Geoff Kenyon's Posts

Common eCommerce Technical SEO Problems

Between shopping almost exclusively online and working with eCommerce sites, I tend to see a few common problems repeatedly. This post is about the ones I have come across most commonly. Many of them are pretty basic SEO issues, like having clean URLs while others are a bit more involved, like stacked URLs. In this post, I cover:

Ugly URLs

While URL best practices have been around for quite some time, poor URLs are pervasive problem. For example, there is no good reason for the following URL to exist:

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Video SEO Tactics to Get Ranked

Video content should be part of your content strategy if it isn’t already as people really like it and it can be easier to rank video content for competitive keywords than ‘normal’ content when video results are incorporated into the SERP.  I wanted to share some tips from my experience. If you have other tips, drop a line in the comments and share!

Don’t Host Your Videos on YouTube

Ok, that’s not always true. YouTube is a good source of getting views for your videos as it is the second largest search engine, but it isn’t always the best place to host your videos.  If the keywords you are targeting cause video results to turn up in the search results, then you should not host the video on YouTube, rather, host it on your own site.

An additional consideration is that YouTube views rarely turn into website traffic. If your main goal is to drive more traffic to your website, you should host the video on your own site.

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Finding Outreach Targets With Competitive Research

When you are launching link bait and doing manual outreach for it, you should search for similar content and find who has linked to that content before. This will leave you with a list of people who are interested in your topic, so they will probably be interested in what you are promoting, and they have linked to related content before so they have already demonstrated a willingness to link to content similar to yours.

You might be saying, “well, this is great, but how do I find these linking sites?” I’m glad you asked. Here are some steps that I go through to find this related content.

1. Identifying Related Content

I usually search for topics along the lines of “topic + content description”. I will use Starbucks and an infographic as my example. For this I’d simply search for “Starbucks Infographic”.

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Time Based Penalties in Google

With the very public outing and penalizations of some large high profile sites in the last few months, the issue of time based penalties was given prominent exposure. These penalties lasted 30 days and 60 days.

I wanted to share a recent experience that I had with a temporal penalty – I have a mountain bike site that I used to run as a personal project that received a penalty in March. This penalty:

  • Decimated all of my rankings
  • Floored all of my organic traffic
The only real traffic left after the penalty was inflicted was due to referral traffic.

At this point I wrote off my site as completely lost and didn’t put in any real effort to fix it as the site wasn’t being monetized in any way. Even though I wasn’t monetizing the site, it was really disheartening to see something that I put a lot of effort into crash and burn (which spurred my abandonment).

The other day, I noticed that the traffic to this site had returned (though not quite to the previous level).

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Scalable Link Building

While link building is one of the more flashy parts of SEO, it is also probably the most time consuming SEO effort that most folks undertake. The difficulty with link building is that it doesn’t scale well; for most folks, building a lot of quality links systemically is extremely challenging.

For most people, scalable link building is trying to find a way to turn link building into a product, and scaling the production of that product. This has resulted in the mass use of “products” like:

  • Automated directories
  • Automated social bookmarking
  • Link networks
  • Comment/forum spam
  • Buying sidebar links

While utilizing these tactics produce low to no value links and typically are easy to spot creating significant inherent risk, there are some “products” that still produce some good links, though typically in lower quantity for the majority of people than the above tactics (obviously there are exceptions like The Oatmeal, YouTube, and Survey Monkey) such as:

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