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The title of this post is intended to be a little tongue in cheek; clearly you will almost certainly not want to get your website kicked out of Google – although it is surprising how many website owners do seem to achieve this goal anyway. So in order to save this minority of people some time, I have decided to write a guide on how best to go about getting your site booted out of the world’s most used search engine. This is the fast track guide and spares no time for ethical tactics that will not get you banned or wiped from their index.
If you are practising SEO at home or you are new to SEO and want to get the inside scoop on what tools to use to make your workflow more efficient, then this post should help you out. My colleagues and I all work in a very professional environment, using the best tools that we can find but these tools often cost hundreds or thousands of £’s. When I work at home on my own personal projects I find that I need a comparable set of tools – albeit on a significantly reduced budget.
This is a problem I have found common among search specialists; given that we often have a couple to a few small projects at home there isn’t the same requirement for high end tools capable of managing hundreds of different accounts. Also without proxy servers and a dedicated fibre optic broadband line you can be limited in some areas.
That said there are many tools out there which are available for either a nominal one off fee or are completely free to use. Some tools are used online others need to be installed on your computer. One of the most attractive aspects of SEO is that so long as you have a laptop and an internet connection you can pretty much work from anywhere. They say that a bad workman that blames his tools, which is something you should never need to do if you follow the recommendations in this post.
How to Resolve the Canonical Issue on Your Website
What is the canonical issue?
A canonical issue arises when 301 redirects are not properly in place. This means that your website can be accessed by search engines from several different URLs. This means that search engines can then potentially index your site under different URLs, meaning that it will look like a site of duplicated content.
Despite the action packed title this is a very serious topic, malicious attacks on websites are nothing new, and are certainly something Sony are very familiar this week. Botnets for example have been used in the past by hackers and programmers to create distributed computer networks in order to cause denial of service attacks on websites. Often a denial of service attack would be used to blackmail or threaten a company into giving the website assassin money in exchange for ceasing the attack.
However clever and hard to trace these DOS attacks are, it is still possible to trace, identify and prosecute the perpetrator. The rise of SEO in modern day marketing however has started to deliver a new generation of website assassins and tactics. Anyone who has read about the recent penalty applied to JC Penney will probably have thought to themselves; so if I buy a thousand spammy links pointing to a competitor site then report this anonymously to Google, they could be penalised too.
So what is it?
Well the new directive stipulates that explicit consent must be gained from every site visitor in order to install cookies on the visitor’s computer. That is being interpreted by most people as requiring some sort of pop up style consent form that asks visitors if they agree to allow specific cookies to be installed.
It was a beautiful day in sunny Brighton, one of my favourite places, as a full house of 250 search professionals, hobbyists and practitioners were seated in a theatre at Brighton University for the conference. The day kicked off with a deliberately provocative debate titled “Is SEO doomed?” This instantly sparked hot and, in some cases, furious comments from both the rather candid speakers and the audience.
One of the first points of contention arose from Linkdex’s Managing director who said that “SEO is about building trust with people and the community”. This provoked a flurry of rebuttals from enraged or befuddled speakers who retorted with comments like “SEO is about building trust with search engines”, “SEO is about rankings” and “SEO is about delivering traffic to a website”.
In my humble opinion all of these were valid points, and are in most cases directly proportional to one another… Rankings will bring traffic for example, and engaging with your industries community and target audience is equally important for many businesses SEO strategy.
Enabling Gzip compression is commonly suggested by Google and many other sources as being an important step in reducing website load times. For me personally it is a mandatory step in either the website construction or the Search Engine Optimisation process. You can detect whether Gzip compression has been enabled on the server by visiting the following website GidNetwork.
Like image optimisation this is a topic unto itself and does require some coding, fortunately like most code you can copy and paste it without having to understand it!
Images are nearly always the largest item on a page and if you have icons for “contact us” and “home”, a company logo, ticks or crosses, background images etc; all of a sudden you can have an overweight website, rather than a toned athletic one!
The speed that your website loads is the proverbial first impression that many web developers and website owners often neglect. It is easy to miss-gauge the speed that your website loads at because your internet browser will likely have cached the pages and images on the site.
This means that the next time that you load it, your browser will already have aspects of the site stored on your computer; therefore you are not using your network bandwidth to download it unlike your site visitors. It’s a deception that can lead to major issues further down the line, as I will now explain.
What is a negative keyword in essence? I have a mathematical mind and to me a negative keyword is in essence a filter. So what is a filter? A filter is a device or tool or substance that removes something from that which passes through it. A filter does not change or add anything it only removes or reduces.
We all know how useful negative keywords are in an AdWords campaign. Often when a new client comes onboard with an existing PPC campaign it’s possible to reduce cost, increase CTR (Click through Rate) and ultimately the conversion rate by simply adding a few thousand well researched negative keywords. Read More
There is no avoiding the fact that Negative keyword research is a vital component of any PPC campaign using broad or phrase match keywords. It is also one of the most labour intensive tasks in the process and involves some painstaking diligence.
The practice of downloading vast lists of keywords, splitting them into single word rows, and manually checking each word for relevance can be arduous. As well as being a gruelling task it also leaves itself open to human error, you can miss a word which may prevent half the ads in a campaign from displaying, prompting you to search for and find the offending negative and remove it.
So how can you make negative keyword research easier? Well, I’m all for working smart rather than hard wherever possible and coming from a technical background as an IT Engineer for almost a decade there are a few tricks up my techy sleeves. One of the simplest and most eloquent little tricks is using MS Excel’s useful “VLOOKUP” formula in conjunction with an auto-filter.
Fear not, this is much easier than it sounds!