Nofollow tag cloud for WordPress

I love the tag cloud widget that comes with WordPress. There’s just one thing that bugs me: it floods every post or page with lots of internal links that a search engine crawler will follow. The SEO community says that this could be seen as some sort of artificial link generation by a search engine and eventually lead to a disadvantage in a site’s SERP ranking. Having fewer internal links on a post should also pass a higher page rank to linked posts as well. See this post from Matt Cutts detailing how it makes sense to nofollow non-essential internal links:

There’s no stigma to using nofollow, even on your own internal links; for Google, nofollow’ed links are dropped out of our link graph; we don’t even use such links for discovery. By the way, the nofollow meta tag does that same thing, but at a page level.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to instruct the built-in WordPress tag cloud sidebar widget to use nofollow tags for the generated links. Continue reading

Must Read Posts: New version 2.0

After quite a long time with no updates I just released a new version of my WordPress plugin “Must-Read Posts”. The new version adds several configurable sorting options which was the most requested missing feature. With the exception of the custom sort order they’re pretty self explanatory and include:

  • Post date descending (latest posts/pages first)
  • Post date ascending (oldest posts/pages first)
  • Random (randomizes the sort order)
  • Custom

The custom sort order allows pre-defined ordering of posts or pages and was the default and only sort option in the earlier versions of the plugin. If you update from an earlier version of the plugin this still is the default sort order. The sort ordering option can be found on the widget’s configuration area.

In case you’re using the non-widget PHP function, the sort order parameters are:

  • date_asc
  • date_desc
  • rnd
  • custom

If you don’t specify a sort order, the default is “custom”. If you’re using a plugin like WP Super Cache don’t expect the random sort order to show a different order every time you load the page.

The plugin can be installed/updated from the plugins admin page within your WordPress site or downloaded here.

WordPress Plugin/Widget for Must Read Posts

Today, I was looking for a simple WordPress widget that allows me to statically display links to certain posts in the sidebar. I could have used the links widget but it wasn’t flexible enough for me. My idea was to use a certain custom field of a post or page as a trigger to display it in a widget. I searched for almost an hour but I just couldn’t find any simple, widget-capable WordPress plugins that could do this?! 

In the end, I ended up writing my own widget-capable plugin. I decided to publish it so anyone else can use it on her/his blog too. The plugin’s name is “Must Read Posts”. It shows your most recommended posts and pages in a sidebar widget or in a page. As the widget’s title is editable in the WordPress Dashboard you could change it to something like “Recommended Posts”, “Important information”, “Tips & Tricks” or whatever you like. Continue reading