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9 SEO Plugins Every WordPress Blog Should Have

Do you want to increase the search engine ranking of your WordPress blog? Check out these 9 SEO WordPress plugins that Shawn Jooste from Elite Blogger has pulled together for us.

seo-wordpress-plugins.pngThe best place by far to find traffic is from search engines. The art of Search Engine Optimization is often very daunting for new bloggers. Even some experienced bloggers just see SEO as a cloudy puddle of mud they would rather not play in.

WordPress by default is pretty decent at letting search engines see what’s going on. But there are a whole bunch of other things that can be done to make your blog rank better. Fortunately there are plugins available to help you get better rankings for your blog, so you don’t have to go digging into the code of your blog to get some results from search engines.

I’m not going to explain the validity or effects of each of these SEO tactics in detail. There is more than enough of that on the Internet already if you want to do some research. I’ll mention briefly what the benefits of each plugin is, and why you need it.

1. All in One SEO Pack

This allows you to set the basic SEO stuff for your blog. You need page titles, meta tags, keywords, and descriptions. This plugin allows you to configure them for either your entire blog or on a post by post basis.

2. Redirection

From time to time you make changes on your blog. Sometimes these changes end up breaking your Permalink structure. This often happens when you make a change to an old post, or do an upgrade to WordPress and make some changes to the permalinks. It’s very very common if you move your blog from one host to another.

Basically what happens is that each post has a unique URL, called a permalink. When this changes, visitors who go to that blog post won’t find it. The redirection plugin helps you fix these problems by redirecting the visitor to the new permalink. This reduces the amount of traffic you get to pages that don’t exist.

3. Robots Meta

By default search engines crawl and index ALL the pages on your blog. This isn’t ideal, because it creates duplicate content and you can get yourself punished by search engines without knowing it. What the Robots Meta plugin allows you to do is tell the search engines which sections of your blog to crawl. This means that you’ll get more respect from search engines, and likely more traffic.

4. SEO Smart Links

One of the key issues with SEO is your internal linking structure. The more you link to a certain page on your blog, the more important it is to your overall content. Search engines treat your internal links as an indication of how well structured your site is. The problem with this is that if you had to manually go and create links to relevant and important posts you’ll spend hours and hours doing it.

SEO Smart links allows you to specify a word, like ‘SEO’ and then link it to a post on your site. Then each time the word SEO appears on your site, it’s automatically turned into a link you specified.

5. SEO Friendly Images

Images also play an important role in your SEO strategy. So it’s important that you tag them correctly. SEO Friendly images allows you to do this, and saves you hours and hours of work. If, like most bloggers you use images in your posts, then this plugin is essential.

6. Google Positioner

It’s important to know your keywords. And this handy plugin allows you to track the keywords you’re getting searches for. It’s pointless selecting a few keywords, then writing some content for those keywords and hoping that the rest goes well. SEO is about being proactive and tracing what works and what doesn’t.

7. Permalinks Moved Permanently

A common mistake bloggers make is choosing the wrong permalink structure. When you start your blog you think you know which is best, and as time goes buy you want to change your permalink structure. The problem with changing your permalink structure is that your traffic will come to a standstill until your site is reindexed, and that could take months.

This plugin is similar to redirect but is an easier and better way to manage permanent permalink changes.

8. Nofollow Case by Case

The nofollow attribute over the last year or two has had a fairly large impact on the blogosphere. All comments in WordPress by default are nofollow links. This means that no Page Rank (PR) is being given via the link. This plugin changes that and makes comment links valuable again. There are a number of reasons you would want to give away link juice. It’s often used to attract people and encourage them to comment. It can be very useful for new blogs who need some exposure.

9. SEO Slugs

Stop words are ignored by search engines. So most of your post titles have them in, but they are meaningless to search engines. So when you have a post title like this: “What You Can Do Immediately For Higher Rankings” you have a permalink like this: ‘/what-you-can-do-immediately-for-higher-rankings’ but what you really want is for your permalink to look like this: /immediately-higher-rankings.

This plugin automatically removes stop words from the permalink, helping you to rank better.


Getting better traffic from search engines will help you boost your blog. You’ll get better income, rank better, and be able to build a better brand.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Has anyone heard of that WP Plugin that makes it so an article will automatically pass Copyscape?

  2. I have been using All in One SEO for awhile but recently switched to using WP-SEO-Master. Unfortunately I forgot who recommended it and why, but I’ll try it for awhile.

    I will take a look at the SEO Slugs plugin as I had no idea this could be a problem. I’ll do some more reading and give it a try on a blog soon.

  3. Generally a pretty good list.

    I’m kinda surprised that Stephan Spencer’s SEO plug-in isn’t included in the list. He’s really quite an SEO guru.

    I would love to see a comparison between Smart Links and the plug-in SEO ROI created in terms of usability, design, and SEO.

  4. Thank you so much for these.

    I didn’t think there was a redirect plugin. I have rewritten some headlines for posts but left the permalinks alone because of trackbacks.

    ALL In One SEO has been great — I can see the difference because whenI upgradedd to 2.7 I didn’thave it at first and traffic went way down.

  5. i have been actually searching for a plugin that builds internal links but luckly i found your blog. its great post.

    thanks keep going…

  6. Hey thanks for information about these great wordpress plugin. I was trying to switch to the wordpress and have found that wordpress is quite interesting.

  7. Just a quick note regarding the duplicate content comments in point 3 about robots meta.
    I read an article recently (directly from Google)that duplicate content isn’t so much of a problem any more as they understand that there are many sites that generate dynamic urls and duplicate content as a result. They factor this into the way a site is crawled – and consequently, don’t punish it.

  8. What a great list! We use a few of these already but can’t wait to try out a couple more. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  9. Very good post. I’ve been researching similar information and appreciate you putting this all in one spot. I’ll check out your other posts for additional information. Specifically, I’m looking for a concise and up to date post about marketing a new blog to a b2b audience.

    Thanks again — brian

  10. Dear Darren:

    The comments from Poer and Brad Hart were very educa-tional and informative. These kind of comments are helping me take more time to plan my projects and launch them in a way that makes more sense. Thank you again.

  11. I’ve found that Headspace 2 is great for SEO and includes robots handling too…As well as Google Analytics integration.

    Nice list of plugins, though I have to say that I’d add the Google Sitmap plugin to the list as well…

    Great list!


  12. thanks a million, i love your blog and installed everything you listed here. I just need to figure out how to use them

  13. I have to admit to finding WordPress a bit tough going. I think these plugins should make the process easier.

  14. great…thanks darren…a million thanks…

  15. I really found this article useful. And a thing to mention is, I reached here from google’s 1st page. I gonna install most of these plugins. Thnx ProBlogger!!!

  16. In Blogger have no chance to use such plugins

    Bollywood Wallpapers

  17. This adds up to my knowledge.The pages on a blog really have to be connected to each other.It is good idea to have an article link to other pages in you site.

  18. Great list.
    Do you dofollow on any of your blogs? I know you get enough traffic without it on this blog.


  19. Thank you for this informative article. It is a big help for us who just starting SEO career. I am looking forward to hear more from you. More power.

  20. The redirection plugin is wonderful. See a walkthrough to implement it here: http://sidekickblog.com/force-www-redirect-to-improve-seo-28.htm

  21. My wonder is about this blog if it has a do folow or a no folow atribute.

  22. Just a note to let you know that the Smart Links plugin is great except that it has some serious performance issues. I had installed and a few days later I noticed that some pages weren’t loading. PHP was giving up on waiting for something to return a value and only the header of my blog would appear.

    I went through the error logs and found a line that said that there was a problem with seo-links.php on line 163

    Opening up the file it seems like the preg_match gets called and then never returns.

    Out of curiosity I typed in “seo-links.php on line 63” into Google and found several websites where that error message had been indexed on someone’s website.

    It seems to primarily happen on very long articles. Five or six pagers. You can run “top” in Linux and watch the httpd process spike in resource usage whenever you call a page that Smart Links chokes on.

    It could be a simple error in the code or maybe it’s a case of asking the plugin to do too much.

  23. Any Plugin that Will automaticaly Scan My posts and Suggest Links to me. ??

    Seo Smart Links is Good No doubt but It would have been better if It suggests related Articles from your Blog so that you can Manually link theme without having to remember anything .

  24. What a great share, my knowledge in SEO is very broad. I find it is nice to see very informative blogs like these. Thanks.

  25. Great list. I prefer the all-in-one to headspace. I will be posting some long posts soon and installing the Smart Links plugin so I will see if it causes me problems as it has done to Bill Rini. Good primer though, thanks mate.

  26. thx for tell us about great plugin. i hope these will help me to increase traffic.

  27. Thanks a lot for giving me such a useful list. I am always searching for extra plugins to make my site more valuable.

  28. I use All in One SEO Pack plugin. Its very great!! Thank you.

  29. Thanks for the information on the plugins. I am a big fan of the all in one seo tools plugin. I had no idea thought that there were more useful ones. Thanks again!

  30. I’m going to implement some of these plugins from the word go on my new blog and hopefully see some great results.

  31. Excellent list. Very helpful. I’m using the Thesis theme which takes care of some of these things (such as SEO-All-In-One) but others such as SmartLinks and Friendly Images should be quite useful. Many Thanks.

  32. Great plug-ins collections,

    Thanks Darren Rowse,

    I started to use 3 plugins on the list from now

    SEO Slug
    SEO Smart Link
    Google Position me

  33. Hi Darren! Made it to your blog in a roundabout fashion, and while I’m still browsing your posts the plugins caught my eye. We’re big fans of plugins – using the right ones that is…

    I have a question though. Listed as recommended plugin #8 (which we currently do have along with many of the others you recommend), you state, “This plugin changes that and makes comment links valuable again. There are a number of reasons you would want to give away link juice. It’s often used to attract people and encourage them to comment. It can be very useful for new blogs who need some exposure.”

    However a closer inspection of the coding of your own blog and comment area reveals the opposite. You are using the rel=’external nofollow’ tag which means no link love when I hit the submit button.

    I will still submit my comment, and I will continue looking around (you have much I’m interested in), but as for #8 I’m thinking either 1) you are unaware that this is happening (highly unlikely); or 2) you are aware and for (obvious) reasons of your own just do not choose to activate and actively use this plugin.

    Curious as to why (not)….

  34. Mark (London) says: 05/31/2009 at 7:50 am

    I have a blog of each post i put in tags, when i look at my site with google webmaster tools it shows a seperate page for every tag i put in a post

    so if i have 1 post with 7 tags i will have 8 of the same pages with a different title, is that going to mess me up with google?

    Please help as I really need an answer to this.

  35. Great plug-ins collections,

    Thanks Darren Rowse,

  36. Thanks for this collection of plugins.This helps a lot for me.

  37. A very good list. I really like the list as I am always searching for additional plugins to make my site more effective.

    thank you for this valuable info..

  38. Thank you very much for this wonderful post. The plug in collection is really useful

  39. what a great list!!
    thanks you.. i love your blog..

  40. Loving learning tings that will help improve my blogging. This is a great list. Thanks a bunch.

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