Something WordPress does by default that Google does not like for SEO reasons came to my attention recently. In this post I want to tell you about a potential SEO hit you may be taking but you may be completly unaware of. Are attachment pages affecting your SEO
Every time you upload and attach an image to a post or page it creates a new page called an attachment page. For example the image attached to this post creates this page.
The problem is that Google can also index these pages and add hundreds of very low quality pages into the index for your site.
If you add 1-2 images per post that is an additional 100-200% of pages that are classed as thin content by Google.
On these pages you will see a single image, a few lines of title text and that is all, if Google sees your site stuffed with thin content pages it will assume your site is of low quality and apply a penalty.
To add context it is recommended that there are at least 300 words per page to keep Google happy.
How To Fix It
The way to fix this problem is to create a redirect from your attachment pages back to the parent page where the image is attached.
Enter WordPress SEO Plugin
I strongly recommend you install and configure the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast, http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ .
One of the functions of this plugin is to redirect to the parent page.
Go to SEO -> permalinks and on that page check Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL
What happens is that the plugin sets up a 301 redirect from the attachment page which in turn tells the Google index that the page has been moved and to update the index to point at the parent page thereby removing all the unwanted image attachment pages from your index.
It’s a five second fix that could increase your traffic.
Wrap Up – Are Attachment Pages Affecting Your SEO
My organic traffic has taken a hit in recent months due to the recent Panda update at the end of May and I’m slowly working through the cause, I’ll be writing more about my findings in later posts that will hopefully help you if you have seen a reduction in traffic.
Here is a very good article which I’ve been using in my reasearch.