Should I use a Rel=Canonical or 301 Redirect?

Should I use a Rel=Canonical or 301 Redirect?

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the world of SEO today, especially in clients minds and with their technical teams, about when to use a 301 redirect and when to use the rel=canonical tag. My goal with today’s post is to explain the differences and talk through some of the nuances to help you think through which one pertains to your situation. Every situation is different, so take the time to read and figure out which is better for you.

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SEO: It’s all about the Content. And everything else.

SEO: It’s all about the Content. And everything else.

We hear frequently that “content is king”, which I am coming to believe more and more, but the more that I come to believe that Content is King, I realize that content is nothing without other stuff done right. If you have a site with incredible content that deserves to rank, yet your site is terrible, you don’t deserve to rank. This is a waste of awesome.

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SEO Facepalms: Don’t Hide Content Behind Javascript

SEO Facepalms: Don’t Hide Content Behind Javascript

Arguably one of the worst mistakes that can be made with a website is hiding content (inadvertently, not in a cloaking way) from search engines. Since on-page SEO and quality content have become larger ranking factors in the past 2 years (and especially since Panda first rolled out in February), we have to make sure that content is quality and visible.

For optimal SEO benefit, do not develop a site in Flash. And, do not hide content behind Javascript or other code.

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Rel=Author is not Algorithmic

Rel=Author is not Algorithmic

Sometimes when SEOs run tests, we find hacks and workarounds for ways to get things done. I’ve recently been running some tests about rel=author, to try to get it to show for my site and others.

I now have conclusive proof that rel=author is not algorithmic. Rather, it is manual by site AND author. And I bet that the authority of the site has something to do with whether or not it shows as well. So we have a combination of who the author is as well as the specific site. If your photo shows for one site, it will not necessarily show for another.

Allow me to demonstrate.

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#Searchlove New York Recap – Day 2

#Searchlove New York Recap – Day 2

*If you haven’t read it, check out the Searchlove Day 1 Recap before reading this post*

Searchlove New York day 2 started out with a bang. People rolled in looking a bit bedraggled, but mostly none the worse for wear, from the previous night’s Halloween party. If you want to see pictures of some of SEO’s finest looking great in Halloween costumes (we had Steve Zizzou, Buzz Lightyear, a cowboy with a horse, and Waldo, just to name a few), check them out here:

Chad Burgess (Harry) and Rand Fishkin (Steve Zissou)

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#Searchlove New York Recap – Day 1

#Searchlove New York Recap – Day 1

The first ever Distilled Searchlove conference in New York City happened on Monday and Tuesday, the 31st of October and 1st of November. Being a Distilled employee in New York, I was privileged to attend the entire conference and to get to lead a table on Panda First Aid as well, which I hope was beneficial to everyone who attended. Aside from the parties (which are always awesome), the content was top-notch. I am consistently blown away by the amount I learn at conferences, and this one did not disappoint.

In the past I’ve recapped Linklove, which almost killed me, ProSEO Boston, and Mozcon (which also almost killed me). For this one, even though I live tweeted the whole conference (which almost killed my fingers), I’m not going to do a full recap. Instead, I want to follow suit in something that Will Critchlow has taught me and give you some actionable bits and bobs from each talk.

Let’s rock and roll.

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Beginner’s Guide to the .HTACCESS File

Beginner’s Guide to the .HTACCESS File

Linkbuilding gets all of the love in the SEO community, but we often forget that technical SEO is the solid foundation upon which linkbuilding and SEO are built. If you don’t have your information architecture, redirects, and solid code in place, a lot of your efforts will be wasted.

Today I want to talk about the .htaccess file. There are many ways to implement 301 redirects (remember that 302 temporary redirects are bad news), but if you are using an Apache server, the best way to implement a redirect server-side is via the .htaccess file.

Note: if you’re not hosting on your own server, you must check with your hosting provider. Some hosting providers, such as Bluehost, will help you out with redirects, or at least redirecting a domain you bought for ORM reasons.

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Meta Tags that will NOT help SEO

Meta Tags that will NOT help SEO

Sometimes as I am browsing through the Interwebs, I come across something that dumbfounds me. Sometimes this dumbfoundery is completely blatant and in plain sight. Other times, however, the goodness is hidden beneath the surface.

I’m talking about hidden gems within the code that someone read somewhere would help them out with SEO on their site. And while I wish I was kidding about these following incredible meta descriptions, I am not.

Hear me loud and clear folks:

These following meta descriptions actually exist in the wild of the Internet and do not help your SEO. Do not use them on your website.

Now that I have that off my chest, here are some amazing meta tags that I have found on the Internet.

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30 Seconds to Better Site Metrics with nRelate Flyout Plugin

30 Seconds to Better Site Metrics with nRelate Flyout Plugin

A few weeks ago I was talking with some fellow SEOs about websites (shocker, right?). Somehow we got onto the topic of the flyout plugins that you see on a lot of news websites such as the New York Times and tech websites like Mashable.

During the course of the conversation, a couple of them remarked that they “always click that thing, man”. I noted that I always see it, but that those flyouts tend to annoy me. This conversation got the wheels turning in my brain, though, so I decided to run a little test on you guys.

I apologize. Not really, but I thought I’d try to make you feel better for being my unknown guinea pigs. So I thank you for your participation.

I installed a Flyout Plugin

This site is built on WordPress, so I decided to see what would happen if I found a flyout plugin and installed it on the site. I decided to use the nRelate Flyout Plugin since it does not hide the links behind Javascript (I also use the nRelate Related Posts plugin on this site, which recently released a non-JS version as well. Update granted).

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