Posts Tagged ‘ SEO

Optimized URLs in WordPress Blogs

If you’ve just setup WordPress, one of the first things you should do before your first post is to change the WordPress settings so that each new post has its own optimized and SEO friendly URL. For example:

  • default URL for blog post:  nickroshon.com/?p=8
  • optimized URL blog post:   nickroshon.com/categoryname/postname

It’s pretty simple to setup, just go to Settings – Permalinks in the WordPress Admin. I chose to have a custom structure with %category%/%postname% but you can do anything you want. WordPress recommends you keep the date or year (or some number) in it for performance reasons, but from what I’ve read the performance gains don’t seem worth the cost of having a bunch of numbers in the post URL that no one will ever remember…

The reasons why you want custom, logical URLs instead of the standard ones with just the post number are:

  1. It’s more user-friendly
  2. It gives you a chance to put some keywords in the URL which the Search Engines will see and consider you more relevant for
  3. Searchers are more likely to click on a easier-to-remember URL than some weird one with a bunch of dynamic jargon
  4. Other webmasters will find it easier to link back to your post saying, hey, here’s a great post on this topic. Even if they don’t give you a custom anchor text (like this: SEO Tips by Nick Roshon) and just spell out your URL like this: http://nickroshon.com/tag/seo, the search engines will still associate your webpage with the words “nick” “roshon”, and “seo” all found in the URL.

It’s important to do this before your first post – once you post something, you don’t want its URL to change. This will confuse the search engines because the may have already seen it at the old URL and give you credit for it at that address.  When a new page comes along with the same content but at a different URL, the search engine may think that page is a duplicate and choose to ignore it for the older version it’s already familiar with. So get started with this tip right away and don’t change the URL once the post is live unless you absolutely have to!

There you have it! Some servers and some WordPress installs may require some additional configuration in order to get optimized permalink URLs like this, but mine didn’t require this and I think that’s less common these days if your blog is hosted through a major hosting company. If you do run into issues, Google it, there are lots of detailed how-to articles that I won’t attempt to recreate here because it really depends on your exact server & WordPress installation.

Prevent Comment Spam!

Oops!! I changed my WordPress settings so that all comments would be approved without moderation so that anyone who was nice enough to leave me a comment could see it posted immediately – big mistake!!!

DO NOT ALLOW COMMENTS TO BE POSTED UNMODERATED!

I had about 1,200 comments on a single post with links for “icelandic airline deals” and all sorts of other crazy, spammy stuff. I thought I was safe from getting comment spam because my blog is super obscure and I only had a few posts, but I guess even in those cases the comment spammers will find you sooner rather than later, and once they find you it’s a free-for-all.

Comment spammers put a bunch of links stuffed with specific keywords in the comments section of your post. They don’t do this to gain traffic – humans don’t actually click on that stuff – they do it to boost their rankings in search engines because search engine crawlers/bots do click those links in the comments when they trust the source (in this case, me). When google starts following thousands of spammy links on my blog, a red flag will go up that I might be a spammer too, and I’ll lose the search engine’s trust.

Somehow I only got comment spammed on one post, so I simply removed that post and then locked down my comments in the WordPress Admin under Settings – Discussions and choose the option that comments require moderation unless 2 previous comments have already been accepted.

Also, you may have noticed that I’ve gotten lazy with posting. I have no excuse, but I’m going to re-double my efforts to post weekly. I may stray from chronological order of how to build a blog (right, Anthony?) but I think its necessary for me to write on things I find interesting as opposed to a strict formula – I have a short attention span!!

Oh yeah, and I’m going to play around with some WordPress themes so my blog doesn’t look so lame, but expect a retroactive post explaining how I picked out my theme and how I installed it.

More reading on comment spam, and how to avoid it: Managing Comment Spam

Gnarliest Badass Snake Puncher

Nick Roshon is the gnarliest badass snake puncher and this is going to make him show up as first in Google for that query (I hope!).

Why should I show up first for gnarliest badass snake puncher?
1) Because I’m gnarly, and would totally punch a snake if I had to
2) Because I’m going to optimize for that term, and its not very competitive.

This would make a cool business card. Want to contact me? Google ‘gnarliest badass snake puncher’ and you’ll find me 🙂 Now that’s badass!

UPDATE: VICTORY!!!

nickroshongnarliestbadasssnakepuncher

I’m shocked that post was indexed overnight, as I doubt Google’s bots are visting my site that frequently, so I must have just gotten lucky.  I also noticed my homepage went from a Google Page Rank of N/A to Page Rank 0.   Not a huge win there, but it’s going in the right direction.   Cheers!