If you are a user of the Stallion Responsive WordPress SEO Theme do NOT install the WordPress SEO Comments Plugin discussed below.
Stallion Responsive includes a far more SEO advanced version of the WordPress SEO Comments Plugin that’s fully integrated with other theme package features (for example comment titles). See the Stallion Responsive SEO Super Comments Tutorial for more details.
For all other WordPress theme users the WordPress SEO Comments Plugin below gives Google and other search engines access to your comments in a format that allows search engine spiders to index and rank comments in their own right.
Download WordPress SEO Comments Plugin from WordPress.org plugin repository.
February 5th 2016 Update v2.2 Release:
Fixed a couple of bugs.
Had set the backup template to single.php forgetting that not all themes have a single.php file (Doh!) Changed back to index.php.
I hadn’t set a check that any comment ID accessed was from a published post (or page) and wasn’t in the pending/spam/trash area. Meant if users knew the URL of non-approved comments they could load them as SEO comments. Now only comments from published posts/pages that are approved will load the comment content. Anything else will load the original posts content with a canonical URL to the original post (no SEO value lost or Google getting confused at multiple URLs loading the same content). Thanks to Jessica (see comments) for finding that bug :-)
December 28th 2015 Update v2.1 Release:
I’d forgot to rename a function to avoid a clash with the Stallion Responsive built in version of this plugin (Doh!). So renamed the clashing function name.
Since I was doing an update added two new options, can now set the number of additional comments by the same author. Was fixed at 3 comments from the same post and 5 comments from all posts.
December 27th 2015 Update v2.0 Release:
The custom template option now works with child themes.
Fixed a permalinks bug, when a heavily commented post was paged the links to the SEO comments pages had the wrong URL format.
Few minor code improvements.
SEO Super Comments WordPress Plugin
The new WordPress SEO Comments Plugin is based on the SEO Super Comments WordPress Plugin, see this comment about the history of working with the SEO Super Comments plugin: note this link goes to a comment page created by the WordPress SEO Comments Plugin, see how it’s URL ends in ?cid=6178.
What Does the WordPress SEO Comments Plugin Do?
When the plugin is activated you will find all your WordPress blogs comments generate a post like page that loads the content of a full comment plus recent comments (if any exist) by the same author.
The screenshot below shows a couple of comments at another WordPress SEO Plugin I develop while the default TwentyFourteen WordPress theme was active.
I run Stallion Responsive on this site which is more advanced, easiest way to see this is go look at the user comments below. You can see the comments have titles and the titles are used in place of the “View Comment” anchor text of the links.
The text “The Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin is a free plugin, can” is an excerpt of the first 10 words from the comment and is used as the title tag and the header for the comment page. This means the majority of the plugins comment pages will have unique title tags (and headers).
With the free stand alone SEO plugin you have no control over the content of the comment excerpt beyond it’s always the first 10 words: you could edit your comments to add 10 words at the top of your comments so the comment title tag is better SEO’d (this is what I used to do years ago). With Stallion Responsive there’s no need for this because the comments title is used for the title tag and header.
As you can see in the screenshot there’s a heading “David Law Also Commented”, this section will load up to three comments by the same author if the author has commented more than once on that post.
Further down the page are up to 5 further recent comments by the same author.
So in total it could show the comment linked to, 3 comments on the same post and 5 recent comments. If a commenter has made just one comment it will just load that one comment.
WordPress Plugin SEO Benefits
The SEO benefits of Google spidering and indexing your comments is several fold.
Comments are unique content, Google loves unique content and by installing the plugin Google can spider and index your comments in their own right based on the keywords within the comment and NOT the post the comment is attached to per se.
This can add hundreds of new indexed pages to a site thanks to your users comments a lot like a forum. In the screenshot below it shows the number of comment pages indexed in Google from this site, at the time of the search there were around 750 comments indexed this way.
You can check this yourself, since all the comment pages include ?cid= in the URL a modified site: search will show the comment pages indexed.
Want to compare to the entire site, use:
Just copy and paste the above lines into a Google search and you’ll see the number of pages indexed.
On the 21st April 2014 results are:
Partial ?cid= Google Result: 1,510 pages indexed
Full Site Google Result: 1,910 pages indexed
At this time the site had 107 published posts and 1,685 comments approved. So the vast majority of the comments are indexed in their own right.
On the 28th December 2015 results are:
Partial ?cid= Google Result: 3,110 pages indexed
Full Site Google Result: 4,080 pages indexed
At this time the site had 242 published posts and 4,249 comments approved. So the vast majority of the comments are indexed in their own right.
My other SEO plugin: Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin.