Click for full size image

Are Attachment Pages Affecting Your SEO

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.

Attachment Pages

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.

https://wpdude.com/?attachment_id=8978

The problem is that Google can also index these pages and add hundreds of very low quality pages into the index for your site.

Thin Content

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

imageattachments

 

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

My organic taffic 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.

Further Reading

Here is a very good article which I’ve been using in my reasearch.

http://arwebzone.com/google-panda-effect-on-wordpress-causes-and-solutions/

Photo Credit: Keith Marshall via Compfight cc

Need Help With Your WordPress Site?

Get a no obligation quote for technical support for your WordPress site. Click Here And Get A Quote

4 Responses to “Are Attachment Pages Affecting Your SEO”

  1. Van July 24, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Very interesting, Neil. Gonna take a look through my site. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Jenna Avery July 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Neil, this is interesting! I’ve been using the All In One SEO Pack, it has features I prefer over Yoast. Do I need to switch?

  3. Piet July 25, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Very good tip, thanks Neil!

    PS a little tip for you regarding using tabs in this contact form: I assume that for your newsletter signup you have used the GF Mailchimp addon. It has a setting that is called something like tab index. If you set this to a number higher than 1, tabing (to the next input field) in the contact form does not react (conflict) anymore with the newsletter signup.