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A Marketer’s Guide To Using Regular Expressions In SEO

HTTP_shutterstock Regular expressions (regex) are one of the most powerful tools we have in our SEO arsenal,  but they're incredibly intimidating! Here are some tips and tricks from one SEO to another that I hope will help you dip your toes into the powerful world of regex. I must begin with a disclaimer: I'm not a coder, a developer or a network admin. My use of regex is very entry-level, but what I'm about to share has worked well for me across a variety of platforms. I want to share three of these with you: Google Analytics, Screaming Frog and htaccess. Fundamentals Of Regular Expressions (Regex) Let's [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: How To Avoid Buying A Domain Name Previously Ruined By Spammers

Matt Cutts screen shot April 2014 In his latest video, Google head of web spam (and, today, Boston Marathon runner) Matt Cutts offers a few quick tips to avoid purchasing a domain name that may have been previously destroyed by a spammer. The video is in response to the following question from a site owner who purchased a bad domain: How can we check to see if a domain (bought from a registrar) was previously in trouble with Google? I recently bought, and unbeknownst to me the domain isn't being indexed and I've had to do a reconsideration request. How could I have prevented? Cutts first recommends doing a site-colon sear [...]


How To Rebrand Without Losing Your Hard-Earned Rankings

rebranding_new_old As an SEO, I've worked with many clients during rebranding initiatives to ensure that their sites retain rankings -- and, over the past few months, my own firm has been undergoing a brand transition. Thus, I thought I'd use my column this month to share some advice on how to handle a rebrand from an SEO perspective. What Is Spurring The Rebrand? To adequately address the rebrand, it's important to understand the reason the rebrand is occurring. Is there a merger of two companies, creating an altogether new brand? Is one company (brand) being acquired and absorbed into another company (brand) [...]


Single Page Websites & SEO

One Page Website SEO Single page websites are quite popular right now; I see more and more each week on sites like The Latest and Product Hunt. No doubt they look cool when filled with great fonts, graphics and transitions. But can you SEO a single-page site and rank? Google's Matt Cutts had this to say: (video autoplay) It's going to depend on what your particular area is, what the topic is, and what kind of layout you come out with. But if it works for you and for users to have that all on one page, for the most part, it should work for Google as well. I took a look at what others have to say about SEO opti [...]


2014 SEO Playbook: On-Page Factors

2014 SEO Playbook Welcome to part 2 of my annual SEO playbook. (Click here for part 1.) I have to thank Danny Sullivan and the Search Engine Land team for giving me the perfect outline for the 2014 playbook, the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. Part 2 will cover on-page factors, including content, HTML and architecture. You'll find more than enough food for thought and some very actionable steps. This is not a step-by-step SEO guide, and it's pretty informal. Before embarking on a search engine optimization campaign, do your research or consult with an expert. Content: Quality Quality was a big d [...]


Turn Domain Bias In Search Results To Your Advantage

thinking_thought-bubble_man_doubt_veer_3077149_M There's been valid debate over how influential keyword and exact match domains are in search engine optimization. Whether or not the latest Google or Bing algorithm takes the words in your domain name into consideration, the reality is that searchers -- those consumers actually choosing to click your link -- most likely do. The phenomenon has been dubbed "domain bias," defined as a user's propensity to believe that a page is more relevant just because it comes from a particular domain. While search engines generally reward good content with good rankings, there are certain qualities that ma [...]


Removing URLs From The Index In Bulk

Need to remove URLs from the index? For a small number of URLs, this can be a relatively straightforward process -- when you are dealing with thousands or tens of thousands, it can be a lot more complex, especially if you feel a great deal of urgency about the matter. This is what I am going to focus on today: situations where the amount of content is massive and the urgency is high. It turns out that you have several options -- so let's explore what they are! Why Remove Content In The First Place? There are many possible reasons, but here are some of the most common: You published co [...]


The Ultimate Guide to Multilingual and Multiregional SEO

When you begin to get into multilingual and multiregional SEO, you know that you have taken a step forward as an SEO expert. Why? Well, because you are probably dealing with a large, complex site that demands the expertise of someone who knows what they are talking about. If you are dealing in multilingual or multinational SEO, then you are managing a complex website strategy that serves multiple locations and languages -- not just one. Lucky for you, most everything you need to know about multilingual and multiregional SEO is listed in this post. So, even if you are a first-timer, you now [...]


The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Internal Linking Strategy

It’s not the first thing you think of when you hear "link building." It’s definitely not the sexiest aspect of link building. But, I'd argue it’s among the most important components of a solid link building strategy. That’s right, folks: today we’re going to chat about internal linking. Cue the communal groan. It's okay! I'm not going to talk about anchor text. Instead, we'll dive into how to set up a logical internal linking strategy, as well as some of the more technical aspects to keep in mind when it comes to your internal linking. Why An Internal Linking Strategy Impor [...]


Study: Many Searchers Choose Google Over Bing Even When Google’s Name Is On Bing’s Results

Survey Monkey SEO Assumptions Question 2 In a recent study by SurveyMonkey examining SEO assumptions, respondents were given two search result pages, one with a page header labeled "Google" and the other with a page header labeled "Bing," and asked which page of results they preferred. Even when the page header labels were swapped, more users preferred the Google search results. Of 641 survey respondents, 379 participants received a survey asking which of two search result pages they preferred. One page of results for the term "file taxes" included true Google results and the other page included true Bing results. The Google page [...]


Bing Offers Recommendations for SEO-Friendly AJAX: Suggests HTML5 pushState

bing logo Bing has announced support for HTML5 pushState as a way to implement AJAX on a site in a way that enables Bing to crawl and index the URLs and content. As Google has supported this implementation since early 2012, site owners finally have an AJAX option that can be crawled and indexed by both major search engines in the United States. (The ease of implementing is another story altogether.) Bing tells me that while they still support the #! version of crawlable AJAX originally launched by Google, they're finding it's not implemented correctly much of the time, and they strongly recommend pus [...]


Your Top 5 Questions About The New gTLD Domain Extensions, Answered

Do you know what new gTLDs are? That’s the question I posed to a room filled with marketers and SEO experts at a recent SMX event. Only three of around 40 people in the room raised their hands. Although the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been talking about new gTLDs for years, it’s clear that there are a number of Internet-savvy professionals that still have questions about what they are, and how they will affect them. With the potential to change search and marketing as we know it, understanding new gTLDs will be vital in 2013 and beyond. What Are [...]


Verisign Blames Google For Drop In Domain Registration & Renewal Rates

google-panda-penguin-blame-featured The number of new domains being registered, and existing domains being renewed, is slowing down and Verisign -- the company that operates the .com and .net domain registries -- says Google is a main reason why. On the company's Q3 earnings call yesterday, Verisign shared the following data related to domain registrations and renewals: total .com and .net domain registrations grew only one percent in Q3, below the company's previous guidance to investors registrations of .net domains were down one percent from a year ago the domain renewal rate was 72.3 percent in Q3, down from 72.9 p [...]


Google Wants Love & Amazon Seeking Joy In New Top Level Domain Names

Today ICANN, the organization responsible for administering "top level" domain names on the internet (e.g. dot-com, dot-org, etc) pulled aside the curtain and gave the world a glimpse of proposed new "dot-anything" names, including both the desired domain names and the organization wanting them them. It's an interesting, and often bizarre collection of names and words. Google was among the most active bidders, submitting more than 100 applications for new "generic top level domains" (gTLDs, as ICANN refers to them). Not surprisingly, many bids were for Google's own trademarked terms, inclu [...]


Google & Bing (Still) Handle Underscores & Dashes Differently

It's one of the longest-running SEO questions around, and still something many of us get asked by clients, readers, conference attendees and so forth: Should we use dashes or underscores in our URLs? Google re-opened the discussion recently with a new YouTube video that highlights how Google currently handles dashes and underscores, and also reminds us that Google and Bing differ on this bit of SEO minutiae. Many of you will recall this was a pretty hot topic a few years ago when Google originally announced that both dashes and underscores both served as separators, and then backtrac [...]


What The New ICANN Domain Names Mean For Google Rankings & SEO: Nothing

seo-domain-ranking-featured ICANN - the organization in charge of internet domain names - has approved plans that may create hundreds or thousands of new "top level domain names." I've seen some reports already that this will help with search engine optimization. It won't. It'll just enrich some new TLD owners at the expense of brands who will now spend even more to fight cybersquatting. The New Domain Names Are Coming ICANN is the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers, and it oversees the world's domain name system. In its wisdom, it decided yesterday that the 22 generic top level domain (gTLD) names  w [...]


Twitter Expanding URL Shortener To Long URLs In Tweets

The Twitter Blog announced they are now testing expanding their Twitter based URL shortening service, t.co on URLs that are long. The main difference here is that they will show a portion of the real URL, but pass it through t.co for security reasons. Twitter explained: When this is rolled out more broadly to users this summer, all links shared on Twitter.com or third-party apps will be wrapped with a t.co URL. A really long link such as http://www.amazon.com/Delivering-Happiness-Profits-Passion-Purpose/dp/0446563048 might be wrapped as http://t.co/DRo0trj for display on SMS, but it could [...]


Canonical Tag 2.0: Google To Add Cross Domain Support

Many site owners have wanted the recently introduced canonical tag to work across domains. Now their wishes will come true. Google announced cross-domain support will come by the end of the year. The news came out during the Duplicate Content: The Search Engines Edition session at SMX East conference today. Google made the announcement in response to site owners again voicing that they wanted such a solution. The existing canonical tag is only supported by Google, at the moment. Yahoo and Bing both said they're studying support but think its likely they'll add support by the end of the y [...]


Google Says Domain Registrations Don’t Affect SEO, Or Do They?

Over at Search Engine Roundtable today, Barry Schwartz writes about the latest comments from Google about domain registration and its impact on SEO/search rankings. In this case, it's Google employee John Mueller suggesting in a Google Webmaster Help forum thread that Google doesn't look at the length of a domain registration: A bunch of TLDs do not publish expiration dates -- how could we compare domains with expiration dates to domains without that information? It seems that would be pretty hard, and likely not worth the trouble. Even when we do have that data, what would it tell us when co [...]


A Case Study In Changing URL Structure

In one of the SMX videos available in the member's area of Search Engine Land, several panelists noted that a shorter URL is more likely to be clicked in the SERPs than a longer one. That is, if you have a URL like http://www.yourdomain.com/2009/03/19/article-title/ it is less likely to get clicked than the following one, which is the same but without the dates: http://www.yourdomain.com/article-title/ As I researched this, I noticed that Search Engine Land does not use dates in its URLs, nor does Google spam expert Matt Cutts, nor does Aaron Wall. Since I have been usi [...]


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