Today we’re going to be talking about a nifty plugin for WordPress called All In One SEO Pack. It has some useful SEO features, which I’ll explain in a minute, but the main thing I’ve found to be indispensable about it is the ease of controlling the appearance of a link when it is shared on Facebook.
Let me explain.
When someone shares a link on Facebook, you know how it shows the thumbnail of an image on the page (which the share-er can control which image, or none, etc), but then it will put up a little summary of the text? Normally, what happens is Facebook pulls the first few sentences on the page. However, if there is an entry in the Description meta tag on that page, Facebook displays that instead (that’s why when you share a Flickr link, the text always says something like “Flickr is the best way to share photos on the internet” or something like that…that’s the meta-description of every page on flickr.com).
Well, when you have the All In One SEO plugin installed, it adds some fields to the bottom of the new post form. One of those fields is for the meta-description. So you can put in a summary/description of that post, which is NOW what will show up when someone (or you yourself for that matter) posts the link on Facebook. This is also the description that will come up in Google (I think; I need to verify this).
That in and of itself is a good enough reason to rock this plugin (I know that when I was having issues with it working recently, and had to disable it, I sorely missed it when posting links on Facebook). There are a couple other really nifty SEO things you can do with it.
One thing you can do is have it rewrite the post titles. By default, every post page you have is going to include your blog name it in. You really don’t want that. You want the title of post pages to JUST be the title of the post, as this will help eliminate duplicate content entries in Google (these are bad things). You also can have it include the category and tag of a post in the keyword meta tags of the page (Yes, Google no longer looks at keyword tags, but other search engines do, so it doesn’t hurt to have them). Additionally, you can add the noindex flag to your archive pages, tag pages, and category pages. Yes, you want to do this, because again, it removes dupes from Google, which is GOOD for SEO.
One thing to note – if you use the Thesis WordPress theme, there is no need to install this plugin. Thesis provides all of this functionality built into the theme. But the same concepts apply.