BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

9 WordPress Plugins that Could Be Hurting Your WP Site

May 8, 2013

Many websites are getting penalized by Google for both on-page (IE: over optimization) and off-page (IE: spammy links) factors. Studies have shown that a high percent of WordPress sites have been hit with a Google penalty (comparing WordPress sites’ search engine visibility before and after several Google updates). These websites are not penalized for being on WordPress, but rather the plugins and strategies users performed with their WordPress site.

WordPress is currently the most popular CMS on the net and quite frankly it’s one of the best. However, there are some plugins you should absolutely avoid installing on your WordPress. These plugins tend to have bad intentions from the start. Here is a list of WordPress plugins that we found on most WordPress sites that have been penalized.

1. SEOPressor – Seeks to help you stuff your post with your target keyword (Over Optimization)

2. SEO Smart Links – Make 100% of keywords’ internal links point to assigned pages, without capability to diversify text. This used to be one of my favorite plugins. (Anchor Text)

3. SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 – Automatically converts searched terms on your blog into blog pages (Duplicate Content)

4. Deep link Juggernaut – More advanced version of SEO Smart Links. (Anchor Text)

5. WordSpinner – Builds ‘spinners’ in your posts or pages to help you avoid duplicate content penalties. (Penguin & Panda)

6. DoFollow Comment Love – Guilty by association. Giving reason for others to comment on your blog just to give them a dofollow link is bad on all kinds of levels. (Panda & Penguin)

Below are plugins that can get your website in trouble IF misused.

7. Global Translator – Actually a great tool to automatically recreate your pages into different languages. But be careful not to create Australian, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Great Britain and USA versions (Duplicate Content).

8. Automatic-SEO-Links – Another plugin similar to Deeplink Juggernaut & SEO Smart Links, but has a couple more features making it kind of easy to work around the 100% keyword anchor text penalty (Anchor Text)

9. EasyWpSEO – Provides you with onpage keyword placement scores for your posts and pages. If you aim to get 100%, you may be borderline keyword stuffing. (Over Optimization)

Please keep in mind, the plugins themselves aren’t getting penalized (except for a couple of them), it’s the way they are being used that is making your website susceptible to being penalized. You can still use most of them strategically to help with SEO and avoid getting penalized, however the effort required to make them help is far less efficient than just doing SEO naturally.

If you have any of the above plugins installed on you WordPress site, I recommend asking yourself why they were installed in the first place. If the reason is ‘you are trying to trick the search engines’ or ‘solely for SEO purposes’, REMOVE THEM!

Another issue some are claiming to be grounds for penalty is having “too many plugins” installed in your WordPress.  However, I am not sure what is considered “too many”. One of our clients came to us with over 50 plugins installed, and it’s not hurting their site one bit.