Linking Strategies

Fixing the Duplicate Content Issue

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Linking Strategies, SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Recently Google announced that they now have a format that you can use within your web pages that allow you to specify which URL you prefer to use for your web pages.  This helps to alleviate the duplicate content issue that many site owners and SEOs have been dealing with for years.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that someone linked to one of your pages using the following URL:

http://www.SomeSite.com/cart.php?item=someitem

But this same item on your site could also be accessed by the following URL as well:

http://www.SomeSite.com/cart.php?item=someitem&category=somecategory

Since both pages contain almost identical information, search engines may consider this duplicate content.

Now, all you need to do is add a line of code within the “<head>” section of your web pages code to specify which URL you prefer your site to use.

Here’s what the code would look like:

This tells Google (as well as Yahoo and Microsoft) the preferred way you want this URL to appear.

Why this is so important is because it will help to make sure that things such as link popularity all are pointing to the page you want them to.

Keep in mind that this code should only be used for pages that are either absolutely identical or so similar to one another that it would cause a duplicate content issue for your site.

Within their post, Google answers a lot of questions about this format but probably the most important answers are:

  1. The rel=”canonical” code above CAN be a redirect.
  2. It CANNOT be used to link to a completely different domain.
  3. This standard can be used by any search engine when they crawl and index your site.

So now that you know how to use it for your website, what about your blog?

Luckily, there’s already been a new plugin developed just for this purpose which you can get here.

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Some Common & Not So Common Link Building Ideas

Posted on January 12, 2009. Filed under: Linking Strategies, SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

What follows are are a few common & some not-so-common link-building ideas you can use that will get you headed in the right direction where incoming links are concerned.

1. Create a Video and submit it to the different video directories. Video will only continue to get more prominent as time goes on. It’s already estimated that 25% of online users view videos every single day – that’s a huge number. Plus, the added benefit of video is that the video market is far less saturated than the web page market. One simple search in Google for the highly competitive phrase of “internet marketing” brings back a whopping 95,000,000 web pages. However, that same term only produces 13,500 search results in Google video. Take advantage of this while you can.Make reference to your URL in the video’s description. A failure to do this will not get a link back to your site.While YouTube does not follow links back to their originating source, Google Video does (which by the way includes videos from YouTube, MetaCafe, Guba and more). Take advantage of it while you can.
2. Do you use Google Notebook? You should. Currently Google Notebook’s links are followed and, if you make your notebook public, will be indexed by Google.
3. Answer a question at Yahoo Answers. (http://answers.yahoo.com)People ask all kinds of questions on every topic imaginable here. Whatever your niche topic is, you’re sure to find someone asking a question about it that you can answer. Don’t forget to link back to your site as a resource.
4. Create a blog post with a helpful list. People LOVE lists. And they tend to bookmark them quite frequently.
5. Bookmark your own web pages at places like Delicious.com, Newsvine and Technorati. You can also use a service such as OnlyWire.com to do this for you. Don’t worry about the nofollow tags on some of the social bookmarking sites. Even though the nofollow won’t get you a link back to your site in the search engines, it can still get some eyeballs within the social bookmarking directory itself if you use the right tags in your bookmark. (Tags = Keywords).
6. Write Articles. Not as effective as it used to be but will still get links pointing to your site however they won’t be the best most authoritative links.
7. Get listed in a niche directory. It’s likely that your business caters to a specific niche; if it doesn’t you need to really consider doing so. Your niche will also very likely have niche directories that you can add your site to. Unlike larger directories like Yahoo and Google (who gets their directory results from DMOZ) that are general website directories, there are also niche directories that have less competition. Do a Google search for “your topic” + directory and see what comes up. If your niche website would fit well in that directory, and the directory has a decent PageRank and a fair amount of pages indexed, add your site.
8. Link Build With Images. Places like Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/) for example, allow you to place photos within their directory, give those photos tags relevant to your niche and use keyword-rich link text within the description. For example, if I ran a Wedding Cakes business, I could upload photos of “wedding cakes” use keywords related to those wedding cakes to tag my photos and use within my anchor text.
9. GIVE, GIVE, GIVE. Believe it or not, the more you GIVE away, the more people will link to you. This could be a free report, free ideas, tips, whatever your target market would find helpful and useful.
10. Niche Websites. Does your niche have a website that people visit often? For example, if you’re a WAHM (work at home Mom) or a WAHD (work at home Dad) there are a wide variety of websites available that talk about this topic. See if you can’t be a “guest blogger” or contribute an article to them free of charge in exchange for a link back to your site.
11. Talk. Do you like to talk about your topic? Use places like BlogTalkRadio.com and host your own radio show. People will find you and subsequently visit your site. This is a great way to get links.
12. Review a Product. Is there a product you’ve used recently that you liked? Ask the site owner if you can give a testimonial and then see if they’ll link to your website.
13. Make a Google Gadget. One very overlooked way to get potentially thousands of people to your site and linking to you is to create your own Google Gadget – you can read more about how to do this at http://code.google.com/apis/gadgets/. I recommend you take some time to see what the more popular gadgets consist of first – are they funny? Useful? Helpful? Fun? Incorporate these same ideas into your gadget so that they’ll get viewed (and used).

For more useful SEO tips visit http://www.BoneheadSEO.com/blog/ You’ll also find our completely updated and now available SEO Course now available for purchase.

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