Advantages and disadvantages of WordPress (part I)
As you probably know, WordPress is currently the most popular blogging platform on the internet. Users choose it over other platforms mostly because of the template system and the plug-in architecture. This allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install. But, like most of the things in this world, it has some good parts and some bad parts. So, let’s talk a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress and see if it’s really worth using and if we can improve its bad parts.
Indexing and crawlability
The advantages of wordpress are clear and not negligible at all: ping automatically after each item posted, so the crawl is almost immediately (in theory), useful and indexable content created by the users, a relatively ok structurated code which allows crawlers to pass through it without any problems, the ability to add useful SEO plugins for correcting the native mistakes of the backend…and so on.
The bad part is that the WordPress structure allows some errors that can kill you in search engines: a lot of duplicate content (but we will discuss this a bit later), fast indesing which I mentioned above and must be controlled, or else you risk indexing a lot of unnecessary pages, eventually pages which present security risks (like plugin pages, admin, etc) and several other issues about which we’ll talk later.
Nevertheless, all these problems can be solved, or with plugins, or with code hacks.
By far the most painful problem of WordPress. Think about when you publish a new article, WordPress posts it in at least six different locations: on a single post’s page, on the category page, on the page from the monthly/yearly archive, on the main page, on the tag oage, in the feed, in the trackback…are these enough? Sure, not every theme displays all the above, but two or three are enough to raise the duplicate content flag in Google and to let the penalties flow: initially, a very probable Google sandbox (positioning of the site outside the first results, until Google figures out what’s up with your site), keyword penalties, pages in the supplemental index (from which, by the way, you get out pretty hard sometimes) and so on.
To solve the duplicate content problem, we need some changes in the WordPress standards:
-create unique titles on each page
-create unique descriptions on each page
-block indexing of several instances in which an article appears
-to specify clearly in robots.txt where Google and other crawlers are allowed to stick their nose.
–to be continued–
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 7:33 pm and is filed under SEO. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Both comments and pings are currently closed.