Made a quick plugin to…

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Made a quick plugin to allow for some simple operators within the native search of #WordPress: http://dntd.cc/j1m

October 17th 2014 personal, wordpress

Simple Search Operators

No Comments »
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

I’ve long wanted to be able to do some simple, operated-powered searches within WordPress (especially relevant in a project I’m working on at Automattic). After a conversation with Allen, where he wanted to do the same thing, I figured I’d just whip up a quick plugin to see how hard it’d be. Turns out the answer is “not very”.

Simple Search Operators is a quick plugin that expands the functionality of the default search system in WordPress so that you can use a few useful operators (might look at adding some more at some point) [all links in the following list go to live searches on this site, using that operator]:

  • author:beau will limit results to posts written by the author with the username/slug ‘beau’
  • tag:burrito will only return posts which are tagged with ‘burrito’
  • category:posts (or cat:posts) to search for posts categorized as ‘posts’
  • tag:burritofriday cancun author:beau to search for posts containing ‘cancun’, written by ‘beau’, tagged as ‘burritofriday’

Some caveats:

  • Not heavily tested! May well be capable of generating server-melting queries
  • Only supports one of each operator for now
  • Operators and freeform searches may be combined (e.g.: “tag:burrito cancun”)
  • Does not support spaced strings for operators, so you can only do things where a no-space string attached to an operator will get you what you want
  • Because of the way it manipulates query variables, might mess with other plugins or themes in adverse ways. Like I said, not heavily tested.
  • Not available via the WP Plugin Repo yet; will get it up there once it’s baked a little bit

If you’d like to give it a shot, please do. If you’d like to add more operators; shoot me a pull request and we can expand this out a bit.

October 17th 2014 Search, wordpress

Google’s Search in Sitelinks and WordPress SEO

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Recently, Google introduced the new “search in sitelinks” box for a lot more sites. In the past this used to be restricted to YouTube and a few other sites. If your site is eligible, you’ll see it by Googling your brand, or receiving an email like this from Google Webmaster Tools:

Sitelinks with searchbox email from Google Webmaster Tools

So let’s run through steps 1 to 3:

1 Verify you have a functioning search engine

For 99.5% of WordPress sites, this one is very easy: you type example.com/?s=query (replacing example.com with your site’s URL) and you should be seeing search results. If not; you’ve either made a conscious decision to move your search engine elsewhere or you need to fix your theme.

If you see search results but you don’t like them, read my post on how to make WordPress search suck a little bit less.

2 Add the necessary markup

Another very easy step, assuming that A, you found your search engine under step 1 and it’s the default WordPress one and B, you’re using our free or premium WordPress SEO plugin. Update to the latest version of our plugin and you’ve got the code right on your site.

If your search engine is not the default, you’ll need to change the URL using the built-in filter. If you don’t have a search engine, get one.

3 Set up a preferred canonical URL for your homepage

Step 3, and yet again, this one’s easy. If you’ve got WordPress SEO installed, this’ll have already been done for you. If you don’t have it installed, you’ll realize after reading this that now is as good a time as any to get it done.

If all is done and your site is eligible, you should be seeing something like this in the search results:

emerce search in sitelinks

Conclusion: we’ve got your back

As I said in my post about Google moving back to 10 blue links:

When we were discussing these changes with some SEO friends, one of them said “it’s awesome, it’s a chance to be the first movers on another new thing”. That’s one thing you can be sure of: we’ll be there helping you make the most of it!

That’s what we’re doing. Thanks for using our WordPress SEO plugin!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

September 24th 2014 SEO, wordpress

The temptation of the green bullet in WP SEO!

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

This post starts with a confession: up until recently, I always asked my husband to do the page analyses of my blog posts. I have known about SEO for many years now, as Joost never stops talking about it. I just never used the plugin to check my own writings myself, I simply asked him to do that. Being married to Joost de Valk just has it benefits and this was one of them. But, as I started to read more and more about SEO and my interest in blogging increased, I decided to do some search engine optimization on my own.

The first time I used the plugin I was amazed by the ease of use and by the many features it contains. It made me fall in love with Joost all over again. I genuinely believe that the page analysis features in WP SEO can help you make your text SEO proof in a very, very easy way. The checks the plugin does are really amazing! But I also discovered a caveat: you should be aware of the temptation of the green bullet!

I want a green bullet in WP SEO by Yoast

Page Analysis and the green bullet in WP SEO by Yoast

The gamification of the page analysis within our WordPress SEO plugin helps you to upgrade the SEO-friendliness of your post. And it’s great fun! It can be a game to get as many green bullets as possible! However, the gamification also increases the likelihood that you cheat your own search engine optimization process in order to get that green bullet in WP SEO. And you should NOT do that!

Example of misuse of the Page Analysis Tool

In one of my first attempts to use the page analysis tool, I found myself cheating the tool in order to receive a green bullet: next to writing blogs for Yoast.com, I also blog for a new mom blog. One of my posts is about my favorite brands of newborn clothes. Of course, being the wife of Joost de Valk, I had done some extensive keyword research in advance. And I wanted this post to rank for baby clothes.

While starting my optimization with entering my focus keyword – baby clothes, I discovered that my blog did not contain the word baby clothes once. Not in the body of the text, not in the title, not in one of the headings. I simply had written about newborn clothes, instead of baby clothes. So, my bullet did not get green. And I felt agitated: I am Mrs Yoast and my bullet was orange. So, this is what I did: I changed my focus keyword from baby clothes to newborn clothes. And.. my bullet turned green instantly. It didn’t feel good, however… My keyword research had been an in depth and solid one. I had chosen, rather consciously, to attempt to rank for baby clothes.

Never change your focus keyword to receive a green bullet!

Changing your focus keyword in order to receive a green bullet is just plain nonsense. According to my keyword research, baby clothes is what people search for in Google. My post, however, was not optimized for baby clothes at all. Changing my focus keyword will not change the search behavior of people. A green bullet does not lead to findability if the terms you optimize for are not the terms people use to search in the search engines.

Fortunately, I came to my senses before my husband detected my cheating. It did make me wonder: if I am that susceptible to cheating the page analysis tool in order to get a green bullet in WP SEO, wouldn’t other people suffer from the same?

How to use the page analysis tool correctly

Your keyword research is always essential and should be leading. You should really analyze in depth on what terms you want people to find you. Your articles should be a reflection of these keywords. Changing your keywords according to the content of your articles, will lead to an ad hoc SEO strategy. You don’t want that! A strategy should never be ad hoc.

Without altering the core of the content of your blog or making too many concessions to readability and structure of your text, you can finetune your blog using the page analysis tool of the WP SEO plugin. Your SEO strategy should never be more important than the actual content and structure of your blog (read my post from last week), but minor changes in text and headings are perfectly acceptable!

I eventually made some alterations in my blog in order to fit it more nicely in my search engine strategy. I decided to change newborn clothes into baby clothes a few times and made some alterations in headings and titles. I did not change the core of my blog.

My bullet turned green and my husband was very proud…

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

September 24th 2014 wordpress

Google Analytics eCommerce tracking

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

We’ve rebuilt our Google Analytics eCommerce tracking plugin and added support for WooCommerce! Read on to learn why you should buy it today. If you want to optimize your shops sales, you need to make sure you connect your visitor data to your transaction data. This plugin does just that. We’ve made transaction tracking so reliable that we can now confidently say our plugin should not miss a single sale.

eCommerce tracking allows you to do all sorts of nice reporting in Google Analytics, on which Thijs will be writing a few posts in the coming months, but let me show you the sort of reports you can get just by enabling the plugin and enabling eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics:

eCommerce overview - Google Analytics

99.9% reliable eCommerce tracking

Google introduce a new feature with Universal: a collections API that allows us to send calls on the server side instead of with JavaScript. This means that when a customer finishes a transaction, the plugin can immediately track it, instead of hoping the customer will reach the thank you page. The plugin can do this while still connecting the sale to the customers session. Because of that, your Google Analytics eCommerce tracking becomes almost 100% reliable. Almost, because there might be the odd occasion where your server errors in sending the request and we don’t want you suing us ;)

This new tracking method also means that when you refund a transaction, the transaction gets reversed in Google Analytics. This makes your Analytics data even more reliable and therefore much more useful.

This Google Analytics eCommerce tracking extension is the first premium extension specifically made for the new version 5 of our free Google Analytics plugin. From $49 for a single site, you can have the best e-commerce reports available.

Super simple installation

The plugin has no settings. You install, activate, enter your license key and activate the license so updates will flow in and you’re done:

installed analytics ecommerce tracking

 

WooCommerce bundle

woocommerce logoAs some of you might have noticed, this is our second WooCommerce offering; we also have our WooCommerce SEO plugin. We’ve bundled the two together in a new Yoast WooCommerce bundle for our most loyal users! If you use both our WordPress SEO plugin as well as our Google Analytics plugin this bundle will save you a lot of money.

Check out the Yoast WooCommerce bundle here or read more about the GA eCommerce tracking plugin!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

September 18th 2014 Analytics, wordpress

Savvii: Expanding our local WordPress hosting options

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

We often get questions from people asking about what is “good” WordPress hosting. One of the things we tend to find hard is tell people which hosting company they should use in Europe. Some of the managed WordPress hosting companies out there offer servers in Europe, but their support is primarily American and it almost always shows.

Savvii LogoAbout a year ago, we were approached by a very local (to us) new managed WordPress hosting company, Savvii. They’re based in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, which is about 10 km away and they’d started to offer managed WordPress hosting. As Savvii is part of a larger company I already knew, we started talking immediately. As things go those were rather technical conversations: how should we do this, where should our servers be, etc.

Moving yoast.nl over to Savvii

Earlier this week, after quite some testing, we moved yoast.nl over. Now yoast.nl is not exactly “vital” to our business, but if something is wrong with it, I almost always get a tweet or 5 within the next few minutes, so people do still visit it :) .

The new hosting is fast. We ran some tests and the yoast.nl is now actually twice as fast on the frontend. Now the frontend is nice, but the real test is always the admin, and this admin is screaming fast. Savvii’s servers are in England, which of course is a lot closer than our .com servers which are in the US, but the difference is more than “just” a bit of latency.

Savvii rocks all the things you’d expect from a managed hosting party, including 24 hour support and much more. We’ve been very happy to work with them and if you’re looking for high-end WordPress hosting in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe, I’d certainly check them out!

PS: we’re hosting a WP Meetup together with Savvii in Nijmegen tonight. The one for tonight is fully booked, but if you follow the WPM024 twitter account or check wpmeetup.nl we’ll tell you all about new meetings.

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

September 12th 2014 wordpress

10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Writing a blog post -like all other writing- is a skill. In order to keep your reader interested, you should think about structuring your text and writing in an appealing style. You should help your readers to grasp the main idea of your post by providing headings, subheadings and clear paragraphs. If people understand and like your text, they are much more likely to share, like, tweet and link to your post. And that will increase your rankings! So, in order to improve your ranking in Google, you should definitely try to maximize your writing skills!

For some, writing for SEO purposes and writing to attract and keep attracting your audience could appear as two contradictory goals. However, I totally disagree. Indeed, if you not only want a good but also an SEO-friendly blog post, your text should be written in such a way that the words you want to be found for have a very prominent place. And, using your keywords too often severely damages the readability of your text. So, you definitely should not do that!

In this post, I would like to give some tips on writing blog posts that are both very readable as well as SEO-friendly. I genuinely think those two goals should (and can easily!) go hand in hand!

Elementary writing tips for good blog posts

Before anything, your blog post just has to be a good piece of writing! A lot of bloggers just begin to write after creating a new blog post. They just type what comes to mind. For some, this may be sufficient, because they are natural writing talents. Others may need some help. I always follow the next set of ‘rules’ myself.

1. Think before you write!

Think hard about the message of your text. What do you want to tell your readers? And what is the purpose of your text? What do you want you readers to do at the end of the page? Write down the answers to these questions before you begin writing.

2. Write down the structure of your blog post.

Every post should have some sort of introduction (in which you introduce your topic), a body (in which the main message is written) and a conclusion (which should summarize the most important ideas or deduce some new idea). Write down what you want to write in all these three sections. You now have some sort of summary of your post. The real writing can begin!

3. Use paragraphs.

Everybody uses paragraphs, but make sure to use paragraphs that make sense. Do not start a new sentence on a new line, just because it looks nice. There should be a reason for making a new paragraph. Every paragraph should have a main idea or a main subject. Ask yourself what the main idea of each paragraph is. You should be able to grasp that main idea in only one sentence. If you need more sentences, you simply need more paragraphs!

4. Use Headings.

If you want people to find their way in your articles, you should use subheadings. Subheadings will lead people, help them scan your page, and make the structure of your articles that much clearer.

5. Use signal words.

Signal words help people to scan through your text and help people to grasp your main idea. If you, for instance, have three reasons for wanting to sell a product, you should use signal words as: First of all, Secondly and Finally. Also, words as Nevertheless, Surely and Indeed also give a clear signal to your readers. Readers will instantly get that a conclusion will follow after words as Thus, So or Therefore. Signal words are thus very important to structure your text.

6. Let other people read your post.

Before publishing your post, let someone else read your post first. Ask him/her whether or not he understands the main idea of your post. Correct typo’s and sentences that are not formulated correctly.

Additional tips for writing an SEO-friendly blog post

These tips were taken from chapter 7 of our ebook Optimize your WordPress site.

Cover of optimize your WordPress siteI think you should start writing, while using the tips I mentioned above. You should never compromise the structure or the readability of your text for SEO purposes. If people like and understand your post, they are much more likely to link, tweet and share your posts. This will lead to higher ranking and more traffic. Nevertheless, without compromising on structure or readability, you can do somethings to improve your ranking even further.

1. Write rather lengthy articles.

Make sure your articles have a minimum of 300 words. As a general rule of thumb: try to put down your search terms in about 1 to 2 percent of your text. So in an article of 300 words, you should mention your search terms 3 to 6 times.

2. Use headings.

Headings are important for readability, but for SEO as well. Make sure that your keywords are used in the subheadings, but do not put your keyword in every subheading (as it will make the text unreadable). Headings help Google to grasp the main topics of a long post and thus can help in your ranking.

3. Use our WordPress SEO plugin.

Our WordPress SEO plugin actually helps you write an SEO-friendly blog post. If you want the help of our plugin you should start by choosing your focus keyword and entering it in the appropriate box. This is the most important search term you want people to find this particular page for. Our plugin actually measures many aspects of the text you are writing and helps with making your blog post SEO-friendly. We will describe the most important ones:

  • The plugin allows you to formulate a meta description. This description has to be a short text which indicates the main topic of the page. If the meta description contains the search term people use, the exact text will be shown by Google underneath your URL in the search results.
  • The plugin analyzes the text you write. It calculates a Flesch reading ease score, which indicates the readability of your article. The Flesch reading ease score for example takes into account the length of sentences.
  • The plugin does a pretty big number of checks. It checks whether or not you used your keyword in 5 important locations: the article-heading, the title of the page, the URL of the page, the content of the article and the meta-description. The plugin also checks the presence of links in your article and the presence of images in the article. It calculates the number of words and the density of usage of the focus keyword in the article. Above that, the plugin also checks whether or not other pages on your website use the same focus keyword, to prevent you from competing with yourself.

If you write a relatively SEO-friendly blog post (based on the aspects mentioned before) the plugin will indicate this with a green bullet. Writing pages with green bullets will help you improve the ranking of the pages on your website.

Note that not every dot has to be green for the overall score to be “good”. For instance, these are the results of this post, which does have a “Good” score:

page analysis results for this SEO-friendly blog post

4. Add content regularly.

Adding actual and functional information to your website will give Google the idea that your website is alive. If it’s not an active website, Google will crawl it less often and it might become less appealing to Google to include the page in the search results.

Bonus tip: Link to previous content

If you already wrote some content about the topic of your current post, don’t forget to link to these posts. It will make your post stronger because you show some authority on the subject. Next to that, your link-structure is also of importance for your ranking in Google. You should read Joost his post about cornerstone articles if you want to read more about this.

Conclusion

The era in which some SEO tricks were sufficient to get your website to rank high in Google has long ended. Nowadays, good content has the highest likelihood to result in a higher positions in Google. And good content also leads to more Facebook likes and shares, tweets and return visitors to your website. Of course, you can do some extra things to maximize the SEO friendliness of your post, but most important is: just write a very, very good post!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

September 10th 2014 blogging, wordpress

Yoast ebook: Optimize your WordPress site

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Cover of optimize your WordPress site, the book by team at YoastExciting news! Team Yoast has written its very own book! In recent years, we often fantasized about writing a book in which all of our knowledge was bundled. In the last few months, we finally put our pens down to paper! Starting today you can buy our awesome ebook for only $19.

Our book will help you optimize your WordPress site. The book does not solely contain information about SEO, but also gives information about Navigation, Social Media, Google Analytics, Conversion and Site Speed. These different sections can be read in any order you like and gives you the basic of one aspect of optimizing your websites. All sections are written by our very own Yoast experts in the various fields. Design and illustrations are done by our Design Dream Team Erwin and Mijke.

A book for WordPress users

The book is written for all people having a wordpress website. Building a WordPress website isn’t that hard. But after you have installed your theme and put in your text… then what? How do you make sure your site stands out from all of the other ones on the internet? How do you make sure people find your website? And what do you have to do to make people buy your stuff?

Tips to keep your website appealing

Installing your WordPress site is only the beginning. In order to have a website which keeps appealing to your audience, you will have an endless job in keeping your content and design up to date. You will have to do continuous Search Engine Optimization in order to make sure that people find your website on Google and other search engines. You should make sure users of your website can find the information you want them to find. And if you have a shop, you should make sure that people can find and (want to) buy your products. That’s a lot of work! Our book guides you through doing all these things.

A book for all WordPress Users

Our ebook is specifically written for those of you that already have a WordPress site, but need help to turn it into a fantastic WordPress site. It’s not written solely or especially for developers (it’s relatively poor on code) and can be read by (almost ;-) ) everyone! Some parts in the SEO and the speed section can be a bit hard without any technical skills, but the larger part of the book is comprehensible for a large audience.

Technical Specifications

Buying our ebook will give you access to a number of files. You can download a PDF, for reading our book on your PC, Mac or tablet. But you can also download our book as EPUB, if you like to read on your ereader. Also, we provide a Kindle-version. You can thus choose the device you like! In our opinion, the ebook is best read in color and on a device connected to the internet. We provide lots of links with examples and further reading material!

Buy our book!

Convinced? Buy our ebook now for only $19 and read our 152 pages of practical information and tips! Turn your WordPress site into a fantastic WordPress site! If you would like to have some more information about the contents and look into the design of our ebook, check out our ebook page.

 

 

 

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

September 2nd 2014 wordpress

Google: Slowly moving back to 10 blue links

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

Last night Google’s John Mueller announced on Google+ that “authorship” had been removed completely from the search results. Just like Google has recently removed most video snippets, this is another step towards Google’s search result pages going “back” to being 10 blue links.

Brief history of author highlighting / authorship

We were among the very early adopters of author highlighting, building features into WordPress SEO that made this very easy as well as writing tutorials on how to achieve the author highlights. The format went from a picture on the right of the search results (notice the +1 button that appeared in the SERPs at the same time):

rel=me / rel=author search in Google showing my author highlight

to the picture being highlighted on the left, removing the +1 button but adding the number of “circles” the author was in on Google+:

wordpress seo article Google Search 133

to (more recently) it just being the name below the URL, with no mention of Google+ left:

recent author highlight

“no traffic impact”

John Mueller, anticipating flack from SEOs and webmasters worldwide, said this in his post:

(If you’re curious — in our tests, removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads. We make these kinds of changes to improve our users’ experience.)

Now, that doesn’t surprise me, because they probably tested against the 3rd iteration of author highlights shown above. I’m guessing the impact was quite different when they took away the picture, and the impact might actually have been different for different audiences as well. I know I’ve had my fair share of tweets and mentions of people saying they saw my face in the search results the whole day, as they were working on specific WordPress stuff. It definitely had a branding impact.

Schema.org

In his post, John makes it a point to highlight that they’ll continue to show rich snippets based on Schema.org markup:

Going forward, we’re strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as schema.org). This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we’ll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.

All four major search engines are backing schema.org and they’re used, for instance, in the creation of rich snippets with ratings and prices like these:

wordpress seo plugin rich snippet

As AJ Kohn showed in his excellent post on rich snippets, schema.org data seems to be used for Knowledge Graph results too, for instance for books results. Another area where (the data from) schema.org markup is used heavily is in Local search, our Local SEO plugin does lots of schema.org markup around locations and business type.

Standing out in a crowded search result

Author highlights, video snippets, ratings: they’re all ways to stand out in a result that is otherwise just a “bland” 10 blue links. When we’re being limited by Google in how to stand out, we immediately start looking for new ways.

The third screenshot above shows that we’ve been playing with separators, a recent feature in our WordPress SEO plugin that lets you choose which separator to use:

title separator option

While implementing this I was testing which separators still worked in search results. In the “old” days, you could use diamonds, airplanes and all sorts of other weird characters. This too has been severely limited. A few years ago, 888 used special characters in their titles like this:

888.com result with special characters in the title

They no longer do that as most of those special characters no long work.

So what’s the next step for creative optimization?

With all these changes, a few things remain that allow you to really stand out:

  • rating snippets (though one must start to wonder for how long those will remain, with results like these);
  • news results (for which you have to be included in Google News, in which case our News SEO plugin is awesome);
  • YouTube videos still stand out (it’s no coincidence that we’ve finally gotten a Yoast YouTube channel) – note Google owns YouTube;
  • optimizing for the knowledge graph. AJ Kohn’s earlier linked post is a good starting point for thinking about that. The knowledge graph comes with its own dangers though, if you search for [how to boil an egg] you’ll see what I mean.

Who knows what the future brings?

And of course, there will always be new features in Google. When we were discussing these changes with some SEO friends, one of them said “it’s awesome, it’s a chance to be the first movers on another new thing”. That’s one thing you can be sure of: we’ll be there helping you make the most of it!

 

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

August 29th 2014 wordpress

WordPress SEO Tutorial Videos

Comments Off
http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/digg_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/reddit_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/stumbleupon_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/delicious_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/google_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/facebook_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/sphinn_48.png http://www.xseo.com.au/wp-content/plugins/sociofluid/images/twitter_48.png

One of the returning questions we get from customers is for better tutorial videos for our SEO plugin. That’s no “simple” thing as we quite regularly update the plugin and add new features to it, changing the interface. So we’ve teamed up with Shawn Hesketh, from WP101, who has created (and will continue to update) a beautiful set of 17 videos. These videos are now included in our WordPress SEO premium plugin:

WordPress SEO tutorial videos as seen in the premium WordPress SEO plugin.

WordPress SEO tutorial videos as seen in the premium WordPress SEO plugin.

These WordPress SEO tutorial videos will be kept up to date with all the changes we make to the plugin. In fact, when we did the initial set of videos, I was smart enough to make so many changes in one update that 4 of the 17 videos had to be redone. Shawn must hate me already ;)

Let me show you the first WordPress SEO tutorial video, which is the first of 17 videos. It highlights how to use the snippet preview and focus keyword functionality:

If you like what you see, upgrade to our Premium SEO plugin and you’ll have this set of videos available (and up to date) all the time!

But you already had WordPress SEO tutorial videos?

We used to have a separate Video Manual plugin; that plugin has been discontinued, as those videos weren’t up to date. It will continue to work for a while longer, but will not be updated. The license holders for that plugin can upgrade to the premium WordPress SEO plugin at a very nice price: we’ll give you the original plugin purchase price as a discount. Email support and we’ll set it up for you.

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

August 28th 2014 wordpress