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SEO Disaster Prevention & Recovery

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PubCon Las Vegas 2013 - Masters Training

PubCon Las Vegas 2013 - Masters Training

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  • pre & post release

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  • 1. SEO Disaster Prevention & Recovery PubCon Las Vegas 2013 – Masters Training - Allison Fabella
  • 2. INTRODUCTIONS  Allison Fabella (@alli12)  Director of SEO & Social Media – Primedia (RentPath)  Manager SEO & Social Media – Atlanta Journal-Constitution  Sr. SEO Manager – Primedia  Account Manager – Prominent Placement agency  And you are…?  Your name  Your company  Your role/position  What you hope to come away with from this session
  • 3. AGENDA 1. Introductions 6. Bio Break 2. Goals 7. 3. Case study DEFCON 2: Pre- and postdevelopment release  + Breakout 4. Danger lurking in your organization  + Breakout 8. Disaster recovery  + Breakout 5. Plugging SEO holes in your organization  + Breakout 9. SEO horror stories 10. Discussion / Q & A 6. Disaster prevention processes  + Breakout
  • 4. GOALS 1. Know how do identify areas within your organization that may be SEO killers 2. Arm yourself with a process to ensure successful SEO initiatives from inception to completion 3. Be prepared with an action plan to quickly recover if “the worst” happens anyway
  • 5. CASE STUDY
  • 6. THE FALL
  • 7. ACTIONS  Diagnostic site audit  Focus on release dates  Reviewed Google WMT  Reviewed backlinks  Reviewed SEO initiatives  Compared to Panda & Penguin updates  Reviewed Product & Dev initiatives  Asked questions
  • 8. THE RECOVERY
  • 9. LEARNINGS  No one smoking gun. Just a series of development mistakes, residual spammy SEO tactics, etc.  Contributors were:  Poor communication around a major platform change  Overall poor/thin quality content  Dupe titles & meta descriptions  Malformed canonicals  Bad URLs pulled into XML sitemap and fed to Google  Accidental global NOINDEX
  • 10. QUESTION: What else could have been done?
  • 11. SECTION 1 Danger lurking in your organization
  • 12. THINGS THAT CAN MESS YOU UP  Other departments’ initiatives  Infrastructure changes  Product  Taking servers offline  Development  Data center changes  Design  Content  Ad sales  Development releases  Development initiatives  Code changes  Platform changes  CMS changes
  • 13. BREAK OUT - 1 1. Where does danger lurk in your organization 2. What can trip you up? 3. Who are the usual suspects?
  • 14. SECTION 2 Plugging SEO holes in your organization
  • 15. DOCUMENTATION + COMMUNICATION  Document primary SEO directives  Distribute to development, product, and QA  Discuss with stake holders  Document primary SEO do’s and don’t’s  Distribute to dev, product, QA, content, design  Discuss with stake holders  Document primary SEO touch points  Planning, requirements, wireframes, architecture, QA...  Discuss with stake holders  Document status updates  cc all stakeholders
  • 16. PAGE TYPES + DIRECTIVES
  • 17. CHECKLISTS  For development  For QA  For Content  SEO  Recommended reading:  Checklist Manifesto  Atul Gawande
  • 18. DEV CHECKLIST
  • 19. QA CHECKLIST
  • 20. BREAK OUT - 2 1. What can you do to plug the SEO holes in your organization?
  • 21. SECTION 3 Disaster-prevention processes
  • 22. PROCESSES  Daily / weekly meetings & check-ins  Clearly defined roles and responsibilities  Including when in the process actions to be taken  SEO task list  Starting or restarting your organization’s commitment to SEO
  • 23. DAILY / WEEKLY  Attend daily stand-ups (or equivalent)  Create SEO task list with SEO team for status & additions  Review weekly  Hold weekly SEO meetings  Include all stakeholders  Development, Product, Infra, C-Suite (at least send them an invite)  The higher up the food-chain, the better  Review  Current initiatives & their status  Completed initiatives  Roadblocks  Successes (everyone loves a graph)
  • 24. ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
  • 25. SEO TASK LIST
  • 26. SEO KICK-OFF OR RE-SET SUMMIT  Make it a big deal  One to two days  Serve food!  Review all current initiatives  Discuss roadblocks  Invite ALL stakeholders  Dev, Product, Content, Infra, Desi gn,  Invite these depts’ supervisors tool  Create an SEO “wish list”  Ask top exec to kickoff  End summit with an action plan  Assign roles & responsibilities  Sets the tone  Adds importance  Blue sky  No ideas are bad  Put follow-up meeting on calendar by Summit’s end  Get stakeholder agreement on attendance
  • 27. SEO KICK-OFF OR RE-SET SUMMIT  Make it a big deal  One to two days  Serve food  Invite ALL stakeholders  Dev, Product, Content, Infra, Design,  And their supervisors/team leaders too  Mandatory attendance (if possible)  Ask top brass to kickoff  As high up food chain as possible  Sets the tone  Adds importance  Review all current initiatives  Discuss roadblocks  Discuss solutions  Brainstorm an SEO “wish list”  Blue sky  No ideas are bad  End summit with an action plan  Assign roles & responsibilities  Put follow-up meeting on calendar by Summit’s end  Get stakeholder commitment to attend
  • 28. BREAK OUT - 3 1. Document your own SEO process 2. Define/assign roles & responsibilities
  • 29. SECTION 4 DEFCON 2: Pre & post- development release
  • 30. PRE-FLIGHT CHECK  Document current meta robots  SEO team, dev team, and QA should all have this documentation  Document current title tags, meta descriptions, canonicals, h-tags, size count, word count, robots.txt, etc.  Run a crawl test in QA or staging environment  Ideally via an internal spider  Screaming Frog will do  Check current and QA/staging directives for changes
  • 31. CRAWL TEST: CURRENT IN PROD
  • 32. CRAWL TEST: IN QA / STAGING
  • 33. POST-FLIGHT CHECK  Immediately after release run crawl test again  This time in production  Review each SEO “story” for proper execution per requirements
  • 34. CRAWL TEST: PRE-RELASE IN PROD
  • 35. CRAWL TEST: POST-RELASE IN PROD
  • 36. BREAK OUT - 4 1. Where are the holes in your organization? 2. What can you do to plug them up?
  • 37. SECTION 5 Disaster recovery: If the worst happens
  • 38. INTO ACTION 1. Identify date(s) of when things went wrong  Was it a sudden drop or slow decline?  Sudden drop could indicate site blockage or search engine manual action  Slow decline could indicate multiple issues that need to be identified, prioritized, and fixed 2. SEO Disaster Checklist 3. Recovery
  • 39. DISASTER CHECKLIST  Analytics diagnostics dashboard  Already set up & ready to go  Don’t wait to set up when disaster strikes. You need to be ready to act.  Review developer logs  Review past releases  SEO, Product, Dev, Etc.  HTTP status codes  Server issues  Robots.txt  Meta robots  Inadvertent NOINDEX?  Bad redirects  Review Google WMT  Manual actions  Crawl errors  Indexing changes  Broken/malformed sitemaps  Malformed canonicals  Review backlinks  Any big changes?  Any “bad” links?  Past link farming impact?  Is negative SEO as possibility?  Panda & Penguin correlations
  • 40. SEO DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS  Webmaster Tools*  Google analytics*  SearchMetrics  Adobe Site Catalyst  Moz*  Frobee Robots.txt Checker*  SEMRush  Chartelligence*  Majestic SEO  Screaming Frog / Xenu Link Sleuth  Internet Marketing Ninjas*  Link Detox (Link Research Tools)  *Free or free version available  Rex Swain HTTP Checker*  Favorites to add???
  • 41. GETTING BACK ON TRACK  Prioritize fixes  Biggest bang for the buck  If manual action required  Be contrite and grovel for forgiveness from engines  Even if it’s not your fault  Manage expectations with management around recovery time  It often takes a lot longer to get out of trouble than into it
  • 42. AFTER THE STORM  Document the issue in great detail  Document the fix in great detail  Share this info with stakeholders  But don’t throw anyone under the bus  Keep this info on file FOREVER!  How long?.... FOREVER!!!
  • 43. BREAK OUT - 5 1. What other diagnostics can you check? 2. What are your favorite diagnostic tools?
  • 44. SECTION 6 SEO horror stories
  • 45. BREAK OUT - 6 1. Share your favorite SEO horror story • What would you have done differently? • What would you have done instead? 2. Or tell about “a friend’s” SEO horror story
  • 46. WHAT ELSE? Questions? Thoughts? insights?
  • 47. THANK YOU. Allison Fabella afabella@rentpath.com @alli12