Case Study: Impact of All-In-One SEO WordPress Plugin

by derek on August 1, 2007 · 20 comments

After exchanging a few comments with Saman Sadeghi about the use of the All-In-One SEO WordPress plugin, I’ve decided to go ahead and install it on this site.
I thought it would be a good idea to try and do a little case study of how this SEO plugin impacts the volume of traffic that I receive from search engines and how my pages display in the Google search results.
Case Study
With this case study, I plan to examine the difference in the number of unique visitors that arrive via search engines. In addition, I will look at how many pages are indexed at Google and how those pages are displayed in the search results.
For the comparison of unique visitors, I will use a before and after period of 2-weeks on either side of the date the plugin was installed. Two weeks might not be enough time to determine the results after installing the plugin but I think that will give an indication as to what you can expect with the use of this plugin. All numbers will be as reported by Google Analytics.
The search results, both the number of pages indexed and how the pages are displayed, will be compared using the query site:dereksemmler.com which will limit the results to this domain only.
The All-In-One SEO plugin was installed at approximately 1:00am CT on August 1st, 2007. The before period will be defined as the period between July 18th and July 31st while the after period will be between August 1st and August 14th. The comparisons will be made and verified with before and after screenshots of both critieria.
Before: Unique Visitors
According to Google Analytics, there were 262 unique visits in the prior two week period that have arrived via search engines. As you can see below, almost 90% of the search traffic arrived via Google.

All In One SEO Case Study

Before: Search Results
The site search at Google returned 287 results from the dereksemmler.com domain as of July 31st before the All-In-One SEO plugin was installed.

All In One SEO Case Study

The search results leave quite a bit to be desired as well since most of the results include generic information such as the date and author of the post.

All In One SEO Case Study

Next Step
For the time being, I have the plugin configured to automatically generate the description using the first 25 words of each post and I do not plan to enter custom descriptions or keywords for any posts during this phase of the case study.
In two weeks, I will take a few screenshots again and compare the results to the data above to determine what impact the All-In-One SEO plugin can have on your site using the standard installation options.
Care to make a prediction? Take a minute to share your predictions of what will happen in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed so you do not miss the next phase of the case study!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Damien Riley August 1, 2007 at 9:34 am

Derek, I think that is awesome how you are going to monitor progress so scientifically like that. If more people did that there would be less dead weight on the internet!
I had this plugin for about 6 months and did not monitor as you are. I used it in conjunction with bunny’s tags and Ultimate Tag warrior. It was getting tedious copy pasting the same tags in three boxes when I posted!
After hearing Lorelle VanFosse say in an inteview (I have the link if you want it) that SEO tools are somewhat unnecessary in Wordpress 2.2.1 because it is designed to be seo accesible. She mentioned that using keywords in your writing and in the title when practical was just as effective.
I have since deactivated the seo plugin and the bunny tags and am using UTW exclusively as a site navigation tool and seo tagger by proxy.
I will be curious to hear what you think of this plugin If you find it gets you relevant traffic, i will reactivate mine!
thanks Derek!

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Saman Sadeghi August 3, 2007 at 1:07 am

You copy/paste the code into three different places?!?!? That’s crazy!
I have read that meta tags aren’t that important in SEO anymore (but I don’t know how much truth there is to this) – but it takes just a few seconds to do!
Also, I think the description is very important – it’s a great excerpt for everyone (robots & people)!

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Erik Karey August 1, 2007 at 9:52 am

I’m interested in hearing the results. I don’t have this plugin installed as of yet, but I’ve heard good things. I have a plethora of other SEO type plugins, but it’s nice how this one does it all. I’m awaiting your results to see if I should install or not.

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uberdose August 1, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Hi Derek, just my 0.2 Cents:
As written in my small manual, I strongly suggest to write a meta description, this alone can multiply your CTR on search result pages.
But I’m also curious what results one can expect in only 14 days by just installing the plugin and checking one option 🙂
@Damien: Yes, please post the link to the interview with Lorelle.

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Damien Riley August 1, 2007 at 1:34 pm

It’s from a very recent interview on Bloggertalk:
It says:
“Keywords –
WordPress blogs are now fairly SEO friendly. It’s rare when something borks enough to block a search engine through a WordPress blog. In fact, people are always surprised when their stuff is indexed within minutes of their first post. It’s that SEO friendly. You really don’t have to do much to it under the hood.
So what’s left? Content. Keyword-rich content.
If you aren’t writing with search terms, keywords people use to search for the content on your blog, you won’t get found, and you certainly won’t make it to the top of any search results.
Because it’s important that my technical articles get found as they help bloggers and WordPress users blog better, I write with a lot of very friendly, searchable search terms and keywords. Thus, my blog is found.
Other than that, I don’t do anything at all. It’s a WordPress.com blog. I can’t use Plugins, Javascripts, nor anything else to tweak or force something to happen under the hood. I don’t submit it anywhere. I don’t do anything but write my stuff. So far, it appears to be working. 😀
We put too much time into tweaking and fussing under the hood of our blogs. Too many people spend too much time under the hood instead of driving the car. Drive the damn car for a while.”
There ya go! isn’t that great?
I’m now a huge Lorelle fan. This interview has really helped me in the recent direction and focus of my blog.
Here’s the whole interview Rose gives with Lorelle, you should read it:
http://www.bloggertalk.net/article160.html

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uberdose August 1, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Thanks for the link. I knew I’d disagree with her on quite some points but thanks anyway 🙂

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derek August 1, 2007 at 2:01 pm

@Damien :: It will be interesting to see if there is an impact. Like Lorelle mentions, I’ve had pretty good results just writing posts and letting the natural SEO friendliness of WordPress assist with my search rankings. We’ll see what the next two weeks holds.
@Erik :: After seeing some of the search results when limiting the search to just my domain, I was convinced to give this plugin a try to make things look a little friendlier. Hopefully you find this information valuable!
@uberdose :: I apologize as I did add a site title and description, as well as keywords, for my main page. What I do not plan to do right now is go back and update all of my previous posts with additional information, instead using the ability to use the first 25 words of each post. Using such a short time period may not do the plugin justice but I thought it was a good period to use for an initial comparison. Thanks for the plugin, it is very easy to use!

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Saman Sadeghi August 3, 2007 at 1:08 am

I’m wondering why you aren’t adding tags & descriptions for all new posts – to aid in the test?
Why not use the plugin to it’s fullest to see how much it can benefit your site?

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derek August 3, 2007 at 1:17 am

Right now I am thinking that will be Phase 2 of the Case Study.
For the initial review of the plugin, I wanted to see if simply using the plugin with a site title/description and using the first 25 words as an excerpt of each post would have any impact on the volume of traffic from search engines.
Once I see how things are after two weeks, I will likely go through and edit all of my posts to include the tags and descriptions and then compare the results again.
I figured the staged approach would show people if there is any use to using the basic features of the plugin and then any additional benefit to be gained by using the plugin to the full capability.

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Saman Sadeghi August 3, 2007 at 1:36 am

That’s actually a great plan!

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Damien Riley August 1, 2007 at 2:11 pm

uber . . . it’s silly to try and pigeonhole what types of bloggers we all are, because everyone is unique. I found Derek’s site through a programmer whose blog i found when i was searching to invrease my traffic (when i cared about that). I am not like Lorelle, or derek, or apparently you . . . and that’s normal and that’s fine. I get different things from different blogs but one thing I know for sure that bothers me it’s marketing your blog posts when they have lousy content. That’s a major source of agreement I have with Lorele, though I like you have minor disagreements here and there.
i mean, if you made a comparison chart of how many blogs and websites teach, sell and show how to tweak seo crap and junk like that as opposed to INSPIRATION sites and those giving insights on how to produce quality content I think you’d find a quite unbalanced scale.
Wouldn’t you agree?

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Chris Gray August 1, 2007 at 8:14 pm

“…if you made a comparison chart of how many blogs and websites teach, sell and show how to tweak seo crap and junk like that as opposed to INSPIRATION sites and those giving insights on how to produce quality content I think you’d find a quite unbalanced scale.”

Thanks for your insight…I’m packing up shop and opening an “INSPIRATIONAL” blog next week. LOL. That is your opinion and I respect that…but some webmasters (and bloggers) are interested in tips on “seo crap”. Quality content is subjective. A good tip that adds value for just one person is quality content in my opinion. It’s the “Interweb”, we have to learn to live with noise…it’s not going away anytime soon.

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ms danielle August 6, 2007 at 1:42 am

saman is the #1 proponent of all-in-one-seo…i’m almost convinced he’s created it! 😀 lol jk

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Saman Sadeghi August 6, 2007 at 3:36 am

😆 I wish I was that talented!
Maybe Bobs – not me!

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Rose August 6, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I tried the plugin and it did not work properly with my blog. It was not grabbing the titles of my posts.

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uberdose August 7, 2007 at 12:43 am

> It was not grabbing the titles of my posts
Since then I have rewritten large sections of the title code, you could always try it again with the newest version. It would still be interesting whether it would have worked on the default theme with all other plugins disabled …

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uberdose August 7, 2007 at 11:19 pm

Hi Rose, just squashed a bug having to do with a theme’s title tags spread on several lines that caused the same behavior you experienced. It’s fixed in version 0.2.3.8.

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