Social and SEO Plugins with Quality Assurance Features

Most social and SEO plugins can use a post’s featured image, or offer a way to select a custom social image, but do little else to make sure an image is suitable for social sharing – they assume the article author / editor is aware of each social site’s image requirements (minimum and maximum image resolution, aspect ratio, and maximum image file size) and has selected an appropriate image. For example, Facebook requires that all images be larger than 200x200px, preferably 600x315px, or (even better) 1200x630px for high-resolution displays like retina laptops and phones, have an aspect ratio no wider / taller than 3:1, and less than 8 MB in size. Twitter and Google also have their own requirements, which are different than Facebook’s.

Using a social or SEO plugin that creates resized images from the originals you upload, and checks those resized images to make sure they conform to the requirements of each social site, is only part of a complete Quality Assurance solution. All too often, themes also include a few basic social meta tags in their templates (they shouldn’t, but they often do), that prevent social crawlers from reading your webpage meta tags correctly – some meta tags should never be duplicated (Facebook, for example, can reject all meta tags because of a single duplicate), or the theme may include the full size featured image before all other meta tags, so the wrong image will be used for social shares (this is fairly common). If your social or SEO plugin does not check for duplicate meta tags, you may never realize that you have a problem.

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Redirect Attachment Pages for SEO? Read This First!

Last month Yoast added a feature to their Yoast SEO (aka WordPress SEO) plugin to allow redirecting attachment pages to the media itself (image, video, PDF, etc). For example, an attachment page with an image would be redirected to the full size image. The reason given by Yoast is that attachment pages are simply an HTML wrapper around an image, and provide little to no value for SEO.

This may be true IF the attachment page does not include any Schema markup — either as JSON-LD or microdata — to provide Google (Bing and Pinterest too) with information about the media, AND you’ve not entered a title, caption, alternative text, and description for your media in the WordPress Media library (if you haven’t, you really should).

And if you’re using the WPSSO Core plugin with its WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup add-on, for example, you probably would NOT want to redirect attachment pages to the media file — you’ll just be throwing away all that awesome SEO markup about the media. ;-)

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Free Plugins for Organization / Local SEO Markup

Google reads a variety of structured data from webpages, including e-commerce Product details, Recipes, Reviews, etc. — along with three standard Schema types from a website’s homepage: WebSite, Organization, and Person.

In this post we’ll focus on the Organization markup — using Google’s preferred LD+JSON structured data format — which Yoast SEO, WPSSO Core, and most SEO plugins add to a WordPress site’s homepage.

Google uses the Organization markup to enrich its Knowledge Graph information for the website’s Organization (aka Business, Corporation, etc.).

See Google My Business, Your business information in the knowledge panel, and Improve your local ranking on Google for more information on Google’s Knowledge Graph and local business markup.

See Google’s About Search Features and Structured Data General Guidelines for more information about the current Schema types recognized by Google.

WPSSO Core (and its add-ons) can be used by themselves, or in combination with Yoast SEO and other popular SEO plugins — WPSSO Core will warn of any conflicting plugin settings and the Pro version of WPSSO Core includes integration modules to read post / term meta from all the popular SEO plugins. The following examples were created using the Free versions of Yoast SEO, WPSSO Core, and its Free add-ons.

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The Fastest Way to Improve Social and SEO Images

A new add-on for WPSSO Core called WPSSO Tune WP Image Editors is the fastest and easiest way to improve your social and SEO images — simply activate and regenerate your thumbnail images (aka resized images), and you’re done! :-)

How does it work?

Have you noticed that after carefully adjusting an image in Photoshop, you upload it to your site and WordPress creates small images that seems a bit “fuzzy” — nothing like the nice sharp original?

The reason is that after resizing any image, that image must be sharpened – always, but WordPress doesn’t do any sharpening, so the resized image remains a bit “fuzzy” — probably not what you want for a featured image or share on social sites! ;-)

The WPSSO Tune WP Image Editors add-on takes care of this — it automatically applies a reasonable amount of sharpening to all JPEG images resized using the default WordPress ImageMagick editor.

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WPSSO – Robots Option for Search Engines / SEO

WPSSO Core v3.52.0 includes a new “Robots” option for search engines / SEO in the post edit Publish metabox (see the changelog here). Uncheck the “meta name robots” option under the SSO > Advanced > Head Tags List > SEO / Other tab to hide / exclude the “Robots” option from the Publish metabox (enabled by default if no SEO plugin is detected).

This new WPSSO Core version includes a new “Person” role for users – this role is added to all new users by default. You can uncheck the “Add Person Role for New Users” option under the SSO > Advanced > Integration tab to disable this automatic feature (enabled by default). The “Person” role will be used by WPSSO JSON for selects requiring a “Person” role for its Schema markup.

WPSSO Core v3.53.0 also includes fix for the image upscale feature – an incorrectly named variable prevented the proper calculation of the image upscale size.

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