Archive for June, 2009

How To Create A SEO Friendly Redirect

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Recently I was asked by a client what the best way was to do a SEO friendly redirect - meaning how what should I do so that when I setup a new domain or page it will be counted as the old page or website so that I keep my current search engine rankings.

There are actually several ways to redirect a website or page. Some of those ways include a JavaScript redirect, meta refresh redirect, 301 redirect and more. Although there are several ways to preform a redirect there is a preferred way to redirect if you want to make sure it’s SEO friendly.

That preferred method is called a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is technique or type of redirecting that tells an Internet browser, search engine or other device that the page accessed has permanently move to another location and your being redirected to that location.

Why is a 301 redirect preferred?
The reason a 301 is a preferred method is that it indicates it’s move is permanently and not only that, but Google has stated that this is the redirect method you should use if you wish to give a new page the same created from links that an older page had.

The major benefit to SEO by going a 301 is that Google and some other search engines will treat all links from an old page as counting for your new page you redirected to.

How to Setup Your 301 Redirect:
Now that we understand 301 redirects and why they are best for SEO lets dive into how you can setup one. First you’ll need 2 URLs, one the URL of the page you want to redirect from (the old page) and two the URL you want to direct towards (the new page). Next you’ll need to decide on the method in which you want to preform the redirect. There are actually several ways to do a 301.

Here are a few mediums you can do this in:
domain registrar level*
PHP
ASP
.htaccess
and more

*Note: For domain registrar level you should make sure it is set to do a 301 redirect.

I’ve mentioned just a few of the most used mediums above. For more methods and code, check out this excellent reference: How to create redirects

Also it’s important to understand that you can 301 redirect from one website to another. Example you can redirect from http://www.oldsite.com to http://www.newsite.com

For most redirecting I suggest you use .htaccess. Why? It’s pretty reliable, relatively easy to setup, control and edit latter. Although using redirection at the domain registrar level is very reliable too.

Here are my suggestions for redirection needs and medium to redirect with:

Redirection Needed Medium Should Use
Whole website Domain registrar level (second choice is .htaccess)
Several pages .htaccess (second choice is PHP or ASP)
One page .htaccess (second choice is PHP or ASP)

How does this effect anchor text from links to the old page?
Surprisingly most anchor text will be attributed and count towards the new (redirected to) page. Here is a short video with Matt Cutts explaining the answer to that very question.

Google Local Business Center Adds Reports!

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I was just checking over some of my client’s accounts in the Google Business Center - you know the Google maps listings for businesses - and I found that Google has now added reports. This is a great addition to the Business Center. The report information is really useful and provides data I was not even expecting to be able to get!

local business center reports

The reports cover more than just impression (number of times your map listing has been displayed) but also cover activity and click throughs to your listing info, your website and even the number of requests for driving directions.

Out of all of that the most interesting is (at least to me) is the driving directions. Not only can you see the number of times someone requested driving directions but you can actually see the zip codes from which people requested them from. And it’s all overlaid on a Google map in your reports area. Although it only goes as deep as showing the zip code from which someone requested directions from it still very insightful. With this data you can find where most of our customer base or potential customer base is coming from. And with that you can then know that area would be good for you to start or improve possible mail or postcard marketing to.

local business center reports driving directions

Another very useful feature is the “Top search queries”. With this you can see what the top queries are that people are searching for and your map/business listing is showing up for. Now that does not mean they clicked through to your listing details or to your website but it’s good data as it can tell you what people might be searching for that is related to your business and you might want to gear your map listing in a way that caters to searchers of those keywords.

As well the reports shows a graph of the impressions and activity you’ve had over time. And just like in Google Analytics you can view the data for any range of dates.

local business center reports graphs

Another feature I would be interested in which they don’t offer is to know the number of people that print off or requested one of your coupons. That data would really be helpful as it would show that a person was really reaching for your services or products. And of course if they could match that up with the zip code where those requests came from - now that would be sometime!

iPhone and AT&T to Release Tethering Option Today!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

iPhone

I just spoke with an local AT&T rep in my area about when the tethering for an iPhone will be release as a service available for this carrier today (6/8/09). Apparently she said that AT&T Corporate will be announcing latter today their new services for tethering the iPhone. I asked if they had any other data on this but she said they do not. Although she let me know that in about 2 hours from now (currently its 2:00pm EST, so at about 4:00pm EST) we should hear an official announcement in the news about this from AT&T.

Update (6/19/09): It turns out they only released the new iPhone 3GS but I have a feeling they’ll be releasing tethering soon since the new iPhone and the new OS offer tethering
AT&T Rep told me:

“We just got told today by corporate that this will be announced today.”

[I then asked ] When can I expect to hear more data about this?

“You’ll find out [the information] at the same time we find out…

We should know in 2 hours, there will be an announcement all over the news then.”

What is Tethering?
Tethering will allow you to connect your iPhone to your laptop and use your iPhone’s Internet service plan. So you’ll be able to goon the Internet using your iPhone as a pseudo modem.

How I found out about the release?
Yesterday and today I became increasingly curious as to when this service would be made available. As I will be away from my office for a few days and wanted to make sure I have Internet access. Although, I’ve actually investigated this in the past only to find out that you could do it but it would violate your service agreement. So not wanting to do that I researched more on the Internet to see if AT&T would be offering this service anytime soon. I had found that they were set to announce this service at some future data but no hard concrete data was given. Although one website suggested it would be in April. When that has come and past and it was not release. So being desperate I called up my local AT&T store and asked them if that service was available yet. Surprisingly the rep told me that AT&T will actually be announcing this service being available later on today.

How does this effect SEO & the Internet?
I believe this will have at least a slight effect on Internet usage. I think there will at least be a small increase in usage. I know myself for one will be able to be online more. I believe that we can already see that the iPhone by its self has created an increase in Internet usage - even thought its just a mobile Internet usage increase. Although I don’t really see this having much of an effect on SEO or SEO services other than it might make the Internet more available to people thus you might have more people using search engine, etc… But an interesting question with regards to this could be how will this effect Analytics and visitor tracking. Will most Analytics programs track a user as the same user if they are using their iPhone or tethered computer? Once this service is released we’ll have to experiment with that and find out.