How many times you have read about WordPress being the best blogging and CMS platform? Certainly a lot of from me.
One of the reasons we say WordPress is so great is because it has the best possible SEO options. But this is completely untrue! Let me be very clear: WordPress is not SEO friendly.
At least, the default WordPress installation is not…
If you, like many others, believe that your stock installation of WordPress will get you great search engine ranking, or even good ranking in search engines, you are misinformed.
WordPress needs a hell of a lot of SEO to make it search engine friendly. But luckily, making your WordPress blog SEO friendly is quite easy with the help of WordPress SEO plugins.
Here, I will outline some of the default settings of WordPress which are not SEO friendly, and what you should do to change that.
What changes will make your WordPress blog SEO friendly?
Honestly, there are a hell of a lot of plugins out there, and you might get tired of installing plugins for everything.
So, if possible, try to get most things manually coded into the theme itself, and/or use a multi-purpose SEO plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast which is free and the best.
The WordPress default permalink is as bad as SEO settings offered by WordPres go.
The default permalink looks like this:
And I have seen many new WordPress blogs using the default permalink, which is definitely not recommended. If you have read my WordPress essential setup guide, you might not be making this mistake. But if you are still doing this, it’s time to change your permalink structure to a more search engine friendly version.
I have already covered this in detail in my earlier guide:
- How To Optimize WordPress Permalinks for SEO
Replytocom and Other URL Parameters
This is another big SEO issue with WordPress.
If you check out your comment box reply link, it will show something like:
I have faced this issue in the past, and this became one of the big issues when my site got penalized by Google Panda.
There are many fixes for this. You can use the WordPress SEO by Yoast permalink options to fix it, or you can use URL parameter settings in your Google Webmaster tool.
There are many other such URL parameters which are used by WordPress (usually because of new WordPress plugins and/or theme settings), and you should use the Webmaster tool’s URL parameter settings to make sure your blog never gets victimized because of this WordPress SEO issue.
SEO Title and Meta Description
Whenever we talk about SEO friendly blogs, we can’t miss out on one of the most common optimization techniques: SEO titles and meta descriptions.
I remember someone asking WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg in 2009 at a WordCamp event about integrating a plugin like All In One SEO in WordPress by default to make it SEO friendly. Matt answered by saying they want these things to be optional because there are so many plugins out there, and the user should pick the one that suits them the best.
- The Problem with Unlimited WordPress SEO Plugins
Though, in my opinion, it would be good if Automattic added an SEO feature into the stock WordPress installation. This would help new users make their on-page SEO stronger. But for now, you can always use any of these SEO plugins to add an SEO meta title and SEO meta description.
Many WordPress themes like Thesis, Genesis, and many others also offer this feature as part of the theme. But remember, don’t get confused with all of the SEO plugin options out there; just pick one and stick to it.
WordPress Loading Speed
The loading time of your pages is one of the factors in search engine ranking, and WordPress is one of the most memory-hogging platforms out there.
Well, not exactly.
The stock version is ok, but when you keep adding new plugins and themes, over time your database size grows. When this happens, your site slows down.
You also may have a slow loading website because you have a bad host.
WordPress is working hard to optimize future version of WordPress to be faster, but I highly doubt if we can get the kind of speed Google needs with just stock WordPress.
But again, WordPress is great because there’s a plugin for everything.
WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are two of the best plugins out there for optimizing your WordPress blog for SEO (in terms of speed).
Right now, I’m using the W3TC plugin for caching and improving the performance of my WordPress blog. I highly recommend you try it, too. Along with it, you can use the Smush.it plugin (or any of these plugins) to optimize images.
Also, work on limiting your plugins to make your blog load faster. From time to time, keep deleting your post revisions, and clean your database for any redundant tables.
These are just a few features which make standard WordPress blogs non-SEO friendly. There are many other things which every WordPress user should do to make his/her blog optimized for search engines.
- Create A Sitemap For Your WordPress Blog
- Control Indexing Of Tags And Categories Pages
- Write SEO Articles
Is WordPress a bad platform for blogging?
Of course not!
It’s actually the best!
The reason why is because the WordPress platform is one of the easiest platforms for any novice blogger to optimize for search engines. With the availability of high-functioning plugins, you can do everything you need to do in order to achieve search engine success.
- Why WordPress Is Better Than BlogSpot
- Why WordPress Is The Best Blogging Platform
Here are a few more WordPress SEO articles, which will help you in making your WordPress blog more search engine friendly:
- 5 Basic WordPress SEO Practices For Bloggers
- How To Perform WordPress Blog SEO
- How To Optimize WordPress Robots.txt File For SEO
- How To Deindex WordPress Tags & Categories From Google Search
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