I’ve seen a number of Forum posts and received a few emails lately from Hubbers who have questions about managing comments on their Hubs. If you’ve been a member of HubPages for years, these tips may be old hat, but beginning and intermediate Hubbers will hopefully find them quite useful.
Comments are a staple of the internet. On Hubs, they allow you to start a dialog with your readers, answer any lingering questions that were not addressed in your article, and benefit from the feedback of others. Comments are also one of the many indicators that help contribute to Google’s idea of how interesting and engaging your Hubs are to readers. (If your Hubs don’t have any comments, don’t panic. Some topics simply lend themselves to comments more readily than others.)
So, the more comments, the merrier, right? Well, not exactly… While comments can be a powerful asset for online writers, all comments are not created equal. The way you manage comments is ultimately up to you as the Hub’s owner, but here are a few types of comments we recommend you disapprove or delete:
- Spam comments. These guys are useless, annoying, self-serving and can contain links that are potentially harmful to your readers. The HubPages spam filters catch most of them, but occasionally some slip through. Don’t hesitate to give them the boot!
- Comments that are not in English. HubPages is an English-language site and content here should be written for English readers. Comments in other languages will not benefit the vast majority of your readers and may actually confuse them instead. These should be deleted.
- Comments that are off topic. Everything on your Hub (including comments) should be about the content of that Hub. Comments that go off topic or launch into a tangential rant may be well-intentioned, but we recommend that you delete them. Google is a stickler for staying on topic.
- Comments with hate speech or excessive profanity. Advertisers don’t like to be associated with this type of content, and that includes your Hub’s comments! Hateful or excessively profane comments may get ads disabled on your Hubs, so it’s a good idea to get rid of them before it becomes an issue.
- Comments with personal attacks. If comments on your Hub are attacking or insulting you or other commenters personally, it’s a good idea to delete these. Commenters have the freedom to write whatever they want, but you have the freedom to choose what appears on your Hubs. Civil disagreements and differences of opinion are fine, but if commenters start getting personal with the insults, it’s probably time to bust out the delete button.
- Comments with links to personal blogs or websites. This can be a tricky one. Another gardening blogger comments on your How to Grow Bigger Tomatoes Hub: “Wow, what a great tip! I’ll have to try this method at home. I’ve never been able to get my tomatoes up to that size. By the way, I think you’d like my gardening blog at www.mygardeningblog.com, so please visit!” Some Hubbers might be tempted to approve the comment because it’s both friendly and on topic, but ultimately this comment is self-serving. The blogger’s intent is to get you and your readers to leave your Hub and visit her website. This type of comment should always be deleted. In fact, many Hubbers choose to never approve comments that contain any type of link whatsoever, just to stay on the safe side.
Now that you know which comments you should get rid of, let’s take a look at the options for managing comments on HubPages. There are two ways you can manage comments. You can choose comment settings for all of your Hubs at once, or you can configure settings individually on each Hub. If you want to configure the settings differently on a Hub-by-Hub basis, here’s how:
- Visit “My Account“
- Make sure the “Hubs” tab is selected at the top and click on the “Comments” option
- You should see the “Global Comment Capsule Settings” section
- Click “show settings”
- Make sure all the bubbles are checked under “Configure per Hub”
- When your Hubs are in Edit mode, you can now edit the Comment Capsule and choose your settings for that particular Hub
If you want to configure your comment settings for all of your Hubs at once (most Hubbers do it this way), follow steps 1-4 and choose “Yes” or “No” for each option depending on your preferences. These settings will be applied to every Hub you have already published and to every Hub you publish going forward.
Here’s what each of the settings mean:
Disable any further comments from being posted: All your Hub’s current comments will still be visible (and you can still delete old comments if you want), but readers will no longer be able to post any new comments to that Hub. Many Hubbers choose this option if they plan to take a break from HubPages and don’t want to have to check their comments for spam or respond to questions for a long time. You can also prevent any comments whatsoever from being posted on a Hub by selecting this option on new Hubs that don’t have any comments yet.
Comments must be approved before they appear: We highly recommend choosing this option for all of your Hubs. When a comment is posted, you have the option to approve or delete it before it is visible to your readers. This is a great way of weeding out spam and other types of unwanted comments without exposing your readers to them first. If this option is not selected, all comments will be visible as soon as they are posted. You can still delete the bad comments later, but your readers may have seen them in the meantime.
Only signed-in users may post comments: If you choose this option, only other Hubbers will be able to comment on your Hubs. Readers who do not have a HubPages account won’t be able to leave comments for you. We generally recommend requiring approval for all comments instead of choosing this option because readers without a HubPages account can still leave great comments. However, this can be a good option if you are a victim of harassment or stalking and don’t want to see the offending posts before disapproving them.
Display most recent comments first: You can choose to order your comments from oldest to newest or newest to oldest. This option is simply a matter of personal preference.
Hopefully these short tips will help demystify the nuances of comments and comment options. And speaking of comments, let me know if you have any questions in a comment to this Blog post. Happy Hubbing!