A few years ago, most website visitors came from Google Search results. Plugins designed to optimize your content for Google Search became increasingly popular, and part of many “must have” plugin lists. Recently though, that trend has been shifting, as the percentage of visitors coming from social websites is increasing — often matching and sometimes out-pacing — the number of visitors from Google Search. Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugins, like WordPress SEO by Yoast for example, have adapted to this change by stepping away from their core purpose, and re-using their SEO content to generate additional meta tags for social websites. But how good is an SEO plugin at addressing the needs of social websites? We compare WordPress SEO to WPSSO, a dedicated social sharing optimization plugin to find out.
When sharing a URL on LinkedIn, you may find that the share box does not display the Open Graph image and text — simply showing a grey image with the website’s domain name instead. It appears that LinkedIn’s crawler is unable to connect to the website’s URL, so this may be a network issue with LinkedIn, or their network provider, and/or a bug in their crawler. LinkedIn is aware of the issue and their response on 2015/03/16 was:
I heard back from my research team and they were able to isolate the issue. Our engineering team is working on it but there’s no estimate as to how long that might take. We’ll do our best to keep you posted.
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.0 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.0 have been released — These are major version releases and include many new features and improvements. If you use the Free version, you’ll notice several (36) new options on the General settings page. These options were previously only available to Pro users, but my hope is to provide more functionality to Free version users, while still maintaining an attractive feature set for Pro version users (3rd-party plugin integration, Twitter Cards, custom Social Settings, and Advanced plugin settings).
What’s the difference between NGFB and WPSSO?
WPSSO is a fork (aka child) of NextGEN Facebook (NGFB). They have the same author, many of the same excellent features, but WPSSO is distributed without the sharing buttons and their related features. As a result, WPSSO is 25% smaller and is often preferred for websites that already have (or don’t need) a set of sharing buttons.
The previous versions of NGFB and WPSSO offered a Basic Options View on settings pages by default — with a button as the only way to switch to an alternate All Options View. The current versions now include an additional link under the settings metaboxes to “unhide / show all” the options when using the Basic Options View. This should make the Basic Options View more usable for advanced users that also prefer a cleaner / simpler settings page.
WPSSO version 2.9 has been released and adds two new settings pages under the WordPress Settings menu item, along with a number of smaller changes to improve the settings tab layout, and improve non-debug performance.
The new “Image Dimensions” settings page includes sizes for every WPSSO specific image dimensions, including Facebook / Open Graph, Pinterest, and all Twitter Cards. Additional text has also been included to suggest better image dimensions settings than the default values (which have been selected to match the WordPress defaults).
WPSSO version 2.8 has been released and adds a new JSON-LD social markup feature that includes author (Person) and publisher (Organization) social profiles markup in schema.org JSON-LD format for Google Search and their Knowledge Graph. The author (Person) markup includes the author’s website URL, their profile social sharing image, and all listed contact URLs from their user profile. The publisher (Organization) markup includes the website URL, a corporate logo, a default image, and the publisher Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter business pages.
Setting Up Open Graph Basics in WordPress Social Sharing Optimization
This video will show you how to control your Open Graph Data through WPSSO, as to more accurately share your website’s content.