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182
votes
19answers
27k views

The Sitemap Paradox

We use a sitemap on Stack Overflow, but I have mixed feelings about it. Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites. Sitemaps supplement this data to allow ...
178
votes
21answers
34k views

What are the best ways to increase a site's position in Google?

What are the best ways to increase a site's position in Google?
142
votes
15answers
14k views

Site too large to officially use Google Analytics?

We just got this email from the Google Analytics team: We love that you love our product and use it as much as you do. We have observed however, that a website you are tracking with Google ...
79
votes
8answers
6k views

Does a site's bounce rate influence Google rankings?

Does Google consider bounce rate or something similar in ranking sites? Background: here at Stack Exchange we noticed that the latest Google algorithm changes resulted in about a 20% dip in traffic ...
48
votes
6answers
7k views

Another website is mirroring and ranks above my site in search results

There is a site of ill-repute known as thedirty which has completely mirrored my site and now has links appearing on Google at the #1 spot using my content. I checked my log files and noticed that ...
46
votes
4answers
9k views

How come com.google is a valid domain name?

https://com.google appears to be a Google upside-down-rightside-left. But how come .google is a valid domain name? Or wait, .com is and it is just somehow reversed using some hidden technique? Oh, ...
44
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the most important things I need to do to encourage Google Sitelinks?

My website used to have sitelinks and now it doesn't. It's very possible that it's due to changing the website to a sidebar design instead of having an "interstitial" type landing page which limited ...
43
votes
7answers
19k views

Will having multiple domains improve my seo?

Lets say I have a domain already, for example www.automobile4u.com (not mine), with a website fully running and all. The title of my "Website" says: <title>Used cars - buy and sell your used ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

Why isn't a newly purchased domain showing up in Google searches?

The domain ... http://trello.com ... was purchased a few months ago and is now live as of a week or so ago -- and has been linked from several prominent places on the web -- but searching for the ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Why isn't my website in Google search results?

Its been sometime and Google has yet to index my site, how can I get Google to index my website?
27
votes
2answers
769 views

How to use rel='canonical' properly

I have 3 URLS that serve the same data: www.example.com/product/foo www.example.com/product/foo?id=1 www.example.com?product=foo For Google's sake I want the URL www.example.com/product/foo to be ...
24
votes
6answers
19k views

How do you exclude yourself from Google Analytics on your website using cookies?

I'm trying to set up an exclusion filter with a browser cookie, so that my own visits to my don't show up in my Google Analytics. I tried 3 different methods and none of them have worked so far. I ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Is using only HTTPS bad in a SEO perspective?

I would like to set up a new business site. I plan to direct www.example.com to example.com and only use that domain. My plan is also to only use HTTPS and not HTTP. Does this affect the SEO for the ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Page appears indexed in Google but not findable for any search terms?

(Note that I am going to use screenshots here because I suspect writing about this will change the behavior over time.) If you do a Google search for uiviewcontroller best practices either with ...
22
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I prevent Google mistakenly offering to translate a page?

Several of my site's pages are appearing in search results with [Translate this page] next to it. When I click that it takes me to Google Translate and translates my page "from Catalan to English". ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I have both example.com and www.example.com?

I used to have a website which could be addressed by both example.com and www.example.com leading to the same page. Now, I moved to another server and only the example.com works. I got an email from ...
19
votes
5answers
974 views

Adsense - is it worth setting up?

How much traffic is necessary for adsense to make sense?
19
votes
2answers
4k views

Does Google penalize sites on “commercial” country code domains such as .me or .tv?

If I am thinking about using one of the 'fancy' top level domains such as .me or .tv should I be worried about how Google treats such domains? Or to put it another way, if all other things are equal ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Using rel=canonical with syndication

I work at a site which allows syndication of content (via API's and data dumps). We are finding that a number of sites which republish our content are appearing higher in Google search results, even ...
18
votes
4answers
947 views

How does Google put the “shine” on the “block all foo.com results” link that appears?

To repro: Go to google and do a search (for example, follow this link to search for Jeff Atwood) Follow the first result. Hit back in Chrome. Observe that the text that appears that says "Block all ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

Are keywords in URLs good SEO or needlessly redundant?

A coworker and I are locked in a debate over the value of SEO keywords in the URL of a page. She wants to change all the filenames of the HTML pages of a fencing company so they look like ...
18
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the purpose of google.com/blank.html

Somehow I recently ended up on http://www.google.com/blank.html (I was browsing as I often do, opening links and doing searches in background tabs, and I usually end up with thousands of tabs, so I ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

Why did Google stop indexing pages from our sitemap.xml?

We're seeing some pages that exist in our sitemap.xml but are inexplicably missing from Google's public search index. You can't download http://superuser.com/sitemap.xml -- we protect this file ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Where can I find the full list of Google/Microsoft CDN hosted AJAX files?

While Google hosts this list and Microsoft hosts this one there are several files missing such as jQuery UI CSS. Where can I find a complete listing of all the resources offered for major AJAX CDNs, ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is loading speed of a website important for SEO?

I see everywhere on the internet how to optimize loading speed of a website but no one says why it's important for SEO. Inevitably, there are reasons why Google has decided to take this factor into ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How can we remove an unflattering image that appears when searching for our company name in Google image search?

Can I issue a request to Google to remove an image search hit that affects our company in a bad way when Googling my company name? The image in question is not on our website. It's on other website ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Do shorter URLs benefit the pagerank and overall SEO value of pages vs. a longer categorised url showing the site structure

We are coming to the end of a long project in which we are upgrading our client's site from a custom built CMS to the latest version of Umbraco CMS whilst also making their website responsive. As part ...
17
votes
1answer
355 views

How do I prevent Google from serving a cached version of my site?

From what I understand I can tell Google to remove pages from their archive if I add the header: <meta name="ROBOTS" contents="NOARCHIVE" /> But won't this also remove the page from search ...
17
votes
3answers
906 views

Many Stack Overflow users' pages have no Google PageRank and they are not indexed, why?

If you go to my user page on Stack Overflow and you check it with the Google Toolbar, you can see it has no PageRank at all (this does happen for almost any user page, even people with much higher ...
16
votes
9answers
845 views

Is it possible to check Page Rank of a site without the Google toolbar?

I am just getting started in SEO, and I want to check the Page Rank of one of my sites. All google docs say to use their toolbar to check Page Rank. However I'm using Chromium. I could check with ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

How Google reacts on display:none for CSS media query?

According to Google Webmaster guideline "Hidden text" is not acceptable. Which means I do have a dov containing some good amount of title or paragraph with link or images if I make it display:none in ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I get Google to show links to my site hierarchy in search results?

I have recently noticed that for some websites, Google is linking to different locations in the site hierarchy instead of just the destination page URL. For instance, searching for "Malibu Rum Drink ...
14
votes
3answers
808 views

Do search engines directly penalize bad grammar?

Let's say I have a web page with user-contributed content, which has good content but with bad grammar, slang terms, and an inappropriate tone. I know that bad grammar is also a problem, because it ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Do search engines see comments in the source code as a backlink?

I would like to know if Google or any other search engine would regard a comment in the source-code containing a link: <!-- domain.com --> as a back-link. If yes how much weight is put ...
13
votes
5answers
225 views

Other than Google, how do I decide which search engines to optimize for?

Google has extensive tools for webmasters, and good SEO seems to be directed at Google first and foremost. But what other search engines should I be worrying about? I could look at my logs, but then, ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Does the Google spider render JavaScript?

Does the Google spider knows how to render JavaScript, or only HTML?
13
votes
3answers
407 views

Does Google rate the webpage by amount of visits?

There is quite extensive discussion about this topic on another website and I am really losing my confidence. The thing is that I claim that the amount (count) of visits is not a criteria for ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

Does Google cache robots.txt?

I added a robots.txt file to one of my sites a week ago, which should have prevented googlebot from attempting to fetch certain URLs. However, this weekend I can see Googlebot loading those exact ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How to diagnose a search engine ranking drop?

EDIT: Reworded & Cleaned Up to Ease Understanding There has been a significant drop (90%) in traffic from Google to one of my well-established sites (6+ years) in the last week. Searches show ...
13
votes
4answers
373 views

easy tool for creating XML sitemaps? (constantly expanding site)

Does anyone recommend either a php script that I can run as a CRON or somekind of thirdparty tool i can use to create sitemaps? My website is events bases and so the pages are pretty ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Is this a good approach to image Lazy Loading for SEO?

For images loaded via AJAX, or that I don't want indexed, use the data-* attribute approach: <img data-src="path/to/image.jpg" class="js-lazy-load" /> The javascript maps the data-src ...
12
votes
2answers
896 views

Google's 200 ranking factors

When doing research on SEO you most probably stumbled upon Google's statement there are approximately 200 ranking factors. I think it would be nice to have a list of all these 200 factors. Does ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Do dedicated IP addresses improve SEO?

I've googled that and I've found many opinions on this subject, and I'm not sure, if, dedicated IP addresses actually really improve SEO? Is it that different from shared IP address (of 50-100 other ...
12
votes
3answers
276 views

How did this website get a custom search bar listed under their search results?

Observe the following results for searching the text "dictionary" on Google: Notice that there is a custom search box at the bottom of the listing for dictionary.reference.com. Is there any ...
12
votes
5answers
424 views

Google+1 button strategy - Combined +1s or separate +1s?

I have included the Google+1 button on my blog. Each post outputs a +1 button on the bottom. Depending if you are viewing the actual post or just the main page the +1 button will "+1" either the post ...
12
votes
4answers
465 views

Status of Crawlable Ajax?

I saw that Google had a nice proposal/standard for making Ajax applications crawlable, via #! (hash bang). http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/10/proposal-for-making-ajax-crawlable.html ...
12
votes
1answer
258 views

Should you add version information to images on your website?

If you have images on your website that are likely to change (e.g. have a different watermark), but the same image name, should you add version information to the end of the image name, or would this ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Why should I use a subdomain structure over a directory structure?

I want to do blog.mysite.com but i know it will negatively impact my PR with Google. When is it preferable to structure your site like that vs mysite.com/blog? Is it only for the benefit of PR?
11
votes
3answers
12k views

Interpreting Full Referrer in Google Analytics

I pay for advertising through google adwords, and I'm watching to ensure I'm not paying for fake clicks. (I'm new at this). I have setup Google Analytics and I'm not sure how to interpret the FULL ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Prevent XML sitemaps from showing up in Google search results

How do I prevent my XML sitemap files from showing up in Google search results like this result of a site: search query: I don't understand why Google would choose to show sitemap files in search ...