WordPress and search engine optimization

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KBleivik
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WordPress and search engine optimization

Postby KBleivik » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:11 am

Very often it is better to read a book, both in electronic (PDF) and paper format than reading online articles. I like the simple and up to date PDF books from Packt Publishing. Recently I bought the book

WordPress 3 Search Engine Optimization

in PDF format. Reading that book on my laptop without being connected to the internet has several advantages to me personally. I can sit outside (I have a wireless internet connection to my laptop) and read the book. I can read the book without clicking the links I constanly do when I am connected to the internet. If I later want to check the links, I can search for (CTRL + F) the following terms in Acrobat reader:
  • www
  • .com
and similar terms. Then I find the next URL by hitting F3.

The above book is a must read for every user of Word Press. I will say that after having read less than 100 pages, the book has more than paid for the PDF price. It is generally well known that WordPress does a lot of search engine optimization for you by default. The following query:

matt cutts wordpress seo

should be more than enough to convice you about that. In addition study Google suggest for:

matt cutts wordpress

I have been a WebProWorld member since may 2005. For some months in 2009 I was the member with the highest rating. I know a lot about search engine optimization and I know most of the key word tools that Michael David mention in the book. Google sets was new to me. Google sets takes as input one to five words and returns a lager set of related terms. An even better advice is how you may be able to dominate your local market by understanding your geographic location and last but not least, the demographics in that area. Building keywords with location names is well known to bring traffic to your site unless you overoptimize and stuff keywords. Applying long tail theory to local search can also be very effective. I found one chapter very interesting,
Following the people, following the money.

Who is your customer and where do the people with the money live? To answer this question he mentionS another tool that is new to me: WebFoot maps. If you target the regions where the tool is available, a fast look at the service should be enough to convince you about the generic search engine optimization value.

As I told above, I have not finished reading the book, but I will mention another method that can ease the job for Bots that visit your site. I use robots.txt on my own sites to block bots from parts they shall not visit. WordPress is efficient and automatizes a lot of tasks for you as a web master. The code is compact, but not always flexible. I have also experienced that themes and plugins can conflict with default installations. Menus that are good for visitors are most often good for search engine bots. I have experinced how a theme did not allow automatic menu constructions. That can be very frustrating and reduce user friendliness on your site. So the message is.

Test and retest a theme and a plugin before you use it.

Google the theme and see if it overwrites some of the default installations. If the theme or plugin function on your test server it may not function on you production server on the internet. So test it there too. Did your menus disappear after you installed the new theme? Do the function as before. The best solution can of course be to develop your own themes by modifying the theme that is installed by default? It is fast to change colour and bacground images. The more the theme you develope is separated from the default theme, the greater is the probability that you will experience problems with plugins and future updates of Wordpress. So my advice is unless you intend to use much time on this, be conservative on changing the default theme's functionality.

Most of the inbuilt functionality of WordPress is good for SEO, but there are things that are counter productive from a SEO standpoint. One obvious example is duplicate content. In the way topics, archives, posts, excerpts and pages are organized by default in WordPress, content are duplicated in different areas of your site. This may be good for people, but may confuse Bots. As explained above, I use robots.txt to block bots from parts of my sites. The same easy technique can be used to block bots from raising a duplicate content flag. You locate the relevant folders in your WordPress installation and block bots from these folders. In addition it saves bandwith and the burdon on your web server.

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