Comment on Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review by SEO Gold Services.
The biggest issue I have with your Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is the nofollow attributes it adds and to a lesser degree noindex**
** Noindex doesn’t delete link benefit, but it does waste it as it’s not helping rank a page that’s indexed (basically the PR/link benefit of a noindex page isn’t used on that page, it’s just passed on through links minus the damping factor). If you noindex your categories for example and they are all decent PR, the PR link benefit flowing through the category pages will go to the post pages etc… (assuming you haven’t nofollowed as well). But the initial link benefit that flows into the category pages isn’t generating SERPs for the category pages.
Imagine how stupid it would be to noindex your home page (the page that tends to gain most link benefit), yes the pages of your site will still get their link benefit, but the home page would gain no SERPs (other than SERPs related to anchor text of incoming links). I don’t see how the category, tags and even the monthly archive (which rarely rank for anything) pages are any different to the home page (any page)?
If you are sending link benefit/PR through a page have it do something, don’t use noindex unless there’s a really good reason for doing so.
My problem with nofollow: You must have come across this post by Matt Cutts https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/pagerank-sculpting/ the important part regarding nofollow is:
So what happens when you have a page with “ten PageRank points” and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are nofollowed? Let’s leave aside the decay factor to focus on the core part of the question. Originally, the five links without nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each (in essence, the nofollowed links didn’t count toward the denominator when dividing PageRank by the outdegree of the page). More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each.
Although I don’t always believe everything Matt Cutts posts, he does work for Google and find it hard to believe on this nofollow point he’d be misleading us (nothing for Google to gain).
It’s clear from this a nofollow link deletes link benefit rather than conserve it as nofollow used to do and so webmasters should not use nofollow unless there’s a damn good reason to do so.
Look at the blinking trouble I’ve had to go to for my Talian theme (which used to use nofollow for links I didn’t want to pass link benefit through), I’ve had to use form buttons styled as text links just so I and my customers can have the login links on their blogs without deleting link benefit! The sad thing is I’m not trying to use this for black hat SEO reasons, just don’t want to waste link benefit on pages Google (and the vast majority of visitors) have no interest in.
I’ll quickly add I haven’t setup an SEO test on nofollow to test if link benefit is conserved as it used to be, so I’m taking Matt Cutt’s word on this point. I have to say with Google not showing PR on every page like it used to, it’s making some PageRank relevant tests really difficult to setup and maintain.
I can see you’ve put a lot of effort into your SEO plugin, (I like some of the ‘niche’ features, even though I wouldn’t consider them SEO features per se). I appreciate most options in the plugin can be turned off, though you should set it so the blank titles (or default settings if you go that way) are not active until after the user ticks an enable box or something (I just reviewed the All In One SEO Plugin and it’s making changes without being enabled fully!). If you can’t turn something off it’s not an option and currently you can’t turn titles off in your plugin.
I have to tell it how it is with an SEO plugin and I’m afraid the plugin currently does more SEO damage than benefit, especially in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand SEO.
Interestingly the All In One SEO plugin author has removed the nofollow feature of his plugin, at least in the free version (not seen the pro version). When I looked at the All In One SEO plugin about a year ago (I think) it still used nofollow.
Fair enough on your “No true SEO expert” point, (have edited that part of the review) your WP-Hacker post irritated me as I wasn’t insulting anyone, just saying it how it is (IMO of course, if I’m wrong I’ll happily admit it: if you knew me you’d know I love being proved wrong as it means I’ve discovered something I didn’t know or understand).