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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Google SEO resources

If you are keen about optimizing your website for search engines, Google has several resources - Webmaster Tools, Webmaster Help group, Webmaster Central Blog.

Ocassionally they also conduct free Chat sessions where Googlers share tips & tricks and also answer questions. Here is a sampler -

Suppose my website supports English and French. Should the English version of a particular page and the French version have different URLs? Any other best practices for multi-lingual site architecture?
Matt Cutts: If you can afford it, I would do domain.com and domain.fr. If that's not possible, I would consider doing en.domain.com and fr.domain.com. If that's not possible, then domain.com/en and domain.com/fr can work. In webmaster tools, you can geographically target a site (and I believe parts of a site such as r.domain.com), which will help as well.

Does inconsistent capitalization of URLs cause duplicate content issues and dilution of page rank? For example www.site.com/abc vs www.site.com/Abc. On Windows hosts, these are the same page, but are different pages on Unix hosts. JohnMu: Hi John, based on the existing standards, URLs are case-sensitive, so yes, these would be seen as separate URLs. Since the content on the URLs is the same, we'll generally recognize that and only keep one of them. However, we'd recommend that you try to keep all links going to one version of the URL. Keep in mind that this also applies to robots.txt files.

How often does your search algorithm change?
JohnMu: We change the algorithms all the time - last year we had over backlinks in Webmaster Tools

Do the verification codes for Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Apps for Domain have to remain intact after the first verification or can you just remove them once it's done?
Wysz: I can only speak for Webmaster Tools, but we do recheck for those codes periodically to make sure you are still the site owner. So you'll want to leave that code in place as long as you want to use Webmaster Tools.

We had a great site that was very popular with lots of original content, but we had to switch to a new CMS (new shared IP) AND new domain - traffic tanked! I need help!!! Any suggestions?JohnMu: I'd recomemend making sure that all old URLs 301 redirect to the new ones. Also, it can take a bit of time for a change like this to be completely processed, so sometimes you just need to be a bit patient (and continue working on your new site). If it absolutely doesn't come back, it might be that we're just ranking the new site where we'd be ranking the old one as well. Alternately, you might want to start a thread in the Google Webmaster Help groups, where the folks there can take a look at your site in particular, since these kinds of changes involve steps that are unique to your site.

They have also compiled a compact guide titled Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, listing some best practices.

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