Yoast SEO Plugin Review updated March 2014. Reviewing Yoast WordPress […]
Continue Reading Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review
As we talked about in our Private email exchange, I found that my robots.txt file is highly accurate minus 2 references to trackbacks that Google will not recognize. I am constantly tuning and I am finding that minus a few quirks in the WordPress SEO plugin here that even my members are reporting faster indexing and changes with this plugin compared to Platinum SEO, All in One SEO, and SEO Ultimate. That cannot be a coincidence. My own tests have shown the same and even one of my test blogs that I was not intending to show to the world yet ended up indexed within an hour of the first post with every base page and the single post all indexed and on the first page already (very weak niche). The new update at version 1.8 and Version 1.9 of this plugin will take care of 99% of the issues that have been identified as I am curiously watching Joost’s updates on WordPress.org.
I am impressed and will continue to use the plugin since I use numerous themes. One SEO theme, while very solid in SEO is a great thing, users look for more on the sites they visit. Profitability comes from a mix of great SEO and a Value added site created with the user in mind and not primarily SEO.
You can have a perfect site SEO wise, but if a visitor thinks it looks like a junk or plain looking site, a lot of the time they will click away. Aesthetics are as important as SEO in determining how visitors react when they get to your sites. To look past this from a Marketing standpoint is as wrong as it gets. A solid SEO base with a user friendly site is the combination that breeds success rather than just enables it.
Impressed with the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast
The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin won’t speed up spidering of a site per se.
If you use the Yoast SEO plugin and use nofollow on most of your archive links (Categories, Monthly and Tags) there’s a lot less links to follow, (same as if you didn’t have all the archive types) so the pages that are left might be found slightly quicker (won’t increase the number of Googlebot visits though).
Less pages on a site (nofollow effectively hides pages) faster all the pages that can be spidered will be spidered.
This is not a reason to use an SEO plugin as nofollow is SEO damaging. What you might gain in slightly faster indexing (and it will be a minimal impact) you’ll loose several times over in decreased rankings because you are wasting so much link benefit.
Are you seriously going to use nofollow even though you’ve discovered what I wrote about nofollow and the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is true?
Regarding your robots.txt file there was potential issues, blocking Googlebot from all php, xhtml pages etc… and blocking the spidering of /wp-content/ and other pages like about/contact COULD cause problems with SOME setups (depends on what else is running on the site). If all that’s on the site is WordPress, probably OK.
I wouldn’t give that robots.txt file to a newbie looking for a robots.txt file as they could block parts of their site that are not WordPress files.
Not sure what you are getting at regarding SEO themes? The perfect setup would be 100% SEO’d theme AND a site built for users. My sites currently generate over 40,000 unique visitors a day. They are almost perfect SEO wise, user wise some are better than others (works in progress).
I’d rather start from a perspective of almost perfect SEO and get a lot of traffic and work on the user experience than have an awesome looking site that is rubbish SEO wise and gets no traffic.
I’ll add the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin does not improve a users experience as the vast majority of changes are behind the scenes and they are supposed to result in an SEO’d WordPress installation, but fails in key areas (deleting and wasting link benefit).
If the author removed the nofollow features and gave a warning on the noindex feature it wouldn’t be a bad SEO plugin, there’s some interesting features.
Yoast WordPress SEO plugin and Google spidering speed
I understand you are trying to sell your theme here and I appreciate that, but I have been doing this a long time. Not just a few weeks, months, or even a few years. I have been doing this for over 10 years. Auto Blogging heavily since Blog and Ping with Google Adsense worked.
I used themes that look just like the theme you have here. The big difference is I used these type of themes because they produced a lot of Adsense clicks.
Because they are plain looking and most people clicked on the Adsense Ads to find a better site. This was regardless of content and SEO. I built my sites (and still do) to have the best SEO and Content possible, but the fact remains that while I could always do very well with Adsense with these types of Themes, they never did well with other types of Affiliate Product promotions. The top of the page is what people first look at on a site and while the SEO may bring you in tons of visitors, it is not the number of visitors I am concerned with. It is the number of targeted buyers who like what they see, trust my content, and then click and buy what I want them to buy. SEO won’t pay the bills by itself.
And Yes, I like the SEO system that focuses the GoogleBot and other Search Engines to quickly index the Content that I WANT to be indexed. I want to define the Posts and Pages on my site that I WANT Google to spider and index because by doing this, I target my visitors and I target my affiliate and advertising campaigns.
You want to know the most important part of this equation? This works and IS WORKING right NOW. I fully understand your methodology on SEO, but you have to understand mine and why I do what I am doing. I am not trying to sell a theme here. I am creating keyword focused sites where Google knows where to go because I am telling it where to go and where I want it to go is to the Posts and Pages on my WordPress Blogs that are built to make money. All the other Posts and Pages I create are nothing but spider food that help direct the flow of Google and the visitors that come from it to exactly where I want them to and they buy. If they didn’t, I would be out of a job and my Members wouldn’t be very happy with me right now.
Wordpress Blogs that are built to make money
Not a date on the page. Not even on the comments. So how old is this WordPress SEO Plugin Review? A month? A year? Older? Is it even valid any more? (This comment added 4th of may, 2011).
The WordPress theme I’m using, Stallion, has an option to turn a WordPress blog into a CMS by hiding post dates and/or comment dates.
The Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review is ~6 months old and was valid when I last checked out the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin about 3 months ago.
The Yoast SEO Plugin author, Joost de Valk, appears to be in denial about the SEO problems with his plugin, (believes nofollow does no SEO damage despite the clear evidence!!!) so I don’t see him changing the plugin anytime soon.
Not a recommended WordPress SEO Plugin if you care about your sites SERPs.
Stallion SEO Theme Feature Turn Comment Dates Off
when you quote Matt Cutts above, he said: outgoing links! Yet you apply that to all links. Does the loss of pagerank flow occur even if I noindex nofollow internal links?
Why are you doing that? I could see this if you had mountains of internal links, but you need a quality “Follow” strategy for your Inner Links to funnel PR to the pages that mean the most to you on your site.
I can understand some things like category links, etc. But there are all kinds of tools out there to help you enhance inner linking. By using a standard No Index, No Follow methodology, you are actually hurting yourself unless your Home Page is the only page on your site you care about.
NoIndex, NoFollow Internal Links? Why?
Outgoing links means any link off a page whether it is to an internal page or an external site (off site links).
Matt Cutt’s wasn’t specifying only off site links because when it comes to PR they are treated the same. Every link off a page whether to an internal page or another site takes 1 equal share of the PageRank (Matt Cutt’s called it PageRank points for simplicity).
If you have a page with 100 links, 50 off site links, 50 internal links, each link receives 1/100th of the PageRank or 1 of 100 PageRank points.
If all the off site links are nofollow the 50 internal links still receive 1/100th of the PageRank each, the 50/100ths of PageRank from the nofollow links is deleted (50% of the PageRank is lost). The same is true if the internal links are all nofollow and the off site links are followed links.
Basically you shouldn’t use nofollow on ANY links it deletes link benefit whether the link is internal or off site.
The Stallion SEO Theme removes almost all nofollow links from WordPress: the only nofollow links it doesn’t remove are when a commenter adds a fully formed text link within the body of a comment (I delete them manually). The site you are on now uses Stallion and there are ZERO nofollow links on this site. For example the link you added to your author name isn’t actually a link it’s a form button that looks like a text link, acts like a text links (only difference is you can’t right click it and open in new tab/window), but Google etc… doesn’t treat forms as links (no link benefit is passed or lost). All other so called WordPress SEO themes add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to author comment links (it’s part of WordPress core code) which passes no benefit to the authors site, but does delete link benefit.
If you use a WordPress theme other than Stallion you should delete all URLs added by your commenter’s unless you don’t mind having your link benefit wasted. If you use the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin do not use the nofollow features. I have a replacement plugin at Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin that can stop sections of a WordPress site being indexed in Google without deleting link benefit.
Matt Cutt's Internal Links and Off Site Links
I just noticed this page has no meta description and also no meta keyword tags. Interestingly enough though I can see its on a WordPress 3.2.1 site. Any particular reason why its carrying two different canonical URLs? Terence.
Thanks for noticing the canonical URL feck up, I’d posted an example canonical URL code in the main Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review article and forgot to add the code tags!!
Should have looked like this in the article:
In this case the main URL is https://stallion-theme.co.uk/talian-adsense-ready-wordpress-theme/ and to avoid SERPs problems it make sense to set the main page as the canonical URL on all the paged comments like so in the head (view source of page 3 of the comments):<link rel="canonical" href="https://stallion-theme.co.uk/talian-adsense-ready-wordpress-theme/" />
In this case the main URL is https://stallion-theme.co.uk/talian-adsense-ready-wordpress-theme/ and to avoid SERPs problems it make sense to set the main page as the canonical URL on all the paged comments like so in the head (view source of page 3 of the comments):
<link rel="canonical" href="https://stallion-theme.co.uk/talian-adsense-ready-wordpress-theme/" />
Missed the code tags which meant it rendered within the post as a working canonical URL (though it wasn’t in the head so probably ignored), fixed now. Will have to check I’ve not messed up any SERPs, doesn’t look like it since this article ranks well for Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin SERPs.
Wrote the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review before Stallion Responsive which meant like other WordPress themes when you add code you want to show as code and not render you have to convert some of the code into their respective character code (change < signs to their character code <) and I used to do the conversion after finishing a post (long post = forgot).
Stallion includes functions to convert code within code tags into code as you see above so you don’t have to mess around with converting < signs.
WordPress version number
This is a theme site, people like you and I check the source code to see what version of WordPress a theme is running on. As a side note when I don’t see a WordPress generator output or an obvious indication of WordPress version (can get it from the RSS feed and sometimes it’s attached to loading js/css files) I check domain.com/readme.html file. Anyway, there’s a Stallion setting to disable the WordPress version number, it’s set to disable by default for security reasons for users who let their WordPress sites go out of date. Realistically though it’s not a very strong security feature, won’t stop hackers checking your site for a vulnerability.
Meta tags are also built into Stallion, but as they have no ranking value (they don’t increase SERPs) and I’m rubbish at writing compelling ad copy for the meta description tag (no point having one if it doesn’t increase CTR from a Google SERP) I choose to let Google determine the meta description from the content/SERP. There’s no SEO value in having a meta keywords tag, if it was only me using Stallion I’d remove it completely.
There’s hundreds of options in Stallion, heck of a lot of features and core WordPress functions can be turned on/off.
Forgot to add WordPress Code Tags Around Code!!!
The Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin has been updated since I wrote the review above, currently the WordPress SEO Plugin is in version 1.0.3. One of the features of the Stallion Theme is a set of warnings when using the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin with the SEO damaging settings (under Stallion Advanced SEO) and I was updating those warnings, some database options etc… have changed resulting in some warnings no longer working (will be updated in Stallion Responsive).
The plugin still has the same SEO mistakes for the most part, still noindexes important parts of a site and adds nofollow links which is so SEO damaging it’s use should be banned.
That being said did find one good SEO update under Indexation : Archive Settings, all three settings should be set to ON:
Disable the author archives Disable the date-based archives Disable the post format archives
for my sites and those who follow my SEO advise to the letter on what archives to use you won’t need these settings, but for those who have made the SEO mistake of using dated archives and author archives I strongly advise using these settings if you are a Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin user despite the SEO issues above. This will 301 redirect link benefit etc… from the dated archives to the home page. This can help recover the lost link benefit from the mistake of using dated archives.
As a side note the Stallion Responsive theme has options can achieve the same result with canonical URLs.
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review Update
It only took about 15 months from first writing this review, but the latest version of the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin doesn’t add more nofollow links to a WordPress site.
About bloody time, Joost de Valk (plugin author) argued nofollow wasn’t SEO damaging despite all the evidence and left the damaging nofollow features in his WordPress SEO plugin for at least a year damaging countless webmasters SERPs!
Better late than never I suppose, would have been better to admit being wrong in 2010 and update the WordPress SEO plugins code ASAP, but I guess that would have made him look bad.
I don’t understand people who don’t learn from others, I’m fecking awesome at SEO, but I’m not infallible, I’m sure I’m wrong about something SEO wise and if someone pointed that out to me (proved I was wrong) I’d thank them for improving my understanding of something very important to me (I do it all the time in other areas if my understanding).
I guess it’s my science background, good scientists want their understanding to be challenged and expanded upon, it’s how we as a species move forward. Denying the truth because you don’t want to admit you are wrong holds back progress, the SEO plugin’s code has been wrong for over a year, if this was something important that’s a years potential progress lost.
The plugin still uses noindex to block sections you don’t want indexing, this still wastes link benefit, but it’s no where near as damaging as adding nofollow links. Now if he took the canonical code I’m using with the Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin which ONLY deals with conserving link benefit (this plugin is built into Stallion Responsive), Joast would have a WordPress SEO plugin that causes no SEO damage. I’m not that bothered about developing WordPress plugins (already have too much work with SEO clients and WordPress SEO themes!), I have no problem with a plugin developer using the canonical URL concept to improve a WordPress SEO plugin. You never know I might use/recommend it, if it improved the Stallion SEO theme output.
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin No Longer Uses Nofollow
Hi, I’m a little confused by the plugin setting wording. In the ‘indexation rules’ section, does checking the boxes mean that you are allowing or disallowing indexation of those features? In the ‘archive settings’ section, I see it is more obvious, as it states ‘disable’ in the check box text.