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Archives For Technical SEO

I don’t often write about technical SEO issues anymore on this site, but I have over time often come across questions about when it is best to use a 301 vs a 302 vs a canonical tag on duplicate content. I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about each in depth with the pros and cons of each, as well as a few examples of when to use them. Continue Reading…

Back in April at Linklove, I presented on Tools of the SEO Trade. In that talk, I talked about somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 different tools available for use. I built out a couple for people to use as well (for free), and today I want to talk about one of them.

Introducing the Quora RSS Scraper Importer

One of the tools I built out, which is actually a tool that I built back in January or February for a client, is a Google Spreadsheet that imports the most recent Quora posts based on a Quora category. I’ll explain this further down, but if you’re impatient you can:

Download and Copy the Spreadsheet

Continue Reading…

On simple blogs or websites, navigation is usually quite straight-forward. You organize your site into categories, or funnels, of information or articles. You link to your most important pages and try to minimize duplicate content.

When you have a large ecommerce, travel, or other large site, however, sometimes this is not enough. If you have millions of pages, and want as many as possible to be indexed and ranking well, you simply cannot, nor would you want to, link to every page. Imagine this scenario where the only difference is color –

  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-red-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-blue-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-yellow-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-pink-polos

Let’s be honest. It’s going to be impossible to make all of these pages unique and ranking-worthy.

Or to use a skiing example, where the only difference is length – Continue Reading…

A month or so ago Google announced they are now supporting the HREFLANG markup for translated content that they used to mark as duplicate. I had just completed an international audit for one of my enterprise clients, so I was interested to do some testing on this to see what effect it might have.

The results are very interesting!

Continue Reading…

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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A few weeks ago, I was reading through some posts on the official Google blogs, such as InsideSearch, WebmasterCentral, and the GoogleBlog. I was taking notes and sharing a few links via the Tweeters, and while doing such I noticed a link like this:

Search queries data is....what?

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I recently made a mistake with my Google Analytics, so in the interest of transparency and a teachable attitude, I want to show you exactly what I did, what happened, and why you should not do it. Then, we’ll set one up correctly.

This ought to be fun. Let’s roll.

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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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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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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.

Continue Reading…