Comment on Stallion Responsive WordPress SEO Theme by SEO Dave.

Stallion WordPress SEO Package Wasn’t planning to make this change for the Stallion Responsive 8.1 update, but the irritation got the better of me :-)

The Stallion Responsive 8.0 social media profile links to Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc… that could be loaded on the top right or left side of the screen and within the author biography box (see the right hand side of this page and the author biography box) meant loading up to 10 external image links (to Facebook, Twitter etc…) to promote our social media profiles. If you showed the social media profile links on the top right and in the author biography box that’s up to 20 image links loading on every post!

Not ideal from an SEO point of view. I’d mitigated some of the SEO damage by incorporating the Stallion link cloaking script to these links, so at least Google didn’t read them as links, just saw the images. Still not ideal, but better.

Because of this it was best to limit the number of social media profiles to link to, that was until today :-)

Have rewrote the code (running now on this site). For those who have used the feature before the only thing you’ll notice is the social media profile image links no longer completely use the Stallion colour options, if there used to be a border around the image links it’s no longer shown (the theme colour I’m using didn’t have a border, so no change at all), everything else is as before.

What I’ve done is push the image links off the webpage that’s loaded and instead load them in an iFrame. If you’ve ever added a YouTube video to a WordPress posts it’s loaded in an iFrame, so using the same technique to load the social network profile image links.

This is the webpage the iFrame is loading for the social media profile links on the right hand side of the page.

And this is for the author biography links:

iFrames basically load a separate webpage inside another webpage, like you see with a YouTube embedded video, the video is on a webpage hosted by YouTube not your website.

Google SEO wise the contents of an iFrame is for practical purposes invisible, links within an iFrame loaded page are not treated as links from the main webpage. The two pages above contain valid image links, Google can follow them and passSEO value, PageRank etc… but other than this comment the only reference to those two URLs are within an iFrame and iFrames don’t pass SEO link value: Google will probably index them now since it will follow a non-clickable links, but I’m not spending any link benefit to have those URLs indexed by Google.

Since there’s no good SEO reason to link to a Facebook profile from a website like this one, using an iFrame is ideal SEO wise.

Using an iFrame is also better Google performance wise. iFrames are loaded asynchronously, this means the browser doesn’t wait for the contents of the webpage within the iFrame to load while it’s loading the main webpage: if your website has ever stopped loading while it waited for a Twitter Tweet button to load (in Firefox the bottom info bar can indicate what isn’t loading fast with the “Waiting…” info) it’s because the browser wasn’t loading the Twitter button asynchronously, it’s loading the resources as it finds them in source, when one is delayed (a Twitter button loaded on Twitters servers) the browser waits for that resource to load or timeout……

As you can see I’m currently linking to Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Linkedin and since I have the links on both the right side and the author biography box I’m saving a browser from loading 4 images twice while the main text content etc… loads. Might not sound a lot, but every resource a webpage has to load takes time and Google is considering user experience more important, shaving off a few milliseconds might not be a big SEO deal today, but for Google 2015 it might be important.

Worst case scenario the user gets a better experience.

I’ve also modified the code to work better with multi author blogs, each author can set their own social media profile links. That’s why the two URLs above end in ?author=1 each author has a unique ID, main admin is 1. If this site had multiple authors (it doesn’t) ?author=2 would load a different set of profile links.

I want to move all the like type buttons to an iFrame as well, will be possible with some, but not sure about them all yet.