Abnormal yet reasonable SEO question

Hi, I need some wordpress SEO help. Here’s a crazy sentence:

I actually don’t care about my weblog being ranked number one in search engines, or even on the first page.

I bet that got your attention, lol.

No, my site is about authors of books. What I want is for posts about books by the authors to show up in the url/search results when they search for their own name on google. For example, if it’s a book called “monkey car”, I want monkey car in the url, and if it’s by “john smith and davy jones”, then I want their names (separately) in the url as well. So that, when the authors search for their names, they get that page in the results, and/or when they or anyone google for the name of the book, they get that post in the search results as well.

(See what I mean- I don’t need the entire weblog to be number one in google, just the results for posts about what someone is searching for.)

(btw I don’t have much wordpress experience but I have 15 years of php development, so get as technical as you like. I wrote my custom theme and some widgets but this is like the last battle),

So what I was thinking was, I would name tags in such a way that my code could pick them up and stick them into the urls of the index pages that lead to the posts. like John_Jones_name. So that I could pick out “_name” and… do something with it (but how to put it in the url, exactly, I don’t know).

Is that a good plan? Or make I could stick in new fields in the post form somehow for specifically “book” and “author”? That would obviously have to live somewhere in some new table (or new columns) in the db right?

And either way, how would I stick it in the url?

I don’t know, please advise, thanks,

Crazy in that you say you don’t care then go on to say that’s exactly what you want :wink:

Where does the name appear in the page?
An “author” link?
In the post title?
Post content?
Page title?
URL permalink slug?

Um, I think you’re missing the point and the question. The point of the first sentence was that I don’t care where the weblog itself in the results, only the individual pages showing up in the results for author(s) or book title. :wink:

I also pretty clearly stated that it’s in the tags. And also stated that I wanted it in the urls. Should I have said that another way? Let me know. :wink:

Sites don’t get ranked - only individual pages get ranked. So what you are saying is what you want to rank number one for which is what SEO is all about.

This is so weird. This is like the weirdest conversation. Ok, let’s me specify “the homepage” is what I don’t care is number one. I thought that was obvious, but sorry, I guess not. (And for that matter, any index pages at all, since they wouldn’t have the book or authors in the url.)

No, I don’t want the homepage t to get ranked number one, I just want to make sure that the names or book names of individual posts show up in the results. I’m well aware that search engines index by page. I only care about the posts, not the homepage. (Again, hence the title “abnormal”. I don’t even care if the spiders are interested in the domain name in terms of optimization. Just that they’re interested in that one part of the url. (Obviously they need to know the domain name and url to make the link, but I’m talking about what they’re interested in.))

And, as for @Mittineague’s response, he asks: [quote=“Mittineague, post:2, topic:212057”]
Where does the name appear in the page? An “author” link? In the post title? Post content? Page title? URL permalink slug?

The answer is, I don’t know. That’s like the whole question. I said I was thinking about the tags, but I said maybe I should make a separate field… the whole point is to brainstorm which or what is better.

I don’t know what to say here, this is odd.

OK, putting the hair-splitting nit-picky stuff aside …

Have you considered using the permalink setting


A sanitized version of the author name.

I don’t know if it will help the SEO all that fast, if at all, but it will put the names into the URL
Seems it couldn’t hurt any.

Thanks, @Mittineague , well, does %author% get the author of the person who posted? Because, the person who posted an article about the book isn’t the author(s) of the book. It could be (metaphorically) like Ebert talking about a movie, but he’s not the one who made the movie, y’know? So is %author% an admin of the weblog?

But either way, thanks for sticking with this, thanks

(btw there could be more than one author of a book, right…)

It would be the author of the post.

If the posts are about books by authors (of course) and that is the name you want to get into the URL the only easy was I can think of is to have that name in the post title. eg.

Instead of something like
“Review - On the Origin of Species”
something like
“Review - On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin”
then in the permalinks setting use

A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So “This Is A Great Post!” becomes this-is-a-great-post in the URI.

Or maybe depending, if each author had their own category you could use

A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.

And I guess if every author has a Tag, making a type of “tag index” page listing them all might help some.

Yea, the category idea doesn’t work because they’d have to make like at least two categories per post (title, author). But we’re brainstorming here, so…

I was thinking about putting everything in the title… I mean that was my first thought. Seems a bit messy though… seems like the last resort…

Anyway, so in my op post- what I was thinking is that on the index pages, as I cycle through the posts to show them, I could just ad arbitrary arguments like “?title123=” [name of title], “&author1=” [name of author1 tag that I take out of the tag list, like “charles_darwin_name”] And then that would show up in the url when you click on the post in the index.

(What I mean by cycle is: <?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()): the_post(); etc etc ?>)

But I didn’t think having the “_name” in the tag there was clean, and I’ve been told that search spiders don’t like traditional ?erger=ergerg&etrerht=wfewef GET arguments as much as they like directory “/” stuff, hence the SEO plugins available for wordpress.

So anyway I’m looking for something better than that… (And also the traditional GET stuff might interfere with whatever SEO plugins I install, maybe?)

See what I mean, there’s a lot of possibilities for a relatively simple thing!

Not sure how you would do this in WordPress with whatever plugins you’re using, but to optimise your page I would make sure that:

  1. the author and/or book is in the permalink (example.com/author/book)
  2. the author/book is in a h1 tag
  3. use schema.org schemas to help the crawler to identify content (Person, Book)

Thanks, yep, getting #1 on your list is what I’m asking about; it’s the hard part. But, yea, as general SEO advice, thanks.

How bout a special taxonomy & post type as well?
You cold create specific post type and post pages, so you could have

you could also use tags to cross reference them.

Right, but would my teachers, when they post, have to create those two html files for each assignment they post? (They rarely post more than once about the same book).

Well you’d be creating the post types, so they’d have to go in click on add new, fill it out & hit publish?

Well yea, but I mean would they need to make a new taxonomy somewhere else in the admin each time? Or do mean I can just add new fields to the post form where they can just type the book and author in the same form when they post?

Some of your answers lead me to believe you are not very experienced with wordpress…Nothing wrong with that, but it might be a good idea to find an video tutorial that will go over the essentials. am sure sitepoint has them, lynda.com has them as well. It could make your life easier.
But this is what I mean.
I created several post types. Critters is one of them. Eventually a user to whom I’d give the necessary privileges would be able to log in, add a new critter. to the post type, or a new book.

You’re so totally right (when I posted that last response, I thought… wait, I don’t actually know how taxonomys work in wordpress. Ha. After all, it’s not your job to teach me wordpress in this thread! (Your response was diplomatic way of rightfully saying RTFM)

Yea, so I’m going to read about custom post types and “taxonomies”. Thanks again,


Well, no. quite honestly it was not an RTFM. And while it would be hard to teach you wordpress in tthis thread (especially when it gets to taxonomies and post-types) I am pretty sure sitepoint is one of the places to go, where all who can would be happy to help you do just that.
I meant that it would help you to view a video tutorial as it would save you time in the long run and perhaps answer questions you didn’t know you had…

You can also look into plugins, but i’d really recommend that video tut. It’ll be faster.

Here, this is a trusted developer with nice plugins