Introducing a New WordPress Plugin to Solve Site Navigation Challenges

Joost de Valk, renowned for creating the Yoast SEO plugin, has now developed a new and free WordPress plugin specifically designed to tackle a prevalent problem that can hinder a website’s ranking potential—site navigation.


Site architecture holds significant importance in the realm of search engine optimization (SEO) as it directly impacts user experience and how search engines understand and rank a website. A well-organized website with clear navigation enables users to quickly find the content and products they are looking for, while also assisting search engines in identifying and prioritizing the most relevant and important pages.


Conventionally, websites have been structured using topic categories, which aligns with common sense and allows users to navigate through various sections of a website to find specific information. However, another approach gaining traction is contextual navigation, which offers site visitors relevant links to webpages based on their current interests. This is facilitated through the use of tags, which serve as highly relevant connections to content that may pique the interest of visitors.


While tags provide a valuable means of contextual navigation, several challenges can arise over time. Joost de Valk conducted research on a sample of WordPress sites and discovered that a considerable number of websites contained overlapping tags. This redundancy often resulted in the creation of thin content pages, which offer little value to users.



Three main issues related to tag navigation were identified:


Excessive tags


Some publishers add tags to articles with the intention of expanding the tag’s content in the future. However, in many cases, this plan is not executed, leading to tags that link to only a few articles, or sometimes even just one.


Theme compatibility


When websites upgrade to new themes or versions that lack tag functionality, it can cause orphaned tag pages. These pages become inaccessible to site visitors as the necessary links are missing, although search engines can still discover them through autogenerated XML sitemaps.


Thin content on tag pages


Many publishers fail to invest time in adding meaningful content to tag pages. Instead, these pages often consist of link lists and article excerpts that are duplicated on category pages, diminishing their value.


To address these tag navigation challenges and enhance site architecture, Joost de Valk’s new WordPress plugin offers a solution. By implementing this plugin, website owners can improve the overall user experience and SEO performance of their websites by resolving issues related to excessive tags, missing tag functionality in themes, and thin content on tag pages.