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SEO Ultimate Plugin for WordPress Review

As of the time that I’m writing this plugin review, the 2nd most popular plugin for WordPress is still the “All in One SEO Pack” which has only been downloaded less than the Askimet spam plugin.  Though the All in One SEO Pack is a good plugin, two common criticisms of this plugin include the fact that it’s not really all-in-one along with the “auto meta description” option.  I have to admit that I like SEO Ultimate so much that this will probably sound like a paid post.  However, SEO Ultimate is actually a plugin that’s free to download from the WordPress Plugin repository.

Ultimate Frisebe not SEO Ultimate

Switching from All in One SEO Pack to SEO Ultimate

To start off with, if you’re reluctant to switch over, here are two things that you should know about All in One SEO Pack.  Though the option to automatically generate Meta Keywords from your post tags seems like a great feature, note that search engines no longer read meta keyword tags.  Secondly, the auto meta description option also seems useful, but the first thing that you should do is turn it off.  Generating a meta description from the first sentence of your blog entry is actually worse than not having a meta description.  Why?  Often the first sentence of your blog entry has absolutely nothing to do with your actual blog.  Really there’s no substitute for a hand-crafted meta description.

Why switch to SEO Ultimate?

First, SEO ultimate does have an option to integrate data from your All in One SEO Pack’s settings, so the transition is seamless.  Secondly, SEO Ultimate is replete with a number of additional features.  Here’s a list of features included with SEO Ultimate:

  • Modules – The module option allows you to enable, silence, disable, or hide the other features for this plugin.  The module interface reminds me somewhat of the Joomla’s blogging platform.  I’ll tell you later, but the first thing you will probably want to do is silence a few features of this plugin.
  • Canonicalizer – No, this option has nothing to do with helping your get declared as a saint by the the Catholic Church.  In nerdspeak, this has to do with preventing duplicate content penalties and improves upon features included in WordPress 2.9+.  Just select both options for this module and don’t worry too much about it.
  • Code Inserter – This is a useful feature to add code to various sections of your blog.  For example, I use this feature to insert a Quantcast tag in the footer of my blog.
  • Comp. Researcher – Allows you to research keywords and get SEO information about your site or your competitors.  Really, it’s just a useful interface for using tools already available from Yahoo and Google that you might not be aware of.
  • Deeplink Juggernaut – Most bloggers focus on getting links to their homepage without paying much attention to the importance of getting deep links to posts on their domain.   Of course, both aspects are important.  This feature is similar to the individual plugin, SEO Smart Links, by Vladamir Prevolak.  It can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts to anything you want to improve the internal link structure of your blog.  You can also use this feature to automatically add affiliate links to your blog posts.
  • File Editor – You can use this to conveniently modify your .htaccess file or robots.txt settings.
  • Internal Relevance Research – This is just a convenient interface to research keyword relevance on your blog using Google.
  • Linkbox Inserter – I personally don’t use this option, but it’s designed to make linking to your posts easier.  I think it creates an ugly output, so I don’t bother with this.
  • Meta editor – Allows you to add verification codes for Google Webmaster and other search engines.  It also makes it easy to edit your blog homepage meta description.
  • More link customizer – Without even modifying the settings, SEO ultimate changes your more link to include keyword anchor text from your blog post title.  You can configure other options.  Either way, it probably has SEO benefits by changing the “read more” hypertext.
  • Noindex Manager – Noindex is less important than it once was now that both WordPress and Google are better at filtering duplicate content issues.  You can noindex various sections of your blog like administration pages.
  • Rich Snippet Creator – This is a new feature that was recently added to SEO Ultimate, so I haven’t played around with it much yet.  It lets you automatically add rich snippets which show up in Google search results.
  • Sharing Facilitator – This allows you to use social media buttons with a choice between ADDThis or ShareThis button at the end of your blog posts which can help reduce the number of plugins installed on your blog.  I haven’t tried this feature yet since I already use Digg Digg.
  • Slug optimizer – Again, this is a feature found in other individual plugins like SEO slugs that shortens the slug or URL for your blog post to automatically remove irrelevant words and shorten your URLs.  Personally, any time I can reduce the number of installed plugins for my blogs, I am happy to do so.  Removing irrelevant words from your slugs such as “the, and, a, etc” should improve SEO.
  • Title Tag Rewriter – This allows you to edit the title tags for your posts, pages, media, categories, and post tags all from one location.  If you have created tags and categories that are exactly the same, you can use this feature to prevent duplicate title tags.
  • 404 Monitor – This allows you to monitor pages that are not found from search engines when people visit your blog.  You can correct these with the redirection plugin for WordPress.  I wouldn’t recommend leaving this on all of the time since it can create a large amount of data and irritating notifications if it’s not silenced.
  • SEO Design Solutions White papers – This feature is to promote traffic to the plugin creator’s website.  I guess that they want to get some upside for giving away this great plugin.  I would suggest silencing it at least though since the notifications can be annoying.  If you like the plugin, just go to the creator’s site and subscribe to their RSS feed instead.

SEO Ultimate Rating:

Overall, I would have to admit that this is the best SEO plugin that I’ve tried for WordPress.  It’s free and it reduces the need for other SEO add-on plugins like SEO Slugs and SEO smart links which is also nice.  The plugin creators are also constantly adding new features which is great too.  Have you tried SEO Ultimate yet?

Update:  2013

We’ve recently switched to Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin.  Part of the reasons for this include the inability to prevent indexing of subpages.  Obviously, this is very important for duplicate content issues with Google’s Panda / Penguin updates.

17 Comments

  1. çorba tarifleri

    March 10, 2013 at 3:46 am

    With SEO Ultimate, you can enable and disable features in the module section

  2. Thomas Wong

    September 18, 2012 at 2:54 am

    This plugin is a very powerful tool for webmasters using WordPress. I currently use this with the Graphene theme on a few websites.

    I have a question about having the Title Tag Rewriter automatically fetching the title tag from the Page Title.
    I remember there was a feature to disable the manual title tag writing in the plugin but I can’t find it now.
    Does anyone know how this feature can be accessed?

    • Jarret Morrow M.D.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

      With SEO Ultimate, you can enable and disable features in the module section. If enabled, it will just use your Post or Page Title unless you manually rewrite it.

  3. Raymund

    July 31, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I currently use the Thesis theme so I no longer use SEO Plug in but before I use the ALL In One SEO Plug in.

  4. Toby

    January 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Hi Jarret,

    thanks for the huge post and the detailed instructions. Do you know how big the impact of “meta descriptions” still is on rankings besides being pretty important for CTR as you might know.

    Thanks for a short info.
    Toby

    • Jarret Morrow

      January 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      Toby, based on my current understanding of Google’s algorithm, meta descriptions don’t have any direct influence anymore. You’re absolutely right that a well-written, hand-crafted meta description can help with improving CTR on search results though. Title tags and internal linking are still the most important ranking factors for on-page SEO along with keyword density and wrapping keywords in H2/H3 heading tags. SEO Ultimate keeps getting better as Jeff has added a number of new features since I originally wrote that particular review.

  5. exoticamethyst

    December 31, 2010 at 1:37 am

    I change from AIO to ultimate to day :D.

    But tittle rewrite not function. its problem same like aio .
    I disable title rewrite feature. and my blog normal again :D

    i think i will love this plugin :D

  6. Spain Rentals

    October 18, 2010 at 2:42 am

    One of the best plugins for wordpress by far, I have it installed on all of my blogs / websites – the best feature for me is being able to label menu links differently to the actual titles and of course being able to put in descriptions that by default, WP won’t allow you to do! Just goes to show, pretty much anything can be done with WordPress.

  7. Samuel

    September 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I read recently about this plugin and i wanted to know if i’d use it instead of “All in one seo”, so i made the search on Google for “seo ultimate review” and your post is the 1st, so it’s clear that it works :)
    Congratulations!
    PS: In the number 8 of your reply to Ileane on june 27th, you mention “160 words” i think it’s 160 letters, isn’t it?

    • Jarret Morrow

      September 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Samuel, that’s right, it’s a 160 letters not words. I noticed that after I sent that reply to Ileane.

  8. Pingback: WordPress Plugins that rock! « Hive Health Media's Blog

  9. Jarret Morrow

    July 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Really, you don’t have to do much. For any blog, you probably want to set your blog’s home page meta description whether you use this plugin or not. Then most of the other settings are things that you just set once and you’re done. Some people are fanatical about configuring their website’s on-page SEO which takes on going work no matter which plugin you use.

  10. HART (1-800-HART)

    July 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    It looks awesome enough … but .. isn’t the idea of a plugin supposed to make your life easier? It seems (from your descriptions) that there’s a lot you can do to tweak things and make it better – however – what happens if you do nothing? – install and activate?

    But, worth checking out regardless .. thanks for heads up :D

  11. Jarret

    July 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Ileane,

    1. To setup the SEO Ultimate WordPress plugin, the first step is to download and activate the plugin from the automated plugin installer from your WordPress admin panel–just like you do for any other plugin.

    2. Next, I would suggest going to the newly created SEO tab in your WordPress admin panel that the plugin creates. I start with the Module section and either deactivate or silence these units (404 monitor, Linkbox Inserter, SEO Design Whitepapers, and the sharing facilitator). The 404 monitor is useful if you change permalinks structure or if your blog is fairly old, but it can output a lot of data. I don’t find the Linkbox Inserter to be a good option. The Whitepapers can create annoying alerts, so I prefer to follow the plugin creator’s blog by RSS feed instead. The Sharing facilitator isn’t necessary if you already have a social media plugin–in my case I use the Digg Digg plugin which has the Google Buzz, Facebook Share, or Tweetmeme options among others available.

    3. Canonicalziers – Just select both options and save.

    4. Code Inserter – This is only necessary if you want to insert a stats tracking code or other code. I use this to insert a Quantcast stats tracking code in the blog’s footer. Just past the code and save for Quantcast.

    5. Deeplink Juggernaut – This tools allows you to automatically create links to improve the interlinking of your blog posts. You can also use this to insert affiliate links automatically as well. You can create links that will automatically appear within blog posts that have those keywords. These links can be set to link to other blog posts, category, or your homepage. To set this up, just enter the keyword, URL, and title attribute if you want, at the bottom. From the “Content link settings” you can configure the maximum links per page which most people use a number between 3-5. You’ll want to use keywords or terms that you want to rank well for in search phrases. You can play around with the free Google Adwords Keyword tool to get ideas.

    6. File editor – you can leave this alone unless you need to edit your robots.txt or .htaccess files

    7. Competitive / Internal relevance researcher – These are just an interface for researching keyword aspects of your blog. You don’t need to setup and thing for these, but you can play around with them by entering keywords and seeing the output.

    8. Meta Editor – You use this to set your blog’s Homepage Meta description. Just fill in about 160 words that are keyword rich that you want your blog to rank for in searches. You can read more about setting a blog’s meta description since I can’t really provide all the details in this comment response. If you use Google/Bing Webmaster or Yahoo site explorer, you can enter you validation codes here too.

    9. More link customizer – the default settings are already optimized. This just automatically changes the “read more” if you use the more link in blog posts to keyword rich text from your blog post title.

    10. Nondex manager – I personally only noindex the administration and login/user registration options.

    11. Rich snippet creator – not really necessary, just an extra option if you write a review post. You can add this from the SEO options in your blog post if you write a review article like this one.

    12. Slug optimizer – this is already well configured, so there’s no setup required.

    13. Title-tag rewriter – the “default formats” are already optimized, so I wouldn’t change that. If you use WordPress categories and tags, you can select that tab to change the title tags. It’s useful if you’ve already created categories and tags with the same name. There’s an “overview” and other tips for this section in the drop down menu for this module.

    Well, I hope this helps Ileane. Most of the default settings are already optimized, but you do have to fill in a few things after you activate this plugin. Also, you do get added options from your WordPress post editor including “meta descriptions.” I can’t provide full instructions for meta descriptions in here without writing a blog article about it. Websites like Yoast have some good information on how to write meta descriptions for blog posts.

  12. Ileane @ Basic Blog Tips

    July 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Ok Jay, thanks! I’m all over it. I had no idea this plugin was so awesome. Great write up too.

  13. Jarret Morrow

    June 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Jeffrey,

    I was happy to provide the write up on your plugin. I’m honestly usually critical bordering on ruthless when I review WordPress plugins or themes, so this review is an accurate reflection of how impressed I am with SEO Ultimate.

    From what I recall, I first switched from All-in-one about six to eight weeks ago. I can’t believe how many updates and improvements that you’ve made since then. I already think that this should be a definitive add-on for any WordPress installation and more people will realize this when they discover it.

    Thanks for stopping by our site.

  14. Jeffrey Smith

    June 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Jarret:

    Thanks for the write up, appreciate the time you took to document your findings with SEO Ultimate. With more modules to come, our purpose is to make this the definitive SEO add on to any WordPress installation (adding feature-rich easy-to-use functionality for the entire spectrum from novice to expert power user).

    Thanks again…

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