So I was wrong.
I apologize for some misinformation in my previous post (Hydropackulicity Contest draws near 5/7/2012)
It looks like using keywords, tags and category heads have little effect on your page rank for Google. According to my instructor, Categories and Tags in WordPress sites are more for organizational structure to help your readers follow their interests in your posts.
Don’t get me wrong – tags are a good thing. When used properly, Categories are like a file cabinet drawer where you file documents under a topic. Tags are more like a keyword that help people find and cross-reference your posts. Using alt tags for your images is also helpful for search engines to index your images.
Having useful content, blogging often and developing your blog over time will help you optimize your WordPress site for the Google search engine.
Here are more tips for optimizing your website, especially a WordPress Website:
- Make sure your default Permalink settings are helpful to your readers. The default setting, http://yourdomain.com/?p=123, is not very useful and you lose the value of keywords in the title of your post or page. This is often overlooked, but easy to change. Try this: select the custom option and set the format to /%postname%/ or /%category%%postname%/. Add the category if you have been diligent in naming your categories using your main keywords. Otherwise, just use the post name and make sure you use keywords in their titles.
- Make sure your privacy setting allows search engine indexing when your site goes live. Go to the WordPress “Settings/Privacy” in your dashboard and set your blog visibility to “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers”. Also make sure your robots.txt file isn’t set to block the search engine bots.
- Verify your site with Google using Webmaster Tools. You then add a verification code to your header file which gives the search engine a way to verify site ownership and then you can gather useful information for your site. Once your site is verified, you can install the Google (XML) Sitemap plugin and activate it. All the major search engines will provide information on your site such as keywords to find your site, incoming links to pages, broken links and other useful information for your site. Using Google Analytics will also help to give you useful information on how visitors use your site and which pages are more popular so that you can create a better experience for the user.
I hope this clarifies SEO.