SMX Live: What's Really Important for Technical SEO?

Mar 9, 2011 - 1:35 pm 2 by
Filed Under SMX West 2011

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the What's Really Important for Technical SEO? panel from the SMX West 2011 conference. This coverage is provided by Barry Schwartz of RustyBrick.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

Finished Auto-Refresh: Off
Barry Schwartz: 10:37:27 am
Starting at :45, in about 7 minutes...
Barry Schwartz: 10:40:13 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:44:05 am
Starting a bit early....
Barry Schwartz: 10:44:12 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:44:40 am
Moderator: Vanessa Fox, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land
Q&A Moderator: Disa Johnson, CEO, SearchReturn
Speakers:
Greg Boser, SVP of Search Services, BlueGlass Interactive, Inc.
Jonathan Hochman, Founder and President, Hochman Consultants
Todd Nemet, Director – Technical Projects, Nine By Blue
Brian Ussery, CTO, Search Discovery Inc.
Barry Schwartz: 10:45:31 am
Vanessa is introducing everyone...
Barry Schwartz: 10:45:42 am
Vanessa starts off...
Barry Schwartz: 10:46:34 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:46:45 am
Vanessa speller her name wrong!!! HAHAHA HAHAHAHA
Barry Schwartz: 10:47:01 am
speller = spelled
Barry Schwartz: 10:47:28 am
Anyway, she is starting off with a case study on crawl efficiency
Barry Schwartz: 10:47:57 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:48:00 am
Here are some log files, showing how Google fetches pages on their site, including sitemaps
Barry Schwartz: 10:48:33 am
She shows how bots are fetching sitemaps but not the actual pages... So not much crawl time crawling actual URLs. You would not know this without looking at server log files...
Barry Schwartz: 10:49:06 am
So they learned from this and did a new analysis after changing the sitemaps...
Barry Schwartz: 10:49:24 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:49:47 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:50:15 am
So by making a slight modification on how they serve up sitemaps to Google, they saw a lot more traffic from Google...
Barry Schwartz: 10:50:24 am
Anyway, next up is GREG BOSER
Barry Schwartz: 10:50:52 am
click for full size
Wissam: 10:51:32 am
barry what was the change?
Barry Schwartz: 10:51:42 am
@wissam the change was restructuring the sitemaps and serving them differently. exactly what, I am not sure. Sorry.
Barry Schwartz: 10:52:39 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:53:12 am
Core Concepts include proper prioritization, proper top level analysis (log files) and Google is no longer "page" focused - overall content is very very important.
Wissam: 10:53:15 am
thank you :)
Barry Schwartz: 10:53:45 am
So true, page level is far gone. Google does stuff a lot on site level stuff...
Barry Schwartz: 10:54:14 am
Boser said even more so since the Farmer/Panda update this is even more true....
Barry Schwartz: 10:54:42 am
CPR - Content Performance Ratios...
Barry Schwartz: 10:54:46 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:55:00 am
How well is the content hat you are giving Google is performing right now before we get started...
Barry Schwartz: 10:56:09 am
Here is how you do the math...
Barry Schwartz: 10:56:34 am
Total URLs indexed, Total URLs visited = total URLS,
Barry Schwartz: 10:58:00 am
Browse URLs: 16,676
Browse Visits: 67,884

Category URLs: 109
Category Visits: 6,754

Product Detail URLs: 12,116
PRoduct Detail Visits: 90,642

Pagination URLs: 490
Pagination Visits: 2,421
Barry Schwartz: 10:58:16 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:59:08 am
Then once you look at content, then look at the link metrics...
Barry Schwartz: 10:59:33 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:00:02 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:00:36 am
You need to really understand what you are dealing with before starting on the site...
Barry Schwartz: 11:00:47 am
In this specific site, Pagination is the issue...
Barry Schwartz: 11:02:04 am
You can use nofollow, noindex, robots.txt to then kind of sculpt the pages for Google...
Barry Schwartz: 11:02:30 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:02:38 am
There is nothing on the slide about title tags because on large sites, there are other issues you need to address first...
Barry Schwartz: 11:02:52 am
You need to get a handle on the structure and performance of content...
Barry Schwartz: 11:03:15 am
In this case, he will trim down the site and get the most important indexed and ranking...
Barry Schwartz: 11:03:53 am
He also uses canonical tags...
Barry Schwartz: 11:05:51 am
Make your decisions 100% analytics and metric based. Don't just look at a site and go, it needs XYZ. Make decisions based on analytics...
Barry Schwartz: 11:06:35 am
Greg is done. Next up...
Barry Schwartz: 11:07:32 am
Todd Nemet, Director, Technical Projects, Nine By Blue is now up...
Barry Schwartz: 11:08:59 am
He wanted to make it interesting without...
Barry Schwartz: 11:09:02 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:09:25 am
What can you do without this?
* Network
* Web access logs
* Other sources like HTTP headers, domain stuff, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 11:09:49 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:09:52 am
Network engineers are really confident...
Barry Schwartz: 11:11:09 am
Ask these guys:
(1) Are you using load balancing round robin? Some solutions can hurt you www www1 www2 etc.
(2) How does the server do health checks
(3)Are there any reverse proxies
(4) Do you do URL rewriting
(5) Can I have log files...
Barry Schwartz: 11:11:59 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:12:31 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:14:18 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:14:49 am
Lots of technical know hows here, posting the slides...
Barry Schwartz: 11:14:54 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:14:59 am
Next topic is web access logs...
Barry Schwartz: 11:15:32 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:15:36 am
He shows a log file entry... One shows IE6 accessing the site and other other is GoogleBot
Barry Schwartz: 11:16:21 am
He explains all the parts of this log file...
Barry Schwartz: 11:16:30 am
His company designed a processor for log files...
Barry Schwartz: 11:16:50 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:16:54 am
The tool they uses makes an excel file with a lot of good data...
Barry Schwartz: 11:17:14 am
Bot activity, hierarchical view, query pararemeters, reverse dns, http response codes, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 11:17:36 am
He now shows examples of inefficiencies he found on sites
Barry Schwartz: 11:17:38 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:18:14 am
He then shares the sitemap issue Vanessa showed earlier...
Barry Schwartz: 11:18:37 am
Scary one, home page returning a 503 error, this was done by the load balancer....
Barry Schwartz: 11:19:00 am
Duplicate content problems, showing multiple URLs for the same page...
Barry Schwartz: 11:19:29 am
Sorting causing query parameters, he showed 32 sort by values, all same content, but 32 URLs, etc...
Barry Schwartz: 11:19:49 am
Lots of Poor error handling... The 404 pages not returning 404 pages...
Barry Schwartz: 11:20:45 am
Site is not cache friendly
Barry Schwartz: 11:20:55 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:21:20 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:21:48 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:22:10 am
Ted is done... next up...
Barry Schwartz: 11:22:38 am
Brian Ussery, CTO, Search Discovery Inc
Barry Schwartz: 11:23:15 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:23:46 am
- Technical SEO issues
- Path to indexing
- Hosting issues accessibility
- Hosting issues server response
- Host qualigiaation
- Back Speed
- Frontend speed
Barry Schwartz: 11:24:28 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:24:31 am
You do not want to block the bots
Barry Schwartz: 11:24:41 am
Hosting can have an impact...
Barry Schwartz: 11:24:52 am
Many hosts don't know anything about SEO
Barry Schwartz: 11:25:09 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:25:16 am
Use Google Webmaster Tools
Barry Schwartz: 11:25:37 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:26:22 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:27:09 am
Changing user agent to detect issues might not show you everything, hosts might do IP based content serving... So a good idea is to use the fetch as GoogleBot in GWMT.
Barry Schwartz: 11:27:30 am
Speed is important also...
Barry Schwartz: 11:27:33 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:28:29 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:28:40 am
FYI, clicking on the images open larger versions in new window...
Barry Schwartz: 11:29:46 am
Compress your files and support the if-modified-since
Barry Schwartz: 11:30:24 am
Server must respond quickly
Barry Schwartz: 11:30:42 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:30:54 am
Once you got the URL discovered and content is accessible, make sure the content is unique... Issues include canonical issues...
Barry Schwartz: 11:31:32 am
He uses the Google Store as an example of bad SEO
Barry Schwartz: 11:31:52 am
Check out this next slide
Barry Schwartz: 11:31:54 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:32:16 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:32:19 am
Looking at the Google Store in a text based browser
Barry Schwartz: 11:32:40 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:32:45 am
There are two different Google store web sites and he mocked the UK version...
Barry Schwartz: 11:33:24 am
google-store.com/ and google-store.com/index.php Two different PR issues
Barry Schwartz: 11:33:48 am
first has a PR 8 and second has a PR of 6
Barry Schwartz: 11:34:04 am
Vanessa joked, it could have a PR 14
Barry Schwartz: 11:34:30 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:34:45 am
He then goes into soft 404 issues...
Barry Schwartz: 11:35:53 am
Front end page speed, lots of tools measure a page's speed...
Barry Schwartz: 11:35:55 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:37:13 am
PageSpeed = Load Time
Barry Schwartz: 11:37:23 am
Site performance = load time + redirects
Barry Schwartz: 11:38:01 am
Technical SEO Checklist:
* Host access
* Host crawl efficiency
* Provide clear path
* Robots.txt
* Unique Content
* Use Google Webmaster Tools
Barry Schwartz: 11:38:18 am
now Jonathan Hochman, Founder and President, Hochman Consultants is up
Barry Schwartz: 11:40:08 am
The panelists are now mocking Lisa Barone
Barry Schwartz: 11:40:15 am
"Kitten without legs.."
Barry Schwartz: 11:40:44 am
The devil in the details is his presentation...
Barry Schwartz: 11:40:45 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:41:10 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:41:22 am
Why details matter?
Barry Schwartz: 11:41:54 am
Someone blocked their whole site because they had a block on the staging server and it was moved up to the live server...
Barry Schwartz: 11:42:11 am
To block staging server, use HTACCES
Barry Schwartz: 11:42:36 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:43:07 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:43:27 am
He shows more code examples on how to do redirects on several servers
Barry Schwartz: 11:43:42 am
Duplicate content in CMS and ecommerce systems
Barry Schwartz: 11:44:05 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:44:36 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:44:47 am
IF you have a site with million of pages, code optimization is really important. Reduce code, it will load faster...
Barry Schwartz: 11:45:04 am
Watch out for infinite URL spaces, such as calendars that go on forever...
Barry Schwartz: 11:45:36 am
If all your pages are indexed, you do not need to do code optimization so much
Barry Schwartz: 11:45:57 am
Submit a sitemap to see from them how many of your pages are indexed, because a site command doesn't work well..
Barry Schwartz: 11:46:26 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:46:42 am
He says there are tools out there that make sitemaps for you...
Barry Schwartz: 11:47:02 am
Place your sitemap in your robots.txt file
Barry Schwartz: 11:47:48 am
MAke sure to have unique titles and meta description and Google will tell you if you have dups there. In Google Webmaster Tools....
Barry Schwartz: 11:48:18 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:49:03 am
Spelling and typos... Your typos will show up in Google and it can lead to a page not ranking... You can run site wide spell checkers....
Barry Schwartz: 11:49:19 am
Broken Links: Xenu Link Sleuth does this for you
Barry Schwartz: 11:49:36 am
External links broken links show up in your error logs...
Barry Schwartz: 11:50:15 am
Hacking and Malware.... There isn't a great solution for it now but it happens a lot. Normally sites get hacked due to patches not being installed or malware on your developers computers...
Barry Schwartz: 11:51:01 am
Example...
Barry Schwartz: 11:51:08 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:51:40 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:51:43 am
Look at the second listing. :) "some party" ....
Barry Schwartz: 11:52:30 am
Code Validation.. it wont lead to ranking better, leads to better quality, leads to better user experience, etc... but wont change rankings....
Barry Schwartz: 11:53:36 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:53:52 am
SEO Intangibles... Happy visitors are the ones who will do stuff for you... i.e. link to you, tweets, bookmark, etc...
Barry Schwartz: 11:54:01 am
So an excellent site will lead to this....
Barry Schwartz: 11:55:26 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 11:55:49 am
That is all
Barry Schwartz: 11:56:01 am
Next sessions in 1.5 hours....
 

Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community

Follow

Search Video Recaps

 
Google Weekend Volatility, Google On Search Leak, Elizabeth Tucker Interview & Apple Intelligence - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Google Updates

Google Father's Day Weekend Search Ranking Volatility

Jun 16, 2024 - 8:32 am
Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 14, 2024

Jun 14, 2024 - 10:00 am
Search Video Recaps

Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Weekend Volatility, Google On Search Leak, Elizabeth Tucker Interview, Apple Intelligence & More

Jun 14, 2024 - 8:01 am
Google

Google Tests Multiple Featured Snippets Under From Sources Across The Web

Jun 14, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: Sometimes Search Experiments Conflict Causing Issues

Jun 14, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google Maps

Google Business Profiles Websites No Longer Load - 404

Jun 14, 2024 - 7:31 am
Previous Story: SMX Live: Paid Search Testing And Reporting