All in One SEO Vs WordPress SEO by Yoast, You must be surprised by the title of this blog. As i am not a technical person and till date i have not written any article on my blog related to technical domain. As the famous saying goes “Necessity is the mother of all Invention”, it applies to me also. As i am managing my blog end to end therefore i have decided to share my knowledge regarding this and i am writing my maiden blog on this subject.
I am using wordpress platform for my blog and i was happily using All in One SEO for my blog. The reason for selecting All in One SEO was that it is most downloaded WordPress SEO Plugin so i decided to select the best. For laymen, SEO plugin in wordpress automatically optimize the blog for search engines and it plays very crucial role in success of any blog or website. As i understand, lot of bloggers are confused between All in One SEO Vs WordPress SEO.
Now there is one more section in SEO which is called “Meta Description”. Its a brief description shown by search engine below every searched result/URL. This description is either written by the author of web page or if it is left blank then it is generated automatically normally 1st 140-160 characters of the article. Though it does not have any impact on search ranking but still it is crucial. Becoz as a user if i have searched for any topic and search engine has thrown 10 results on 1st page then before clicking on any search result i will definitely read the brief description at bottom of searched URL to check whether this page is relevant for me. Most of search engines including Google display 160 characters Meta Description including date therefore excluding date, i can showcase summary of my work in 140 characters.
As i mentioned, i was happily using All in One SEO (AIOSEO) for my blog. Religiously i was posting Meta Description of all my posts after giving lot of thought as those 140 characters can make or break ranking of my website/blog. But my happiness was short circuited when i observed 2 months back that my Google Webmaster is showing duplicate meta description tags for few of articles which was different from Meta Description written by me. Since i am not a technical person therefore i ignored considering that it might be small issue somewhere but i kept watch on same.
Over a period of 2 months, i observed that Google Webmaster is including more and more posts in Duplicate Meta Description section at regular intervals and 1 week back, i observed that almost 90% of my posts are grappled with this problem. It started impacting my page views and i started mission “Meta D” to solve this problem.
My 1st guide was Google & i was pretty confident that i will easily get answer on Google to fix this issue. Unfortunately, i observed that lot of bloggers are facing this issue but there was no straight forward solution to this problem on web. I tried each and every solution for next 3 days spending 4 hrs daily but without any success. I took notes of all the solutions suggested on web.
On 4th day i decided to deep dive into the problem and decided to check the scripts of web page (with zero expertise on same) becoz i believe that there is no work in this world which we can’t do, its only our mental block which stops us from doing the same.
After deep analysis, i realized that solution was available on internet only but in bits and pieces on various blogs/sites. I connected all the pieces together and found the solution of same, which i am listing down below step by step
1. Problem with the WordPress Theme: Now a days most of the themes double up as SEO therefore you can find section like Meta Description or Meta Keywords in the Theme options. Problem is if u r using any such theme along with All in One SEO then the theme’s SEO will overwrite the setting of AIOSEO. If you will use theme’s SEO then Meta Description and Meta keywords defined will be fixed for all the pages. Even if u leave the Meta Description and Meta Keyword section blank in theme’s SEO then it will by default generate Meta Description for 1 page or post & replicate the same across blogs. After some time, u will observe duplicate meta description error in Google Webmaster and within a matter of time, all posts will show same meta description and meta keywords.
2. Disable WordPress Theme Default SEO: Now u must be wondering there is no solution for this problem. If i am using Theme with SEO functionality then whether i use this feature or not, it will overwrite all settings of SEO plugin and will create nuisance of duplicate meta description thus will impact Google Rankings.
Don’t worry there is a solution for this problem also. Just open following file in WordPress Admin Area
Appearance – Editor – header.php (On right side bar)
In this file search for following 2 lines
<meta name=”keywords” content=”<?php echo $abc_meta_keywords; ?>” />
* abc will be your theme name
Now delete these lines and save the file. Now you have fixed the problem of your theme SEO & it will not appear on top of web pages.
3. Now u must be wondering, if i have fixed the theme SEO problem & AIOSEO plugin should work fine now then you are wrong. Even after fixing this problem, your theme will still not read the Meta Description and Meta Keywords of All in One SEO. Theme will pick up default First 140 Characters of your post and will show as your Meta Description. Though it will fix the problem of duplicate meta description but still the issue will remain becoz Meta Description written by you is still not visible and your AIOSEO is of no use. I studied this problem & observed that WordPress themes which use stylesheet and CSS. The AIOSEO appears in the middle of the sheet i.e. after the script of header, Stylesheet, CSS or any other plugin like if light box is installed. No search engine is able to read the meta description & meta keywords in middle of page i.e. if SEO description is not on top. This is one of the biggest drawback of AIOSEO.
4. To solve problem in point no. 3, i deactivated AIOSEO & installed WordPress SEO by Yoast (WPSEO). The installation was very simple and with simple navigation, i was able to import all meta description, meta keywords and other details to WPSEO and i removed AIOSEO plugin i.e. uninstalled.
5. Biggest advantage of WordPress SEO by Yoast over All in One SEO is that though my theme has SEO functionality, Stylesheet and CSS but WPSEO was appearing on top of all the page just after headers but before Stylesheet and CSS script therefore Search engines can easily capture WordPress SEO by Yoast compared to All in One SEO.
6. Last but not the least, Please disable any cache plugin like WP Super Cache as they are biggest enemies of your Search Ranking. Also they interfere with meta description and meta keywords.
Though solution sound very simple but i could not find complete solution anywhere on web and am glad that after spending 4 hours daily for 7 days, i finally cracked the problem. Now my posts are appearing with proper meta description and meta keywords. In Google webmaster also, the count of posts with duplicate meta description are decreasing. As and when Google will complete fresh indexing of all the pages, my problem will be resolved & i am hopeful to expect much more traffic soon on my site :).
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