There are a number of reasons why pages don’t show up in search engine results.
One area where this is particularly true is when the content at more than one web address, or URL, appears to be substantially similar at each of the locations it is seen by the search engines.
Some duplicate content may cause pages to be filtered at the time of serving of results by search engines, and there is no guarantee as to which version of a page will show in results and which versions won’t. Duplicate content may also lead to some sites and some pages not being indexed by search engines at all, or may result in a search engine crawling program stopping the indexing all of the pages of a site because it finds too many copies of the same pages under different URLs.
There are a few different reasons why search engines dislike duplicate content. One is that they don’t want to show the same pages in their search results. Another is that they don’t want to spend the resources in indexing pages that are substantially similar.
I’ve listed some areas where duplicate content exists on the web, or seems to exist from the stance of search engine crawling and indexing programs. I’ve also included a list of some patents and some papers that discuss duplicate content issues on the web.
Continue reading Duplicate Content Issues and Search Engines
How harmful are dead links to search engine rankings? Or pages filled with outdated information? Can internal redirects on a site also hurt rankings? What about the redirects used on parked domains?
A new patent application published last week at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and assigned to IBM, Methods and apparatus for assessing web page decay, explores the topics of dead pages, web decay, soft 404 error messages, redirects on parked pages, and automated ways for search engines to look at these factors while ranking pages. I’ll explore a little of the patent application here, and provide some ideas on ways to avoid having decay harm the rankings of web sites.
The authors of the patent filing include:
I received my copy of the first magazine devoted to Search Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization on Monday.
Search Marketing Standard went out to more than 15,000 people over the last week or two. The first issue was on the slim side, but it had some well written articles and news coverage. Headlines on the front page include:
- 15 of the Biggest Myths in Search Marketing Exposed
- Measuirng SEO Success with Web Analytics
- Targeting the Tail: How to get the Most out of Every Marketing Dollar
I think that they are off to an excellent start, and I hope to see them grow and evolve into a well known and highly respected part of the Search Marketing community.
The magazine is quarterly, and is aimed at owners of small to medium sized businesses, and search marketers. Their fall issue is expected at the end of August, and will take a closer look at “Search Engine Marketing and Web Site Usability.”
Continue reading Search Marketing Standard Arrives
I’ve been unhappy for a long time with what is on the pages of the Wikipedia for Search Engine Optimization. I decided this weekend to start making some changes to present the subject from a more rounded perspective.
Some of the things that bothered me about the article as it was:
1. It presented the industry as one largely drawn into two different camps, mostly at odds with one another – white hats and black hats – or those who follow ethical practices as defined by search engine guidelines, and those who don’t.
Ethics aren’t defined by search engines, but rather by moral codes of conduct, and having search engines set the tone of that conduct probably isn’t appropriate. They are businesses, beholden to shareholders, reliant on advertisers, and dependent upon searchers. They’ve never set themselves up to be the moral policemen for the search engine optimization community, and it’s a role that I suspect that they don’t relish.
2. Search engines have expanded their offerings considerably in the past few years to include much more than just organic results, and someone practicing SEO can be helped by having an understanding of RSS feeds, local search, mapping, vertical search, shopping search, news, and paid advertising.
Continue reading Improving the Wikipedia results for Search Engine Optimization
Some blog posts and articles that I came across in the last week that I thought were interesting.
Jared Spool, over at UIE Brainsparks, writes about collecting penultimate referrers in Identifying Missing Trigger Words from Search Logs. Collecting information about what people search for on your site through an online search function can be a good way of finding what people might want to see on your site. But, isn’t it also interesting to see what search might have brought them to the page where they conducted that search? Those next-to-last, or penultimate, searches might contain some useful information about what people expect to see on your site but might be missing. Nice idea.
This one has been pointed to by a number of people, but it’s a good one to see if you missed it. Matt Cutts posted a Question and Answer post a couple of days ago where he discussed the recent “Big Daddy” infrastructure update to Google, as well as answering questions on a number of other topics.
Greg Linden has been writing some great posts about his days at Amazon lately on Geeking with Greg. But, those Amazon posts only add to the many other excellent posts there, including a recent one on mandatory registration in forums, Removing registration and Topix.net traffic.
Continue reading Search roundup
International Business Machines appears to be embracing search engine optimization in a big way. That’s a positive sign from a company that is seen as a leader in many areas of information technology. A new patent application, and a couple of new articles from IBM point towards a growing commitment towards helping people build web sites that are easier for people to find through search engines.
I wrote a previous post about IBM publishing two of a series of four articles on search engine optimization. The final articles in the series are now out, and they are worth a look.
The first two articles in the series were written by L. Jennette Banks, who is an organic search optimization expert for IBM. The last two are by Mike Moran, who is IBM’s Manager of Site Architecture, and Bill Hunt, who is the President and CEO, Global Strategies International, LLC. You may have seen those two names together before if you’ve conducted some research on books about SEO. They are co-authors of a book on the subject – “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site” – and they’ve received a lot of positive reviews for their joint publication.
Continue reading IBM and Shadow Pages
I’ve been enjoying visiting a number of sites that are written in languages other than English, such as Google.Dirson.com and Référencement, Design et Cie, and others. I often rely on some of the translation services available online to read those sites, but I have trouble when searching the web in finding some information that isn’t written in English.
It would be nice to have a way to search non-English sites without having to try to translate queries into other languages first.
IBM has a patent filing, published as a patent application last week, which tries to help people find sites in other languages that are relevant to their searches, and might be authority sites on those subjects.
Continue reading IBM tackles multilingual web searching
My friend Debra Mastaler asked me if I would be interested in making a guest appearance at her blog on linking and marketing, The Link Spiel.
I jumped at the chance.
Mixed amongst Debra’s excellent advice on advice and techniques involving linking are many examples of her sharp wit and subtle sense of humor. Make sure that you check out her post on Nascar Links, and on Amazon + Reviewers + Links. You’ll want to set aside some time to read through her archives while you’re at it. There are lots of good ideas in there.