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Monetize Your Site with Google AdSense

My experience with AdSense : As an owner or contributor to many sites, not just search engine related, I’ve come to learn a thing or two about monetizing a site.

The thing is, I don’t mind writing for these sites – it gives me an outlet because my mind is always racing with new article ideas.

On one of my sites is about console gaming: Xbox, Nintendo and so on. It’s not a huge site, but I get some decent visitors. I have a friend who writes for a similar site that deals with portable gaming units like the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP.

When we started writing it was for fun and to bring some news to the world. Kind of like a console gaming news aggregator.

So when Google came out with their AdSense product I applied for an account immediately. Since I work in the industry I knew about AdSense long before most people and got an AdSense account within 48 hours of applying for it.

All in all it took me about 15 minutes to sign in, generate the code and paste it onto my page template. Now, every page on this site has Google Ads displayed.

Now, I don’t make a lot of money on AdSense, but there are sites out there that do. Weblogs Inc. is a series of blogs all built around themes. A recent interview with the founder showed that the sites are on par to make over $1 million in AdSense revenue this year. That’s right $1 million from AdSense.

So you can see that AdSense could be a way to make money in addition to whatever else you do on your site.

How do you get an AdSense account?

Well the first thing you need to do is apply for an account.

Google responds fairly quickly and generally your site will be accepted if it meets their guidelines and policies. You can find more information on these policies on the AdSense site.

Once you’ve been accepted it is a matter of creating your ad code, of which there are two basic types.

AdSense for Content

Pick a style which matches your site. In other words, try and pick one that has the same color background and text as your site. This way they don’t stand out as much.

AdSense for Search

As the name implies, this is a Google search box which you’d place on your site that searches Google and returns Google results. For these searches you can earn money as well.

Google even allows you to customize the search box by changing the colors to match your site and even insert your own logo if you’d like.

Then, when you’ve added this feature to your site, your visitors will be able to search Google or search your site and, as I mentioned, if they select an ad you get a cut of that money. You can even find out what phrases people were searching for.

Tracking your Performance

Google also offers you a way to monitor your AdSense account’s performance.

Show me the money!

Payments for AdSense are pretty straight forward. Google will mail you a check or you can sign up for their beta direct deposit program.

Google only pays out monthly on $100 or more. So if you don’t have more than $100 by the end of the month, the total will roll over into the next month and continue to grow until you do have $100 or more by the end of the month.

I remember when I got my first check – I was so excited. I was expecting a check with the Google logo – you know like the logo they have on their home page. Turns out it was a very official looking corporate type check. Too bad – I was going to scan it and save a copy of my first Google check.

Some final thoughts

That way you can monetize your site (and others) using AdSense in addition to your existing products or services.

Rob Sullivan of Text Link Brokers is an SEO Specialist and Internet Marketing Consultant.

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How Will Google Penguin 4.0 Update Affect My Site?

You may have read that as of Friday, September 23, Penguin is now part of Google’s core algorithm. But what does that mean, exactly? In this article, I’ll talk about the key differences between Penguin 4.0 and previous updates, how those changes impact your website, and how to see if you’ve been impacted (for better or for worse) by Penguin’s most recent update.

Editor Note: to learn more about Google’s Penguin update and disavow links, check out this Marketing Nerds episode with Jim Boykin and Loren Baker:

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What Is Google Penguin?

Google Penguin is an algorithm designed to penalize and prevent link spamming. Google introduced Penguin back in April 2012 to combat web spam and to penalize websites whose SERPs relied on exploiting “black hat” SEO tactics (e.g. keyword stuffing, link schemes, cloaking, duplicate content, etc.).

What’s Changed in Penguin 4.0?

Over the years, Penguin has undergone a number of updates, all intended to promote quality content and hamper anyone practicing unethical link building. To that end, Penguin 4.0 has made two major changes that come as a welcome relief to many SEO specialists:

Penguin used to run intermittently (i.e. Google would only run its algorithm once every few months) and usually you could only incur a penalty or get a penalty lifted whenever this algorithm was refreshed. As a result, even if a penalized website removed the offending links the day after they received a penalty, they might have to wait months to get that penalty lifted.

Additionally, before the update, Penguin didn’t penalize just one page when it detected spam signals — it buried your entire website. Your domain would plummet through the SERPs even if most of your website was spam-free. Worse still, this penalty would stick until the next time Penguin refreshed — which sometimes took months — even if you proactively corrected the problem immediately after receiving your penalty.

Penguin 4.0 has changed all of this. Now, Penguin refreshes in real-time, which means that site penalties are incurred or lifted whenever Google crawls and reindexes a page. In other words, building spammy links could burn your SERPs tomorrow, but you no longer have to wait for ages for a penalty to be lifted.

The latest Penguin update is also more granular, which means Google will penalize individual pages as opposed to your entire website. If Penguin detects web spam on your website, it might bury the offending page in the SERPs, but the rest of your domain still has the potential to rank well.

How Will Penguin 4.0 Affect My Website?

The effects of a Penguin update are usually felt immediately in the SEO community: “black hat” SEO is penalized, while websites who have had their penalties lifted begin to rise in the ranks again. But the latest Penguin update is a bit of a strange animal — if you’ll pardon the pun — because most SEO specialists and webmasters didn’t feel its effects until a few days after Google began rolling it out.

According to Moz’s co-founder Rand Fishkin, SEOs began to feel a SERP flux approximately three to five days after the update. He polled his followers and found that 24-28% of them were affected by the update, with some feeling the effects later than others. Most of the websites affected — including Moz itself — enjoyed a slight boost in rankings and only a small number of sites experienced penalties.

The takeaway from this is that the latest Penguin update won’t hurt websites that don’t spam. In fact, the update is likely to improve the rank of websites who improve their links and focus on quality content.

Marie Haynes’ excellent case studies are testaments to this. She lists many examples of websites that have been suppressed for years (some since Penguin first launched in 2012) that are finally escaping the yoke of their penalties. In one striking example, a previously penalized e-commerce store is now ranking 10th for a keyword they were ranking 95th for only two short months ago.

So will the Penguin update affect your rankings? Hopefully only positively. As Rand puts it, “Penguin 4.0 is a good time to cheer for Google. It’s brought a lot of traffic to a lot of good websites and pushed a lot of sketchy links down. We will see [what] happens as far as disavows and reconsideration requests for the future.”

How to See If You Were Affected by Penguin 4.0

To see if Penguin’s latest update affected your SERPs (positively or negatively) you’ll need an anti-Penguin tool. I used my tool — SEO PowerSuite’s Rank Tracker — to measure organic traffic against Penguin updates:

Hopefully, you’ll see the same healthy spike in traffic that I did following Penguin’s latest update.

If for some reason you instead see decreased traffic, you’ve probably had some pages penalized. You may be suffering from some of the common Penguin hazards, such as:

Disreputable links from low quality (“spammy”) websites

Links from PBNs or other websites created for link building

Too many links from off-topic sources

Link schemes or paid links

Keyword over-optimization

Deceptive on-page SEO such as automatic redirects or hidden text

Thin or duplicate content

How to Resolve Penguin Penalties

Thankfully, as I stated above, the beauty of Penguin 4.0 is that if you have received a penalty after the recent update, you won’t have to wait forever to see that penalty lifted. First things first, however, because your penalty won’t be lifted so long as issues remain. Here’s what you should do:

1. Remove Harmful Links

Whenever possible, petition webmasters to remove spammy links from the offending sites. If they refuse, or if you can’t contact these webmasters, disavow these links using Google Disavow tool.

2. Steer Clear of Common Hazards

This Penguin update hasn’t drastically changed what Penguin penalizes so much as what and how it deals with web spam. To that end use your preferred penalty risk assessment software to get a list of all of your website’s backlinks and then check them for any potential risks. Riskier sites should be removed or disavowed, as specified above.

3. Focus on Quality Content 4. Diversify Your Link Building

Finally, when you have your quality content locked and loaded, you just need to spread the word. Reach out to any industry authorities you reference in your content and see if you can win links from multiple high-profile experts who will help spread the word organically. This shouldn’t be too hard if your content satisfies a need you see in your audience.

Final Thoughts: The Future of Penguin

I think it’s safe to say that Penguin 4.0 is the update many of us have wanted for a while now. Previously, Penguin left all SEOs a little paralyzed at the thought of incurring a penalty and suffering under it for months on end. Now that Penguin is running in real-time, it feels like we’ll be better able to correct potential mistakes and reap the rewards a whole lot sooner.

Image credits

The featured image and the in-post image are by author.

Understanding How Google Views Your Website With Chris Long

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For episode 186 of The Search Engine Journal Show, I had the opportunity to interview Chris Long, Senior SEO Manager at Go Fish Digital.

Long talks about how Google views your website, why it’s important for you to understand the difference between how you and your customers might see your website, and so much more.

Why would Google actually want to view your webpage differently and why should we really care how Google views it?

Chris Long (CL): At Go Fish Digital, we take a look at SEO in two different lenses.

The contextual lens

How is user experience at the site?

How is the site designed?

What’s the content look like?

The architectural lens:

How is Googlebot crawling your site?

How is it interacting with your site?

And the reason is simple… Even as SEOs, we do have confined parameters that we’re analyzing sites by.

Generally, when even I’m analyzing a site, I’m using a Chrome browser, a lot of times desktop view, but we know that’s not the parameters that Google is using to crawl the site necessarily.

Instead of a desktop view, for example, Google is using a mobile view to analyze the vast majority of sites.

And to ensure that we know what content Googlebot is encountering, we have to understand that Google view.

You can think that Google has a complete, open crawl of your site at a really basic example.

But then if you take a look at the chúng tôi which is one of the parameters that Google is confined by, if you’re blocking crawls of certain sections of your website or limiting Google’s ability to actually be able to read your CSS or JavaScript, then you put a variable in place that restricts Google from getting a complete view of your site.

And even though users might be able to go in and see your site completely fine, Google is using a different set of parameters.

And we need to be aware of what those parameters are to really, fully get an idea of how Googlebot is able to crawl and interact with our website’s content.

What are the things that Google might view differently?

CL:  One example is just desktop-first, mobile-first.

A lot of times users or SEOs, you’re analyzing from a desktop device. It’s probably the most efficient way for you to analyze the site.

But we know that Googlebot smartphone is now the primary user agent of a lot of sites. And that’s going to impact its ability on how it actually sees your website’s content.

For instance, we had a client, they were an ecommerce client that had a really, really robust secondary navigation set up on desktop.

That secondary navigation linked to these really important product pages. We thought it made that content more accessible to Google via the desktop navigation.

We thought it may be potentially improved the user experience, and then potentially sent a lot of link equity to those pages as well on desktop views.

But then when we switched to the mobile view, we found that that desktop navigation, that secondary navigation that linked to all of those key products, it didn’t really exist, right?

And everything was fine until Google, about a year or two ago, released their mobile-first update. And then we saw that client’s organic traffic just significantly decrease.

And the reason being is that Googlebot smartphone wasn’t able to see all of that content that was in that secondary navigation. Those links were less accessible and had less equity being pushed to them.

And then the experiment we were able to perform was that one of the only changes we made to the site was adding that secondary navigation functionality back to mobile devices.

We almost immediately saw organic traffic rebound to its original levels, where they were at before Google switched to a mobile-first crawling. That’s just one really, really basic example.

It’s that oftentimes the parameters Google is going to use to crawl your site is going to be from that mobile lens.

Another really good example is geotargeting. We had a client who offers a variety of their products in all 50 states.

What they had this dynamic content they’d insert to users. So if you were in Pennsylvania, you would land on their site and the page would say, “Hey, here are these Pennsylvania products for you.”

And they would do that for all 50 states, right? But the issue became is when Googlebot crawls your sites, what types of content is it getting served?

What state is Google getting served? And we originally hypothesized California, right? Because Google is crawling from California-based IPs.

However, when we actually ran that content through things like Google’s Mobile-Friendly testing tool, we were seeing that, for some reason, Google was geotargeting the content as Michigan-type of content.

And the issue became is this client offers a large amount of products, but the product selection varies by geography.

So Google is only able to read the Michigan content but the client doesn’t offer a ton of content in the Michigan area, then that’s going to impact a lot of different things.

It’s going to impact content quality.

Google sees two different products when there’s 100 offered.

Google might say, “This is a low-quality page. I really don’t want to show that page in the search engine.”

Well, that’s something that a lot of people might come across if you’re thinking about practical examples.

It’s a little harder with the mobile/desktop because, not for nothing, I think a lot of people now are pretty much designing or developing for mobile.

How do you get around the fact that you might be showing only one location to Google?

CL: There are a few different avenues you could approach it and a lot of it depends on the time and resources that you have and the effectiveness of that implementation.

The simplest approach, would be doing some A/B testing.

Figure out:

Is geotargeting improving our user experience?

Are we gaining more conversions that way?

How much is this actually helping us?

And if you find out that the results aren’t that beneficial really, no clear winner, then potentially just remove the geotargeting. The simplest solution that might require the lowest input.

The second solution would be trying to figure out some sort of implementation where, when Google crawls your site, it’s getting an all-locations page so users can still get their geotargeted content.

However, if your site recognizes that it’s Googlebot’s IP calling your site, that content served is non-geo-specific. Google can then see all of your website’s content…

It’s always good to bring multiple solutions to the table. And a lot of times there’s an ideal solution.

But also, sometimes you need to work with solutions that are practical in terms of the time and resources that are available to you.

Do you feel like there’s good use cases for geotargeting today? Or should people just really avoid it?

CL: I think that’s going to completely depend on the client scenario and what they’re specifically doing.

Probably I would agree with you overall that avoiding it is probably the default scenario, right? Because it does impact user experience, and maybe even negatively.

Maybe users don’t necessarily want to see just a specific location if you’re making them jump through extra hurdles just to see all of their website’s content.

Are there any tools out there that can help determine the differences between different devices or geotargeted locations and how Google views it versus how you’re viewing it?

CL: There are two ways I try to analyze how Google is actually interpreting the sites, our page’s content. And that would be:

Using a Tool Like the Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool

This is going to give you a pretty accurate picture of how Google is actually analyzing a site’s content.

So if you are doing something like geotargeting, using that tool you might be able to see which state is Google actually considering this content to be geotargeted toward?

And it gives you that, gives you on a visual element, as well as you can actually inspect the actual code that the Mobile-Friendly testing tool is providing.

Using Site Searches

If you’re interested to see, “Hey, is Google able to read this content?,” or what content is on the page?

And the proof is in the pudding there, right?

You can even actually specifically see, “Hey, is this content included on the page?”

If it’s not, is it because Google is missing our mobile content?

If it’s geotargeting, what state is Google’s index providing?

This podcast is brought to you by Ahrefs and Opteo.

To listen to this Search Engine Show Podcast with Chris Long:

Listen to the full episode at the top of this post

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Listen on Stitcher, Overcast, or Pocket Casts

Visit our podcast archive to listen to other Search Engine Journal Show podcasts!

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

How To Create Your Own Onion Site On Tor

When looking to remain anonymous while deep-diving through what the dark web has to offer, The Onion Router (Tor), is your safest bet. The Tor browser is a powerful free tool used for browsing the Internet anonymously, where you can discover varying websites utilizing the onion domain. 

Anonymity is seemingly fading nowadays with ISPs watching your every move and big tech websites selling off your information data to the highest bidder. If you are looking to create a new website, or even if you happen to already own one, it may be worth looking into what an onion site can offer you in terms of site protection for both yourself and your visitors.

Table of Contents

What Is An Onion Domain?

An onion domain is an IP suffix that is exclusively for use through the Tor anonymity browser. This means that standard browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox will not have access to sites using the onion domain as they are unable to navigate the relay of proxy servers from which Tor is created.

There are thousands of different domains available, but not all of them can be accessed by everyone who wants to use them. The .apple domain is one such domain that requires a special request to obtain. There are usually costs associated with registering and maintaining the domain of your choice. So anyone wanting to get a specific domain will need a little upfront capital in order to procure it once their submission has been approved.

Seeing that a Tor is not considered a very popular browser, it’s likely that a website using an onion domain will not see too much in the way of organic traffic. However, safety-savvy and concerned individuals will appreciate the numerous layers of anonymity that Tor provides which are not available on the more popular browsers.

Why Create an Onion Site?

When you choose to create an onion site, you’re doing so more for the anonymity than anything else. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when the domain name is automatically generated for you. You’ll receive a randomized string of 16 lowercase letters and numbers ranging from 2 to 7. This string is what will allow the Tor browser the ability to navigate to your server. 

Understand that the domain name can be changed, but at a cost. Any vanity domains you’re looking to create, with a more recognizable word or two, will be computationally expensive and require a lot of resources. Facebook only required 8 characters to create their onion domain of choice – facebookcorewwwi.onion – but at significant cost to computer resources. Achieving the exact desired 16 characters you want as a domain name could take a single computer, randomizing data, upwards of a billion years.

Yes, 16 characters are all that these random strings can produce. No more, no less. This can often lead to difficulty remembering the string, making it even more difficult for users to memorize your website. It can also make it easier for malicious users to create a similar but different domain leading to even more confusion for your potential visitors.

However, not needing to register with ICANN just to create your own domain can be seen as a perk. There’s no need to hide your details from “whois” searches, and your ICANN account won’t be vulnerable to malicious takeovers. You are in complete control of your privacy and your domain as an onion user.

Prior to moving forward with creating your own onion website, make sure that you know how to access the dark web securely. Running the privacy tools is also a requirement before creating your own onion site. Once you understand the prerequisites, you can continue to the next section.

Creating A Web Server With Tor

You’ll need to configure your existing web server before allowing Tor’s onion service to provide your existing web server an onion domain. There’s not much use for the powerful anonymity provided by Tor if your server is leaking personal data or information. 

Tor suggests binding your server to localhost. This is great for securing your real IP address, because when you set up your onion services later, you’ll be able to create a virtual port that visitors can connect through.

You’ll also want to scrub your server of any identifying information that could lead back to you. This means removing any reference to your server’s information from any error messages that might be sent to visitors.

Configuring Your Server’s Onion Services

This procedure is rather simple so long as you follow the instructions on the Tor project’s website. The site will provide more detailed information on how to modify your ‘torrc’ file to create an onion server. Make sure that Tor is up and running on your machine and that you install a web server locally like discussed in the previous section.

Once setup is complete, turn on your Tor browser to generate a public key – or domain –  for your website. Distribute this key however you like to anyone you want to visit your website in order to begin developing traffic.

25 Seo Tips To Rank Up Your WordPress Site – Webnots

Search engine optimization is the technique of bringing your site top in search results pages. Whatever the powerful content you write, your WordPress site needs a push to rank top in search engines. Here is a list of simple do it yourself SEO tips for WordPress beginners. We strongly recommend not to rely on external SEO agencies and spending big amount with them. We have also consolidated the complete guide in an attractive PDF eBook format. You can download the WordPress SEO guide and read it offline.

SEO Offer: Optimize your site with Semrush Pro special 14 days free trial.

SEO Strategies for WordPress Site

Your SEO strategy should cover the following SEO methods:

WordPress SEO Methods

You can learn black hat SEO to make sure, these methods are not used on your site. Here is a complete WordPress SEO checklist considering all these acpects.

Note: WordPress by default supports most of the SEO techniques, but it is unavoidable to use plugins to improve SEO. In this article we explain some SEO features with three plugins – Yoast WordPress SEO, Redirection and WP Smush. You can also use any other plugins to get similar features.

1. Allow Search Engine Indexing

Disable Search Engines in WordPress

2. Permalinks Settings

WordPress Permalink Settings

3. Verifying Site with Webmaster Tools

Ensure to add and verify your WordPress site in Google Search Console and Bing webmaster tools account. This informs the search engines that the site is reliable and have a verified owner.

4. Generating a XML Sitemap

With version 5.5. or later, WordPress by default creates XML Sitemap for your site. However, we recommend you using a third-party plugin for this purpose. Almost, all SEO plugins offer automatic creation of XML Sitemap for your site. Once the Sitemap is created, ensure to check it is accessible on browser and submit the same to webmaster tools account.

5. Install Google Analytics

Though installing Google Analytics will not directly impact your SEO, it helps to monitor the site’s performance. Analytics offers large number of reports with different parameters. You can use these reports to monitor the traffic with your SEO strategy and take corrective actions. Instead of Google Analytics, you can also use simple statistics tools like Jetpack Stats to monitor the traffic status quickly. Using Jetpack Stats you can not only monitor the stats using WordPress mobile apps but also check the downtime which Google Analytics does not provide.

6. Redirecting Modified Posts

You may be changing the URL of blog posts and pages during the time of building your site. If not redirected properly any links to old URLs will result in “404 page not found” error. It is recommended to set the auto redirection for modified posts so that you will not loose search engine ranking of the old post URL. You can do this easily with the popular “Redirection” plugin.

7. Use Proper Title and Separator

Sample Google Search Format

It is recommended to use “Yoast WordPress SEO” plugin so that the search snippet view can be seen before publishing the post. Based on the preview, you can do necessary adjustments without hassle.

8. Keyword Density

Generally speaking there is no need of worrying about keywords if the content is appropriately written. For example, an article talks about dogs should automatically contains the word “dog” fewer times along with the word “dog” appear in heading. It is no harm to check appropriate usage of keywords with the easy to use plugins. Plugins like Yoast and Rank Math offers built-in feature to view the SEO analysis of your page before publishing.

Keyword Analysis with Yoast SEO Plugin

The analysis meta box is shown on each post and page with lots of insights like the usage, readability, density, etc. You can target to get the green signal by making the recommended corrections.

9. Meta Description

After the title / URL, the next section appears in search results is your meta description. Search engines will pickup the description from your page content if you do not add it separately. All WordPress SEO plugins offer meta description on each post so that you can separately enter the summary of your post or you can use the default “excerpt” section. Some general guidelines for meta description are:

Use your keyword in meta description.

Use appropriate length (less than 155 characters) so that the paragraph will not get truncated when displayed in search engine.

Ensure to avoid duplicate meta description for multiple posts.

10. Use No-index and No-follow

WordPress does not provide default feature to hide only certain pages/posts from search engines. For example, you may not want “Thank you page”, “Newsletter” or “Archive” page is indexed in search engines. You need to use plugins to set those pages as “No-index” and “No-follow” so that search engines will not crawl those pages or you need to modify “robots.txt” to set such rules.

Individual posts can be hidden from search engines using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. Also you can disable all unnecessary archives like author archives and date archives. You can learn more about SEO for crawlers to understand how it can impact your ranking.

11. Using Update Services

WordPress Update Services

You can also use the latest IndexNow feature from Bing to inform search engines instantly after publishing new posts. This will send your URLs to the central pool from which any search engines can pickup the content.

12. Using Internal and External Links

Internal links inform search engines how your site is structured and the most linked post/page will be considered with highest priority. There are many ways you can create internal links in WordPress:

Creating a normal text and image hyperlinks within content.

Use sidebar widgets to display set of related and popular posts

Show related posts below the content

Use footer area to show frequently used pages

13. Optimizing Images

Ensure all your images are attached to a post and you are redirecting attachment URLs to parent post. This will ensure users are redirected to content page instead of ending up viewing an image. Always add “Alt Text” to all images so that search engines can understand the meaning of the images.

Use plugins like WP-Smush to optimize the images so that the page can load faster.

14. Use Solid Hosting

No one likes the slow loading page including search engines. Check your site with Google PageSpeed Insights tool and take corrective actions suggested. Among all the factors we have explained in this article, using solid hosting is the most important for improving your page speed.

If you have a smaller site, try using shared hosting with Bluehost or SiteGround. For running a bigger site or online store, make sure to have a VPS hosting like SiteGround Cloud or managed WordPress hosting like Kinsta or WPEngine.

15. Use Mobile Friendly Theme

Google and other search engines check the mobile-friendliness of your site and decide the ranking accordingly. Hence it is mandatory to use responsive themes or separate mobile site to ensure your WordPress site is mobile-friendly and rank higher. Use Google mobile-friendly tester tool to check your site is complying to the requirements.

Google Mobile Friendly Test

16. Defer or Lazy Loading Files

Lazy loading of resources will help you to load the files only when the user interaction is needed. For example, you need not to load the images that is available at the bottom of the page until user reaching to that position. Lazy loading initially started for media files and WordPress 5.5 or later versions will automatically lazy load media files.

17. Minify and Combine CSS and JS Files

Theme and plugins will load lots of CSS and JS files to create the required layout and functions for your site. However, loading each CSS and JS file separately will increase the network bandwidth. The best option is to clean the files (minify) and combine together to reduce the size and network trips. If you are using SiteGround, you can use SG Optimizer plugin for this purpose. Otherwise, use W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket to minify and combine static files.

These plugins will also help you to remove parameters in static URLs like version numbers from CSS / JS files.

18. Use GZIP Compression

GZIP compression helps you to compress the HTML content and save bandwidth. You can enable GZIP compression from your hosting account. SiteGround and many other companies enables the compression by default.

19. Cache Static Content and Optimize Delivery

There are many free and premium caching plugins available to convert dynamic PHP pages to static HTML pages. Most free plugins allow browser caching by setting proper HTTP headers. However, plugins like WP Rocket goes one step further and allows you to optimize CSS delivery. It will generate critical above the fold CSS to load pages much faster.

The latest trend in CSS delivery is to remove all unused CSS and inline used CSS in the header section. This will help to fix issues like render blocking CSS and reduce unused CSS in Google PageSpeed Insights tool. It will help to increase the page speed to near 100 level as above the fold area will render fast with inlined CSS.

Hosting Offer: Get discounted hosting with SiteGround on Google Cloud.

20. Use CDN

Since many hosting companies offer services from United States, the network latency will affect the users trying to access pages from other parts of the world. In order to avoid this problem, you can use Cloudflare or any other CDN service. CDN will cache static content like images, CSS and JS and serve your content to users from the nearest server. This will help you to improve the site speed and offer good user experience.

21. Preload Links, Fonts and Prefetch DNS

If you are using custom fonts hosted on your domain (generally it is part of your theme), it is essential to preload them. This will help you to shorten the page loading time and improve the Google PageSpeed score.

22. Avoid Third-party Resources 23. Use Simple Theme

At the end, your theme decides the final layout for your site. Using heavy theme that offers hundreds of features is no more desirable. Features with shortcodes will not only affect your SEO, you also have to struggle when changing the theme.

Consider using minimalist themes like GeneratePress, Astra or Genesis to have super fast website.

24. Limit Number of Plugins

Similar to theme, ensure to limit the number of plugins on your site.

Avoid using heavy page builder or bundled plugins with theme.

Delete unused plugins on your site.

Avoid using outdated plugins that is no more compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Each plugin will load CSS / JS thus affecting your SEO efforts. Limiting number of plugins will not only improve the page speed but also reduce your maintenance tasks.

25. Consider AMP Final Words

We strongly recommend you to setup all SEO features when starting your blog or site. It may take considerable time at the beginning. However, it will bring good results and make your life easy in the long run. Otherwise, you will have real difficulties in changing the setup after few years when your blog gets good traffic.

How To Check Site Health Of WordPress Site? – Webnots

WordPress works with complex structure. After initial setup, you have to keep a track of multiple things in order to maintain a site successfully. You have to upgrade theme, plugins, database, PHP and WordPress core regularly to keep the site in good condition. Therefore, do not believe if someone is telling you that working with WordPress is easy. However, you can do simple site audit within the admin panel. In this article, we will explain how to check site health of WordPress site.

Learn WordPress: Check out 500+ free WordPress tutorials.

Site Health Check Plugins

Checking site health is not a new thing in WordPress. In fact, there was a popular P3 profiler plugin from GoDaddy that used to check the plugins causing delay in site loading. There is an official Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin available in WordPress repository developed by chúng tôi community developers. 

Health Check and Troubleshooting Plugin

The Site Health status in WordPress is a feature copied from this Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. Now that it makes easy for all users to do the site health test within dashboard without installing the plugin.

Site Health Feature in WordPress

The results and recommendations are simple that you can follow on your own. Therefore, this is s a good tool you should keep using as part of your regular maintenance tasks.

How to Check Site Health?

Site Health Menu in WordPress

WordPress will run a health check and show you the status on the screen.

WordPress Site Health Status

The site health results contain Status and Info sections providing all necessary details.

Site Health Status

Overall status – Good health status indicates, there are no critical issues that need your attention.

Critical issues – you should immediately check and resolve these critical issues. However, critical issues like updating theme can be handled as per your convenient.

Recommended improvements – these are recommended to avoid later problems like deleting inactive plugins and themes.

Critical and Recommended Issues

Passed results – here you will get the status for the passed tests. You should have passed basic tests for having proper latest WordPress/PHP/plugins/themes/SQL server, etc.

Passed Test Results

What Does WordPress Check with Site Health Test?

WordPress checks performance and security settings when doing a health test. You can view the group name against each recommended/critical or passed check. Below are the checks, WordPress does when running a site health test.

Configuration SettingsWhat It Checks?GroupWordPress versionChecks whether you use latest WordPress versionPerformancePHP modulesAvailability of required PHP modules as per this guidePerformancePHP timezonePHP default timezone for calculating time and date on your sitePerformanceSQL versionLatest SQ L server versionPerformanceUTF8MB4Checks UTF8MB4 character set is supportedPerformanceHTTPS connectionValid SSL certificateSecuritySecure communicationSecure communication with other serversSecurityScheduled eventsChecks scheduled events can runPerformanceHTTPS requestChecks blocking of HTTPS requestsPerformanceDebug modeDisabled debug modeSecurityREST APIAvailability of REST APIPerformanceConnect WordPress.orgChecks your site can connects with WordPress.orgSecurity

Integrating Health Check Status by Plugins

Yoast SEO Site Health Integration

Yoast SEO plugin checks the following SEO factors:

Comments are shown in a single page without breaking into multiple pages

Site can be found in search engines

Changed default WordPress tagline

Permalink includes post name

WordPress SEO: Optimize WordPress site with free WordPress SEO guide.

Health Status Score – Removed

WordPress version 5.2 had a performance score next to the health status. However, this was removed in the subsequent version due to the opinions from developers. You can find the discussion here on why the score card is removed.

Site Health Info

Site Health Info Section

You can find the following details under “Info” section:

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