Bloggers are always looking for more traffic, and one way of getting more visitors is to make sure your WordPress theme is search engine friendly. Jeff Johnson goes one step further and offers a complete WordPress installation package that’s supposed to have built-in SEO benefits.

Let’s enter the world of Jeff and find out what turns an ordinary WordPress blog into an irresistible (subject to testing and verification, of course) web traffic magnet…

First of all, the package is an entire installation of WordPress. It is not just a WordPress theme. This means you will need to overwrite your existing WordPress PHP files. This also means there is a risk that your old blog posts and comments might no longer reappear, even after you first back-up your data.

In other words, it will be better to try this on a brand new blog.

Or we can make the adjustments manually on our blogs, beginning with the Ping list. In WordPress 2.5.1, you’ll be able to access this via Settings – Writing, then scroll down to Update Services.

Here’s the list of 63 servers to ping with each completed blog post (according to Jeff Johnson):

http://1470.net/api/ping

http://api.feedster.com/ping.php

http://api.moreover.com/ping

http://api.moreover.com/RPC2

http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2

http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping

http://bblog.com/ping.php

http://bitacoras.net/ping/

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/XMLRPC

http://blogbot.dk/io/xml-rpc.php

http://blogdb.jp/xmlrpc

http://blogmatcher.com/u.php

http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2

http://bulkfeeds.net/rpc

http://coreblog.org/ping/

http://mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatt

http://ping.amagle.com/

http://ping.bitacoras.com

http://ping.blo.gs/

http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/

http://ping.blogmura.jp/rpc/

http://ping.cocolog-nifty.com/xmlrpc

http://ping.exblog.jp/xmlrpc

http://ping.fakapster.com/rpc

http://ping.feedburner.com

http://ping.myblog.jp

http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php

http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php

http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php

http://ping.weblogs.se/

http://pinger.blogflux.com/rpc

http://pingoat.com/goat/RPC2

http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2

http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/

http://rpc.britblog.com

http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/

http://rpc.tailrank.com/feedburner/RPC2

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping

http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2

http://rpc.wpkeys.com

http://services.newsgator.com/ngws/xmlrpcping.aspx

http://thingamablog.sourceforge.net/ping.php

http://topicexchange.com/RPC2

http://trackback.bakeinu.jp/bakeping.php

http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b

http://www.bitacoles.net/ping.php

http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2

http://www.blogoole.com/ping/

http://www.blogoon.net/ping/

http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates

http://www.blogroots.com/tb_populi.blog?id=1

http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php

http://www.blogsnow.com/ping

http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi

http://www.lasermemory.com/lsrpc/

http://www.mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatter/ping.php

http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php

http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php

http://www.snipsnap.org/RPC2

http://www.weblogues.com/RPC/

http://xmlrpc.blogg.de/

http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/

Let’s move on to the other settings…

  • Number of blog posts to show on the homepage: 5
  • Syndication to show the most recent: 10 posts
  • For discussions: full trackback, and full comment moderation
  • Permalink custom structure: /%post_id%/%postname%/

Please take note that those are their recommended settings. I’ve seen blogs that rank high in the search engines, yet have different WordPress settings.

Here are the plugins they recommend:

  • Akismet
  • All In One SEO Pack
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Simple CAPTCHA
  • Sociable
  • WP-DBManager (by Lester Chan)

I am not a fan of the Sociable plugin, but if you’re after social traffc and intend to use AdSense in your blogs, I suggest you also use the Who Sees Ads plugin.

I wish the WP-DBManager plugin had an option which allows you to easily create regular back-ups of your blog, and send those files to your favorite email address. That’s why I’m quite happy with the WordPress Database Backup plugin by Austin Matzko.

Anyway, what’s convenient about this WP installation package of Jeff Johnson is that certain settings are already done for you (i.e., plugins are installed and activated). This helps you save time, especially if you are setting up several WordPress blogs.

Since the original WP installation comes with pre-populated links (i.e, WordPress.org), don’t be surprised if you find pre-installed links to some of the sites of Jeff Johnson (you’ll find them in the sidebar and in the blogroll or My Favorite Links area).

Here are of the things you’ll find in the Sidebar (of the modified Kubrick theme):

  • Widgets are not installed by default.
  • “Uncategorized” is now called “Main Content.”
  • Search box, Pages (the About page is not there), Archives, Categories, Favorite Links (the two links lead to Jeff Johnson’s YouTube channel and also to his UndergroundTrainingLab.com site), and the Meta section.
  • There’s also a 120×60 banner that links to UndergroundTrainingLab.com (NOTE: The image is loaded from the UndergroundTrainingLab.com server, which means they can tell if you installed their WP package in one of your domain names.)

The initial post, which is the popular “Hello World!” post is replaced with a “Protected: Your Customized Blog is Successfully Installed!” blog entry. It contains links to:

  • Jeff Johnson’s Underground Training Lab,
  • His Digital Camera Review blog, and
  • A free video tutorial on how to change your WP blog’s theme.

It also contains a comment by Jeff Johnson, whose name is a link to Underground Training Lab.

Some WP SEO Observations and Questions

I like how the default Kubrick theme in Jeff’s WP Installation search engine optimizes the text in between the TITLE tags.

I wonder, though, why the default theme encloses the entry title in H2 tags instead of H1 tags.

Perhaps Jeff is hinting that even if the name of your blog is enclosed in H1 in each of your blog posts, your blog post title (the one enclosed in H2 tags) will still help you earn search engine points?

(I’ll add other questions to this part of this blog entry in the future…)

While this modified complete WP installation package is convenient for people installing blogs, I wonder what happens when WordPress releases an upgrade or a new version? Perhaps Jeff can come out with SEO’d themes which will help people who do not wish to overwrite their existing blogs.


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