Weekly SEO news: 19 May 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Checking the technical aspects of your website is a necessity if you want to make sure that Google and other search engines give your web pages high rankings. If your web pages contain particular errors, Google won't be able to see them. Regular website audits make sure that your site gets the rankings that it deserves.

In the news: Bing's approach to mobile-friendly, Google penalizes thin-content sites, more about Panda and Penguin, user experience is not a ranking factor 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.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Now Google see you, now they don't
Checking the technical aspects of your website is a necessity if you want to make sure that Google and other search engines give your web pages high rankings. If your web pages contain particular errors, Google won't be able to see them. Regular website audits make sure that your site gets the rankings that it deserves.

1. Check your website for critial errors

Critical errors are errors that can have an immediate effect on the rankings of your website on Google:
  • Broken links

    Every website has broken links. If you update your web pages frequently, you will find many links that need an udpate. Some websites disappear, web pages get deleted, etc.

  • Server errors
  • Timeout errors

    Server errors can cause major problems with search engines. If a web page delivers the wrong HTTP status code, search engines won't index it. For that reason, it is important to check your website for server errors.

  • Empty titles
  • Duplicate titles

    Empty titles and duplicate titles are a lost search engine optimization opportunity. If a web page has an empty title, it won't rank as highly as it could.
You should avoid these errors if you don't want to risk ranking problems. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler regularly checks if these errors appear on your web pages to make sure that your pages get the best possible rankings.


2. Check your web pages for things that can cause problems

Even if your website does not contain critical errors, there are several things that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages:
  • Duplicate pages
  • Duplicate content

    Although there is no penalty for duplicate content, it is difficult to get high rankings for pages with duplicate content. If possible, avoid duplicate content on your web pages.
  • http & https
  • www & non-www

    If your web pages are linked with and without www, and with both http and https, there can be canonical URL problems. Identify these pages and use the rel=canonical attribute on these pages.
  • No text content
  • Little text content

    Web pages with no content or little text content won't get high rankings.

  • No bot allowed
  • Bot blocked

    Some webmasters accidentally block search engine robots without knowing it. If a web page blocks search engine robots, it cannot get high rankings.
  • Click depth

    A very high click depth can be an indicator that people cannot find a page easily. Web pages that aren't easy to find should not contain important content.

  • Temporary redirects
  • Too many links

    Temporary redirects can cause problems with search engines. Pages with too many links (in relation to the actual content) won't get high rankings.

  • Meta Description empty
  • Meta Description too short
  • Meta Description too long
  • Meta Description wasted
  • Meta Refresh

    The meta description tag does not have a direct influence on the rankings of a web page. It can, however, have a major influence on the number of clicks that your listing gets on the search results page. Meta refreshs can cause problems with search engines if they aren't used correctly.

  • Duplicate canonical attribute
  • Duplicate meta tag

    Duplicate canonical attributes can keep search engine robots away. A duplicate meta tag is an indicator of a low quality web page.

  • Page too big
  • Title too short
  • Title too long
  • Title wasted
  • Title tag twice

    The title tag is an important web page element. For that reason, you should make sure that your web pages have the right title tags. If a page is too big, search engine robots might not index it completely and/or website visitors might go away before the page has fully loaded.

  • URL invalid
  • URL too dynamic
  • URL too long

    Invalid URLs or URLs with too many variables can cause problems with search engine robots. The same with URLs that are too long.
All of these things can have a positive influence on the rankings of your web pages if you optimize them. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler regularly checks if your web pages use these elements correctly.


3. Check your web pages for things that can be improved

In addition to the things above, there are several things that you can check to make sure that your web pages get the best possible rankings:
  • Anchor text wasted
  • H1 tag keyword
  • H1 tag empty
  • H1 tag missing
  • H1 tag wasted
  • Image problems
  • Meta Robots None
  • Meta NoFollow
  • Meta NoIndex
  • Meta NoSnippet
  • Perm. redirect (301)
  • Other redirect (303)
  • Temp. redirect (307)
  • Forbidden (403)
  • Redirect same URL
  • Upper case URLs
  • Rel. link to domain
  • Canonical URL used
Checking these things will make sure that your web pages perform as well as possible. For example, images should have descriptive alt attributes, H1 tags should contain the right keywords, etc. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks your web pages for these elements.


4. Check your web pages for spelling mistakes

The website audit tool also checks your web pages for spelling mistakes. Most websites contain a lot of spelling mistakes and typing mistakes. First impressions count, so it's better to correct these mistakes.

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler regular checks your web pages to make sure that everything is correct. You will save time and you will be able to correct errors quickly and easily:

Try SEOprofiler risk-free

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Bing: our approach to mobile-friendly search

"You might have noticed we recently started tagging search results as 'Mobile-friendly'. This enables the user to skim through the search results to know which ones will quickly answer their information needs. [...]

Our approach to mobile friendliness as a ranking signal balances the need to improve the ranking for mobile-friendly pages, with the continued focus on delivering the most relevant results for a given query."


GoogleGoogle slaps mass manual actions for thin content

"Google has issued mass manual actions over 'Thin content with little or no added value.'

It seems Google went after a content network and located many of the sites participating in this network and then slapping them with thin content manual actions."


Google: Panda & Penguin are in real time but still require manual data updates

"Essentially, both (Panda and Penguin) are built-in in the realtime infrastructure, but the data has to be updated separately. I think this two-part process is what's leading to the confusion. [...]

Without the updated data, even though these algorithms are built into the real time infrastructure, you won't see any changes to your rankings around those specific algorithms."


GoogleGoogle: user experience is not a ranking factor on desktop


"The mobile friendly update is purely about the user experience of your web site on a mobile device. But when it comes to desktop, Google currently doesn’t look at UX (user experience) signals for ranking. That may change but for now, UX is not a direct ranking signal."

Related: Google: UX will never be more important than content for ranking


Google AdWords: you can have up to 200 labels per account

AdWords labels are an additional way to group and report on your AdWords campaigns. In an online discussion, Google's Kathleen G. said that the maximum number of labels per account is 200. You can apply a single label to a maximum of 1000 accounts.


Search engine newslets

  • Bing showing most recent Facebook post in company knowledge graphs.
  • Bing is testing a new site search in search results.
  • Why Google may finally be done ripping you off.
3. Recommended resources

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