[wp-hackers] SEO, How to turn off paged comments for search engine crawlers?

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Sun Nov 8 21:31:01 UTC 2009

On Nov 8, 2009, at 11:50 AM, Joost de Valk wrote:
> 6 is not going to work: canonical is meant to distinguish the one  
> "true" (canonical) version of a document from copies of it. Giving  
> each comment its own page would make each comment completely  
> different from the original article, and thus wouldn't work with  
> the  canonical tag.

You misunderstood my suggestion. I apologize for not stating it  
clearly enough.  I'll use examples this time (these URLs are examples,  
not exact):

Assume a post called "My Post" with 25 comments and 10 comments per  
page.  You'd potentially have URLs of:


Each of these would have a rel=canoncial that pointed to:


In addition, you'd have 25 URL that look like this:


These pages would each have just one comment and would have a title  
being the first sentence of the comment and these pages would have  
links back to the post and they would NOT use rel=canonical.

There is significant benefit to this approach:

-- More pages means more SEO surface area,

-- More comments mean more URLs pointing back to the main post each  
passing a bit of page rank,

-- Unique pages for the comments so that really good comments can draw  
search engine traffic of their own,

-- Unique comment pages allow people on social media and blogs to link  
directly to specific comments without confusing the people following  
the links with the other comments, and 

-- In general, whenever possible, it's good to have a real link to  
each unique piece of content and a comment is a unique piece of content.

I hope that clarifies why my 6th option was not invalid as it appeared  
to be given my initial terse suggestion.

-Mike Schinkel
WordPress Custom Plugins

P.S.  We could also <IFRAME> the canonical URL (i.e. http://www.example.com/my-post/ 
) and use HTTP_REFERER to known when to serve up only the raw content  
and thus allow all URLs shown above to have the content displayed for  
context but not have it duplicated anywhere.

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