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Losing Organic Traffic After A Redesign? Four Things to Check

301-redirect While web designers and developers are often strong at designing and programming websites, not all are as well prepared to handle SEO issues, especially when relaunching websites. Just this week, I've worked with three separate web design firms who contacted me after a recent site relaunch caused a substantial loss of organic website traffic. So, if you just relaunched your website and you're losing organic traffic, how can you know where to start? Here's my basic list of the most common issues I see that are often overlooked in a relaunch. While there can be many reasons for traffic lo [...]


What The Government Shutdown Means For .gov SEO

government-govt-generic-240px As part of the US government shut down, many .gov sites have also shut down, replaced by messages like this: “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.” But one day, the government will start up again and government agencies will once again focus on ensuring that the information their sites provide is easily available to US citizens. We know that Americans primarily use search to access government information, so once the shutdown is over, it won’t be enough that the web sites power up. They also need to b [...]


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 [...]


No, Microsoft Didn’t “Disappear” Kogan From Bing Over The “IE7 Tax”

Kogan Shopping site Kogan imposes an "Internet Explorer 7" tax. Kogan then mysteriously disappears from Microsoft's Bing search engine. Revenge? No, just a technical goof, says Microsoft, one that it is correcting. Kogan grabbed headlines last month when it began adding an additional 6.8% charge to purchases for those using Internet Explorer 7. Calling it the "Internet Explorer 7" tax, the fee was designed to encourage people to upgrade. This week, Kogan was blogging again about Microsoft, this time to say that its Kogan.com site was dropped from Microsoft's Bing search engine. That's still t [...]


The Latest & Greatest On SEO Pagination

pages-pagination-featured Technical SEO topics such as pagination are near and dear to my heart. This article will build upon and update my previous treatment of pagination and SEO. I've written and presented often on pagination for SEO. Why so much attention on this subject? The reason is simple: it can be a big, hairy deal for sites. It's right up there with faceted navigation as one of the most problematic crawling and indexing issues for large-scale SEO. It's a tactic (actually a set of tactics) that our teams are continually evolving, testing, and refining. So it was "double prizes" when Google announced [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts Offering More Detailed Video Search Tips

The Google Webmaster Blog announced a new format for Google's Matt Cutts video tutorials. Instead of the short minute or so videos, Matt will also be offering more detailed videos that are longer and more flushed out. Google explained, "instead of only focusing on quick answers to specific questions, we’ve created some longer videos which cover important webmaster-related topics." The first video answers a question on if there is a limit on the number of 301 redirects you can have. Matt explains that there is no limit in the number of 301 redirects from a site to another site. F [...]


Google Disables URL Removals After Bug Allows Anyone To Remove Any Site

Google Webmaster This morning, James Breckenridge discovered a loophole within Google's Webmaster Tools that allowed anyone to remove any site from Google. Both James and I sent this information to Google as soon as we heard of it. After several hours, Google has told us, "we're still investigating this report, and to be cautious we disabled all URL removals earlier this morning." So now, if you even own a site, you won't be able to remove the site or pages from the site using Google's URL removal tool. How did this loophole work? Pretty simple as James described. You use the following URL when logged [...]


Google: rel=”canonical” Now Supported In HTTP Headers

Google announced they are now supporting the rel="canonical" attribute within HTTP headers. This enables webmasters to set up a canonical for linking to or from PDF files or other non-HTML based files. One of the examples given by Google is that a "webmaster can signal to Google that the canonical URL for the PDF download is the HTML document by using a rel="canonical" HTTP header when the PDF file is requested." This also comes in handy when you use a CDN (content delivery network) and the content is being served from many different URLs. You can now use the rel="canonical" within t [...]


Google On Designing Mobile Friendly Websites

Pierre Far from Google wrote a blog post on how to design mobile friendly websites while considering Google's webmaster guidelines and best practices. I've pulled out the key points from this post in bullet format: Google differentiates between traditional mobile phones and smartphones. Google has two bots: Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile. Googlebot crawls desktop-browser type of webpages and content embedded in them and Googlebot-Mobile crawls mobile content. Currently only traditional phones are supported with special useragent strings within Googlebot-Mobile, not smartphones (this [...]


According To Google, The BBC = AmirGabriel.com

Here's a weird one. Try a search for the BBC TV series Doctor Who on Google. You'll find the official site, but look closely at the domain name. It's amirgabriel.com, as shown above -- not bbc.co.uk as it should be. What's up with that? Has the BBC undergone a transformation in the way Doctor Who himself undergoes? It's not a case of someone redirecting their domain over to the BBC and somehow "hijacking" the listing, a problem more common a few years ago. That's because the domain doesn't do a redirection, take you from one place over to the BBC. Instead, it "resolves" directly to t [...]


Getting The Credit Your Analytics Efforts Deserve

The population of search marketers out there (you're a lovely people) relies heavily on analytics tools to capture and report on success, and most of the time, there isn't a safety net with your analytics tool—you pretty much have to capture the data the right way the first time around. You have to measure paid search campaigns, keep that information separate from natural search data, figure out how to attribute valuable actions like newsletter signups and purchases to each effort, and of course try to keep track of all sorts of minutiae that will allow you to dig deeper and analyze on-s [...]


Why Mobile Searchers Need Mobile-Optimized Sites

In mobile SEO I straddle two industries: mobile marketing and search marketing, both of which contain smart people with good questions about mobile search. I think there’s a widespread desire in both camps these days to handle mobile SEO in a way that is not only going to be beneficial to brands today, but will have positive ramifications for years to come. A common practice in mobile web site design today is to redirect a mobile user to another domain through user agent detection, rather than to optimize the site for mobile searchers. I often get asked, "Why would someone who is on the f [...]


Local Newspapers Need To Embrace SEO To Survive

It’s no secret that newspapers have been struggling with the disruptive innovations introduced by Google, and this has resulted in some level of resistance and a circling-of-the-wagons mentality by the industry. But, what if they were to go in the opposite direction, with full engagement? Search engine optimization could really help newspapers, and here’s one tactic for how to do it.


Calculating The True SEO Costs Of Major Site Changes

Your site will pay a penalty in search rankings when you make modifications to content, structure or domain name. Here’s how to estimate what kind of hit you can expect to take, and how to minimize the damage.


See What Googlebot Sees On Your Site

Google Webmaster Tools has just launched a "labs" section, where you'll find new features that may be early in the development cycle and not quite as robust as the rest of the tools. The features available so far are Fetch as Googlebot, which lets you see exactly what Googlebot is served when it requests a URL from your server and Malware Details, which shows you malicious code snippets from your site if it's been flagged as containing malware. Fetch as Googlebot Of most interest to webmasters, SEOs, and web developers is likely the Fetch as Googlebot feature. You can specify any URL on [...]


FeedBurner Goes 301 All The Way

The Google AdSense for Feeds (aka FeedBurner) blog announced that all of their links will be 301 redirected, as opposed to some that are 301 redirected. In summary, when you use FeedBurner to create and host your RSS feed, FeedBurner creates special links that are used to send the reader to your web site. Some users selected to use a 302 redirected link, as opposed to a 301 redirected link, to obtain better tracking. Google has made the decision to remove the 302 redirect option and make them all 301s. Why? The main reason is Google wants these URLs to become "more compatible with searc [...]


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 [...]


New York Times To Restore Links To IHT Stories In Coming Weeks

Over the weekend, the New York Times was once again ridiculed for how links to its former International Herald Tribune web site were not redirecting readers to new locations for IHT stories. The situation, which was first noticed at the end of March, seemed another example of a newspaper that didn't get the online world. Well, it's being fixed now. The whole thing had me scratching my head in puzzlement. As I explained to IHT journalist Thomas Crampton, who led this weekend's outrage with his Reporter to NY Times Publisher: You Erased My Career post, the New York Times has one of th [...]


Do Links From Expired Domains Count With Google?

From time-to-time, issues about how domain names can impact Google rankings come up. Is it true that if you buy a name, all the "link equity" that name has gained is lost? Below, a look at this and some related questions. Several years ago, Google sparked some concerns when it said that buying an established domain name meant that links to that domain before the purchase were effectively lost. In other words, say someone bought a domain today that was registered in 2003 and which had built up hundreds of links over the years. All those links were effectively slapped with an invisible [...]


The DiggBar Compromise: Show Framebar Only To Logged In Digg Users

Digg is promising a significant change to how its DiggBar framebar operates, one that should solve SEO concerns about how link credit is passed on but won't entirely remove misgivings about the framing of content. With the new implementation scheduled for next week, only those who are logged into Digg will see the DiggBar. So if you click on a DiggBar URL from Twitter, you won't see the DiggBar unless you've already been to Digg and have a logged in status. Just having a Digg cookie won't be enough, Digg cofounder Kevin Rose told me when we talked about the new implementation yesterd [...]


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