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MASTERING SEO CAMPAIGNS, MASTER STEP 4 -     Website Infrastructure

  1. Ensure that http://YourSite.com redirects to http://www.YourSite.com Note that if these point to the same page but are 2 different URLs then not only will the strength of your page be diluted, but you could get penalized by Search Engines for duplicate content. 

  2. In terms of redirects, only use 301 (server side redirect) when web pages move.  (If you are using Apache Web Server, implement by adding 2 lines in .htaccess on Apache Server).  Here are some other redirects that you should stay away from:

    a. Client side meta refresh - search engines may think you are trying to "cloak" (show them different content compared to humans) and penalize you. This is the one where the end user sees old URL displayed for a few seconds.
    b. Javascript redirect on the old page with new page URL. Again, if you use this one, a search engine may think you are trying to cloak.
    c. 302 redirects. This one is actually okay since it is a server side redirect and there is no chance of cloaking here. But use 301 since 302 signifies a temporary move, not a permanent one.

  3. Search engines cannot index or have difficulty indexing content in:

    d. Frames (difficulty indexing)
    e. Pop Ups (cannot index)
    f. Pages that are accessible only after registration or log in or form filling (cannot index)
    g. Javascript (difficulty indexing) - so you should provide alternative content using <script>
    h. Flash (cannot index) - so you should provide alternative content in html, but ensure that the two contents are identical, else, you run the risk of being penalized for cloaking.

  4. For larger sites, use a sitemap – call it sitemap.html or sitemap. PHP, etc.  No need to have a sitemap if every page is accessible within 2 clicks.  If you have a sitemap, have a link to it at the foot of every page. 

  5. Set up an XML Sitemap if search engine robots are not seeing all of your content.  Use www.XML-Sitemaps.com  to automate sitemap creation. 

  6. Search Engines do not like URLs which have more than 2 dynamic parameters.  If that happens, rewrite the URLs with Mod_Rewrite (on Apache).  This will give dynamic URLs the appearance of static URLs. 

  7. Do not have any session Ids in the URL if you want it to be indexed.  Use a Session Layer instead to enable programs to pass information to each other.  Or use a cookie, but do not require cookie to be enabled.  In this case, by detecting a spider and using IP address, program could still allow spiders to look at a page without accepting cookie, while still forcing cookies on all web browsers.  But ensure that the same content is delivered to either a search engine and/or a human. Otherwise, you could get penalized for cloaking. 

  8. For more on Mod_Rewrite and how to do it, check: www.mod-rewrite-wizard.com

  9. Intercept File Not Found (404) and send to your home page or a page especially written for 404s. 

  10. To see web pages as a search engine sees it, use: www.seo-browser.com to ensure that the keywords you want noticed will be noticed. 

  11. To ensure you don’t have any dead links on the site, use: www.dead-links.com 

  12. To do a page load time analysis, use: www.websiteoptimization.com to ensure that when someone clicks on your URL that the page loads fast enough.   

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