All-in-One SEO is a WordPress plugin that has been around *forever*. We used to use it back in the day before Yoast got big (in fact, we can remember when it had dashes in its name ;-).
Now that Joost retired and sold Yoast to someone else , our expectation is that the product likely won’t move forward quite as aggressively without its original founder in charge (just based on our many decades of software industry experience).
We’ve heard some great things about All-in-One SEO from a friend recently who has a lot of recent experience with it, so we thought we’d give it a shot. Working with it, we can see there are a lot of similar configuration options, and we thought we’d document some of the most important ones here.
Before we start, we’d like to call your attention to an incredibly old but still incredibly relevant post by Dan Shure way back in 2012. In it he details really solid rationales for picking particular settings, and it’s really a classic article that still applies; we’ve used it as a guidestone for many years:
The TL;DR version of Dan’s post is, you need to suppress the generation and/or indexing of lots of ancillary WordPress pages like categories, authors, and tag pages, because they are thin on content, add little value, and in fact represent duplicate content. So they will not help your site and might even hurt it – a little. At a minimum Google’s crawler will waste time on them, and sometimes you will not have a sufficient “crawl budget” allocated by Google to crawl your entire site, so other sections of the site may not get indexed.
Another tweak reflected below is, using the pipe symbol as your title separator; our source for this best practice is an actual Guide to SEO published by Google some years back; Google it, you’ll find that they explicitly recommend the vertical pipe over the dash.
And a final tweak is, enabling the Meta-Keywords tag. This is an old tag that 99% of our industry is convinced Google ignores – because Matt Cutts said so 13 years ago. Well, we can assure you Google’s Search infrastructure and algorithms have been completely redone at least two or three times since then. And there are even studies that showed that Google never did ignore this tag. It helps – a little. But sometimes a little is all you need to beat the other fellow!
A. First, configure the Sitemap settings, then hit “Save Changes”:
B. Next, go to the “HTML Sitemap” tag, find the same section as above, and pick the same settings and hit “Save Changes”.
C. Now, in the same “HTML Sitemap” tag, but further down, hide the Publication Date and then hit “Save Changes:
D. Now go to the “RSS Sitemap” tag, find the same section as above, and pick the same settings (again). Hit Save.
E. Now go to the “Search Appearance” menu in the AIOSEO menu in Settings. Pick the vertical pipe symbol (“|”) as the menu separator. Hit Save Changes:
F. In Search Appearance –> Content Types –> Posts –> Title & Description –> Meta-Description delete “Post Excerpt” and select “post Content”. Hit “Save Changes”.
G. Go to Search Appearance –> Taxonomies and disable Categories and Tags from showing in Search Results. Save Changes.
H. Go to Search Appearance –> Archives and disable Author and Date archives showing in search results. Save Changes:
I. In Search Appearance –> Advance, turn on “Use Meta Keywords”. Save Changes:
That’s all! Also But Consider Upgrading for these Reasons:
The good folks at All in One SEO have to feed their kids, so they have set this product up as a free-to-pay business model. Upgrading will currently set you back about $200 per year. But it might be worth it for the following two features:
- Automated Redirection
- Schema Generation
In our clients case we’re going to rely on other plugins for that functionality, but you might just want to keep it easy and go the upgrade route. Worth considering!