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    Too bad John, you are very knowledgeable and I thank you again for your great advice.

    All the best,
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    As a side note, I have worked hard yesterday:

    1. Reduced the number of links globally (on the home page, from over 300 to less than 200 now!)
    2. Other minor optimizations on the Christmas page and related pages.
    3. Disavowed even more possible "toxic" links

    I'll keep you posted guys, but for now my Christmas page is still on the second page results for "chritmas sheet music". We'll see if all this will make any difference.

    Thanks again.
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    I just want to add to your chores ...

    I see an issue with your linking structure....Just noticed it, today.
    Your links take this form...

    See the picture below... all the links in my mind are backwards.... let me explain...
    alto saxophone for example....
    the link is >>> virtualsheetmusic.com/altosax/christmas/

    to me I think it should be >>> virtualsheetmusic/christmas/alto-sax/sheet-music/

    all of your links in the below picture are programmed this way...

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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    I just want to add to your chores ...

    I see an issue with your linking structure....Just noticed it, today.
    Your links take this form...

    See the picture below... all the links in my mind are backwards.... let me explain...
    alto saxophone for example....
    the link is >>> virtualsheetmusic.com/altosax/christmas/

    to me I think it should be >>> virtualsheetmusic/christmas/alto-sax/sheet-music/

    all of your links in the below picture are programmed this way...


    Do you mean to add the hyphen for "alto-sax"? And add "sheet-music" for more keywords targeting in the URL?

    I thought a lot about that when we changed our URL structure a couple of years ago, and at the end we decided to keep a simple structure for "humans"... shouldn't we focus on the user forgetting about SEO according to Google? And in any case, how much weight would that change have?

    Thanks!
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    Do you mean to add the hyphen for "alto-sax"? And add "sheet-music" for more keywords targeting in the URL?
    Yes. but let me modify my recommendation...
    I actually got it wrong... lol... I make mistakes too !!
    ( That is the problem with off-the-hip-suggestions ! You can make a mistake easily. )

    Instead use the following... virtualsheetmusic/alto-sax/christmas/sheet-music/

    Try doing some A / B testing with that url, I think it will prove itself.

    and here is why....a form of silo'ing

    It reads well when you remove the hyphens, alto sax christmas sheet music, so people may remember it easier.
    It is easier on the eyes, the hyphens separate the words very easily.

    There is also the argument.... Google ignores the pipe symbol " | " and basically treats it as whitespace. Seo's argue the same about the virtues of the hyphen because as in the dictionary, it is used as a word separator.

    People actually search this term,
    (albeit-low volume, aka Low Hanging Fruit, you need the help to out rank 8notes)
    A picture is worth a 1000 Words.

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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    Yes. but let me modify my recommendation...
    I actually got it wrong... lol... I make mistakes too !!
    ( That is the problem with off-the-hip-suggestions ! You can make a mistake easily. )

    Instead use the following... virtualsheetmusic/alto-sax/christmas/sheet-music/

    Try doing some A / B testing with that url, I think it will prove itself.

    and here is why....a form of silo'ing

    It reads well when you remove the hyphens, alto sax christmas sheet music, so people may remember it easier.
    It is easier on the eyes, the hyphens separate the words very easily.

    There is also the argument.... Google ignores the pipe symbol " | " and basically treats it as whitespace. Seo's argue the same about the virtues of the hyphen because as in the dictionary, it is used as a word separator.

    People actually search this term,
    (albeit-low volume, aka Low Hanging Fruit, you need the help to out rank 8notes)
    A picture is worth a 1000 Words.


    Thanks for clarifying. To make that change it is pretty complex and I am wondering if it is worth it. Take another instrument like violin. The Christmas page URL for
    "Christmas violin sheet music" is this:

    https://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/violin/christmas/


    And all the keywords are already there in the URL. Of course, for "alto saxophone" can be different... but you see my point.

    Also, you talked about having a A/B split test to test out that URL.... do you mean just for the users? Or for Google?

    Thank you.
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    Yes A / B testing of the url for seo impact...

    Maybe it will maybe it won't, no way to tell until you test it.
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    Yes A / B testing of the url for seo impact...

    Maybe it will maybe it won't, no way to tell until you test it.
    If you mean to test it for users, that can be done and would make sense, but to test it for Google, I don't see how to do it... how can I show Google two different URLs? That looks like recipe for disaster... am I missing something?

    Thank you.
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    No offense fabrizio, you have been a member here for 3 years... I would think that some of the info here would have rubbed off on you already.

    You seem bent looking for reasons not to do something or why it won't work, instead of "How do I accomplish this"

    If you say you can't do something ( can't is analogous to "impossible" ) then no one can convince you that you can. You have already make up your mind !

    1. Consider this... why would any of us give you information to hurt, impede, or otherwise hinder your progress.

    2. Hmmm try this....
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    No offense fabrizio, you have been a member here for 3 years... I would think that some of the info here would have rubbed off on you already.

    You seem bent looking for reasons not to do something or why it won't work, instead of "How do I accomplish this"

    If you say you can't do something ( can't is analogous to "impossible" ) then no one can convince you that you can. You have already make up your mind !

    1. Consider this... why would any of us give you information to hurt, impede, or otherwise hinder your progress.

    2. Hmmm try this....
    I was actually asking "how to do that"... and I'll try t NOT to get offended (after 21 years of SEO work... eh eh... how could I get offended? I know very well how SEO is an "imperfect" science...)

    In any case, I am sorry if I wasn't clear enough, and I am just afraid to hurt my situation even more if I don't understand how to do something correctly. That's why I ask

    Anyway, I know about Google Experiments within GA, but I see that just for users, not for Google Bot... my question is this (and I hope I am going to be clear this time):

    If what we want to test is changing the URL of a page to see if Google is going to rank that page better because of that change, I still don't see how to do it with Google Experiments or with any other A/B split test tool or just on our own side (server side). I know (unless I am missing something, as I said earlier) that A/B split tests allow just to test different web page designs, for users. If I am mistaken, please, let me know where I can find instructions on testing two different URLs for the same page in order to understand which one is going to rank better.

    I read here below everything GA offers for A/B split tests, but I see just its use for testing different webpage designs, for testing user conversions:

    https://support.google.com/360suite/.../7012154?hl=en


    I hope my question is clear. Thank you.
    Last edited by fabrizio; Nov 11th, 2017 at 05:33 PM.
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    fabrizio I sent you a pm to explain this ..
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    fabrizio I sent you a pm to explain this ..
    Got it. Thank you KOS
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    I totally agree that a good optimized page (both for users and google) can do magic for you. Knowonespecial was right on point when he said that you should use LSI (related keywords) instead of focusing just on one keyword. From what I've seen, google has this peculiar method of not giving you credit on the keywords you want to get credit for.

    But I also have something to add: check your anchor text distribution. I'll bet your anchor texts are heavily focused on rich keywords. Now go and check your competitors backlink profile and you'll see the focus shifting towards brand / naked anchor texts. Here again, google is harsh toward websites that try building rich anchor texts around 1 subject.

    I have one funny experience I think you'll like: we gave the link building process of our website to a so-called SEO some years ago. He started building links with the wrong anchor text for the page. We wanted A and he made links with anchor text B. After 2 weeks, we suddenly realized that we have many links with the wrong anchor. We called him and from then on, we worked on exact match keywords. And what happens? after 2 weeks, we're number one on google... but why is that? the answer is simple: google doesn't want to rank pages who try to rank. But loves pages who have credit, are related, yet the credit is not closely related in terms of anchor texts.
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    Originally Posted by s.rahbari
    I totally agree that a good optimized page (both for users and google) can do magic for you. Knowonespecial was right on point when he said that you should use LSI (related keywords) instead of focusing just on one keyword. From what I've seen, google has this peculiar method of not giving you credit on the keywords you want to get credit for.

    But I also have something to add: check your anchor text distribution. I'll bet your anchor texts are heavily focused on rich keywords. Now go and check your competitors backlink profile and you'll see the focus shifting towards brand / naked anchor texts. Here again, google is harsh toward websites that try building rich anchor texts around 1 subject.

    I have one funny experience I think you'll like: we gave the link building process of our website to a so-called SEO some years ago. He started building links with the wrong anchor text for the page. We wanted A and he made links with anchor text B. After 2 weeks, we suddenly realized that we have many links with the wrong anchor. We called him and from then on, we worked on exact match keywords. And what happens? after 2 weeks, we're number one on google... but why is that? the answer is simple: google doesn't want to rank pages who try to rank. But loves pages who have credit, are related, yet the credit is not closely related in terms of anchor texts.
    Thank you for your posting and sorry for my late reply.

    Yes, of course, that could also contribute to the problem. We had an extensive "affiliates" campaign years back, and at that time we didn't worry about NOT using the "nofollow" tag for commercial or highly-targeted anchor text. We could still suffer because of that, despite we have disavowed most of our affiliates' pages.

    I also have an update about our Xmas page. We have revamped it and added a new interactive feature which allows users to view our complete Christmas offering (currently the biggest digital sheet music offering on the web).

    Have a look at the new page:

    https://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/Christmas.html


    This change allowed us to target the "free Christmas sheet music" keyword (because we are actually giving users free sheet music to view and play on-screen), and the interactive system increased the "time on page" a big deal (almost doubled) which, guess what? Helped with improving our ranking from 15th as average, to 7th-11th, depending by the used keyword.

    The effect was immediate, right the day after the change, we could see rankings improve on Google Search Console.

    That'd confirm that user-behavior signals such as bounce rate, time on page and number of visited pages is probably one of the most important factors nowadays as explained in this excellent report by SEMrush:

    https://www.semrush.com/blog/semrush...y-demystified/


    Your thoughts on that guys?
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    Many Google spokespeople have said repeatedly that it does not use engagement or behaviour signals as ranking signals.

    The reasons include:

    • It can't measure them universally
    • It does not have the capability to measure them
    • The signals are inconsistent in their interpretation
    • Those they have tested do not improve results
    • They are too easy to spam

    Then we have SE user surveys that indicate many of the signals proposed aren't used by many searchers.

    Eg. Only 8% of searchers actually return to the SERP page.

    So much for "bounce rate", "dwell time", "number of visited pages", "time on page", etc.

    SEM Rush is "whistling Dixie" if it is making claims like that. Whenever you read an SEO article, I suggest you check the author's educational background, its relevance to SEO, their SEO experience and its relevance to your market.

    The SEM Rush article author's name is, Xenia Volynchuk. I will be interested in your opinion of the article once you consider its author's LinkedIn profile. She has only been employed by SEM Rush since Mar 2017, she is based in St Petersburg in the Russian Federation, her education is in economics. Her back ground mostly describes copywriting.
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Dec 9th, 2017 at 03:27 AM.
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