Got an email from one of my contract coders today about a supposed SEO plugin for WordPress called xCommenter:
Hey Dan –
Ever heard of xCommenter wp-plugin?
Just wondering what your opinion is on these sort of tools.
What is xCommenter? Will it help my site’s SEO?
xCommenter parses your post’s tags, title and content and then searches Yahoo Answers to find related questions. In an effort to improve your SEO, these questions are then periodically posted as comments to your blog post. Though it integrates with a popular article spinning service, my guess is this plugin will do more harm than good once Google catches up, if they haven’t already.
Here’s my reply:
Yikes! It’s fed by Yahoo Answers?! Have you SEEN Yahoo Answers? Garbage. Here’s a dramatization of my favorite Yahoo Answers content.
I suppose xCommenter *could* help SEO in the short term, but you should google “duplicate content penalty” to see how Google says this sort of thing can wreck you.
“There are some penalties that are related to the idea of having the same content as another site—for example, if you’re scraping content from other sites and republishing it, or if you republish content without adding any additional value. These tactics are clearly outlined (and discouraged) in our [Google] Webmaster Guidelines:” (source)
I suppose that when you pay the $77/yr fee and check the box next to “Spin comments with your TheBestSpinner.com account” in the xCommenter settings, in effect rewriting some content phrases, it might not be as big a deal, but something tells me Google is on the lookout for this sort of thing and will soon penalize the funk out of sites using xCommenter.
xCommenter is not the future of SEO
I will not be using xCommenter. Not only is it frowned upon by Google, (and will inevitably be penalized when Google figures out how to spot it, if they haven’t already,) xCommenter also cheapens your site. Use it if you’re a tripe peddler. I will scorn thee.
When he’s not making music, riding a bike, or dreaming about great food, Dan Dreifort consults on SEO and usability.