How Fast Are WordPress SEO Plugins in 2021?

An SEO plugin recently boasted in their change log that they are now “one of the fastest SEO plugins“, which made me wonder – did they really measure their plugin performance before stating this or is it just wishful thinking on their part? :-)

To see where this SEO plugin’s performance stood in contrast to others, I imported the WP Test data and installed the Query Monitor plugin on a WordPress test site, then proceeded to check the performance of the most popular SEO plugins. The only plugins active were the SEO plugin being tested and the Query Monitor plugin. The “Tiled Gallery” post from the WP Test data was used for testing since it contains both text and images (a featured image was selected and a post excerpt was also entered). After reloading the webpage a few times to prime the PHP opcode cache, the following performance results were noted. Green denotes plugins with the best performance, yellow with average performance, and red with poor performance (relative to each other).

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Google Shipping Details for WooCommerce Products

WPSSO + WooCommerce logos.

In September 2020, Google announced support for shipping details in Schema Product Offers and how shipping details would be presented in search results. Adding the new shippingDetails property to your Schema Product markup is especially important if you offer free or low-cost shipping, as this will make your products more appealing in search results.

WPSSO Core Premium can now retrieve shipping information for WooCommerce products, including shipping zones, methods, rates, and locations (continents, countries, states, and postal / zip codes). If you’re using postal / zip code wildcards or ranges for shipping, WPSSO Core Premium can also create the proper PostalCodeRangeSpecification markup suggested by Google.

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Google Schema for COVID-19 and More Free Features!

On March 17th 2020, in response to COVID-19 self-isolation trends, Google published new Schema Event properties for virtual, postponed, and cancelled events.

The latest Premium version of WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup provides several customization options for these new Schema Event properties in the Document SSO metabox.

This past month, the Free / Standard versions of WPSSO Core and its WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup add-on have also received several new features — most notably, almost all customization options in the Document SSO metabox are now available in the Free / Standard version of WPSSO Core (except those options that require an integration feature in the Premium version to implement, like the video service APIs), and the Free / Standard version of WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup now includes all 495 supported Schema types!

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Google Limits ‘aggregateRating’ and ‘review’ Properties

Google has recently updated their Review snippet structured data guidelines to limit the Schema ‘aggregateRating’ and ‘review’ properties to only a select handful of approved Schema types.

The upcoming release of the WPSSO JSON v2.10.0 add-on will follow these new Review snippet structured data guidelines, instead of conforming to the official Schema standard, as the current version does.

If you notice a “not a known valid target type for the itemReviewed property” error in Google structured data validator results, the ‘aggregateRating’ and/or ‘review’ may be included in a non-approved Schema type.

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Schema Article AMP 1:1, 4:3, and 16:9 images for Google

The latest release of WPSSO Core v6.3.0 and the WPSSO JSON v2.9.0 add-on include new image sizes in Schema Article AMP markup for Google.

A few months ago, Google quietly updated their AMP structured data guidelines to suggest that:

For best results, provide multiple high-resolution images with the following aspect ratios: 16×9, 4×3, and 1×1.

Quote from Google’s AMP with structured data

Since WPSSO Core and its add-ons already use a variety of image sizes for different markup standards (ie. Open Graph, Twitter Cards, Schema, etc.), it was fairly easy to add support for Google’s new Article AMP image sizes. You can find the new images sizes, along with all other WPSSO image sizes, under the WordPress Settings > SSO Image Sizes settings page.

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[Solution] Better Schema Markup for WooCommerce

Woo logo.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool or Google’s Search Console for website owners may report the following errors for the default Schema markup offered by WooCommerce:

  • The aggregateRating field is recommended.
  • The brand field is recommended.
  • The review field is recommended.
  • This Product is missing a global identifier (e.g. isbn, mpn or gtin8).
  • No global identifier provided (e.g. gtin mpn isbn).
  • Missing field “businessDays”.
  • Missing field “cutoffTime”.
  • Missing field “deliveryTime”.

I’ve written a step-by-step guide for WooCommerce users that explains these issues and offers an easy solution.

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[Solution] Google Reports Missing “Product Identifier” for WooCommerce Products

WPSSO + WooCommerce logos.

WooCommerce manages information on product Availability (aka Stock), Prices, SKU, etc., but additional WooCommerce product attributes must be created to provide more product information for Google.

The WPSSO Core Pro plugin (and its WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup Pro add-on), for example, include a variety of WooCommerce product attribute values in its Schema markup, including the product Brand, Color, Condition, EAN, GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13, GTIN-14, ISBN, Material, MPN (aka Manufacturer Part Number), Size, and Gender.

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4 Big Improvements in WPSSO Core in the Last 2 Weeks

It’s been a very productive two weeks of coding for both the WPSSO Core plugin, and it’s WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup add-on.

On April 26th – just two weeks agoWPSSO Core v4.0.0 was released, which included support for the new Gutenberg editor. Since then, WPSSO Core v4.1.0, v4.2.0, and v4.3.0 were also released (the last one just today), along with WPSSO JSON v1.25.0 and v1.26.0.

In case you missed all the update notices and posts about those versions, the following is a quick summary of the big changes and improvements in both WPSSO Core and its JSON-LD add-on. And at the end of this post, you can also find a summary of our release schedule philosophy, and why we chose to release four big improvements, in four different versions, in just two weeks. ;-)

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