The look of the meta data under your blog post title is probably not something you consider when choosing a site design. But it says a lot about your site and its content to viewers. It could play a key role in your SEO and traffic. Plus, it could signal an open invitation to hackers to break into your site.
What is Post Title Meta Data?
Put simply, it’s the info that is displayed just below your post title. It can include the author’s name (or login handle) as well as the date and time. Those are all publicly viewable. If you’re logged into your site, you can also include an edit link.
Time-Sensitive or Evergreen Content
Which one best describes your content? If it’s evergreen, a date stamp can work both for and against you. When someone is reviewing search engine result listings, the title of your post will likely be what catches their eye most. If the date appears in the results, and it’s old, they may skip your link and move on to something dated more recently. If it has no date, then the title is what they will consider most.
Most good techie sites, like BlogAid, include dates in the title meta data. Say you’re searching for the latest news about changes on WordPress, or even Facebook or YouTube. The date the info was posted suddenly matters, as all of these sites change their features and options often. You certainly don’t want to waste your time looking at old posts with outdated info.
Open Call to Hackers
The image at the top of this post is a real example of meta data on someone’s site. Notice that it displays the author as ADMIN.
That is a dead giveaway that the site is not secure.
The site was probably set up either by the hosting company or the owner using the easy 1-click installation feature. (See my post on why the WordPress 1-click Installation is not Secure.)
The site was also likely set up before WordPress 3.0 came around because that’s one of the main things it changed. Sites setup with 3.0 and up can select a more secure User Name and password during installation, instead of using the default Admin User Name.
What You Can Do
If you’re using the default Admin for your User Name and login, you can create a new User Profile, give it administrative rights, and then delete the Admin default User Profile. Now, all of that sounds easy, but there’s more to it and you’ll want to ensure that it’s done correctly because it affects your log in. In other words, if you goof it up, you can’t login to your site.
The other thing that can be done is to remove the Admin author name from the publicly displayed post title meta data, so it won’t be so apparent that you’re using the default. That requires going into your site’s code. Easy for a geek, but not something you want to try unless you know what you’re doing.
BlogAid offers such services and there are other trusted freelancers who do too. In fact, you may be able to get your host’s tech support folks to help you with it for free. Some hosts do, some don’t because that would mean the tech has your new login info and some hosting companies don’t allow that for liability issues. I’m sure there are also tutorials and videos out there on it too, but be sure to check the date on them! I don’t post such tutorials because hosting setups and themes are different for everyone.
Multi Author Sites
If your site has several authors, each of them can have their own User Profile. Notice the one shown in the image at the top is underlined. It’s a link. When you click it, you’ll be taken to a page that shows all the other posts that author has made on the site.
Each user can be granted different permissions. In other words, you can give a user full administrative rights to do everything on your site, just as you do. Or, you can restrict their access to be able to only make a post.
It’s always the little stuff, isn’t it? You may not have given much thought to meta data, but such things can effect your SEO, traffic, and site security. So, it’s worth taking steps to correct, if needed.