Improve Your Navigational Link Structure with a Single WP Plugin

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Continuing with my theme of optimizing WordPress (as a result of my recent development efforts with WP and WP Hive), today I would like to talk about a single WP plugin that will help you greatly improve your navigational link structure.

When it comes to building a blog or website, there are certain pages that are beneficial when they are included on your site, but at the same time, aren’t pages that people are going to look for when they are using a search engine. Examples of these pages include your contact form and privacy policy.

Because people aren’t going to be searching for these pages before they arrive at your website, there’s really no reason for you to have these pages indexed by the search engines. Therefore, you will most likely want to use the noindex robots meta tag and nofollow attribute to tell the search engine crawlers that they don’t need to worry about indexing these pages.

If you are building a static HTML site, you can simply manually apply these attributes (even though that’s a fairly time-consuming process). However, when you are using WP, not only can this get tricky, but the whole beauty of WP is to streamline as much of these manual type tasks as possible.

When it comes to adding the nofollow attribute to navigational links on your WP blog or website, you can simply add the attribute to any links you have in the footer by editing your theme. However, since WP uses PHP to call your navigational links, manually adding nofollow to specific navigational links is pretty much out of the question.

Fortunately, as we have seen time and time again, there is a free WP plugin that solves this problem. This time, the plugin that comes to the rescue is the Ultimate Noindex Nofollow Tool.

Ultimate Noindex Nofollow

As you can see in the screenshot above, once you download the plugin, upload it to your plugins directory and activate it, you are given a simple to use list of options that allow you to have complete control over how you apply the noindex and nofollow attributes to the pages and links on your blog.

Although the options are fairly straightforward, there are two tips I picked up while using this plugin. The first is that if you aren’t sure how to find a page ID, simply open the Pages tab in your WP Admin. Once its open, hold your mouse over the desired page, and then at look at the status bar at the bottom of your browser. You should see a URL like http://www.yoururl.com/wp-admin/page.php?action=edit&post=4, and the number at the end is the page ID.

The second tip is that if you change your permalinks to a custom structure (such as /%postname%/ ), you will need to enter the page slug instead of the page ID (as seen in the screenshot above).

And as a bonus closing tip, to easily check to see if your desired navigational links were NoFollowed, simply enable the “Highlight NoFollow Links” on the SearchStatus add-on for Firefox.

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