As if the task of spring cleaning your house isn’t daunting enough, it’s time to clear the dust and cobwebs out of your winter SEO campaign. For Webtyde Digital Marketing clients, this is done on a monthly basis. If you’re not with Webtyde, some attention to the big search engine changes are absolutely necessary at this time.
In early May this year, Google announced several new algorithm updates and named this update “Penguin”. The previous Panda update in February of 2011 aimed to cut down on what Google deemed “low-quality” websites by placing higher authority to those sites with active social media, limited advertisements, and limited duplicate content. Search engines has been fighting spammers since the beginning, so the Penguin update is their latest effort to clean up the search results and speed up their spidering capabilities.
Penguin directly effects pages with considerable duplicate content. Most of this duplicate content isn’t intentional, but definitely preventable. It focused on database-driven websites like Magento, WordPress, etc… and other ecommerce platforms that often have many different ways of delivering a website for viewers.
In reality, there needs to be only one version of any particular website and web page. For instance, if www.testsite.com has a Contact page. It should only be available by typing in http://www.testsite.com/contact. Here are other ways it can be viewed:
Every single one of these pages should have a canonical tag in the meta code that at least tells search engines that there is one true version of this page and it should be http://www.testsite.com/contact. There are many technical ways to make sure this type of problem doesn’t effect your ecommerce website, but I can’t stress how important it is to only have one version of each page.
Lately, we’ve had several ecommerce clients come to us for upgrades and sometimes redesigns for their ecommerce website. We’ve started by choosing two basic ecommerce systems to use based on the size of the store and the budget. After much research, I’ve narrowed the platforms we recommend to two that are able to be built SEO-friendly from the ground up. This saves clients thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars in maintenance, updates, and lost sales due to low rankings over the years.
Even if you have a basic WordPress website, you should make sure your webmaster is aware and concerned about duplicate content, proper URL naming, sitemap updating on a regular basis, and keeping in touch with both Google and Yahoo/Bing Webmaster Tools to make sure they are complying with each search engines’ best practices for SEO.
If you have more questions, please email or call Allyson Seitzler at (504) 324-2281 for more information on how Webtyde can help you.