Are Wordpress SEO Plugins Overrated?

30 replies
  • SEO
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Just curious if anyone has done a case study on this, or know of anyone credible who has done a case study? I've found lots of All In One vs Yoast, and etc... but can't see to find anything that actually says the plugin actually helps increases their SERPs. What SEO plugins do do is slow down your Website Page Speed to some degree.

It seems to me that Wordpress is pretty good for SEO out of the box, and you can make some simple code work yourself to maximize a few things.

Anyhow, I thought this would make for an interesting discussion. I'm half tempted to do a case study for my own purposes, but was just wondering if anyone here has any hands on knowledge.

I found this blog (not mine) that talks about it, thought she had some valid points, but it was for 2013 and, as you know, alot changes from one month to another in SEO. Lol
hxxp://blog.2createawebsite.com/2013/04/29/seo-plugins-increase-search-engine-rankings

Cheers!
#overrated #plugins #seo #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author petjelly
    I am using All In One for quite a long time now. I think it really helps because it simple with good options. I have never really tested other SEO plugins but heard a lot about Yoast. Would also love to see some latest feedbacks.
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    • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
      Originally Posted by petjelly View Post

      I am using All In One for quite a long time now. I think it really helps because it simple with good options. I have never really tested other SEO plugins but heard a lot about Yoast. Would also love to see some latest feedbacks.
      I just removed All In One SEO to see if my rankings drop. I noticed my PageSpeed has increased and it seems my website is loading faster; hence "better user experience".

      Great features are good an all, but are they really worth it? Wordpress is good out of the box.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Are Wordpress SEO Plugins Overrated?
    It's sort of like owning a car. Some people take their car to a dealership because they don't know how to work on cars (on-page SEO plugins) you get whatever they give you. Some people build their own cars for racing (hands on SEO).

    Personally I would never let anyone else touch my sites (on-page SEO), I want things done my way.
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    • Profile picture of the author ArielT
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      It's sort of like owning a car. Some people take their car to a dealership because they don't know how to work on cars (on-page SEO plugins) you get whatever they give you. Some people build their own cars for racing (hands on SEO).

      Personally I would never let anyone else touch my sites (on-page SEO), I want things done my way.
      yukon, since it seems you don't use a seo plugin, I wonder if you use meta description/s. If so, one broad throughout your site or using some method to add unique meta descriptions to the different pages?
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by ArielT View Post

        yukon, since it seems you don't use a seo plugin, I wonder if you use meta description/s. If so, one broad throughout your site or using some method to add unique meta descriptions to the different pages?
        I stopped using meta description tags for the majority of my pages.

        When I was running meta description tags I had my themes setup to add text from a WP Custom Field.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelra
    I use it because I want my post's title to be more reader-friendly (and fun/interesting) on screen, yet SEO optimised off screen
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  • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
    Overrated? No, they're just a tool that do exactly what it says on the tin. If you feel you don't need one, don't install it. I, for one, use Yoast SEO on every site I build.

    They're not a silver bullet. That's the wrong assumption in the article: she's acting surprised that fairly simple changes that these plugins do didn't make that much of a difference. Well, duh! WordPress with a well-built theme usually is optimized. Yoast's tool adds title and meta description templates and allows you to maintain certain aspects from a central location.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
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      Yoast is great for reducing duplicate content, despite using that I use canonical tags that I have little faith in as when I have a page with dup content I don't want to show up at all in the search engines, just to be 100% safe.

      Yoast easily allows you to noindex author/tag/date achrives and that kind of things and it also helps to keep your permalinks clean.

      The force rewrite titles is also pretty useful to not have titles that look messed up, although Yoast is the source of messing up titles in the first place with many themes lol, glad it has it's own fix for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roy Jones
    SEO yoast is quite an effective one. I am using it personally and have managed to attain some good SEO results through it
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  • Profile picture of the author squadron
    Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

    ... but can't see to find anything that actually says the plugin actually helps increases their SERPs. What SEO plugins do do is slow down your Website Page Speed to some degree.

    Cheers!
    I find that Yoast helps me at least think about what search terms to rank for and to invest time in crafting relevant and useful title and description tags.

    I use Quick Cache to improve page load speed.
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  • Profile picture of the author kennethvonrauch
    WordPress SEO plugins are not overrated for sure, but you still can do pretty good without them.
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Hard to say definitely whether SEO plugins have much effect on rankings or not.

    However, they do make the task of managing titles and meta descriptions much easier.

    In regards to site speed, I'd always recommend a good caching plugin and other optimization techniques (like image compression and database optimization) to ensure the site loads quickly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    Yeah I'm not a geek like Yukon is.

    I like SEO Yoast, but with the extended add-on for Meta. It's handy. I don't like the robots.txt it suggests so I do block a whole lot more myself.

    A lot of on-page SEO problems usually don't come with a plugin fix anyway. So you have to get your hands dirty with the code nearly all the time. Dealing with WP a lot of designers make SEO friendly claims about themes, that are pure non-sense. Always overuse of <h tags and useless bulky crap.

    I looked for the closest thing I could get to blank without being theme "blank slate". And went at it with my hammer. But at least I know what's on it and what's not. And how to fix it when it goes wrong
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  • Profile picture of the author yoangov
    I'm also interested to know if there have been a case study about this.

    What I must say that these automatic backlinks plugins are a thing of the past, and don't fall for it, as I still see it being advertised.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fantastic
    I use Yoast....

    Just so I can make sure I'm not missing the basics.

    It's also handy (and more convenient) for creating page meta descriptions.

    Will it get you ranked? No. Hard work will.
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
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    Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

    Just curious if anyone has done a case study on this, or know of anyone credible who has done a case study? I've found lots of All In One vs Yoast, and etc... but can't see to find anything that actually says the plugin actually helps increases their SERPs. What SEO plugins do do is slow down your Website Page Speed to some degree.

    It seems to me that Wordpress is pretty good for SEO out of the box, and you can make some simple code work yourself to maximize a few things.

    Anyhow, I thought this would make for an interesting discussion. I'm half tempted to do a case study for my own purposes, but was just wondering if anyone here has any hands on knowledge.

    I found this blog (not mine) that talks about it, thought she had some valid points, but it was for 2013 and, as you know, alot changes from one month to another in SEO. Lol
    hxxp://blog.2createawebsite.com/2013/04/29/seo-plugins-increase-search-engine-rankings

    Cheers!
    There are quite a few standard search engine optimization plug-ins that are a must have for most blogs although there comes a point where many of these other ones can end up doing more harm than good.

    I'd suggest using:
    - All in one SEO Pack (oldie but goodie)
    - W3 Cache
    - Contact Form 7

    That's it! you shouldn't need to over complicate it with this and that; there are a bunch of other stuff such as interlinking and all that although I think the above 3 are all that you really need.

    It's better instead to ensure your CONTENT is optimized to reduce bounce rate and and cater to your audience looking for content.

    We find certain plug ins that are suppose to help your ranks can end up hurting it skirting around questionable matters
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    Another thing to note is when you find plug ins to help make your site more search engine friendly...that's what it's suppose to do.

    Don't expect a plug-in to rank your website for you else everyone will be doing it.

    Instead your onsite optimization should be the foundation of your search engine optimization efforts; a properly optimized content website will help you level the playing field..

    - Site Structure & Content
    - Proper onsite Optimization
    - Offsite marketing and promotions
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    I guess my question was, has anyone ever done a case study of Wordpress "SEO plugin vs no SEO plugins".

    I completely disabled my SEO plugin to see if I notice any changes... so far; none
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  • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
    Ok...I get what you're asking for.

    Basically... OPTIMIZED SITE beats UN-OPTIMIZED SITE.

    Now...there are several ways to optimize your site. You can do it all manually from within wordpress. You can also use a custom theme to help you do it. Or you can also do it from a plugin. It doesn't matter which one you use as long as you do it.

    With that said...much of your SEO success comes from your quality and SEO optimization of your content, the title, and the URL. All of these 3 things can be optimized without a plugin.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
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  • Profile picture of the author crescendo
    Not completely. They just overrated when it comes to the traffic expectations. All In One is good one Seo plugin. I like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimmyBlueEyes
    I use All in One because it's faster for me to type my title, desc, etc. rather than learn to code. Don't get me wrong, I know html and css, but I found that in my first IM days I was focusing more on learning to program than focusing on my business/ sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author melonsmusic
    Ive just started using yoast and it seems pretty cool to me, time will tell on the SEO front but its great to at least have the direction of what to do on your posts and pages, happy days
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  • SEO Yoast is optimize your WordPress site very fast, lots of more technical improvements in SEO Yoast that you don’t even have to look at.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I use yoast because of a few easy exclusions you can use and the sitemap functionality.

    But generally, they are no magic bullet.
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    • Profile picture of the author tophatsasquatch
      I use Yoast's WordPress SEO plugin and love it! I install it by default on all my client sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    I've beein using the All-In-One-SEO plugin for a while now, and it's great. Nevertheless, on-page SEO (keyword density, etc.) is just as important IMHO.
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  • Profile picture of the author shivcb
    I use Wp Full SEO, This plugin very new in WordPress SEO plugins, this plugin come with 30 plus premium SEO features, that are not available other WordPress SEO plugins.Keep trying.
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    • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
      Originally Posted by shivcb View Post

      I use Wp Full SEO, This plugin very new in WordPress SEO plugins, this plugin come with 30 plus premium SEO features, that are not available other WordPress SEO plugins.Keep trying.
      I very much doubt that the plugin has 30 useful SEO features that other plugins don't have. They seem to count features that have nothing to do with SEO (eg. social, backup). Just because it's got a nice IM sales page doesn't mean that the plugin is special.
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  • Profile picture of the author iamthecoolnerd
    Definitely not overrated. Some people just think they're a magic SEO solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author zenichanin
    Well it's not going to magically rank your pages. It just guides you to ensure your onsite SEO is decent.
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