5 Best Practices for SEO

There is a false hope among start-up bloggers that WordPress is a 100% SEO tool, if you use WordPress for your blogging, it will handle all your optimizations and you do not need to put in any extra effort. Well, this notion should be put aside, since WordPress does support several SEO friendly themes, but it is not all. There are several configurations and settings that can be enhanced to make your website well optimized for all the search engines. To help you do that, I thought I will put down the top 5 configurations which I feel are totally required for any first-time blogger.

1. SiteMap Generator – I am using Google XML Sitemaps, Google XML Image Sitemaps & Google XML Video Sitemaps to generate my sitemaps on a regular basis. It is not only important to generate them, but as well as to submit them to google or any other search engines (you can add your site in Google WebMaster tools to do the same).

2. Robot.txt File – Having the right configuration in your Robot.txt file is very important, you can find a sample of my file below, all you have to do is change the website name to yours and save it in the root directory of your website. The “Disallow” section should list out the unnecessary pages so that the search engines will come to the content right away instead of wasting time on unwanted stuff.

Robot Text File

3. URL structure – I have mentioned in one of my previous blogs about the importance of the Permalinks. It is highly recommended that you maintain a search engine readable format for all your posts and pages.

4. WordPress Ping – This is often neglected, but offers a maximum exposure and inbound links to your website. Below is the list you might consider adding to the Admin – Settings – Writing – Ping section.

http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2http://1470.net/api/ping
http://api.feedster.com/ping
http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://api.moreover.com/ping
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://bblog.com/ping.php
http://bitacoras.net/ping
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/XMLRPC
http://blogdb.jp/xmlrpc
http://blogmatcher.com/u.phphttp://bulkfeeds.net/rpc
http://coreblog.org/ping/
http://mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatt
http://www.lasermemory.com/lsrpc/
http://ping.amagle.com/
http://ping.bitacoras.com
http://ping.blo.gs/
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://ping.cocolog-nifty.com/xmlrpc
http://ping.blogmura.jp/rpc/
http://ping.exblog.jp/xmlrpc
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.myblog.jp
http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://ping.weblogs.se/
http://pingoat.com/goat/RPC2
http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2/
http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2
http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/
http://rpc.newsgator.com/
http://rpc.pingomatic.com
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://trackback.bakeinu.jp/bakeping.php
http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b
http://www.bitacoles.net/ping.php
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogoole.com/ping/
http://www.blogoon.net/ping/
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://www.blogroots.com/tb_populi.blog?id=1
http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php
http://www.blogsnow.com/ping
http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi
http://www.mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatter/ping.php
http://www.newsisfree.com/RPCCloud
http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php
http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php
http://www.snipsnap.org/RPC2
http://www.weblogues.com/RPC/
http://xmlrpc.blogg.de
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/

5. “rel=nofollow” – This is an important attribute to be set to less important and outgoing links in your website. This attribute specifically tells the search bots not to follow the specific link or share PageRank with that link. This can be set to less relevant links on your website like “Continue Reading..” or “Click Here” etc. This is also applicable to a “Share” button that you might have added to your post. For eg: If you have a share button for FaceBook or Retweet button for Twitter, then you will have that many buttons on your home page as the number of posts displayed. Each link will take the search engine bots to the external website and makes you share the PageRank resulting in less visibility for your website. This attribute needs to be set by editing the appropriate template file.

More on NoFollow attribute – This is an attribute of the <a> tag which tells search engines not to follow a particular URL it is applied to. An example of a link with the attribute is shown below:

<a href=”http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com” rel=”nofollow”</a>

This simple setting will retain the search bot on your website and not follow the external URL. Let us take an example of a website which has several links but only one Outbound link. See below for a pictorial representation of the same.

In this Diagram:

P1 is your homepage

P’s are your site’s other pages.

Arrows are your Page Rank Flow/distribution

O is the outbound link.

This diagram shows that Page Rank of your domain is distributed among your pages and one Outbound link. Now what u need to understand is a very important thing. Page Rank distribution among your site’s pages is understandable because it will flow inside your site, but Page Rank flowing to another website is like a hole in a water tanker. Means your sharing your page rank with that website. In our Diagram’s case Page Rank shared with “O” will be redistributed with links on its site, which will result in low page rank of your site.

This is where nofollow comes in action. All you need to do is to add a rel=”nofollow” in that link structure. So your page rank wont be shared with any other site.

Hope you found the information useful and will implement them in your website without a second thought. Share your suggestions and feedback of the same.

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Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.pbgeeks.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.

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38 comments

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