommentLuv-links lead to.
This is nothing but a small bump in the road for TechPatio’s road to success. Challenge accepted, Google!