Monitoring web migrations: A checklist for moving from one site to another

Whether it is a website rebranding, a consolidation of different web properties or an HTTP to HTTPs migration, when you are implementing a structural web change, it is critical to monitor the crawling, indexing, rankings, traffic and organic search conversions on both the old and new web locations. Careful tracking will enable you to fix any potential problem as they arise.
Besides establishing a relevant strategy to follow that include search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, here are the most important areas and steps to monitor during the web migration stages.  Be ready to identify any issues that could cause a negative impact, while also identifying opportunities.
Getting started
Start tracking your organic search visibility on the old and new web locations at least a couple of months before the migration takes place.  This will make it easier to identify any unexpected and inconsistent behavior when the change happens.

Old vs. new web crawling
Let’s start with the most fundamental aspects to

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A site migration SEO checklist: Don’t lose traffic

Few things can destroy a brand’s performance in the search results faster than a poorly implemented site migration.
Changing your domain name or implementing HTTPS can be a great business move, but if you fail to consider how search engines will react to this move, you are almost certain to take a major hit in organic search traffic.
Use the following SEO checklist to prepare yourself as you develop a migration game plan for your website.
1. Carefully consider if migration is the right choice
A site migration will almost always result in a temporary loss of traffic — Google needs time to process the change and update its index accordingly. A carefully executed site migration can minimize traffic fluctuations, and in a best-case scenario, Google will ultimately treat the new site as if it were the original.
Still, that is only the best-case scenario. The reality is that site migrations, in and of themselves, typically offer little to no SEO benefit

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19 technical SEO facts for beginners

Technical SEO is an awesome field. There are so many little nuances to it that make it exciting, and its practitioners are required to have excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
In this article, I cover some fun technical SEO facts. While they might not impress your date at a dinner party, they will beef up your technical SEO knowledge — and they could help you in making your website rank better in search results.
Let’s dive into the list.
1. Page speed matters
Most think of slow load times as a nuisance for users, but its consequences go further than that. Page speed has long been a search ranking factor, and Google has even said that it may soon use mobile page speed as a factor in mobile search rankings. (Of course, your audience will appreciate faster page load times, too.)
Many have used Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get an analysis of their site speed and recommendations for improvement. For those

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Moving to HTTPS? Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Most SEOs have heard by now that moving web pages with forms to HTTPS is necessary to avoid being shown as “not secure” in Chrome 62.
Moving to HTTPS is a good step to take for a number of reasons, but there is also an unique SEO opportunity which is often overlooked — an opportunity that can significantly help your website with its SEO rankings, if done properly.
So, what is the opportunity? Moving to HTTPS will encourage Googlebot to recrawl most of your URLs. Googlebot has its own mechanism for determining and prioritizing which URLs to recrawl; however, when Googlebot detects a move to HTTPS, it tends to temporarily increase the crawl rate in an attempt to crawl as many URLs as possible within a short time frame. As such, this is a unique, one-time opportunity to improve your overall website’s signals in the Google Index.
Crawl budget
Most sites have a certain crawl rate, based on a number of

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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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1,000 ways to redirect

If there’s one issue that strikes dread into the hearts of SEO practitioners more than any other, it’s redirects.
It’s no surprise, really. After all, there are so many ways to do redirects — and the rules change depending on where they are put in and the different systems in place.
What is a redirect?
A redirect uses one of many methods to forward from one URL to another and supports canonicalization of signals (such as links) to the correct page.
Forwarding users is usually one of the main considerations for redirects, but as SEOs, we also need to be conscious of the signals being passed. Redirects are one tool for consolidating signals like links and passing them from one page to another.
I know people have varying opinions on how long redirects should be in place, and many use the formula of “no traffic through the link in x amount of time” as a guideline to delete redirects. But I’ve said it before,

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3 steps to overcoming site issues that impact performance

Over the past two decades, as the online world has experienced exponential growth, websites have become increasingly complex. Web pages have evolved from simple HTML pages with a few graphics to responsive, personalized pages that focus on the user experience. In tandem with the growing sophistication of websites, customers’ quality standards have also matured.
For example, customers have come to expect that websites load quickly, regardless of the device they are using. In 2009, a mere 5 percent of people expected load times of one second or less on e-commerce sites. Six years later, in 2015, a survey found that this number had increased to nearly a third of all customers, with 30 percent expecting pages to load in one second or less.
As web pages have evolved, however, the potential for problems has increased. Even seemingly small issues can drastically impact site performance, hindering visitors’ ability to find the content and information they want. Such site issues can quickly damage the reputation

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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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It’s scary how many ways SEO can go wrong

We’ve all had those moments of absolute terror where we just want to crawl into the fetal position, cry and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, as SEOs, we can’t stay this way for long. Instead, we have to suck it up and quickly resolve whatever went terribly wrong.
There are moments you know you messed up, and there are times a problem can linger for far too long without your knowledge. Either way, the situation is scary — and you have to work hard and fast to fix whatever happened.
Things Google tells you not to do
There are many things Google warns about in their Webmaster Guidelines:

Automatically generated content
Participating in link schemes
Creating pages with little or no original content
Cloaking
Sneaky redirects
Hidden text or links
Doorway pages
Scraped content
Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans or other badware
Abusing rich snippets markup
Sending automated queries to Google

Unfortunately, people can

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