SEO & Web Best Practices

Page Speed: Increasing Your Site's Googlebot Crawl Budget, Part 5

by David Addison
05/01/2015

Large-scale studies have shown that conversions and revenue decrease as page load time increases, and Google knows that their users are generally less likely to bounce back to the SERPs from sites that load faster than their ranking competitors, so it makes perfect sense that Google would give faster websites a bump.

But what's Google's definition of "fast"? Their general guideline for average page load time is to keep it under two seconds.

Getting anywhere near that number will not happen just by chance of good web development work; there are several technical layers of potential inefficiencies that each require careful consideration and fine-tuning to achieve maximum performance from the entire web stack, and these will vary from site to site.

While I couldn't possibly hope to provide a comprehensive reference on website performance tuning in the scope of a blog about increasing your Googlebot crawl budget, what follows is a high-level overview of the broad scope of factors that have the potential to improve page speed in ways meaningful to Googlebot and pals.

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Crawl Errors: Increasing Your Site's Googlebot Crawl Budget, Part 4

by Ryan Smith
12/09/2014

Gateway timeout... File not found. Authorization Required. Forbidden! INTERNAL SERVER ERROR!

If search bots are spending time on your site just running into walls and spinning around in circles, that's time they won't be spending crawling your carefully-optimized content, and as we know from part 1 of this series, the more often Googlebot crawls a page, the better that page will rank.

But persistent HTTP errors and other bot-confounding behaviors just squander your crawl budget, limiting the potential for improvement elsewhere. In this installment, we'll look at the different types of crawl errors, what they mean, and how to discover and monitor them on your site.

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Page Authority Signals: Increasing Your Site's Googlebot Crawl Budget, Part 2

by Ryan Smith
11/25/2014

As stated in the previous installment, the specific pages Googlebot chooses to crawl are prioritized based on their relative PageRank.

In Part 2, we explore the on-page signals that impact the relative PageRank of each page on your site, and how to optimize them to shift Googlebot's focus to the pages you want it to crawl more often.

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Google Authorship: So... That Happened.

by Ryan Smith
11/06/2014

Like any good SEO agency, the Dirigo SEO consulting team took a flying leap onto the Google Authorship bandwagon, to the benefit of both our clients and ourselves.

It worked pretty well if you did it right. We saw not only increased SERP CTRs (and thus increased organic traffic), but increased Googlebot activity as well.

Then came that familiar moment to which SEOs have become forcibly and routinely accustomed...

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Google Plus Author Photos Removed From SERPs

by Ryan Smith
07/16/2014

Google recently announced the end of author headshots in search results, unapologetically citing UX considerations on mobile.

Google encouraged adoption of the Authorship program by asserting early-on that having a recognizable author headshot appearing next to their works in the Google SERPs would increase their CTR, and thus their organic traffic.  This was proven to be true.

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Relative vs. Absolute URLs and SEO

by Ryan Smith
07/11/2014

A relative URL is any URL that doesn’t explicitly specify the protocol (e.g., “http://” or “https://”)  and/or domain (www.example.com), which forces the visitor’s web browser (or the search engine bots) to assume it refers to the same site on which the URL appears.

Used wisely, this can be incredibly useful for developers, but in the wrong hands it can lead to huge problems for your site, both for internal navigation and for the search bots.

Relative URLs come in three flavors...

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Don't go the way of the SEOsaurus

by Ryan Smith
02/06/2014

...wherein Ryan Smith, Technical SEO, states the obvious about Google's Hummingbird algorithm, admits to giving out some bad SEO advice, ironically beats on amateur SEO's for being amateur, makes a few tortured analogies, and finally uses the word "imputive" in a sentence.. all just to give you the lowdown on how to rank for misspelings in 2014.

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Canonicalization and Duplicate Content Issues

by Ryan Smith
01/10/2014

Every webpage has a URL which identifies it, and though this was originally intended to be distinctive, most webpages can in reality be accessed from more than one URL. This is the nature of web server software, and it takes careful consideration of the necessary assumptions made by search engines in order to prevent search visibility issues.

For a variety of technical and business-practice reasons, most websites end up having more indexable URLs than they have distinct pages of useful content, and most have pages which deliver little value to searchers. Much of technical SEO is concerned with reducing the number of indexable URLs to the absolute minimum among the pages with the highest-quality content. This maximizes the...

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SEO Expertise & Search Marketing Integration - A New Sheriff In Town

by Ryan Smith
09/23/2013

Probably the most important thing I’ve come to realize over the years is that “SEO” is not a job description; it’s an operational philosophy.  From the business plan, to the design and architecture, to coding and hosting, to content creation and promotion, the concerns of search visitors -- both fleshy and mechanized -- are of paramount importance to the success of any online venture.

As web user behavior has evolved over time, so have SEO professionals.  In addition to keywords and links...

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Dust Me

by J.P. Berry
07/01/2013

The advantages of clean HTML are many, yet so many webmasters fail to keep their code clean.  It happens all too often with sites that have marketing churn.  The dirt and grime can make updating an older website very difficult. Here we have another great FREE development tool.  Dust-Me is a Firefox extension that finds unused CSS elements. The utility extracts all the CSS selectors from all the stylesheets on the page you're viewing, then analyzes that page to see which of those selectors are NOT used. The data is then stored so that when testing subsequent pages, CSS selectors can be crossed off the list as they're encountered.

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SEO and lazy loading website content

by J.P. Berry
05/21/2013

Does lazy loading hinder SEO since the content is not actually on the page until the user acts or requests the content? The answer is a big YES. But there are techniques to make lazy loaded content available to the search engines.  This article is about a Google developers articles for webmasters.

This is a good read for ajax-y websites, especially if you’re going to lazy load content. Lazy loading is a design pattern commonly used in website programming to defer initialization of an object until the point at which it is needed. Lazy loading can significantly enhance efficiency in a site's performance if properly and appropriately used. Lazy loading has some SEO implications.

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Domain tasters … they are hungry

by Victoria Kuhn
09/23/2011

Domain tasting ... sounds like it's lunch time. Not! The simple act of going to the Internet—a search engine (like Google or Bing) or Internet registrar (like GoDaddy or Yahoo)—to find a domain name may be quite costly if you don't purchase the domain name immediately. Check out my post that include two favorite safe places to research brands and domains. Happy eating! Good luck with researching!

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How to install BlogEngine.NET in a subdirectory

by David Addison
06/29/2011

BlogEngine.NET is a free open source ASP.NET blogging platform. It comes standard with an XML based datastore but can also be configured to run from MS SQL Server.  It is built to run as its own website. Integration into an existing website (our preferred method for optimum SEO) subdirectory can be tricky. 

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Combining multiple RSS feeds using Yahoo! Pipes

by David Addison
12/03/2010

How to create a simple RSS aggregator using Yahoo! Pipes. The example uses Delicious feeds and combines them into a single feed output.

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Original content is top dog

by Victoria Kuhn
09/08/2010

The role and value of original content in an online strategy (with the bar as low as having a small Web site for example) is frequently underestimated. But let's be honest, unique content generation isn't cheap or quick but it's necessary to succeed.

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Tag Cloud and Search Engine Optimization

by Victoria Kuhn
07/07/2010

This post shares use of text clouding, a visual concentration tool, to support the development of title tags and metadata.

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Feeding the Bots: Increasing Your Googlebot Crawl Budget, Part 3

by Ryan Smith
12/04/2014

In this third installment of Increasing Your Googlebot Crawl Budget, we talk about the proper feeding of search bots, and how improved nutrition can help your Googlebot to enjoy a more active lifestyle on your site.

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Increasing Your Site's Googlebot Crawl Budget, Part 1

by Ryan Smith
11/18/2014

It's a common misconception that Google crawls your entire site every time it visits, or that it's even trying to.

The reality is that each site gets a crawl budget based on a variety of signals, and the pages it chooses to crawl are prioritized to make best use of this crawl budget. If an entire site does happen to get crawled, it's because each of those pages have earned the limited attention of the crawler.

What you may not realize is how much of an impact crawl budget can have on your organic rankings and thus your search traffic volume.

So how do you increase your site's Googlebot crawl budget? Read on for the first installment in a five-part series on how to get Google to crawl more of your site, and crawl it more often.

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Permalink and URL SEO Best Practices

by Victoria Kuhn
10/17/2014

Victoria has shared a post about permalink-URL-seo best practices. If you know enough HTML, SEO and website best practices to be dangerous (or just need a refresher), we encourage you to check out this post. And if you like Breathe from Pink Floyd, you may recognize lyrics in the post too!

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Groupon Experiment Suggests Majority of Traffic Reported As Direct Is Really From Organic Search

by Ryan Smith
07/14/2014

The web team at Groupon has our  utmost respect and gratitude for recently sacrificing themselves in the name of SEO science, in order to shed some light into the dark matter of "direct traffic" attribution which, like dark matter, is actually defined by the absence of information.

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Google Plus Authorship: A Dirigo Client Case Study

by Ryan Smith
06/12/2014

Why, oh why do we need to spend even more effort on a me-too service reminiscent of Facebook's early years?

Website owners are free to overlook Google Plus and the Authorship and Publisher system, and competitors are free to leave you in the dust by taking advantage of SEO best practices. It’s all a matter of whether you care about maximizing your qualified organic search traffic.​

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Responsive Website Design or Adaptive Responsive Design: Does RWD Generate Less Leads?

by David Addison
01/14/2014

Responsive website design (RWD) or adaptable website design (AWD)? It's very important to understand that RWD and AWD are not mutually exclusive in the retail automotive or any other sector. It's about mobile-first development. Here at Dirigo-CBC we use both RWD and AWD in our solutions (e.g. we bake both technologies into the same website solution).

The two methods differ in the delivery of the responsive/adaptive structures.  Responsive Web Design (RWD) relies on flexible and fluid grids. Adaptive Web Design (AWD) relies on predefined screen sizes. RWD typically takes more coding and implementation strategies using fluid grids, CSS, and flexible foundations. In the purest form, AWD is more streamlined with a layered approach that uses server side scripting to assist with adapting content to various devices and screen sizes.

The end-game is to get a great user experience and action on one or more calls-to-action. We aren't seeing a drop in website leads with websites on our responsive automotive platform. 

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Universal Analytics: Demographics Not Included

by Matthew Small
11/12/2013

We devised a workaround for the missing demographics data inside of Universal Analytics but we're not losing the data inside of Classic Analytics. Why? Earlier this year Google released a new code for Google Analytics (GA) that will become the standard for all GA accounts, referred to as Universal Analytics. The new platform introduced a set of features that change the way data is displayed in Google Analytics accounts but Google has not provided the data within the interface.

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A Few CSS Best Practices

by J.P. Berry
09/17/2013

A few CSS best practices. It doesn’t matter if you’re building the next Pintrest or if it’s just a site for the shop down the road; best practice is always best. Build every site like it’s a 100,000 page behemoth because then it can scale. It might never, but it could. These CSS best practices are on our short list.

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HTML Defer Attribute

by J.P. Berry
06/18/2013

In this post J.P. Berry discusses our use of the HTML script defer attribute. The defer attribute is a boolean attribute. When present, it specifies that the script is executed when the page has finished parsing.

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Top 20 SEO Tools

by Victoria Kuhn
12/28/2012

Hey if Letterman and Carson can have top 10 lists, so can technology companies. Here are our top 20 SEO, SEM, and web best practice tools for keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, keyword rankings, etc.Enjoy!

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301 redirect.html to .aspx pages when migrating static website into .net hosted under IIS6

by David Addison
08/16/2011

301 redirects are very important for SEO when moving website pages to new locations. They are easy to implement when you switch from one scripting language to the other (i.e. from .asp to .aspx or from .php to .asp). The problem comes in when you are trying to convert static .html or .htm website into .aspx. HTML file can’t execute any code thus create a major challenge for implementing 301s.

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Definitive list (250 ping services) of XML RPC ping services

by David Addison
12/15/2010

The definitive list of ping services. Blogs should publicize new posts by letting blog search engines and feed aggregators know about changes. Update Services are tools used to let other people know you've updated your blog.

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How to write an SEO-friendly blog post

by David Addison
09/18/2010

A blog is a very useful tool to add to a website. It allows an avenue for info, new and upcoming items, discussion of topics, and a personal approach that may not otherwise be seen in static web pages - and it can support SEO if used correctly.

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Changing local path in team foundation server

by David Addison
07/21/2010

If you want to change the local path for the working directory of the Team Foundation Server (TFS), you need to go to File -> Source Control -> Workspaces, then select your workspace.

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