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How to Mess Up Your Technical SEO

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Slides from my talk at Learn Inbound in October 2016 about technical SEO mishaps and mistakes.

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How to Mess Up Your Technical SEO

  1. 1. @badams How To Fuck Up Your Technical SEO Barry Adams 19 October 2016
  2. 2. @badams Barry Adams • Doing SEO since 1998 • Founder of Polemic Digital • Co-Chief at State of Digital
  3. 3. @badams Why Technical SEO?
  4. 4. @badams Three Components of Successful Websites Aesthetics Usability Performance Digital MarketingUXWeb Design
  5. 5. @badams Technical SEO 1. … is the remit of digital marketing 2. … needs web developer input 3. … should be built-in from the start  Which is why it goes wrong so often!
  6. 6. @badams Fuck-up #1: URL Duplication
  7. 7. @badams URL Duplication 1. http://www.website.com/page 2. http://www.website.com/page/ 3. http://website.com/page 4. http://website.com/page/ 5. https://www.website.com/page 6. https://www.website.com/page/ 7. https://website.com/page 8. https://website.com/page/
  8. 8. @badams URL Duplication Errors: • Trailing slashes • With & without www-subdomain • HTTP and HTTPS • index.php / default.aspx
  9. 9. @badams Solving URL Duplication • One piece of content should have one URL • Use 301-redirects for:  Trailing slashes  www-subdomains  HTTP & HTTPS • Use ‘rel=canonical’ tag to catch everything else
  10. 10. @badams DeepCrawl
  11. 11. @badams Fuck-up #2: Crawl Traps
  12. 12. @badams
  13. 13. @badams Faceted Navigation • 12 types of shoes • 30 brands • 20 sizes
  14. 14. @badams Faceted Navigation • 12 types of shoes • 30 brands • 20 sizes 7200 different filter options
  15. 15. @badams
  16. 16. @badams Faceted Navigation • 12 types of shoes • 30 brands • 20 sizes 7200 x 100 = 720,000 7200 different sorting options
  17. 17. @badams
  18. 18. @badams Faceted Navigation • 12 types of shoes • 30 brands • 20 sizes 7200 x 100 = 720,000 x 11 = 7,920,000 7200 different filter options
  19. 19. @badams Faceted Navigation • 12 types of shoes • 30 brands • 20 sizes 7200 x 100 = 720,000 x 11 = 7,920,000 Almost 8 MILLION pages for Google to crawl?!?!? 7200 different filter options
  20. 20. @badams
  21. 21. @badams Solving Faceted Navigation Crawl Traps • Identify the URL patterns for each facet & sorting filter • Block these in your robots.txt file: User-agent: * Disallow: /*size= • Use pagination meta tags
  22. 22. @badams DeepCrawl
  23. 23. @badams Fuck-up #3: Internal Redirects
  24. 24. @badams http://www.website.com/oldpage/ 301 – redirect https://www.website.com/newpage/ Good Redirect
  25. 25. @badams http://www.website.com/oldpage/ 301 – redirect http://www.website.com/newpage/ 301 – redirect https://www.website.com/newpage/ Bad Redirect
  26. 26. @badams http://www.website.com/oldpage/ 302 – redirect https://www.website.com/oldpage/ 301 – redirect http://www.website.com/newpage/ 301 – redirect https://www.website.com/newpage/ Worse Redirect
  27. 27. @badams http://www.website.com/oldpage 302 – redirect http://www.website.com/oldpage/ 301 – redirect https://www.website.com/oldpage 302 – redirect https://www.website.com/oldpage/ 301 – redirect http://www.website.com/newpage 302 – redirect http://www.website.com/newpage/ 301 – redirect https://www.website.com/newpage 302 – redirect https://www.website.com/newpage/ Clusterfuck Redirect
  28. 28. @badams Solving Redirect Chains • Every redirect loses some link value • Search engines stop crawling redirect chains after 3 / 4 hops • Revisit old websites & domains and update historic redirects • Audit your website to find & fix internal redirects
  29. 29. @badams DeepCrawl
  30. 30. @badams Fuck-up #4: Load Speed
  31. 31. @badams Load Speed & SEO • Crawl Budget = the maximum amount of time a search engine spider will spend crawling your website before it gives up. • Fast Load Speed = optimal use of crawl budget
  32. 32. @badams WebPagetest.org • 2.8 seconds to DOM content • 4.2 seconds to fully complete
  33. 33. @badams • 16 seconds to DOM content • 22 seconds to fully complete
  34. 34. @badams Optimising Load Speed • Time to First Byte  Server Upgrade & Server-Side Caching • Total page weight  Minify code  Optimise images  Reduce external JS and CSS files  Enable compression • Optimal Transfer Use a Content Delivery Network
  35. 35. @badams Fuck-up #5: Automatic Country Redirect
  36. 36. @badams Internationalsite.com http://www.internationalsite.com …/en-ie/ 302 redirect http://www.internationalsite.com …/en-us/ 302 redirect
  37. 37. @badams Internationalsite.com http://www.internationalsite.com …/en-us/ 302 redirect
  38. 38. @badams Inevitable End Result… • Google can only crawl the US-website;  It never crawls the Irish website  It can’t index & rank what it can’t crawl
  39. 39. @badams Automatic Country Redirect Solution • Make an exception for ‘Googlebot’ user-agents https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1061943?hl=en
  40. 40. @badams Loads More Potential Fuck-ups… • XML Sitemaps • ‘rel=canonical’ meta tags • JavaScript-enabled content • ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute • 404 pages • Structured Data • Internal Site Search Pages • ‘hreflang’ meta tags • …
  41. 41. @badams Thank You Follow me on Twitter: @badams Email me your questions: barry@polemicdigital.com

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