Do you use WordPress? Find yourself wondering if the all-in-one-SEO plugin is worthwhile or not? Is it a good plugin? In this article I will answer these questions plus alert you to a significant bug with a recent upgrade. Yes, it’s a great plugin. This is not to say that it’s a replacement for commonsense or that your content can stink mind you. However it is fair to say that it does a number of things that WordPress doesn’t.
Myth one: WordPress is already SEO ready. Uh, no it’s not. Sorry, but when my individual pages are labeled as the site title, not the title of the article I just spent my time writing, something is broken there. Using the all-in-one-SEO plugin addresses this issue by allowing you to easily decide which post/page/archive/tag format style you’d like to use. And by default, it sets up right with the following: %post_title% | %blog_title%.
Myth two: WordPress plugins slow things down too much, especially all-in-one-SEO plugin. Yes and no. Generally the worst offenders from a slow plugin perspective is going to be tracking plugins, running in real time. Second to this, look at getting a decent caching plugin running and look even harder at the advertising/server resources. More often than not, this is where your problem lies. Yes, plugins can slow things down. But not unless you’re using some heavy hitters that are eating the database resources alive. All-in-one-SEO plugin has never demonstrated a slow down for me on ANY of my sites, with many different hosts.
What is so compelling about this plugin?
I’d be a bad guy if I said you had to use this and that there are no other alternatives without it, to accomplish the same stuff. You can avoid using this if you want. But I have found that it’s done really well at making a lot of stuff easily accessed, right there in front of me. And so long as the plugin is kept secure by its developers, we should be in pretty good shape. In short, this plugin makes handling various noindex, keyword and header tasks, brain dead simple.
With great power, comes great responsibility
When updating this plugin, beware… there sometimes are new boxes checked by default that can come back to bite you. Turns out that two of my sites, running a fairly smoothly, had a page rank drop. Apparently the Canonical URLs option was toggled and yes, Google didn’t handle it well. This is described at length on how the wordpress plugin cost me some page rank. Yes, this is what happened and based on the content still ranking really well in organic results, despite the PR drop, this appears to be the issue.
Lesson learned here? Triple check options checked before and after plugin updates. Always a good policy.
Does all-in-one-SEO plugin really help SEO?
I have done some split testing in the past and you know something, it appears to help when you are writing decent content in Google’s eyes. By itself, it means nothing. But bundled with great content, a site with some time live on the Web and an authoritative approach to creation, yes, it definitely helps out some. Realize that I am not saying that everyone is going to agree with me. There are those who will say that using this plugin is a waste of time. Great, awesome. And sure, back-links are awesome to be sure… for PR. But you know something, they’re just not enough and me being able to rank well with competitive terms using low PR sites indicates that I might be onto something…
In short, this article is based on my personal experiences, extensive split testing. If you read something different elsewhere, you follow whichever advice you like.