A client recently approached me to discuss redesigning their website, optimizing it to rank well in Google, and contracting me for some basic marketing and promotion. Now, this has happened to me a few times, so I don’t want to single out any one client (and I wouldn’t mention them by name even if you asked me). But their thought process was, well, we’ve got about 100 or so pages indexed right now, but we want to get rid of them and pare that down to just a half dozen or so really sales-driven content pages.
My question, of course, was Why?
Some readers have emailed me asking why I’m only writing about canonical URL and redirect issues for the apache/linux platform and haven’t given any advice on how to fix these issues on Microsoft Windows IIS/ASP.NET servers. So in the interest of equal time, I figure I had better present fixes for both old and new versions of IIS. In IIS 6 it can be corrected with global.asax, but with IIS 7 Microsoft added URL redirect support to the web.config file. First a URL redirect fix for the older versions of ASP.NET on IIS 6:
This is Part 2 of a series on SEO and duplicate content issues. In the first part I discussed using your Apache .htaccess file with 301 redirects on Linux servers to fix canonical URL problems.
OK, now that I’ve answered the question of canonical URLs, let’s get back to that pesky duplicate content issue. Hacking your .htaccess file solved one problem, but what if you have different URLs which all point to the same content? Something like this …
There’s a lot of important SEO issues to talk about here, so I am breaking this blog post into two parts. First let me start by explaining why this blog post came about. I recently encountered a problem with a client who was on a shared hosting platform with really bad tech support (you know the type – godaddy, 1&1, hostgator, etc.). The problem was the site’s home page was answering on too many URLs. For example, the following URLs all delivered the same content:
I leave New Jersey for a few days and look what happens … Google decides to update it’s toolbar PageRank on it’s 10th Anniversay! Right in the middle of my Florida vacation. But since I’m in the habit of creating self-serving blog posts every time PageRank updates, I figured I might as well put up a quick note about what happened with the latest one.
First of all, I haven’t noticed any dramatic changes with the Google algorithm. Some alarmists (probably forum spammers) are posting about it in the Digital Point forums, but I have used the same techniques as I always have to increase PageRank and it’s worked the same every time. So if there are any major changes, it’s not effecting my SEO.
Yes, it is what it sounds like. I spent a small fortune on one of my sites with Google CPC Adwords last week and lost my investment. Well, when I say lost, I mean I didn’t make any profit. I made just barely enough to cover my loss, but to me breaking even is a loss. Especially when viewed as lost opportunities.
We’ve all seen them before, although they are becoming a bit more rare these days. You visit a website looking for actual information (really?) and instead you find a big, bloated fanciful flash intro with zooming text and Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra blaring (yes, it’s now better known as the 2001 Space Odyssey Theme, but I will always remember it as the opening to the Elvis Aloha in Hawaii concert).
Apparently someone felt their website was so awe-inspiring and awesome that it needed a monumental fanfare to announce it before your mere mortal eyes were allowed to actually view it. That, or someone’s nephew just bought Flash and did a really cool job zooming a logo in and out.
OK, I admit it, I used to be the kind of guy who was tied up with using nofollow links to channel PageRank authority to my blog’s self-serving links. But I recently read a blog post over at Blue Jar, and subsequently found a great Wordpress plugin for Nofollow Reciprocity, which opened my eyes to “dofollow” blog links.
Google’s Official Blog has been talking about 404 server response codes (Page Not Found errors) this week, and since I just wrote about 301 Redirect Responses last week I guess I might as well pick up where they left off and describe how to handle a custom 404 message with a PHP page. As a web developer and an SEO it’s important to understand how web servers work, as it can impact both site performance for your users and for search engines.