1. Having no value proposition: Try not to assume that a site should rank #1 without knowing why it’s helpful to searchers (and better than the competition :)
2. Segmented approach: Be wary of setting SEO-related goals without making sure they’re aligned with your company’s overall objectives and the goals of other departments. For example, in tandem with your work optimizing product pages (and the full user experience once they come to your site), also contribute your expertise to your Marketing team’s upcoming campaign. So if Marketing is launching new videos or a more interactive site, be sure that searchers can find their content, too.
3. Time-consuming workarounds: Avoid implementing a hack rather than researching new features or best practices that could simplify development (e.g., changing the timestamp on an updated URL so it’s crawled more quickly instead of easily submitting the URL through Fetch as Googlebot).
4. Caught in SEO trends: Consider spending less time obsessing about the latest “trick” to boost your rankings and instead focus on the fundamental tasks/efforts that will bring lasting visitors.
5. Slow iteration: Aim to be agile rather than promote an environment where the infrastructure and/or processes make improving your site, or even testing possible improvements, difficult.
1. Do something cool: Make sure your site stands out from the competition -- in a good way!
2. Include relevant words in your copy: Try to put yourself in the shoes of searchers. What would they query to find you? Your name/business name, location, products, etc., are important. It's also helpful to use the same terms in your site that your users might type (e.g., you might be a trained “flower designer” but most searchers might type [florist]), and to answer the questions they might have (e.g., store hours, product specs, reviews). It helps to know your customers.
3. Be smart about your tags and site architecture: Create unique title tags and meta descriptions; include Rich Snippets markup from schema.org where appropriate. Have intuitive navigation and good internal links.
4. Sign up for email forwarding in Webmaster Tools: Help us communicate with you, especially when we notice something awry with your site.
5. Attract buzz: Natural links, +1s, likes, follows... In every business there's something compelling, interesting, entertaining, or surprising that you can offer or share with your users. Provide a helpful service, tell fun stories, paint a vivid picture and users will share and reshare your content.
6. Stay fresh and relevant: Keep content up-to-date and consider options such as building a social media presence (if that’s where a potential audience exists) or creating an ideal mobile experience if your users are often on-the-go.
When you implement rel="next" and rel="prev" on component pages of a series, we'll then consolidate the indexing properties from the component pages and attempt to direct users to the most relevant page/URL. This is typically the first page. There's no need to mark page 2 to n of the series with noindex unless you're sure that you don't want those pages to appear in search results.
In regard to using rel=”next” and rel=”prev” for entries in your blog that “are not strictly correlated (but they are just time-sequential),” pagination markup likely isn’t the best use of your time -- time-sequential pages aren’t nearly as helpful to our indexing process as semantically related content, such as pagination on component pages in an article or category. It’s fine if you include the markup on your time-sequential pages, but please note that it’s not the most helpful use case.
It sounds like your real estate rental site encounters many of the same issues that e-commerce sites face... Here are some ideas on your situation:
1. It’s great that you are using the Webmaster Tools URL parameters feature to more efficiently crawl your site.
2. It’s possible that your site can form a rel=”next” and rel=”prev” sequence with no parameters (or with default parameter values). It’s also possible to form parallel pagination sequences when users select certain parameters, such as a sequence of pages where there are 15 records and a separate sequence when a user selects 30 records. Paginating component pages, even with parameters, helps us more accurately index your content.
3. While it’s fine to set rel=”canonical” from a component URL to a single view-all page, setting the canonical to the first page of a parameter-less sequence is considered improper usage. We make no promises to honor this implementation of rel=”canonical.”
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