As our regular readers may have noticed, over the past month or so Search Engine Journal was not running its comments. Due to database errors which possibly stemmed from comment spamming, we had to take the comments template off of our site.
We use WordPress Akismet and other anti-spamming tools on SEJ, but the spam and trackbacking still burns up bandwidth, slows down the load time, and brings unwanted comments into the picture which slip by the filters. Additionally, the filters also tend to block some comments which are useful and relevant.
This being said, we also feel that unlike SEOmoz and Threadwatch, Search Engine Journal is less of a community blog, and more of a news oriented blog; thus forcing readers to register in order to comment could dampen the spark before it ignites a debate on a post’s topic, coverage or opinion. Then again, personally, registration also brings a feeling of belonging to a select group within some blogs; something which could build the community feel to this blog.
So, before pulling the trigger on comments being allowed only for registered members, I’ll ask our readers for feedback.
How do you feel about having to register with Search Engine Journal before being able to leave a comment?