WordPress SEO plugins updated July 2nd 2011.
WordPress is very good out the box for SEO, but it’s not perfect, so a combination of a good WordPress SEO theme like my Talian 05 Search Engine Optimization Theme with a few select WordPress SEO Plugins and WordPress becomes a brilliant WordPress SEO CMS.
Some of the SEO WordPress plugins I used to use like the aLinks plugin are no longer updated, so I’ve had to find alternatives (WordPress plugins no longer recommended still listed at the bottom). Also found a few other useful WordPress plugins.
Recommended WordPress SEO Plugins
The SEO WordPress plugins below are in no particular order. Some I use on all WordPress sites I own, some I use on a small set of WordPress sites.
Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin
The Stallion WordPress SEO plugin was created by yours truly, it’s role is to conserve link benefit from parts of a WordPress site you don’t want indexing. WordPress login/admin pages, monthly archives are the most obvious uses of this WordPress SEO plugin.
If you currently use plugins to noindex and nofollow parts of your site like the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin you are wasting/deleting a lot of link benefit the Stallion WordPress SEO plugin can recover.
Read more about the Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin.
Post Teaser WordPress SEO Plugin
Found this WordPress plugin a while ago, out the box it’s OK, though the plugin creator used the anchor text “More” for links rather than the name of the post. More, Click Here, Home are terrible words from an SEO perspective to use for text links, so don’t do it, it’s bad, wrong, BIG SEO mistake )
My SEO version of the Post Teaser plugin creates an excerpt of a post automatically, like if you added the more tag within your posts and links to the main post using the title of the post as anchor text (basic SEO to use relevant keywords for all text links).
If you’ve bought an AdSense + SEO WordPress theme from this site (or downloaded one of the Free WordPress SEO themes) you’ll have noticed they already automatically create an excerpt of a post (excerpts on archive pages reduces the chances of having duplicate content problems) so why do we need this WordPress plugin?
The excerpt version of my WordPress SEO themes strips all HTML formatting from the excerpt text (links, images etc… are removed). On some WordPress sites like affiliate sites with affiliate links that you really don’t want affiliate links from your home page this is a good thing, but on sites where you want all links (and images) to be counted by Google for both SEO and usability reasons the plain text excerpt version is far from ideal.
For example my wife’s site Happy People Good Karma Blog has a lot of images and YouTube videos, the archive pages of the site looks better (better usability) and is better SEO wise having excerpts that include HTML formatting.
Not completely essential, but looks good and helps with search engine optimization if you have links in the top of your posts text. I use this WordPress plugin on all WordPress sites except affiliate type sites where I don’t want affiliate links repeated on archive type pages (wastes less link benefit).
A new plugin author has taken this plugin on and created an update (November 2010), I’ve used this plugin for my version below, basically adding SEO’d defaults. If you upgraded to the new version (via the WordPress built in update page) and now have double continue reading links and awful anchor text download the file below, and upload over the /post-teaser/ folder. Now go to the Post Teaser admin page (under Settings >> Post Teaser on your Dashboard). Near the bottom click the “Reset to Defaults” button. This will overwrite the awful anchor text settings and search engine optimise the continue reading link.
Download Post Teaser SEO Plugin updated: November 2010 to new version (works fine in WordPress 3.0.1: November 2010).
Contextual Related Posts SEO Version
Note: recently found this plugin is generating a lot of database queries on some sites especially if it’s a big site. Not looked into why yet, if you are running the Stallion Theme the database queries are shown in the footer of every page when you are logged in. I’ve found this plugin can add a couple of hundred database queries on some sites (not good, ideally you’d keep it below 100). If you find your site has a lot of database queries with this Related Posts plugin I recommend using the other Related Posts plugin (see later) that has less features.
Been using the Related Posts WordPress SEO Plugin (see next plugin below) for years and the Contextual Related Posts Plugin does the same thing, but better. This plugin shows related posts, but also adds thumbnails at the side of the listing.
You can see this WordPress plugin in action at the bottom of Talian 5 Theme Support.
I’ve incorporated the code into Stallion 6 and the zip file below is setup so you don’t have to make any configuration changes to the plugin to work with Stallion 6. Not fully tested with Talian 5 yet (this is not incorporated into the Talian 5 or other themes code on this site), if you have problems try the plugin settings.
Note: I’ve added a bug fix to the zip file below, I contacted the plugin author at least a month ago and he said he’d incorporate the fix into the original plugin. So far no update, so I’ve disabled auto update in the zip file below so it doesn’t break the bug fix or the changes I made to work with Stallion 6 with no extra setup.
Download Contextual Related Posts SEO Version updated: March 2011.
Related Posts WordPress SEO Plugin
This is an amazing WordPress plugin for mixing your content up a bit. When configured correctly it will post a list of related posts somewhere (I use it at the bottom) on a blog posts page. What it does is look for related posts, adds a link to that post and a short extract (you can have just the text link and no excerpt). If you have a lot of posts this can make a significant difference to your sites SERPs because relevant pages will automatically link together.
You can see this WordPress plugin in action at the bottom of Vapourer Moth Caterpillar Photograph. My wife takes amateur photographs of wildlife mostly, but she doesn’t have many moth or caterpillar photos, and currently (November 2010) there’s 2 related posts at the bottom of the page thanks to this WordPress plugin (she’s put about 400 of her photos on that site, so not bad accuracy to list just two of them).
I use this WordPress plugin on ALL my WordPress sites .
Download Related Posts SEO Plugin updated: January 2008.
Most Popular Posts WordPress Plugin
This is a replacement for the Popularity Contest SEO Plugin which is no longer supported/updated. The Most Popular Posts WordPress Plugin adds a widget with your most popular posts based on number of comments mostly. Basically adds links to the most popular posts which should keep them popular in search engines.
Not wrote much about this, but I use it on most of my sites (highly recommended)
©Feed Plugin : SEO Version
This WordPress plugin adds copyright information to your RSS feeds, you can use the plugin to add text links back to your site from sites that scrape your content via your RSS feed. The original CopyFeed plugin is good, I’ve created an SEO version that’s better that you can download below.
The CopyFeed SEO Version can do everything the original does, plus by default links to your home page with the title of your site as the anchor text (strange this wasn’t a default option, seems obvious). I’ve created a search engine optimized default settings for the plugin that require little setup.
Activate the plugin, go to the plugins options page (under Settings >> ©Feed), paste the suggested “Possible key” into the “digital fingerprint” box, scroll near the bottom and click the “Update Options” button.
This will give every post in your RSS feed a link back to that post, a link back to up to three related posts and a link back to home. All with search engine optimized anchor text. If a lot of sites scrape your content this could generate a lot of backlinks (not high quality, but they all help). You can change the defaults, those are the settings I use.
You can confirms it’s worked by checking your RSS feed page (reload it a few times if the links don’t show).
Download CopyFeed SEO Plugin updated: September 2011 (works fine in WordPress 3.2.1: September 2011).
Remove Links in Comments WordPress SEO Plugin
This is a very good SEO plugin, when a comment is made with a text based URL (like http://www.domain.com/) WordPress automatically converts it into a text link with a nofollow attribute (adds the relevant HTML code to turn it into a clickable link). Since nofollow attributes delete link benefit/PR we need to limit the number of nofollow links on our sites and this WordPress plugin helps. When the plugin is activated text based URLs are no longer converted to clickable links, they remain basic text like this:
The benefit is obvious, no wasted link benefit through a nofollow link, the disadvantage is it means your visitors have to copy and paste the URL to visit the site. I think protecting a sites SEO is more important.
This WordPress plugin does not work with links where the commenter added the HTML code
<a href="http://www.domain.com/">Anchor Text</a>
these will still generate a nofollow attribute. What I do is manually edit these comments and delete the HTML parts of the links and convert to just the URL. Nofollow links delete link benefit, remove them all.
Note to Stallion WordPress SEO Theme users, this is a Stallion theme feature (no need to install this plugin).
SEO Smart Links WordPress Plugin
SEO Smart Links is a replacement for the aLinks WordPress plugin that is no longer actively supported and doesn’t always work (if aLinks is working on a blog it’s fine, but some can’t get it to install). The SEO Smart Links WordPress plugin can change keywords within the body text of posts, pages and comments into keyword rich links. This plugin is better than the aLinks plugin I used to use, it can block adding a link within header code (H1, H2 etc…) that aLinks couldn’t do and the number of keywords to link out from works (a feature never implemented in aLinks). Unlike the aLinks plugin, SEO Smart Links will link from the body of comments as well.
Unlike most of the WordPress plugins I recommend for SEO reasons, this is actually a true SEO plugin (was created for SEO reasons). Most of the other plugins I recommend aren’t specifically designed for SEO usage.
I’ve not used this WordPress SEO Plugin on many sites yet, just haven’t got around to installing it etc… (me being lazy). You can see it in action on my original SEO Tutorial page (wrote that SEO Tutorial 4+ years ago). Every text link in the comments are due to this WordPress SEO plugin.
Warning: use this SEO plugin with care when linking to a network of sites. For example I have several search engine optimization relevant sites and if for example every time I used the phrase “WordPress SEO” I linked it to my WordPress SEO Tutorial it could get quite link spammy fast, especially if you linked to half a dozen different pages to an external domain! My advice is only use this WordPress plugin for internal linking (excessive internal linking isn’t an SEO concern, it won’t cause a penalty for link spamming) and manually add links to other domains so you can limit the number of links.
I use the default SEO Smart Links WordPress Plugin from: http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/wordpress-plugins/seo-smart-links
Vladimir Prelovac creates some very good WordPress plugins, well worth a look at his other plugins: I use several including his Smart YouTube plugin http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/wordpress-plugins/smart-youtube that makes it easier to add embedded YouTube videos (my wife appreciates this plugin for her sites a lot as it’s much easier for her to add a video using the plugin, she’s not as comfortable with code as I am ).
WP-PageNavi WordPress Plugin
This WordPress plugin adds a new navigation menu near the bottom of archive pages (home, category, monthly etc…). By default WordPress themes have a Next and Previous links which from an SEO perspective means deeper content does not get a great deal of PR/link power!
By installing WP-PageNavi archive pages will now link to up to 7 archive pages (can be configured to show more/less) including the first page and the last in that archive set.
What this means is search engine spiders will be able to find your deeper archive pages easier, so with LARGE blogs more of your deeper content should be indexed.
I’ve created a built in style sheet for this plugin for Talian 05.
I use the default WP PageNavi SEO Plugin from: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-pagenavi/
This plugin author also creates some interesting WordPress plugins, well worth a look.
WordPress SEO Super Comments Plugin for Talian 05
I use a customized version of the SEO Super Comments Plugin from http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/wordpress-plugins. I couldn’t get the original SEO super Comments plugin to work with Talian 05, so had to dig deep into the plugins code and using a combination of hacking the theme and the plugin got it working exactly how I want it. Unfortunately this means my version of the SEO Super Comments Plugin only works correctly with Talian 05, so I send it with the Talian 05 theme zip file to customers only.
The SEO super Comments plugins takes your comments and turns them into post like pages. See this post like comment page for an example:
The Talian Sales/support page has around 300 comments and most of them are indexed as post like comment pages in Google thanks to this plugin (they can gain their own traffic/SERPs).
I’ve made significant SEO improvements to this plugin including limiting the post like comments to only comments with a reasonable number of words. Changed the title element of these new pages from the same title as the post the comments are from to the first 20 words of the comment (makes them more SEO unique). Also improved the linking back to the original post and to other comments by the same author.
Last time I checked the original SEO Super Comments plugin won’t work correctly in WordPress 2.9+ because of canonical URL issues. Basically WordPress added canonical URLs to posts and the post like comment pages inherit the canonical URL (means they won’t be indexed by search engines). To get it to work with Talian 05 I disabled canonical URLs in the theme (using remove_action (‘wp_head’, ‘rel_canonical’); in the themes functions.php file) and build them at theme level for all pages except the post like comment pages.
If I could get it to work with all themes I’d release my version of SEO Supper Comments here.
Note to Stallion WordPress SEO Theme users, this is a Stallion theme feature (no need to install this plugin).
WordPress Twitter Plugins
You can gain low quality backlinks by using WordPress Twitter plugins such as the TweetMeme plugin at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tweetmeme/ which adds a small button (there’s one on this page, the green Tweet/ReTweet button) that will Tweet your posts to TweetMeme and on your Twitter acount (you need a Twitter account)
And the Tweet Old Posts plugin from http://www.ajaymatharu.com/wordpress-plugin-tweet-old-posts/ that Tweets Old Posts automatically based on your settings.
Your Twitter links (on your Twitter account) are nofollow so have no SEO value, but some sites that copy Twitter feeds don’t use nofollow and so they count as backlinks. Not high quality backlinks, but they all help.
SEO WordPress Plugins in General
You may have noticed most of the WordPress plugins above are not real SEO plugins, this is because I put as much of the SEO into the themes code. There are plugins like the All In One SEO WordPress plugin (see my All in One SEO Plugin Review) and the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin (see my Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review) that add meta tags, create custom title elements, but the WordPress template code is very versatile and so you don’t need these SEO plugins as long as when making a WordPress template you know what you are doing from an SEO perspective.
In the case of the All In One SEO Plugin and the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin if you don’t know what you are doing you can seriously damage your sites search engine optimization by adding thousands of nofollow/noindex links that delete link benefit/PR!!! I would never advise using the All In One SEO Plugin/Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin for those reasons, it adds nothing useful to a WordPress site and in the wrong hands can seriously damage SERPs!
If you’ve bought one of my templates and want to see how much effort goes into the SEO coding open up header.php into a text editor and compare it to a header.php from any other WordPress theme you have. All that code is how we get the targeted title elements in various types of blog pages rather than the standard title of most WordPress themes.
If you are one of my theme customers don’t use the All In One SEO Plugin and the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin it adds duplicate meta tags and messes the title elements of the theme up.
If you’ve bought a WordPress theme from the site and feel it would benefit from a specific plugin support (for SEO reasons mainly) please let me know. I wasn’t going to add widget support, but customers kept pestering me about it and they were right.
Old WordPress SEO Plugins no Longer Recommended
Alinks WordPress SEO Plugin
Been using the Alinks WP plugin for a while, not specifically an SEO plugin (no plugin on this page is really an SEO plugins), but when used correctly it makes using internal linking easy.
Open up the SEO Blog Templates with AdSense page and you’ll currently find 8 text links within the content of that blog post. I manually added 2 of those links (the Rounders and the Scribe BlogSpot links) the remaining 6 links are automatically added by the Alinks plugin.
When Alinks is installed you open up one of the modules, add a keyword and list where you want that keyword to link to when that word or phrase is used within a post.
For example I want the word SEO to link to the home page of my SEO Consultant Services site (so yes you can link to other sites as well).
Very useful from an SEO point of view since manually adding links to a large site is a pain, this takes the hard work out of internal linking.
No longer supported, use the “SEO Smart Links WordPress Plugin” above which is better.
Download Alinks SEO Plugin updated: January 2008.
Popularity Contest WordPress SEO Plugin
With this plugin installed all your posts are rated according to various factors including the number of comments. This score as represented as a % is then shown at the bottom of each post with 100% being very popular.
The top posts are then linked on the menu giving easy access to your most popular posts to visitors and search engines (if a post is popular adding more links is probably a good idea).
I wouldn’t use this with WordPress 3+, see the “Most Popular Posts WordPress Plugin” above (much better).
Download WordPress 2.5 Popularity Contest SEO Plugin updated: May 2008.
Please note the original Popularity Contest plugin no longer works with WordPress 2.5. Fortunately I found 2 fixes which are included in the file above to bring this plugin back to life
Download WordPress 2.3 Popularity Contest SEO Plugin updated: January 2008.
If you haven’t updated to WordPress 2.3 please use the file below.
Download Pre WP 2.3 Popularity Contest SEO Plugin updated: January 2008.
I no longer use this plugin because it’s not been kept up to date and it’s very heavy on server usage (a lot of MySQL queries) that’s caused issues on popular sites of mine. It’s a nice WordPress plugin, but needs updating and making more efficient and with the other Popularity Plugin I’ve found not needed.