Articles in the Tips & Tools Category

Get simple, actionable information you can use to gain insight into SEO, content production, competitor data and more with our SEO Tips & Tools blog posts. Learn how to use a variety of tools and browser plugins to see your website how the search engines see it, and find opportunities to enhance your content, link portfolio and SEO.

March 13 2007

Google Sitemap Misconceptions

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Many of the clients I talk with have an understanding that a Google sitemap is a way to positively impact your natural rankings. This of course is not true, the Google sitemap merely allows you to tell Google that you have the following web pages within your domain and that you would like them to be crawled. You have the ability to set how frequently the page is updated: Daily, weekly, or monthly. The last option you have within the Google sitemap is the option to set the priority of the page.

This is the webmasters way of telling Google which pages are more important than others. For example the home page would be more important than page to showcase links so it would receive a higher priority. Google will then access the Google sitemap you have uploaded and see the listings of pages and information you have provided. This will result in Google being able to find and index those pages faster and get a basic understanding of the structure of the website. This is not to say that Google wouldn’t find the pages of the website on there own, but it facilitates Google finding them faster.

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March 6 2007

When and why to use 301 or 302 redirects

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I’m often asked about the differences between the 301 and 302 redirect and how they affect the way search engines see a site. Another popular question is why it even matters which one is used, since from a user’s perspective everything looks fine with both types of redirects

Well, even though things might look fine on the users end, these redirects can cause a great deal of trouble if not employed correctly. These two redirects have two different uses and should be applied accordingly.

Just remember a 301 redirect is a “Permanent Redirect” which transfers over the page rank and other historical search engine data. The 302 redirect is a “Temporary Redirect” which does not transfer over this information and should only be used in very limited situations.

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Posted in: Tips & Tools

January 18 2007

Google Related Duplicate Content Data Surfacing

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Duplicate content is a hot topic and has been for quite a while. It is also one of the most misunderstood issues in search engine optimization. Many webmasters and even some search marketers spend an extraordinary amount of time and resources trying to avoid the dreaded “Duplicate Content Penalty”, when in fact a penalty derived from duplicate content is fairly rare and reserved specifically for sites which have been observed trying to manipulate search engine rankings directly; i.e. search engine spammers.

The more common issue associated with duplicate content found by search engines is the “Duplicate Content Filter”. When a search engine finds two or more pages with identical or even nearly identical content it applies a filter which allows only one instance of the content to be returned in search results. This is in no way a penalty and does not affect the site in whole, just the specific page as it relates to the specific search query. The goal of the search engines is to provide their users with “unique” content and this filter helps to ensure each page returned in the search results is unique.

In the past couple of weeks Google has published an article with some very specific information on how it sees and handles duplicate content as well as some bullet points on issues to watch for concerning duplicate content. Additionally, another new US Patent relating to identifying and handling duplicate content has been granted to Google.Read More

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