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WordPress is Not SEO Friendly & How to Fix it?

WordPress is Not SEO Friendly & How to Fix it?

WordPress SEO friendly How many times you have read about WordPress is one of the best blogging platform and upcoming CMS platform. And one of the reason is WordPress offers best possible SEO options. Though, this is completely untrue and let me clear it out: WordPress is not SEO friendly. Not atleast the default WordPress installation.

Like many others if you also believe, that your stock installation of WordPress without making any changes will get you great search engine ranking or even good ranking in search engines, you are mis-informed. WordPress needs a hell lot of SEO setup to make it search engine friendly. Though the good point is, 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 make it romance with Search engine.

What changes will make your WordPress blog SEO friendly?

Honestly, there are hell lot of plugins out there and you might get tired of installing plugin for everything. So, try to get most of things manually coded in the theme itself (If possible) or use multi-purpose SEO plugins like WordPress SEO by yoast which is free and so far one of the best.

WordPress Permalink:

WordPress default permalink is bad ass SEO settings offered by WordPress. In the recent version they have added new permalink options (%postname%) but again the default permalink looks like this:

http://domain.com/?p=XX

And I have seen many new WordPress blogs using the default permalink, which is not recommended. If you have read my WordPress essential setup guide, you might not be making this mistake, but if you have’t it’s time to change your permalink to more search engine friendly version one. I have already covered about this in detail in my earlier guide on How to optimize WordPress permalink for SEO.

Replytocom and other URL parameters:

This is another big SEO issue with WordPress which many of you might have faced or about to face it. If you would check out your comment box reply link, it will show something like: http://domain.com/%postname%&replytocom=1#respond

I have faced this issue in the past and this become one of the issue when my site got penalized by Panda last year. Their are many fixes for this and the best one is right from your WordPress blog. You can use WordPress SEO by yoast permalink option to fix it or another easy way to use URL parameter setting in Google Webmaster tool.

This is just one example, and there are many others such URL parameters which are used by WordPress (usually because of new WordPress plugins or theme settings), and you should use Webmaster tool URL parameter settings to make sure your blog never get victim of this WordPress SEO loophole.

SEO title and meta description:

When ever we talk about SEO friendly blog, how could we miss out one of the most common feature and that is option to add SEO title and meta description. I remember someone asking Matt Mullenweg in 2009 WordCamp event about integrating plugin like “All in one SEO” in WordPress by default to make it SEO friendly and Matt answered by saying, they want this should be optional, as there are many plugins out there and user should pick the one from their choices.

Though, it would be good if Automattic ever plan to add this feature in stock WordPress installation, as this will help new users to make their On page SEO more strong. But for now, you can always use any of these plugins like All in one SEO, WordPress SEO by yoast (Recommended) to add SEO meta title and SEO meta description. Many WordPress themes like Thesis, Genesis also offer this feature as a part of theme SEO feature, which is a good approach. Though remember, don’t get confused with so many SEO plugin options and pick one and stick to it for your own good.

WordPress blog speed:

Loading time of your pages is one of the factor in search engine ranking and WordPress is one of the memory hogging platform. Not the stock one, but when you add new plugins and themes and with time as your database size grows, your blog tends to go slow. WordPress is working hard to optimize the future version of WordPress more faster but I highly doubt if we can get the kind of speed Google needs with stock WordPress and our list of plugins.

Another reason for slow loading of your blog pages is using a bad or host which are already slow. Again, with WordPress, there is literally a plugin for everything you want to do.

WpSuper cache and W3 total cache are two of the best plugins out there for optimizing your WordPress blog for SEO. Right now, I’m using W3TC plugin for caching and improving the performance of my WordPress blog and you can try it too. Along with it, you can use Smush.it plugin to optimize images. Also work on limiting your plugins to make your blog load faster and timely keep deleting your post revisions and clean your database for any redundant table.

These are just few of those feature which makes WordPress blog non SEO friendly and there are many other things which any WordPress user should do to make his blog optimized for search engines.

For example:

Is WordPress a bad platform for Blogging?

Ofcourse not, and the reason being WordPress platform is one of the easiest platform for any novice blogger to optimize it for search engines. You don’t even have to drop a sweat as with lots of plugins out there, you can do everything to achieve search engine success. Needless to say, all you need is one proper SEO configuration for any plugin you are using.

Above I have covered few of the SEO stuff which should be part of WordPress but is not, and you can easily fix them by reading the above solutions. Here are few more WordPress SEO articles from past, which will help you in making your WordPress blog more search engine friendly:

Check out WordPress SEO training video:

So, do let me know other practices you follow to make your non SEO friendly WordPress Blog, SEO friendly?

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Article by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1058 articles.

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{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Pawas Gupta

    Hey, a rich post. Can you suggest how to treat category, tags and archive pages to avoid duplicate content on a WordPress blog? Should I canonicalize them to the mydomain.com/blog ?

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @Pawas

      For Archive pages (Category, tags, Author), use no-index tag.

      Reply
  • Norman Risner

    I was thinking about using Wordpress but after reading this article about it not being SEO friendly, I will definitely continue designing websites the way I’ve done for years because I get excellent SEO results on search engines. I design websites from scratch and implement SEO techniques within these pages which seems to work perfectly for getting on page one of search engines.

    With the latest webdesign software, it’s basically drag and drop with no more rows, columns, or cells and very little knowledge in html required. With all the social media websites out there, it’s no problem to get good quality backlinks.

    Reply
  • Ashish Goswami

    Hello sir
    I wanted to know ,how can I compress my css and java script ?
    Because whenever I scan my site using google page insights it says to compress css and java script .
    And one more thing ,I am not able to use google analytics even when I copied tracking code into header.php

    Reply
  • Vinay Singh

    Thank you for the informative article. I initially used All in one SEO and recently shifted to WordPress SEO by yoast. It’s nice and provided a lot of options but it’s idea of automatically disabling itself after an update took me by surpirse. I discovered that only after Google Web Master Tool reported that XML sitemap not found!

    Reply
  • Nikky

    Harsh,

    Any tips on social sharing plugin ? Whats the best social plugin to use. I’ve tried couple but they either have limitations on the sharing buttons to use or they don’t provide the functionality of slider which you using on your blog ? Any suggestions please :)

    Reply
  • Suresh Khanal

    Thank you Harsh for the wonderful post. WordPress is the most popular platform simply because it is most flexible and greatly expandable. Though it is very easy to optimize your blog for SEO benefits, I agree that it is not optimized on bare installation.

    This post will be very helpful to any new bloggers to optimize their blog. And BTW appreciate for the URL parameter information.

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @Suresh
      Thanks for your comment and yes, despite of WordPress being very user friendly site, it lacks many basic SEO features which you should be there. But like always, thanks to plugins which makes our life easier.

      Reply
  • Pavan

    Nice article Harsh,

    Basic Things, I didn’t realize that I have fixed replytocm URL parameter long back before Panda Update and Happened to conform once again.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Pavan Kumar

    Reply
  • HumourFlare

    Is meta tags useful for SEO ranking? I have had many issues with tags previously. If Yes, how many tags I can use at a time. Thanks a lot to Harsh for putting up and sharing valuable SEO tricks.

    Reply
  • Nelson

    Wow another great article from harsh. I used to use default Wordpress installation but later fixed it. A lot of newness make this mistake

    Reply
  • Ammar

    Harsh, Are you compressing CSS, HTML, JS file of SML? using W3 Total Cache Plugin?

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @Ammar
      No..Though I’m on a semi-managed VPS and my Webhosting guy has done an incredible work by setting up Cache and optimizing Server for great response… For now, I’m using W3TC and not Compressing CSS, HTML files..

      Reply
  • Sachin Kumar

    Wordpress is always most trusted blogging platform and used by lots of blogger everyday. Thanks for sharing awesome plugins and tools which help in seo as well.

    Reply
  • Chatung

    I still don’t get it; Why the core Wordpress developer knowing all the bad effect of SEO sets the default permalink in such bad SEO settings structured.
    Though there isn’t any standard format for it but what’s the logic on keeping like http://domain.com/?p=XX
    But all the above, i do love Wordpress for its ease of work..
    Thanks for the article..

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @Chatung
      One reason is: WordPress is not just a Blogging platform but it’s a CMS.. Its’ being used for many other purpose and WordPress team wants to give the power to users for customisation according to their need.

      Reply
  • Shorya Bist

    Hi harsh,

    Thanks for sharing the information,I think its not too much of things to do to make it more seo friendly,But yes wordpress platform alone is just a base.

    Setting up plugins for seo,setting up loading time yes we have to do it ourself.I am using Genesis theme which is featuring me great seo support ,but ya still i have to add some plugins.

    W3total cahce is great plugin to improve loading time,(little diffcult to configure the features but its awesome.

    Thank You
    Shorya Bist
    From Youthofest

    Reply
  • Asif Billah

    SEO is really playing a limited factor in rankings these days… Ever since the algorithm change up SEO was pretty much nuked. Social ranked search results is whats powering rankings these days. PageRank will be gone soon enough now that +1 is live.

    Reply
  • John

    You have listed many optimisation techniques but what about Wp-Optimize plugin.
    I think thats a wonderful plugin and I want u to write a post on it.
    Its mu humble request.

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @John
      Indeep Wp optimize is a useful plugin to optimize Wordpress Database and clean up post revision. I will probably feature it in an exclusive post. Thanks for your comment and dropping by.

      Reply
  • Navneet

    Harsh , I agree with you that Wordpress is not the most SEO friendly CMS but even Blogger stands no where near this . In Blogger too , there is need to add Meta Data Tags and add Meta Description options using HTML.

    Reply
  • Satish Patel

    Constantly you have been emphasizing on how important SEO is and how to set it right with the experiences you had in the past with PANDA. This post summarizes a lot of things for references and i have already bookmarked it. Thanks for the share.

    Reply
  • Ravi kumar

    This is truth, when you setup wordpress for your blog, in starting, it is not SEO friendly, But when I used this for my blog, I have installed plugin for SEO, Google Review Tool, Sitemap and then used keyword based URL, then it become SEO friendly.

    Reply
  • Sreejesh

    Wow harsh great this is your 1111th article.
    Just like how powerful wordpress is, its gets more complex in solving SEO and technical problems like in wordpress, but since it is used by a large community, help is always available at forums and blogs like yours.

    Most problems with SEO and links are due to bad configuration.

    Reply

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