As a basic structure, without taking into account patterns and the changes they bring, WordPress is a very good platform for SEO. The advantages of a WordPress site are very clear and not negligible: automatically pinging after each posted item, so post indexing is almost instant (in theory), useful content easily created by users, fine structured code that allows search engines to crawl through it without problems, can be added useful SEO plugins to boost exposure and traffic.
The downside is that WordPress’s structure allows for some errors that can cost position in search engines: duplicate content pages, and fast indexing I mentioned above must be controlled, otherwise you risk to index a lot of unnecessary pages – security pages, plugin pages, admin content, etc.. Nevertheless these issues can be solved, with or without plugins, or by changing the code.
By far the most painful problem of a WordPress site. Think about when you post a new item, WP may post it in at least six different locations: on a single post’s page, in the category and archive pages, on the main page, the tag page, in the feed, the trackback… Sure, not every WP theme displays all the above pages, but 2-3 is enough to raise the flag of duplicate content penalties in Google, and you can probably run into: Google sandbox and other penalties related on keywords.
To solve the problem of duplicate content on your site, we need some changes in WordPress standards:
– To create unique titles on each page;
– To create unique descriptions on each page;
– To block indexing of several places in which an article appears;
– To clearly specify in robots.txt what exactly Google and other crawlers are allowed to access.
Another problem of WordPress’s infrastructure are trackbacks. A trackback is an automated message posted as a comment on a site into which you send a link. Some blogs have disabled trackback technology, other leaves it enabled, it is matter of personal preference. How trackbacks help you and how can make damage? It helps in the following way: automatically placing messages on the site in question, you get a link back. However, because most blogs have the rel = “nofollow” on links in comments, trackbacks do not gets you PageRank or trust. So you get only the traffic and popularity that a trackback can make on another blog.
The problem with trackbacks is this: when your site appears on the sites you link to, you already have a link to it and it is classified as reciprocal link exchange. Link exchanges can drastically reduce the power of links, so neither you nor the one you link to will not get much advantage in terms of trust (PR transfer is not affected).
WordPress pinging system comes with a well thought out. A ping is a short signal given by a blog service to notify a change or adding content.
From the way it is designed, WordPress pings in two directions:
– To other blogs that you link to (see Trackbacks above)
– To ping-o-matic, a service that in turn sends pings to other known services (such as Technorati, Google Blogsearch, Feedburner, etc.).
If you want to be absolutely sure that your ping was made, and not just go strictly by Ping-o-Matic, you can add the following list of URLs in Settings -> Writing | Update Services (the last option page):