|Weekly SEO news: 28 January 2014|
|Welcome to the
latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.
If you have a multi-language website it can be difficult to get high rankings in the respective countries. This week's article will help you to optimize your multi-user website so that your web pages will get high rankings in the right countries.
In the news:
Yahoo makes secure search the default, 10 blue links are still the
norm, Google has a new mobile user agent, and more.
Table of contents:
We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.
| 1. How to optimize multi-language websites
If you have a multi-language website it can be difficult to get high rankings in the respective countries. This article will help you to optimize your multi-user website so that your web pages will get high rankings in the right countries.
1. Optimize the URL structure of your website
A) Use unique country domains
The best way to show Google that a part of your website is relevant to a particular country is to create an independent website for the country.
For example, Amazon.de is for Germany, Amazon.co.uk is for the United Kingdom. Google recommends dedicated country code top level domains as the preferred options for websites that are available in different languages.
B) Create a unique sub domain for each country
If you don't want to use country code top level domains, you can create a unique sub domain for each language. For example, you could use en.amazon.com, de.amazon.com, fr.amazon.com, etc.
Technically, a sub domain is totally independent from the main domain and it is relatively easy for search engine crawlers to index the sub domain as a country specific part of your website.
Theoretically, you could use sub directories (amazon.com/en/, amazon.com/de/, etc.) or URL parameters (&lang=de, &lang=en) to direct search engine robots to the different language versions of your website.
This method, however, often confuses search engine robots and it can happen that your web pages get lower rankings than they should.
2. Tell search engine robots that you have different language versions
The rel='alternate' attribute enables you to tell search engines that a web page is available in different language versions. For example, you could add the following to the head section of a web page if that page is available in English, German and French:
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://en.example.com” hreflang=”en” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://de.example.com” hreflang=”de” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://.fr.example.com” hreflang=”fr” />
All other languages can be directed to the default version of your website:
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com” hreflang=”x-default” />
When you create different versions of your website for different languages, do not just translate the content of your web pages. Different countries have different cultures. Things that work well in one country might not work in another.
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If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now. SEOprofiler is a full-featured SEO tool that will help you to get better rankings on Google in many languages. SEOprofiler supports 68 different countries and regions:
|2. Search engine news and articles of the week|
| Yahoo makes secure search the default
"Yahoo has now joined Google in making all searches people do automatically go through a secure server, to help prevent eavesdropping by outsiders. Unlike Google, however, Yahoo has failed to make an important change to how 'referrer' data is passed along, which will result in people thinking Yahoo Search has suddenly dropped in popularity. [...]
If someone searched on Yahoo for 'books' and clicked on a listing for Amazon, Amazon would be able to tell that it received a visitor from Yahoo and that the visitor searched for the word 'books.' With the change, this no longer happens.'"
Don’t believe the hype: ten blue links are alive and well in search
"Overall, search pages had images, news or shopping 34% of the time. While this is not an insubstantial percentage of pages and represents an increase from the past, this means 66% of search pages do not have rich SERP elements, which suggests the SERPs are not being overwhelmed by digital assets to the extent the headlines would have us believe. [...]
88% of SERPs have 9 or more natural search links, with nearly ¾’s (73%) having exactly ten. Similar to our earlier conclusion, this suggests that there remains significant opportunity for Marketers to appear organically in the search listings and capture market share."
Google: changes in crawl error reporting for redirects
"In the past, we would have reported the error observed at the end under URL A. Now, we'll instead report it as URL B. This makes it much easier to diagnose the crawl errors as they're shown in Webmaster Tools.
"China’s top search engine, has quietly launched its search site over the weekend in Thailand, Brazil, and Egypt. The sites are localized for each country’s language, and feature options for searching images, videos, and more.
"Internet display advertising grew by more than 32 percent in the first three quarters of 2013. [...]
A new Googlebot user-agent for crawling smartphone content
"We've seen cases where a webmaster inadvertently blocked smartphone crawling or indexing when they really meant to block just feature phone crawling or indexing. This ambiguity made it impossible for Google to index smartphone content of some sites, or for Google to recognize that these sites are smartphone-optimized."Search engine newslets
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|4. Previous articles|