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Stop best practicing, start doing - Stephen Kenwright at #SearchLeeds 2016



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Director of Search Stephen Kenwright spoke at our first #SearchLeeds conference about why SEO best practice isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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Stop best practicing, start doing - Stephen Kenwright at #SearchLeeds 2016

  1. 1. Stopbestpracticing StephenKenwright @stekenwright @Branded_3
  2. 2. Not true Also not true
  3. 3. Issue Issue Frequency The page contains broken hyperlinks. 83,539 The page contains invalid markup. 74,462 The page contains unnecessary redirects. 63,756 The link text is not relevant. 43,457 The page contains a large amount of script code. 21,536 The title is too long. 7,158 The description is missing. 6,613 The URL for the hyperlink is broken. 6,509 The title begins with a brand name. 6,495 The <img> tag does not have an ALT attribute defined. 2,551 The request is disallowed by a Robots.txt rule. 257 The <h1> tag is missing. 246 The page contains a large number of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) definitions. 212 The canonical URL is broken. 172 The page was excluded by a noindex attribute. 126 The canonical URL is linking to a resource that permanently moved. 6 The page contains multiple canonical formats. 6 The page contains multiple title tags. 5 The page contains too many hyperlinks. 5 The description is too long. 4 The description begins with a brand name. 2 The page contains multiple <h1> tags. 2 An unexpected error has occurred. 1 The description is empty. 1 The redirection response results in another redirection. 1 317,122 Prioritise “The average SEO at a big company has been waiting over six months for their highest priority technical change. 40%+ have been waiting over a year.”
  4. 4. Where does best practice come from?
  5. 5. Accidently implements 302 redirects Changes title tags
  6. 6. Migrates subdomain
  7. 7. vs.
  8. 8. Should you spend time on link removals?
  9. 9. Best practice changes with the web
  10. 10. JavaScript Googlebot follows JavaScript redirects Googlebot follows JavaScript links JS taking more than 3-4 seconds to render or not rendering until an event is fired does not get indexed
  11. 11. When Google says “we got this”
  12. 12. Unblocking CSS + JS for a Panda recovery “We recommend making sure Googlebot can access any embedded resource that meaningfully contributes to your site’s visibility or its layout.”
  13. 13. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
  14. 14. eBay + AMP eBay (and Google) are working on… Smart buttons like “Add to Cart” and “Buy It Now” with authentication support Input elements like search boxes and checkboxes Advanced tracking. A/B testing
  15. 15. Add lead capture forms to AMP Add the AMP iframe extended component to your <head> <script async custom-element="amp-iframe" src=""></script> Add an AMP iframe tag to the body at least 600px / 75% of first viewport from the top + add some values to the sandbox attribute of the iframe e.g. sandbox="allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-popups-to-escape- sandbox allow-forms" List of attributes:
  16. 16. Read this: carousel Get started with AMP Download this:
  17. 17. Local search
  18. 18. 50% of local searchers end up in store within a day Search Engine Land
  19. 19. Local search at scale Invest in a Location Management Platform (LMP) like 1. Update store data simultaneously across locations 2. Post content to all Facebook Locations / Google My Business pages simultaneously 3. Create store locator pages on-site / in-app with minimal input from developers
  20. 20. Find new ways to use old things
  21. 21. Paid search
  22. 22. Awkward 2.7m views 120k shares 6k tweets
  23. 23. Best practice = why, not how
  24. 24. Thin content
  25. 25. Video content
  26. 26. Subheadings
  27. 27. Internal links
  28. 28. Images
  29. 29. CTA
  30. 30. GOV.UK Content length: 5,815 Links to page: 34 Ranking: 1 Questions answered: 1 When do the clocks go back? The Mirror Content length: 36,246 Links to page: 8,663 Ranking: 4 Questions answered: 0
  31. 31. Get started with a blog Set up a site using 1. Add a CNAME record through your domain registrar 2. Go to and click ‘Add Domain’ and then ‘Make Primary’
  32. 32. Install Google Analytics
  33. 33. I'm not interested in stories about the past or any crap of that kind because the woods are burning, you understand? There's a big blaze going on all around.
  34. 34. Thanks @stekenwright