New WordPress Plugin Solves Site Navigation Problem

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Joost de Valk, the mastermind behind the Yoast SEO plugin, has recently developed a new plugin, offered for free, designed to address a critical site architecture issue that could potentially undermine a website’s ranking potential without detection.

Site Architecture

Effective site architecture plays a crucial role in SEO as it facilitates user navigation, allowing them to easily access desired content and products. Additionally, it aids search engines like Google in identifying and prioritizing important pages for ranking purposes.

Traditionally, organizing a website by topic categories is not just an SEO strategy but a fundamental practice rooted in common sense. This approach simplifies the user experience by enabling straightforward navigation and efficient access to specific information.

Tags: Contextual Site Navigation

An alternative approach to organizing a website involves contextual navigation, which presents site visitors with links to additional webpages that are pertinent to the current webpage and their immediate interests. This method utilizes Tags, which are hyperlinks to content strongly relevant to the visitor’s preferences.

For instance, if a visitor is browsing a webpage featuring a new song by a popular artist, they might also be interested in exploring related articles about that singer. Rather than creating an entire category for each individual artist, which could complicate hierarchical site navigation, publishers can employ Tags to link to a page gathering all articles about that specific artist.

Tags effectively address the challenge of enabling seamless navigation to content that aligns with the specific interests of each visitor in the moment. It’s a form of contextual navigation tailored to individual preferences and needs.

Too Many Good Things Isn’t Always Good

Developing a comprehensive long-term strategy to organize a website can be undermined by the passage of time, particularly as websites expand and trends evolve. An artist who was once in the limelight may have fallen out of favor, leading to waning interest from visitors. Consequently, outdated tags persist, directing users to irrelevant content and compromising the effectiveness of internal site navigation, which aims to highlight the most relevant material.

Joost de Valk conducted research on a limited sample of WordPress websites and found that approximately two-thirds of them had redundant tags. These tags often pointed to the same content, resulting in the creation of pages with minimal value, known as thin content pages.

In a blog post discussing his findings, he highlighted the misuse of tags in WordPress, noting that many websites employ an excessive number of tags, fail to display them properly, and lack unique content on tag pages. This misuse can significantly impact a site’s search engine rankings, especially if the site is extensive.

While the sample size of the study was small, it raises concerns about the prevalence of overlapping and outdated tags across websites, suggesting that this issue may be more widespread than initially thought.

Here are the three main tag navigation problems that Joost identified:

  1. Excessive Tagging
    He discovered that certain publishers attach tags to articles, anticipating they’ll add more articles under those tags in the future. However, this often doesn’t materialize, leading to tags that only link to a handful of articles, sometimes just one.
  2. Theme Transition Woes
    Another challenge arises when websites switch to new themes or versions lacking tag functionality. This results in orphaned tag pages inaccessible to site visitors due to missing links. Nonetheless, search engines still index these pages via autogenerated XML sitemaps.
  3. Tag Pages: A Content Conundrum
    The third issue stems from many publishers neglecting to enrich tag pages with substantive content. Instead, they remain as mere collections of links with article snippets, often duplicating content found on category pages.

Enter Joost de Valk’s latest WordPress plugin. Its purpose? To streamline internal linking by automatically axing tags that lack sufficient connections. Meet “The Fewer Tags WordPress Plugin,” available in both free and paid Pro versions.

The free variant effortlessly clears out tag pages hosting fewer than ten posts, with an option to fine-tune settings for removal of pages containing five posts or fewer.

The Pro version introduces enhanced capabilities for tag management, empowering publishers with greater control. Users can seamlessly merge tag pages, set up automatic redirects, or trigger a 404 Page Not Found server response as needed.

Here’s a rundown of the benefits offered by the Pro version:

  • Efficiently merge and delete redundant tag pages with ease.
  • Automatically generate redirects for removed tag pages, integrated with your preferred SEO plugin.
  • Gain access to an online course led by Joost, offering invaluable insights and guidance.
  • Address tag-related issues for sustained site improvement.
  • Conveniently uninstall the plugin once tasks are completed.

Where To Download Fewer Tags Plugin

You can download the free version of the plugin here:

Fewer Tags Free By Joost de Valk

For more information on the Pro version, click here.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Simple Line

Original news from SearchEngineJournal