SES Berlin: succesful website architecture
At SES there's always a session about structuring your website. Building it hierarchical and creating semantic correct links from one page to another without spilling to much of the linkworth. In this session there were three presentations. First up was Jens Fauldrath from the Deutsche Telekom.
So now, that's solved as well. But old pages, that don't belong in the index, are still in there. Think for instance of Pagination pages. You can use the NoIndex meta-tag. When it doesn't have a ranking goal, you don't need it in the index.
You can also use Canonical tags for pages that are near duplicate. This way you can leverage the link power of those pages into a page that really needs it.
Then Jens made quite nice table/diagram where he plotted al the options, issues and solutions to it. When the presentations are out there i'll add them to this post.
Next of was a little bit about metrics that you can use as an SEO to see how well you are doing.
These questions need answers
On of the big issues they found out on the focus online site was that they were having duplicate content issues with trailing slashing. This means that /celebrity and /celebrity/ were resolving the same webpage and they both were in the index. the pages were PR6 and PR3. The solution was that they redirected the PR3 into the PR6. These days you could also use the canonical tag to solve this issue now.
Why is the structure so important? Google can identify the semantic value of the content. Also it's in the W3C since last week Google doesn't display URL's anymore, but breadcrumbs, this is used to make better CTR from the SERPs. It also creates a more transparant way to see where you are heading, and how the website is structured. Of course all to get lower bouncerates on the landingpages and help people finding the right page more easy then before.
Then talked about what's in the index? Just use the "site:" operator in Google to look what it has found from your website. The best thing you can do: Just click around. Be sure to also check out the cache (and the cachedate -your editor) since this is also a nice indicator of the importance of you website and webpages. Then there's some more about parameters in URL's and session ID's. A good tip was to look at your 404 pages. What's on it? Are they in the index and how much om them are? You can also the check the number of 404 of indexed URL in the Google Webmaster Tools.
All in all a good session for beginners (it was the beginnerstrack) in which they got some solid handles to checkup on your website SEO Health without doing actually rocket science. Every marketingmanager can do this, it he takes an afternoon for it, and is then able to tell the webdesigners or programmers which issues to solve. Especcially the diagram op Jens comes in handy when finding some advanced solutions to some very basic problems a lot of sites experience.
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