3 ways to improve link equity distribution and capture missed opportunities

There’s a lot of talk about link building in the SEO community, and the process can be time-consuming and tedious. As the web demands higher and higher standards for the quality of content, link building is more difficult than ever.
However, few SEOs are discussing how to better utilize what they already have. There seems to be an obsession with constantly building more and more links without first understanding how that equity is currently interacting with the website. Yes, more links may help your website rank better, but your efforts may be in vain if you’re only recouping a small portion of the equity. Much of that work dedicated to link-building efforts would then be wasted.
For many websites, there is a big opportunity to improve upon the link equity that has already been established. The best part about all of this is that these issues can be addressed internally, as opposed to link building which typically requires third-party involvement. Here

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16 common on-site SEO mistakes you might be making right now

SEO is more than inbound marketing. There’s massive overlap, but there’s a technical side to SEO that sometimes gets neglected, especially by casual followers of the industry.
As somebody who spends a great deal of time looking at sites searching for opportunities to optimize, I notice patterns that creep up often: technical mistakes that show up again and again.
Let’s go over these mistakes. If my experience is anything to go by, odds are high you’re making at least one of them.
1. Nofollowing your own URLs
There comes a time in every SEO’s life when they need to keep a page hidden from the search results — to prevent duplicate content issues, to hide member areas, to keep thin content pages out of the index, to hide archives and internal search result pages, during an A/B test and so on. This is perfectly innocent, perfectly noble and perfectly necessary. However…
… do not use the “nofollow” tag to accomplish this!
The “nofollow”

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Canonical chaos: doubling down on duplicate content

Search engines are getting smarter. There is little doubt about that. However, in a CMS-driven web where content can often exist on several URLs, it is not always clear what is the authoritative URL for a given piece of content. Also, having content on several URLs can lead to problems with link and ranking signals being split across several variations of a piece of content.
It is hard enough standing out in the often hypercompetitive search landscape, so you would imagine that most businesses had these foundational SEO issues under control. Unfortunately, our experience would tell us otherwise. In fact, it seems that in the wake of many sites moving towards HTTPS for the promised ranking boost, we are seeing even more issues of URL-based duplicate content than before.
Fortunately, we have the canonical tag. With rel=canonical, we can easily specify the authoritative URL for any piece of content. Google and the other engines will then consolidate link and rank

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For e-commerce success: SEO > aesthetics

The world of e-commerce optimization is vast and complex, and it demands a particular level of attention in order to function and perform correctly.
Over the last 10 years, I have had the opportunity to manage a variety of enterprise-level e-commerce websites that offer everything from athletic gear to office supplies.
Regardless of the intended audience, most e-commerce sites suffer from similar optimization issues. These issues prevent them from maximizing their exposure to qualified traffic and the related revenue.
Usually, these problems are connected to how business stakeholders approach the development of their e-commerce platform, placing user experience and aesthetics over search engine optimization (SEO).
When brands focus on building e-commerce environments that are attractive and functional but ignore or forget about SEO, they immediately lose opportunities to attract and convert new customers from organic channels.
The good news is that by adhering to the following e-commerce optimization recommendations, you can create an environment that is functional and attractive and introduces your brand

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Why crawl budget and URL scheduling might impact rankings in website migrations

Earlier this year, Google’s Gary Illyes stated that 30x redirects (301, 302, etc.) do not result in a loss or dilution of PageRank. As you can imagine, many SEOs have greeted this claim with skepticism.
In a recent Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout, I asked Google’s John Mueller whether perhaps the skepticism was because when SEOs experience loss of visibility during migrations, they might not realize that all signals impacting rankings haven’t passed to the new pages yet, so they assume that PageRank was lost.
Mueller’s reply:
Yeah, I mean, any time you do a bigger change on your website — if you redirect a lot of URLs, if you go from one domain to another, if you change your site structure — then all of that does take time for things to settle down. So, we can follow that pretty quickly, we can definitely forward the signals there, but that doesn’t mean it will happen from one day to the next.
During a migration, Googlebot needs to collect huge

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Optimizing your internal link structure

Let’s begin by quickly talking about what an internal link is. An internal link is a link from a webpage to another resource on the same domain. That resource may be another webpage (what we’ll be focusing on here) but can also include links to media files, downloads and more.
Here are two primary considerations we need to make when thinking about our website’s internal link structure:

Users. Obviously, you should first consider when thinking about where to place links on a page and where they should lead. We want to get users from where they are to where they want to go (or where we want them to go) as quickly and easily as possible.
Search engines. Another critical consideration is how a search engine will view the internal links on your site and how they will pass their weight.

I’m going to leave discussions around the first point above to others stronger in design and UX and focus here on

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Is your HTTPS setup causing SEO issues?

Google has been making the push for sites to move to HTTPS, and many folks have already started to include this in their SEO strategy. Recently at SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google said that 34 percent of the Google search results are HTTPS. That’s more than I personally expected, but it’s a good sign, as more sites are becoming secured.
However, more and more, I’m noticing a lot of sites have migrated to HTTPS but have not done it correctly and may be losing out on the HTTPS ranking boost. Some have also created more problems on their sites by not migrating correctly.
HTTPS post-migration issues
One of the common issues I noticed after a site has migrated to HTTPS is that they do not set the HTTPS site version as the preferred one and still have the HTTP version floating around. Google back in December 2015 said in scenarios like this, they would index the HTTPS by default.
However, the

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How to quickly find and export all subdomains indexed by Google

An SEO audit is rarely limited to the www (or non-www) version of a website. When looking for potential duplicate content, it’s often important to know how many subdomains exist and, more importantly, how many of them are indexed by Google.
The good old search operators
An easy way to find indexed subdomains is to use search operators.

Start with “site:” and the root domain.

One by one, remove each subdomain (including: “www”) from the results with the “-inurl:” operator.

When there are no more results for Google to return, your query with the search operators should include all subdomains indexed.

However, this technique has its limits. It’s unlikely that the site you’re auditing has as many subdomains as wordpress.com, but you may come across a site with several dozen subdomains. This can potentially cause the following issues:

The process can be long, especially if it needs to be done for several domains.
You might get Google “captchas” along the way.
The size of queries is limited (around 30 keywords).

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Infographic: The ultimate guide to SEO-friendly URLs

When it comes to URL structure and SEO, there can be a lot of confusion and debate. To help, Brian Dean, Founder of Backlinko and I, CEO of Ignite Visibility, compiled tips drawn from commonly shared wisdom and accepted advice.
From URL length to keyword usage to canonical issues to folders to status codes, it’s all listed in this infographic. We hope you enjoy this resource.

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Changing domain names in 2016: 10 easily overlooked steps that can save SEO

I help a lot of companies with the SEO aspects of their website redesigns and CMS migrations.
As many webmasters know (or find out through hard experience), both redesigns and migrations can be catastrophic if not handled correctly. Unfortunately, you can run into many gremlins during a migration, from technical problems to botched redirection plans to dropping URLs. And when that happens, you can lose search equity, rankings and traffic. I’ve helped some companies that reached out to me after losing 60 to 70 percent of their traffic based on a botched migration. It’s not pretty, to say the least.
But what about simply changing domain names? If you are just moving from one domain name to another, without a redesign or CMS migration, it must be much easier, right? Well, it is easier, but there are still things that can go wrong. And the more moving pieces are involved with your site, the more variables you need to

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