The biggest breakdown in website architecture is a navigation structure that prevents visitors from easily finding the information they need and blocks search engines from indexing your content. It doesn’t matter how perfectly your site is optimized if your site navigation fails to get searchers and search engines to your content. Ensuring your internal navigation structure and links are set up ensures proper search engine spidering and helps visitors find information they need quickly. Most people think of their website’s navigation is little more than the main navigation bar that displays at the top or right side of each web page. That’s a significant part of it, but in truth, there is a lot to know about how every link on your site should work in order to maintain a structurally sound, search engine friendly, and user-optimized website. But the main navigation is a good place to start… Build an Efficient Navigational Structure When it comes to navigation, … [Read more...] about The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Link and Navigation Structure
Structured xml authoring
The movement toward structured data markup (i.e., increasing use of standards like Open Graph, Schema.org, RDFa, etc.) has bothered me for awhile, but I could not exactly put my finger on the issues. A few weeks ago at SMX East, there were some great presentations on these topics, and I finally realized that I have many major reservations about the proliferation and use of these standards, on many levels (mostly from a publisher perspective; for end-users they are generally a very positive development). What Are These Standards? They sound complicated, but in layman’s terms, I would say: think of them as being similar to additional meta-tags on a page, similar to a meta-description or meta-keywords, but often in XML format, which convey certain structured information about various objects. Like meta-tags, these are intended to be machine-readable, but not necessarily presentable to humans in a browser. Much of the rich information showing up in search engine results (such as … [Read more...] about Structured Data Markup Was Inevitable, But Is It An Admission Of Failure?
After much confusion and frustration from multilingual site webmasters on how to properly use the hreflang element, Google announced new functionality to allow multilingual and multinational site owners to set the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” link annotation using XML sitemaps. This is a much better way of implementing it than telling webmasters to add hundreds of lines of code to their pages while simultaneously telling them to reduce lines of code. Help For Multiple Language Countries There are countries like Canada, Switzerland and Belgium that have multiple national languages and/or large populations that speak different languages resulting in companies creating specific language versions for these markets. Previously, we had no way to set both a country and languages since Webmaster tool’s Geographical Settings were for countries only. For example, Switzerland we could only tell Google that the German, French and Italian versions of the site were all … [Read more...] about How To Implement The hreflang Element Using XML Sitemaps
In one of the SMX videos available in the member’s area of Search Engine Land, several panelists noted that a shorter URL is more likely to be clicked in the SERPs than a longer one. That is, if you have a URL like http://www.yourdomain.com/2009/03/19/article-title/ it is less likely to get clicked than the following one, which is the same but without the dates: http://www.yourdomain.com/article-title/ As I researched this, I noticed that Search Engine Land does not use dates in its URLs, nor does Google spam expert Matt Cutts, nor does Aaron Wall. Since I have been using dates in my URLs on my blog for over two years, I researched how I could go about changing to not using dates. I found the following code and put it in my .htaccess file: RedirectMatch 301 /([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$4 (Notes: This should be all one line, and to make this work for my blog I had to change “domain.com” to “keenerliving.com”) Before … [Read more...] about A Case Study In Changing URL Structure
Google, Yahoo, and Bing have joined forces to enable web publishers to include additional HTML that adds more structure to their pages, and possibly makes those pages easier to index and may provide them with a little more control over what may show up in search results for pages. There’s some controversy over the approach, some questions about the impact of related patents that all three search engines have been granted, and web publishers should be paying attention to the possible impacts of this initiative from the search giants. Google’s Author Markup Yesterday, Google announced that they were introducing a way to add HTML code to a page to indicate who the author of the page might be. This code would appear as part of a link pointing to an author’s page on the same site, so that a search engine might associate the content of that page with the author who wrote it. The announcement was made in the Google Inside Search blog, in the post Authorship markup and web … [Read more...] about Author Markup, Schema.org and Patents, Oh My!