Dr S.E. Optimisation, or How I Learned To Stop WP and love the Wedge


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Re: Dr S.E. Optimisation, or How I Learned To Stop WP and love the Wedge
« Reply #15, on April 8th, 2011, 02:27 AM »
Going back on topic, I took a look at that plugin, and it's certainly given me food for thought.

Firstly, it does sort of piss on the notion that WordPress is SEO friendly out of the box like I've heard a number preach.

It claims to provide support in these areas:
* Post titles and meta descriptions
* Robots Meta configuration
* Canonical
* Breadcrumbs
* Permalink clean up
* XML Sitemaps
* RSS enhancements
* Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess
* Clean up head section

There is definite food for thought, let's examine one by one what they're claiming and what I think we should do for Wedge, if only to placate the 'OMG MUST HAZ SEO' crowd.

* Post titles and meta descriptions
There is, I'll grudgingly admit, some validity to passing something meaningful in the meta description - at least in our case. There isn't for the conventional forum because the conventional forum is user driven.

But a blog, oh that's where it all changes, because a blog isn't primarily user-driven in content submission. It's admin driven. Which means there's a decent chance that something like this might be useful to include.

More specifically, blog posts having some meta content that wouldn't normally be presented.

For forum posts, I'd be inclined to follow the sheep on this one and put the first post into the description of the thread, since that's no worse than the current status quo of using the thread title, and odds are it will improve matters marginally. (It will, at least, cut support queries)

* Robots meta configuration
SMF and Wedge pretty much get this right so far, but it does seem interesting to be able to have areas that are publicly accessible but controllably hidden. I would certainly be interested in adding the option WP has to 'hide' it from search engines without denying access.

* Canonical
Other than a possible bug with PHPSESSID, this is pretty much all set in the core anyway (and it's not down to us if a mod breaks it). Though the point with the calendar is well made, that we should ensure that's fixed as and when we expand the calendar.

* Breadcrumbs
I don't see any need to make the linktree accessible from an administrative POV; if people want to change how it operates, fine, but there's no need to change it out of the box otherwise.

* Permalink clean up
Hmm, that's interesting, forcing redirects back to original content. Not quite sure what to do with that one yet.

* XML Sitemaps
I've made it clear that I'm interested in adding both an XML and human readable sitemap.

* RSS enhancements
The ability to add content to the beginning or end of the RSS feed entries, like a link back to the post in question actually embedded in the content. That's not actually a bad idea.

* Edit your robots.txt or .htaccess
If we provide sane files in the first place, there's not really any great need to have them be 'readily editable', anyone messing with them should know what they're doing.

* Clean up the head section
WP's head is full of crap, like the XMLRPC interface URIs and some inline CSS. Most of our header is much more interesting and useful - everything is worth keeping IMO, and our default head is shorter than WP's ;)
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