Quick And Easy SEO Tool for WordPress (My Plugin)

This article is for the 'Quick And Easy SEO Tool' which is now available for download. You can check out the plugin on this page:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-and-easy-seo-tool/

I developed this plugin with simplicity in mind and I am really happy with how it has turned out.

So why another SEO plugin?

There are quite a few SEO plugins available for wordpress and some are actually pretty good. But what I found was that most plugins available today are bulky and come loaded with functionalities that have nothing to do with SEO.

I wanted to come up with a light weight plugin that only does what is required - it fixes SEO issues in wordpress.

What does the plugin do?

What the plugin does can be divided into the four parts as follows:

1.) Adds Robots meta tags

Adds the Robots Noindex/Follow meta tag to the following pages:

  • Adds Noindex to search and 404 pages.
  • Adds Noindex to all date archives - daily, monthly and yearly archives.
  • Adds Noindex to author archives.
  • Adds Noindex to media attachment pages.
  • Adds Noindex to tag archives from page 2 onward.
  • Adds Noindex to category archives from page 2 onward.
  • Adds Noindex to homepage archives from page 2 onward.

2.) Adds Next/Prev Rel tags to archive pages

Adds the rel='next' and rel='prev' tags to all paginated archives and to single posts where pagination is present.

  • Add rel='next' and rel='prev' tag to all archive pages (date, category, tag, author, homepage) including custom taxonomies.
  • Add rel='next' and rel='prev' tag to paginated single posts (Posts paginated using the <!--Nextpage--> tag)

This tag tells Google that these pages are part of a paginated sequence. Here's what Google has to say about these tags.

3.) Removes unwanted tags from wordpress head section

WordPress by default adds a lot of tags in the head section that are unnecessary. This plugin removes some of these tags. The tags removed include the following:

  • Next/Prev tag from single post pages
  • Shortlink tag
  • WLW tag
  • WP Generator tag
  • Regular feed and comment feed tags
  • XMLRPC tag

4.) Adds custom title tag & meta description tag meta boxes

Adds custom title tag and meta description tag meta boxes for all single posts, pages and custom post types like Woocommerce pages. Using these boxes, you can easily add custom title tags and meta description tags for your posts and pages.

5.) Adds canonical tags for archive pages

WordPress automatically adds canonical tag for all single post pages. Therefore, the plugin adds Canonical tags only for the archive pages. This includes the homepage archive pages.

Note: This plugin comes pre-configured, but you can override the configurations at any time by going to the plugin settings page which is located under 'Settings > Quick & Easy SEO Tool' in you wordpress dashboard.

What the plugin does not do

This plugin does not add the following functionalities that are quite standard with other SEO plugins:

1.) Does not add OG Tags: OG tags do not add any SEO value to your blog. It only adds tags that can be used by social sharing sites like Facebook and Twitter.

When someone shares your content, Facebook looks to see if the site has 'OG Tags' and takes information like title, description, image etc. from the tag.

Point to note is that, even in the absence of the tab Facebook can automatically take these details, so these tags as such are not important.

But if you want to add these tags I recommend this plugin by Webdados: Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags

2.) Does not add XML sitemap: Again a sitemap is not a requirement unless you are running a massive site. Google has confirmed time and again that having a sitemap will not automatically give more value to your site in their search engine. The only thing a sitemap does is help Google index your site more efficiently.

So if you want to add a sitemap, I recommend using the Google sitemap plugin by Arne Brachhold.

3.) Does not add webmaster tool verification: If you want to verify your site with Google or Bing webmaster tools, there is an extremely simple way to do this. Here's a tutorial I wrote on how you can do this on your own.

So apart from these three features, everything else is included in the plugin.

Explanation for various settings

The plugin comes with a single settings page and is auto-configured. But if you want, you can make changes to the settings easily.

Let's look at these settings:

1.) Robots Meta Tag Settings

This is how the settings page looks like for this section:

Robots meta tag settings

1.) Search Pages: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all WordPress generated search pages. If you use default WordPress search box on your site, this will help keep the search pages out of the Google index.

The following meta tag will be added to the head section of all search pages:

<meta name='robots' content='noindex,follow'>

Note: The Noindex/Follow tag informs the search engines that it is okay to follow the links on the page, but do not index the page or display the page in your search engine results.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow

2.) 404 Pages: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all 404 error pages. In other words, pages that do not exist.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow

3.) Media Attachment Pages: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all media attachment pages.

When you upload an image to the wordpress Media Library, it auto-generates a new page for the image.

Because the page has only an image and no other content, this can be viewed as a low value page by Google. Therefore, it is recommended to add a Noindex tag to these pages.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow

4.) Date Archives: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all date archives.

WordPress auto generates three types of date archives - daily, monthly and yearly. Since these pages only contain links segregated based on the date, they add little to no value. It is best to add a 'Noindex' tag to these pages which is what the plugin does.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow

5.) Author Archives: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all author archives.

If you are a single author blog, your author archive will be exactly same as your homepage archive. Therefore it is recommended to add a Noindex to these archive pages which is what the plugin does.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow

6.) Category Archives: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all category archives from the 2nd page onward.

If your category has pagination it is a recommended practice to add a 'Noindex' tag from the 2nd page onward so only the first page is indexed.

For example, let's say you have 100 articles in a category and your category page is set to display 20 articles per page (as per the value you set in Settings > Reading ). This means, there will be four pages that will be generated as follows:

http://example.com/category/name/
http://example.com/category/name/page/1/
http://example.com/category/name/page/2/
http://example.com/category/name/page/3/

This plugin will add a 'Noindex/Follow' tag to Page 2, 3 and 4. It will not add Noindex/Follow to the first page.

This way, all these sub-pages will not be indexed by Google. The links will be followed, but the pages won't be indexed.

You have the option to change the default setting as shown in the image below:

Noindex settings for wordpress

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow from 2nd page onward

7.) Tag Archives: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all tag archives from the 2nd page onward.

Similar to the category archives, the plugin will add a 'Noindex/Follow' tag to all the tag archives, from the 2nd page onward.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow from 2nd page onward

8.) Homepage Archives: Adds a robots 'Noindex' meta tag to all homepage archives from the 2nd page onward.

If you are displaying the latest posts on your homepage, it will have pagination. It a recommended practice to add 'Noindex' all paginated index pages.

The default setting for this is: NoIndex/Follow from 2nd page onward

2.) Remove Unwanted Tags From WordPress Head Section

This section gives you the option to remove unwanted tags from the wordpress head section. The following tags are removed by default:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Comments Feed" href="#" />
<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="xmlrpc.php?rsd" />
<link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml" href="wlwmanifest.xml" />
<link rel='prev' title='#' href='#' />
<link rel='next' title='#' href='#' />
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.1.1" />
<link rel='shortlink' href='#' />
<link rel='index' title='#' />
<link rel='start' title='#' />

This is how the options page looks like for this setting:

Remove unwanted tags settings

3.) Add Next/Prev Rel Tags to Archive Pages

By default the plugin adds the rel='next' and rel='prev' tags to all archive pages. This includes, the date, author, category, tag and homepage archives. This also includes any custom post type archives generated by plugins like Woocommerce.

Using this tag tells Google that the archive pages are part of a paginated sequence. This way you can stay clear of any duplicate content penalty.

To learn more about these tags, check out Google official documentation here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663744?hl=en

In addition to the archive pages, the plugin also adds these tags to paginated single post pages. In other words, if a single articles is split into smaller sections/pages, each page will have these tags added.

This is only applicable if you are splitting any of your single post articles using the <!--Nextpage--> tag.

Here's how the settings page for this option looks like:

Rel prev meta tags settings

4.) Add Custom Title Tag & Meta Description Meta Box

The plugin automatically adds a custom title tag and meta description tag boxes to all single post pages - this includes custom post type pages.

If you add a custom title tag, your custom title tag will be used, if not, the regular title tag generated by WordPress will be used. WordPress automatically converts the heading of your article as the title tag.

Similarly, if you do not add a custom meta description tag, no meta description tag will be added. Some plugins tend to take the first few lines of your content and convert that into the meta description tag. But this is of little to no use as Search engines are clever enough to do this on their own.

Meta description only makes sense when it is custom written. Make sure to keep your meta description under 155 characters.

If you do not want these boxes added, you can remove them from the settings section.

Here's how the settings page for this option looks like:

Custom title meta box settings

Checking if the plugin works

After activating the plugin, it is a good practice to check if all tags are being added properly.

To do this, you will need to view the 'HTML source' of your single posts and archive pages.

To check HTML source of a page, simply open the page in your favorite browser. Now click 'CTRL + U' (Press the CTRL key and then press the 'U' key while keeping the CTRL key pressed.) in your keyboard. This should open the HTML source of the page for Firefox, Chrome and IE. For Mac users, press CMD(Command) key instead of the CTRL key.

Another way is to right click somewhere on the page and then select 'View Source' or 'View Page Source'.

Now let's look at a few examples on how to check if the plugin works:

Example 1: Let's check the tags added to your website's homepage.

Open your blog's homepage and check the HTML source.

You should be able to see the canonical tag. You should also be able to see the 'next' tag if pagination is present as shown in the image below.

As you can see, the tags added by this plugin are surrounded by the plugin name (<-- Added by quick and easy seo -->) for each identification.

Homepage Tags

If pagination is present, open the 2nd page. On the 2nd paginated page, you should be able to see the 'prev' tag and the 'Noindex' robots meta tag. You will also see the 'next' tag is further pagination is present. If further pagination is not present, the 'next' tag will not be visible:

Homepage 2nd page tags

Example 2: Let's check your category archive pages to see if the tags have been added.

Open one of your category archive pages, and check the HTML source.

You should be able to see the canonical tag and the rel='next' tag if pagination is present as shown in the image below:

First category page tags

If pagination is present, check your archive's 2nd page and see if either the 'prev' and/or 'next' tags are present.

Category page meta tags

Please note that the rel='next' and rel='prev' tags will only be added if there is pagination present. If not, only the canonical tag will be added.

Example 3: Let's check the custom title tag and meta description tag feature for single posts.

Edit one of your single posts in your wordpress admin panel, and enter a custom title tag for the post, similarly, add a custom meta description tag.

Custom Meta Description and Title Tag Box

Click on the 'Update' button so the post is updated.

Now open this page in your browser and view the HTML source.

You should be able to see the meta description tag within the 'Added by quick and easy seo' comments.

Similarly, the title tag should reflect the custom title tag that you entered.

Custom meta description tag

Example 4: Let's check a 404 page to see if 'Noindex' tag is present.

Simply open a non-existent URL on your site. Eg: http://yoursite.com/non-existent

You should get a 404 page does not exist error. Check the HTML source of this page and you should be able to see a Robots Noindex tag as shown in the image below:

Robots Noindex tag

This way, you can check any page on your blog to see if the required tags are being added.

FAQs about the plugin

Q 1: Does the plugin add canonical tags?
Yes, the plugin does add canonical tags, but only to archive pages (eg: category pages). This is because, WordPress automatically adds canonical tags to all other single post pages.

Q 2: Does the plugin fix all SEO related issues with WordPress?
Yes, the plugin fixes all known SEO issues. It does not try to fix things that are already fixed and does not attempt to add functionalities that are an overkill and not required in most cases.

Q 3: Will the plugin slow down my site?
Not in the least. This plugin only adds the bare minimum tags required to make your site SEO friendly and hence is very fast.

Q 4: Has the plugin been tested with multi-site?
No, the plugin has not been tested with multi-site.

Q 5: What makes this plugin stand apart?
The fact that it was built with simplicity in mind and is extremely simple to configure and manage.

If you have any further questions feel free to leave it in the comments below and I will reply immediately.

 
 
 
 

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