Enabling paged comments in theory could result in duplicate content issues, but I run my sites using the Stallion Responsive WordPress SEO Package which has options to remove all the potential duplicate content issues AND as importantly benefit from the pagination of comments (my sites gain additional free Google traffic thanks to the pagination).
Even if I didn’t run Stallion Responsive, WordPress core includes built in features to mange the duplicate content issue, as you’ll see there are no SEO issues.
The main duplicate content issue with most WordPress themes is all the paged comments show a full copy of the main article (that’s duplicate content) and they all have the same title tag (same title element in the head of the page).
There’s little if any SEO value having multiple pages with the same title tags: you could get a lot of warnings from Google Webmaster Tools about duplicate title tags, see my WordPress SEO tutorial article regarding Title Tags Optimization.
If you aren’t a Stallion Responsive user WordPress by default adds a canonical URL to the paged comments, so Google doesn’t index page 2, page 3 etc… anyway. The canonical URLs back to the main article tell Google to spider the paged comments, but pass all SEO value (PR/link benefit and SERPs) to the main article and only show the main article for relevant Google SERPs.
This makes sense for your average WordPress theme, it won’t use an excerpt of the main article (so a lot of duplicate content) and won’t have unique title tags for pages 2, 3, 4 etc… best to let WordPress add the canonical URL back to the main article and have just the one page indexed.
If I followed Yoast’s “999 out of 1000 cases” advice all 60 comments on my WordPress SEO plugin article would be loaded on the one page (wouldn’t matter which WordPress theme I used)! Can you imagine how big that article would be, the full article and 60 comments in full!!! When I write comments they tend to be detailed, some as detailed as a stand alone article, if your users tend to make half sentence comments like “I agree, nice article” sort of comments you might be OK with 50+ comments loading on a page, but why risk it?
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