Server Logs, Subdomains, ccTLDs

Server logs have a few major drawbacks, one of which I'd hope to address today. It's not an elegant solution but it (more or less) works. Firstly, please read this post for an overview on server logfile analysis for SEO and you'll hopefully see where I'm coming from. I think access logs are probably the best source of information available for diagnosing onsite SEO issues. A Problem If you have a little experience with server logs, you've probably encountered the following: 188.65.114.122 - - [30/Sep/2013:08:07:05 -0400] "GET /resources/whitepapers/retail-whitepaper/ HTTP/1.1" 200 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"188.65.114.122 - - [30/Sep/2013:08:07:06 -0400] "GET /resources/whitepapers/retail-whitepaper/ HTTP/1.1" 301 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; [...]

Does WMT ‘Crawl Representative URL’ Transfer Link Equity?

This is a case I encountered recently, and I struggled with for a while. To keep things quick - I was working with a fairly baroque faceted navigation which had attracted a substantial amount of external links to category URLs containing tracking parameters.The canonical tag was holding everything together link equity wise, but the crawl inefficiency was staggeringly bad. While we could use robots.txt directives, this would likely kill the site's organic performance - no crawl, no canonical, no value passing external links.One final resort option (and I mean final) is Google's Webmaster Tools parameter configuration. You make Googlbot explicitly aware of what each parameter does (or does not), so that they may crawl your domain more efficiently. As these were tracking parameters, the [...]

Fun With Unnatural Outbound Links Penalties

On March 20th, 2014 (hint), I received the following message for one of my sites:Unnatural outbound links. Excellent. To be clear, this domain does have outbound links that were probably placed with the intent of manipulating PageRank. It's irredeemably bad, a running joke. Google did the right thing penalising it. I've been waiting for this.Why?Well, I've never seen an outbound link penalty before, and I'd like to see if I can shift the penalty using a technique that probably shouldn't work. My New Robots.txt User-agent: * Disallow: * This took a few minutes to implement. I think it's to the letter of the law, but not quite the spirit - I'm skipping redirecting external links to blocked intermediate pages and am just blocking them for all useragents at source. As Googlebot [...]

Polls for SEOs

We don't test as much as we think we should, but we hold opinions pretty strongly all the same. I'm not interested so much in the truth of these questions as I am in any consensuses that might arise in the answers. I plan to keep adding to this post whenever I think of more questions I find interesting - drop me a line if you have any suggestions and I'll put them up...  Preserving Link Equityrel="nofollow"Anchor TextContent Quality  Those are the opinions of your contemporaries. Let them know how wrong they are below. [...]