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SEO Plugins - Are They Really Needed or Just a Shortcut?

Further - do they scream... "Im SEO'ing this site" to Google

   
7:28 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)



We're planning a new site and looking for opinion on WordPress SEO plugins. Are they really THAT useful, or are we better off skipping the customization and doing it by hand?

I am very familiar with the leading SEO plugins out there for WordPress and have to admit, they make things easy but leave a trail of optimization footprints in their wake. (code comment about using seo plugin versions, etc) We have used Yoast or AIOSEO for many years and sometimes wonder if it's like raising the "We Do SEO" flag over our site.

We know Google and Matt Cutts groups SEO and Spam in the same sentence, are we better off with nothing at all?
8:40 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



i used to use the All-in-one-SEO plugin, and whilst it did do what it was supposed to, eventually i decided to get rid of it and code my own stuff into the pages.

the reason i got rid of it was because of all the extra database lookups and bloat it adds to your database.

the loop already grabs the post's title and excerpt, so its easy enough to use them as the title and description. grabbing an extra title and description from AIOSEO is just a waste of time.
9:12 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)



Thanks for the feedback Londrum. One of the things that also got me wondering about the usefulness:

1 - The footprints in code view
2 - The constant plugin updates that affect robots.txt or other seo shaping.

I hadn't thought about the speed issue for added php calls... thanks for bringing that up!
4:10 pm on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Yea. I prefer not to use them - opting to implement SEO through the theme and custom fields if need be. I really try to keep the number of plugins to a minimum.
7:00 pm on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



1 - The footprints in code view

can't you just amend the plugin code to take the footprints out? im pretty sure that all the plugins uploaded to the wordpress directory are okay to amend. but i might be wrong
1:17 pm on Nov 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>> can't you just amend the plugin code to take the footprints out

Yes but then you've broken the update path - eg. you cannot use autoupdate anymore and the plugin becomes one more thing to be tracked and updated. Seems harmless at first but it gets to be a real headache the busier you get.
2:22 pm on Nov 4, 2012 (gmt 0)



can't you just amend the plugin code to take the footprints out


Even taking out the code comments, which we already do... aren't we really just fooling ourselves into thinking that we're hiding the fact we're doing SEO?

I guess one of the things we're trying to figure out is how thick of a tinfoil hat should we wear, and at what point does Google consider SEO, spam.

MH
3:32 pm on Nov 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



i think people are worrying too much about doing SEO. all this plugin does (from memory) is rewrite the title tags so they are more relevant, and insert some meta descriptions, meta keywords and canonical link tags. and it lets you noindex low quality pages like the bazillions of tag pages that wordpress produces. i can't see google ever punishing us for stuff like that
1:46 am on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I use Yoast; I'm very happy with it. I have a lot of custom posts and taxonomy pages and it makes it very easy to put the proper tags in. I don't have any search engine trouble with it, but I'm not trying to do any shortcuts or tricks, just trying to keep a tidy shop.

(And some of the stuff like the author and publisher stuff, and FB Open Graph - it's kind of a relief not to have to figure that all out)
 

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