SEO December 2015 Update

A summary of Josh Bachynski’s video


To paraphrase/summarise the video:

Do you need canonicals for product variations?
Canonicals ‘fold’ the product variations into one page.
If the user searches for product variations, then the product variation needs its own page!
My note: This is massive if taken literally. If someone is searching for different flavours of protein powder for example (which they do), then each flavour needs its own specific URL.

Press Releases
Only use with nofollow links

Don’t make doorway pages
If users search for specific queries/products, it’s okay to have a specific page optimised for the query, but if the page has a high bounce rate and poor user metrics, it could hurt your SEO.
Further reading here.

Disavow File
Josh has always said it doesn’t do anything, you need to get the links actually removed.
John Mueller (Google fella) maintains that the disavow file does work, and Josh cites one example he’s seen where it seems to have worked.

Alt Text
Alt text on images, does give SEO a boost.
Don’t put exact match keywords for more than one image per page, and only when relevant.

Do Not Have URL Parameters
You don’t want ?variable= and other random bits in your URLs that can be generated by some CMS and e-commerce platforms for example

Domain Names
Only pay a lot for a domain name, if it’s a short and catchy domain name which people will remember and search for.
Exact match domain names don’t seem to help rankings, but it does help when people search for your brand name or domain name.

Silo Building
Silo structure – having a logical hierarchy for your site is a good thing in terms of SEO.
Link here to silo building.


On site Structure
Still important – URLs, Keywords on page and URL, structure of site, schema and internal linking.

Off Site Semantic References
Links, mentions, nofollow links, views, off-page schema, reviews, confirming clicks – from SERPs.
Need to match and align with the relevant search queries

Title Tag
Is a ranking factor still. Just put main keyword in there.

Ads above the Fold
Ads are a ranking factor – if the user is ‘deterred form doing something on that page..”
Try and confirm this with A/B testing.  Google is now tracking user metrics, so anything that causes low conversion and/or high bounce rate can hurt your site.

Brand Searches
Becoming more of a ranking factor.  Brand searches with product help you to rank for that product.
For example, if people search for “walmart shirts” it will help Walmart rank for [shirts]

Keywords in H1
Important ranking factor still, mention it in the text/content too but don’t optimise.  Keyword stuffing will help rankings in the short term, then cause them to drop off suddenly.

Internal Linking Text
Needs to be natural, do not keyword stuff navigation including breadcrumbs.

Invalid HTML
Will hurt rankings.

John Mueller ‘Sh!ts on the American Dream’ in his October Google hangout, stating that small businesses can’t compete with the giants like Walmart in the SERPs. So have a different angle and/or product.




About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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