Should you still be using the WordPress plugin SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 in 2014?
SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 is a WordPress plugin which captures incoming search terms from Google, Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine. The plugin stores these search terms for your posts in your WordPress database.
There are options in SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 to display these search terms at the bottom of your posts. The idea behind this is to add greater keyword density to your posts. By displaying the search terms that people used to find your page it hopes to make your oage even more relevant, as far as search engines are concerned, for those keyword search terms.
When the plugin was written, this behaviour was quite useful. It increased the keyword density of certain key search terms and search engines seemed to like this. And if search engines liked it, it meant your posts rose higher in their search rankings, resulting in more traffic. And more traffic means more income, if you are monetising your blog.
But with all the changes in recent years to search engines, is it still a good idea to use this plugin in 2014?
The Panda and Penguin updates to Google’s search algorthyms have been well publicised. Keyword stuffing is seen as very bad and will result in your pages being penalised by Google.
If you use the WordPress plugin SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 for the purpose of displaying incoming search terms and search phrases, it is highly likely that Google is going to see this as keyword stuffing. In other words, you are placing multiple, similar keyword phrases on your page for no obvious purpose other than trying to trick the search engines into liking your posts.
SEO is changing. Experts will tell you that it was always about good original content. But there used to be ways to encourage search engines to add relevance to your posts even if your content wasn’t that good. These ‘loopholes’ are being closed. Search engines are becoming smarter and are better able to recognise good original content. And they are learning to ignore and even penalise what they see as attempts to trick them.
So should you still be using the WordPress plugin SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 in 2014? I would say no. At least, you shouldn’t be using it to display the incoming search terms. It may have its uses in the admin panel to let you know what people are searching for.
As of the time of writing, this plugin hasn’t been updated by the writer for a long time and produces errors in the latest version of WordPress. This would seem to indicate that even the writer of the plugin no longer values it as much as they used to.
If you are using SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2, why not try an experiment. Turn it off, or at least turn off the display of search terms, for a couple of months and see how your traffic is affected.
But to avoid the risk of Google penalties I am going to turn it off or remove it completely from my own blogs. Just in case.
What are your recent experiences with SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2? Are you still using it? Do you still see benefits from using it? Let me know.