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Wordpress SEO - Presented at SMX Sydney 2011
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Wordpress SEO - Presented at SMX Sydney 2011


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  • 1. WordPress SEO
    Rob Kerry (@robkerry)
    Head of Search / Co-founder
  • 2. WordPress– Background
    Two forms of WordPressblog– Download the PHP source code and self-host– Let Automattic(WordPress) host it for you
    WordPress.comhosts over 18 million blogs
    395 new posts are published every minute
    Over 300 comments are posted every minute
    Better than the rest? is the biggest competitor, but very restrictive
    Movable Type is one of the oldest blog platforms, but very clunky
  • 3. WordPress– Not just a boring blog
  • 4. Potential Uses – An easy to use CMS
  • 5. Potential Uses – An e-commerce platform
    Icon Dock uses WP e-Commerce to add a shop to their WordPresssite.Plug-in:
  • 6. Potential Uses – A Q&Asupport platform
    I created a Q&A platform at using Gravity Forms and WordPress! AnswersPlug-ins: and
  • 7. WordPress– It won’t get jealous
    WordPressdoes not have to run your entire site
    Can sit happily in a subfolder or on a subdomaini.e. or
    Works on both Windows and Linux platformsDon’t believe your IT Department if they say it won’t work ;o)
    Ayima recommends choosing a subfolder set-up
    Subfolders inherit the authority and trust of the root domain
    Google often treats subdomains as new and untrusted websites
  • 8. WordPress– It’s good news for Google News
    An easy platform to roll-out for Google News inclusion
    Change all references/links/URLs of “blog” to “news”
    Rotate news articles under 3+ WordPressusernames
    Many WP themes have an “Authors Page” which can be handy for proving that you have multiple authors
    Use Google News friendly Permalinks in WordPress:
  • 9. WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast
    “Wordpress SEO” by Yoast is currently the best plugin for optimising WordPress
    Live-edit your Page Title and Meta Description for each post
    Implement the Canonical Link Tag properly across your site
    Manage your robots.txt file
    Clean up your <head> tag
    Generate XML Sitemaps
    Download from:
  • 10. WP Minify Plugin
    “WP Minify” is a fantastic plugin for SEO
    Strips out all whitespace, comments and unnecessary code
    Compresses HTML on-the-fly, speeding up your page loading times
    Merges local JavaScript and CSS files, reducing number of file requests
    Cleans out self-promotional plugin author comments from your code
    Download from:
  • 11. WordPress– Designers aren’t SEOs
    Designers are not SEOs, even if they claim to make “SEO friendly” WordPressthemes
    Make sure that the <h1> tag is used on the homepage for a descriptive title and not for the logo
    Remove multiple instances of <h1> tags and the unnecessary usage of <h2> tags in the theme
  • 12. WordPress– Canonical fun times
    A common SEO mistake with WordPressinvolves the Canonical <link> tag…e.g. <link rel=“canonical” href=“” />
    Some SEO plugins leave off the trailing slash in URLs, which many web servers then 301 redirect to the “/” URLe.g. <link rel=“canonical” href=“” />
    Others just respond with whatever URL is in the browser
    Test yours by adding /?test=123 to the end of your homepage URLe.g.
  • 13. WordPress– Let me count the ways…
    Category Hell and the spawn of Satan's Archives
    Do you need an Archive for every month of the year?
    Do individual Authors need a 5 page index of their previous posts?
    I know that it came with the theme, but who actually needs a Print Version of your “Florida Plastic Mouldings Guild” blog?
    Most blogs/sites only need one set of Categories, so remove the useless extra filters and boost the authority of important pages on your site
  • 14. WordPress– I didn’t say that… did I?
    Have you been drunk-blogging again?
    Deleted posts can stick around for a while, even after using the Google Webmaster Tools removal tool
    Do yourself a favour (and help other search engines) by serving a 410 HTTP Status code on the deleted post’s URL via your htaccess file
    Open up your .htaccess file and add:Redirect 410 /news/your-momma-is-so-fat.html(or whatever the deleted post’s URL was)
  • 15. WordPress– The infinite website
    By default, the internal search result pages on WordPressare indexable
    Competitors can negatively harm your site by posting links to these search pages using comment spame.g.<keyword>
    Adding hundreds of thousands of new pages to your site makes it hard for Google to index properly
    Protect yourself by adding Disallow: /*?s= into your robots.txt file
  • 16. WordPress– Naughty SEOs create bad plugins
    WordPressisn’t Nirvana – Don’t trust everyone
    SEOs build themes and plugins that secretly inject links into your site, risking penalties
    Wannabe SEOs create crappy “SEO Plugins”
    Can actually end up breaking your site
    Unintentionally harm your site’s SEO
    You’re usually safe with the masses – check reviews
  • 17. WordPress– Security
    Stop search engines from indexing sensitive files
    Add an extra password challenge to your admin folder:
    Remove WordPress references from your HTML:
    Remove the “admin” user and don’t use “wp_” as your MySQL table prefix
  • 18. WordPress– Hosting
    Don’t use cheap hosting if you value your website/blog
    Some shared hosting accounts can be compromised
    Blackhat SEOs can embed links into your old blog posts
    Make sure that your web host’s server is completely locked down
    I recommend: - A US based specialist secure Wordpress host - A UK based clustered hosting platform
  • 19. Thanks for listening!
    Rob Kerry
    Twitter: @robkerry