Archive for the ‘Plugins’ Category

How to Avoid Using Poisonous Meta Tags

Head meta description tags have become less important as search engines have become more advanced. However, it now seems that you can make a mistake in your head meta description tags that is so damaging that you would be better off not having them at all.

This mistake is so common that sites with millions of visitors per month are making it. That’s because it only seems to have started having a negative effect in Google recently.

You should know by now that the <title> tag is the most important on page SEO you can do. You should already be varying that on every page as the topic dictates. If you are not already – it’s time to start. But that one was obvious . . .

The <meta name=”description”> tag has been thought for a while to be almost meaningless in Google. However, it now appears that having identical head meta descriptions on your sites web pages could be hazardous to your Google SERPs. It seems that a shared description could put your pages on the fast track for going supplemental.

While we have shown that supplemental results can outrank non supplemental results in Google, wouldn’t you rather not have large portions of your site go supplemental in the first place? In fact, our analysis show that you would be better off removing the description tag entirely than having it the same on multiple pages.

That means it’s time to start caring about those head meta description tags for yourself, and for your clients. While there are some plugins to do this in wordpress, you could just edit your header meta description line to look like this:

<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="YOUR SITE NAME <?php single_cat_title(); ?>: <?php echo category_description(); ?><?php echo htmlentities($excerpt); ?>">

Update: you will need this in the header for it to work:
<?php if(is_single()) :
get_posts(‘numberposts=1’);
foreach ($posts as $post) :
$excerpt = $post->post_excerpt;
endforeach;
?>
<?php endif; ?>

This is how SEO Black Hat was setup. However, this setup requires that you diligently:

A) Write Category Descriptions in Manage -> categories -> descriptions and

B) Fill out the “Optional Excerpt” every time you make a post.

We were good about A, but have been rater lax about B. Now the task of making sure every post has a description must begin.

Conclusion:

Make sure your <head> is on straight and make sure you are giving your clients good <head>. Because, as it turns out, <head> is important.

Google Sitemap Generator and Other Cool WordPress Plugins

Page to Front Choose a page from the DB to display as the front page of your weblog.

Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress Generates a Google Sitemaps compliant sitemap of your blog.

Static Jack Static Jack is a neat little plugin that makes it incredibly easy to add static content to a WordPress 1.5.1.2+ powered website and have the static content automagically wrapped in the blog skin, theme, or template… depending on your lexicon of choice.

WordSpew AJAX Shoutbox This plugin gives you a shoutbox in your blog that refreshes on its own and allows for live chatting from within your browser. It works almost like an IM client! Features include an admin panel, color customization, pretty timestamps, and easy installation.