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    Issues with Google


    I feel I have a good grasp of Google (been playing this game for 10 years)

    We used to be based in Oxfordshire (uk) and we had half a dozen location based landing pages which tended to rank top 3.

    When we moved to Dorset we needed to do the same and so the amount of landing pages have increased. (Links to the pages sit in the footer.)

    Since then we have lost ground on the original pages and have not made up the difference with the new.

    I put this down to link dilution.

    Since then we have had more inbound links supporting the site and have not yet seen any progress.

    On each landing page is a setcion of upto 10 linked articles which appear, which I believe dilute the 'jucie' further.

    The Title and largest H tags have the target phrase as the first part of the tag..

    Whats happening.

    We changed the Title so it read 'search term | Brand' for most pages this improved things but for a couple of the pages they worked better when part of the search term was repeated (the location).

    With the H1 the same sort of approach was made with the same effect

    We also converted the block of ten linked articles to a just a single link, again for some of the pages we had an improvement but for some they went the other way...

    So....

    Advice for the Title and H1 please.

    Also any idea why removing links from the page might have this effect. (On the article pages all the landing pages appear in the footer and there is an 'index' page for all the articles..)

    Is there some sort of minimum amount of links Google likes to see on a page? (My site on page now has less in page links than my competition.)
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  3. the mango demon
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    It is actually hard to imagine the situation entirely. One needs to analyze the actual website to be able to diagnose it correctly.
    It is like a doctor doing guesswork and prescribing drugs without examining the patient first hand. It can be dangerous ultimately.

    Comments on this post

    • JohnAimit agrees : Too true
    • Doodled agrees
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    Really appreciate what you are saying. But the method I used was to start with a couple of landing pages, make only a change to the Title, wait for the re-index and then see the result. This allowed me to see the general move of the site and also look at the shift of the two individual pages..

    So in the case of the title tag the baseline was (as an example of one of the pages)

    Web design Witney | Websites by Mark | Web design Oxfordshire

    Change to

    Web design Witney | Websites by Mark

    With the non changed pages, position stays within one position of control date

    With one changed page rise in SERP of half a dozen places (mid to high of page one) with the other it drops 20 or so places.

    So I have no idea if the partial repeat of the search phrase is helpful or not helpful.

    The I gave it a pause to check it was not just a blip (SERPS were stable.)

    Then I repeat the idea with the linked articles.

    The same thing happens...

    So this is why I am here...

    1) Should 'Web design Witney | Websites by Mark' look less spammy and rank better than 'Web design Witney | Websites by Mark | Web design Oxfordshire' ?

    2) If you have a page with 20 links to internal content, if you reduce this to 10 should the 10 left have more juice passed to them ?

    3) If 2 is correct do I need to think in terms of leaving it longer because Google will need more passes to understand the new relationships between pages ?
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  7. the mango demon
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    1) Should 'Web design Witney | Websites by Mark' look less spammy and rank better than 'Web design Witney | Websites by Mark | Web design Oxfordshire' ?
    Yes it does. But try to add some unique CTR boosting words to the Title and Description like "Web Design Witney, Reliable & Affordable Company - Websites by Mark"
    Instead of repeating the same title over and over on all city pages by changing the city name, change the second part "reliable & affordable". Google gives our warnings for duplicate titles and meta descriptions. So, when there are more pages with 90% of the title text similar it triggers some sort of flag, though not displayed in webmastertools.
    I suggest changing Titles and Metas to be more naturally unique and more CTR positive (that excites people to click your result)

    2) If you have a page with 20 links to internal content, if you reduce this to 10 should the 10 left have more juice passed to them ?
    Yes. Reduce the links to 10. But remember to work out a good way to link the remaining 10 (removed) internal pages. You may geographically interlink. Like link those 5-8 pages from internal page 1 that are situated near City 1. (proximity) But make sure all pages have decent number of internal links. Instead of linking them in footer, use them right below the page content or contextually if possible.
    3) If 2 is correct do I need to think in terms of leaving it longer because Google will need more passes to understand the new relationships between pages?
    Not sure if point 2 is entirely correct.

    Lastly, I suspect one more issue. When you say you had pages like
    Web design Witney | Websites by Mark | Web design Oxfordshire and now one Web design Witney | Websites by Mark remains.
    Does it mean the URL is still the same? Does that mean if you had backlinks to the old url for keyowrd city 1 and keyword city 2? Do you have another page like
    Web design Oxfordshire | Websites by Mark?
    If the answer to one or more of the question above is yes. You need to look into that.


    Last edited by NewDelhiSEO; Sep 23rd, 2017 at 03:21 PM.
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    The URL stays the same because I don't want to loose inbound so in the above the url would be /web-deisgn-witney/

    The issue with removing the landing pages from the footer and making then contextual is there are a lot of pages where this would not work. I want to make sure all pages on the site (including the article pages) link to all the landing pages so all juice coming into the site is pushed to the landing pages as much as possible.

    I am interested now about the separator I am using and I might convert the above example to 'Web design Witney from Websites by Mark' (or something like) that way it should look more unique.

    I'm still curious about the effect I have had reducing the amount of links on the page, but Im going to make the changes and then look at this again.

    Thanks for your help.
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    I see G has indexed 305 pages from your site.

    Am I correct in thinking your site is full of near duplicate content?

    I only looked at a few examples from each of these sections:

    • Web Design (+location)
    • SEO Services (+location)
    • Portfolio (+bus. name)

    I don't know how long ago you found this type of location word targeting worked but I believe G will now ignore much of this near repetitive content format.

    I believe targeting of all the location words on every page footer may be further detracting from the importance of each page's target location word.

    I suggest on-page link text is in part, about grouping search query related page content. The link text and linked page titles are likely to use the same related search terms. Passing PageRank for search related location words should also be enhanced.

    One approach may be to organise your "Portfolio" of clients on a location basis with types of service as subcategories (Web design, SEO). That way you could show G groups of linked location topic specific pages.

    You will still need to offer more and unique description on your client pages.
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    Hi Toxitalk,
    This article in SE Journal crossed my in-box today. The first section directly relate to my comment above....

    "I believe targeting of all the location words on every page footer may be further detracting from the importance of each page's target location word."


    Sep 2017: How Google Classifies Webpages as 'Low Quality'

    "Excessive & Unnatural Internal Structural Links"

    "Google has however been talking about its low-quality criteria list since as early as 2012 when they filed a patent that directly targets websites repeating internal links across sidebars and footers."
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Sep 27th, 2017 at 09:16 PM.
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    John, at first look I would agree with you except...

    About a few or so ago, I thought this might be a problem, so I placed 5 of the web design footer links on another site and the seo link across two other domains. The idea was that I was going to build these up as 4 separate sites and may have even linked between them.

    At that point I saw no increase in the SERPS for the main site and a serious drop in SERPS for the newly moved landing pages. I did 301's where I could not arrange for in-bounds to me moved.

    Earlier this year I moved everything back to the one site and I have not really seen any coherent progress (when one page improves another drops and vice versa).

    Although each landing page at first glance looks to be the same, I have coded in enough variation for Google not to see things as dupe content. (Sometimes I will see two pages listed for the same search term on the same domain.)

    Im beginning to see the issue purely as not enough quality inbounds...
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    Everything you need to know about internal links - and based on the conversation above, some good reasons as to why you probably haven't seen much improvement with your internal link strategy:

    https://moz.com/blog/should-seos-car...teboard-friday
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    This is what I hope you're not doing:

    "Those are essentially when Google in particular sees manipulation in the internal link structure, specifically things like you've stuffed anchor text into all of the internal links trying to get this shipping routes page ranking by putting a little link down here in the footer of every single page and then pointing over here trying to game and manipulate us, they hate that. In fact, there is an algorithmic penalty for that kind of stuff, and we can see it very directly."
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    Hi Toxitalk,

    1. Spot Testing of Changes
    At the moment, G seems to be making major changes almost every day. It could be testing its mobile index. That may mean it is switching between old and new algos.

    I would be very careful about trusting spot design change ranking tests.

    2. Near duplicate content and mixed search topic examples
    The trouble as I see it is that the content variation snippets you have added to each page have nothing to do with web design or the town names you are trying to target. I don't think this is good enough any more.

    For other SEOs reading this, following are summaries of three web design location pages. What do you think will be G's reaction to these SEO tactics?

    (Title P1) Web design Portland | Websites by Mark
    (Head P1) Just about every business in Portland has a website, but is yours designed to work for you??

    (Title P2) Web design Witney | Websites by Mark
    (Head P2) Just about every business in Witney has a website, but is yours designed to work for you?

    (Title P3) Web design Weymouth | WordPress | Websites by Mark
    (Head P3) Just about every business in Weymouth has a website, but is yours designed to work for you?

    Body Text P1, P2, P3 the same...)

    "Talk to 100 businesses why they have a website, and you will get 100 answers.

    For any business to be sucessful its needs to look professional, offer a great service and generate sales.

    The job of any website is simple.

    Be easy to find on search engines, engage the visitor and help to initiate that all important first contact.

    At Websites by Mark we understand this and make this happen for client after client.

    We spend time understanding your business, your objectives and your aims.

    After designing a great looking site, we can make sure you get great results on the net.

    If your serious about moving your business forward this year why not contact Websites by Mark for your free consulatation (your typo) and SEO report."

    Then the page content diverges on each page but it no longer talks about web design or any town. That should dilute the strength of each page's targeted "web design" and town name ranking signals.

    Final subhead: (Switch the different town names for each P.)

    "Looking for a full service website design agency covering Portland?

    Are you based in Portland and looking for a local web development company?

    If you need help with a new website or help with something existing why not call us today. If you are based in Portland and searching for “Web design Portland”, why not contact “Websites by Mark.”.

    I do note that various (town name) SEO services pages follow the same near duplicate content tactic.

    Add to this near duplicate content and the site-wide footers with links to multiple town pages for web design and SEO and I believe you will find that these are the types of content and SEO tactics that G is working very hard to devalue.

    3. External Link Building
    I don't think any amount of external link building will help these pages in the long term.

    G has indicated that it is very selective about which external links it chooses to include in any search query assessment. It has hinted that link text is used in the process.

    I have trouble seeing how any external link is likely to be seen by G as relevant to these types of duplicate content pages.

    Hope this helps.

    PS The Moz page link posted above by Digital Marketeer covers the importance of grouping or linking pages into search topic specific info. A must read...

    Comments on this post

    • NewDelhiSEO agrees : Yeah very good analysis.
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Sep 29th, 2017 at 05:32 AM.
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  23. the mango demon
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    Hello Toxitalk,

    From the analysis above it is apparent that
    1. You have poor duplicate content. You do not have information that deserves to rank.
    2. You have a poor internal link structure. Sitewide links that are probably too general to aid the SE bot to make relevant associations.
    3. Your external links are confusing now. What was linking to Apple and Ball is now linking to Apple and there is another duplicate page for Ball. That confusing enough for an educated human.
    4. Your on page optimization is DRY. With titles like those you are using, I doubt many people will find them exciting enough to click. So, over a period of time better CTR from those below you will get them a better ranking. (Assuming CTR works and influences SERPs, there are recent debates in favor of CTR influencing SERPs)

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