Information Architecture for SEO


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A look at the Information Architecture for SEO. A presention given by Naoise Osborne (NVI) at Search Engine Strategies, SES Toronto in June 9th 2009.

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Information Architecture for SEO

  1. 1. INTERACTIVE STRATEGY - 55, AV. MONT-ROYAL O., SUITE 999, MONTRÉAL (QC) H2T 2S6 T 514.524.7149 NVISOLUTIONS.COM Search Engine Optimization: Indexation and Link Juice
  2. 2. Indexation and Link Juice <ul><li>The Holistic SEO Recipe: </li></ul><ul><li>One Part Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>One Part Editorial </li></ul><ul><li>One Part Webmaster </li></ul><ul><li>One Part SEO education </li></ul>Don’t expect to find it in one person! Put together your best team worker from each group and have them ALL learn SEO then co-ordinate on its implementation. INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  3. 3. Marketing :: Keywords to Fuel Site Expansion INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  4. 4. Editorial :: Page and Link Placement INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  5. 5. Webmasters :: Link Tech, Sitemaps, Publishing, etc... INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  7. 7. What is it they all need to ‘get’? <ul><li>That search engines ‘crawl’ sites by following HTML and other links </li></ul><ul><li>That the quality and quantity of links pointing to a page = Link Popularity </li></ul><ul><li>Pages Need Link Popularity (or juice) to get indexed and rank </li></ul><ul><li>YOU get to control which pages on your site get indexed , and which ones get link juice . </li></ul><ul><li>A page being indexed by search engines is separate from that page’s ability to accumulate or pass on link juice. </li></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  8. 8. Link Juice and Indexation Cheat Sheet: INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM Tag/Command Indexation Link Juice Robots.txt (file in root of site) EG: Disallow: /news/pdf-copies/ Stops pages or directories from appearing in Search Engine indexes – (except ‘uncrawled references’ ) Pages ‘blocked’ by robots.txt can still accumulate and pass link-juice Block what you don’t want indexed: Session IDs / dupe URLs: Disallow: *partner=* Entire directories: Disallow: /news/pdf-copies/ Internal SERPs: Disallow: *car-search-query=* External affiliate links: Disallow: *GO.cgi* If excluded pages have external links, expect 'URL-only' listings: No title, snippet, size or cache. For no listing at all, allow bots & use Meta noindex On-Page Meta No-Index (<head> of page) EG: <meta name=“robots” content=“noindex”> Stops the page from appearing in Search Engine indexes entirely The page can still accumulate and pass link-juice You may want to use Meta Noindex if: you can’t alter your robots.txt, or if robots.txt standard is not flexible enough, or if you don’t want URL listings
  9. 9. Link Juice and Indexation Cheat Sheet: INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM Rel=nofollow (in an <a href> link) EG: <a href=“” rel=“nofollow”> Stops spiders from following a specific link. They don’t crawl or discover through nofollow links. Stops Link Juice from flowing through a specific link Can be used from one domain to another when a link does not imply trust. Lots of controversy recently on its use within a domain to ‘sculpt PR flow’ 301 Redirection (many types of implementation) EG: redirect /old/page.php /new_page.php [301, permanent] Spiders follow redirect and discover new pages  Search Engines transfer link juice from old pages to new pages If any URLs change, this is the best way to shift link juice from old to new. 301s are the only way to transfer link juice from one domain to another. Tag/Command Indexation Link Juice On-Page Meta No-follow (<head> of page) EG: <meta name=“robots” content=“nofollow”> Stops spiders from following the links on the page (which may still get indexed via other links) The pages can still accumulate link-juice (and rank), but can’t pass it on You may wish to nofollow an entire page like a list of paid sponsors.
  10. 10. Link Juice and Indexation Cheat Sheet: INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM Tag/Command Indexation Link Juice Canonicalization tag (<head> of page) EG: <canonical = “/proper/product/page.php“> Spiders go to referred page like a 301 redirect . Does not work across domains. Search Engines transfer link juice from variation pages to real page <ul><li>A new approach to both indexation control and link juice control </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by The Big Three: Google, Yahoo, MSN </li></ul><ul><li>May be cheaper than redoing your entire site from scratch, for now </li></ul><ul><li>May see faster results than redoing your entire site </li></ul><ul><li>May become a maintenance nightmare </li></ul><ul><li>Can turn out to be as or more complex than doing it right from scratch </li></ul>Javascript Link EG: <div onclick=&quot;document.location.href=''&quot;> Google tries to crawl and index if URL is easily to access – in onclick or href If crawlable, Google will try to pass link juice <ul><li>Before rel=nofollow, many SEOs used uncrawlable JS links for sculpting </li></ul><ul><li>May not carry as much weight, and should not be used as main navigation </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Two Free Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Central: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify Crawl problems (spider data over time!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find duplicate titles and meta descriptions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly identify 404 issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>List your pages by internal or external links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manage and find errors in sitemaps </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Test your robots.txt file against specific URLs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Basic domain canonicalization (www to non-www) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Xenu Link Sleuth: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find broken links (sort by status) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find duplicate title tags (sort by title) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find heavy pages (sort by size) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find pages too many click from home (sort by level) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find pages with too few internal links (sort by In links) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find images without ALT text (sort by type, scan title field) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Test non-canonical URLs (from a text file) and view status </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find outgoing links to broken pages or expired content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find bot traps (like open ended calendars) </li></ul></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  13. 13. <ul><li>Dos and Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define your IA and determine canonical URLs for hub pages across all major categories, with expansion ability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use breadcrumb style navigation – Put all new content in it! (EG: Home > Kitchen > Major Appliances > Stoves ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include relevant category-specific navigation at each level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make interlinking mandatory! I nclude in-content links to similar pages around the site, and give links from other pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep updated HTML and XML sitemaps for all new content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn all the ways to control indexation and link juice flow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Let the same content appear on more than one URL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just throw content up without linking to it, or linking from it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spread your link juice thin over pages don’t have unique content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leave open ended page scripts like calendars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t archive poorly without respect to your IA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Return server headers other than 404 for error pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think you can fix link juice distribution issues with robots.txt </li></ul></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  14. 14. Thank You! Keep up with NVI: Website - NVI Blog EN - NVI Blog FR - E-mail me: Follow me on Twitter @NaoiseOsborne INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM