WordPress 6.5 Enhances SEO With ‘Lastmod’ Support

WordPress has rolled out an update with version 6.5, introducing native support for the lastmod element in sitemaps.

This move streamlines search engine crawl efficiency, potentially enhancing website visibility.

The announcement comes from Gary Illyes, a member of Google’s Search Relations team, who took to LinkedIn to commend the WordPress developer community for their efforts.

The Lastmod Element: A Key Signal for Crawlers

The lastmod metadata tag indicates the last significant modification date of a webpage, enabling search engine crawlers to prioritize and schedule crawls.

In Illyes’ words:

“The lastmod element in sitemaps is a signal that can help crawlers figure out how often to crawl your pages.”

By natively populating the lastmod field, WordPress 6.5 lets websites improve SEO efforts without additional manual configuration.

Illyes emphasizes that a “significant” change refers to updates that might matter to users and, consequently, to the website’s performance.

WordPress Community Collaboration

Lastmod support in WordPress 6.5 is possible due to the collaborative efforts of the developer community, spearheaded by Pascal Birchler.

Illyes acknowledged and praised their contributions, stating,

“If you’re on WordPress, since version 6.5, you have this field natively populated for you thanks to Pascal Birchler and the WordPress developer community.”

While applauding the new feature, Illyes urges website owners to upgrade their WordPress installations to take advantage of the lastmod support.

He adds:

“If you’re holding back on upgrading your WordPress installation, please bite the bullet and just do it (maybe once there are no plugin conflicts).”

As WordPress evolves, this update displays the platform’s commitment to complying with SEO best practices and providing users with needed tools.


FAQ

What is the significance of the lastmod element in sitemaps?

The lastmod metadata tag signifies the most recent modification date of a webpage. This information allows search engine crawlers to prioritize and schedule page crawls efficiently.

By indicating the latest updates, the lastmod tag helps search engines focus on the most current content, potentially improving a site’s visibility in search results.

How does WordPress 6.5 support the lastmod element?

With the release of WordPress 6.5, native support for the lastmod element in sitemaps is now available. This means that WordPress automatically includes this metadata in sitemaps without requiring additional manual configuration by the user.

Why should website owners upgrade to WordPress 6.5?

Website owners are encouraged to upgrade to WordPress 6.5 to use native lastmod support.

Upgrading ensures compatibility with the latest SEO practices and tools, providing users with a more effective and user-friendly platform. However, it is recommended to ensure no plugin conflicts before upgrading.


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