The Ins and Outs of WordPress SEO

Search Engine Optimization is vital to the success of your blog! You can write the best content in the world, but if no one finds your blog, it’s worthless. As someone who’s been involved in the SEO world since 2003, I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in the art of SEO. And I must be doing something right, as my blog network generated ovre 300K pageviews in the month of January!

Joost de Valk, one of Europe’s top SEOs, spoke about WordPress SEO at the a4uexpo conference in London:

At almost an hour long, it’s a pretty long video.. But here’s the gist of what he’s saying:

  • Use SEO plug-ins (Headspace, All in One SEO Pack, SEO Title Tag, etc) to rank better in the search engines.
  • Manage your site structure – How to deal with potential duplicate content issues (date-based archives, tags, etc).
  • Use a pagination plugin to replace the default “older/newer entries” links.
  • Consider how you handle your internal linking, as well as dealing with moved/broken links.

Another great video on WordPress SEO is from Stephan Spencer at Wordcamp 2008 in San Francisco. He touches on some other points that I’ve never seen mentioned before, and you can watch the video here:

He spent some time talking about pagerank sculpting, a topic that’s gotten a lot of attention recently. He suggests that you nofollow your category and archive links. I haven’t found a plugin out there that does this, so I reached out to him to get his take on this. His response: “I know of no plugin. You’ll need to hack the template files. Sorry I don’t have better news.

So I did some more digging, when I stumbled across this thread on the WordPress support forums. Otto42’s suggestion on there appears to have worked prior to WordPress 2.5.1, but recordinghacks has an ugly workaround at the bottom of that page. The solution is not for the novice WP user, and would need to be reapplied each time a new version of WordPress is released.

I have almost 50 WordPress sites, so this “hack” won’t really work for me. In Joost’s video, he made reference to his Meta Robots WordPress plugin. This plugin allows you to set meta tags to individual pages. Will this accomplish the same thing? I’m not so sure. As it is, my robots.txt doesn’t allow the bots to access the categories, archives, or tags pages.

But is that precious link juice still leaking over there? I just don’t know enough about how Google treats situations like this to say conclusively one way or another.

If you’ve got any thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!


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6 Responses to “The Ins and Outs of WordPress SEO”

  1. John says:

    If it’s of interest, HeadSpace now has a module to configure follow/nofollow on different links (including category & archive).

  2. The Ins and Outs of WordPress SEO…

    Search Engine Optimization is vital to the success of your blog! You can write the best content in the world, but if no one finds your blog, it’s worthless. As someone who’s been involved in the SEO world since 2003, I consider myself to be pretty well…

  3. bbrian017 says:

    Awesome post! It’s hard to find good and legit content regarding wordpress and SEO. See the basic are simply as mentioned I have the All in One SEO Pack but that’s about it.

    I will look into the others. I think I’m most interested in the SEO Title Tag. This looks and sounds like it could help a lot. Tags get indexed very well from what I seen at the 8 blogs I own.

    I’m not sure how you manage over 50 wordpress sites but wow the ideal is very impressive!

    Thanks for being so cool about the track backs too!

    Cheers,

    Brian

    bbrian017´s last blog post: How to manage follow up sales calls and call backs

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