Questions and Answers – Google+ edition
In honor of the new Yoast Google+ page, I’ve taken questions there which I’ll answer here, so everyone can benefit.
- Do you think the increased number of metatags released by Google are good for webmasters and the web, or just making things more complicated for the amateur so only those that can afford SEO consultancy will benefit?
I think Google is making it harder in some ways, but they’re also allowing us to help solve problems we couldn’t solve before. Things like rel=canonical, rich snippets, rel=author and rel=next & rel=previous might make the “average” user think that more and more needs to be done. Some of them help us solve problems that we couldn’t solve before, others allow for new options that just weren’t there before. So yes, it’s becoming a bit more technical, no I don’t really think that’s a bad thing. Does it mean more websites need an SEO? I don’t think so, most of that stuff is covered by plugin authors like myself. My WordPress SEO plugin for instance already does 2 out of 4 of the above.
- According to you, what is the optimal way to use pagination in web shop pages (categories, filters) to prevent duplicate content issues and crawling issues?
This is one of the hardest bits of e-Commerce SEO, mostly because it differs for each website. We encounter this regularly when we do website reviewsfor e-commerce sites: 9 out of 10 sites have bad categorization. I don’t mind whether you use tags or categories or something else; I do mind if whatever you use isn’t logical and doesn’t allow me to easily find all the products you offer.
Faceted search results are by far the most user-friendly in my opinion, but come with a set of SEO issues of their own: do you want all facets indexed? Usually the answer is no. Do you then want to keep them all out of the index? No. I want to hand pick which ones are indexed, yes, that’s hard if not impossible in most systems. So you can understand that this is the sort of thing I can’t answer in a couple of paragraphs, or even in a longer article. It requires a per site analysis and testing.
- How do you think G+ will help SEO for your website?
It’s already helping. Author highlighting through rel=author in combination with Google+ is proving to be a tremendous improver of click through rates from the search results. What would you click on? If you saw 5 results and one of them had an author picture next to it and stated the author was in 10,000+ circles? Right. Awesomeness.
For the “average blogger” though, who’s not getting highlighted in the search results yet and doesn’t have a big following on Google+, it might seem less obvious. But trust me: you want to invest the time in it.
- Any WordPress Plugin you recommend to manage Schema microformats?
None really. I think most of that belongs in your theme. The couple of plugins I’ve seen out there that say they do stuff with microformats do it through filthy hacks, or by hiding data. I would really suggest reading my articles on rich snippets and implementing it in your theme.
- Why does adding more content doesn’t automatically lead to more visitors anymore? Do you really need links to every post to get the traffic?
Yes you need links. Loads of unlinked pages within your site will usually not help you an awful lot anymore, even though it might have in the past. It depends a bit on your domain authority though, any post on this site will rank, regardless of whether that individual post has a lot of links to it or not. What does help is that I have a relatively “ok” internal link distribution and I tend to interlink my posts a lot.
- If you were to write the 10 commandments of WordPress & SEO, what would they be?
Well, let’s see, commandment #1: install & configure my WordPress SEO plugin. #2 through to #8: write great content. Commandment #9: properly tag / categorize that content. Commandment #10: talk to your prospective audience about what you’ve written on every platform that audience uses and engage with them. Bonus commandment #11: forget all other technical tricks.
- What is the best html5 resource you recommend (book or site) so I can point some of our programmers in that direction?
- Best one for last: From your view, how to Recover from a Google Panda Penalty?
The sites I’ve seen that really got hit don’t really stand a chance of coming back, and usually rightfully so. The quick & dirty guide though is: get rid of all your low quality pages and make sure you offer a fantastic user experience and loads of added value. By then you won’t need the Google traffic anymore of course, but that’s usually the point when you’ll get it in droves.