SEO in Brief: Be Where Your Prospects Search For You

Google Keyword Tool is no longer available for public use; you can use Google Keyword Planner Instead. The new feature that all local businesses like about this new Google Planner is the ability to target by city, region or country. That is why we’ve decided to talk about local optimization more.

Local optimization is all about being where your prospects are. This means you should remember that a large portion of your potential clients search for products and companies in local directories. Modern local directories grew from old-school yellow pages and now have rather solid brands and budgets to get targeted traffic. They also do well in organic search. If you tried to get high rankings for a specific local term, you should understand why your business needs to be in as many local directories as possible.
Continue Reading >>

SEO in Brief: How to Remove URLs from Search Engine Indices

Q: I think my website was hit by the Google Panda update because of low quality articles we had. How can I remove the URLs from a search engine index?

First of all you can use the Noindex Metatag, which is understood by most search engines. To implement it, place the following code on the page you want to remove:

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

The Noindex Metatag prevents the page from being indexed. The page itself will still be crawled, though the search engines may visit it less often over time.

The following method of removing a web page may be better from the SEO point of view:
Continue Reading >>

SEO in Brief: How to Use Rel=Canonical Properly

We hope you use the rel=canonical tag to tell search engines what version of duplicate pages (eg. http://yoursite.com, www.yoursite.com) you prefer to be indexed. This tag is supported by all major search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo. However it’s sometimes rather tricky to configure this in a proper way. In this article we put together some good questions about rel=canonical, that have been asked by Web CEO users.

Should I use rel=canonical, if I have several product pages that differ only by a sentence or two (different colors and sizes)?

Yes, we think it’s appropriate to use a rel=canonical tag on very-near duplicate pages. For example, do this if you have several URLs with very similar products on them. However, you shouldn’t abuse this tag, because search engines may just ignore your tags.

Continue Reading >>

SEO in Brief: 301 vs. 404

We are often asked what a webmaster should do after unwanted pages are deleted; whether the URLs should be 404 or 301-redirected.

seo-friendlyredirects

First of all let’s understand what 404 and 301 redirects are.

A 404 Not Found means that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find anything matching the request. The web site hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link. A 404 error implies that the requested URL may be available again in the future, but not necessarily with the same content.
Continue Reading >>

SEO in Brief: Keyword Cannibalism

In lay terms “keyword cannibalism” is a situation where multiple pages are targeting the same keyword. Keyword cannibalism will not bring you a Google penalty, of course, but such a situation is not effective for bringing targeted traffic. When multiple pages target a keyword, it creates confusion for the search engines. You do not want to compete between your own pages when your real competitors are waiting for your rankings to fall.

Keyword cannibalism may also occur when social media pages gain rankings quicker than your website pages. Social media pages are often viewed as authoritative enough to replace your primary content in the search listings. Competing with your own social media profiles is not necessarily a bad situation to have.
Continue Reading >>