Today we released Standard 2.7.4 and this not one of our typical, regularly scheduled maintenance updates. It includes a fix to a fairly significant defect related to SEO.
We’ll simply jump right in here so that you can get in and get out! We appreciate all of you! So, here’s the skinny…
Who Is Affected?
- If you are running version 2.7.0 - 2.7.3, you are affected.
What Should I Look For?
- This is a “behind the scenes” issue and it does not visually impact your site. It can, however, influence the way Google sees your site, and how it catalogs your content in it’s database. The issue in question was an improper use of the Canonical Link Element.
How Do I Update?
- Support license customers can jump into the Support Community. We have a tutorial ready to walk you through the steps, and a download file is also available. If you’re not a support customer, and you’d like an update, please send me an email.
How Much Should I Worry?
- Not too much (so no need to panic!). Although the suggested update should be done by all of our customers this isn’t something to go screaming down the hall and being subject to panic attacks. We’re extremely happy and confident about our product thus far. Why? Because you have proven that our product works with customer testimonials coming in weekly about how your blog’s traffic has increased as a result of using our WordPress Theme. You have constantly heralded the results of Standard Theme and the only thing that could make us happier is if it did an even better job. This is yet another iterative improvement in our product!
- Identifying a proper canonical URL is, according to Google, one of many “signals” Google uses in calculating search results. It is one ingredient. Google keeps the algorithms private, of course, so only they know how much weight is placed here. This is why we rely on our own experience, our own testing, our peers in the industry, and our customer testimonials.
Predictability & SEO Matter
We are on a quarterly release cycle for a reason, because updates are an intrusion on your valuable time. We regret this was necessary, but we would feel worse if we didn’t get this update in your hands.
We take pride in Standard Theme and we genuinely want your blogs to have the best chance at being found in Google. So when we find out we missed something, we take it personally. We hold ourselves to a very high standard.
We’re really sorry about this inconvenience. If we can make it up to you, let me know. Regardless, we’ll keep improving!
Open Source Wins Again
This was brought to our attention yesterday by Joost of Yoast.com. As you may or may not know, Joost is considered an authority in the field of WordPress plugins and SEO. So it was natural for us to give his concerns our immediate attention.
At first we thought the issue was isolated to Standard Preview 2, but it became evident that this was, in fact, present in our most recent version of Standard Theme. Joost reviewed some of our code and suspected that we would want to get this resolved for our customers right away, and he was right. We began work immediately.
This is one of the things we love most about the open source community. Our source code is an open book. Everyone from a novice to an expert can interrogate it. Sometimes people learn from what they see in our products, and other times we learn from them.
Open source is reciprocal like that. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
In fact, Joost has posted about the issue and we’re happy for the issue to be called attention to! Yoast has been a tremendous resource for our team and we’re thankful. To be quite honest, we’re all fans and in fact we used some of his code in previous versions (e.g. breadcrumbs) of our product! It goes without saying that this is not the context in which we would hope to be used, but if the greater open source and publishing community will benefit, we can handle that!
You’d better believe we’ll be taking notes and you, our customer, will benefit in the most! Thanks Yoast.