markdown guide
 

Hey Aymen,

Thanks for this opportunity. :-) Here's my question:

  • How can I get my personal website or my product page to rank as the 1st result for my name or my brand keyword?

For example, my name is Rahul Chowdhury which is a fairly common name. How do I get my personal website which is rahulchowdhury.co to rank first among the search results?

 

Hi Rahul,

Ahah good question. Here are 2 things for that :

  • Having your content optimized with "Rahul Chowdhury" #content
  • Having other contents citing "Rahul Chowdhury" and linking to your website #links
 

Thank you very much for the efforts you are putting here to make developers SEO aware.

Here is my question: What if a username or domain name doesn't reflect the real name? What should be the strategy for the personal website/brand?

 

The value you will get from ranking #1 for your name will be very little as 99.99% of traffic will be for other Rahuls as well. It is called "fools gold" unless you want to be a famous (at which point your rankings will mostly take care of themselves with a bit of basic work).

The simple workaround is to adopt a rarer pseudonym for your work.

Or you can target slightly smaller terms like "Rahul Chowdhury Bangalore" or "Rahul Chowdhury Greatest Developer" or Rahul Chowdhury CompSci" initially.

If you really want the #1 for your name, then make a content engine & do a lot of unique things that attract attention (rather than trying to an SEO play specifically).

 

Control your name / brand 1st page of Google is very valuable. Many brands are loosing traffic because competitors are ranking on branded queries.

Agree. Many lose highly targeted traffic by not controlling their vanity serps.

If you have no real brand type in traffic it doesn't matter much (like most devs/personal brands). For any kind of company with a range of products or a strong brand then yes, they are missing out. They should even be running ads for their brand terms, using secondary sites, filling the whole SERPs, sideboxes, news, typos, competitors etc. Basically any on-page real estate you can get.

 

Thanks for the detailed insight. :-) I'll try this out.

 

Look at the SERPs for your name, just add more content & get a few decent links with good anchor text from authority sites. Some guests posts would do it pretty much. You'll mostly just get a bunch of low engagement off-topic traffic (the other RCs) but it won't take long. "Developer Bangalore" & similar is more worthwhile long term.

 

We are running an e-commerce portal with around 15k products... Around 85% of these are from 3rd party manufacturers. These products are also available on many other websites with the exact same title and description.

Our concern is that because of these products, the quality of our website maybe considered as poor. And it is affecting the 15% of items we are really wanting to sell.

My question is, should we noindex these 85% of products? And just keep their category pages? Any ways we would like users to land on the category pages instead of the product pages...

Also, this gives us better control over creating unique content / descriptions at category level... Writing unique content for 12k products is just a bit too much at this stage...

We can gradually work on individual products and then remove their noindex.

What's do you think? How would you deal with this?

Thanks
Hk

 

Hi Hetul and thank you for asking this question !

In fact those approx 12k product pages are duplicate from other websites. Pushing them as they are to Google is actually a not good idea for SEO.

I have 3 advice for you :

1- Invest on your categories / subcategories pages
Think about having original, unique and high quality cat pages. Try to target all the interesting keywords.
2- Prioritize your top products for content production
I guess only a small % of those 85% are high priority products. So invest on them.
3- On your product details pages, think about compiling the data you have and presenting it in different manner. Don't just give the product characteristics..think about the need that this product fits, how to use it, other useful information other providers don't give..Etc

 

Thanks Aymen, We were in the dilemma on how to deal with these pages... so thank you for your inputs.

We will probably be able to act on points 1 & 2 immediately. Point 3 is the direction we want to move to... so will pick top performing products across the site and start improving them first hopefully we are able to get done sooner.

Thanks
hk

Great ! Glad that could help you with this ;)

 

Hi,

Im working on an ecommerce site,I first planned on using node with vuejs, but I think that from SEO it will be a disaster (also saw some one asked you about angular).

Sooo

  1. Is it true that bing and yahoo, will not even rank my site?
  2. Google bot can index js, but from what I read it will take him 2 iterations to get all the content?
  3. Will server side rendering solve this issues or is it still not comparable to php website?
  4. Im also building mobile app for my platform, any suggestion or insights regarding deep links to app? From what I understands the rank depends on the web version of the page? how can I promote deep links?

Thank you !!

 

Hi Nottiela and thank you for passing by,

Are you obliged to build it with a JS framework ? If yes ok but should be aware of the amount of additional efforts to do to be comparable to non JS website. SSR and dynamic rendering could be a solution. SSR'ed pages are ok.
This solution also comes with risks :

  • SSR server could be a SPOF (Single point of failure)+ If SSR goes down => Googlebot will see empty pages
  • SSR must be well configured (UA, proxy etc)

If your business rely on SEO try to avoid these technologies.

4-Try to link between your website and your App stores pages, put them also on your Schema.org structured data. Yeah ranking depends on the web mobile version (Mobile bot of SE). Do you think about creating a PWA ? :)

 

Hi ,
Thank you for your answer. I wanted to use JS to save some development time, but I will go with PHP for web.
And I wasn't thinking about pwa , since Im focused on the mobile apps. But this is a very good suggestion, I will definitely use it.

Thank you (:

 

Do you have any resources for learning about SEO from a developer or developer advocate perspective? I know SEO is meaningful, but sometimes I got lost in the "lingo". Maybe a practical SEO cheatsheet or something similar?

 

Hello Amara ! Thank you for this dev/SEO question. I was developer myself and i had the same feeling at the beginning of my career.

Could you please precise a little bit on what field you are feeling lost ? Is it about rendering for search engines bots ? is about websites architecture ? is it about front end performance ? Schema.org implementation ?

 

Oh goodness! You lost me with all of that!

Let's start with the things most relevant to me right now.

Why is "cross posting" the same article or blog on multiple sites considered bad for SEO?
What fields can be used as meta-data? What might be good things to put in meta-data?
Should I care about getting my content ranked? Is it good enough if its on the first page of search and not the top returned result?

Or maybe the bigger question, are these questions considered part of SEO? Or am I such a beginner I'm confusing myself! :)

Ahaha this comment made me smiling so thank you :)

  • Search engines roles are providing contents (web documents) that answer the users intent / search. They try to push quality results and by quality i mean : unique piece of content (no duplicate), content that answers the right questions, gives value ..etc
    Duplicating the same document over the web makes Google (or any other SE) struggling to understand who is the owner and why should he/she shows one of them and not the other.. Actually you could cross post on a proper SEo way by adding a canonical tag. The canonical tag will tell Google that B; C and D versions of a content are just from A original content. So they point out to A and Google will show A and not others :)

  • Meta data : Hmm the most important ones for SEO are : meta title, meta Description and meta robots. For title : it should describe what the page is about and include the top searched keywords [for that you could use some paid / free SEO tools to find out what people are looking for and an idea about the search volumes]. Meta description also will show up in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and its role is about give more information (than title) about the content of the page. Meta Description is important to incite people to click on your result (impact CTR : Click through rate). Meta robots are important for telling Google to index or not this page..

  • What are your content goals ? Getting awreness, customers, buyers, new subscribers for your cloud platform ? :) if yes, you should work to be on the top of returned results, yes. Web is very big...being standing out is not that easy but SEO is for that.

And yeah your questions are part of basic SEO foundations and that's actually a good starting point.

Let me now give you some resources to go further ;)

support.google.com/webmasters/answ...
moz.com/learn/seo
ahrefs.com/blog/learn-seo/

Hope that helps ;)

 

Why do many SEO sites say that articles should have outgoing off-site links? Does it improve search performance somehow?

 

Hi edA‑qa mort‑ora‑y and thank you for this question !

My short answer : Out-bound links are good.
Longer answer : The foundation of the WWW (World Wide Web) is about getting documents connected each other with links. There are many good reasons to make relevant external links :

  • Useful for users to find more related resources, additional ones. You may not / can't cover everything
  • Useful for Google and search engines : They need to connect the dots and explore the web to be able to propose the closest documents to users searches.
  • Useful for your ecosystem (customers, suppliers, local network, partners).

Many metrics Search engines could use to review the value of a link check some of them described in (Moz SEO learning center) [moz.com/learn/seo/external-link] and yeah i'm adding an external link :)

 

Well I am seo expert too ! I agree with you abt out bound links but you will loose traffic if you do that. I prefer you make subpages for the required traffic for which you are making subpages. This is will even boost the pages which you are referring too. All the best ! :)

 

All the busiest sites online link out a lot. Think: Google/Fb/Yt/Twitter/reddit & beyond.

On a technical level: outbound links make no difference. Inbound links, anchor text do.

All other factors being the same, outbound links will not make you rank any higher unless they spread awareness or improve the quality content.

"Losing" traffic via outbound links is not a real consideration if you are building a long term site but will impact conversions (on a typical landing page for example).

 

AFAIK, the relevance of a page is determined by the number of inbound links from other relevant pages and outbound links to other relevant pages.
But I'm not sure. So following.

 

There is no reason outbound links should impact a page's ranking in SERPs otherwise you can just add links to increase your ranking. Citations (as they were originally) are useful, but try it. Make two identical pages, one with more links.

It's changed a lot, but these are the original docs on Information Retrieval.

ilpubs.stanford.edu:8090/422/1/199...
ftp://ftp.cs.toronto.edu/pub/repor...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilltop_algo...
The principles are still there mostly.

 
 

Hello Joshua,

Are you talking about convincing the customer to implement an SEO strategy or after implementation ?

 

No, more what are your KPIs for clients. How does your customer know they are getting value out of what they are spending with you.

I've worked with a number of SEO firms in the past and at the end of the day, all I really cared about is "Are my conversion numbers up?" For example, I would see traffic go up, but would see conversion rates go down because non of the traffic I was getting was converting. The SEO firms I've worked with would say "see...we are producing because more people are seeing your product"

At the end of the day, I'm spending 2000k - 5000k per month and didn't see any ROI.

So how do you prove that your SEO is working?

Good question Joshua.

SEO consultant mission is about to recommend things he/she believes will work for the customer goals. At the end of the day, SEO, with other channels should help increase business growth (it could be data, money or reputation). According to business goals, KPIs should be set and followed.

IMHO SEO could help with conversion but not the first responsible for it..conversion optimization is another "job". However, SEO should increase qualified trafic and not just organic trafic that never convert because it answer other intent.

 
  • How often do you deal with questions of the ethics of techniques?
  • Is there an imbalance in effectiveness between ethical (White-Hat), and unethical (Black-Hat) SEO techniques? To give an example: will keyword stuffing and link farming give an advantage you can't otherwise get without these generally accepted unethical techniques?
 

The question of ethics is recurrent in search / ORM (Online Reputation Management) industries.

Let's see the big picture...is having one big search engine ethical ?

It is complicated to evaluate this...undetected black hat techniques give obviously advantage. Barrier between ethical and unethical SEO techniques are difficult to determine. Example : Your friend works as journalist in a big online magazine..helps you to get featured + a backlink to your website.

 

Hi aymen,

I have a site that has awful hreflang markup.

The biggest dilemma I have is that we are a UK charity but have multiple variants for no reason.

We use directories and have:

/En/ for global
/En-gb/ for UK
/ Not marked up

Google pushes majority of our traffic into /en/ and very little into the other two.

In my mind we don't need an en-gb and / should be used as global and UK.

I'm really not sure what to do other than to get rid of /en-gb/ and 301 redirect all / into /en/

Feel free to have a look - cips.org

There are a lot of other issues so gloss over those for the moment 😂

 

Hi adam,

First you should understand why do these versions exist. What were the motivations ?
May be the strategy changed since ?
If you don't need these variations, try to consolidate and have global version per language. OFC should see the overall picture (business, audiences, services per audience etc) to define the best i18n / localization strategy for SEO.

 

While you're here, does anything about dev.to stand out at a glance as poorly done with regards to SEO? 😄

 

Hi Ben :)

Em congrats for the web performance side !

Some quick things :

  • I wouldn't index this type of page : dev.to/rahulchowdhury/comment/af2b which is a part of the main page

  • This page is a duplicate of the main page : dev.to/loukilaymen/i-m-seo-consult...

  • dev.to is mainly based on UGC (User Generated Content) and this is challenging for SEO. It could leads to very light content, spam contents, duplication (user based one..etc)

  • The fact that URLs of posts contain username slug is also risky ...
    Exemple : Your top driving traffic post : dev.to/emmawedekind/regex-cheat-sh...
    It drives 4,683 visits per month (source: Ahrefs). If emmawedekind delete one day her profile, the website will lose the traffic.

  • New user profiles are kind of empty...are them valuable getting indexed in Google ? May be set a rule : If user active + at least 5 posts/comments..index the page and noindex per default..

  • There are many many traffic opportunities for Dev.to :)

 

Thanks a lot!

Un-indexing the empty profiles had never occurred to me, but that makes sense. And I can look for other things along these lines.

The idea is that Google will penalize the whole domain as low value because these pages are not relevant search results?

Penalize is a big word here.. Google attribute to every website a quota named "crawl budget".

It is about the number of pages to crawl per a timeframe (a day for simplifying), so if you tire its bot crawling low value / light content pages, it will difficultly discover the pages that are good and leverage value to users..

Another angle : Every page that i push to Google should have a ranking goal..Is it unique ? does it contain valuable content ? Accessible by one unique URL ? It targets what keyword(s)..?

This could be a basic framework for deciding what type of pages should i index in my website.

 

Q1
Is content still king?

Q2
What's your view on isomorphic tech aka server-rendered sites?

Q3
What's your view on AMP?

Q4
What organisational strategy do you recommend to keep a proper balance between having a lighter page load vs feature bloat (having lots of extra analytics, ads etc etc etc) on a page? In my view it's often a tug-of-war between usability-people vs the more business-y side of an organisation.

Thanks!

 

Hello Niels ! Thank you for passing by, interesting questions ;)

Is content still King ?

Yes but with just content you can't go far..Technical SEO is getting more weight over time. Many websites are only investing on content, huge amount of articles..If you take a look on how these contents are performing with Ahrefs or other SEO tool, you will be surprised. The majority of contents on the web are getting 0 traffic. My advice : Content is good but don't put your eggs in the on basket. Invest on technical SEO, work to get natural Links, focus on answering searchers intents, stand out your contents with structured data, improve your website speed, think mobile, PPC, emailing and any other way to reach your customers online. And don't forget, offline stills important :)

What's your view on Server-rendered sites ?

Let's pray that the SSR server don't go down !

SSR can be a workaround for JavaScript websites but never a choice for a new project. However it is an upside down solution...If your business rely on SEO, try to avoid these technologies.

What's your view on AMP ?

AMP is a "SERP occupation" opportunity with some features (carousel, news etc).
AMP is not ok with web concept and standards.
AMP is not for speed as they try to market it, so if your website is slow optimize it instead of implementing AMP.

strategy to keep a proper balance between having a lighter page load vs feature bloat

Defining performance budgets is one of working strategies for that.

 

Hey Aymen,

Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm definitely not professional SEO expert but have tried following all the common tips and advice. In your opinion, what is the biggest SEO related mistake on saashub.com ?

Thanks,
Stan

 

What is your favorite technique that not many people know about but works well right now?

Subscribed to your site (RSS) btw. 👍

 

Hi again Vuild ! You exceeded your quota of questions haha, joking you :)

I don't have a favourite technique. My conviction for search is to build clean things for sustainable results, start small and mostly protecting what you have already achieved, then scaling for bigger results. Also, never put all your eggs in one basket + never copy your competitor.
Yeah, i'll put on a newsletter soon ;)

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

I am looking for 2019 super hardcore tips.

I have been doing large(est)scale "SEO" (it wasn't called that once upon a time) since before Yahoo was Google.

 

For a website that got reported for DMCA violation, does Search Engine such as Google/Bing will no longer put that website on their page results?

 

Hello and thanks for asking !

DMCA violation ban is a little touchy and complicated topic but don't worry. An affected website could logically restore from this report if and only if it is actually not infringing copyrights.

The procedure is about to send a Counter Notification Letter to explain that your content is not subject to copyright infringement.
Find here some useful resources that may help you writing this counter-notification :

lumendatabase.org/notices/47670

support.google.com/legal/answer/11...

cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Terrorism/form-let...

 

Thank you for the reply and the references! And what if it is actually infringing the copyrights? Will the whole sites rank got affected, or just the pages that does infringing copyrights got affected?

Infringing copyrights is not a good thing..I don't recommend basing sustainable business on this type of content.
I think it will be page level removal but honestly i have never came across a case like that.

 

How does changing my website from a platform like Wix over to Wordpress affect my ranking?

 

Hello Houston !

Wordpress is a good/better choice. Platform is important but not the only thing to consider for good ranking.

 
 

Hi Aymen,

I run a small agency and we have a handful of clients. Sometimes we work with clients who on hindsignt were not healthy for us.

What are the kind of customers who you'd completely avoid ?

 

Hi Sanjeev,

Good question ! I would avoid these kinds of customers :

  • disrespectful
  • do not know the value of what you do
  • indecisive
  • full-on and workaholic
  • late/non paying
  • Everything is urgent !
  • negotiates prices too much
 

What seo strategy to do in website written in angular ? Regards

 

Hi Samir and glad to see you here !

First of all, modern JavaScript frameworks are tricky with SEO and indexing in Search Engines due to their client side rendering approach.

The concepts of being indexed in Search Engine is easy :

  • A page should have a unique URL and a unique rendered and visible content
  • A page should load fast.. and yes JavaScript is the first culprit for bad web performance
  • Links on a page should be visible to search engines

Now let's answer the strategy part :

Is it a new website project or existing one ?

1- For new website project : Try to answer this question : Why should i choose a JavaScript framework for this website ? Are you aware of the constraints of such technology ? Aware of the additional efforts /costs for being at the same SEO level comparing to another non #javaScript framework ?

2- For existing website :

  • Your website is not driving revenue ? => Redo it with another tech
    Else:

  • Try to implement an SSR (Server Side Rednering) mechanism in order to serve the content to Search engines. Also speed up your loading times. Some SSR tools : Rendertron, Rendora, Angular Universal (For Angular).

  • Check your rendering with Google mobile Friendly tool and compare the source got by Googlebot with a client based one

  • Check if your pages are getting well indexed on Google (Submit sitemap(s) via Google Search Console and follow the evolution of indexing). For individual pages, you could use site: Google command.

  • Take a part from your content and make an exact match search in Google, your page is showing up in SERP ?

Also check these resources :

onely.com/blog/ultimate-guide-java...
searchenginejournal.com/seo-javasc...

 

Hi, thanks for doing this.

Could you share your top link building strategies?

 

Hi !

White hat link building is my best working and sustainable strategy. Producing the best web page in your field.

 

How much do you suggest charging for a long term project?

 

Hi !

Hmm this a hard question.. charging depends on many many things (scope, skills of the consultant, location, type of project...Etc)

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International SEO Consultant, entrepreneur, Ex-developer
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