Watch Out – Canonical URL Bloopers

I’ve been pretty careful to ensure all of my websites land on a www.domainnameDOTcom or without the www. with just domainnameDOTcom. Not too long ago there were plenty of warnings explaining the importance of having your domain direct to just ONE version, not both.

For some reason I decided to do some random checking on my domains and lo and behold – I found *four* domains with problems. Two were recently moved to a different host, maybe something got lost in the transfer? One domain I have no explaination for – there was no .htaccess code specifying the version to use. Anytime I build a site – the .htaccess codes are one of the first things I take care of before the site goes live and is at the top of the ‘New Sites To Do List’ and then checked off with a double look to ensure everything is good to go.

The fourth domain was interesting. It was my directory site fabaroo.com. The directory itself was fine, only allowing for the non-www version, but the article blog was sticking for both versions. So I checked another domain with a blog subfolder – sure e’nuff, both www and non-www were sticking. I had to go into the blog folder’s .htaccess file and paste the code for the non-www version.

Why not take 15 minutes today to run through each of your websites. Check for www and non-www on all subfolders too (like blogs). Make sure everything is only directing to one version.

I did some checking in Yahoo for my affiliate sites that had the bloopers, and yup – a few scraper sites have pointed links to the opposite version than what I was using. For example if all the inbound links I worked on were pointing to the non-www version of my domain, the scraper site pointed to the www version.

Not. Nice.

ETA: Comments turned off 07-10-06 due to comment spam attacks problems

Link Exchange Thoughts

The past week or so I’ve been getting a bunch of emails asking to exchange links with one of my websites. I haven’t accepted any yet.

Here’s why:

Nearly every links page my site was going to be placed on had an explosion of links on it. Dozens and dozens and dozens of links.

Most not on topic. Maybe the website itself is, but the links page sure isn’t (links to dating sites, hardware sites, php script sites, etc.)

The page itself is a motley mix of crammed in content so that if a visitor was interested in poking through the links page – they wouldn’t find my link unless they were very determined.

Really what benefit do I have to exchange links with a site like that? Even if the PR is high – there are 75+ links on the page and I’m buried where no one will find me! πŸ˜†

Here’s what I look for when doing a link exchange:

  • A clean page with no more than 20 or so links
  • The site is on topic with mine
  • The links exchange page is on topic – meaning the other links on the page are a good fit with mine
  • The spiders aren’t blocked and some PR shows (doesn’t matter to me how high or low the PR is)
  • The links are clean – not script generated
  • The links page is found from the website’s main page (so that visitors will find it).

These aren’t hard and fast rules of mine. I’ll bend them in certain cases. For example – I’d be a fool to turn my back on a high traffic, very targeted site. I’ll give it a twirl – no matter how full the links page is. I’ve found a goody or two that way.

I have a few link exchanges that offer my sites steady traffic. I try to setup my link pages the same way – something clean, something useful to my both my visitors and my link partners.

Why? The more successful your link exchange page is, the easier it is to maintain that link partnership as well as find new ones.

I realize the thinking is to gather as many inbound links as you can, with the anchor text that you want so that you can rise through the SERPs. I’m just not convinced that doing 1,000 crappy link exchanges is good SEO, short term or long term.

Be An SEO Apprentice

Now here’s something I wish I stumbled across a looooong time ago. I was reading Jill Whalen’s latest newsletter and she had this bit to say:

After you have some basic education, instead of trying to set up shop on your own, why not seek out established SEO companies, marketing companies, ad agencies, and Web design firms who are already doing some SEO, and see if they need an extra pair of hands? (You may even find these companies at the conference or seminar you attend.) There’s a good chance that if they are good at what they do, many of them could use some additional help. Don’t get too excited though — they won’t need you for the “fun” stuff at first, but more likely they will want to use you for the grunt work that nobody else wants to do. Unfortunately, stuff like keyword research, competitor analysis, link building, etc. are at the heart of a successful optimization campaign but can be awfully time-consuming. Most companies can always use help in this area, if you’re willing to work at a fairly low wage in order to gain some great training.

*ding* *ding* *ding*

I am really, ummm, ‘very undisciplined’ when it comes to keyword research, competitor analysis and yup – link building too. There’s a reason why goog doesn’t pop me into its top 10 **PAGES** :lol:.

But what a perfect way to build discipline and skill – work for an SEO company that knows what they’re doing and learn and develop SEO knowledge by working for them.

It seems when we’re working ‘for someone’, we find the time and inclination to do the crappy work. When it’s for ourselves – crappy work gets put on the back burner. Well for me that’s the case :P.

Jill was writing this in the context of someone wishing to be a professional SEO – as a career or business maybe. We could instead apply that to further ourselves and better ourselves as affiliate marketers.

Translation: Learn how to get our stuff ranked high πŸ˜†

I think it’s too late for me though. Just maintaining and building my current sites, plus working outside the home – doesn’t leave me much ‘consistent’ time to commit to a company. I would do it for peanuts too – just being grateful that someone’s giving me good, solid direction. Maybe it’s something someone here may be interested in trying though – so head’s up. I think it’s a terrific opportunity and a smart move.

If you would like to receive Jill Whalen’s newsletter in your own inbox, you can register here (free):

High Rankings Advisor

It’s one newsletter that I’ve recommended here before. One of those ‘real information providers’.

Google PR Update Happening

Yessssssss!

😎

Here’s where I’m at so far:

I’m noticing anything uploaded on or before June 19th has some PR showing. Pages uploaded after that are blank.

My directories are slowly moving, all at a PR 3 now (one was a 4, one was a 3, one was a 1 in the last update). Two are showing PR inside the categories, one isn’t. But too early to say yet if the third got missed this time or not.

My ‘thin affiliate’ sites are mainly a 2, the odd one a 3.

My content type sites are pretty much all at 4, one is still a dismal 2 though.

Nothing really too chaotic on my end.

PageRank DOES Matter

I could almost cry.

Finally someone walks up to the mic, shows no fear of scoffers and confidently proclaims:

PageRank Does Matter

Now hustle your buns out there folks with a new PR 0 site. And try to do some serious link building.

How’s that working for ya? πŸ˜‰

Hopefully there’ll be no more eyes rolling when I’m pumped that there’s been a PR update πŸ˜•

Link Co-op Sabotage Opportunity?

Oh this can be an ugly business.

All of my Co-op sites have fallen out of Yahoo
*Starting from this page – to the end of the thread – discussion re: links from co-ops possibly causing wipeouts in Yahoo. And … then … some … talk about the ability to use link co-ops to bounce competitors outta the way (ummm think GoogleBowling)

Yahoo hating the coop

From above blog post:

That has always been why search engines don’t penalize webmasters for inciming links. They don’t want site’s competitors manipulating their results. It seems that Yahoo has left themselves vulnerable to just that…

I have to disagree with that. Without getting too specific, I could do the same with Google. It’s called GoogleBowling.

I wonder if these link co-ops would respectfully accept requests from webmasters wanting their domains blacklisted from the co-ops? Meaning the co-ops would not allow those domains to have co-op links point to them?

I’m going to email Digital Point and ask.

I’ll keep you posted.