Another exciting week of SEO is in the books, and we all know what that means… it’s time for GNOME LIKES!!!
But before we jump into this week’s recap of the best SEO posts, we need to preemptively cover next week’s “hot topic” (i.e., the topic that everyone’s going to be writing about).
In case you missed it, Matt Cutts dropped this little Twitter bomb on Friday afternoon:
New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 28, 2012
This shouldn’t be particularly shocking because the SEO community has speculated about an EMD adjustment for quite some time, but be prepared for an avalanche of posts this week (for the record, this and this are both good posts about this topic).
And now… on with the recap!
In this post, Jason Acidre provides an excellent guide to performing a technical SEO audit with nothing more than Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).
Jason begins by investigating a site’s indexability (i.e., is Google indexing the site’s pages?). Using GWT, you are able to see the number of pages that have been submitted through XML Sitemaps as well as the number of submitted pages that Google has actually indexed. Here’s an example:
Using this information as a reference point, Jason also performs a Google “site:” search and an Index Status check (using GWT, go to “Health” > “Index Status”). With all of this information, you should be able to approximate the indexability of your site.
Next, Jason turns his attention to trying to identify duplicate pages or pages with thin content. Unfortunately, GWT doesn’t offer a great tool for accomplishing this task, but Jason shows how to use GWT’s HTML Improvements feature and Google “site:” searches to make the task more manageable.
After describing a process for identifying URL-based duplicate content (read the full post for more details), Jason dives into GWT’s Crawl Errors feature. This is one of my favorite features in GWT because it quickly itemizes the URLs that Google views as problematic (if Google has a problem with a URL, you definitely want to fix that problem!)
The biggest (and most common) problem you’ll identify with Crawl Errors is a list of URLs that Google was unable to find. Here’s an example:
I don’t want to give away all of the details of Jason’s post because I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety. But I will list the remaining topics he covers (to give you even more incentive to read it): HTML Improvements, Site Speed, Search Queries, Structured Data, and an excellent Link Profile Analysis.
Now, go read the post for more details!
If you own a business with a physical location (or you work in local SEO), you’re well aware of the value associated with local citations (i.e., online mentions of your business name and address). And if you’re not… you should be!
In this post, Andrew Shotland offers two incredibly valuable lists: (1) The Largest Local Business Directories in the US and (2) The Top U.S. Local Citation Sources.
I’ll give you the top 5 for each list below, and then, you can read the post for the rest. Let’s start with the list of local business directories in the US:
And now for the top 5 from the list of local directory citation sources:
The first list has 50 more directories on it, and the second list has 10 more citation sources. Go check them out!
Last week, we officially announced a brand new SEO contest, which we’re calling, “Free for Fall.” This post has all of the contest details, and hopefully, it answers any lingering questions.
Here’s a quick summary of the most important contest rules:
- To be considered for the contest, you need to enter your name, email address, and website URL in the contest entry form.
- The winner will receive a free Nissen SEO audit (currently valued at $2,000) on the URL submitted as part of the contest entry form.
- Contest entries MUST be received BEFORE 11:59pm CST on Friday, October 19, 2012.
- In exchange for the free audit, the winner will allow Web Gnomes to document and publicize the auditing process (i.e., a free audit and free publicity in exchange for a case study).
For full contest details, check out the full announcement post… or contact us!
In honor of the previous local SEO post (see above), I’m including this incredibly funny (and sadly… incredibly true) infographic about Google+ Local.
The guys at Nifty Marketing hit a home run with this one…
Over to You!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s recap, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What were some of your favorite posts this week? What do you think about Google+ Local? Have you entered Free for Fall yet?!?!