Internet commenters aren’t quite known for their excellent grammar or insightful conversation. While there are plenty who contribute and expand on content with helpful information in the comments, there are also more than a few who struggle with language or actively try to troll other users with garbled borderline nonsense.
For most users, these types of commenters are a simple annoyance at most. But, for those who spend long hours crafting grammatically correct and easily-readable content, the less readable comments can cause some worry. While quality content is most important for users, content creators also aim for high legibility because it can affect rankings.
It is no secret that nonsensical or poorly written content doesn’t tend to perform well on search engines, but what about those comments that aren’t so carefully put together? Can comments with bad grammar or readability hurt your content’s rankings? According to Matt Cutts, Google’s most popular spokesperson, the answer is not really.
“I wouldn’t worry about the grammar in your comments. As long as the grammar on your own page is fine … there are people on the Internet and they write things and it doesn’t always make sense,” Cutts said in a recent Webmaster Chat video. “You can see nonsense comments on YouTube and other large properties and that doesn’t mean that YouTube video will be able to rank.”
The primary exception to this rule is spam comments. While nonsense comments or poorly written comments aren’t much of a problem for you, spam comments should still be removed to protect your SEO and generally improve user experience and site quality.
“Just make sure that your own content is high-quality. You might want to make sure that people aren’t leaving spam comments, if you’ve got a bot, then they might leave bad grammar,” Cutts said. “But if it’s a real person and they are leaving a comment and the grammar is not slightly perfect, that usually reflects more on them than it does on your sites, so I wouldn’t stress out about that.”
So breathe easy content creators of the internet; so long as you keep putting effort into making great content, you should be safe from any trouble with Google.