Review: Top 3 SEO WordPress Plugins

 

Top three SEO plugins for WordPress

“What’s the best WordPress SEO plugin?”

I’m asked that question all the time, and recently took part in a debate discussing which plugin is best. I decided to draft a features list comparing the top three most downloaded SEO plugins to get a better picture of what each plugin has to offer, et voilà!

I’ll be comparing and contrasting features of the All in one SEO Pack, vs WordPress SEO by Yoast, vs Platinum SEO. To be fair, there is no loser among the three because each plugin is impressive and will make your WordPress site much more search engine friendly. I’ll talk about which plugin is my favorite in the conclusion, so you can review the features bias-free, and implement whichever plugin matches your specific set of needs.

If you know a developer – or anyone that would like their WordPress site to rank well in search engines – please help them out by sharing this review so that these plugins don’t go unused.

The plugins:

All in One SEO Pack
Downloads: 9,570,544
Author: Michael Torbert
Plugin page

WordPress SEO by Yoast
Downloads: 761,035
Author: Joost de Valk
Plugin Page
Author Page

Platinum SEO Pack
Downloads: 656,205
Author: Techblissonline Dot Com (Rajesh)
Plugin Page

Honorable mention plugin: I can’t leave out the oldie-but-still-goodie, SEO Ultimate.

Table of Contents

  1. Setup and First Appearances
  2. Plugin Features
  3. Migration/Import/Export
  4. Page-Level SEO Controls
  5. XML Sitemaps
  6. Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Open Graph Schema

1. Setup and First Appearances

All in one SEO Pack WordPress SEO by Yoast Platinum SEO
Warns if WordPress is blocking search engines

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Requires a second click to enable plugin

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Has its own navigation section

Found under general settings

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Developer ads and news

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3rd party ads

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Pro (paid) version

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All in one SEO Pack Plugin for WordPress

2. Plugin Features

All in one SEO Pack WordPress SEO by Yoast Platinum SEO
Handy tips and help section

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Configure title tag templates

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Configure meta description templates

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Automatically generates meta descriptions

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Configure meta keyword templates (or disable)

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Disallow search engines from specific sections of WordPress

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Canonical tag support

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noodp Support

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noydir Support

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Permalinks Optimization (search-engine-friendly URLs)

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Redirect attachment URLs to parent post

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301 redirect edits to permalinks

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404 page optimization

Breadcrumbs & title tags

Title tags

Add custom HTML to the head tag

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Use nofollow on category & archive pages

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Breadcrumb & internal link optimization

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Controls to limit clutter in the head tag

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Hide RSS feeds/links

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RSS Feed Optimization

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Edit access to .htaccess file

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Platinum SEO Pack plugin for WordPress

3. Migration/Import/Export

All in one SEO Pack WordPress SEO by Yoast Platinum SEO
Plugin data migration support

From All in one SEO, Headspace2, & other Yoast plugins

From All in One SEO

Ability to export data for backups and migration

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Platinum SEO pack migration features

4. Page-Level SEO Controls

All in one SEO Pack WordPress SEO by Yoast Platinum SEO
Edit title, meta description, and meta keywords tags

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SERPs snippet preview while you type (see screenshot below)

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Page analysis (based on target phrase) with feedback and tips

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Set 301 redirects

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Wordpress SEO page level snippet preview

Page level SEO controls for the All in one SEO pack plugin

Page-level SEO controls: Platinum SEO Pack

5. XML Sitemaps

All in one SEO Pack WordPress SEO by Yoast Platinum SEO
XML Sitemap Support

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Pings search engines

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Include/Exclude content types

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6. Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Open Graph Schema

All in one SEO Pack WordPress SEO by Yoast Platinum SEO
Google Analytics Support

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Google Webmaster Tools verification

With custom header settings

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With custom header settings

Bing Webmaster Tools verification

With custom header settings

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With custom header settings

Alexa verification

With custom header settings

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With custom header settings

Open Graph Support

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Wordpress SEO by Yoast Plugin

Open Graph integration with the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin

There you have it! I’ll repeat myself in saying that all three plugins are fantastic and one of these three plugins should be active on every WordPress installation (that is intended to appear in search engines). With that being said, I’m a huge fan of Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. It is by far the most complete and has the best looking user interface. I’m certain that it’s only in second place in terms of downloads because it hasn’t been around as long — but just give it some time.

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21 Comments

  1. Alessandro Timmi says

    Nice review Claye, very clear… I chose the right one (actually before reading this post), and I agree with you, it is awesome!!!

  2. Jeff says

    Big thumbs up for Yoast here, it does the job of 3 or 4 plugins with XML sitemaps, redirects, etc. My only complaint is the page analysis – I use Easy WP SEO for that because it does more. Still, Yoast is awesome, I have it on all my sites.

  3. Jeffrey Smith says

    Claye:
    Thank you for the honerable mention for SEO Ultimate. I must admit, we deliberably have not explained all of the functions and features SEO Ultimate has – with the intention of doing that in addition to lauching our new WordPress SEO Theme Framework amply dubbed "WP Ultimate" – which will launch shortly in Jan 2012.
    At that time, we will showcase all of the features it contains (as most people only use a fraction of the features).
    I highly commend your method (I love a good comparison post like this) where everything is clear, cut and dried. Kudos to you and have a happy and properous new year!
    Wonderful post!!!
     
     
     

    • says

      Thanks Jeffery, I look forward to the new and improved version, it sounds great. I wish I could have reviewed all four plugins but with only 575px of space, I can only fit so many columns. Have a great new year!

  4. Ramon says

    Impressive comparison, nice to see all the features side-by-side. I personally have been using All in one SEO Pack for a long time, with quite impressive results, and I am not sure I would switch now…

  5. Ted says

    What if I'm using DIYThemes's Thesis theme; do I still need other plugins installed?
    The other question I have is… would intalling SEO plugin create any sort of conflict between Thesis and the plugin itself?
    Great post by the way!

  6. Bradley says

    WordPress SEO by Yoast is far the better plugin in my opinion.
    @Ted – I have not seen any conflict with Thesis using other plugins, but you don't need them.

  7. Nicole Bullock says

    All in One SEO is my favorite SEO plug-in. I had some issues with it on one of my old themes (Lysa), but it works like a charm on Genesis. Thanks for the tips on the other plugins!

  8. Claye Stokes says

    @Ted Yoast's plugin (actually all three) is totally compatible with Thesis and all well-built WordPress themes.

  9. Thomas says

    Good review. It seems that I am the only one using Headspace 2 here! I keep using it but I have never tried an other one. Maybe I will try Yoast next time.
    @Claye: Do you have any insight/views about Headpace ? 

  10. Yuvin Ghotra says

    Thanks for such a wonderful post. I am planning to use wordpress for my next project and this post  definetly helped to know more about wordpress.
     

  11. taruas says

    Nice post.

    Perhaps a silly questions, but could you use all 3? =D
    I would imagine, you would not wan to based on double submissions and page load time, but just putting the question out there for noobs like me. =D

  12. San says

    Great post, thanks so much.

    I was rather confused by the SEO plugins currently available and based on your review I will use Yoast going forward.

    Thanks again for the effort.

    San.

  13. Social Web Academy says

    Great plugin review! We have used all three and have settled on the Yoast plugin as well. Its always nice to see others that came to the same conclusion we did!

  14. Tomaz says

    Definitely a great post and analysis. I have been using Yoast for a while now and it works great. After reading your post I have just got the confirmation not to change to another one.

  15. adil says

    am currently using all in one, but wanted to try Yoast’s Plugin, don’t know is it a good decision for me or ..

  16. techtikus says

    A very in depth review, I am interested in Premium SEO Pack and luckily found your article. Currently using HeadSpace2 but now it’s really time for a change.

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