Comment on WordPress Gravatars by SEO Dave.
Biggest SEO issue is an image link to the Gravatar image, this will result in the Gravatar images being indexed in Google and any alt text associate with the image and your site. As you’ve picked up on having alt text “Gravatar for Author Name” which is far from ideal. I would tend to use: “Comment on Post Title” or just “Post Title”.
I don’t like the default anchor text of the links which is a fair amount of text, anchor text is very important and this is going to add a lot of irrelevant anchor text like the date the comment was made.
Ideal sort of setup for the Wizzart Recent Comments WordPress Plugin would be:
Gravatar as a background image (no SEO value, this would require hacking the code probably) : though there is an SEO argument for using linked images with alt text that’s keyword rich, especially on sites with few images. I don’t know if SEO benefit is lost via linked images where the image isn’t yours. If it’s your own image it can rank for the alt text (in Google image search), I would assume the amount of SEO benefit for alt text is finite meaning sending alt text to an image you don’t own could take alt text benefit away from your own images. Assume each page has say 100 alt text points to share equally over all images with alt text, ideally it would all go to your images (if your site doesn’t have many images, nothing much to loose and you gain the alt text benefit on the site) not Gravatar images. This is an assumption how it works as not been able to confirm this either way in SEO tests, since I’ve not been able to test this effectively it tends to suggest the SEO benefit is small.
Anchor text is the title of the post with maybe the comment authors name. Ideal SEO wise would be just the post title, but it means having some text on a sidebar that’s not clickable (do you go for 100% SEO or 90% SEO 10% usability).
If you want an excerpt the excerpt is only text.
OK to use the date as long as it’s not part of the anchor text.
When I get sometime might see if I can incorporate the widget (the plugin only generates a widget) into Stallion with better default setup.