Search Engine Traffic Guide

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Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of trying to get Web pages to rank higher in search engines. For example, when someone does a search on Google, she wants her Web page to be ranked higher than the competition. The holy grail of SEO is to get placement on the front page of a set of search results, preferably positioned as the first result. These results are known as Search Engine Results Page, or SERPs. With massive firms working for clients and advertisers to improve their SERPs, SEO has become a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. For example, a travel agency might want to rank well for the search phrase cheap flights to Los Angeles because it's a phrase consumers are likely to search for using Google or other search engine. Likewise, Italian restaurant near Dupont Circle could be a search phrase an Italian restaurant near Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., uses in their quest to rank high.

Would Like to Block Search Engines but Allow Normal Visitors If

You are one of those rare bloggers who doesn't want that type of exposure for your blog, but you do want to let normal visitors (read no search engines) see your blog, select this option. Generally, you want search engines to be able to find your blog. However, if you have special circumstances, you may want to enforce your privacy settings. I would block search engines, for example, because the site I'm using for the figures in this book is one that I don't want search engines to find. At the top of the site, to the right of the site title, there is a note that says Search Engines Blocked. This note exists only when you have your privacy settings set to block search engines. When you have Privacy On, search engines and other content bots can't find your Web site.

Creating categories that attract search engines

One little-known SEO tip for WordPress users The names you give the categories you've created for your blog provide rich keywords that attract search engines like bees to honey. A few services Technorati.com being one of the biggest treat categories in WordPress like tags. These services use those categories to classify recent blog posts on any given topic. The names you give your categories in WordPress can serve as topic tags for Technorati and similar services. Search engines also see your categories as keywords that are relevant to the content on your site. In this regard, it's important to make sure that you're giving your categories names that are relevant to the content you're providing on your site. If you sometimes blog about your favorite recipes, you can make it easier for search engines to find your recipes if you create categories specific to the recipes you're blogging about. Instead of having one Favorite Recipes category, you can create multiple category names that...

Submitting a sitemap to the search engines

Just because you've updated your website that doesn't mean that the search engines will crawl all of your web pages. That means that the search engine listings for some of your web pages could be updated quickly while others remain outdated for quite some time. There is, however, something that you can do to encourage the search engines so that they will be more likely to give your website a thorough crawling.

Improving Your Sites Search Engine Visibility

An important way to get more visitors to your site and help build your community is to have good search engine visibility. WordPress is great for natural search engine visibility, and by that I mean the real search results that appear below and to the left of the paid-for-inclusion ads in Google and other popular search engines. Getting search engine optimization for free right out of the box is a great bonus when you're trying to build an online community. Getting good search engine ranking that is, getting your site higher up in the search results when people look for web sites on your subject is essential to guiding visitors to your site. WordPress helps you get good search engine ranking in a number of ways by constructing structured, semantic, standards-compliant HTML by providing multiple views of your content and by creating search-engine-friendly permalinks. But that's not all there is to improving search engine visibility for your site. There are also a number of things that...

Optimizing your post titles for search engine success

Search engine optimization doesn't completely depend on how you set your site up. It also depends on you, the site owner, and how you present your content. One way to present your content in a way that lets search engines catalog your site easily is to give your blog posts and pages titles that make sense and coordinate with the actual content being presented. If you're doing a post on a certain topic, make sure that the title of the post contains at least one or two keywords about that particular topic. This practice gives the search engines even more ammunition to list your site in searches relevant to the topic of your post. As your site's presence in the search engines grows, more people will find your site, and your readership will increase as a result. If you give the post the title WordPress For Dummies My Review, you provide keywords in the title, and (if you're using custom permalinks) WordPress automatically inserts those keywords into the URL, giving the search engines a...

Contributing to Your Sites Search Engine Ranking

The things you can do to help your search engine rankings are all about the content. The best and most important advice I can give you is to write well. By sticking to your subject and writing relatively short or medium-length articles that stay on topic, written in the language the community uses, you will not only keep your readers interested, but you also will gain ranking for the very keywords your readers will use in their searches. Still you should bear in mind what measures are important to the search engines Each search engine has its own recipe for what its administrators believe is the right mixture of the keyword and link measures. However, here are a few simple guidelines that will help you with all search engine ranking algorithms WordPress is designed to help you achieve the goal of following these guidelines, but what it can't help you with is choosing the keywords and writing compelling posts that someone seeing your web site in a search engine results list would be...

Maintaining search engine ranking

During the process of migrating from a static website to WordPress you will be adding new pages and posts. You will also eventually delete all of your original HTML pages since they will become unnecessary and redundant. This means that your previous content will now exist on pages that are located at completely different web addresses. If nothing was done, then your website would lose its search engine ranking and PageRank for each of those deleted pages. Another consequence would be that anyone clicking those outdated links would arrive at 404 pages rather than the web pages that they hoped to visit. This is a less than desirable situation and, luckily, it can be avoided by installing the Redirection plugin found at http wordpress.org extend plugins redirection . With the help of this plugin, when the search engines arrive to crawl your website, they will be sent to the updated location for all of your old web pages. These redirects will also be beneficial should a visitor happen...

Related posts for visitors from search engines

If visitors arrive on your blog network via a search engine, it's likely that they are looking for some information about a specific topic. Why not take advantage of that by showing search engine-referred visitors a list of posts related to the keywords they searched for One way to achieve this is to use the Search Engine Related Posts plugin available at Just install the plugin as normal and then add the markup < div style display none to your theme files at the point where you want the list to appear. For most people, this would be after the post display section of their index.php file. The plugin will check the referrer details of your visitors and only show a list of related posts to the people who have been referred by a search engine. This increases the chance of those visitors staying around to read more articles, finding what they need, and becoming a regular reader of your site.

Displaying Adsense ads to search engines visitors only

Many search engine specialists agree on the point that it's mostly people coming from search engines who click on the ads. Your readership (such as RSS subscribers) don't often click on your ads or they do it in order to make you earn money because they are interested in your content, not the advertisements. People coming from search engines click on ads if they were looking for something they didn't find (or need more details) on your blog.

Google search

After six months of your site being live, Google will most likely be the largest source of traffic to your website (that is, of course, unless you are using some unsavory search engine optimization tactics). The following is a very high-level view of how the Google Bot works. Google has an amazing ability to find your new site through countless avenues. The most obvious method is seeing your website talked about by other websites that Google sees as being important and relevant. You can also tell Google about your new website by submitting it to the Google Webmaster Tools Google webmaster tools When Googlebot crawled your site, it found some issues with your content. These issues wont prevent your site from appearing in Google

Brief History of Word Press

Of course, in those days, lots of people meant maybe 300 readers. The search engines were not designed to attract a lot of content. Unlike today, it was impossible to build a Web site that had millions of viewers, disseminated across the Internet. There was no such thing as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and every page was handcrafted for the content that existed on it.

Using an External Database Server

And that's it Rename wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php, and point your Web browser to your install location. This will show a link that initiates the install procedure, where you'll fill in the blog title, the admin user's e-mail address, and choose whether or not the blog should be open to search engines for indexing (most likely this will be the case, but if you want to fiddle with it first, then disable it you can enable it in the settings later). After this, you'll get an admin username and a random password (save that ) and hopefully a success message along with a link to the blog.

Preparing for the transition

This step is important because, before your WordPress website is made visible to the search engines, you will need to use this spreadsheet, along with the Redirection plugin, to create several 301 (moved permanently) redirects so that the previous URL for each of these web pages points to its new location online.

How This Book Is Structured

Chapter 10, ''Crafting the User Experience, looks at a WordPress installation from the perspective of a regular or potential reader. Usability, testing, and the ease of finding information within a WordPress blog form the basics, with added emphasis on web standards for metadata and search engine optimization so a blog, or a specific blog post, can be found through an appropriate Google search. Whereas Chapter 9 covers pulling external content into your WordPress instance, this chapter shows how to get your content to show up elsewhere on the Web. Alternatives for adding search functionality, one of WordPress's weaknesses, are discussed, along with content accessibility and delivery to mobile devices.

Tip The TinyMCE module httpdrupalorgprojecttinymce allows Wysiwyg Html editing and integrates nicely with the Image

The final field on the HTML filter's configuration page is Spam Link Deterrent. In early 2005, Google announced that it would no longer award any page rank credit to sites based on links with the rel nofollow attribute in them. This was done in response to the increasing phenomenon of spammers posting comments on blogs with links to their own sites just to increase their page ranking with Google and other search engines. Drupal quickly responded, and by checking the Spam Link Deterrent option, you ensure that any links posted by your site's users will have the rel nofollow attribute, and Google will not follow them when spidering. Let's hope that the incentive for comment spam will dwindle as spammers realize that they are wasting their time.

Hiding your new Word Press installation

While creating the WordPress version of your website, you don't want it to be prematurely indexed by the search engines because, at this point, it's still a work-in-progress. Having done that, your WordPress website is now hidden from visitors. Now you need to take steps to ensure that it's also hidden from the search engines crawlers. To do this, begin by logging in to your WordPress Dashboard. Once there, click on Settings Privacy. In this section, you will find the Privacy Settings screen that contains the Site Visibility settings for WordPress. In this area, you can choose to make your site visible or invisible to the search engines. Since you don't want the crawlers to index these pages just yet, tick the radio button next to I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors. Then, click Save Changes. This setting doesn't guarantee that search engines won't crawl WordPress since websites with this option selected have been indexed. Taking this measure does, however,...

Partially revealing Word Press

At this time, you will need to locate 1index.php on your server and then return it to it's original name of index.php. Next, find index.html and then rename it to 1index.html. Both of these steps must be taken at this point because, once your theme is activated, you will need to be able to access your WordPress home page in order to proceed. With index.php in place and index.html renamed, your WordPress website will now be visible to visitors, but it will still be hidden from search engine crawlers.

Looking at Search Terms

Search engines are a more and more important source of traffic for all kinds of websites, including blogs. Google carries about 75 of all search traffic, and other search engines seek to achieve results as close to it as possible, so Google is a good proxy for the whole world of search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the hottest buzzwords on the Web, and is likely to remain so for a long time to come. If you can get an advantage on search engine results, you'll get lots of traffic and for many sites, that means lots of money, at least potentially. WordPress has very good, very blog-relevant search engine reporting. It shows how many views you get and which search terms the views came from. Figure 8.6 shows top search engine terms for the Google Voice Daily blog. For the Google Voice Daily blog, the top search phrase is how to get Google Voice, with about one third of all the blog's search engine traffic. A quick check on Google shows that gvDaily.com shows up...

Enhancing searchability of content

Content is only as useful as its capability to drive traffic to a site. As a general rule, most sites get between 60 percent and 80 percent of their traffic directly from search engines. Many new bloggers assume that if they only tell their friends and families about a blog, those people are the only ones who read it. This is not true at all. WordPress has a ping mechanism that alerts search engines immediately when a new post is published and Google has been known to index new posts within a minute or two of the content being online. Because of the nature of the Internet, you should take every step you can to enhance the capability of search engines to drive traffic to your WordPress blog.

Purchasing advertising

Yes, spending money to run an online store is necessary, but it's a small price to pay if the money you spend results in increased traffic and sales. Note that there is a world of difference between these two traffic and sales. Some marketers push the idea of paying a company a set monetary value to drive traffic to their site. Many thousands of visitors a day are ultimately worthless if none of them purchase anything. Therein lies the problem with purchased traffic who is to know whether those visitors have the slightest care or interest at all in your products It's quality traffic that we are seeking, not necessarily quantity.

Project 5 Building a Consumer Review Website

The great thing about using the WP Review Site plugin to build your consumer review website is that you can provide people with an unbiased source of public opinions on any product or service that you can imagine. You will never have to resort to the hard sell in order to drive traffic to the companies that you've affiliated yourself with. Instead, consumers can research the reviews posted on your website and, ultimately, make a purchase feeling confident that they're making the right decision.

Registering your domain name

Domain registrars are certified and approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Although hundreds of domain registrars exist today, the ones in the following list are popular because of their longevity in the industry, competitive pricing, and variety of services they offer in addition to domain name registration (such as Web hosting and Web site traffic builders)

Making File System Backups

The files in the first category include the scripts that were delivered with the Drupal installation, contributed modules that you may have installed, customized themes, and the configuration file (settings.php). From the standpoint of a backup strategy, these files are relatively easy to deal with. Their volume doesn't increase even as site traffic grows, and you know every time they change since you make the changes yourself. If you simply take the time to manually copy these files to your local machine every time you install something new or make a change, you're already ahead of the game.

Finding and Implementing Premium Themes

This position is based largely on some historical abuses by premium theme developers that carry licenses requiring inclusion of links back to the developer or sponsor site, or even by inclusion of hidden keyword stuffing routines intended to generate traffic for some other source. Fortunately, this is not as common as it used to be when premium themes first arrived on the scene.

All in One SEO Pack wordpressorgextendpluginsallinoneseopack

This plugin adds more settings for your posts so that they'll be better optimized for search engines. A lot of people swear by it, and there's no doubt that it will help, even if you just leave it doing its thing automatically. To really push it though, you should fine-tune each post all the time. Google XML Sitemaps Google XML Sitemaps will create a compliant XML sitemap for your WordPress install, and then update it whenever you publish something new, or edit something old. This will help search engines crawl your content, which is a good thing. The plugin will even attempt to tell them that your sitemap is updated. plugins or Google Custom Search Engine (google.com cse ). Better Search tries to change things by tuning the search, as well as adding popular searches and heatmaps. Since it automatically replaces the built-in search, it is easy enough to give a go. Search Unleashed Search Unleashed adds a bunch of settings and options for WordPress search functionality, such as keyword...

Using Google to Access Word Press Documentation

Google is a great search engine, but it (and other search engines) can work against you by being so comprehensive. They reach out very broadly to conversations that might be on a subtly or completely different topic to what you're interested in and back in time, for instance, to comments about older versions of WordPress. Use site wordpress.org Along with your Google search, you can include the phrase site wordpress.org. This limits your search to information on the WordPress.org site. This cuts out a lot of unrelated information. r vj.Ki srr.f rrtircrnfK.worrfprtri.orrf - Google Search

Writing Useful Content

What you say on your web page is the key to visitor satisfaction and therefore to search engine ranking. If you have high quality, relevant content, visitors will be happy and so will the search engines. But as I said earlier, search engines aren't as sophisticated, so you need to structure your content in certain ways to ensure that they get the relevance. In the eyes of search engines, the primary factor for the relevance of content is keywords. Starting with the words entered by a searcher, the search engines scan web page content to see how well it relates to those words the keywords. The details of how search engines scan content for relevance varies between search engines and over time as well their algorithms are constantly being tweaked to achieve better results. However, here are some basic tips concerning keywords, which, even if they somehow stopped being helpful with rankings are still helpful to visitors Be consistent If your title says the post is about all-inclusive...

Providing Semantic Standards Compliant Content

Out of the box, WordPress gives you a semantic, standards-compliant web site. The search engines love this because it makes their job easier. When search engines send their spiders and crawlers out into the Internet, they often encounter barriers to navigating a site JavaScript links, Flash content, and so on. WordPress blogs don't have these barriers to navigation. Furthermore, when the search engines analyze the content of the pages they have gathered to identify the keywords and the keyword density, and determine the ranking of your pages for those keywords, WordPress makes it easy for them. WordPress uses the name of your blog in < title> and < h1> tags on each page. For category pages, the < title> also contains the category name, and for individual post pages, the post title is also in there. This common sense approach to structuring a web site achieves search engine optimization by publishing unique page < title> tags, and by giving meaning and importance to...

Planting keywords in your Web site

If you're interested in a higher ranking for your site, I strongly recommend using custom permalinks. By using custom permalinks, you're automatically inserting keywords into the URLs of your posts and pages, letting search engines include those posts and pages in their databases of information on those topics. If your site is hosted by a provider that has the Apache mod_ rewrite module enabled, you can use the custom permalink structure for your WordPress-powered site. Keywords are the first step on your journey toward great search engine results. Search engines depend on keywords, and people use keywords to look for content. This URL contains no keywords of worth. If you change to a custom perma-link structure, your post URLs automatically include the titles of your posts to provide keywords, which search engines absolutely love. A custom perma-link may appear in this format

Basic SEO Implementations

Getting the most out of the search engines is a topic for a book itself. However, there are some things you can get right in your theme from the start. Also, be sure to check out the plugin lists later in the book for links and advice on good SEO plugins that make your WordPress site even more attractive to the search engines. The cold, harsh truth is that the best SEO optimization is manually edited on per-post and per-page basis, rather than automatically generated. Permalinks, obviously. Permalinks change those ID-based, ugly URLs to more user-friendly as well as search-engine-friendly ones. The earlier keywords in your permalinks get picked up first, so you should really get the post and page title slug in there (not the ID), and possibly the category as well. Some claim that having date-based data in the permalinks helps the search engines as well, and that may very well be true if the site is updated often enough. The big bump, however, will be when you switch to permalinks, so...

Searching Your Own Site

So far we have talked about making your site visible and effective in the big search engines by structuring, organizing, and coding your site to raise your listings, or at least get the ranking you deserve. What happens when the visitor gets to your site and uses the built-in on-site search Do the same rules and guidelines apply The answer is yes and no. The SEO principles and practices we have discussed are a solid foundation to build on. They are tried-and-true rules, though the search engines can make up their own rules and change them at whim we are in the Wild West Internet. The change lies in the built-in WordPress search.

Optimize your title tag for SEO

The < title> HTML tag, located within the < head> and < head> tags, is very important in terms of Search Engine Optimization. First of all it is the first thing that people will notice in search engine results, pages as well as for example, linking social bookmarking sites. Secondly, search engines give a lot of importance to the keywords in that tag when ranking pages. You guessed it if you want your blog to be optimized for search engines, you have to make your < title> tag SEO-friendly. It may be hard to believe, but more than 80 of WordPress themes don't have a SEO optimized title tag by default.

Preventing your microblog from being indexed

Now that you've put measures in place to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your microblog, it's time to deal with the search engine crawlers. To block the crawlers from indexing your website you need to access the Privacy Settings screen by clicking on Settings Privacy. On this screen, in the Privacy Settings area, you will most likely find that the option to make your blog visible to everyone, including search engines, is enabled. If that's the case, then you need to select the option to allow normal visitors, but block search engines. That way your website will be protected. With that change made, click Save Changes. search engines like Google, Bing, Technorati and arch vers I mould like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors

Adding a sitemap to your blog

A very important point in Search Engine Optimization is to be sure that search engines crawlers can access all of your blog pages and posts, so they all can be indexed. There are many ways to make sure that all of your pages and posts can be accessed by crawlers, such as creating an archive page template. Therefore, the best way to guarantee that crawlers can see and index all of your site pages is to use a sitemap. Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site. In other words, using a sitemap doesn't guarantee that absolutely all your pages will be indexed by search engines (from my experience, even if a...

Writing content with readers in mind

When search engines visit your site to crawl through your content, they aren't seeing how nicely designed your site is. What they're looking for are words which they're grabbing to include in their databases. You, the site owner, want to make sure that your posts and pages use the words and phrases that you want to include in search engines. A title such as A Recipe I Like isn't as effective as a title such as A Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes, right Including it in your post or page content gives the search engines a double keyword whammy. Here's another example I once wrote a post about a rash that I developed on my finger, under my ring. I wrote that post well over a year ago, not really meaning to attract a bunch of people to that particular post. However, it seems that many women around the world suffer from the same rash, because a year later, that post still gets at least one comment a week. When people do a Google search using the keywords rash under my wedding ring, out of a...

Optimizing Your Content

The most common way for people to find a website is through search engines, but although searches return thousands, even millions of pages of results, few people go past even the third or fourth page. It's no surprise then that so much attention is paid to achieving high search engine rankings. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex and constantly changing topic, well beyond the scope of this book, but in this and the following lesson I show you some things you can do in WordPress to better your chances of good rankings. I think the healthiest way to think about SEO is to keep in mind the goal of search engines to deliver results in order of greatest relevance to the search terms entered. The faster their users can find the right information, the better, so search engines work very hard to try and make sure the sites they rank highest will be the most useful to their clients. If you work hard to make sure your site is useful to your visitors, the better your chance of being...

Crafting a User Experience

> Recognize how to optimize your site for search engines. The user experience covers more than what an actual person sitting at a browser in Middle America thinks. Indirectly, web spiders, search engines, and service consumers such as RSS readers, are also your users. Your site needs to be designed and structured so that all classes of users benefit and have a great experience.

Linking to Other Sites

There are several good reasons why you should be linking to other sites. First of all, you're helping your visitors by pointing them to useful information. Second, you're building relationships with other sites on the Internet (you know how much you appreciate this link love from other sites). And third, it can help to some extent with better rankings in search engines (just don't link excessively, and link to useful, high-quality sites which is what your visitors want anyway).

Customizing Permalinks

I left permalinks as a separate section even though it's an admin setting because it warrants a completely separate discussion of its own. In Lesson 25 I talked about setting permalinks through the Settings C> Permalinks screen, as well as editing permalinks for individual posts. I was concerned in that lesson with how people link to your site, and now I want to discuss permalinks with respect to search engines. The first point to make is that links from other sites (inbound links) are very important to search engines, as long as the link is from a quality, popular site. It would be shame to have a link from a trusted site and to suddenly have that link broken because you changed something in the URL of your page. Permalinks are designed to prevent that problem. The second point about links and search engines is that the wording of the URL may have some effect on the ranking for the page that the URL points to. I say it may because there's an ongoing debate about this in the SEO...

Create Meta descriptions for your posts

Believe it or not but by default, WordPress doesn't add any Meta descriptions to the posts you write. Sure, in terms of SEO, Meta descriptions aren't as important as they used to be, but good Meta descriptions are always a plus for both your visitors and search engines bots.

Avoid duplicate content with a robottxt file

As a WordPress user, you must have probably already experienced sites stealing your content and republishing elsewhere. This is called duplicate content. In order to fight this practice, Google uses some filters to detect similar contents. When the crawler detects two (or more) similar pages, only one of them will be shown in search engines results pages. Additionally, some sites providing duplicate content can experience page rank loss.

Making your blog dofollow with the NoFollow Free plugin

By default, the links left in the comments have a rel nofollow attribute automatically added by WordPress. According to Wikipedia, nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link's target ranking in the search engine's index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring. In order to reward commentators it is, in my opinion, a good idea to get rid of this rel nofollow attribute on links. This way, your commentators will gain some PageRank when they'll leave comments on your blog. This is a good reason for them to comment, because a lot of web site or blog owners are trying to enhance their site SEO that way.

Completing the switch to the new website

Next, return to the Privacy Settings screen by clicking on Settings Privacy. Once there, tick the radio button next to I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers. With that, your website will now be visible to both human visitors and search engine crawlers.

Word Press MU Sitewide Tags

This plugin creates a new WordPress MU blog that serves as a clearinghouse for tags used on all your blogs. It also has features that prevent search engines from indexing the blog (though I can't think of a reasonable case why you would want to do this). Figure G.1 shows the administrative panel for the WordPress MU Sitewide Tags plugin.

Leveraging the Elements of Content Creation

The Write Post screen is a strategic page. You can configure and tweak it to match your workflow, and it is where you will make huge decisions that affect how your blog fairs in search engines and with readers. You will need to consider your community of readers, search engine options, and possibly your customers. Fortunately, WordPress provides ways to assist you.

Optimizing Your Word Press Blog

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of preparing your site to make it as easy as possible for the major search engines to crawl your site and cache your data in their systems so that your site appears as high as possible in the search returns. If you visit Google's search engine page at http google.com and do a search using the keywords WordPress blog design, my own site at E.Webscapes is in the top ten search results for those keywords (at least, it is as I'm writing this chapter). Those results can change from day to day, so by the time you read this book, someone else may very well have taken over that coveted position. The reality of chasing those high-ranking search engine positions is that they're here today, gone tomorrow.The goal of search engine optimization is to make sure that your site ranks as high as possible for the keywords that you think people will use to find your site. After you attain those high-ranking positions, the next goal is to keep them. Check...

Getting Your Site Found

Search engine optimization (SEO) is how to get your site discovered by the search engines. One of the key ways to do this is by using the permalink structure in WordPress. These search engine-optimized permalinks are one of the key features that actually show up in the results pages of all the search engines. Making them meaningful and descriptive is a must. Given the choice in a search engine results page between these two URLs, http example.com p 42 which would you choose The choice is pretty obvious. With the second option the visitor or potential visitor at least has an idea of what they are going to find at the site. This descriptive URL helps with search engines and click throughs since the savvy web user knows to look in the status bar of his browser to see the target site. Therefore we heartily recommend one of the first things you should do when setting up a WordPress site is change the permalink structure, as shown in Figure 10-3. Of course, you have to be on a platform that...

Validating New User Accounts

Enabling e-mail validation limits an e-mail address to just one associated account, which is good for sanity purposes. It is a must in this day and age of automated registration bots, which create mass accounts on various web services that are ultimately designed to abuse search engines' indexes. Additionally, it keeps the onus on users to keep their account information up-to-date, as a valid e-mail address is required to recover passwords.

Structure of a permalink

People aren't the only things that are at a disadvantage with the default WordPress URL structure The URLs aren't very friendly to search engines. The more descriptive your permalinks are, the better a search engine can index them, resulting in more people being able to find your blog.

Social Web Submit Buttons

The social Web is certainly a big consideration when working with editorial content today. While search engines can trickle in visitors for a long period of time, hitting the front page of Digg will boost your statistics dramatically in the short term. If your content is technically oriented in particular, the social Web offers a number of services to submit the story to, but even if you're not you should look around in your niche and see if there is one that suits your site. After all, you all want more visitors, right

Keywords and descriptions

Most people just hardcode some general keyword and description meta tags into their theme's template files that best describe the overall gist of their WordPress site. However, if you want to aid in your content being indexed by search engines a little better and or you use your WordPress site to cover a wide range of diverse information that an overall gist of keywords and a description just won't cover, you'll want to make metatags in your template files a bit more dynamic. There are several ways in which you can add keyword and description meta tags for individual posts and pages to your WordPress theme. You can use the available template tags within your theme's header.php or other header template pages to add content to your meta tags. Or you can install third-party plugins that will expand your administration page options and give you a little more control than what is produced by your post's content. In the next few sections, we'll look at doing it yourself as well as a few...

Finding Premium Plug Ins

Meanwhile, premium plug-ins are out there. Some are developed by the same shops that sell premium themes. Others can be found through common search engines. And some folks have put together lists of quality premium plug-ins, including Kevin Eklund's Ultimate Review List of Best Premium WordPress Plugins at

Writing Useful Titles

Having a good title for posts is crucial because of the number of ways that WordPress uses them, all of which are related to search engine ranking. Take a look at the highlighted coding in Figure 30-1. These are all elements that search engines use in various ways when calculating the relevance of a page, and WordPress automatically makes sure your title is placed in each of them it's up to you to make sure the title is relevant. Be succinct If you look at the titles of results in search engines you'll notice that they're truncated if they're too long (around 60 characters is the typical stopping point). It would nice for your entire title to show in the search results, but at the very least have the most important words first. If you're having trouble boiling down the content into a succinct title, it may be that you're biting off more than your visitors can chew in a single post. Would the material be better handled in smaller units Looking at it from a search engine's point of...

Using the tag for images

An extra benefit of < ALT> tags is that search engines gather data from them to further classify the content of your site. The following is the code for inserting an image, with the < ALT> tag of the code in bold to demonstrate what I'm talking about Search engines harvest those < ALT> tags as keywords. The WordPress image uploader gives you an easy way to include those < ALT> tags without having to worry about inserting them into the image code yourself. Just fill out the Description text box before you upload and add the image to your post. Chapter 9 covers in-depth information on adding images to your site content, including how to add descriptive text for the ALT tag and keywords.

Introducing Google XML Sitemaps

In the Basic Options section, under Sitemap files, deselect Write a normal XML file (your filename). All search engines support compressed site maps, so there's little point in wasting the disk space that would be used by creating an uncompressed site map. The options in the Building mode section should be left at their defaults, so move on to Update notifications where you can select which search engines you want to notify about updates to your website. By default, all of the search engines are selected, except for Yahoo Add a checkmark next to Notify YAHOO about updates of your Blog, so that this search engine is also selected.

Inserting Images into Your Blog Posts

The alternative text is what shows in a browser for visually impaired people who use text readers or, if, for some reason, the image does not load properly. While alternate text gives the visitors to your site a description of what the image is, it's also good to add for SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines read the alternative text (also called ALT tags) and give search engines additional descriptive text to further categorize and define your site in listings and directories.

Tags and Content Sharing Sites

Technorati.com was one of the first sites to utilizes these update services and create an aggregation of blogs. Technorati tags enable to put your content into categories at Technorati.com. Basically you insert a tag on your page that points back to Technorati, so that your content is aggregated by tag along with similar posts. Technorati tag functionality is waning in lieu of new notification processes. The Technorati site is not the important add-on to WordPress that it once was, but it is still an easy place to get your content listed with relatively little effort. You now have plenty of ways to advertise new content with the advent of social media sites like Digg, Reddit, and Twitter. For example, in Chapter 9 we covered how to add social networking buttons to your posts, serving as a simple way for you to to effectively crowd source the notification processes through these new aggregators. Having your readers recommend content, and pass it on to tag-oriented sites, improves the...

Using Akismet to Kill Spam

Benefits from having links, especially on popular sites, back to nefarious Web sites he wants to move up in search engine rankings, he quickly loses that benefit when the search engines de-list the nefarious Web site for spamming. It is a constant war that anyone who has been in the blog world long enough is well aware of.

Making Use of Headings

The most important thing to remember when you're laying out a post with a large amount of text is to break up things using headings. Not only is this helpful to your readers by breaking things up for them visually, but it's also useful for search engines that use headings to understand the relative importance of chunks of data. That's why you also need to use the headings in the Text Editor in a logical way. Just as the structure in Figure 8-6 would not make much sense to your visitors, it would baffle a search engine as well.

Making Content Easy to Find

Third, WordPress offers many alternative views of the content. Either with special templates or by simply using the default index template file (see Chapter 8, Theme Development, for more information on template files), WordPress can offer up your content by date, category, title, author, or through several other variations. Creative use of these templates and other custom loops offers another vector into your content. The catch here is that this method also serves duplicate content, which the search engines discourage, but we cover that later in this chapter.

Time for action spreading the load

To the end user (and to search engines), there is no difference in the functionality of your site. Only images and CSS files are loaded from the other servers the important parts of your site are still located on your main server. All your page addresses remain the same. The only change that your users will notice is that the site loads more quickly.

Structuring Your Information

How your site is organized is critical to your visitors and to search engine spiders. In general, WordPress does a good job of keeping your content organized. After all, that should be a core function of a Content Management System. However, you do have to put a little thought into the overall structure of your site. The short answer is search has largely replaced top-down navigation. In our opinion, people do not go to a web site's index page and run through the global navigation to find the particular topic, article, or product they are looking for. Rather, they go to a search engine. The search engine provides a link to the exact page, or as close as it can get, regardless of how deep in the site it is. So, though we still favor everything in three clicks'' as a design rule, it is only because it adheres to the K.I.S.S. methodology and makes your site easier to use. But do not think this is a hard-and-fast rule, and sites are far more complex and encompass more content than they...

Weaknesses of the Default Search

Next, there is no logic to the search. That is, you cannot use any sort of Boolean syntax in the query. The search is a straight up find this word in the posts'' kind of search. Search power users use Boolean syntax all the time to create very refined search engine results. WordPress search does some silly things with these keywords. The WordPress search has been good enough, but it does not take advantage of some available tools like MySQL FullText search or other third-party search engines like Lucene or Sphinx. Understandably, WordPress needs to keep the installation process simple and reduce the dependencies on external software packages. This definitely complicates the whole installation. But, if a developer is capable and willing to integrate these other packages, why not let them Well, the 2009 Google Summer of Code project for WordPress set out to do just that, and we get to this in a moment. Some of these seem like big deals, and for some developers they certainly are. But...

Designing a Portfolio

An alternative solution would be to put whatever you wanted to display in listings in the excerpt field, and then use the_excerpt() to output things. However that would mean that you would either have to settle for a linked image only, or that you would have had to hack a lot of HTML code for each post. The whole point is to make updating simple and quick, and you would probably much rather just upload the image and paste the URL in a custom field. Besides, the solution we're going for lets you output a heading in plain text, and that's a good thing for search engines in particular.

Conducting Special Searches

PhpBB's search engine is also equipped with three types of predefined special searches. Any users guests or registered are able to find posts that have yet to receive a reply by clicking the View unanswered posts link in the top-right portion of the page, just above the forum and category listing. Registered users can perform two additional searches

Alternatives and Plugins to Help

Obviously, we are not the first to recognize these inadequacies in the default search mechanism. Some very talented developers have set out to create plugins that enhance or replace the built-in search. Many, many plugins are available. Some target specific issues, and others change the whole search process. Following are a some of the more popular search engine plugins for WordPress. mentioned earlier, but also includes plugin-inserted content. With Search Unleashed you can switch out the search engine to use either MySQL Full Text search or Zend Framework's Lucene implementation. Search Unleashed also performs search term highlighting. Search Unleashed includes a nice Administration Control Panel making managing the settings very easy. For the 2009 Google Summer of Code Project, Andy Skelton from Automattic took on student Justin Shreve to improve the built-in WordPress search. The results of the project is a set of plugins that create an API to extend and replace the core search....

Improving the author permalink structure

Now, it's time to think about how the links on your site will be formatted. With their default setting, they won't be very memorable, which means that it will be difficult for the members of your site to share their profile pages with potential clients. Your site's links also won't be very search engine friendly in their current state.

Starting to Blog and Building Your Community

In this chapter, I'll take you through some simple steps to enhance your blog and build your community. First, you'll look in a little more depth at posting to your blog, using both the standard and advanced editing options. I'll show you that you don't need to have any great HTML skills to make rich content for your site. Then you'll see how to manage categories, manage comments, add multiple authors for your site, and create blog pages. During the course of this chapter, you'll install and use two plug-ins, giving you an idea of what WordPress plug-ins can help you do on your site. Finally, I'll give you some tips on improving the search engine visibility of your site, to attract more visitors.

Migrating your permalinks safely

Of course, you can do the enormous mistake of modifying your permalinks as is. This is a very common beginner's mistake. While all looks fine, all links from social bookmarking sites, trackbacks as well as search engine results, are now broken and will only lead to your blog's 404 page.

Pinging third party services

In this example, we're looking forward to third party services which are web sites such as Technorati or Google blog search. They are related blogs and they publish links to popular posts, as well as allow their visitors to search amongst blogs using a powerful search engine.

Enhancing User Experience

How often does it happen that you can't click on the logo to go back to the blog homepage, or can't find what you're looking for by using the search engine It is a well known fact that in blogging the content is king, but a nice, user friendly interface makes your blog look a lot more professional, and much easier to navigate.

Configuring Word Press MU

Folder-based installs are effective for internal organizations but provide no sense of inherent ownership of the blog. Folder-based installs are effective for corporations and organizations desiring the benefit of unified search engine optimization (SEO) across all blogs.

Banning Abusive Users

One of the most useful features of the Statistics module is that it allows you to identify visitors who are abusing your site. Usually, these are not human visitors, but rather search engine crawlers that are malfunctioning or machines automatically accessing your site in an abusive manner. Once you identify a user, usually represented by an IP address, that is abusing your site, you can ban access from that particular abuser. This is a fantastic tool if your site is buckling under an artificially high load that is being generated by attackers or corrupt automated programs generating excessive requests.

Creating Aliases to Drupal Paths

Tip The Pathauto module (http drupal.org node 17345) automatically generates path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, categories, and users) when no explicit alias is provided by the user. The patterns used for generating the aliases is fully configurable, making the Pathauto module an indispensable tool for search engine optimization.

Word Press as a Content Management System

Using WordPress as a content management system (CMS) seems to come up every month on the Web. Run that phrase through a search engine and you will see countless results on the whys, why nots, and hows. It seems that WordPress is trapped with the stigma of being only a blog-ging engine when, as by now you have also discovered, it is so much more.

Making your microblog private

After you finish building your microblog, it's unlikely that you will want your site to be seen by everyone with an Internet connection. It doesn't matter whether you're building the site to be used in connection with your job or for usage by your family and friends. Either way, you and your users will most likely want to conduct your conversations in private. This means that you will need to block casual visitors as well as search engine crawlers from accessing your microblog. Luckily, in the case of the former, there's a way to make your microblog completely private with the help of the Absolute Privacy plugin found at http wordpress.org extend plugins absolute-privacy . When it comes to the latter, the settings included with WordPress will be sufficient to keep the crawlers out.

Introducing Redirection

The Redirection plugin is primarily designed to manage 301 redirects. This functionality is especially useful when migrating from a static website to WordPress as many 301 redirects will be needed in order to direct the search engine crawlers and visitors to your new web pages. In addition, this plugin also has the ability to track 404 errors. This will prove useful as it will allow you to monitor your website for errors and to ensure that everything is performing as it should be.

How to Show a Single Post singlephp

The single.php template view is most likely the landing page on your site when a visitor arrives via a search engine. Assuming you have great content, the search engine will rank the explanatory page of your site higher than the index page, which only lists the excerpt. Therefore, it is best to invest some time in this template because it is a very commonly viewed template. Enhancing this template with related posts and other teaser content only increases the possibility of enticing a visitor to further explore your site, bookmark it, subscribe to your feeds, or best of all, link back to you. All of these events increase your search engine respectability.

PhpBBs Security Features

Visual confirmation phpBB's later releases come bundled with a visual confirmation system, which aids as a deterrent against automated registration bots that use your member list as ad space for shady web sites that are interested in increasing their search engine placement. Humans should be the only people using your forums, and visual confirmation helps in ensuring that is the case.

Adding redirects for changed Permalinks

As WordPress uses URL rewriting in Permalinks, you probably know that any change in a permalink will break your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and all of the links will point to the incremented post. Sometimes, you have no other choice than to modify a permalink. Even worse, WordPress itself may have modified your permalink (for example, including the category name in your permalink structure, and add a post to another category after publishing it).

Creating And Managing Content

The first step to creating a post is to click the Add New link under the Posts SubPanel. Creating a post couldn't be easier the only actual required fields are either the post content or title. The first box on the Add New Post screen is the title of your post. Go ahead and fill in a title of My First Post''. This is one of the most important parts of your post because it describes what your post is about. It is also heavily used for search engine optimization. If you have permalinks enabled the title is also used in your post permalink or URL depending on the permalink structure set. If you leave a post title blank, the permalink will be the post ID. The current post's permalink is displayed below the post title after the initial save.

Starting from a Working Theme

You will want to make sure that you are permitted to change the source theme you are starting with. You will also want to review the code quality of the theme, because you will be the one making the modifications going forward. Does the theme accomplish the same presentation goals as your site, template-wise does it convey your data the way you want it conveyed There is no point in starting with a theme that you have to completely retool. Does the theme have enough CSS hooks for you to style Was search engine optimization (SEO) a consideration when the theme was developed How much modification will be needed to meet your requirements and will you be happy with the end result Finally, does the theme come with source art, like the original Photoshop document, for you to modify If not, do you need it, or will you be able to re-create any assets you must have

Some Forum Administration Lingo

Bot Bots are a relatively new phenomenon in the fight for message board security the typical bot registers new accounts on message boards automatically in order to boost their search engine rankings. Some bots are sophisticated enough to spam certain types of message boards. If you enable the proper validation in phpBB, you won't have to deal with these. (I'll cover defense against bots at length in Chapter 10.)

Optimizing for text and mobile browsers

You'll now be able to see how your complete site looks without CSS styling. You can even turn off images. Use this to think about if your WordPress content is loading in logically and in the order of importance you prefer for your viewers. Also keep in mind, this is very similar to how a search engine bot will crawl your page from top to bottom and thus the order in which the content will be indexed.

Setting up and configuring Maintenance Mode

The last option found on this screen is located in the Miscellaneous area. Here you will find the Apply HTTP header '503 Service Unavailable' and 'Retry-After < backtime> ' to Maintenance Mode splash page setting. Tick the checkbox next to this setting to enable it on your site. With this setting enabled, any search engine crawlers that visit your site while its offline will know exactly when they should come back to look for updates.

Word Press in the Enterprise

Many of these reasons are plain old reasons to use WordPress, or reasons to use WordPress as a CMS, which are essentially one and the same. Look at all the functionality you receive out of the box when you use WordPress. WordPress by its very nature is easy to use, search engine optimized, security aware, and well-maintained, and countless other features have made it so popular today.

Posts are Pages Pages are Posts

Pages do not have excerpts, even though they have a database field for them. Since pages never appear in archive lists, excerpts would never be used for pages in a typical WordPress site. However, excerpts can be useful for pages as well as posts. For example, you might tweak your search results theme file to display excerpts rather than the full post content. Also, some heavily customized themes do list pages in archive-like lists. You can use a plugin such as PJW Page Excerpt or Excerpt Editor to add excerpts to your pages.

Short Links and Canonical URLs

Those long URLs containing your post titles are great for improving your search results, but they're awfully long If you're sharing links on social media networks, e-mailing them, or including them in printed documents, you're probably interested in ways to shorten your links.

SEO Tips and Tricks to Get More Visits

Having a blog is cool, but it doesn't have any value if people don't even know about its existence. Getting online exposure isn't easy and it can often cost a lot of money. Luckily, being featured on search result pages is absolutely free. However, the competition is very tough. Let's do a Google search about a topic. For example, let's use WordPress there are more than 306,000,000 results To make your blog stand out, you have to pay a lot of attention to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Using Google Webmaster Tools

Securing your Word Press Blog

A very important point in managing a blog is security. Even though nobody wants to lose all of their data, security is often neglected by many WordPress users. Hacking into blogs is far more prevalent than you may think. A Google search for 'My blog was hacked' gives a count of around two million web pages.

Finding Free Plug Ins Outside the Directory

Compared with the similar process with themes, it seems to be a little harder to find free plug-ins that are not in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Although the Google search for free WordPress plug-ins generates even more hits than free WordPress themes (87 million versus 49 million), nearly all the top 50 matches point directly to the Plugin Directory, or to developers already in the Plugin Directory.

Better Browsing with Lightbox

This is pulled off with JavaScript and some design trickery, and there are a ton of possible solutions waiting for you a mere Google search away. Which solution you choose all depends on how much visual bling you want, and what sorts of effects suit you and your site. I do think you should go with one that comes as a WordPress plugin though, because that means that you won't have to add any classes to your images manually to make sure the Lightbox solution recognizes the link as

Naming and organizing the plugin files

Every plugin should have a unique name so that it does not come into conflict with any other plugins in the WordPress universe. When choosing a name for your plugin and the PHP file, be sure to choose something unique. You may even want to do a Google search for the name you choose in order to be sure that someone else doesn't already have it.

Project Animating an alert sticky post

They've made it clear they only use the sticky feature for daycare and other center alerts that affect the organization's center building being open to the public so you decide to do a quick Google search for creative commons, public domain, alert icon svg and download a very nice SVG file from http commons.

Enhancing your Word Press blog SEO with the All in One SEO Pack plugin

As SEO is currently a very hot topic and many WordPress plugins dedicated to enhance your SEO are available. These aren't all that bad, and some of them are really good. All in One SEO Pack is one of these and has lots of features to help you with your blog SEO Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines

Word Press themes overview

A WordPress theme is, according to the WordPress codex, a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. Themes comprise a collection of template files and web collateral such as images, CSS stylesheets, and JavaScript. Themes are what allow you to modify the way your WordPress site looks, without having to know much about how WordPress works, much less change how it works. There are plenty of sites that host free themes and or sell premium WordPress themes. A quick Google search for wordpress themes will give you an idea of the enormity of options available. However, when first looking for or researching themes, a good place to start is always WordPress' free theme gallery where you can easily review and demo different themes and styles http wordpress.org extend themes . The next screenshot shows the main page of the WordPress theme's directory

Replacing the Title Text

If you're not going to use the default title and description in your header, don't change or erase them in the admin settings. They're used for many purposes besides the header, the most important being in the title area of your browser (which is used by search engines to index your site).

Finding and Installing Themes from the Free Themes Directory

The Free Themes Directory at http WordPress.org extend themes has been around since July 2008. About a year later, the themes and plug-ins directories were incorporated into the WordPress Administration page, thus making finding and selecting themes as easy as clicking the Change Theme button on the Dashboard. You are taken to the Manage Themes page shown in Figure 12.3, where you can choose from three spots to open the theme search engine The WordPress.org theme search engine comes up, and it works largely in the same way as the WordPress.com theme search. That is, you can filter your search list based on color, columns, fixed or flexible width, and other features. The one major difference is that the availability of widgets is either a given or simply not a differentiator among the free themes. You can also define holiday, seasonal, or photoblogging-specific themes in the filters.

Dealing with deleted ads and 404 errors

With Ad Pruning set to Yes, old content won't appear on your site. Links to those listings will, however, still appear in the search engines until they update their indexes. That means that visitors may click on links for ads that have since been deleted. Instead of arriving at the page that they hoped to find they will, instead, be presented with a 404 error page.

Search Engine Traffic Tactics

Search Engine Traffic Tactics

Within this guide you will learn such tactics as the following Domain age, Regular upgrade, Write for your visitors, Press releases, Flash, Meta tags, Heading tag, Site map, Keywords, External links, Business address, Article distribution, Images, Multiple domains, Link exchange and so much more.

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