Remember the good old days of Google Bombing? Back when George W Bush’s bio page at the White House was ranked #1 for “miserable failure”? Well, this is something we haven’t seen for a while, and it is largely thought that this practice would no longer work, but  as the Vatican reported to Google a few days ago, it still does. Read more…

If your site is currently treating unavailable pages (404 errors) like temporary redirects (302 redirects) you may not have any problems with the search engines but your site is losing out on some important advantages of a proper 404 error.

The Way a 404 Normally Works

This is how a 404 normally works on a website when a search engine, let’s use Google, visits a URL (i.e address) on your website that cannot be found that was previously spidered/indexed as functional:

  1. The visit produces a 404 error from the server.
    A 404 error is  provided by your server when an Internet client (i.e. a browser, search engine, etc.) reaches a URL on your site that can not be produced by your server because it is no longer there or it is incorrect.
  2. The first time Google encounters this 404 error, it does not remove your URL but it takes note the page is not available and the broken link/missing address will be mentioned in your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for you to fix ASAP.
  3. The second time Google encounters the 404 error it is a good bet the page will be removed from its index and the error will remain in your Webmaster Tools dashboard for fixing. Google will continue to find the broken link until it is fixed, at which point any associated rankings you had for this page can work their way back up to where they were.

Using a 302 Redirect Response Instead of a 404 Error Response

Here is the situation: when a search engine visits a URL that no longer exists, your server delivers a 302 redirect response instead of the proper 404 response. Read more…

SEO 101 radio show logo - the show is hosted by veteran SEOs Ross Dunn and John Carcutt and it airs live every Monday at 2pm PST, 5pm EST on WebmasterRadio.fmThe following are the rough Bing vs Google search engine optimization notes from the SEO 101 Internet radio show that aired today which I co-host with John Carcutt; listen to the archived show in podcast format. These notes were compiled during my attendance at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle the previous week.

Bing vs Google:

  • Bing does not currently allow video or news xml sitemaps. Update from after show: I also can’t find evidence of support for image sitemaps at Bing; anyone know otherwise? Reference link.
  • Bing’s results seem to have more immediate content with local connotations that can be acted upon without leaving the page. i.e. movie names may bring up full show times for all local theatres based on your location. Another example showed typing in the word “snow” would show snow reports for local mountains. The same goes for weather forecasts which Google has similar results for but only shows one source vs a scattering of weather sources for a local area.
  • Sitelinks can be edited in Google but not Bing.

Read more…

The last time I posted I revealed that there would be a big surprise revealed by Bing the next day… in fact just hours later when the conference commenced once more. Well, I took eons to get back to you but the deal is this, Bing has rewritten their Webmaster Tools Center from the ground up and will be releasing it this Summer (around then).

There is a lot to report which I promise I will get to soon (including some video from the reveal) but for now, here are some links to assuage your thirst for information: Read more…

I am at SMX Advanced in Seattle and today it came to my attention that Bing will be revealing some big news in just a few hours from now. So, if you are at SMX Advanced, be sure to visit the Bing sponsored presentation after this morning’s (June 9, 2010) Bing keynote (where the main announcement is likely to take place) and then don’t miss the Bing sponsored seminar that follows the keynote (hint). Read more…

Thanks to confirmation from a post today by Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Journal I can now state that what we are seeing at StepForth is not an aberration; there is a toolbar PageRank (PR) update happening.

What does this mean for you? Nothing, unless your site’s toolbar PR drops to zero for over a week and you see negative ranking fluctuations; then and only then should you consider your site may be in some hot water.  Read more…

Last month Google announced the launch of a secure beta version to help all of those searchers out there who are uber-concerned with security and privacy. The secure version currently only works for standard searches and has not yet been rolled out to image search and other features.

For those who are deep into their analytics, this may have an impact on the data you are analyzing. Today you will likely see little to no evidence of this, but in the future it just may have an impact and start to confuse the heck out of you. Read more…

Today, Matt Cutts posted a new Google Webmaster Video addressing (finally!) the issues surrounding the many changes in long tail search engine results. Here is the video:

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To recap, the Mayday update (as most are calling it) was a purposeful and permanent shift in how Google determines which sites should be ranked under long tail searches (i.e. short tail = “victoria bc hotel“, and long tail = “victoria bc pet friendly hotel“). According to Matt, the changes are not based on specific offending websites but a quality enhancement to the entire Google algorithm with the most affect being on long tail rankings. Read more…

Just a quick note to our readers, clients, & friends. StepForth will be closed on Monday May 24 for the Victoria Day, May Long Weekend.

We hope for those of you who observe this holiday that you have a wonderful and safe long weekend.

We will be back to normal hours on Tuesday May 25th.

Google local business center Victoria lawyerI found this rather interesting bug over at Google today.

When doing a search for “Victoria BC Lawyer”, in the Local Business results I found that only one of the seven results were actually for law offices! The remaining 6 were for doctors as well as a government publishing office.

One would think that Google has been doing this long enough to not make such a big error – 1 out of 7 results relevant to the search?  That’s pretty poor if you ask me.

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