Site Auditing and Panda Survival tips


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  • The “bot” sees the title tag as one of the key indicators of what the page is about – most heavily weighted element on the page First the most part, the title tag is what the “human” user will see in the search engine results page (toggle back to demonstrate)A unique title should be mandatory for every pageA few best practices:The ideal title should be no more than 80 characters as some search engines will cut off anything greater. Spaces are counted as characters. Stop words (i.e. “the”, “is”, “of”, “a”, “and”) and punctuation are ignored by spidersSpecial characters (© ™ ®) must use the character entity. Example ™ = &trade. Do not include HTML code in the title tag The title should be relevant to the content on the page. Target 2-3 keywords per pagePlacing irrelevant keywords or duplicate keywords (i.e. stuffing) in the title is poor practice and can be deemed as spam – this may negatively impact your ability to achieve high visibility within the search engine results pages
  • The Meta description gives the search engine “bot” more information about what the page is about.The “human” user will typically see this description on the search results pageThis description should be unique and relevant to the content on the pageThe max length of the Meta description tag is 325 characters – same rules apply regarding spaces, stop words and special charactersThe ideal description should be 2-3 sentences using the same targeted keywords (as used in the title) for the pageAlways use proper grammar and spellingTry and incorporate a “call to action” to incent the user to click on your listing
  • Most search engines have deprecated the importance of the Meta keywords tag because it has been abused for so long – SpamStill good to include targeted keywords – just in case – but no more than 3 per page. Works for Yahoo and MSN
  • the <h1> or header tag is another important on-page element that gives the search engine “bots” and visitors, more information about the theme of the page. Only 1 ,<h1> tag is allowed per pageDo not “stuff” the <h1> tag with keywords – use derivatives of the primary termsThe <h2> and <h3> tags can be used to provide additional context and support for the primary page themeThese tag recommendations will be applied in the template (h1 in the title box) with the 2009 public Web update 
  • The <img> tag, alternative (“alt”) text provides both visually impaired visitors and search engines “bots” with context about the web page. Not necessary for every graphic on the page, especially small images used for spacingGoogle’s design and content guidelines suggest “Make sure that image ALT tags…are descriptive and accurate.” Yahoo recommends “use ALT text for graphics as it's good page design to accommodate text browsers or visually impaired visitors, and it helps improve the text content of the page for search purposes." MSN's guidelines for successful indexing discourage "stuffing alt tags with irrelevant words in an attempt to increase a page's keyword density.”  Provide a clear and concise sentence for the image using relevant keywords that describe the picture. This becomes especially important if the image is also a link as it provides necessary context about the destination of the URL. Incorporate targeted keywords where appropriate. Again, “stuffing” the alt text with keywords is frowned upon
  • Be concise and use proper grammar/spelling – remember, you are writing for humans – people scan text – lists are a better choice and can help break up blocks of text. In terms of spelling/grammar – there has been some discussion that the search engines use the quality of the on page content, which could include spelling and grammar, in its algorithm – air on the safe side and always checkThe visible copy on a page provides both humans and search engine spiders the necessary context to understand what the page is about. Not having enough copy limits both audiences from obtaining this understanding and can negatively impact the page content’s ability to gain visibility within the search engine result pages.  The major search engines all state that copy should be written with the human visitor in mind. “Stuffing” a page with keywords intended to artificially boost the visibility of the content within the search engine results pages is manipulative and is viewed as such by the search engines. If discovered, this could result in the devaluing of the content and subsequent drop or removal of such content from their results.Where possible link to other pages or websites that support your content. Make sure to incorporate the targeted keywords in the link text (aka anchor text) to further improve the context of the content. See the Banner Health Public Web Linking Guidelines document for further information. Some additional best practices:Search engines favor websites where content is updated regularly and tend to crawl these sites more often. By visiting the site more often, there is a greater opportunity for the site’s content to be indexed. A site that does not update its content regularly will potentially get crawled less often and may have a more difficult time obtaining visibility for its content within the search engine results pages.  Care should be taken when placing copy within images as search engine spiders and those using text-based browsers are unable to “see” this copy. A balance must be achieved between design aesthetics, accessibility and visibility. Having a great looking page that isn’t accessible will cause problems with visibility within the results pages. When writing copy, consideration must always be given to both human and non-human visitors. Remember: updates are not reflected in the search engine’s index immediately – it may take a few days or even weeks or longer. It depends on the rate at which the site is being “crawled”. This information is available from the Online Services team.
  • Site Auditing and Panda Survival tips

    1. 1. SEO Auditing<br />Post Panda and Best Practices<br />Fionn Downhill<br />CEO, Elixir Interactive<br />@fionnd<br />6/16/2011<br />
    2. 2. What Happened?<br />
    3. 3. Back to Basics<br />What makes a page successful?<br />
    4. 4. On-Site Improvements<br />
    5. 5. Keyword Research<br />
    6. 6. HTML Title Tag<br /><ul><li> Most important optimization element
    7. 7. First thing users see
    8. 8. Should be unique for each page </li></li></ul><li>Meta Description<br /><ul><li> Provides search engines with context
    9. 9. Used in results page listings
    10. 10. Should be unique for each page </li></li></ul><li>Meta Keywords<br /><ul><li> Mostly deprecated tag
    11. 11. No more than 3 per page</li></li></ul><li>Header Tag - <H1><br /><ul><li>Reinforces theme of page
    12. 12. Provides additional context
    13. 13. Use keyword variations here</li></li></ul><li>ALT Text<br /><ul><li> Be descriptive and accurate of the image
    14. 14. Do not keyword stuff
    15. 15. Assists visually impaired users
    16. 16. Can provide additional context to the spiders</li></li></ul><li>Copy<br /><ul><li> Be concise and use proper grammar/spelling
    17. 17. Break up large chunks with lists
    18. 18. “Sprinkle” targeted keywords – no stuffing
    19. 19. Incorporate relevant links</li></li></ul><li>Site Auditing<br />
    20. 20. Auditing Basics<br /><ul><li>Robots.txt
    21. 21. XML Site Maps
    22. 22. CSS & JS
    23. 23. Meta Tags
    24. 24. HTML Syntax
    25. 25. SEO Optimization
    26. 26. Usability
    27. 27. Programming Issues
    28. 28. On Site Linking</li></li></ul><li>SEO Tools<br />
    29. 29.
    30. 30. Google WMT<br />
    31. 31. Google WMT<br />
    32. 32. Google WMT<br />
    33. 33. Bing -Tools for Webmasters<br /><ul><li>adCenter Keyword research tool
    34. 34. Plugin for Excel 2010
    35. 35. Video tutorials
    36. 36. Bing’s Webmaster Tools
    37. 37. Inbound links tracking
    38. 38. Integrated into Webmaster Tools account
    39. 39. Up to 20,000 inbounds/URL tracked
    40. 40. Shows external links to your site
    41. 41. Export all data
    42. 42. Bing Index Explorer
    43. 43. See what URLs we have in our index from your website
    44. 44. See Page Details
    45. 45. Discovery and crawl dates
    46. 46. Header responses
    47. 47. Number of external links pointing to page
    48. 48. Keywords and traffic to page
    49. 49. Average rank of page in SERPs
    50. 50. RecrawlURL request
    51. 51. Block cache and/or URL function
    52. 52. Export all data
    53. 53. Submit URL tool
    54. 54. Crawl Management
    55. 55. Manage query string parameter handling
    56. 56. IIS SEO Toolkit – integrated with IIS for Windows servers
    57. 57. Crawls your site, tells you what needs attention
    58. 58. Submit sitemaps directly to Bing via your account
    59. 59. Webmaster Tools and Features request forum
    60. 60. Tell us what you want and what we should revise
    61. 61. Paid Search Tools
    62. 62. Keyword research</li></ul>Microsoft Advertising Intelligence is a keyword research and optimization tool that operates seamlessly in Microsoft Office Excel 2010. It provides keyword expansion, research, pricing, KPI data and more<br /><ul><li>Desktop bid management</li></ul>Save time by managing your Microsoft adCenter campaigns in an easy-to-use desktop application. Work faster, edit and create campaigns with ease, get performance alerts and research new keywords<br /><ul><li>Bid management</li></ul>Atlas Search is a web-based tool that allows you to manage your pay-per-click bids and listings in the top-tier search engines and shopping portal sites, all in one place, with measurable results<br />
    63. 63. Bing-SEO Documentation<br />This five part series walks you through a detailed approach to performing an SEO review for any site.<br />Bing Webmaster Toolsalso offers deep content coverage on the following important topics and information related to our data.<br />Part 1Part 2 Part 3Part 4Part 5<br /><ul><li>Using Bing Webmaster Tools – overview
    64. 64. Webmaster Tools Data: Dashboard
    65. 65. Webmaster Tools Data: Crawl
    66. 66. Webmaster Tools Data: Index
    67. 67. Webmaster Tools Data: Traffic
    68. 68. Link Building
    69. 69. Removing or blocking a page from our index
    70. 70. Blocking content from Bing (robots.txt)
    71. 71. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guidance
    72. 72. Tell us how to handle URL parameters
    73. 73. Rich Snippets (
    74. 74. Tell Bing your Site's locale
    75. 75. Managing Canonicalization (duplicate content)
    76. 76. Using the <rel="nofollow"> tag
    77. 77. AJAX management for Webmasters
    78. 78. Managing redirects
    79. 79. 404 page management
    80. 80. Rich Media and Search
    81. 81. …and much more…</li></ul>This four part series helps you understand how to approach optimizing a large website.<br />Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4<br />Bing Webmaster Center FAQs <br />Guide to Using Bing Webmaster Tools<br />Link Building Overview<br />Keyword Research Guide<br />SEO Links and Guidance<br />
    82. 82. Linking Tools<br />
    83. 83. Were you “Pandalized”<br />
    84. 84. If you think you were fine before and you are not now, you have done something wrong or in Google’s view you have breached their guidelines. Get over it and start auditing.<br />
    85. 85. Panda-Case Study<br /><br />
    86. 86. <ul><li>Content on product pages pulled from publishers description
    87. 87. Traffic dropped 38%
    88. 88. Pages with pulled content all dropped
    89. 89. This was okay before not now</li></li></ul><li>
    90. 90.
    91. 91. Other Spam Signals <br />Check for:<br /><ul><li>Duplicate content from pages in your own site.
    92. 92. Oversaturating for keywords.
    93. 93. Excessive grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
    94. 94. Missing meta titles and descriptions.
    95. 95. Duplicate content from off-site (including checking whether off-site pages have duplicated your pages).
    96. 96. Poor user performance (time on site, bounce rate, etc.).
    97. 97. An excessively high “ad to content” ratio.
    98. 98. Read more:</li></li></ul><li>Key Take Away….<br />Before you worry about Panda you must audit your site first. <br />On Site SEO is vital to success<br />Do not forget Bing now 30% of traffic<br />Broaden your reach with digital assets<br />Google is great until it goes away, follow their rules or perish in their updates<br />Panda is an ongoing iteration of the Google algorithm to improve quality<br />
    99. 99. Thank You<br />SEO Auditing<br />Fionn Downhill<br />CEO, Elixir Interactive<br /><br />(602) 494-6326<br />@fionnd<br /><br />SEO Auditing<br />