Category: SEO

Increase Keyword Rank Without Any Link Building

Can You Increase Keyword Rank Without Any Link Building?

The short answer is yes. But you probably want a few more details than that.

First, let’s define what we mean by “rank of a keyword” or “keyword rank”. Personally, I prefer to use the terms “query” and “positioning”, though keywords and rank are subtexts for these two more comprehensive definitions.

The distinction is subtle, but important.

Rank infers that there is a position everyone sees and that position is absolute, which isn’t how Google works anymore.

Positioning refers to where a site is placed in the page relative to subtle modifiers Google uses like geolocation, presence of local items like a map pack, and user personalization. You can use rank when talking about a specific SERP, but it is a subset of the concept of positioning.

The term “query” is definitionally broader as well.

A keyword was a more accurate depiction before Google moved from “strings to things.” By using the term query we are looking at the keyword as part of a variation of terms surrounding that primary term, which also often takes the form of a question.

Whereas keyword is specific to exactly what you entered in the search box and without stop words (the, if, these etc.) or modifiers, query takes these into account.

query

In fact, Google will even return results for words that are not part of your query term, but are a close variant, so keyword is a bit too specific to be accurate.

Query is a better representation of how Google is working with language these days, though you will have keywords inside a query.

Gary Illyes tweet

So What About Query Positioning? (Keyword Rank)

Do you have to have links?

We should be clear, a site needs links.

We are all probably aware that Google says you can rank without links and while that is not impossible, to maintain positioning in a moderately competitive query to a competitive one, you are going to need links.

How you acquire those links is a matter of what strategies or tactics you use, but links are a must.

However, the question is can you increase positioning without those links? And the answer is yes, yes you can, in many ways.

How Can You Increase Positioning Without Links?

A site has a set of internal ratings given by Google made up of hundreds (possibly rumored to be thousands) of ranking factors, so improvements across other signals (outside of links) can be very impactful on a site’s position.

So what specifically are some of the things you can work on to improve that value and therefore improve your positioning?

1. Site Crawl & Indexing Improvements

Ask yourself:

  • Is Google able to crawl your pages well?
  • Are there any spider traps or redirect loops?
  • How are your canonicals working?
  • Are you creating roadblocks that might chase Google off your site?

Use a tool like Screaming Frog and see how well your site is being crawled and make sure that you check it with the mobile user agent.

Even if you have not moved to mobile-first indexing yet, you will soon and it is important you know how your site is being crawled.

2. Schema

While schema is not a direct ranking factor it is part of how pages end up in certain featured snippets, so you will want to review schema and find the ones best for you and your site.

Google prefers you use the JSON-LD version. Keep in mind that nothing should appear in the content of the schema that differs from what is in the page. Google considers that cloaking and your site will likely receive a manual action.

3. Page Speed Improvements

Page speed is a ranking factor according to Google. While some factors we can only rely on experience to tell us it works, page speed is one Google has told us exists.

Now, they will say that it is merely a tiebreaker. This means when Google goes to retrieve documents to fill a search result request and all things are equal, the site with the better page speed will be the factor Google uses to decide which one will show up first.

What Google does not tell you is that, yes, it is merely a tiebreaker when your page speed signals are already good. But if you have a very slow site, fixing that issue can lead to increases over 100% or more when it comes to traffic.

4. Content Relevancy & On-Page Optimization

Content relevancy starts with the title tag. If you want to be found for a query, the title tag is still one of the best places to add it.

Use your main terms in the query and keep important words to the left (for LTR languages, right for RTL languages).

While Google uses pixel width for determining how long that tag should be, if you keep the words under 60 characters with spaces you should fit the space allotted in the SERPs almost 100% of the time without triggering the dreaded “…”.

Next, you will want to make sure you have optimized the items on the page. These would be:

H1 tag

First Paragraph

Alt Attributes in Images

Captions Around the Image

Content

5. AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) by themselves won’t help with ranking, but they are required for certain page placements.

For example, if you want to be in the news carousel, aside from being in the Google News program, you have to have AMP pages or you cannot show up there. This is also true for AMP stories. So simply by using AMP, you can get into the top of page placements that were not open to you before.

Yes, You Can Increase Keyword Rank Without Any Link Building

These are not the only things you can do to increase your page visibility, but these are some of the more impactful changes you can make to your site to increase your positioning without creating links to those pages.

Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/increase-keyword-rank-without-link-building/321727/#close

 

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Forensic SEO

What Is Forensic SEO?

One of the core areas of SEO services over the last 10+ years has been forensic SEO.

drop that term all the time in various conversations, groups, interviews like it’s something that everyone knows about.

Apparently, not so much.This is about how those I know that specialize in it, view forensic SEO.

 

Forensic SEO: The Basics

To start with I’m not even sure where the term came from, but I started using it maybe 10+ years ago.

Essentially, it’s a form of (SEO) audit that isn’t about optimizing. It’s more about dealing with a site that has lost visibility.

It could be a straight-up manual action.

It could be a dampening effect (think: Penguin/Panda back in the day).

It could be on-site issues.

And many times, it’s a combination of things.

I like to teach folks/clients that it’s often about the “Sherlock Holmes School of SEO”

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

As such, when we’re doing forensic SEO we really do want to cover all the bases and look into areas such as:

  • Data assessment (Analytics, Search Console, etc.)
  • Recent and past SEO changes to the site
  • Accessing developer changelogs (changes to the site)
  • Look at hosting (server) changes (updating tech, etc.)
  • External factors (link building, etc.)
  • Known changes to Google’s algorithms
  • Market segment evolution
  • Negative SEO (malicious actions by others)
  • Site integrity (has it been hacked?)

And there’s always room for more. It’s somewhat situational.

But the main thing is that when one approaches lost visibility, never be myopic.

Look under every stone and never have a biased or preconceived mindset when you get started.

As I touched on above, it’s often a combination of elements. If you approach things with an existing hypothesis, you’re very likely to miss pieces of the puzzle that will gift insight into the overall issues.

The good news is that if you’re thorough and comprehensive about the process, you’ll inevitably find unrelated issues that can be turned into opportunities.

Types of visibility loss

The Process

We really can’t get into the specifics of the approach. Or I’d be writing a book here, not an article.

Maybe if there’s some interest, I’ll work on something more detailed in the future (hit me up in the comments on that… thanks!). But lets at least work out some basic details.

The obvious starting point in most cases will be the client. They’ve brought you in for a given reason. That onboarding meeting makes for a good starting point.

If you’re in-house/agency, then you have a good sense of where to start as well.

If it’s a manual action? Oddly, that’s even better as you have clues and a good recourse (reinclusion request).

But again, this is just a starting point. Now we have to remove ourselves from the situation. Start to dig through the potential offenders as per the points mentioned earlier. Isolate each area and make notes.

Some important considerations include:

Data

Getting the timelines for visibility loss is a no-brainer. That being said, dig back as far as possible historically, because there may be past demons that a short temporal analysis might miss.

Knee Jerk

Often times management, in their panic, will have implemented some potential fixes. This is often done with little or no consideration of the effects.

Make sure you address these in the onboarding. It’s a separate consideration from the original problem.

Lack of Data

Like a doctor that has no patient records, you will often be faced with a lack of data.

If that’s web developer changelogs, SEO activity records (and dates), annotated analytics, etc… it’s a very common obstacle. Some of your process is going to involve instincts.

By the end of the process, you should at the very least, have some solid leads on what the issues are.

Working on Recovery

But identifying the issues isn’t where it ends. The next part is recovery.

Manual actions are reasonably straightforward. You know what the problem is, you just need to fully correct them and work on the reconsideration request.

While they’re scary and can potentially have long term effects (loss of trust, etc.), at least we have a solid starting point.

The rest? Not so much.

We’re going to have to cover as much ground as possible with the data and information at hand.

Those that are struggling financially with lost traffic often have a knee jerk reaction and start plugging away at multiple elements. That won’t work.

You have to actually implement one fix at a time and let it percolate.

This is because one “fix” might have a positive effect, while another has a negative one. As such, it would show a relative net effect of 0.

As tough as it is, we must get the client/webmaster to buy-in to the process for recovery.

What Is Forensic SEO?

Recovery Buy-in

This, much like an audit, can be the hardest part.

There’s often a ton of resistance to the recommendations which can vary from financial, convolution and even egos.

And while you can stand by your assertions and convictions, you may still run out of runway.

I would have to say that in many situations I’ve been in, the adoption of the recommendations and the metered approach isn’t fully realized. That’s the sad truth.

When doing forensic SEO work, focus on the job at hand.

Focus on the health of the site. Listen to the data and info at hand. That’s about all you can do.

Regardless of the possible push-back or the whacky client theories, just clear your mind and find the truth.

And there we have it… if you wanted to the basics of forensic SEO, you got it. Below is just a bit of insight I wanted to add to the conversation… but not mandatory reading for the piece.

On a Personal Note…

All of this brings me to the hardest part, on a personal note; The pain.

I used to do pretty much full-time forensic SEO. I had to give it up on a full-time basis. Each and every person that comes to you is suffering.

I’ve heard stories of people at risk of losing their business, their life savings, kids college fund and more. It’s not a great way to make a living (specializing in forensic SEO).

In fact, the pressure became too much and I often had poor health and sleep habits (couldn’t stop thinking about a given situation). I still work in this area, but not full time. It was just too much.

Which brings me back around to my passion for the industry. Our everyday SEO actions have repercussions. We have a responsibility that can have real-world effects.

People lose jobs and the ability to feed their family. I get very pissed off at crap-hat SEO. I go off constantly on those types in various groups (Facebook, etc.) and peeps know me for that… I don’t stand for garbage SEO.

More Resources:

Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-is-forensic-seo/326595/


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Ecommerce Websites SEO – 2019

A Guide to On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Websites

 

Ecommerce Websites SEO – On-page SEO can help your ecommerce website rank higher, engage users, drive more traffic, and convert more leads.

People typically start their product research with a search (usually on Google).

To make an informed buying decision, they usually:

  • Compare prices and features.
  • Read reviews.
  • Search for tips and advice.

If your website isn’t visible when people are searching for the products you sell, you’re losing out on potential customers and profits.

Let’s examine some of the most significant concepts for improving on-page SEO and winning valuable organic traffic.

 

Keyword Research & Optimization

 

If you want people to find you, you have to use the right words.

If you want greater visibility in search engines, you have to use the right words.

Notice a pattern there?

You must optimize for both people and search engines.

You can choose from many useful keyword research tools.

For example, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer provides keyword suggestions for any business niche or search engine. You can monitor and manage the metrics that reflect how efficiently your keywords match user queries.

Some other free keyword research tools include Google Trends, Keyword Shitter, Google Correlate, Wordtracker Scout, and Google Search Console.

Here are a few tips on how to use the keywords you find:

  • Place the most important keywords in page titles, headers, subheaders, paragraph copy, product descriptions, image file names and alt text, meta title and description, and URLs. Use different variations.
  • Put all details (shipping costs, user reviews, return policy) on the product page. If the customer has to leave the page to look for extra information, they are more likely to leave the website altogether.

A Guide to On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Websites

  • Provide users with real value by writing a helpful copy. Avoid unnecessary keyword stuffing, which can appear suspicious to Google.
  • Update your seasonal sales in a timely manner. Don’t disappoint your customers.

    Content

    Product Pages

    Remember that people, not Google, buy your services and products, so it is vital to optimizing your ecommerce pages to satisfy users’ intentions.

    Start by evaluating your competitors’ websites. Your analysis can shed some light on which factors are worthy of attention. Look for:

    • Multilingual websites.
    • Specific colors used in product page designs.
    • Characteristics of services/products.
    • The number and the appearance of calls to action, or CTAs.

    To improve your on-page SEO, consider removing unavailable products from your index. When left in indexing for an extended period of time, these pages can eventually hurt your ranking.

    You can arrange your work in the following manner:

    • Compare the number of indexed pages in Google Search Console with the number of indexed pages from your Sitemap, as well as the number of pages from Google organic.
    • Make sure that only pages from your Sitemap are open for Google indexing.

    Category Pages

    Ecommerce website owners often pay the most attention to product pages, landing pages, and the homepage of their websites, forgetting that category pages in their catalog should also look great because they directly influence conversions and search rankings.

    If web users do not like the appearance of a category page, they will not even open product pages, and all your SEO efforts will be in vain.

    Here are some key metrics to monitor in order to keep your category pages optimized:

    • Conversion rate: The ratio comparing the number of sales to the number of site visitors.
    • Engagement: The time visitors spend on the website’s pages. The longer people spend viewing your content, the more likely they are to buy something.
    • Click-through rate: Transitions from category pages to product pages.
    • Revenue per visitor: The ratio between your revenue and the number of visitors. This metric is even more important than the conversion rate. It is better to have fewer clients buying expensive items than many customers buying inexpensive products.

    Blog

    A decade ago, blogging was mainly perceived as an entertaining add-on, but today, this powerful tool is actively used by ecommerce companies.

    A blog can help your ecommerce site deliver valuable information to customers, gain their loyalty, and build strong relationships. Also, by incorporating popular keywords into blog articles, you will attract more visits from search engines.

    Here are some criteria for high-quality SEO optimized content:

    • It should include strong queries that bring your pages to the top of search rankings.
    • Your posts should answer questions that are frequently asked by your clients: how to use some products, how to choose among several similar services, how to extend the lifespan of items purchased, etc.
    • Apart from text, your articles should include vivid and captivating visuals to break up text segments and keep readers engaged.
    • Your articles should contain links to product and category pages in your catalog.
    • You should thoroughly proofread and edit your content for grammatical errors, as well as misleading or obsolete information.

    Meta Title & Description

    The meta title and description are short but meaningful elements. They give you favorable exposure in search engines because web users see them when choosing from among a number of similar sources.

    Your meta title and description should briefly summarize the subject of the page in a way that makes people want to visit and further explore it.

    H tags

    Header tags (H1, H2, H3, and so on) are extremely important, since they make up the structure of your articles. When visiting blogs and product pages, web users first look at headers and, within a few seconds, decide whether the material is worthy of their attention.

    Also, headers are valuable from an SEO standpoint. Google pays more attention to these tags than to the body text.

    Keeping in mind these two nuances, compile H tags reflecting an idea of each textual segment and including relevant keywords.

    Reviews

    You may run a top-notch advertising campaign and sing the praises of your company through all available information channels, but prospective clients will still approach your brand with a bit of skepticism, suspecting you are emphasizing your products’ advantages just to hit high sales.

    It is another story when web users read unbiased testimonials on independent review platforms.

    People tend to trust other consumers, and 91% of all consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.

    Posting a lot of positive reviews on your product pages can pay off big. Negative comments won’t have as much of an impact, as long as they are in the minority.

    Let’s be honest, every product has some drawbacks, and the absence of dissatisfied buyers may seem suspicious.

  • Customer opinions are more helpful for on-page SEO than you may think.Reviews provide original, fresh and consistent content that is helpful for both search engines and potential customers. Not to mention that reviews often contain relevant keywords, which come as an added bonus.Encouraging users to leave reviews is more or less a marketing goal. As an SEO specialist, your task is to analyze existing comments and point out their quality and quantity.The best way to gain more reviews is through well-thought-out email marketing and by making it easy and convenient for shoppers to leave reviews on your website.

    Content Audit

    Remember that content does not exist to simply fill empty spaces in your blog and catalog.

    Content is your weapon for conquering the market. So make it powerful and striking.

    Regular analysis and updating outdated information will help you achieve excellence.

    Choose a specific point in time to revise all your published content. That could be once per month or once per year.

    Monitor the behavior of your target audience in terms of comments, clicks, average reading time, and other metrics.

    Analyze questions that customers frequently ask of your customer support team, and use them as topics for your blog articles.

    Also, if you notice some interesting content solutions on your competitors’ websites, be sure to leverage them.

    Images

    Image optimization is a smart investment of your time, as it has the potential to improve your page speed tremendously.

    Here are the most crucial points to keep in mind when working with images:

    • Perfect format: PNG and GIF for large areas of solid colors, JPG for photos.
    • Compression: There is a variety of free or paid tools and online services to compress your images.
    • Aesthetics: Product images should be appealing, awaken positive emotions, and stimulate web users to place an order. It is best to enlist the support of a professional photographer to showcase your products from the best possible perspective.
    • SEO: Incorporate keywords into alt text, especially text surrounding images.

    Video

    When working with video, pay attention to the following practices:

    • Use MP4 format, as it produces the smallest file size.
    • Select the optimal file size with your visitors’ screen size in mind.
    • Remember to compress all video files.
    • Reduce the length when possible.
    • Upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or other similar resources instead of serving them locally.

    User Experience

    Checking and improving usability is an essential task for every SEO specialist.

    Your job is to perform an accurate analysis, including the following factors:

    • How much time does the average user spend on the page?
    • What is the bounce rate?
    • How well do the CTAs perform?
    • Which pages are most visited?

    Bring your results to the table, and get your marketing and development teams involved. Issues that negatively affect usability can be either technical or non-technical.

    For instance, too many ads, poor copy, too big or too small fonts, buttons that don’t work, and other issues can dramatically affect usability.

    Your task is to find those weak points and to delegate relevant tasks to other team members.

    Below, we list the most important elements influencing user experience.

    Navigation

    It should be easy for customers to find the information and products they need. Make sure your menu is convenient, intuitive, and provides the shortest pathways to different sections. When your website is pleasant and easy to use, visitors will stay there longer.

    Internal Linking

    Internal linking should be well-thought-out for ecommerce sites.

    There are three major reasons to use internal linking:

    • Simplify on-site navigation for users and offer them engaging content related to the information they are interested in.
    • Help search engines to crawl your site and identify the themes of your content.
    • Encourage users to stay longer on your site by visiting multiple product pages.

    Let’s say a customer is not totally delighted with an item they clicked on in Google SERP. Will they leave the website immediately? Not necessarily, if you offer them links to other similar options. This can be your first step toward converting leads.

    A Guide to On-Page SEO for Ecommerce WebsitesInternal linking also helps establish your own anchor text. This is an excellent way to ensure your top keywords will occupy the first positions in search.

    The best takeaways for a proper internal linking strategy:

    • Add links where appropriate only.
    • Don’t place too many links with similar anchors.
    • Leverage the power of breadcrumbs to help users understand the site’s multi-level hierarchy for better navigation.
    • The most clickable links are those with engaging images. Take this into consideration, to keep users on your website.

    Related Products

    When someone is ready to take action and buy something on your website, why not offer related products to increase your revenue?

    For example, a furniture brand might offer a set of chairs to a customer buying a table. A hotel booking website might offer discounted deals on rental cars.

    People appreciate helpful services that satisfy all their needs and make their lives easier.

    FAQ / About Us / Contact pages

    When optimizing your general pages, think about your FAQ content. People will go elsewhere if you are unable to answer their questions.

    No matter how descriptive your products/services pages are, users will still have some questions. Having an informative FAQ page on your site can help fill the gap.

    Make sure you cover all the basic information, including the website’s security measures, shipping options, and return policies. Providing this information can increase buyer trust and skyrocket your sales.

    An engaging About Us section will add stars to your reputation. Tell prospective clients about your history, corporate values, and your company’s key merits. This lets visitors know they are dealing with a reputable business and not a fly-by-night website.

    On your Contact page, list all the ways users can contact you, including phone and FAX numbers, email addresses, Skype, WhatsApp, social network pages, website contact forms and live chat.

    Comparisons

    Simplify the decision-making process for your buyers by providing a convenient product comparison tool.

    It should collect and compare basic data from product descriptions and suggest the best options, based on customer needs.

    Product Videos

    Make videos showing how your products can be used. Choose a suitable format for your niche.

    If you sell equipment, for example, provide installation and maintenance tips. Or if you sell cosmetics, you could create your own beauty vlog and publish makeup lessons.

    Showing visitors how to use your products builds trust and boosts conversions.

    Site search

    Spare your customers from having to browse through your entire site to find what they need.

    A prominently displayed search box helps them quickly find the product they are looking for.

    Amazon is a good example. Their search box takes shoppers directly to the desired product category.

    Summary

    On-page SEO can help your business grow by leaps and bounds, as well as boost your brand image in the webspace.

    Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ecommerce-guide/on-page-seo/

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Internal Nofollow Links – 2019

Google Says Internal Nofollow Links – 2019

 

Google’s John Mueller clarified an important question about how Google treats nofollow links that are internal. This is important to publishers who use the nofollow attribute to block Google from thin or duplicate content. In his answer, Mueller stated that the nofollow change was primarily for outbound links.

Yet he also affirmed that internal nofollows are no longer directives while also confirming Google will still regard nofollows as links the publisher doesn’t want Google to follow.

 

How Google Handles Nofollow on Internal Links

No Follow Links on Faceted Navigation

The person asking the question was concerned about how Google handles nofollowed links on faceted navigation.

Faceted navigation allows site visitors on an eCommerce site to filter and sort the products choices.

Nofollow Hint Plan is Not 100% Defined

Google’s John Mueller started out by explaining that the nofollow hint plan is not 100% defined. That was interesting because it seemed to mean that Google is still evolving this new way of treating nofollows as hints.

How Google Uses Internal Nofollow Links

This is Mueller’s answer:

“It’s not 100% defined but the plan is to make it so that you don’t have to make any changes, so that we will continue to use these internal nofollow links as a sign that you’re telling us:

  • These pages are not as interesting
  • Google doesn’t need to crawl them
  • They don’t need to be used for ranking, for indexing.”

John Mueller affirms that they will use nofollows on internal links but states that it is not a directive.

Previous to Google’s change in how it handled nofollows, the nofollow attribute was a directive.

Here is what Mueller said:

“So it’s not a 100% directive like robots.txt, where you say these are never going to be crawled. But it does tell us that we don’t need to focus on them as much.”

 

Nofollow Hints is About Outbound Links

John Mueller then made it more explicit that treating nofollow as a hint and the new nofollow attributes are primarily for outbound links.

“So for us, the main change with nofollow and these new attributes is for outbound links… from your website to another website.”

That statement is in line with what Gary Illyes was reported to have said about the reason for treating nofollows as a hint.

According to what I was told, Gary said the motivation was to capture more of the link signal in order to return better search results.

 

Internal Nofollows for Faceted Navigation Continue to Work

“Within the website, for these kinds of faceted navigation for categories and sorting and things like that, that continues to work.”

 

Takeaway on Nofollow Hints and Internal Links

 

It appears that Google’s nofollow hint change is primarily to reclaim nofollowed link signals on outbound links for the purpose of improving search results.

This may explain why nofollow links on internal links will almost continue to work as before. I say almost because, according to John Mueller, internal nofollow links are no longer treated as directives.

So if the nofollow attribute on internal links is no longer a directive that means Google is treating internal nofollows as a hint. But he also said they will continue to work.

If that sounds a little convoluted, the reason might be because how this is going to work hasn’t been defined 100%, per John Mueller. It almost sounds like they’re still working this out.

Internal nofollow links tend to be nofollowed for real reasons that are important to the publisher. Thus it makes sense for Google to continue to respect the nofollow attribute when applied to internal links.

 

Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-internal-nofollow-links/327545/

 

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URL Structure

Is Changing Your URL Structure a Bad Idea?

 

The most common reason to change the structure of your URLs is during a company rebranding, site migration or redesign where some site defining element like domain name, product types, topical focus, or platform changes no longer allows you to keep the same URLs.

 

Why You Should Try to Maintain Your URL Structure

There are definitive reasons you want to try to maintain your URL structure, whenever possible, outside of SEO.

For instance, a change might break bookmarks users have saved in their browser from visiting your site or emails you have sent out.

Changing the URL structure, in essence, removes the direct link relationship the user has to your site.

Or you might have advertising or collateral materials that used your URLs in their creation, which would now need to be redone at some expense.

Hopefully, you have put in 301 redirects. But if your site has undergone complete restructuring, there may have been no direct page to send the user to, in which case you might lose them in the process.

However, most reasons to not make such a change without good reasons are related to SEO.

The most important being links and the time it takes Google to rediscover your site’s pages through the new URLs.

When you do a site redesign, you can lose links in the process, thus decreasing your site’s SEO value.

This is why it’s so important you create a current and future sitemap and make sure to redirect those pages via a 301 (permanent redirect) to a new page that matches the old one in terms of topical focus.

If you try to redirect an old page to a page that is not similar in topical focus, Google may remove the value of those links.

And make sure to never redirect all your pages to the homepage or a top-level page if it is not that page type. Google has stated it can devalue links in these cases.

If your links are devalued, it means you lose that portion of your link profile and if those links were important it could hurt your site’s rankings.

Also, during this time, don’t forget all the links outside your website that will need to be changed as well.

For instance: paid campaigns, social platforms, and off-site advertising will also need to change have links changed as well.

 

Google’s Time to Rediscover Links

 

Google has advised site owners for some time to not change URL structure unless really necessary.

As John Mueller stated in a Reddit thread on changing URL structure it takes time for Google to rediscover links to your site.

“The bigger effect will be from changing a lot of URLs (all pages in those folders) – that always takes time to be reprocessed. I’d avoid changing URLs unless you have a really good reason to do so, and you’re sure that they’ll remain like that in the long run.”

During this time, you may experience a downturn in rankings and therefore traffic.

Now this downturn is likely to right itself fairly quickly as long as you made sure to follow a migration checklist and properly applied your redirects.

But “quickly” is a relative term. Depending on the size of your business, “quickly” may still be a few weeks or even a month or more.

So how long can your business live with that downturn in rankings?

If your traffic is low and you do not enjoy high ranking placements, this is a far different question than if you are a billion-dollar company who has to report their earnings to “The Street” every three months.

If you find you have no choice but to make the change, then just make sure to plan it during your least busy time of year and that you follow all the proper protocols including your migration checklist and URL re-mappings.

Note: This does not apply to an HTTP to HTTPS change. Google has a special process for this, so there would be a minimal effect on sites who are moving to make sure they are more secure.

In the case where you have no alternative as to whether to alter the URLs, make sure to follow a migration checklist so that you do not miss anything during the process.

Missing something in a revamp of URL structure can cost you rankings and traffic.

 

Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/changing-url-structure/325249/#close

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Local SEO

Local SEO – Searching for best products and services.

Local SEO – Customers are searching for the best products and services near them – and they want answers fast, give it. DigitalXRun SEO Services for your Business Success

Will your business show up at the exact time when local customers are looking? Will they pick you out of all the local businesses that offer the same products and services?

Search Engine Journal’s ebook, A Guide to SEO, tackles what you need to know about optimizing for local search.

Local search engine optimization requires a strategic and targeted approach that is distinct from general SEO.

Brick-and-mortar businesses wanting to win against competitors should make sure all the local signals across Google’s local search landscape are consistent and correct.

We created this comprehensive guide to help SEO professionals gain a better understanding of today’s local search landscape.

Local SEO to learn:

  • The basics of local search engine optimization. Discover what L SEO is now, why it’s important, who benefits from it (and who do not).
  • An evolution of Google local algorithm changes and what’s in store for the future.
  • Find out what are the top local search ranking signals and why local backlinks, localized content, consistent NAP, Google My Business, and reviews matter.
  • Get to know essential SEO tools and listings management tools that you can use.
  • How to do SEO for large organizations. What are the pros and cons of SEO for large enterprises and essential practices to keep you going.
  • Social media tips for local businesses. Why local businesses should invest in social media marketing and how to connect with customers on social.

Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/local-seo/

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Google Updates Search Rankings to Favor Original News Reporting

Google Updates Search Rankings to Favor Original News Reporting

Google is updating search rankings to give more weight to the original reporting of news stories.

With this update, Google aims to surface original coverage more prominently over follow-up coverage from other publications.

Google will also make sure the original report is featured in search results for a longer period of time.

“While we typically show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story in news results, we’ve made changes to our products globally to highlight articles that we identify as significant original reporting. Such articles may stay in a highly visible position longer. This prominence allows users to view the original reporting while also looking at more recent articles alongside it.”

In addition to being an official ranking update, Google’s renewed focus on original reporting is emphasized in the recent changes to the search quality rater guidelines.

This change is being made to help both publishers and searchers. Searchers are more likely to find the original story right from the source, and the publisher will benefit from greater visibility in search results.

What is Defined as Original Reporting?

 

Google says there is no absolute definition of what qualifies as original reporting. To that end, there is also no standard in place for establishing how original one article is over another.

“It can mean different things to different newsrooms and publishers at different times, so our efforts will constantly evolve as we work to understand the life cycle of a story.”

Admittedly, this can be more challenging to determine in some cases than others. For example, if a world news event was covered by multiple outlets at the same time, then it could be difficult to figure out which outlet published the “original report.”

If an outlet published a article that itself became news and was covered by others, then it would be easier to figure out which report should receive prominence in search results.

These changes are in effect now, so time will tell how Google handles these different types of news coverage.

 

credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-updates-search-rankings-to-favor-original-news-reporting/325765/#close

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SEO for Beginners: An Introduction to SEO Basics 2019

At its core, search engine optimization (SEO) is about increasing your website’s visibility in the organic search results of major search engines.

To get that visibility, you must understand three core components:

  • What types of content people want or need.
  • How search engines work.
  • How to properly promote and optimize your website.

While search engines and technology are always evolving, there are some underlying foundational elements that have remained unchanged from the earliest days of SEO.

This is why, in collaboration with some of the field’s top authorities and experts, we created this in-depth overview and tutorial – to define SEO for aspiring SEO professionals and explain how search engine optimization really works now. Today.

Scroll down to start reading all 18 information-packed chapters – or, if you prefer, we’ve compiled all the chapters in a downloadable ebook, SEO 101: Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization.

 

SEO for Beginners: Learn the Basics

 

Are you an aspiring SEO professional? Then this is the guide you need to read.

You will learn the basics of how SEO works and why it’s so important, plus:

  • The basics of search engine optimization. What is SEO now, why it’s important, how people search and what they search for, how long it takes to see results, and some big challenges you’ll face in your career.
  • Key ranking factors. Why links, keywords, and high-quality content are all incredibly important for SEO success. Also, we dispel some of the biggest SEO myths.
  • How to continue your SEO education. Discover the top online search publications you should read, digital marketing conferences you can attend, and industry experts you should follow.
  • The history of SEO. From the dawn of websites and search engines in the 1990s up to today, we recap the biggest milestones to help you understand where search has been, where it is today, and where SEO is heading in the future.

credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-101/

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Is Changing Your URL Structure a Bad Idea?

Why You Should Try to Maintain Your URL Structure

There are definitive reasons you want to try to maintain your URL structure, whenever possible, outside of SEO.

For instance, a change might break bookmarks users have saved in their browser from visiting your site or emails you have sent out.

Changing the URL structure, in essence, removes the direct link relationship the user has to your site.

Or you might have advertising or collateral materials that used your URLs in their creation, which would now need to be redone at some expense.

Hopefully, you have put in 301 redirects. But if your site has undergone complete restructuring, there may have been no direct page to send the user to, in which case you might lose them in the process.

However, most reasons to not make such a change without good reasons are related to SEO.

The most important being links and the time it takes Google to rediscover your site’s pages through the new URLs.

Links

Links to your site are still one of the top ranking factors in SEO.

Link quality, along with link quantity, is one of the measures of your site’s potential relevance and trustworthiness to Google.

When you do a site redesign, you can lose links in the process, thus decreasing your site’s SEO value.

This is why it’s so important you create a current and future sitemap and make sure to redirect those pages via a 301 (permanent redirect) to a new page that matches the old one in terms of topical focus.

If you try to redirect an old page to a page that is not similar in topical focus, Google may remove the value of those links.

And make sure to never redirect all your pages to the homepage or a top-level page if it is not that page type. Google has stated it can devalue links in these cases.

If your links are devalued, it means you lose that portion of your link profile and if those links were important it could hurt your site’s rankings.

Also, during this time, don’t forget all the links outside your website that will need to be changed as well.

For instance: paid campaigns, social platforms, and off-site advertising will also need to change have links changed as well.

Google’s Time to Rediscover Links

Google has advised site owners for some time to not change URL structure unless really necessary.

As John Mueller stated in a Reddit thread on changing URL structure it takes time for Google to rediscover links to your site.“The bigger effect will be from changing a lot of URLs (all pages in those folders) – that always takes time to be reprocessed. I’d avoid changing URLs unless you have a really good reason to do so, and you’re sure that they’ll remain like that in the long run.”

During this time, you may experience a downturn in rankings and therefore traffic.

Now this downturn is likely to right itself fairly quickly as long as you made sure to follow a migration checklist and properly applied your redirects.

But “quickly” is a relative term. Depending on the size of your business, “quickly” may still be a few weeks or even a month or more.

So how long can your business live with that downturn in rankings?

If your traffic is low and you do not enjoy high ranking placements, this is a far different question than if you are a billion-dollar company who has to report their earnings to “The Street” every three months.

If you find you have no choice but to make the change, then just make sure to plan it during your least busy time of year and that you follow all the proper protocols including your migration checklist and URL re-mappings.

Note: This does not apply to an HTTP to HTTPS change. Google has a special process for this, so there would be a minimal effect on sites who are moving to make sure they are more secure.

In the case where you have no alternative as to whether to alter the URLs, make sure to follow a migration checklist so that you do not miss anything during the process.

Missing something in a revamp of URL structure can cost you rankings and traffic.

Credit : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/changing-url-structure/325249/#close

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