SEO Hot Tub – 25th March 2011
Welcome to another SEO Hot Tub session, bringing you the latest in SEO from around the world. Major topics include how to keep your product pages SEO friendly, a close look at the performance of Yahoo Search Direct, and a study into the ranking of videos in universal search.
Here are ten tips to keep your product pages ranking well in organic search. Thanks to Arpana Tiwari at Become Inc for this post.
1.Check robots.txt on every sub-domain
Make sure that there are no disallows on your silos and key landing pages.
2. Check noindex rules across your site
Check if your noindex rules and guidelines are still consistent on the site
3. Don’t embed HTML in the code of your feed
Do not stuff promotional text into the product description as it could end up truncating oddly or even worse be removed from shopping engines.
4. Miscategorising listings in your feed
Shopping engines have algorithms to determine relevance and ranking based on the product type and category. Miscategorising products in hopes of attaining a lower CPC can result in low visibility and virtually no traffic.
If you have recently re-launched a section of your site and redirected old pages to new ones, make sure the redirects are 301 (permanent redirects).
6.Duplicate Meta Titles
Google loves unique content, so try to make all your meta titles (also check your other meta tags while you’re on it) customised and relevant to the page and include keywords if possible.
7. Avoid duplicate product URLs in the feed
Having more than one feed for the same URL results in duplicate content.
Google strives to create a good search experience for their users. This includes product pages that may not be so relevant anymore. Therefore, do not submit out of stock product listings.
9. Update product price, stock status, product description and best uses
With the increased focus on quality content and value add pages in the search index, it is important to keep content current and clean.
10. Encourage external links to product specific pages
Don’t rely only on external links to your homepage. Analyse the distribution of quality external links to your home page vs. deep links to product specific pages and prepare linking strategies accordingly.
MajesticSEO has announced that they now drop link data after 30 days. The Freshness Index is available to users subscribing to the Silver Plan or higher. However, Free and Bronze Plan users are able to get a glimpse of the new feature now. This now means that they now update their index more frequently and users thus are able to view a more granular graph of backlinks.
The image below compares the old vs. new graph. The one below shows how the historic view (the old graph that users see). The top graph is the new Freshness Index graph. The little blip in the historic graph can now be viewed on a day by day basis in the Freshness Index.
Yahoo has released their rival to Google Instant: Yahoo Search Direct on the 23rd March.
Some of the features of Yahoo Search Direct are:
• Left hand column displays related keywords
• Right hand column displays one of the following:
– 3 top websites for that query
– a weather forecast
– stock information
– the profile of a celebrity
– other unique data sets
Although a positive change, Yahoo Search Direct still does not stack up to the helpfulness of Google Instant. Check out some side by side comparisons below and let us know what your thoughts are:
Source: Google Instant
Source: Yahoo Search Direct
Source: Google Instant
Reeling from inspiration during SMX West in San Jose, ReelSEO carried out an interesting study on the factors affecting its chance to rank in universal search.
It appears that there are 3 main factors impacting a video’s chance a video’s chances of showing up in universal search:
- What Platform is used i.e. YouTube videos were seen most commonly in the universal results, compared to DailyMotion, Metacafe, Google Video and videos hosted on other platforms.
2. Ranking Factors within the Platform: It was found that 100% of the videos returned in universal search also ranked #1 on their native platform.
3. Keyword Intent: The intent of the keyword also played a role in determining the likelihood of the video appearing in the universal results.
In light of the findings, the three recommendations from the video study are:
- Upload your videos
- Get videos to rank in the platform’s search results
- Target informational keywords and try to avoid transactional keywords
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more juicy SEO news from around the world, right here at the BCA Blog!