This is the first in a series of posts explaining what to do instead of giving people like me access to your web stuff. I’ll start with your Facebook page and in my line of work this scenario is all too common. Continue reading
This guide is for those of you that want to get your new web site from an idea in your head to a live site on the internet. If you’re looking to have a play around with publishing content on the internet with no relation to your new business then I’d recommend you create a site on wordpress.com and go no further with this guide until you decide you need a site for your specific venture. Continue reading
So because I don’t consider myself artistic enough to be a “web designer” but I do know how most Internet technologies are put together and function. For those reasons I called myself a “web consultant” and set about my Google ranking based on that search term but with the addition of “Salisbury” as that’s my current location.
GDS continues to show the way, showing true compassion and giving credit are not things you would normally associate with any government department/web site. I applaud you and think anyone who thinks this is not the right place for this kind of post should get back into their stuffy tight lipped box.
We are shocked and saddened by the death of Aaron Swartz. Some of us at GDS were fortunate to have met him; others were involved in the many projects he worked on; all of us are in some way indebted to his legacy. As Sir Tim Berners-Lee said, ‘we have lost a mentor, a wise elder.’
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Not so much a conundrum as the use of Canonical links for SEO is well documented but my angle is, as usual a little bit different.
The setup: We have a secure extranet and recently added two sites that had existed for some time on the internet and had a fairly decent page rank (in google at least) they both retained a public page for a period of a few months to advertise the fact they had moved.
The Issue: Google bot had spidered the sites but came up against our login page so updated it’s title and description but decided the original url was of greater importance than the actual url of our login page. The killer problem concerns our single sign on solution that remembers the URL you click on. The sequence would be as follows:
- User searches for Forces Gateway (now Defence Gateway).
- Google displays the Title and Description of the Defence Gateway Page but retains the url of one of the two former public sites.
- User clicks on link and logs in.
- Single sign on directs user to original url and not to the Defence Gateway page.
The Solution: It was very simple, we added a canonical link to each page and within a few days google had the correct url matched to the title and description.
Key statements from the Google Webmaster’s Help pages
Why specify a canonical page?
It’s common for a site to have several pages listing the same set of products. For example, one page might display products sorted in alphabetical order, while other pages display the same products listed by price or by rating. For example:http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish&trackingid=1234567&sort=alpha&sessionid=5678asfasdfasfd http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish&trackingid=1234567&sort=price&sessionid=5678asfasdfasfd
If Google knows that these pages have the same content, we may index only one version for our search results. Our algorithms select the page we think best answers the user’s query. Now, however, users can specify a canonical page to search engines by adding a
<link>element with the attribute
<head>section of the non-canonical version of the page. Adding this link and attribute lets site owners identify sets of identical content and suggest to Google: “Of all these pages with identical content, this page is themost useful. Please prioritize it in search results.”
Is rel=”canonical” a suggestion or a directive?
This new option lets site owners suggest the version of a page that Google should treat as canonical. Google will take this into account, in conjunction with other signals, when determining which URL sets contain identical content, and calculating the most relevant of these pages to display in search results.
- Which Page is Canonical? (seomoz.org)