Alex Denning of WPShout.com has published his thoughts on SEO and I tend to agree with all of them. I laugh at those who spend every waking moment optimizing everything they can simply to please those spiders that crawl over content. I consider some aspects of SEO to just be common sense. I use some of that common sense on WPTavern.com by using the Google XML sitemaps plugin because it makes it easier to index articles across the site. This is the only SEO specific plugin I use. As for pretty permalinks, I use %postname% not so much for SEO purposes, but because it keeps the URL short and human readable. When I write content, I do so in a way that comes natural. I don’t use certain words over others because they taste better to the spiders. I write as a human for other humans. The tags are just words that I’ve used in the article to help create some sort of relevance between articles around the same topic. I don’t treat them as meta keywords. As for the theme that I use, Hybrid News has a few different options on Meta information and indexing that I use but I don’t even understand what the options do.
I don’t dismiss everything around SEO as junk, I just think it’s better for everyone, including Google if humans come first before spiders. This site has a page rank of 5, an Alexa Ranking below 30,000 and has a devoted fan base all accomplished without any SEO trickery. Search engines also make up a bulk of the traffic this site receives. This must mean I’m doing something right as Google and other search engines have no problem pointing searchers to WordPress articles on WPTavern that are relevant to their search query. My general advice for SEO is to do a few little things to get started but write for people first, SEO will follow.