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BrightonSEO - Indexation, Cannibalization, Experimentation, Oh My!


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In this talk I go through how to use indexation & cannibalization analysis to improve search results through the telling of two customer stories. Also, I speak about different ways you can experiment to make the processes move faster and adapt to changing user behaviors.

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BrightonSEO - Indexation, Cannibalization, Experimentation, Oh My!

  1. 1. PatrickReinhart @askreinhart Conductor Indexation, Cannibalization, Experimentation, Oh My!
  2. 2. + Indexation (A.k.a, wait a minute, Is It Indexing?)
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  4. 4. +
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  6. 6. + • Meet Brian. • Works at a major shoe retailer with both brick and mortar stores and a large online presence. • Site was losing traffic and revenue YoY. • No one knows why. Something’s Afoot
  7. 7. + Something’s Afoot Do we need to rebuild this thing? Not a great mobile experience. There are a ton of technical issues. There’s not a lot of content on the site.
  8. 8. + A-Ha Moment! One thing I didn’t mention is that we have 45 Million URLs in the index, and the site only has about 12 thousand. WHAT?!?
  9. 9. + Real Problem • Massive Index Bloat. • Google can’t get to the important pages because it can’t get through all of the junk. • Next Step: What’s junk and what’s not?
  10. 10. + Let’s Dig In! Main Culprits Search Pages Faceted Nav Pages Duplicate Pages Paginated Pages No Canonicals or Rel=Prev / Rel=Next Tags Other Issues Search engines just couldn’t get to the real pages often / ever because there was too much junk. Uh Oh!
  11. 11. + Solution 9/26/2018 12+ We’re just gonna block everything.
  12. 12. + Holy $#!+ Moment
  13. 13. + Takeaways• If you have 45 million URLs indexed and only have 12,000 pages on your site, something is probably wrong. • Small technical changes can have a big impact. • Use your robots file to definitively block and de-index pages. • Sometimes it’s best to just flip the switch (though I would still do things like this in phases).
  14. 14. + Cannibalization A.k.a Your Site Is Competing With Itself
  15. 15. + • Meet Vikas. • Owns a large ecommerce site that sells cables. • Site was slow growing YoY in both traffic and revenue even with optimization efforts. • He couldn’t figure out why. Not Connecting
  16. 16. + I HAVE SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS AND NOTHING HAS WORKED!! Not Connecting Ok, walk me through everything you have done up to this point.
  17. 17. + Connection Made! Hmm, let’s see… We optimized thousands of title tags Updated meta descriptions too We also did a lot of heading tags Fixed broken redirects Added compression to our images Added Romance copy to the product pages Wrote a TON of blog articles Fixed broken internal links Did some link building Wrote a TON of blog articles Mixed up templates for the different size & color product pages Switched to secure
  18. 18. + xxxx Different Color Different Color Different Size Different Size Different Size
  19. 19. + Both Are Cat6 Outdoor Waterproof Shielded Direct Burial Ethernet Cables 2 Pages For 2 Different Sizes
  20. 20. + Both Are 5e Plenum Cables 2 Pages For 2 Different Colors
  21. 21. + There are thousands of these pages competing with one another.
  22. 22. + (What I Wanted To Be) The Plan • Update product template to combine all color / size pages using dropdowns instead of separate pages. • Redirect all color / size pages to main product pages to combine equity. • Add more content to main product templates. • Block search result pages.
  23. 23. + (What I Wanted To Be) The Plan
  24. 24. + (What I Wanted To Be) The Plan
  25. 25. + (What I Wanted To Be) The Plan
  26. 26. + (What I Wanted To Be) The Plan
  27. 27. + (What I Wanted To Be) The Plan
  28. 28. + What We Actually Did
  29. 29. + Slowly But Surely 9/26/2018 30+
  30. 30. + Takeaways • Competing with yourself is beating yourself. • There’s nothing wrong with a safer, phased approach. • Sometimes you have to alter your plan (even though you know it’s going to work!) to align with your customers comfort level. • You should have a somewhat automated way of checking for cannibalization as your site grows and changes.
  31. 31. + Experimentation A.k.a Stop Doing Things The Way You Have Always Done Them
  32. 32. + This Took Too Long l • Weeks were spent pulling this data by several people, this was NOT efficient. • We needed to think more at scale, not project to project. • Needed to experiment and come up with a new process, one that was universally accessible to the team. Don’t Want To Be This Guy Again
  33. 33. + The Ask Guys, pulling all that data manually sucked, can we figure out a better way to do this?
  34. 34. + How can we make pulling data like this easier and more accessible to everyone? The (Other) Ask
  35. 35. + Working It Out There’s not a lot of content on the site. Let’s do it in Excel!
  36. 36. + Working It Out
  37. 37. + Working It Out There’s not a lot of content on the site. Let’s try it in Searchlight!
  38. 38. + Working It Out
  39. 39. + BOOM!
  40. 40. + Results
  41. 41. + Results
  42. 42. + Taking It A Step Cooler
  43. 43. + We Got Excited!
  44. 44. + AMP
  45. 45. + PWA’s
  46. 46. + Thank You! 9/26/2018 47+