Articles written in December, 2009

December 23 2009

Testing Your Mobile Website Performance


Have you ever wondered how to test a website designed for mobile phones? There are a couple of sites that can be of great help to test for websites designed for mobile phones. When creating a site to be viewed in a small screen, it is important to make a simple design, it will be easier to fix when testing, for good performance.

When creating a mobile website for the first time it is good to look at other websites that have been designed for mobile phones, this provides you with ideas of how to create a site. A way to view mobile websites in a computer is by using a Firefox plug-in called User Agent Switcher, this plug-in allows you to add user agents of mobile phones you would like to test your website on or view someone else’s website. After you have your design in mind and you have implemented it, you can begin testing the site. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides a mobileOK Checker that checks if a mobile website is mobile friendly. The site url that is placed on this site to be checked will return a result ranging from 0 to 100, 100 being the most mobile friendly site. Another site you can use to check for performance is; this site uses the W3C mobileOk and also provides device emulators to check how a site looks.  

After fixing the errors on your site, you can continue to check the site look and feel in more devices. There is an application called Keynote, which provides a wide range of user agents and an emulator to view your site. The application also shows the code being used, the access time for each individual page, any syntax warnings, among a lot of other useful information.

It is important to keep in mind a website that loads faster will be more user-friendly and when it comes to mobile websites this factor is very important. When it comes to SEO, it is important to make sure your site has GA coding to help its ranking position as well as adding content that contains special keywords.

Posted in: Mobile SEO

December 22 2009

Real-time Results


There have been a lot of changes within the search industry lately.   One interesting change is that the Google is now incorporating real-time information within their search engine results pages. Google made this announcement earlier this month and these real-time results include tweets from Twitter and information from other sources such as Facebook, blogs, news articles, and more.

To see the real-time results within Google’s search results page, try conducting a search for a keyword that is popular, such as President Obama. Keep in mind that these live updates will not be displayed for every keyword that is searched. Below is an image of the scrolling area on the results page when I conducted a search for President Obama.   This scrolling area updates automatically as you view the page.


As you can imagine, there is way too much information circulating on the web and within social networks to include every bit of relevant information on the search engine results page. Therefore, Google states that they apply “its own measurements to those whose updates appear in real-time results. Retweets and the number of followers a person has factor into Google’s assessment of quality.”  

With this update, there are still a few questions. How useful is this information going to be for searchers?   When people conduct searches in Google, are they really looking for the latest news or conversations about that topic?   How accurate is the information displayed within this scrolling area on the page?   Will it encourage businesses to focus more heavily on online reputation management? How will this impact SEO and the race to get to the top of the page now that this scrolling box takes up some of that real estate on the page?

Here at MoreVisibility we’ve talked about the importance of incorporating social media into online marketing initiatives for quite some time now. With these recent updates, it is even more important than ever.

December 17 2009

Domain Name Canonicalization and the .htaccess File


The .htaccess file is the main configuration file for URL Rewriting software, such as Apache’s mod_rewrite and Helicon’s ISAPI_Rewrite. An .htaccess file can be used to perform many different SEO-related tasks. Whether or not your web host allows the use of the .htaccess file can mean all the difference in the world when planning an SEO strategy for your website. In all of our client projects, we use the .htaccess file to perform some SEO-critical functions. One of the most important functions that the .htaccess file can perform is domain name canonicalization.

Domain Name Canonicalization

If a domain name is not canonicalized, it means that the same site will be presented to the browser when different combinations of a domain are requested. For example, consider the following urls:

While both of the examples above look the same, they are in fact quite different. Search engines may regard them as different URLs altogether. As a result, some pages may get indexed under the www version, while others may get indexed under the non-www version. One way to ensure that search engines will only index one version is by adding the following rule into your .htaccess file:

RewriteCond   %{HTTP:Host} ^domain\.com$
RewriteRule   (.*)$1 [QSA]

With that rule in place, when the non-www version of the site is requested, the user will be redirected to the canonicalized www version. It should be noted that this rule will not just work for the homepage, but all pages within that domain. For example:

… will redirect to this…

As you can see, that rule is pretty powerful. In a future post, I will demonstrate how the .htaccess file can be used for page level redirects.

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