Updated 2011: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a powerful skill to master when it comes to maximizing your blog’s visibility and Page Rank power. By installing plugins like the ones we’ve listed below, you can ensure (with very little effort on your part) that your blog or website is maximizing its visibility in the search engine circuit.
This is quickly becoming the most mentioned plugin on this blog – and for good reason. Quite literally, this tool is the epitome of plug & play, only requiring you to define your desired meta information, keywords, and some select niceties (defining noindex for category pages, tag pages and archives), and you’re done. Literally one of the most simply effective tools for SEO.
This is an immensely functional plugin that will allow search engine spiders and crawlers to get a more accurate layout of your site – which, of course, means better tracking of your new posts, pages, and content. This plugins pings Google, Ask.com, Bing, and Yahoo each time you update, and creates a sitemap file that you can customize, and move, to suit your site’s specific layout.
If there were a plugin that could give All In One SEO Pack a run for its money – this would be it. In fact, that seems to be their sole purpose. This plugin was based on AIO-SEO, but added some extra functionality for those who really want to get their hands dirty in the SEO machine. This plugin allows you to define not just noindex/index for each page, but also follow or nofollow, noarchive, nosnippet, noodp, noydir… Quite the array of options. My favorite part? They tell you, “don’t be afraid to change your permalinks” – they’ve added a 301 redirect capability so you won’t lose page rank. They’ve even gone so far as to integrate a process that will import your setting from AIO-SEO if you decide to switch over to Platinum. A pretty convincing argument, I have to say.
(Rated Our BEST WordPress SEO Plugin for 2011) This is a fantastic new SEO tool from the blogging pros over at Copyblogger. Scribe SEO is available to use via their website, or via WordPress plugin (which we clearly prefer). What Scribe SEO does is really amazing – it takes your written post, and your entered meta data and title and analyzes it for maximum optimization. It delivers a score (a percentage between 0 and 100) and shows you what keywords are most prevalent in your post, as well as suggested tags, an example of what the post will look like in search results, and even gives you your Flesch Reading Ease Score right in the Post Edit page. It requires a monthly subscription (you’re paying for “evaluations”, or the number of time you can analyze a post), the lowest of which is $27/month for 30 evaluations, and the highest tops out at $97/month for a whopping 300 evaluations.
SEO Smart Links is a simple plugin that allows you to impress search engines by automatically self-linking your own posts via keywords. Not only do search engines like Google look positively on self-linkage, but your traffic and stats will see a great improvement, as well.
Yet another little plugin (from the same plugin author, no less!) with a simple task that provides a wealth of functionality. By adding an “alt” and “title” description to all of your images, SEO Friendly Images is able to describe your photos and images to search engines, allowing them to more easily crawl your content.
SEO Booster Pro
This is an inexpensive, effective tracking tool for your blog or website. They log all of the search terms that are used to find your specific posts, and then offer you the option to tag your posts with said search term (as well as all the other posts containing those terms). It will also track the life of a given search term against your post to check the keyword’s potency, and then uses the best-ranking terms to promote your site to search engines. It’s another easy plug’n’play tool by Clever Plugins, and it’s available for a one-time payment of $39.95.
This plugin’s title is slightly misleading as it’s much more than just a tagging tool. Simple Tags suggests tags for you based on search terms, as well as from Yahoo! Term Extraction API, OpenCalais, Alchemy, Zemanta, and Tag The Net. It also offers you the ability to tag pages, and use tags for de.licio.us, Filckr and Technorati. This only scratches the surface of this plugin’s capabilities, but it’s enough to get you interested, no doubt!
This is a plugin that has made it onto most “must have SEO plugins” lists. At first, I was skeptical, but after reading about blog migration and the horrible things that 404 errors do to your page rank, I found it most fit for this list. Redirection logs all the 404 errors your blog receives and allows you to easily convert them to redirects, so your readers and visitors are sure to see your amazing content instead of a big, fat error.