Joost de Valk Releases New Plugin to Solve Site Architecture Problems

A Fresh Take on Site Architecture: Addressing SEO Challenges with Joost de Valk’s New Plugin

Renowned for creating Yoast SEO plugin, Joost de Valk has made new strides in SEO realm, offering an innovative solution to a commonly overlooked site structure issue potentially damaging a site’s rankability.

Unraveling the Intricacies of Site Architecture

Site architecture forms the bedrock of any effective SEO strategy. It is pivotal for both user experience and search engine optimization. An intuitive site with clear, user-friendly navigation effortlessly leads users to the content and goods they seek. Additionally, this structural coherence assists search engines like Google in identifying and ranking the relevant pages.

Traditionally, the organization of websites centers around topic categories – a logical and user-friendly way for a visitor to navigate through a site and locate their preferred content. Nevertheless, the idea of structuring a website around topics, while deemed an SEO strategy by some, is pure common sense in reality. After all, it streamlines the path for the user to drill down to specific content swiftly.

Contextual Site Navigation: Navigating Website Using Tags

In addition to category-based organization, contextual navigation is another strategy employed for structuring websites. This approach leverages the use of ‘Tags’ to guide users to more content relevant to their immediate interests. Tags serve as highly pertinent links to content that adds value to the user’s journey throughout a site.

To put it into perspective, suppose a visitor on a webpage is reading about the latest release from a renowned popstar. In that context, the visitor might be interested in exploring more articles centered on that same artist. Linking a ‘Tag’ to a webpage curated for such users enables a contextual navigation experience, not achievable with hierarchical category navigation.

When “Too Much of a Good Thing” isn’t Beneficial

Planning and organizing a website in such a long-ranging and dynamic manner is not without its unforeseen challenges. As time progresses and preferences evolve, once-popular content may diminish in interest. Yet, the established tags, linking to unnecessary content, persist – defeating the purpose of internal site navigation aimed at spotlighting the most invaluable content.

Joost de Valk, in his study exploring a modest sample of WordPress sites, found that nearly two-thirds of these sites were burdened with overlapping tags linked to thin, non-value-add content. While the sample size might be small, the resulting insight that websites can suffer from obsolete and redundant tags remains significant.

“In WordPress, tags are not employed rightly. Almost two-thirds of WordPress websites are overusing tags. This misuse significantly impacts the site’s chances in the search engine rankings – particularly if the website is extensive. WordPress websites overdo tags, regularly forget to display them on their sites, and the tag pages often lack unique content.”

The Problematic Triad: Tag-centric Site Navigation Issues

Joost identified these three recurring tag navigation issues:

1. Excessive Use of Tags: Some publishers tag an article anticipating future articles on the same topic, which often doesn’t materialize. This habit results in tags linking to few or sometimes just a single piece.

2. Missing Tag Functionality in Themes: When sites upgrade to a new theme lacking tag functionality, it leaves tag pages orphaned. Visitors cannot reach these pages as the links leading to the tag pages disappear, despite their existent in auto-generated XML sitemaps.

3. Thin-Content Tag Pages: Many content creators fail to induce valuable content into tag pages. These pages brim with links and article excerpts, often replicated on category pages.

Fewer Tags Plugin: Joost de Valk’s Solution

This was the cue for Joost de Valk’s solution – a novel WordPress plugin, dubbed the “Fewer Tags WordPress Plugin.” The plugin employs automation to eliminate tags not linking to ample pages, normalizing internal linking. The offering is available as a free version and a premium Pro version, catering to varied user needs.

The free version, for instance, automatically removes tag pages that contain less than ten posts – a feature that can be tailored to exclude pages with fewer than five posts.

Additional Benefits of the Pro Version:

  • “Eliminate and merge unnecessary tag pages swiftly and effortlessly.”
  • “Generates redirects for removed tag pages, aligning with your chosen SEO plugin.”
  • “Includes an e-course where Joost lends his expert advice.”
  • “Addresses your site’s tag issues for the long haul!”
  • “Uninstall the plugin when it has served its purpose!”

Sound interesting? Here’s where you can download the free plugin: Fewer Tags Free by Joost de Valk: Get it now. Keen to learn about the Pro version? Find out more here.

In Conclusion

Website architecture is a critical domain often overlooked due to its subtle complexities. With tag-related issues identified, the revamped approach by Joost de Valk’s Fewer Tags plugin is set to make massive waves in the SEO sphere. With its ability to effectively control site-architecture and help improve a site’s rankability, it soars as a pioneering step in site structuring.

Do you think such a tool will significantly simplify your SEO strategy? Or, perhaps, you have your own methods of dealing with site structure issues? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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