Live Coverage of Diagnosing Web Site Architecture Issues at SMX West

Feb 10, 2009 • 5:50 pm | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2009 West
 

Below is live coverage of the Diagnosing Web Site Architecture Issues from SMX West 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by both Barry Schwartz, the editor of the Search Engine Roundtable and Keri Morgret of Morgret Designs.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed. In addition, you can interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog.

Diagnosing Web Site Architecture Issues(02/10/2009) 
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2:48
Barry Schwartz:  Starting this session in about 10 minutes....
2:49
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2:53
Barry Schwartz:  Debra Mastaler via Alliance Link & Jill Whalen via High Rankings in the crowd for this session
2:53
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2:58
[Comment From AnneHaynes]
Hi
2:58
Barry Schwartz:  Starting in two minutes...
3:01
Barry Schwartz:  Vanessa says hello....
3:02
Barry Schwartz:  Vanessa will discuss her process for SEO diagnosis
3:02
Keri Morgret:  Assess where your site is today -> Identify problems -> root-cause analysis -> make improvements.
3:03
Keri Morgret:  Some of your problems might include traffic drops, traffic you're not expecting (wrong search terms), what's in your SERP does not look appealing, and customers have a bad click-through experience.
3:04
Barry Schwartz:  Ultimately we are looking for conversions.
3:04
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3:04
Barry Schwartz:  How to make sure it is not a problem
3:05
Barry Schwartz:  If you have a drop in PageRank, it doesnt mean there is an issue
3:05
Barry Schwartz:  But if there is an issue with number of pages indexed, then it may be an issue
3:06
Barry Schwartz:  Your "indexation ratio change," this tells you, as you add new pages to your site, the number of pages indexed vs what exists... this is not the best metric, just understand it.
3:06
Keri Morgret:  Step 1: Get the data. You need the data to diagnose the problem.
3:06
Barry Schwartz:  Vanessa makes sure to say she does not work at Google
3:07
Barry Schwartz:  But now she goes off on her Google love talk about all the cool Google tools, like Google Analytics, Website Optimizer, etc.
3:07
Keri Morgret:  Step 2: Find the cause.
3:07
Barry Schwartz:  Oh no, she got her hands on a lazer pointer
3:08
Keri Morgret:  There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes that may be the cause of the problem.
3:10
Keri Morgret:  Traffic drop: is it from search traffic? Is it a ranking or indexing problem?
3:10
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3:10
Keri Morgret:  Indexing problem: are fewer pages indexed? Is entire site deindex?

3:10
Keri Morgret:  Ranking problem: Drop for all keywords or only some? Same pages ranked before or different pages?
3:12
Keri Morgret:  She has an interesting diagram that is complicated, and she will make her presentation available later.
3:12
Keri Morgret:  janeandrobot.com has a lot of tools and checklists on their site.
3:12
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3:13
Barry Schwartz:  She then shows slides of a traffic drop, and then she showed slides of a search engine drop in traffic, and then she show it was a specific query
3:14
Keri Morgret:  Actually, I think it was all queries that had a drop.
3:14
Barry Schwartz:  She often looks at the XML Sitemap report in Google Webmaster Toosl, which shows pages submitted vs total indexed URLS
3:15
Keri Morgret:  Consider setting up different site maps for different types of pages. One sitemap for user profiles for example. (xml sitemaps, be sure to have an index file that points to all of the xml sitemaps.)
3:15
Keri Morgret:  Next: Findability Issues
3:16
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3:16
Keri Morgret:  She's diagnosing a page and seeing that it has a lot of redirect issues to other domains which explains why they weren't ranking.
3:16
Barry Schwartz:  What really matters is the "Conversion event"
3:17
Keri Morgret:  Daniel Schulman of Donordigital is up next.
3:18
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3:19
Barry Schwartz:  Information architecture is broken into three categories, website, technical and page
3:19
Keri Morgret:  Sitemaps:
HTML sitemap:
- regular page on your website
- Links to Main Sections
- Best Practices SEO recommends Linking from every page
- Tool: Take a look at your website.
3:20
Do You Use XML Sitemaps?
Yes
 ( 86% )
No
 ( 0% )
Sometimes
 ( 14% )

3:20
Keri Morgret:  Shows screenshot of XML sitemap, explains difference between xml and html sitemaps.
3:22
Keri Morgret:  Several tools to generate xml sitemaps. Online tools allow you to do a few pages (up to 500 or so), downloadable tools allow you to do more pages. If you've got a dynamic website that you're generating, you should be able to output a sitemap without crawling your own site.
3:22
Keri Morgret:  He uses writemaps.com for a basic conceptual site map. It's online, so it's easy to collaborate with people.
3:23
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3:23
Keri Morgret:  This can be helpful is you want to work on siloing your site and page rank sculpting and deciding what to nofollow.
3:24
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3:24
Keri Morgret:  Shows a picture of the actual sitemap of what a robot sees.
3:25
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3:25
Barry Schwartz:  Love them sitemaps, don't ya?
3:26
Barry Schwartz:  build your own web crawler or use a web crawler (not GoogleBot) to test this stuff
3:26
Barry Schwartz:  He likes PowerMapper.com
3:27
Keri Morgret:  2. Technical Architecture.
3:27
Keri Morgret:  How your webserver is configured, interacts with databases, connects to external websites, etc.
3:28
Barry Schwartz:  He then brings up the "preferred domain" feature from Google Webmaster Tools
3:28
[Comment From Vanessa Fox]
Who doesn't love sitemaps?
3:29
Barry Schwartz:  i.e. www version vs non www version, just tell Google which one to use
3:29
Keri Morgret:  a) canonical URLs. do a site:domain.com and site:www.domain.com, can show you if the versions are not being indexed the same. Do a 301 redirect in htaccess files.
3:30
Keri Morgret:  html, php, aspx, can all give canonical issues as well, trailing slashes, query parameters, and lots more.
3:31
Barry Schwartz:  dont forget the http vs https issues, dup content....
3:32
Keri Morgret:  relative URLs can cause a problem with http and https. Use absolute urls.
3:32
Barry Schwartz:  Capitalization issues aren't too bad with search engines.... personally, Google gets picky about them
3:33
Barry Schwartz:  Diagnostics for Canonical URL issues can be discovered with Google Analytics, where you export your pages and you can sort in Excel by page and see similar URLs
3:33
Barry Schwartz:  Also, look at Webmaster Tools, under Dianostics, Content Anaysis to find these issues
3:34
Barry Schwartz:  He is out of time, does Vanessa kick him off?
3:34
Barry Schwartz:  He pleads for another minute.... and gets it...
3:34
Barry Schwartz:  Vanessa, be a man and kick him off
3:35
Barry Schwartz:  Okay, he fights back by talking about 404 errors, a scary topic
3:35
Keri Morgret:  And don't forget about your server log files, they can tell you info you can't get from some of your other analytics programs.
3:35
Keri Morgret:  Michael Gray is up next.
3:36
Keri Morgret:  He's llooking at issues with large sites.
3:37
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3:37
Barry Schwartz:  Google is now hiding the supplemtnal index
3:38
Keri Morgret:  Trying to anticipate what people are searching for is helpful. Look at the superbowl search terms, then use them to prepare for next year.
3:38
Barry Schwartz:  Super Bowl SEO Tip: People like receipes
3:39
Keri Morgret:  Getting new pages index:

Get links on the home page, though may not always be practical.
Create a site map of just new items in xml, submit that to the search engines.
If it's a blog, use a blog ping, social media websites.
3:39
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3:40
Barry Schwartz:  Michael on the left with Jason
3:40
Keri Morgret:  Track crawl times:
- Best: use a database to track the last crawl time, for each of the search engines.
- OK- Add a date based output to common footer
3:41
Barry Schwartz:  Get this data and use it
3:41
Keri Morgret:  The database can give you a list of all of those pages that aren't crawled often. The footer method will be manual to see what hasn't been crawled lately.
3:41
Barry Schwartz:  FYI, Michael's blog is "Graywolf"....
3:41
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3:42
Barry Schwartz:  If you are making an XML Sitemap, go ahead and make an HTML sitemap, it is not much extra work
3:43
Keri Morgret:  Michael's a big fan of nofollow and sculpting, but mentions that it is contraversial. You might want to disallow some areas from crawling so it can speed up the spiders for the areas you do want.
3:43
Keri Morgret:  He also suggests using multiple site maps, with similar types of content in each sitemap.
3:44
3:44
Barry Schwartz:  Michael is done
3:44
Barry Schwartz:  Vanessa will now bring up her tools
3:44
Keri Morgret:  Hey, it's another link to janeandrobot!

3:45
Barry Schwartz:  She loves her Firefox plugins...
3:45
Barry Schwartz:  Switching UserAgent tool
3:45
Barry Schwartz:  She uses web developer toolbar
3:45
Barry Schwartz:  She likes the text version of the cache in Google
3:46
Barry Schwartz:  i.e. http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:56XNmfOrgEAJ:www.seroundtable.com/+seroundtable&hl=en&gl=us&strip=1
3:46
Keri Morgret:  Michael likes xenu link sleuth. Also suggests paying for a decent spider, since some of the freebies can have bugs.
3:47
Barry Schwartz:  SEO Toolbar, is a tool Daniel uses, likes to look at the nofollowed links
3:47
Keri Morgret:  There's a greasemonkey script you can use to highlight nofollow, if you don't want to use a plugin.
3:48
Keri Morgret:  yslow can look at page load time.
3:49
Barry Schwartz:  We are in Q&A Discussion time
3:50
Keri Morgret:  Another person uses noscript extension, but it can be a pain to use.
3:50
Keri Morgret:  Audience feedback time, for those that are not jetlagged and still alive.
3:51
[Comment From Prashant]
Search Status is also another great plugin to see nofollow, xml sitemap, alexa rank, and tons more quickly
3:52
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3:57
Keri Morgret:  Check out the developer accessibility checklist on janeandrobot.com as this has a lot of items that are good to check before going live.
3:58
[Comment From lazworld]
is this live
3:58
Keri Morgret:  @lazworld Yes it is.
3:58
[Comment From lazworld]
where is the video????????????
3:58
Keri Morgret:  @lazworld We're not taking video of the session, just pictures.
4:00
Barry Schwartz:  Michael suggests "Content delivery"
4:01
Keri Morgret:  Discussion about how to make unique content when you want to rank for a bunch of areas and cities, rather than have identical content that only has a different city name and nothing else different.
4:02
Barry Schwartz:  This session is over soon... Next session we are covering are both Expert Technical Review of Your Website and Up Close With YouTube
4:04
Barry Schwartz:  I am going to head to the next session, Keri will finish and end this session when it ends...
4:05
Keri Morgret:  Vanessa and Michael are having a conversation about cloaking.
4:05
[Comment From Prashant]
@barry is the next session immediately?
4:05
Keri Morgret:  @prashant It's at 4:30 I believe.
4:06
Keri Morgret:  Vanessa recommends we go to meet the search engines session later for good information.
4:06
[Comment From Prashant]
got it, thanks keri
4:09
Keri Morgret:  Q&A about how to deal with a product site with lots of URLs for same product, as that product is in several categories. Try getting stuff from database, passing info in cookies if possible.
4:11
Keri Morgret:  The site is having problems having all of their products indexed. One reason could be that the robots are busy crawling the same product with lots of different urls. Also possible issue with cobranding of site.
4:14
Keri Morgret:  For a different site that has some same common information -- have more different on each page than the same.
4:15
Keri Morgret:  Yahoo has a "no content" tag that you can use for some info duplicated across page.
4:16
Keri Morgret:  And that's it for this session!
4:17



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Comments:

Anne Haynes

02/10/2009 10:57 pm

This was great to watch live! I enjoyed the interaction and the content!

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