Top performing SEO campaigns are all about aggregated marginal gains built on a solid technical platform. Over my first few posts in 2015, I’ll focus on different areas to check to get your site performing with its best.
Let’s start our spring clean by kicking the tires for a classic SEO issue.
Use Google Operators To Perform An Index Creep / Duplication Audit
Easily the most important site element to stay on top of, inadvertent duplication can kill a site’s SEO performance entirely. So how do we know what Google thinks of our site? Simple: We ask Google.
Use a site operator, and chain in a few “inurl” modifiers to dig through the key directories for your site content (see sample searches below for operator examples).
When you run these searches, look for any major discrepancies between the number of indexed URLs and the number that should be there. Dig into the causes of that for actions to resolve. Also, you’ll likely find a few structural causes of duplication that can be tidied up.
I’ll be using different example domains for each post in my series. This week it’s Target, viewed from the U.S.
In the screengrab below, you can see that Target’s mobile platform is creating tens of thousands of pages that are entirely duplicate (actually, substantially more… but we’ll come to that later).
As noted in the image above, adding a canonical tag to the template used to generate this functionality, pointing back to the product page, would tidy this issue up and boost the performance of the product pages.
That’s a fairly minor impact change, given Target’s 13 million plus indexed URLs, but usually issues like this are the tip of the iceberg. For example, even just staying on the mobile subdomain (which itself has ~4.2 million …read more