Panelists: Susan Moskwa – Google, Vanessa Fox – Nine by Blue, and Aaron Kahlow – Online Marketing Summit & Online Marketing Connect

SEO Trifecta: site-wide SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO – panel addresses site-wide SEO and answers, “Are you experiencing technical difficulties?”

Aaron”Warm Up Act” Kahlow: Translating Technology

Getting Technical SEO Ingrained in the Organization: Selling Internally

  • Think about making money first
  • Help others understand search and empower those within the company
  • Sound the alarm – stop allowing your company to hit the snooze button

Top Ten:

  1. Duplicate Content Destroyer: use canonical tag
  2. Domain Choice: www or non-www
  3. Cookie It: get rid of session id’s in URL strings (store in cookie rather than URL)
  4. No Old School JavaScript: drop down menus should be in CSS and include no script tag
  5. Flash & Java Upgrades: more advanced tactics for Flash and JavaScript
  6. Page has importance: nofollow links to supplemental pages
  7. 301: use 301 & 302 as appropriate
  8. Sitemap two-ways: xml and html
  9. 5 or less: limit # of parameters in URL strings to 5 at most
  10. Check it twice: check and double check robot.txt files in Web Master Tools

Educate > Translate > Execute – in that order. Too difficult to execute without first educating

Susan “Token Googler” Moskwa: Technical Insight URL’s

Why Care About Technical SEO

  • Google can crawl a limited (albeit significant) amount of information on the web and can index even less – you want to be indexed
  • Google prioritizes crawling (new content > refresh old content > few duplicates)
  • Google then keeps the “good stuff”

* Funnel crawling “budget” toward important content

Reduce Inefficient Crawling of Your Site

  • Avoid maverick coding problems – e.g. discourage alternative encodings (QQ instead of ?) and eliminate positional coding
  • Remove user specific details from URLs (creates infinite URL’s) – e.g. user id
  • Keywords in name/value pairs are just as good as in path (static v. dynamic URL’s)
  • Optimize dynamic URL’s – create patterns for crawlers to understand (category, article, sid): patterns allow Google to analyze variables
  • Rein in infinite spaces: e.g. uncover issues in CMS
  • Disallow actions Googlebot can’t perform (disallow shopping carts, contact forms, login pages)

Get Preferred URL’s Indexed

  • Set preferred domain in Google Webmaster Tools
  • Put canonical URL’s in Sitemap
  • Use rel=”canonical” tag
  • Get feedback in webmaster tools

Vaness “Cyberspace Visionary” Fox: Diagnosing Search Issues

Path to Improvement

  • Assess where your site is today
  • Identify problems
  • Root-cause analysis

Identify Problem

  • Big drop in traffic – limited use of rankings
  • Not getting traffic where you expect
  • Content in SERP’s does not look appealing
  • Customers have bad clickthrough experience

Make Sure It’s a Problem

  • Toolbar PageRank drop – not necessarily important unless coordinates with loss in traffic
  • Number of indexed pages drop – can be a good thing as long as important pages are being indexed
  • Indexation ratio change – look at the right metrics

Find the Cause

  • Traffic drop: ensure from search, ranking problem or indexing problem?
  • Indexing problem: whole site or just a few pages
  • Ranking problem: drop for all keywords or some, same pages as ranked before?
  • Flowchart shown (see Nine by Blue)

Diagnostics and Resources:

To do: submit an XML Sitemap by category and view your index statistics (total URL’s:indexed URL’s) – allows users to see where the issue exists

SERP display issues: look at your listings and ask would you click it

Findability issues: Superbowl Ad example – (Hyundai). People actually typed “edit your own” in Google where Hyundai’s microsite was not listed, leading to lost traffic.

What really matters: Accessibility > Discoverability > CONVERSIONS


Addressing duplicate content throughout sections of a site? Recommendation: Why? Extra click can be beneficial. Other option is to use CSS. Yahoo has a duplicate content tag as well.

No cache meta tags causing an issue? Recommendation: No cache meta tags should not cause an issue

Flash & SEO friendliness – serving humans and robots with different content? Recommendation: Why? Search engines cannot completely crawl Flash. Put everything around Flash in text – limit Flash content to moveable objects. Jane & Robot addresses Flash issues

4 thoughts on “On-Site Insight: Technical SEO Advice

  1. Thanks for the write-up, Mike. Although for the record–even though I live in Seattle and do appreciate the rain–I recommended reining in infinite spaces, not raining in them. 😉

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