April 20, 2014

Live Blogging SMX: Site Architecture for the Advanced SEO

The live blog of “Build it Better: site architecture for the Advanced SEO” will start momentarily. Vanessa Fox, Adam Audette, Maile Ohye, Lori Ulloa and Brian Ussery will be speaking. Stay tuned here and refresh for my thoughts, insights, & recap.

Vanessa and Maile must have a lot of clout here, as there’s a facebook session going on across the hall and the site architecture room is standing room only rightnow.

Lots of the room has complicated problems – not sure how many are related to search though.

Maile is up first. She’s using Google store. It has 158 products but 380,000 URLs indexed. How does that happen?

First point: protocol and domain case insnsitivity. http://www.example.com and HTTP://WWW.EXAMPLE.COM can be different.

Advocating a consistent url structure to reduce duplication and facilitate accurate indexing. suggestion: keep everything lowercase.

301s and rel=canonical can cause slower crawling. Google crawls 300 and 400 status less than 200s. If your site is down for maintenance use a 500 response code to not reduce crawl times.

Don’t be like the Google store, use standard encodings and &key=value stuff. no crazy stuff in place of key value pairs.

Google crawl prioritization.
Indexing priorities: URLs with updated content, new urls with probability of unique/important content.
Sitemap information (xml here) is used.
Ability to load the site (uptime, load, etc) also comes into play.

To increase Googlebot visits:
strengthen indexing signals above. (links, uniqueness, freshness)
Use the proper response codes.
Keep pages closer to the homepage. Further clicks away = less frequent indexing.
Use standard encodings
Prevent the crawling of unnecessary content.

Improve “long tail content” Be wary that we as webmasters call it long tail, but to users it’s the content they want.

Seek out and destroy duplicate content and use the canonical and 301. Google can find these for you in webmaster tools.

Include Microformats to enhance results with rich snippets. Gives the ability to include reviews, recipes, people, events, etc. Her example is the hrecipes format.

Create video sitemaps/mRSS feed. (only Google supports these currently. BingHOO says they’re working on)

Adam Audette is up now and he’s shilling Vanessa’s book – marketing in the age of google.

First, make the best user experience, then leverage that for SEO. That’s good advice.

He’s using amazon as his example. Talking about the top and left nav and how they make search prominent.

Sweet, they’re giving out jane and robot stickers. Gotta get me one of those.

Google shows less images in search results depending upon the size of your screen resolution.

adding dimensions to your images in addition to alt attributes can help browsers and search engines, and increase speed.

Use .png files if possible. Muchsmaller than.gif or .jpg

use EXIF, Tags, Geo, and what not.

Looks like we’ve killed twitter too.

Things you can test:
1. pages indexed. everybody knows how to do a site: query
2. Canonical (www and non www)
3. in-links using yahoo site explorer. (there was a plea to binghoo to keep this tool live)
4. sitemaps – blah blah blah
5. site speed – I’m so tired of hearing about this. it’s not a big factor at all.

Maile says that Google still doesn’t want search results in their search results. Disallow your search pages. Category pages however, are still very welcome.

Maile also said that Google uses toolbar page load times not googlebot crawl times. Good to know, but still don’t like people obsessing so much over speed.

text -indent -999px is not a safe technique to use instead of alt text.

pubsubhubub is an open protocol that lets you push content to search engines rather than let them try to index you. It’s not yet incorporated into google’s pipeline.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com