The must read article about WordPress SEO

I’ve been working on this article about WordPress SEO for quite some time, and I’m very proud to be able to release it to all of you now. I can say all sorts of things about it, but this is really the biggest, and probably best, article I’ve ever written. Go read it now:

WordPress SEO

If, after reading it, you feel you have something to add to it, or comment on, feel free to leave your comments here, I’d love to improve on this article even further!

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51 Responses

  1. KieranBy Kieran on 10 June, 2008

    Great post Joost, a true comprehensive guide to WordPress SEO that anyone and everything involved in CMS should read.

  2. Anne HaynesBy Anne Haynes on 10 June, 2008

    Wow that was very informative! Thanks for all the details!

  3. IndieLabBy IndieLab on 10 June, 2008

    Wow, amazing!

    Thank you!

  4. RemkusBy Remkus on 10 June, 2008

    Very nice and informative article. I really – as always – enjoy the way you get into detail on the various topics within SEO. Dank je wel :)

  5. archshrkBy archshrk on 10 June, 2008

    I’m about to read it but one thing I noticed is that you used relative linking rather than absolute links. That is, your link is “/articles/worpress-seo/” instead of “” Not usually a problem except when I tried to get to the link from RSS feed in Bloglines. Strangely enough, they don’t have this article :)

  6. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 10 June, 2008

    @All: thx!
    @archshrk: fixed, thx!

  7. SimonBy Simon on 10 June, 2008

    I’ve just scanned the whole thing, but I’m really looking forward to read it thoroughly tomorrow. Well done and a good way to start this blog accordingly!

  8. MelvinBy Melvin on 11 June, 2008

    great article… very informative..

  9. IsraelBy Israel on 11 June, 2008

    Some of this I know, some I dont. It’s a good read for anyone interested in SEOing their wordpress blog. Cool stuff.

  10. MikaelBy Mikael on 11 June, 2008

    That is a really impressive list Joost. I’ve now installed the plugins that you suggested but I also see that some of it is aleady done with the “All-in-one-seo” plugin. Would it be possible to have you post a full list of the plugins that you suggest using (including non seo related plugins)?

    Another thing is that I think your link to the Robot Meta Plugin is wrong. You’re using instead of but I found the download button that I was looking for :)


  11. edwinBy edwin on 11 June, 2008

    Very thorough article about the technical seo possibilities for wordpress blogs.
    Some remarks about commenters and do follow:
    It is all about interacting, some articles, which contain general interests, on my blog have attracked several thousands of visitors. Almost nobody left a comment. Articles which are more niche related and written for a specified audience trigger more comments. Blogs which don’t provide a backlink option for the commenter, it doesn’t matter if they are tagged ” nofollow” or not, have considerable less comments.
    I do follow but only in a controlable environment : Akismet plugin installed and comment moderation on

  12. IlyaBy Ilya on 11 June, 2008

    Hi there Joost,

    First of all congrats on the new blog, looks perfectly fine!

    Thank you for this great article, I will refer to this document on my own blog; it’s a must-read.

    About the article itself;

    – 1.1 I stripped all categories from my blog. I would assume your comment about the 301 slug redirect is not necessary then? Are you implying you should always use the categories in the url’s (and therefore on the complete blog)?

    – 1.4 What is your opinion about the ‘read more’ (or your equivalent) option? I do not use this, but notice the downside; long articles that fill the complete mainpage. Do you reckon you should always try to use the ‘read more’ option?

    – 2.1 You talk about the breadcrumbs. On any normal xhtml website I use this so visitors can navigate better. Since I do not use categories, breadcrumbs are perhaps not that great (every post will look like this: home > title). Since you mention an seo-aspect, I am wondering whether to start with categories anyways. On the other side I have a decent looking sitemap.xml and sitemap as a static page (dagon sitemap?). Isn’t this the same for the spider? It can index the blog ok with the static sitemap? Or do I miss something here?

    – 2.3 Of course using an external css goes for every website when looking at seo aspects. However, is it better to put all css in one long line? Or is this not that important? Right now I have a normal css, with the code vertical instead of horizontal. What’s the impact when optimizing the blog?

    – 2.5 Never thought of that, really something to think about. I will look into this, since I was already thinking about removing the sidebar at regular articles. Right now I want to have 2 sidebars, optimized for the specific pages. On the mainpage the usual stuff, on the article pages only a list with related posts and most popular posts. Great tip!

    – 3.1 Can this robot meta plugin work next to the all in one seo plugin? I am wondering this since I am using the latter. I do not want them to interfere. In the all-in-one plugin I already nofollow almost everything exept for the actual posts.

    – 4.3 I am using the related post plugin, but there’s no option to nofollow the posts. Should I want to nofollow these posts, especially the not-so-related posts. Often the plugin also shows less related posts, like the contact page, or the about me page. This is perhaps due to a lack of real related posts, but since there are followed, they still are indexed through the related posts.

    – 6.2 What is your opinion about the little community builders on a weblog? Like the gravatars, or other icons etc. I really like the gravatars, since your blog instantly gets a more personal touch (of course especially when your commentors really use them gravatars :D).

    – 7.3 You mention blogsearch. I am using my own trick since Google launched their ‘Alert-service’. Simply subscribe to some excellent keywords, related to your blog subject. Use the setting ‘From blogs only’ when google alerts you of relevant articles. Now you’ll receive a nice e-mail with all relevant discussions. I am using this for years now (one of my best kept secrets, although I am reading it more and more on the i-net :D), I also use this in broader terms to get inspiration to write about almost everything.

    Anyways great article, hope you don’t mind my remarks (I’m sure you don’t when looking at chapter 6 :D).
    I will link to it later today.



  13. ChrisBy Chris on 11 June, 2008

    Good Morning Joost,

    well – i thanked you about twitter also, but this post was so good, thanks again ;-)

    Hope you got the next train, best regards Chris!

  14. DuaneBy Duane on 11 June, 2008

    Great article, best I’ve seen for a while. Nice to see you mentioning the importance of header tags which so many self proclaimed SEO experts fail to implement on their own blogs.

  15. GerbenBy Gerben on 11 June, 2008

    Thanks for the great post.

    Surprisingly, you didn’t mention sitemaps. They are, in my opinion, still very helpful. I’d recommend Dragon Design Sitemap Generator for HTML-sitemaps and Google XML Sitemaps for XML-sitemaps.

    And what about:
    404 notifier: RSS-feed with 404 errors
    SH-Autolink: which makes it possible to autolink keywords in posts to specific URLs, for example wordperss seo to your guide

  16. SimonBy Simon on 11 June, 2008

    Very nice read Joost! I especially love the idea of changing the read more tag. But here’s the thing, I’m using the all in one seo plugin. Now headspace does basically the same thing, so would you consider changing the plugin (even more that the all in one seo plugin has stopped development?). And how does the seo title tag compare in your opinion?
    Great article, even better than the old one.

  17. janBy jan on 11 June, 2008

    really great article!
    there are some things that were unknown to me. i also subscribed to your feed.
    great blog. :)

  18. PeterBy Peter on 11 June, 2008

    Hi Joost,
    Nice artikel, gives me a lot of ‘quick wins’ to solve.
    Speak to you soon.

  19. Juan Jose ZapicoBy Juan Jose Zapico on 11 June, 2008

    Great article. I’m just started blogging and doing SEO. This article is a very valuable resource for all of us. Thanks a lot for sharing your expertise on the subject.

  20. LaurensBy Laurens on 11 June, 2008

    Wow, thanks for all the time and knowledge! Going to use this for my v2.0 design!

  21. leaked google docBy leaked google doc on 11 June, 2008

    digged, stumbpled, tagged for AWESOME CONTENT. Thank you!

  22. RobBy Rob on 11 June, 2008

    Hey great article. One thing I notice was it was hard to find comments from the article itself. I was wondering if there is a way to add my feedburner email sign up feed link with aweber email sign up. So I could kill two birds with one stone?

  23. Jaan KanellisBy Jaan Kanellis on 11 June, 2008

    What a great post fro anyone that is just starting a WP blog. I will be bookmarking it as reference for all those that ask how to get started in SEOing a blog.

  24. Gustavo LeigBy Gustavo Leig on 12 June, 2008

    Hi Joost,

    excelent article, about some SEO plugins around, what is your opinion about these:

    Add Meta Tags

    Permalink Redirect

    SEO Title Tag


  25. Navin PoeranBy Navin Poeran on 12 June, 2008

    Truly a nice article :)

  26. jan [ipears]By jan [ipears] on 12 June, 2008

    Thanks Joost,

    I really appreciate your humble yet highly professional way of communicating, with a good portion of “Hollandsche nuchterheid”.

    Keep up the great work!

  27. DaveBy Dave on 12 June, 2008

    WordPress is completely disgusting PHP code.

  28. MhawSayarBy MhawSayar on 12 June, 2008

    Really great WP SEO article! Thank you so much Joost!!

  29. Ranked HardBy Ranked Hard on 12 June, 2008

    Excellent article, Joost. The Ranked Hard team enjoyed it.

  30. Mark FultonBy Mark Fulton on 12 June, 2008

    Hey Joost, excellent work. Thank you for releasing this to the WordPress community. I have published an announcement featuring your SEO guide and plugins here:

    All the best,

    Mark Fulton

  31. MarkBy Mark on 13 June, 2008

    As always, thank you, thank you. Looking forward to hearing you at the a4u Expo.

  32. Ted LiptakBy Ted Liptak on 14 June, 2008

    The best article I have ever read about the WordPress SEO. Thanks for all plugins and articles

  33. Joris ToondersBy Joris Toonders on 14 June, 2008

    Excellent work Joost. Great article!

  34. MikeBy Mike on 15 June, 2008

    Thanks for the ebook. I followed it almost exactly as I set up a new blog. Also, I wanted to leave a comment here to see how your plugin redirect works.

    Thanks again,

  35. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 16 June, 2008

    Thx all, it’s tough to keep up with all of it, but I really want to thank you all for the amazing positive feedback!

  36. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 16 June, 2008

    @Ilya: your list of questions deserves an answer from me, and then a paycheck for me ;)

  37. IlyaBy Ilya on 23 June, 2008

    I understand :D

    But perhaps 1 simple question. After I installed the meta robot plugin, it seems for some reason people cannot comment to pages anymore. I cannot find a setting to allow people to reply on pages (although I understand why I wouldn’t want that).

    Do you perhaps know if it has something to do with that plugin?

  38. RenzoBy Renzo on 19 July, 2008

    Very nice article! Can you tell me why technorati is spidering the new blogs so fast?

  39. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 21 July, 2008

    @Ilya: hmm could you point me to a URL showing the problem?

  40. EugeneBy Eugene on 31 August, 2008

    Excellent post. Thank you Joost. I think it is “must read”.

  41. Kim WoodbridgeBy Kim Woodbridge on 28 October, 2008

    Is using just the postname better than using the date and then the postname in the permalinks? I did a little bit of searching on this topic today and couldn’t fine anything stating that one way was better than the other. It seems like date/postname is becoming a standard because so many people are using it but I am only using postname. Thanks!

  42. jules poptBy jules popt on 23 July, 2009

    thanks for sharing useful informations.good work

  43. gadgetBy gadget on 21 August, 2009

    I have recently noticed that I am getting around 1000 spiders per day to one of my sites. Is this good or bad??


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