During many optimization projects, webmasters like to focus on on-page considerations such as content, keyword targeting and density, but none of that matters if your website has technical issues that inhibit it from being seen by the search engines. In this post, we take a high-level approach to technical SEO to give you an idea of what you should focus on before you even think about optimizing your content.
Have you ever made an online search and wanted to share one of the results with some friends or clients? or have one location to update several of your social media sites in one place? There is now an easy way to do that and it’s called RockMelt.
RockMelt is a browser currently in beta testing that uses Chromium, which is an open source project provided by Google and which is used to create the Google Chrome Browser. Because it is using Chromium, the browser is fast, secure and even supports HTML5 and CSS3.
Some of the features that RockMelt offers are the ability to view your bookmarks, your feeds and any other account information from anywhere with an internet connection. How they achieve this, is by providing a login account to the browser and storing all your information in the cloud, so it can be accessed from anywhere.
The browser has two sidebars, one on the left and the other one on the right of the browser. The left sidebar displays your favorite friends and the right sidebar displays your accounts, these being your Facebook, twitter, the times, among other accounts.
Even though this browser is only in beta testing, it will continue to grow, improve and possibly become a very important browser, mainly because of its sharing functionalities. This browser can help you maintain your personal, as well as company account up to date by helping you manage your social media accounts from anywhere you are and improve your SEO ranking in the process.
Welcome back to my series on fixing un-canonical URLs. To date, we’ve looked at a variety of areas that could potentially cause the same content to be accessible from multiple URLs on your site, which is very problematic from a search engine perspective:
Let’s talk about the last item in my list:
7. Combinations of any or all of the above
It is possible, for example, to have the same content accessible from both protocols (http and https) as well as both the www- version and the non-www- version. This scenario provides four URLs that display the same exact content:
Any combination of the issues (numbers 1 – 6) may be lurking on your site. In addition, one section of your site may be suffering from one combination of these issues while other sections may be suffering from another combination of issues. I usually find that the simplest way to fix a combination of issues is to first test for one issue and fix it and then move on to the next issue.
All of the six potential problem areas I discussed were caused by efforts to make the internet easier, more forgiving to use and reduce the amount of work a web visitor or web site administrators had to do. The underlying design of web servers was created before search engines like Google or Live existed and before duplicate content issues were a problem. Since web servers weren’t really designed with search engines in mind, you should keep in mind the above list as you comb your site for canonical URL issues.
Perhaps the easiest way to avoid un-canonical URLs is to build your site (or section of your site) from the ground up with these potential problem areas in mind. Granted, that may be easier said than done.
I also suggest that any new pages/files/URLs you create on your site have a file extension appropriate to the scripting language on your sever (.php, .asp, .aspx, .cfm, etc.) as opposed to .html or .htm (which are normally assumed to be file extensions of a “static” page). The reason is that if you need to redirect, for instance, from example.com/mypage.html to www.example.com/my-new-page.html and your web server limits or doesn’t support the use of tools like URL rewriting, you may have to take an SEO hit after renaming the file. This is because an html file normally cannot run scripts. (Redirecting to another page is a script function.) So essentially, creating new files on your website with “dynamic file extensions” allows much more flexibility in the future.
What’s even better is to build your site or section using a CMS that was designed to be SEO friendly.
Remember to watch out for misspellings in your URLs, that includes the path name (the part of the URL starting with the first forward slash up to, but not including the question mark or fragment) and the query string. Also keep in mind that everything in the URL except the fragment can affect canonical URL/duplicate content issues. Another point is that a phone call or email to your hosting company may be able to resolve some canonical URL issues when you can’t seem to resolve a particular issue yourself.
Also, be on the lookout for the new anything-goes top level domains (the “police” in traffic.police would be an anything-goes top level domain, for example, while edu, com and org are traditional top level domains) which could offer a few more URL canonicalization challenges in the near future.
I hope this series was helpful, time saving and useful. Best wishes to you and yours on all your URL canonicalization efforts!