If you use the All in One SEO plugin for your WordPress blogs, the results of a little test I did this past week might be of interest to you.
Let me explain the theory, then my little test, then the results…SEO guru Jerry West pointed out in a post that I was reading that when Google is looking for duplicate content ON YOUR SITE (not external duplicate content which we should have cleared up by now) it’s hard for them to exactly compare, sentence by sentence the total text on two separate pages, so a big factor in influencing their search for duplicate content is similar page titles on your site… that is.. the title that appears at the top of your browser bar or, what goes in the Title Tag of each individual page.
If you’re a blogger with WordPress, you SHOULD be using a plugin like All in One WordPress SEO to pretty up your page and post titles, meta descriptions and keyword tags, not to mention beat duplicate content on your category and archive pages.
The thing is, the default setting when you install All in One SEO is for the the title of all your blog posts and blog pages to show up as below…
Notice that “BLOG TITLE” is inserted into the title tag of every page and post. If you have a long blog title, like I do for this blog, it can mean that the majority of the words in your title tag can be THE SAME on every title tag of every page (post) on your site, resulting in what Google might more easily because of this, judge as a page of duplicate content.
For example if I happened to write 2 posts called
Opportunity Hopping Sucks
Free Traffic Rules
The titles on these two blog posts would be:
Opportunity Hopping Sucks – Andrew Hansen Dot Name – Niche Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Free Traffic
Free Traffic Rules – Andrew Hansen Dot Name – Niche Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Free Traffic
See how similar those look?? Even to a human eye not a computer algorithm, that could be mistaken for duplicate content.
So what about my test?
What I did was simple.
I’d had a couple of sites that’d been floating round the front page in the SERPS for a particular term. I tried changing the post and page titles to remove the BLOG TITLE from every post and page. It looked as below:
What was clear was that on both pages (different sites) I made the test on, their rankings grew by at least 3 places on page one, basically as soon as Google recrawled and reindexed the page. This is a small and definitely not comprehensive enough test, but it makes alot of sense why it happened and would be proven to happen systematically as a result of G’s algorithm.
FURTHER THAN improving the rankings by eliminating what could be viewed as duplicate content, this tweak has another clear benefit.
When your blog title appears on the title of every page and post, that title appears in the search rankings as the title of your listing! It makes for a very unclickable title, almost always resulting in elipses (…) at the end of the listing title, which is proven to decrease CTR on your listing.
Making this tweak ensures your blog posts titles and hence listing titles are clean and more often elipses free… something short and to the point that a real person can click on!
The accumulated effect of Google viewing your site more favorably as my test indicates AND increasing the click through rate of EVERY POST and page that you have indexed in the search engines makes this a SIGNIFICANT change and one that you should DEFINITELY make if you use WordPress and All in One SEO.
We’ve changed it to be the default setting for all blogs created with Firepow and I recommend you do the same.
To your success!