06 Aug The Top 10 SEO Mistakes – Part 2
All right and so, we are back, and we’re talking of duplicate content. This is duplicate content on your own page. Not like the last part of the last video, where we were talking about duplicate content on other people’s pages. No, copy – paste that kind of thing, no. I’m talking about, if you use some kind of CMS system. I mean I use one. I use WordPress and WordPress has this really cool function, which is good for users who want to look into my archives or check out a particular category on related topics.
Articles and my podcasts and my videos and so on, there at PaulBarrs.com, quick, shameless plug. Okay, moving on. When you use systems like this, they do create archives. They do create categories and base things by tags, sometimes even by author and so on and so on. Each time they do this of course, it replicates a small portion and creates duplicate content on your website. I don’t even know if you’re aware of this, but it actually does it.
Well, you certainly need to be aware of it and you need to do something about it. Now, there are a couple of different things, you can see here in the picture an example. We have octuplet number five, six, and seven. And on the back of each of them they all say link rel=canonicalhrf blah, blah, blah. Now, what that means — this is something that you’re going to need to look up, if you don’t know it already.
But you can, in the coding of your page, actually tell Google, “This is the number one page. This is the primary page. Please ignore the duplicate content,” and that’s the perfect way to do it. You can do it like that. Perhaps, you could just use a “no index” as well, which is another tag that can be used also. Whatever it is that you do, you have to do something, really. Because you want to give your primary weight, as far as the search engines are concerned to this primary page.
So that Google will, for example, Google, Bing, whomever; sorry, we always talk about the big G; but it will just go, “Yep, this is the main page. It’s the only one that we will show in the search engine results.” Because as soon as you start having lots of duplicate content, you devalue those pages.
How about this? This is an easy one for you to go home and check —duplicate meta-titles and/or tags. Now the meta-title, if you’re not familiar, is that title that will appear, usually in the dark blue, the hyperlink in the search engine results.
It’ll also often appear at the top of the browser. You can see that little title there for the page name. And again, if you’re using some kind of content management system then you must be extra careful. WordPress has this, as a famous flaw from an SEO point of view. It’ll ask you, “What is your site name? What is your site’s description?” You put these things in and it will then add that, unless it’s told otherwise, to every page and every post.
Not a good idea, particularly when you get onto your archives and your blog posts. I mean I have 600 pages or posts I should say, now on my site. I’ve been blogging for some time. The last thing I want to do is accidentally have hundreds of what, pages with the same titles and tags and descriptions and so on. Each of them have to be done individually, and there are various plugins that can help you do this.
So I’d like you to go home and check. Have a look at the titles on your site and see how they appear. This is a crucial thing from a search engine marketing point of view. How about this one, poor quality links? In this particular example, I’m talking about the links on other people’s websites coming back to you. Have you heard of the Google’s Disavow Tool? It’s designed to help you remove spam back links. Now back links are those links on other people’s websites that link back to you. We need to have back links. Back links are good. We like it when people link back to our content, don’t we?
That’s why we’re engaged, I hope in good quality content marketing, writing good quality content, recording good quality videos and so on. Putting them up on our websites, so that people will share them and that people will link to them from their websites back to ours. But there was this thing in the internet marketing world, and I can feel the dark shadows closing in around me right now, because it was a covert secret that all the SEO and marketing people were out there generating back links with these automated tools.
It was so easy to get them and guess what? It made a difference and it helped. Not anymore. Not since the latest updates. Oh, yeah, Google is starting to penalize people heavily for all these crappy links coming back to their sites. So you need to find out, what links you have coming back to your site. I’m suggesting that you use two really cool and free tools for this — Google’s Webmaster Tools and of course Google Analytics.
Now analytics will show you, if people are coming to and actually clicking through these links. Webmaster Tools, you can find out just what these links are. Now this can be a big job, there are companies out there that do nothing else, but track down poor quality links to your website, because this is a big issue. So you need to get into your website and find out, especially — oh, boy, ding, ding, ding, ding, let me ring the bells on this one — especially if you’ve had someone doing “SEO work” for you in the past.
This is crucially important that you do this and make a change. While we’re at it, let me just throw this in, number seven, not using analytics, or not using webmaster tools. Not much else I need to say, we’ve pretty well covered this already, but you’d be surprised just how many businesses, how many website owners are not registered, and using Google Analytics and are not registered and using Webmaster Tools. They’re both free at this point of time of this recording.
You should be using them. Here’s one fantastic little thing that I love about Webmaster Tools that you may not have been aware of. If Google has a problem with my website or perhaps with yours, wouldn’t it be nice if they would just hey, sent you an email “Guess what, Paul? We’ve got a problem with your website.” Ha, well, Google doesn’t do that, but in Webmaster Tools it does.
It gets uploaded there, that message into Webmaster Tools, “Hi, Paul. We’ve got a problem with your website. This is what it is, so you can go and fix it.” Tell me, if Google had a problem with your website, wouldn’t you like to know what it is? You can do that, when you’re registered and verified with Webmaster Tools. Okay, take a quick breath, I’m going to pause this video, and we’ll break this series up into three, one more to go, to learn more about the top ten search engine optimization sins, things that we don’t do online.