As someone born and raised in the Netherlands I of course know Joost de Valk; it's a small country and we're all on a first name basis ... Kidding :)

No, I know Joost de Valk because he's one of those rare folks that does SEO, writes about WordPress *and* adds value. It's uncommon to see those 3 rolled up into one.

Joost is a smart but busy person yet after numerous threats he willingly made time for a short interview.

You've been working with WordPress since when?

Started working with it in '06 I think, near the end, for my personal blog, which was joostdevalk.nl back then.

There's somewhat of a love affair between SEO's and WordPress. Is WordPress inherently more SEO-friendly because of it, the script, itself or is it because the structure and principle of a blog are?

It's easily changeable permalink structure and titles are probably what caused the love in the beginning. The constantly updating nature of blogs helps too.

Google, and other search engines, seem to love the tag and category structures as well, which makes sense: you're linking pages that are related on topic closely together.

You've written extensively on SEO for WordPress but if one is impatient or otherwise pressed for time, what is the single most effective thing to do or change to a WordPress setup that will reap good reward?

Setting the permalinks to something sensible, for instance just the post name, and making sure the post title comes before the blogs name within the tags.</p> <p><strong>Teams of smart people nowadays fleece through WordPress code to find exploits the same way people hunt for these in popular software such as Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Internet Explorer. And for the same reason: financial gain. </p> <p>Where is this headed and can "the common man" still protect their own install, their own work</strong></p> <p><img src="/i/yoast.jpg" style="float:left;padding:5px" width=35 height=35>Yes, because even though that's happening, we haven't had a really serious security issue for a while. </p> <p>Like Eric S Raymond said: given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. </p> <p>Just make sure you keep updating to the latest version, and you should be reasonably safe.</p> <p><strong>Seeing the economic crisis loom in Europe too, your friend announces that this year he plans to at least make sizable supplemental income "on the web". </p> <p>Doable and, if so, how much of his weekly time will he need to invest you think before even beginning to hope to see some money flow in?</strong></p> <p><img src="/i/yoast.jpg" style="float:left;padding:5px" width=35 height=35>Depends on his skills. </p> <p>Most of my friends are developers, and even though there's a crisis, there's loads of work for good developers. </p> <p>I'd recommend they start building plugins or extensions for one of the bigger open source frameworks, WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and just start promoting themselves as experts in that field. </p> <p>If you're thinking more along the lines of another affiliate site, that's getting harder fast, there's just too many people trying, and there's only so many hosting accounts, adsense books etc. to be sold.</p> <p><strong>He's setup his web site, affiliate links are in place, Adsense is running, interesting and well written posts are being churned out. Now his next step should be -- what? And remember; the economy doesn't allow him to simply smack a couple of hundreds against the wall...</strong></p> <p><img src="/i/yoast.jpg" style="float:left;padding:5px" width=35 height=35>Create something of value: a tool or an article that REALLY stands out, and after you've done that once, keep doing it for a year or so, and don't over monetize while doing it. Building an audience takes time, and it's damn hard to build an audience if every 2-3 lines of text are followed by an ad. <ul class='series'><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-chris-brogan.html'>Ruud Questions: Chris Brogan</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-jill-whalen.html'>Ruud Questions: Jill Whalen</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-dave-harry-aka-the-gypsy.html'>Ruud Questions: Dave Harry aka the Gypsy</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-barry-welford.html'>Ruud Questions: Barry Welford</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-alexander-van-elsas.html'>Ruud Questions: Alexander van Elsas</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-brian-wallace.html'>Ruud Questions: Brian Wallace</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-garrett-pierson.html'>Ruud Questions: Garrett Pierson</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-marty-weintraub-aka-aimclear.html'>Ruud Questions: Marty Weintraub aka aimClear</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-kim-krause-berg.html'>Ruud Questions: Kim Krause Berg</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-angie-haggstrom.html'>Ruud Questions: Angie Haggstrom</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-shana-albert.html'>Ruud Questions: Shana Albert</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-steve-gradman.html'>Ruud Questions: Steve Gradman</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-rae-hoffman-aka-sugarrae.html'>Ruud Questions: Rae Hoffman aka Sugarrae</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-joost-de-valk.html'>Ruud Questions: Joost de Valk</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-debra-mastaler.html'>Ruud Questions: Debra Mastaler</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-mike-grehan.html'>Ruud Questions: Mike Grehan</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-bryan-eisenberg.html'>Ruud Questions: Bryan Eisenberg</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-ralph-tegtmeier-aka-fantomaster.html'>Ruud Questions: Ralph Tegtmeier aka Fantomaster</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-marie-claire-jenkins.html'>Ruud Questions: Marie-Claire Jenkins</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-cindy-krum.html'>Ruud Questions: Cindy Krum</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-steve-plunkett-on-google-is-our-friend.html'>Ruud Questions: Steve Plunkett on Google Is Our Friend</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-brian-carter.html'>Ruud Questions: Brian Carter</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-tamar-weinberg.html'>Ruud Questions: Tamar Weinberg</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-hugo-guzman.html'>Ruud Questions: Hugo Guzman</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-dr-mihaela-vorvoreanu.html'>Ruud Questions: Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-matt-mcgee.html'>Ruud Questions: Matt McGee</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-michael-gray-a-k-a-graywolf.html'>Ruud Questions: Michael Gray a.k.a. Graywolf</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-christina-gleason.html'>Ruud Questions: Christina Gleason</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-michelle-corsano.html'>Ruud Questions: Michelle Corsano</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-glen-alssopp-aka-viperchill.html'>Ruud Questions: Glen Allsopp aka ViperChill</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-joanna-lord.html'>Ruud Questions: Joanna Lord</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-kristy-bolsinger-realnetworks.html'>Ruud Questions: Kristy Bolsinger (RealNetworks)</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-julie-joyce.html'>Ruud Questions: Julie Joyce</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-carol-skyring.html'>Ruud Questions: Carol Skyring</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-henk-van-ess.html'>Ruud Questions: Henk van Ess</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-anna-gonzalez-from-news-8-austin.html'>Ruud Questions: Anna Gonzalez (from News 8 Austin)</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-hugh-macleod-aka-gapingvoid.html'>Ruud Questions: Hugh Macleod aka Gapingvoid</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-tad-chef.html'>Ruud Questions: Tadeusz Szewczyk aka Tad Chef aka Onreact</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-arnie-kuenn.html'>Ruud Questions: Arnie Kuenn</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-richard-hamilton-from-xml-press.html'>Ruud Questions: Richard Hamilton (from XML Press)</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-steve-rubel.html'>Ruud Questions: Steve Rubel</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-david-allen.html'>Ruud Questions: David Allen</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-aaron-wall.html'>Ruud Questions: Aaron Wall</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-stephan-miller.html'>Ruud Questions: Stephan Miller</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-meg-geddes-aka-netmeg.html'>Ruud Questions: Meg Geddes aka Netmeg</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-ed-bennett.html'>Ruud Questions: Ed Bennett</a></li><li><a href='/blog/ruud-questions-gab-goldenberg.html'>Ruud Questions: Gab Goldenberg</a></li></ul> <script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function($) { window.setTimeout('loadLinkedin_2843()',1000);window.setTimeout('loadGoogle1_2843()',1000); }); </script><script type="text/javascript"> function loadLinkedin_2843(){ jQuery(document).ready(function($) { $('.dd-linkedin-2843').remove();$.getScript('http://platform.linkedin.com/in.js'); }); } function loadGoogle1_2843(){ jQuery(document).ready(function($) { $('.dd-google1-2843').remove();$.getScript('https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'); }); }</script><!-- Social Buttons Generated by Digg Digg plugin v5.3.6, Author : Buffer, Inc Website : http://bufferapp.com/diggdigg --> <div class="series_toc" style="margin-left:10%;margin-right:10%;background-color:#E3F6FE;padding:5px;margin-bottom:15px"></div> </div> <div class="fusion-meta-info"><div class="fusion-meta-info-wrapper">By <span class="vcard"><span class="fn"><a href="http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/author/ruud" title="Posts by Ruud Hein" rel="author">Ruud Hein</a></span></span><span class="fusion-inline-sep">|</span><span class="updated" style="display:none;">2013-06-03T06:08:07+00:00</span><span>May 1st, 2009</span><span class="fusion-inline-sep">|</span><a href="http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/category/content" rel="category tag">Content</a><span class="fusion-inline-sep">|</span><span class="fusion-comments"><a href="http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/ruud-questions-joost-de-valk.html#comments">8 Comments</a></span></div></div> <div class="about-author"> <div class="fusion-title title fusion-title-size-two"><h2 class="title-heading-left">About the Author: <a href="http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/author/ruud" title="Posts by Ruud Hein" rel="author">Ruud Hein</a></h2><div class="title-sep-container"><div class="title-sep sep-double"></div></div></div> <div class="about-author-container"> <div class="avatar"> <img alt='' src='http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/bd605d132d00c8b13a677eb559d44dad?s=72&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/bd605d132d00c8b13a677eb559d44dad?s=144&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-72 photo' height='72' width='72' /> </div> <div class="description"> I love helping to make web sites make it. From the ground up if needed. CSS challenges, server-side scripting, user and device friendly JavaScript tricks search engines have no problems with. Tracking how the sites perform and then figuring out how to make that performance <i>and</i> the tracking better. I'm passionate about information. No matter how often I trim my feeds in my feed readers (yes, I use more than one), I always have a couple of hundred in there covering topics ranging from design to usability, from SEO to SEM, from life hacks to productivity blogs, from.... Well, you get the idea, I guess. Knowledge and information management is close to my heart. Has to be with the amount of information I track. My "trusted system" is usually in flux but always at hand and fully searchable. My <strike>paid passion</strike> job at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. It's good to have you here: pleased to meet you! </div> </div> </div> <div class="related-posts single-related-posts"><div class="fusion-title title fusion-title-size-two"><h2 class="title-heading-left">Related Posts</h2><div class="title-sep-container"><div class="title-sep sep-double"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-carousel" data-imagesize="fixed" data-metacontent="no" data-autoplay="no" data-touchscroll="no" data-columns="5" data-itemmargin="44" data-itemwidth="180" data-touchscroll="yes" data-scrollitems=""><div class="fusion-carousel-positioner"><ul class="fusion-carousel-holder"><li class="fusion-carousel-item"><div class="fusion-carousel-item-wrapper"><div class="fusion-image-wrapper" aria-haspopup="true"><img src="http://www.searchenginepeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/face-palm-500x383.jpg" width="500" height="383" alt="Easy To Avoid SEO Copywriting Errors That Ruin Content" /><div class="fusion-rollover"><div class="fusion-rollover-content"><a 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depth-1" id="comment-8453"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/4461c89a93eea8460c32994704227656?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/4461c89a93eea8460c32994704227656?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://debtadvice4free.com" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">Neil</a></strong> May 1, 2009 at 11:00 pm </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>Hi</p> <p>The point about not monetizing too soon is a good one, but a hard one to follow. My testing shows that the best place to put an Adsense block (for click through) is immediately below the header. I also know that when I visit sites like that I hit the back button pretty fast.</p> <p>It's difficult to strike this balance when you are relying on getting income from your sites.</p> <p>Neil</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-8454"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/a71324f35b58afb30f865dd6358d1774?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/a71324f35b58afb30f865dd6358d1774?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://www.komodo-dragon.net" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">Komodo Dragon</a></strong> May 1, 2009 at 11:54 pm </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>@Neil, I would say it depends what type of website you are trying to build. If you don't care about returning visitors, then the playground for the ads is free so to speak. But… if you want returning visitors, and want to develop long term followers, you definitely want to pull the reigns on the ads, and go as light as possible in the beginning stages of your audience.</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-8455"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/4461c89a93eea8460c32994704227656?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/4461c89a93eea8460c32994704227656?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://debtadvice4free.com" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">Neil</a></strong> May 2, 2009 at 12:33 am </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>@Komodo</p> <p>Good point. I think my confusion comes from starting a site as a pure Adsense-driven one. I now have ambitions to develop it as more of a "proper" site but am reluctant to give up the high CTR that current ad placement gives me.</p> <p>Time for me to make a decision!</p> <p>thanks</p> <p>Neil</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-8464"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/35aa07a42b7256a8dfeefdb472bb042d?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/35aa07a42b7256a8dfeefdb472bb042d?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://www.netage.co.za/web-marketing/" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">Marketing Man</a></strong> May 3, 2009 at 11:21 am </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>Guarding against over-monetizing is a very pertinent tip. Nobody likes the ads……really. And if there are too many of them, it seriously detracts from the user experience. Listen to the man, he speaks the truth!</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-8474"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/ab21fd5c06cb66df3862eb05516bae04?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/ab21fd5c06cb66df3862eb05516bae04?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://www.exposedseo.com" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">seo</a></strong> May 4, 2009 at 6:28 am </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>WordPress can be turned into so many things it is probably the CMS I use the most. From squeeze pages to login getaways, its the matter of a few clicks with Fantastico and a plugin or two.</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-8496"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/cb0b42e452cd13d469565a23a8abe441?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/cb0b42e452cd13d469565a23a8abe441?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://www.gaurishsharma.com" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">Gaurish Sharma</a></strong> May 5, 2009 at 4:43 am </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>WordPress is the best CMS i have used till now. It is very SEO friendly than its competitor like Blogger.</p> <p>Whats more interesting is wordpress blogs are ranked higher in Google searches then google's blogger one.</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-8506"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/bb6bc0c39708fe675a8d17a5d9e20fab?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/bb6bc0c39708fe675a8d17a5d9e20fab?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://coolproducts.com" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">Cool Gifts</a></strong> May 5, 2009 at 11:55 am </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>Great tips from Joost. I like the point he made about becoming an expert in a specific area. This has worked for me. I'm currently unemployed, but picking up a fair amount of contract work. Thanks for posting the interview. Joost is one of the best when it comes to SEO/Wordpress.</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> <li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-259423"> <div class="the-comment"> <div class="avatar"><img alt='' src='http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/561c9de3166d0d9a7f2de3d6d980ffa5?s=54&d=blank&r=g' srcset='http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/561c9de3166d0d9a7f2de3d6d980ffa5?s=108&d=blank&r=g 2x' class='avatar avatar-54 photo' height='54' width='54' /></div> <div class="comment-box"> <div class="comment-author meta"> <strong><a href="http://tinyurl.com/supegore40937" rel="external nofollow" class="url ext-link ext-icon-19" title="" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/supegore40937</a></strong> January 24, 2013 at 3:10 am </div> <div class="comment-text"> <p>“Ruud Questions: Joost de Valk | Search Engine People |<br /> Toronto” ended up being a wonderful article, can not help but wait to go through<br /> much more of ur blog posts. Time to squander a bit of<br /> time on the internet haha. Regards ,Gino</p> </div> </div> </div> </li><!-- #comment-## --> </ol> <div class="comments-navigation"> <div class="alignleft"></div> <div class="alignright"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="sidebar" class="sidebar" style="float:right;"> <div id="text-38" class="widget widget_text"> <div class="textwidget"><!--HubSpot Call-to-Action Code --> <span class="hs-cta-wrapper" id="hs-cta-wrapper-105aa75d-d98c-41ac-9e8c-f8efab8ab14e"> <span class="hs-cta-node hs-cta-105aa75d-d98c-41ac-9e8c-f8efab8ab14e" id="hs-cta-105aa75d-d98c-41ac-9e8c-f8efab8ab14e"> <!--[if lte IE 8]><div id="hs-cta-ie-element"></div><![endif]--> <a href="http://cta-redirect.hubspot.com/cta/redirect/214726/105aa75d-d98c-41ac-9e8c-f8efab8ab14e" target="_blank" ><img class="hs-cta-img" id="hs-cta-img-105aa75d-d98c-41ac-9e8c-f8efab8ab14e" style="border-width:0px;" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/214726/105aa75d-d98c-41ac-9e8c-f8efab8ab14e.png" alt="how to promote content on social media"/></a> </span> 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