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From the category archives:

SEO Video Blog

Digital Ready Business Kit

by Jim on September 17, 2014


First of all I just want to apologise in advance to anyone involved in the digitalready.org.au site or the organisation behind ACCAN (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network). Their site was pointed out to me by know trouble maker and journalist, Paul Wallbank. He posted the link on Facebook last night after I had already recorded this week’s show. I’m not going to delve to much into the merits of a taxpayer funded site delivering a “Digital Ready Business Kit”. I will leave that to the likes of the aforementioned scribe. I will however record another show today as I can’t stop thinking about some lessons we can learn from the seemingly total abandonment of any SEO principles.

I’m sure the people behind the site are lovely and there is always a back story of which I know nothing about and the site may have built this way for a reason. I just can’t think of good one.

Best CMS For SEO

If you are just doing content and you don’t need a big ecommerce engine then I would always recommend WordPress. If someone asked if they should build in Joomla my advice would be only if they didn’t care about ranking. It would seem Digital Ready would be in that category. I am very familar with Joomla and up until 2009 it was my CMS of choice. As the image below demonstrates though, the world jumped off it and onto WordPress at about the same time.

Joomla vs WordPress Digital Ready

Joomla vs WordPress Digital Ready

I’m not saying you can’t get ranked with a Joomla site but it a heck of lot harder than WordPress.

Do HTTPS or HTTP

Don’t do both like this site is doing. Right now you have the site visible at an http and an https version. In our experience this is a big quality issue with Google. If your launching anew site just do HTTPS.

Don’t Launch With Errors

20% of the pages are either 404s or 500 errors. This is another quality issue.

Digital Ready Errors

Joomla vs WordPress Digital Ready

Don’t Duplicate Your Home Page

The home page is duplicated, another quality issue. It is available at / as well as index.php and /?view=featured which is actually a link on the page.

Don’t Replicate Your Site At WWW

The whole site is replicated at www.digitalready.org.au To Google we now have four versions of the same site. The HTTP & HTTPS plus the WWW versions of those.

Don’t Copy, Create Original Content

Selecting a random selection of content shows that it has been repurposed on a number of other related sites. Once again a quality issue as the site is just republishing another site’s work. Why should Google rank it when it can show the site which originated the content? From the checks I have done most of the content is lifted from the parent site Accan.org.au

There is so much more I could go on with like page titles, H1s etc but you get the picture.

Be Digital Ready, Be SEO Ready

Getting these things right not only helps your users it helps you rank :) The fact that taxpayers money was wasted on this is one of the reasons that I have total disdain for ALL politicians.

 

 

 

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A Post Authorship World; 4 Takeaways

by Jim on September 10, 2014


You may have missed the announcement last week that Google killed off Authorship. They did not make a big song and dance about it, just quietly took it out the back and choked the life out of it. As many viewers will know I have been a big advocate of the IDEA of authorship because it was a great way to eliminate link buyers influence on rankings. Alas, not enough people took it up. Where to from here?

Use a byline

One of the things that authorship forced us to do was use a byline. So many business blogs have been written by “admin” or the company brand. I’m a big believer in still using real names against your content. I have a few clients that are rebelling against this and don’t want an individual associated with the content. In my opinion this restricts the blog to fluff content with no personal voice thus making it harder to connect with an audience. My advice is to use a still use a human byline even if it is an amalgam of individuals and not a real person, although obviously a real person is better.

Keep Writing

Just because rel=author is dead doesn’t mean content production is. In this week’s video I reference Laurel Papworth & Trevor Young’s comments about content. Laurel sums up my position very well with her hashtag Be The Magazine Not The Ad. Not the most practical hashtag in a 140 character medium but you get the idea :)

Laurel Papworth Trevor Young

Laurel & Trevor Waxing Lyrically

What About Plagiarism?

One of the things Authorship purported to do was stop having your content ripped off by others rank higher than your own. Well Google brought out a scraper report tool earlier this year if you want to dob in a plagiarist.

Is It Really Really Dead?

Logically I don’t think so. With anything Google does I always apply the test “Is this good for the user?”. Is it good for the user to know that a well respected author in their field wrote the article they are reading? Absolutely! That’s why I believe at some level Google will want to send it’s users to content written by authorities in their field. Keep writing and keep using a byline. ┬áHere are a couple of other resources to read

http://searchengineland.com/goodbye-google-authorship-201975

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/technology/43565-the-death-of-google-authorship-why-social-media-and-publishing-platforms-are-not-your-friends.html

 

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SEO Google Pigeon Update Recovery

by Jim on September 3, 2014


Well this one was a bit weird. Back at the end of July there was a few stories around about a Google update code named “Pigeon”. This is not to be confused with the old PigeonRank April Fools day prank from Google. In fact Google has said little about this update publicly. It was first reported by searchengineland.com who named it the Pigeon Update. I did not say much about it at the time as it had only been rolled out in the US and we hadn’t seen any significant changes to rankings. However a few days after the story we did see one of our clients sites drop significantly.

SEO Pigeon Update

Pigeon Update Ranking Return

It’s rankings returned last week after we completed some work but the drop only corresponded with the Pigeon Update and no other external or internal changes.

Ranking Drop Analysis

The team went through our “First Aid” check list which helps isolate potential issues. Whilst things like server performance were looked at the major potential problem that was identified was that the same delivery information was on every product page. It formed a significant portion of the overall content for each product page.

SEO Solution

The SEO fix was to remove all the delivery information from the individual product pages and have a single delivery page. We then linked all the product pages to this delivery page. Voila! Ranking returns better than before.

SEO Pigeon Update

Ranking drop and subsequent return

Addendum

The changes were completed on the 25th of August, Google reindexed on the 26th and the rankings returned on the 27th. Well done o our team members, Jine, Vandi, Alex & Wing. Great work! I have a couple of theories why a “local” algorithm update affected this client but I’d love to know if you were affected by that update?

SEO Crawl Activity Spike

SEO Crawl Activity Spike

 

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I hate to add to the “hey it’s only 100 days until Christmas” chorus but I usually get asked these questions in October when they should have been implemented in August.

1. Get A Blog

As the old saying goes, “The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” If you haven’t started publishing content on a regular basis start now. One of the easiest ways to do this is via a blog. A blog is great for achieving many things, here are just a few;

  • It gives Google regular updates to come and index and rank
  • Creates a communication channel between you and your customers
  • Helps establish you as an authority

The graph below is a glaring demonstration of the love Google heaps on when you do start publishing regularly. We started writing a blog for them about 10 months ago and in that time their traffic from Google has tripled. Not too shabby.

SEO Blog traffic

Using a Blog For SEO Tripled Traffic

As you will see from today’s video, this client’s product is extremely seasonal but the trend over time has been to triple the organic traffic.

2. Implement HTTPS… Carefully.

As I pointed out last week, having your site served using HTTPS rather than HTTP will give you an edge. I would only embark on this though if you are looking for that edge AFTER you have fixed up all the other SEO essentials. Be warned though, if you do this badly your rankings will disappear so make sure you have someone do it who knows what they are doing.

3. Setup Facebook Remarketing Pixel

Facebook is the new “ducks guts” of digital marketing. One facet is remarketing. The ability to advertise to people once they have visited your site inside facebook, is not only powerful but cheap as chips! If you are spending money on other forms of advertising siphon some off for Facebook and start building your remarketing audience.

4. Get A Responsive Site

As I’ve said a few times now, in all likelihood if you have an m. site you are probably losing traffic from Google. It’s time to get rid of it and go responsive.

Remember if you need a hand with any of these things don’t forget to give us a call on 03 85455900

 

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Google have been banging on about https as a ranking signal for quite some time. Well it became official last week. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Get an SSL certificate for your web server.

For most businesses you will get these through your hosting company. They can cost between a few dollars per month to several hundred per year. The amount you pay depends on things like the level of security and the warranty provided to you if anything goes wrong with the certificate.

2. Setup your web server at HTTPS.

You need to get your hosting company to do this as well unless you are hosting your self. Make sure you setup HTTPS version in webmaster tools and don’t forget to redirect your www version of the https site to the root. Also make sure you have setup a sitemap in webmaster tools with all https URLs.

3. Redirect the HTTP versions.

This is extremely important. If you don’t do this you will have a completely duplicated site and the new https version will not inherit any of the link love. Depending on the size of your site you may then want to manually remove it from the Google index but for most sites if you have done the 301 redirect properly Google will remove it automatically.

Importance of HTTPS for SEO?

If your content is rubbish it’s more important to fix that first. All the security in the world won’t help you if you don’t have great, unique content.

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David Jones SEO

by Jim August 13, 2014

Following on from the so called “faulty redirects” Google is now issuing these notices for sites where they have found an old page in the index that is now redirecting smartphone users to the home page. Previously we’d only seen these notices where smart phone users had clicked on a desktop result then had been [...]

Read more: David Jones SEO

Google punishes a big brand in mobile

by Jim August 6, 2014

It was just a few weeks ago that Google started issuing notices about smartphone faulty redirects. Now we’re seeing the warnings increase and sites getting removed from mobile search if they are doing the so called “faulty redirect” . BigW recently launched a new site and now has at least three sites that I can [...]

Read more: Google punishes a big brand in mobile

2 SEO Tools Unveil Some Massive Treasure

by Jim July 30, 2014

I have had reason to investigate speeding fine laws recently and I noticed a few people trying to sell information products in the space but it turns out they were targeting the wrong people. In todays video I use two tools that are free and I use all the time for SEO. 1. Google Trends [...]

Read more: 2 SEO Tools Unveil Some Massive Treasure

You Need To Manipulate Google

by Jim July 23, 2014

Some people think that it is a bad thing. I would argue it is quite necessary. As you will see from today’s show sometimes Google goes to places you just don’t want it going and I don’t mean emotionally either. At the very least you should be directing Google where you want it to go. [...]

Read more: You Need To Manipulate Google

Watch how Google indexes your site.

by Jim July 16, 2014

If you saw my short cryptic post yesterday about Enrico Altavilla this is the follow up to it. IN today’s show I have been messing around with a technique that he recently wrote about. It’s not only a bit of fun but quite useful as well. Index me “Any time” As Enrico pointed out in [...]

Read more: Watch how Google indexes your site.