SEO: WordPress plugins to display old posts

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One of the challenges of optimizing a blog for organic search is that older posts fade into the archives. The result is fewer internal links to that dated content and a gradual loss in rankings.

Luckily for WordPress users, there are plugins that make internal linking easier, regardless of how old the post is, thus solving the problem.

The following are my favorite WordPress plugins for bringing up older content. The list is intentionally short, because I prefer to minimize installed plugins. I focused on scalable internal linking strategies:

  • Similar Items,
  • popular items,
  • Contextual link,
  • Internal Link Recommendations.

WordPress plugins for internal links

Similar Items. There are many plugins that automatically generate a list of posts related to the one in view. However, not all are compatible with search engine optimization. Some, like those displaying thumbnails, slow down a site. Others use JavaScript to generate blocks of related links, which might be invisible to search engines.

Google is definitely getting better at crawling JavaScript. But I prefer a plugin that creates plain HTML text links.

YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) is one of the oldest and best for generating automatic links to your dated related content.

YARPP allows users to set the number of links for each section and rank links based on a YARPP relevance score. Users may also include links to related pages and other post types.

I haven’t experimented with plugins for inline links to related posts – ie links in the body of one post to another. WPBeginner, however, offers a tutorial for doing so.

Screenshot of YARPP admin screen

YARPP is one of the oldest and best publishing plugins for generating automatic links to older content. Click on the image to enlarge.

Popular items. Making older posts more visible and closer (in clicks) to the homepage will help it maintain its rankings. There are many popular post plugins to help you out.

I prefer Relevant because of its flexibility in the number and location of posts included. Relevant can select posts automatically, or users can select posts manually. The “Popular Posts” widget box can appear sitewide or only apply to certain categories.

Relevant can also link to the author of each popular article, increasing internal linking.

Additionally, this plugin generates Related messages, potentially avoiding YARPP or similar for this task.

Contextual link. Search engine optimizers frequently claim that in-context links (from the body of an article) work better at conveying link equity than a link block. However, I am not aware of Google confirming this.

Still, linking to older articles that lose organic search traffic from the body of new ones is a good idea.

You can automate this task with Internal Link Juicer, which links any word or phrase to another internal page. The plugin generates a handy dashboard to see which posts received those internal links. You can limit the number of links to or from each page to avoid overlinks.

Screenshot of Internal Link Juicer admin.

Internal Link Juicer links any word or phrase to another internal message. Click on the image to enlarge.

Link Recommendations. Comprehensive SEO plugins like Yoast and All-in-One SEO recommend internal URLs to link to.

For example, Yoast provides internal link suggestions from every post in the admin dashboard.

Screenshot of Yoast's internal link suggestions.

Yoast provides internal link suggestions from each post in the admin dashboard. Click on the image to enlarge.

All-in-One SEO provides internal link reporting and recommendations with its Link Assistant feature, available on the premium package starting at $200 per year.

Screenshot of All-in-One SEO Link Assistant Dashboard

All-in-One SEO’s Premium Link Assistant feature includes internal linking report and recommendations. Click on the image to enlarge.

Beyond Link Equity

The benefits of internal linking go beyond passing through link equity. On the one hand, visitors who click on these links are more interested in the content.

Additionally, a recent Moz experiment revealed that internal linking can improve the organic ranking of a linking page, not just the receiving one. Internal links likely help a search engine understand a page better.