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Warning: YARPP and the_excerpt_rss Don’t Mix

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had some readers email me because they’d seen something odd appearing in my Meta tags. Links to be precise. And on a couple of pages these links were displaying on the top of pages. And it’s not just [wp] that is having this problem. I’ve seen it other places too.

The cause

Turns out it’s because I’m using the_excerpt_rss to use the_excerpt as the meta tag (so I can easily set it without an additional custom field). A heck of a lot of themes are doing this so you might want to check yours because if you’re using the_excerpt_rss and the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin then you too could be having this problem – YARPP is adding in links to the_excerpt_rss (which is essentially the_excerpt without <p> tags) and this is going into the meta tags.

The solution

The solution is easy but not ideal – I’ve turned off related posts going into my RSS feed (under the YARPP options page). Another solution may be possible but the simplest one seems to be to turn it off. Of course, you could use custom fields as your meta tag, using something like this:

<?php $description = get_post_meta($post->ID, 'Description', true);

if ($description) {

?>

<meta name="description" content="<?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, "Image", true); ?>" />

<?php } else { ?>

<meta name="description" content="<?php bloginfo('description'); ?>" />

<?php } ?>

And just a word of warning, don’t use ” any time in your descriptions, either way you do it as this will close the description tag! Go check now!

Yay! πŸŽ‰ You made it to the end of the article!
Alex Denning

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