Over the last month we have really worked hard to analyze the best way to increase the effectiveness of the WP Social SEO Booster Plugin and the Social Media Signals it sends out. Search Engine Optimization has really shifted to Social and optimizing everything your WordPress blog outputs is extremely important. Ranking in Google is a high level competition in case you haven’t realized it yet. Their are literally millions of sites trying for the top spot and the only way to do it is to set yourself apart by giving Google exactly what it wants. This doesn’t stop at Google though. Bing is still a major traffic driver as well and they have really incorporated the “Social” Signals into their Search algorithm as well. So our update here is not just focused on one entity. We are focused on the entire spectrum of possible Social SEO Traffic drivers for your WordPress blog.
Take a look at the Video which not only details the Updates and Upgrades we have made to the SEO Booster, but also details the overall capabilities of the Plugin as a whole. *Please note, these Updates are for the Pro Version only, not the Free Version of the SEO Booster which can be found on WordPress.org: WP Social SEO Booster Free Version)
SEO Booster Plugin Updates
A lot of what is now included in the WP Social SEO Booster is “under the hood” so to speak. We have upgraded a lot of code to make the Plugin more effective in the quality of data and signals which are sent out from it. The big additions however are the Google Plus ItemProp and Twitter Card Updates which really add a tremendous amount of power to the output of the plugin, not to mention what you get back from them in return.
Google Plus Itemprop Additions
In case you haven’t heard of it with all the constant noise about Facebook Open Graph and Facebook Graph Search, Google Plus ItemProp is Google’s own version of the Open Graph API, but for the Google Plus Social Network and a whole lot more. Continuing with the use of the Schema.org Microdata usage which Google also adopted in its Structured Data (Rich Snippets) integrations, Itemprop allows you to customize what people see when your content is shared. The Title, Description, Images, etc. It is evolving and more is being added to it all the time.
As of the writing of this blog post, the SEO Booster is the only WordPress Plugin using Google Itemprop where you can now Customize its output for your WordPress blog and each and every Post, Page, and Custom Post Type you create. This is an Upgrade which we only see as getting bigger. Now, every time you share your content on Google Plus, or more importantly when other people share your content on Google Plus, you can show them exactly what you want them to see and it can be completely different from your Blog Post Content, SEO Booster Facebook Open Graph settings, Twitter Card settings, and Rich Snippets settings. The customization of output is entirely up to you and how you want your content shared. With Google Plus content being indexed in Google Search more and more, this is an essential part of your Social SEO Plan of Action.
Take a look at this Example of Customized Output:
Twitter Cards Functionality Massively Upgraded
Most people don’t even know what you are talking about when you tell them they can really optimize their Twitter Card output. Everyone is so used to the normal way Twitter shows Tweets that they don’t realize they could be setting themselves apart on Twitter beyond the normal “Twittersphere”. Twitter Card API integration allows us to send Signals to Twitter and have Twitter come and visit your Blog as well. With the New Update for the SEO Booster, you can share your content in Twitter by using a Summary of your blog post (which includes a picture and an Excerpt), by using a Photo by itself, or with a Player (Video from your site or a link from YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). All of which can be completely customized on a Post, Page, and Custom Post Type basis, just like our Facebook Open Graph, and Google Plus Itemprop settings. The Twitter Card API can also affect Pinterest sharing as well.
Now, with this upgrade when your content is shared in Twitter (or you share it yourself), it will produce output like this:
Facebook Open Graph API Enhancements
We have also enhanced the output of the elements in our Facebook Open Graph API settings. This will help you when customizing your site’s output for the new Facebook Graph Search and for Google Search as well. Open Graph is also included in our Structured Data (Rich Snippets) Microdata integration as Google will also index and include this in its Ranking algorithm and Search. Now when optimizing your Facebook Open Graph settings in the SEO Booster, you also get the added boost of Open Graph Microdata and Video integration as well. Now, when your content is shared, if you have also added your blog post/ page’s Video information to your settings, your Open Graph output will be able to play your Video right from Facebook (on supported browsers).
Here is how Sharing with the SEO Booster Looked Before:
Here is how Sharing with the SEO Booster Looks Now with Our Upgrade:
Under the Hood Upgrades
We have optimized a lot of code on the Plugin to increase performance. The addition of the HTML5 Boilerplate .htaccess optimization is a feature which enhances site performance greatly. Especially for mobile visitors. It isn’t something you can readily see, but the impact is there. We have also increased the output variables in our Rich Snippet output. With Google really working to fine tune its Search with Custom Search outputs, the use of Rich Snippets is crucial to your site’s success in Search. You need to tell Google about your content using Rich Snippets. If you don’t, Google will try to figure it out on its own. Your Post and Page content isn’t always enough. When it comes to categorizing and sub-categorizing content from Billions of websites, Google needs the input. If you give it to them and your competition does not, you will see a significant Rank boost in Search from it.
We have done this with ItemProp and Rich Snippets in the WordPress Comments as well. Now, when using the SEO Booster Plugin your Blog Comments will be more indexable than ever and what is even better; they will be identified as Comments to Google and not mistaken for part of your Post or Page Content. This will preserve your on Page SEO you have constructed with your content, but also increase your Search Rank from the activity shown through Blog Comments to Google. I currently do not know of any other SEO Plugin which is optimized for this or any other of the Updates here. If you know of one. Please let me know in the comments below.
What Does All of this Mean?
The Social Media Signals we send out need to be optimized in order to influence Search Rankings and Traffic. By simple sharing automatically our content is not seen the way we need it to be seen to increase Social Traffic and Sharing. By doing this we amplify our Social Signals immensely. This is not it however. Now, with Google, Bing, and even Facebook optimizing Search Rankings with Social, every setting and signal you send out from your site is crucial to your site’s success. Optimize and give the Social Media monsters what they want and you will get the Boost in Traffic your Blog deserves.
*Share this Blog Post on Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Twitter to see how I have modified and optimized the output from the WP Social SEO Booster Plugin for this Blog Post.