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June 17, 2009

SEO Roundup-Part 2

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This is part 2 of the SEO roundup for the week ended 12 June.
SEO Challenges of Restructuring a Site


SEO roundup

Photo by Perrimoon via Creative Commons

Restructuring a site can present some major search engine optimisation challenges. It is one thing to make simple changes, where a page on the new site corresponds exactly to every page on your old site. But it’s much tougher when you’re making more fundamental changes to the layout, organisation, and content of your site.
If you have a reasonably popular site, it has several assets that are put at risk when you change its structure:
1. Users will have bookmarked pages on your site. When they attempt to go to that bookmark, you want to make sure they still get to the content they want.
2. Pages from your site show up in search engine results. When users click on these, you’ll want them to find the right pages on your site.
3. Other Web sites link to your site. Yes, you want people who click on those links to get to the right pages in the new structure. But more importantly, you want the search engines to continue to map those links to the most relevant pages on your Web site.
Bottom line: there’s a lot at stake when you restructure a Web site. Success requires a full understanding of how to map the content from the new site to the old site, and building a 301 redirect map that thoroughly maps links from the old site to the new one.
Let’s break down the approach to doing this well:
1. Wherever possible, create a one-to-one mapping of pages from the old site to the new site. This means finding pages that are identical, or substantially similar to the old ones.
2. Analyse all the remaining pages to find ones that you can redirect to the correct category. An example of this might be individual product pages you had on the old site, but on the new site you offer only a higher-level page for that category of products on the new site. In that case, map the product pages on the old site to the surviving category page.
3. Make sure that all the remaining pages are redirected somewhere. For most sites, the place where you should send this redirect will be the home page. Note that if you also change the domain in this process, you may also want to implement a catchall redirect that sends all pages not covered by your explicit redirect rules to the home page of the new site.
When you must prioritise, here are a few techniques you can use to make sure you’ve truly covered the most important pages:
• Go into your Web analytics tool and identify the top pages receiving traffic.
• Go into Google Webmaster Tools and get a list of your external links, so you can identify all pages that have received external links.
• Use Yahoo Site Explorer to identify the top pages listed there. Site Explorer tends to list the most important pages first.

Most of Bing’s Tools are from Live Search

Bings Local Business Centre:
The way to get to the local business centre in Live was to go to https://ssl.search.live.com/listings/BusinessSearch.aspx which is now redirected to https://ssl.bing.com/listings/BusinessSearch.aspx which also means if you had a Live Search Maps listings, you automatically also have a Bing listing.
Bing Webmaster Tools:
The old Live webmaster tools was at http://webmaster.live.com which is now redirected to http://www.bing.com/webmaster, the features are still the same, except the new logo on the top left.
China keeps blocking
It seems that as of today, the Chinese authorities have blocked internet access to Twitter, Flickr, Bing, Live.com, Hotmail.com and several other sites. WordPress , YouTube and Blogger are also blocked.
Hulu Traffic Coming To A Halt?
Hulu, the greatest video site we can’t access from Australia yet, has finally had its quick growth halted according to Comscore with a loss of visitors between March and April. The loss equates to approximately 1.4 million visitors but streams were still up at 397 million.
In other news Hulu have just released Hulu Desktop which allows people to access tv shows without browsing directly to the site. I would assume this would take visitor numbers off the site whilst stream statistics would remain unaffected. For more information see: http://www.hulu.com/labs/hulu-desktop
YouTube XL On The Big Screen
Just when you thought you couldn’t get enough of YouTube, they have released a version (made 100% in Flash) that is optimised for television viewing – YouTube XL. Basically you can now connect a web-browser capable appliance and access all of the YouTube content. Some of the optimised features specific for tv include larger video players and navigation controls (larger text and viewing area), continuous viewing of videos and “no page refresh”. From the look of it there is nothing new or groundbreaking here compared to the normal site except it is strange that no HD playback exists for XL.
http://www.youtube.com/xl
Bing Video Search
We all know Microsoft recently released Bing but did you know it comes complete with Video Search? Christophor Rick from ReelSEO states that many people are praising the live video preview on themouseover feature which oddly enough doesn’t work in Firefox. The Bing video search provides options to filter down results by length, screen size, resolution and source. Sources that the search is pulling from are MSN, AOL, MTV, Hulu, ESPN, YouTube, MySpace, DailyMotion and MetaCafe.
Christophor then goes on to say how he conducted a search for “Wolverine” and discovered that Bing has the largest set of results (more than Blinkx and Google). However, he notes that Microsoft has some serious filtering still to do as many of the videos in the search results are duplicated but on different sites.
How Top Websites Use Online Video
This article is based about VideoBloom which is a company that measures and indexes how much websites integrate online video into their website content. Their predictions from this research form the VIEW index and the latest data is below:
Here is a Breakdown of How Top Websites Apply Web Video
1. 34% Promotional Videos
2. 31% Demonstration Videos
3. 28% Information Videos
4. 26 % Entertainment Videos
5. 22% News Videos
6. 4% User Generated Content (UGC)
7. 3% Other
Google promotions in all their glory
A very cool Google Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjeCmHwqVpU&feature=player_embedded (clearly designed by marketers)
A very un-cool Google Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE0KNvECG2s&feature=player_embedded
That is a wrap for this week, we hope you enjoyed the different articles we found interesting this week, check back next week for the new SEO roundup.





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