Comment on WordPress Autoblog Plugins by SEO Dave.
That’s not SEO proof. You can get lots of SEO factors wrong and still get great search engine rankings if you are good at generating backlinks and have reasonably well search engine optimized content (with enough backlinks you don’t even need great SEO content) or they are easy SERPs.
Look at the Computers SERP in Google, Dell is number 1, and it’s really badly search engine optimized for the Computers SERP, but it’s PR8 home page is a result of a LOT of backlinks and many will link with anchor text “Dell Computers” and similar. They have so much off site SEO (backlinks) they take a very competitive SERP with practically no on page SEO. Imagine the Computer related long tail SERPs they are missing out on though!
If you got more SEO factors right you’d generate even more SERPs and more money.
Makes no difference to me if you believe me or not, my sites currently pull in over 40,000 unique visitors a day and they are ‘hobby’ sites, they aren’t my main income (my SEO business is my main income).
BTW I wasn’t advocating you have every type of archive possible on a WordPress site, quite the opposite. You only use Tags, I only use Categories for the same reason, (I work on the principle if you can add a Tag to a page, you can create a similar Category instead: I prefer Categories over Tags, but they are pretty much the same thing) though appears you don’t understand why having so many types of archives are so damaging SEO wise:
Date archives are SEO damaging because they add very little to a sites SEO (they help get deep content indexed, but Categories/Tags are better) while taking valuable link benefit away from important pages of a site. Add to this when you add the Archives widget you get 12 links with awful anchor text, anchor text is one of the most important SEO factors on a page, you do not want 12 links on every page of a site with a month as anchor text!!!
Search pages don’t damage a sites SEO, WordPress doesn’t link directly to them. If you happen to get a dumb bot spidering search pages, it’s free low quality links (very little gain, but no SEO damage).
Categories and Tags are useful archives, they act as a sitemap (way for spiders to navigate a site) while adding SEO wise to the site as long as the Categories/Tags are optimised.
If you call your Categories/Tags Cat 1, Cat 2 etc… it’s as bad as having the monthly archives. Name them with relevant keywords like “AdSense WordPress Themes” (one of this sites Categories) and you not only have a set of pages on the site targeting that and related SERPs, the anchor text can help the pages the Category links are on (anchor text is very important).
I generally only use Categories (have the odd Tag here and there) because I try not to waste link benefit on pages that don’t add anything to the site.
WordPress users who create hundreds of Tags and link most of their content with the same Tags are potentially wasting a lot of link benefit on duplicate pages (fortunately Google is good at dealing with duplicate content): as WordPress updates, my posts are compatible with the latest version of WordPress, if I added all the posts to Tags WordPress 3.0, WordPress 3.1, WordPress 3.2 etc… all those Tags would hold the same content (duplicated). If Google fails to combine the results into one pages SERPs, I’ve wasted link benefit for no gain (only one of them is likely to rank well as they have the same content).
If like me you only add Categories/Tags that add something to a site (so not creating them rather than noidexing them like the WordPress SEO plugins offer) I wouldn’t be surprised that your sites would drop in rankings if you tested adding monthly archives and extra Categories/Tags that add nothing SEO wise. Your link benefit is spread thinner (less link benefit to your posts) and your on page SEO is diluted by having wasted anchor text (the dated archives and calendar archives are the worst).
If you use nofollow to ‘hide’ your monthly archives (nofollow ‘hides’ the link to Google) you will almost certainly get better results by removing the archives widget from your site, you’ll not waste link benefit on the dated archive links. Noindex isn’t as bad, but it does waste link benefit.