Sciencebase received a very, very long post about black holes and revelations recently and it suddenly occurred to me that to simply up-moderate it and leave it locked down within the original blog post would not expose the commentators words of wisdom to as wide an audience as possible. Moreover, it seemed a waste of what one might term “guest editorial material” to not make more of it and to expose it not only to a wider audience but also to the likes of Google for SEO purposes.
So, here’s how to leverage new content from your blog comments, without worrying about duplication penalties.
When that amazingly insightful but long comment arrives, don’t jump to approve it, check it over and then copy and paste the complete text and create an entirely new page with this material. Label it appropriately. I.e. give it an SEO useful but pertinent title tag and page name, and add a line at the top explain that this is the “full version” of a comment posted originally to “name of blog post”, add a backlink to the original blog post. Now, save and upload the page to your host, or publish it with your CMS or blog software.
Next, go back to the original pre-moderated comment and crop it right down to its bare essentials, no more than a sentence or two in other words. It is important that you cut out at least 90% of the original comment to avoid a dupe content penalty. Then at the foot of the comment add a “Read on…” using the words in the standalone page’s title tag as the anchor and point to the address of that page.
You might also create a new section in your blogroll for such pages – called it “Guest Editorials”, for instance, add it to your blog navigation (sidebar or wherever) if does not appear automatically in your blogroll list. Alternatively, add links to the standalone pages you create elsewhere in your site, just to make sure that the search engine spiders can easily find the pages, and that link juice is passed on to them.
What effect will this have on your site. Well, it will boost the number of pages cached by the search engines for a start. More pages mean more spidering, mean more long-tail reades for the particular keywords in those standalone pages. Moreover, comments are not seen as substantial content by the SEs when they’re simply part of a bigger blog page. As such, they not only dilute keywords in a particular post, but they won’t everrank well, if they are spidered to be searchable at all.
Leave a brief comment and link on this post, if you improve on this method or have particular success. I’ll write a follow-up post with the pick of the crop once readers have left a significant number in the comments.