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The SEO Framework WordPress SEO Plugin



Roger Montti

The SEO Framework is a WordPress SEO Plugin that is developed to be lightweight while providing useful features. Additional features like a bad bot blocker or Local Search SEO can be added on thanks to the innovative modular structure of this plugin.

The author, Sybre Waaijer, has created an SEO plugin that adds an astonishingly minimal three milliseconds to a clean WordPress install.

I caught up with the mastermind behind this innovative WordPress Plugin to find out more about the plugin and the person behind it.

1. Why did you design your SEO plugin to be modular?

The plugin’s built to be useful for WordPress Multi-sites. Not every site in a network needs every feature enabled. For example, not all authors need or want content auditing, and not all site owners want to write articles; they focus on their offline business instead.

The plugin’s designed for every kind of professional site, and I want to give the users the freedom to choose what they need for their business.

2. What made you decide that the world needed another SEO plugin?

This was by accident. As the slug of the plugin (autodescription) implies: It automatically generates descriptions. I never saw the need to install a bloated SEO plugin with ads everywhere on my networks that would nag my own clients.

I put very little trust in plugin authors doing this; plugins should just do what they’re supposed to do and leave me be.

My plugin was (and still is) meant for a Multisite environment, and I added more features as I deemed necessary. This grabbed the attention of some users, and I very much enjoy expanding it to their needs as well. It’s thanks to my extremely competent users that it came this far.

3. What makes your SEO plugin special and different?

I tend to waste my time on over-optimizing. This would get me fired at larger tech companies, as most users want features instead of having an unnecessary database query removed.

I won’t stop doing this. Furthermore, I put users’ needs before the company. This, unfortunately, has its monetary downsides for me; but the users are much better off.

My goal is to prove that you can make it without playing dirty. This goes against everything seen in your typical “Business 101” booklet.

4.  Is your plugin lightweight, do you put emphasis on that?

The plugin is colossal, it does a whole lot. However, there are more ways that lead to Rome in code; I’m spending a lot of time deciding which route is the fastest.

I do emphasize this in the slogan; however, as a first party, I’m not the one that should release benchmarks.

5. Quality Control: Do you test your plugin before pushing out an update?

Next to writing plugins, I also maintain various servers. Most of these are running dedicated WordPress environments for my clients, which I optimize for SEO.

I push major updates on both their and my own live sites, incrementally, a few weeks before I release the plugin to the public, and I keep an eye out on significant changes in SERP and the error logs.

Being the only developer for the plugin, I also know all ins and outs of every function; so, with each change, I know what to look and test for. In fact, most bugs that have been fixed in the plugin have never been experienced by a user.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend building an SEO plugin to anyone: due to the sheer complexity of the variable, overlapping, and at least hexadecile WordPress query environment, bugs are imminent. This is the reason why there are so many updates for SEO plugins.

I have yet to see an SEO plugin handling every query perfectly. The SEO Framework is really close to perfection in this regard.

6. Why is WPMU DEV Excited About The SEO Framework?

WPMU DEV made my life as a WordPress Multisite hosting provider possible! They offer many, high-quality solutions, and I’m still a customer of theirs.

I used to be a very active member of their community (until I couldn’t find the time anymore), they’ve even taught me how to work with complex arrays as I started out with PHP. Their support is second to none, and I’m trying to take that quality with me supporting my own plugins.

Their review of my plugin kicked off so much enthusiasm, I am very grateful, and I still don’t know if I’m ever able to repay them.

7. The SEO Framework Have Add-On Features that Other SEO Plugins Don’t

In the world of SEO plugins, there is, unfortunately, little to innovate. All SEO plugin developers follow the path laid out by Google, Facebook, and Twitter. This is why it won’t matter which SEO plugin you choose: They all ultimately (try) to do the same thing.

One plugin won’t necessarily help you do better in the SERPs than the other when they’re configured equally (unless there are bugs).

So, I recommend choosing an SEO plugin that’s known for its stability and one that you know how to work with.

I don’t copy out-of-the-box implementations from others because I see little need in the way some of these features are executed, like focus keywords.

However, sometimes there’s so much demand for these features from my users, I scrutinize every aspect and rework them in a way I can make sense of it. This is where Focus with synonyms came from, as a modular add-on, which guides rather than enforces.

I also dislike the “example SERP display” feature brought in to many SEO plugins: They’re all out of place and incorrect. You can prove this by simply adding a bunch of capital W’s in there. I can assure you Google will display something differently.

That feature is fundamentally one big bug by design: Google interpolates in secret, and this cannot be replicated. SEO plugin authors should have their software guide the user, not falsely claim otherwise.

Now, competing features isn’t common in Free and open-source software (FOSS), unless there’s money involved. This is why you see the SEO plugin authors reacting to each other’s actions. I do hope I’m setting a new trend on releasing clean and field-tested plugins for WordPress, as it should be.

More About The SEO Framework

WPMUDEV review of The SEO Framework that discusses the background of this plugin

Official WordPress Page for the SEO Framework Plugin

Official Web Page of The SEO Framework

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WordPress Introduces A New Way For Websites to Make Money



Matt Southern

Websites hosted on can now monetize their content with a new recurring payments feature.

Available with any paid plan on, the recurring payment feature lets site owners collect repeat contributions from supporters in exchange for things like exclusive content or a monthly membership.

“Let your followers support you with periodic, scheduled payments. Charge for your weekly newsletter, accept monthly donations, sell yearly access to exclusive content — and do it all with an automated payment system.”

Recurring payments on allows site owners to:

  • Accept regularly-scheduled payments directly on their site.
  • Offer ongoing subscriptions, site memberships, monthly donations, and more.
  • Integrate their site with Stripe to process payments and collect funds. site owners can enable recurring payments by following the steps below:

  • Step 1: Connect (or create) a Stripe account. Visit the Earn page from the WordPress dashboard and click Connect Stripe to Get Started.
  • Step 2: Add a recurring payments button to your site using the block editor.
  • Step 3: Customize details such as payment amounts, frequencies, subscription tiers, and so on.

Websites will pay WordPress a percentage of revenue earned through recurring payments, which varies depending on whether its a personal plan (8%), premium plan (4%), or business plan (2%). In addition to WordPress fees, Stripe collects 2.9% + $0.30 for each payment.

In order to make a recurring payment to a site, users will also need to have a account. If they don’t already have one, they’ll be prompted to create one when making a recurring payment for the first time.

For users, this will make it easy to subscribe to multiple sites with one account and manage all subscriptions from one place.

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Here’s how to set up the Google Site Kit WordPress plugin



Here's how to set up the Google Site Kit WordPress plugin

On Oct. 31, Google announced the launch of its Site Kit WordPress plugin that, “enables you to set up and configure key Google services, get insights on how people find and use your site, learn how to improve, and easily monetize your content.”

This plugin allows you to easily connect the following Google Services in a dashboard format within your WordPress backend:

  • Search Console
  • Analytics
  • PageSpeed Insights
  • AdSense
  • Optimize
  • Tag Manager

It brings the convenience of accessing your site’s performance data while logged into the backend of the site. This is great for webmasters, developers and agencies who are often an admin for their own site or a client’s WordPress site. However, it does not offer the robust and dynamic capabilities of a Google Data Studio report or dashboard to sort data so it may not be ideal for a digital marketing manager or CMO.

With that said, it wouldn’t hurt to implement this plugin as it’s actually a nifty tool that can help you stay on top of your site’s performance metrics. It’s also another way to give Google more access to your site which can have some in-direct benefits organically. 

Here is what the Google Site Kit plugin looks like within the WordPress plugin directory.

Installing and setting up Google Site Kit

To utilize the plugin, simply click install and activate as you would any other WordPress plugin. You will then be prompted to complete the set up.

Step 1

Click on the “Start Setup” button.

Step 2

You will be prompted to give access to your site’s Google Search Console profile, which means you need to sign in to the Gmail account that has access to your site’s Search Console profile.

Step 3

Once logged in you need to grant permissions for Google to access the data in your Search Console profile.

Step 4

Once you’ve granted all the respective permissions, you will get a completion notification and can then click on “Go to my Dashboard.”

Step 5

Once you’re in the Dashboard you will see options to connect other services such as Analytics, AdSense and PageSpeed insights. You can now choose to connect these services if you like. If you go to the settings of the plugin you will see additional connection options for Optimize and Tag Manager.

Here is what the dashboard looks like with Search Console, analytics and PageSpeed Insights enabled. You can see a clear breakdown of the respective metrics.

The plugin allows you to dive into each reporting respectively with navigation options on the left to drill down into Search Console and analytics.

There is also an admin bar feature to see individual page stats.

In summary, this is a great plugin by Google but keep in mind it’s just version 1.0. I’m excited to see what features and integrations the later versions will have!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Tony Edward is a director of SEO at Tinuiti and an adjunct instructor of search marketing at NYU. Tony has been in the online marketing industry for over 10 years. His background stems from affiliate marketing and he has experience in paid search, social media and video marketing. Tony is also the founder of the Thinking Crypto YouTube channel.

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Bing Announces Link Penalties – Search Engine Journal



Roger Montti

Bing announced a new link penalties. These link penalties are focused on taking down private blog networks (PBNs), subdomain leasing and manipulative cross-site linking.

Inorganic Site Structure

An inorganic site structure is a linking pattern that uses internal site-level link signals (with subdomains) or cross-site linking patterns (with external domains) in order to manipulate search engine rankings.

While these spam techniques already existed, Bing introduced the concept of calling them “inorganic site structure” in order to describe them.

Bing noted that sites legitimately create subdomains to keep different parts of the site separate, such as These are treated as belonging to the main domain, passing site-level signals to the subdomains.

Bing also said sites like WordPress create standalone sites under subdomains, in which case no site level signals are passed to the subdomains.

Examples of Inorganic Site Structure

An inorganic site structure is when a company leases a subdomain in order to take advantage of site-level signals to rank better. There have been

Private blog networks were also included as inorganic site structure

Domain Boundaries

Bing also introduced the idea of domain boundaries. The idea is that there are boundaries to a domain. Sometimes, as in the case of legitimate subdomains (ex., those boundaries extend out to the subdomain. In other cases like subdomains the boundaries do not extend to the subdomains.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
Bing called out PBNs as a form of spam that abuse website boundaries.

“While not all link networks misrepresent website boundaries, there are many cases where a single website is artificially split across many different domains, all cross-linking to one another, for the obvious purpose of rank boosting. This is particularly true of PBNs (private blog networks).”

Subdomain Leasing Penalties

Bing explained why they consider subdomain leasing a spammy activity:

“…we heard concerns from the SEO community around the growing practice of hosting third-party content or letting a third party operate a designated subdomain or subfolder, generally in exchange for compensation.

…the practice equates to buying ranking signals, which is not much different from buying links.”

At the time of this article, I still see a news site subdomain ranking in Bing (and Google). This page belongs to another company. All the links are redirected affiliate type links with parameters meant for tracking the referrals.

According to the subdomain page was credited to an anonymous news staffer. Sometime in the summer the author was switched to someone with a name who is labeled as an expert, although the content is still the same.

So if Bing is already handing out penalties that means Bing (and Google who also ranks this page) still have some catching up to do.

Cross-Site Linking

Bing mentioned sites that are essentially one site that are broken up into multiple interlinking sites. Curiously Bing said that these kinds of sites already in violation of other link spam rules but that additional penalties will apply.

Here’s the kind of link structure that Bing used as an example:

illustration of a spammy link networkAll these sites are interlinking to each other. All the sites have related content and according to Bing are essentially the same site. This kind of linking practice goes back many years. They are traditionally known as interlinked websites. They are generally topically related to each other.

Bing used the above example to illustrate interlinked sites that are really just one site.

That link structure resembles the structure of interlinked websites that belong to the same company. If you’re planning a new web venture, it’s generally a good idea to create a site that’s comprehensive than to create a multitude of sites that are focused on just a small part of the niche.

Curiously, in reference to the above illustration, Bing said that kind of link structure was already in violation of link guidelines and that more penalties would be piled on top of those:

“Fig. 3 – All these domains are effectively the same website.
This kind of behavior is already in violation of our link policy.

Going forward, it will be also in violation of our “inorganic site structure” policy and may receive additional penalties.


It’s good news to hear Bing is improving. Competition between search engines encourage innovation and as Bing improves perhaps search traffic may become more diversified as more people switch to Bing as well as other engines like DuckDuckGo.

Read Bing’s announcement: Some Thoughts on Website Boundaries

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