As The Last Word heads to become more popular with readers, I can't help but question whether a link to a certain post is better, or comments on that post are a better indication of it's visibility. There are posts which have a high number of comments and links, so it's quite obvious that people have liked them. However, what about the one which has the scale tipping towards either?
Links surely have huge benefits, because that's how Google has trained the Internet to function. The more links incoming to your page, the higher that page rises in search results. Even Technorati decides the rank of a blog based on the inbound links to it's posts. This sure does show that the post is being read (since links are from other posts by people) and it ensures the post remains visible (by raising it in ranking). So this 'should' be the perfect indicator!
Comments, on the other hand mean that people are actually taking interest in the post, and have something to add to the content. That means they find the content useful to them. It also gives an idea of how many people viewed the page on the 'page', and not glimpsed through it in their reader.
Comparing the two, links seem to have the upper hand when it comes to indicating how visible the post has been, and how much it'll be so in the future. Atleast to me it does. But how many people are there out there who might take a subject from one of my posts, and write about it themselves, without a link coming back here? I don't know, since there is no way of tracking posts like that. And my heart still wrenches when there are no comments on any one of my posts :(
I still like to follow my statistics to get an idea about popular posts and pages on the blog, since there doesn't seem to be any other accurate way to get that little but vital piece of information.
How do 'you' judge the same regarding posts on your blog? Or do you think I've missed some points in either argument?