I respect Michael Gray, but I cannot agree with his post Why Everyone Should Turn Off Blog Comments. Now, I do keep my post dates and it is a choice. I do not put it in my permalinks. Google will still index your site and tell when your post has been last updated.
Yes, you should create content that is relevant for months and maybe even years to come. Putting the date in your post’s layout is a personal preference. Also putting it in your permalink is, but for SEO, you probably should not unless your site is literally a personal journal. It will do nothing to effect your site’s SEO. Your content will… remember – Content Is King!
If you are not certain about great SEO practices, I recommend reading up on WordPress SEO by Joost de Valk.
Comments are still important. What good will it do if you turn your comments off and your post does not present the best case, especially if you are a competitive blog in your niche. How will you learn and develop more as a site owner, a blogger, and in some cases, a professional?
Your readers might not always have something to say and that is fine. However, when they do, you might like to listen. Of course, they can send you an email through your contact form any time, connect with you on your social network streams, but what about your site? Your site is your headquarters. If you are not encouraging feedback there, what does that do for you – not much.
I am not a person that relies heavily on building my site rank like crazy. I do blog regularly – most might say quite frequently. I love comments. I am not the best at returning as I want to be (and I am working on that), but I have always loved to respond and I love to learn. I also get a chance to connect with others outside the 140 characters.