If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed a tweet from me a while back lamenting a conflict between a caching plugin and the 301 redirect from non-www to www (or vice versa - whichever is the preferred URL for a given site). From time to time I check to make sure that the non-www URLs of pages on my site are being properly redirected to the www URLs. Some time after I started using the w3 Total Cache plugin, that stopped happening. I was not bursting with fruit flavor, but … [Read more...]
The Dangers of Oversimplifying Niche SEO
About two months ago I built a new website for a wedding planner in Houston. This client also happens to be a friend of mine from high school. Knowing what I did for a living, she reached out for some help improving their website and building a more professional & consistent online brand. Of course, I was happy to help. When I began the project their existing website didn't rank in any search engine for any keyword term other than their exact brand name. As is the case with many small … [Read more...]
Choosing The Website Audit That Is Best For YOUR Needs
A website audit is an essential first step toward identifying the issues that may be causing your site to perform poorly in the organic results of search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. You can't know where you're going until you know where you are. But before deciding who will conduct the website audit you should determine what your plans are for resolving whatever problems may be uncovered. The information contained within many a website SEO audit is a confusing mix of technical … [Read more...]
Canonical URL Issues and Link Equity
I've assessed hundreds - probably thousands - of small business websites over the past few years. Canonical URL issues seem to be a common problem for many of them, regardless of whether the site was built by a design firm or a do-it-yourself business owner. For those who aren't familiar with canonical URL issues, also referred to as url canonicalization (and sometimes "canonical home page issues" - which is technically incorrect as it does not just apply to the home page), put simply it is … [Read more...]
Duplicate Content – Did Google Do A 180?
A lot has been made of the recent post at Google's Webmaster Central Blog regarding duplicate content. The post, entitled Demystifying the "Duplicate Content Penalty", basically calls into question the idea that a site can be "penalized" for having significantly similar content to another site and places the blame on webmasters and SEOs for perpetuating "myth of duplicate content". … [Read more...]
The Jury Is Still Out On Headings…
Back on August 1st I wrote a "just wondering..." post regarding the importance of headings as they relate to on-site SEO efforts today - specifically H1, H2 and H3. I didn't get much expert feedback, so I've decided to implement some real-world testing on an established domain to see if headings have an impact on the ranking of that site's home page. … [Read more...]
Final Results of NOSNIPPET Testing
Well, the results are in. Oilman was absolutely right - as if I ever doubted him for a moment! The NOSNIPPET robots argument was not only preventing Google from generating a random snippet of text to use as the description within the SERPS, it appears to have been preventing a description from showing at all. … [Read more...]
Unexpected Results Using NOSNIPPET
I have been playing around with some different robots arguments to determine exactly what they do. The constructive purpose of the nosnippet tag continues to elude me, as it didn't work as I had believed it would (or should, for that matter). In using the nosnippet argument, my assumption was that it would prevent Google from simply choosing random text from the page as the SERP description - opting instead to default to the information included in the description META tag. That isn't, … [Read more...]
How Important Are Headings These Days?
I'm having a bit of a difference of opinion over the importance of headings - specifically H1, H2 and H3 tags. A while back I made some suggested changes to our standard operating prodedure with regard to creating website rough drafts. Several of my changes were adopted and have since been implemented into our SOP, but the recommendation that keyword-rich headings be incorporated into all rough drafts wasn't. … [Read more...]
On-Site SEO & Keyword Research – Important to Small Business?
Websites are to small business success today what door-to-door sales were to the success of Kirby vacuums in the '80s. Despite the pop culture ribbing the company may now receive, their door-to-door sales efforts made Kirby Vacuum Cleaners a household name in suburban neighborhoods throughout the country. That marketing plan worked because of the consumer psychology at the time. … [Read more...]
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