December 30, 2015

Updation of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs for 2015

As in previous year, we have carried out mid-way updation of blogs in the Directory of Best Indian Blogs. And as always, many blogs fall off the Directory, and a few new ones join it. Most of blogs that have gone out had irregular posting and some went out as they added malicious code (mostly through a safe-looking widget), started carrying uncivil content, had done something very bad to navigation or design, or had turned the blog private.

We welcome the following new blogs to the Directory:

ajaykontham - The Shaded Shadows 
alltechbuzz - All Tech Buzz 
allusefulinfo - All Useful Info
dreamerswati - Swati's Reverie
everything-social - Everything Social
kitchenofdebjani - Debjanir Rannaghar
maqshine - MaQshine
misswalkingshoes - missWalkingShoes
pinkandpink - Pink and Pink
quikrpost - Quirkpost
roohibhatnagar - Soulful
saltandsandals - Salt & Sandals
santoshnc - Santa's Reindeer
shanayatales - Shanaya Tales
talesoftravellingsisters - Tales of Travelling Sisters
theurgetowander - The Urge to Wander
tickereatstheworld - Ticker Eats the World
travelseewrite - Travel See Write
yummyindiankitchen - Yummy Indian Kitchen

Bloggers of these blogs can think of putting 'Top Blog' badge on their blogs. They may also like to read the disclaimer about the Directory. For these, kindly visit this post announcing 2014-15 edition of Directory.

December 26, 2015

8 blogging trends and predictions for 2016

Without any introduction, let's go straight to the likely trends for blogging in 2016:

1. Growth of blogging will decline

 As has been happening in the last 3-4 years - after social networking sites and other instant media have gained ground - the growth of blogging is likely to go down further. 
blogging-trend-of-growth
That does not mean, blogging will become less important as a medium; its significance will remain and might even grow in some respects (e.g. as trusted content) while it will go down in some other (e.g. as a prime medium for exchange of views).

Here, we are talking about blogging on traditional blogs. If long-form posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms are called blogs, this extended blogosphere will keep growing fast. Add to these the new formats (pt. 5 below), and the growth could be even faster. 

2. Importance of blogs as reference material will grow

We spoke of it earlier (blogs for historical research). As blog posts are seen as more poised and permanent than posts on social networks (here we’d include new long-form posting provided by Facebook and LinkedIn…), the value of blogs as a valuable repository of knowledge and experience, for research and reference will grow.

3. Mobile surfing will impact individual blogs positively or badly

The use of smart phones is rising fast, so blogs will get more and more of their visitors from mobile phones. Blogs will need to adapt to a ‘responsive’ design that suits the small screens of mobiles. The ones that do not do so will lose out.

4. There will be greater focus on visual material

Since all mobile phones now have cameras and they are increasingly getting internet-connected, bloggers will find it easy to click and post photos and videos on the go. This will be the single most important factor to drive more images and videos to blogs, though text content will hugely dominate, at least for some more years. Use of infographics is rising overall, and will be more prevalent on blogs too.

As for videos, we see some developments on social networking / social sharing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine (e.g. self-playing silent videos and slide-shows) spilling over to blogs.

5. New formats of blogging will re-define blogging

Blogs will not remain blogs. Big platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have already provided facility for long-form content. Other popular networks will try to leverage the staying power of serious and big content. 

New platforms are emerging that curate not only text but also visual media and present them as ‘blogs’. 

Platforms that allow blogging and commenting on the go will suit the new generation. 

6. Mobile apps on blogging will surface, but slowly

If we are sure of the growing importance of mobile blogging, we can see the coming of apps for creating blogs, creating and editing content, publishing posts, adding audio-visual content, bookmarking, sharing and so on. These might supplement free platforms such as Wordpress.com and Blogger or compete for space; that will depend on what direction the technology drives them to.

At the same time, since blogging apps are not likely to earn big money for app developers, such apps will mostly come from big platforms such as Wordpress and Blogger, or from website hosts who bundle writing / blogging goodies with hosting.

 7. Commenting on blogs will go down fast

As blogs are no longer primary means of socializing, commenting on blogs will decline fast. It might even get limited to the community that develops around blogs.

In addition, as social sharing buttons are now seen on almost all blogs, even those who feel like commenting on a post will use these buttons rather than comment on the post. 

8. Bloggers' importance as influencers and earners will depend more on individual effort, but the trend might be negative

Blogs that grow into websites will definitely be seen by brands and advertisers as influencers. If they work on monetization, they will earn big money.

Blogs with strong content will be seen by search engines as valuable web property and will come high on search results. Similarly, opinions about products and services coming from 'reputed' (which does not always mean 'big') will rank high.

Blogs that do not have big following might lose the battle. As brands do not bother for them, bloggers' income from affiliation and CPC advertisements will decline. However, it will depend upon many factors such as localization, niche and topics, strength of content and reputation of blog, and effort towards monetizing.

December 22, 2015

Why we recommend Blogger over Wordpress for blogging, especially when you start a new blog?

We keep surfing the web, sometimes more often than a common blogger because we are in the 'business' of bringing blogging advice and tips to blogger friends.

There are 1.39 billion webpages, going by the search results shown by Google, on 'how to start a blog'. Even when you search for 'Wordpress or Blogger for starting a free blog', you 56.6 million results!

We checked dozens of pages that came at the top in search for this term: Wordpress vs Blogger. In most of these, we found Wordpress being recommended. There can be different ways these two free blogging platforms can be compared, some we earlier discussed in this post. So, we won't dwell on that.

The present post is to tell you why, despite overwhelming advice to the contrary, we at IndianTopBlogs recommend that you open your blog, at least your first and free blog, on Blogger.


10 situations when Blogger scores over Wordpress

 1. When you are new to blogging.
Why not learn the process of blogging free and intuitively? It does not cost any money, nor much time to be familiar with how posts are created, how a picture is added, how posts are arranged, and so on. And, it is damn simple! (as this post on starting a Blogger blog would reveal.)

2. When you want to experiment before going for a final decision where to host the blog.
Why not do all types of experiments with your blog before you have decided what your blogging goal is, and how much time and energy you are likely to give to the blog? Experimentation can include playing with layout and design, colors and backgrounds, fonts, widgets, link-building, commenting, adding AdSense ads and what not.
  
3. When you do not know tech or are averse to learning tech.
Ah! If you hate html and such other stuff, Blogger is one of the best platforms for beginner as well as established bloggers. We see some big blogs with .blogspot.com - the bloggers have not even cared to  redirect (or map) this URL to a standalone site name! Most common actions are possible with a click of the mouse, and you need not know the html code, css, javascript etc that go behind these actions.
 
4. When you do not want to spend money on themes etc.
Wordpress has many themes but you cannot go beyond these. You need to pay for customization and premium themes. Not so in Blogger. You can select the available base themes and do numerous customizations through 'advance' option (Template > Customize > Advanced)

5. When by choice you do not want anything but writing.
If you are a blogger who just wants to showcase his content and will not spend time on other aspects such as optimization and sprucing up its looks, a simple blog on Blogger is what you want.

6. When you know tech and want to experiment with it.
If you are familiar with coding or even have some familiarity with html, you can add many new features on the blog - you can change its looks to a large extent, add new codes, add javascript, automate many functions, and so on. In fact, you can make the blog look like a static website with just a few clicks!

7. When you want to put videos on the blog.
Wordpress.com does not allow videos on the blog except by way of embedding a link from other sites such as YouTube. For videos, it asks you to go for a premium plan. You can put videos on Blogger pages as well as posts.

8. When you do not want to be asked, irritatingly, to pay even if you want one small favor.
Wordpress.com is free only in its plain vanilla version. If you want the blog to be ad free, it will ask for upgradation to a paid plan; if you want to map another URL, it will ask for payment; if you want to change code, it will want an upgrade; if you want to put ads and make some money, it will need a bigger payment. Just the barely customizable blog with 3GB space and hosting - only this much comes free from Wordpress.com.

9. When you want robust security for the blog that can be an issue with a self hosted blog.
When you host your blog or website on a web host, security is a concern. Well, reputed hosts come with security but their hosting charges can be high. Google provides that security and upgrades. It recently provided .blogspot.com blogs with https 'safe browsing' security. 

10. When you want to make money from the blog.
That's great, isn't it? Blogger allows you to put AdSense ads as well as other types of ads through widgets. Wordpress does not allow that except in premium plan which costs about $300 a year at present.

Why is that many bloggers favor Wordpress over Blogger?

  
One big reason is that many established bloggers, especially those familiar with technology, have developed their blogs on Wordpress.org, which is a content management system (CMS) and not a blogging platform like Blogger or Wordpress.com. Wordpress.org (CMS) based blogs are then hosted on a web host as other websites, on a payment. Such blogs are called self-hosted blogs because the blogs lie not in Blogger or Wordpress servers but somewhere else, and the blogger has full control over the blog (or website). Definitely, such blogs / websites are better than free blogs in many respects.

In addition, many of such bloggers have made transition from a Wordpress.com (free) blog to the Wordpress based self-hosted blog. Both having the same look and feel, the transition is smooth. This experience also heavily weighs on their minds when they compare Wordpress.com with Blogger.

Another reason is some features (e.g. greater number of themes, freely available) that are better than Blogger, though such features are not too good  except a few.

When time comes to have a self hosted blog


The above discussion should settle any doubt on Wordpress vs Blogger. The next step, maybe after you have decided to add e-commerce or expand the blog greatly or give it an independent hosting with full control, would be to have a self hosted blog. That time may never come, come after a few days of experimentation with Blogger blog or come after 5 years. If and when you decide to have a self hosted blog, you may choose Wordpress.org - one of the best content management systems available free. (There are hosting charges, etc: more details on this post: Independent domain name and website hosting.) Google has a free website making option but that is nowhere near Wordpress.org.

December 18, 2015

What search engines like on websites? Google says, Q (quality) and R (reputation) with E-A-T. Read on...



Best practices, adapted from Google rating guide
In the previous post in this series, we talked about the importance of these two qualities of websites for getting high search ratings from Google: (i) helping the user, and (ii) quality of web content. In the present post, we'd talk further about the quality aspects and also other factors that impact a website's standing.

[In this 2-part series, we present the gems of search engine optimization (SEO) that we have collected from the recently released Google's Search Quality Rating Guidelines. In trying to emphasize certain important points or to make it simple for common users, we have added our own interpretations and expressions.]

Content quality


Google raters will give good quality rating to a webpage or a website if it has sufficient amount of relevant content which must also be of high quality. Please note that the matter must be of high relevance to the topic; it must be in good quantity and updated; and it must be of high quality.

Quality would include correctness of information, its presentation in standard language and without grammatical errors. It would also mean that the content is original and not copied. In websites that deal with medical, financial and legal advice etc, the standard of advice given must be very high so that it does not endanger others' lives and well-being. The givers of such advice must have the necessary competence and experience in the field.

If you expected that Google search engine is just a piece of software that scans billions of webpages a day and it won't insist on the intrinsic qualities of text content such as readability, lucidity and grammatical correctness, you are mistaken. Google gives a low rating to unedited and poorly written passages. Similarly keyword stuffed content, gibberish and meaningless expressions, auto-generated and copy-pasted matter - all these pull the quality down in the eyes of Google.

Google says, "Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful MC [=main content] to help users should be rated Lowest."

Google also says, it does not consider as "copied" the content that is legitimately licensed or syndicated. It frowns upon content that has been reproduced from others without adding value. So, just copy-pasted matter lowers your website's quality even if you give credit to the source.

The presence or absence of advertisements is not by itself a reason for a high or low quality rating. However, if ads are too many and distracting, and have been put there to lure visitors away from the main content, such ads badly reduce the quality of the website.

Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of the page for the topic.


Google gives the three attributes an interesting acronym, E-A-T. Yes, a webpage with high level of expertise and authority on the part of its author and that can be trusted upon deserves to get a very high ranking on search results.

All subjects do not need the same level of expertise.
As mentioned earlier in this series, the author of a blog of personal nature is not expected to show formal expertise on the matter he discusses. Advice on forums need not always be of high expert level unless from moderator. A cooking blog only talking  about experimentation with cooking is fine as long as the blogger does not misrepresent himself as a celebrated chef. In Google's view, 'everyday expertise' in general matters is OK but pages on advice on life and happiness matters (e.g. financial, legal or medical advice) without high level of formal expertise get a poor rating.
 
Trustworthiness comes with people trusting the content and the trust comes with quality of content and proven expertise and authority over the subject. The views of independent sources about the author, content and website matter a lot.

To quote the Guidelines on E-A-T, "Highest quality pages and websites have a very high level of expertise or are highly authoritative or highly trustworthy... Types of pages or websites which should always receive the lowest rating: pages or websites created with no expertise or pages which are highly untrustworthy, unreliable, unauthoritative, inaccurate, or misleading."

Question-answer pages as in forums or FAQs or blogs have answers of all types. On forums, it is expected that the community is active and engaged. Everyday expertise is OK but preponderance of too general and valueless advice would harm the reputation of the forum.
 
Genuine expertise too can go wrong. For example, if the website or blog is not updated, the old advice or information may not only become obsolete over time, it might mislead the reader, even endanger him.
 

Good reputation of the website for that topic.

 
Reputation is people's commendation that you earn with time by serving E-A-T content. Reputation also comes from your conduct. As in real life, reputation matters in winning friends and influencing people.
 
Google says, "A very positive reputation can be a reason for using the High rating for an otherwise Medium page."
 

Good deal of information on the site about the owner

 
A websites must have information about the site itself and its owner. One can do so in different ways, e.g. through an 'about us' page, by giving contact details and by providing customer service details. 

The argument is, people who show up their identity do voluntarily offer themselves to public scrutiny. They are making themselves available for contact. They are also less likely to be fakes.

What if somebody fakes his identity? In such cases, his reputation (known through independent opinions) and overall impression based on the content come into play.

There comes this question: How much information should one give on the website, especially on a personal blog? Google suggests that the amount of information needed depends on the purpose of the site. A personal blogs giving email address is enough; for a television seller, we assume that giving details of service centers and grievance redressal officials is a must.
 

Page / website design


Page design must be functional, and must allow users to focus on the content (and not digress them into buying or taking them to unrelated or misleading pages).
 
Google despises design in which the main content is disturbed or overwhelmed by ads, calls to buy or other distraction. The distraction can be a popup, use of animation, bigger and brighter fonts than the main content, or use of ads in a way that they are mistaken as information.
 
If a page is pretty at the cost of navigation, it might hurt the rating of the page. Similarly, a page created in an obsolete design and the one with confusing layout are not the best of pages because such poor design lowers user satisfaction.
 
Ads are OK, as said earlier, if they serve a legitimate purpose and do not distract from the main content. However, it is not OK when ads are too many in relation to the useful content, or when they distract or impose themselves.
 

Proper maintenance of the website.


Google says, proper maintenance of websites requires that "Links should work, images should load, content should be added and updated over time."

Just changing a date of an old post and republishing it does not amount to updation. Updation done with effort counts for website quality. As we also mentioned earlier about the right frequency of posting on blogs, Google feels that the desirable frequency of updation depends on the subject and type of website. (e.g. News websites must update fast while websites on a narrow subject of research will not need that fast updation.) Some pages are created once for ever (e.g. photos from a picnic); they will not need updation but the website, overall, should not give the feel of not being maintained. Updation is especially important for blogs

Happy blogging!

Wish to visit all ethical SEO tips for bloggers from IndianTopBlogs? You can follow us on Twitter [@indiantopblogs] for daily dose of tips, reminders and updates.

December 14, 2015

What Google search rating guidelines teach us about SEO

Google has brought out its 'Search Quality Rating Guidelines', first time since 2013. These are essentially for Evaluators who help in manually checking websites and queries for their quality, relevance, reputation etc that help in improving search experience. However, these guidelines also are very useful for website owners, bloggers and SEO experts. 

Nothing can not be a more credible adviser than Google about what to do to improve quality and searchability of your website; so, we bring a 2-part series on what we found in Google guidelines that could be of great use to our visitors. That will save you the bother of going through the longish (160 pages, no more!) and slightly technical document and taking notes.

It makes us feel especially humble to say that all these years, we have been saying what Google has detailed in this document. We also feel vindicated that the blogs we put in our directories and other listings come high on Google's parameters though many of them do not have the best of design, do not earn money and don't have high viewership. You could visit the 'Blogging Tips'  and 'Directory Compilation' links at the bottom of this page to check what we mean.

The purpose of websites should be to help users, says Google

This is one of the best one-liners that we have seen on the purpose of websites. You can remember it if you are to start a website or blog now. If you already have a website, it would benefit if you examine the website and make amends if needed

Helping, from search quality point of view, is not being helpful and kind as you would be in the real world, e.g. by helping an old man cross the road. It has a wide meaning: being helpful in getting the visitor what he is trying to get. If a webpage on your website (or a post on your blog) is just a collection of photos of your picnic, it serves its purpose by giving this pictorial information to those wanting to get this information. Whether this page ranks high on search engines will depend on many other factors, but it serves its purpose of helping with information as long as you do not show these pictures to mislead people to buy merchandise about that location or some other way.

Your website can 'help' visitors in many ways: 
  • By giving information. Google says, if Wikipedia and forum pages help by giving information, a humor page and a video collection do that too. Sharing personal or social information is fine. 
  • By sharing media in various forms: audio, pictures, video.
  • By sharing opinion on a topic.
  • By entertaining.
  • By selling products or services.
  • By allowing users to download software.
  • By allowing users to ask questions and others to answer them (as in forums or websites like Quora).

Well, you might feel that by this definition, all website would qualify as helping others. No, Google would give a low ranking to websites that 
  • deceive users
  • harm users by putting a malicious code (even inadvertently) or other such actions
  • make money without giving the user the content for which he visited the site

Let's expand the 'helping' bit a bit more before we move further. We'd advise bloggers that, to the extent possible, we should try to help visitors in some bigger way and avoiding such information that might harm them: 
  • By giving solutions to small problems for free (e.g. DIY tips; IT code help; FAQs; best practices).
  • By serving quality information on the theme of the blog.
  • By giving only genuine information and views (e.g. when reviewing products; hotels; books; agencies).
  • By not faking expertise (especially on medical matters, including traditional medicine).
  • By not spreading superstitions, hatred, criminality and other socially harmful thought through main content or comments. 

What determines the quality of a website or webpage?

As you would have guessed, quality of content is of paramount important for searchers and therefore for search engines. 

In Google's eyes, the content gets high quality ratings if it it has been created with a significant amount of at least one of these:
  • time
  • effort
  • expertise
  • talent/ skill
Investment in these four areas results in quality content that is satisfying for the user, and therefore search engines value it highly. Google further explains that quality of a webpage can be high if these four are visible in that, irrespective of the type of content. So, a webpage or website made with a lot of effort (even a humor page) is of high quality and also the one that shows great expertise (e.g. a medical research page). 

If we care for content and consumer, we can't go wrong.
Further, Google says that it rates the content high in quality even if it has everyday life expertise. It also does not pit expertise of a high professional type against that of life experiences. So, a blog with personal experiences, when the content is created with a good deal of time, effort and skill, is treated as high quality content.

Content quality, together with reputation and trust-worthiness give the website a very high rating. We  discuss these and other aspects in the next post on content quality, authority and reputation of websites.

December 8, 2015

Is it time to make your blog private?

Blogs have a dynamic life-cycle unlike static websites. They need updation, and therefore the blogger has to be on his toes - getting ideas for the next post, writing posts, finding relevant pictures, publishing the post also on other social media platforms or at least giving a link, and so on. When the blogger leaves this processing of blogging, the blog hibernates and eventually dies.

There are occasions when a blogger thinks what he  publishes need not be shared with others or shared only with a few chosen ones, and he decides to make the blog private. 

For some, it is not a pleasant change but they need to do it for some specific reasons such as keeping the blog off limit from their employer, discussing a controversial subject, working on a research that is not yet public etc. However, for most such communication, we feel that there are better ways than having a private blog.

Sometimes, making the blog private is a knee-jerk reaction to not being able to maintain it. At times, it comes in response to abusive comments and spams being received on the blog.


When is it OK to make the blog private?


If you are facing some issues relating to security or engagement on a public blog, restricting access may be a valid option.

You can also think of keeping the blog private before it is ready for launch. This will avoid the blog going accidentally public, which you don't want.

It looks fine to restrict access to a page or a website / blog with information of a privileged kind, by making that stuff password protected. For example, you might want to let a series of blog posts be visited only by students who have done all their homework (Can you believe that students will not share these post with their friends??) or someone who has subscribed to a web magazine. You can send such people a password that opens those private blogs/ posts.

Private blog can be a good platform for writing and storing online content that is of serial nature, e.g. chapters of a book or a series of articles on a subject.

How to make a Blogger or Wordpress blog private?


On Blogger, go to Settings > Permissions > Blog readers [You will not have the option to go private if you have opted for Google Plus commenting on the blog.]

On Wordpress, go to My Site > Settings > Site Visibility
(or WP Admin > Settings > Reading > Site Visibility)

On both these platforms, you need to invite viewers by sending them emails.

On Wordpress, you can restrict the visibility of individual posts, by clicking on the 'eye' icon on the right top of the post editor.

On Blogger, there is no in-built provision to limit a post's visibility, but there are a number of hacks available on the web. Since these hacks need you to modify a bit of html coding, use codes only from websites that you trust.


How much private can a private blog be?


Well, on the web, everything - yes, almost everything - is public. Even erasing blogs or their posts may not erase them from the www. In most cases, search engines may still crawl archival posts. The hidden content is also prone to be made public inadvertently or deliberately by someone who has the authority to view it. It can be hacked. Privacy features can be broken. It can leave trail on computers and mobiles where it travels even with password protection.

So, the golden rule would be to make part or full blog private for a limited purpose, for example to give privileged access but not for storing sensitive information. Why not use your primary blog for sharing as much information as you can, and have a private blog to store information that you do not want to share and information that is 'work in progress'. By the way, for storing private information, these can be better options: Windows live or Dropbox or other cloud storage, your computer, password-protected documents attached on emails to yourself.

December 4, 2015

Time to stop commenting on blogs?

Till Facebook and other social networking sites became the main platforms for social engagement on the web, blogs held sway.

Blogs still have their standing as a valuable section of social media and will remain so for a long time to come. However, their importance for engagement has definitely gone down as the comments made on blogs are not instantly visible to follower or friends unless you have made put some widgets or notifications for this. Even then, the notification system is not as efficient as that of Facebook, Twitter or even Google Plus, LinkedIn and others.

Another trend to share, in case you missed that. Many mainline media organizations the world over have reduced focus on commenting. Some have even stopped accepting comments on their news items and editorials. Some have reduced the prominence of blogs maintained on their platform. At the same time, all of them have put social sharing buttons for quick sharing of content.

So comes the question, whether we should give up on commenting on blogs?

Let's try to answer this question in three sections.

1. Continuing to accept comments on a personal blogs or other small blogs

We'd not want to pit blogs against social networks in terms of engagement. To some extent they serve different purposes. For example, the 'likes' and 'shares' on social networks are made at the spur of the moment, often without proper application of mind. 'Followers' on social media are known to act as herds - following mindlessly what others are following. This type of commenting is good for quick responses, especially of a personal and emotional nature. These comments or clicks also collectively show a trend and social sentiment in favor or against something or somebody. As they have the capacity to spread fast and go viral, they are much more efficient in popularizing or denigrating or broadcasting a message. 

Now look at comments on blogs. These are generally of higher value and made after at least a bit of thought. With better integration of blogs with social networks, it is possible for visitors to make quick comments, clicks and shares on these networks while reserving more serious comments for blogs. Of course this reality may also change, as some earlier bloggers have moved completely from blogs to Facebook or Google Plus.

Yet, till blogs die or merge with social networks or new platforms emerge that encompass blogs and social networks, small bloggers should keep the option of commenting on their blogs. They can decide when the blog has thousands of followers and hundreds of comments coming to their posts, whether to take the commenters to Facebook etc and leave the blog without comments. Not before that, we reckon.

If you have just started a blog, commenting must be part of your blogging routine. You must not only keep the comment box, you must also comment on blogs you like and where you can contribute. This results in good community building and traffic.

When you keep the facility for commenting, you have the responsibility to keep engaging with comenters so that the purpose of comments - that is, engagement - is well served. Otherwise the facility is just like a vestigial organ (like the ear lobes on human body). We find that many busy bloggers (and many who care a damn) do not engage with commenters. Some lament that comments only take their time and don't add value (or they don't care for that little value). Well, if you have these issues, closing down the commenting facility is an option worth consideration, is it?

Comments are an integral part of a blog, generally speaking. The reader of the blog must not be left to read what has been written without the choice of making a comment of approval or disapproval.  In fact, leave the duty of the blogger towards his readers, he himself is a loser in not allowing comments as he does not get feedback which may sometimes be of a high value. We have seen some blog posts on which the discussion through comments has generated far greater value than the post.

We find that comments do wonders in blogs of narrow themes and research blogs. If your blog is of these categories and you have taken some pain to popularize the blog, you must have received many useful comments. Such blogs do not receive many distracting or abusive comments.

Talking of trolls, we can always dis-allow anonymous comments by linking comments with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Disqus or OpenID identities. We can also put captcha to stop spam. 


We saw an interesting argument sometime back for not commenting: "My blog receives 3000 visitors a day but no comments. If I keep comment form, visitors will likely feel that my blog is not popular. Instead of helping at all, the comment form will be hurting the blog. So, I have removed comment form from the blog."

2. Accepting comments on blog when you maintain it for a community or a corporate

Many visitors to big blogs and websites come through links on social networks. Most mobile phone users fall in this category. Since social networking sites offer better and more visible conversations, it stands to logic that commenting may be given up as a means of 'social networking'. The 'likes' may not be sincere and serious, as discussed above, but they serve as a scale of popularity or sentiment in favor of a thought, service or product.   

Even if big bloggers or sellers of services and products have very vibrant social networks, how does it harm to allow comments on the blog or website? Chances are that if someone wants to give a  considered feedback on something and if he has the choice equally easily available, he will choose the blog commenting facility. In addition, the standard way in which blog comments are visible, serves as a good archive of opinions or FAQs that can resolve service issues and lead to fewer grievances.

3. Commenting on others' blogs

Without any discussion, we'd recommend that you comment on blogs when you feel like making a contribution to the discussion or giving a feedback. Please do not go away after just clicking the social sharing buttons next to the post; a well-written post deserves a better treatment. Yes, if you do not have time for making a useful comment, do not use the blog's comment box for a 'great post' type cheap comment - a Facebook 'like' may be a far better option here.

Like to visit this post on how to avoid comment spam
Saw this Social Media Examiner article on comments' comeback.
ITB has removed comment box but still has a comment box!