Ruud Questions: Joost de Valk

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.</p> <ul class='series'><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-chris-brogan.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Chris Brogan</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-jill-whalen.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Jill Whalen</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-dave-harry-aka-the-gypsy.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Dave Harry aka the Gypsy</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-barry-welford.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Barry Welford</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-alexander-van-elsas.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Alexander van Elsas</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-brian-wallace.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Brian Wallace</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-garrett-pierson.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Garrett Pierson</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-marty-weintraub-aka-aimclear.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Marty Weintraub aka aimClear</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-kim-krause-berg.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Kim Krause Berg</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-angie-haggstrom.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Angie Haggstrom</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-shana-albert.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Shana Albert</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-steve-gradman.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Steve Gradman</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-rae-hoffman-aka-sugarrae.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Rae Hoffman aka Sugarrae</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-joost-de-valk.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Joost de Valk</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-debra-mastaler.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Debra Mastaler</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-mike-grehan.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Mike Grehan</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-bryan-eisenberg.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Bryan Eisenberg</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-ralph-tegtmeier-aka-fantomaster.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Ralph Tegtmeier aka Fantomaster</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-marie-claire-jenkins.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Marie-Claire Jenkins</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-cindy-krum.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Cindy Krum</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-steve-plunkett-on-google-is-our-friend.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Steve Plunkett on Google Is Our Friend</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-brian-carter.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Brian Carter</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-tamar-weinberg.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Tamar Weinberg</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-hugo-guzman.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Hugo Guzman</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-dr-mihaela-vorvoreanu.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-matt-mcgee.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Matt McGee</a></li><li><a href="/blog/ruud-questions-michael-gray-a-k-a-graywolf.html" data-wpel-link="internal">Ruud Questions: Michael Gray a.k.a. 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People who know me know I love coffee. <p><span class='pipe'><a href="http://ruudhein.com" rel="me">Ruud Hein</a></span><a class='pipe' href='http://facebook.com/ruudhein'><img src='/social-icons/facebook.gif' width=16 height=16></a><a class='pipe' href='http://twitter.com/RuudHein'><img src='/social-icons/twitter_logo.png' width=16 height=16></a><a class='pipe' href='https://plus.google.com/106160997308546184607?rel=author'><img src='/social-icons/google+.png' width=16 height=16></a></p> </div> </div> </div><!-- whereami? --> </div><!-- left --> <div class="col-4 blog-sidebar d-none d-sm-block"> <aside id="recent-posts-2" class="widget widget_recent_entries"> <h3 class="widget-title">Recent Posts</h3> <ul> <li> <a href="https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/marketing-during-coronavirus-how-to-come-out-ahead.html">Marketing During Coronavirus: How to Come Out Ahead</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/should-you-be-optimizing-for-voice-search-spoiler-alert-the-answer-is-yes.html">Should You Be Optimizing for Voice Search? 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class="next-post-meta"><span class="post-meta"><span class="posted-on"> <a href="https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/tgif-6.html" rel="bookmark"><time class="entry-date published" datetime="2009-04-30T21:04:54-04:00">April 30, 2009</time></a></span> | <a href="https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/category/content" rel="category tag">Content</a> | <span class="byline"> By<span class="author vcard"><a class="url fn n" href="https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/author/marie-claire-jenkins"> Marie-Claire Jenkins</a></span></span></span></div></div><div class="col-sm-4 col-12"><img width="450" height="307" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.searchenginepeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/blog-link-and-traffic-analysis-plugin-for-wordpress5.jpg?resize=450%2C307&ssl=1" class="attachment-featured-image-square size-featured-image-square wp-post-image" alt="" 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