*This is a guest tip by by Peter Ulstrup Hansen.*
SEO consists of a mix of disciplines; link building, copy writing and code optimization just to name a few. At the base of these disciplines is indexing barrier identification and removal.
Indexing barriers are issues that prevent the search engines from crawling and indexing a website properly.
1. Use www.URIValet.com to check server headers and make sure all redirects are set up using server header redirect code 301. Example: Decide weather to use www or non-www for the website, i.e. http://www.domain.com or http://domain.com. Use 301 redirect to the canonical domain (the www or non-www version of your choice).
You can use URIValet as well, for checking loading times which should be as low as possible, less than 5 seconds on a 1.5 Mbps connection.
2. Duplicate content can cause problems for proper indexation, check for risk of duplicate content by using Google Search. Do a search for site:yourdomain.com, go to the last page and expand the search, again, go to the last page and look for duplicates. Another method, still using Google Search, is to copy a small passage from one of your pages and do a search, if the same content is represented at more URLs, there is a problem. Personally I don’t believe the
rel=”canonical” attribute is sufficient to avoid duplicate content.
Common duplicate content causes:
- Print versions of articles (copy) have separate URLs
- PDF versions of articles (copy)
- Session IDs, Click IDs, Time stamps and other IDs in URLs
- Breadcrumb URLs
- Site search result URLs
There might be other indexing barriers but these are the most common.