Comment on SEO Super Comments WordPress Plugin by SEO Dave.
You can argue EVERY comment should have a unique title AND support the main article by using relevant keywords (to the main article) in the comment title (it’s used as anchor text) AND the comment title should be relevant to the comment as well.
Not asking too much :-)
However, in the real world not every link from a page is perfectly SEO’d and if you have a highly commented post it could also be argued having say 50 links on a page using perfectly SEO’d anchor text might not be ideal.
The way I view it is from an individual comment with a bad title it’s wasting that comment, but as a group of comments having some not so good titles could help with the main posts SERPs. I’m not one to believe there’s a Google over optimization penalty per se, BUT we have to be reasonable, the line between search engine optimized and SEO SPAM isn’t always that wide, so best to err on the side of caution.
If you have a post about “Comment Titles” and a small number of comments, having them pretty much all target SERPs related to “Comment Titles” makes sense and is easy. The same article with 100 comments though, it’s going to be difficult to give all 100 comments a unique title using that phrase or a derivative and commenter’s tend not to always stick to the subject making it almost impossible to achieve perfect SEO. So in the real world it’s not an issue, even if you optimize every comment title to try to help the main article whilst always covering what the comment is about, the overall anchor text is going to be far from perfect: I think that’s good, it’s more natural, IF Google has a filter looking for too many links from a page with perfect anchor text you won’t trip it.
On point 2 in an ideal world every comment will have a title including the short comments because there’s the anchor text from the comment permalink (this is the comment permalink to your last comment: https://stallion-theme.co.uk/stallion-seo-super-comments-plugin/comment-page-2/#comment-36499) and this link (which is a link back to self with an anchor #comment-36499) is generated for every comment. Almost every theme will have this comment permalink, with Stallion the anchor text is optimized, with most themes it’s the date of the comment. For your comment in TwentyFourteen theme the anchor text would be “23rd July 2014 at 5:07pm” which is awful SEO wise and damaging having all that anchor text on a similar theme that’s NOT about the content!
By default Stallion mixes up the anchor text of the comments IF you’ve set the Stallion keyphrases. If those keyphrases aren’t set it uses the title of the post for them all if a comment title isn’t set (the comment title is used if available). If you have the keyphrases set and threaded comments (so visitors can reply to comments) each level of the thread uses a different Stallion keyphrase, so you’ll find the anchor text does vary, but ideally it would be a unique(ish) comment titles.
With so many comments it’s too much work to manually edit them all, I know I’ve edited over 3,000 and it took ages! I would concentrate on your most important posts, try to make a decent dent in the number with SEO comment titles concentrating on the comments that are large enough to generate a link to their SEO super comment: they can generate traffic in their own right as well.
I’ve got a joke site with one post with over 9,000 comments! Most are not very big, not particularly well formed (bunch of racists trashing each other!) and the comment titles that have been set are awful SEO wise, but the post is number 2 in Google for the two word main SERP. The page generates around 30,000 Google search impressions a month with a CTR of ~15%. Even without going to all the trouble of SEOing every comment title the overall SEO works: maybe it would do better if I spent a week modifying the comment titles, but I’m not editing 9,000 comments for one post!
As I mentioned above the alternative output is what TwentyFourteen does, comment permalinks with the date as anchor text, even the worst comment titles are better than the date.