Sometimes we neglect to fix a few small things on our site because of deadlines or a simple oversight. The things i am going to discuss aren’t ground breaking stuff that will boost your site from out of the gutter of the web to page 1, but they might help your site to become a lot more attractive to Google, and that’s never a bad thing
The “Home” tab in your navigation.
Your “home page” tab or link should link to www.mydomain.com. Not www.mydomain.com/index.asp or index.html. Be consistent in the way you link to your home page throughout your site. Don’t link to your home page with different Url’s on different pages. This only confuse search engines into assuming you have more than one version of your home page.
Link to other pages but once on each page
In your body copy you should not reference other pages more than once using the same anchor text. Google gets the idea. It saw your link, crawled it and found the page you wanted it to find. It’s pointless linking to a page numerous times from within your copy as Google may only use the first link to pass on any link juice and therefore discounting the others.
Footer, footer, footer
I really place a lot of value on the footer. It’s a quick and easy way for Google to find your top pages. Use your footer to showcase your most important pages to humans and Google alike. Don’t build one of those upside down pyramids displaying all the pages in your site. That’s what the Sitemap is for.
Unlink the linked
Why have an active link to the page you are currently on? Unlink the link in the top navigation or side-bar. This not only tells the visitor that he IS on the current page (because the link is not clickable) but it also doesn’t waste important “link juice”. Another example of this is the breadcrumbs.
Don’t do this: Home > Shoes > Men’s Shoes
Do this: Home > Shoes > Men’s Shoes
Rel=nofollow. Add this tag to links that you don’t want Google to crawl i.e. your Register page, Login Page, banking page etc. Don’t go and over do it now Penny. You don’t want to block Google from potentially indexing useful pages now do you?
Alt & title text
Go through your site and find links and images where you have left out these two useful attributes. Alt text describes images to Google. Title text describes a link to Google in more detail and when a visitor hovers over a link you can tell that visitor much more than the link alone can. (alt=”blah” or title=”bleh”).
Google Webmaster Tools
1. Go and remove those affiliate (aff=) and other (a=) parameters that get indexed by Google. You can do this in GMT. This makes your site as whole so much more attractive and “crawlable” for Google.
2. Add a region specific attribute to your site if Google hasn’t done so already.
3. Tell Google which version of your site it should favour. The www or non-www version. Better to go with www.
4. Add a XML sitemap – Google loves these. Some webmasters prefer not to add it, but it’s up to you.
Run Google’s Page Speed tool
See what Google says about the size and speed of your page. It gives some great insight on how to optimise your site for quicker loading. In future (2010 onwards) this may well become a ranking factor for Googlebot.
Do all the above, check your spelling, check that your links aren’t broken, wait a week or two and then run site:www.mydomain.com to see what Google has / hasn’t indexed. Chances are that you now have a far healthier and faster website!
Time for some cleaning up it seems!