Canonical URL – A possible solution to duplicate content

Duplicate Content Issues

The 3 major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, have just announced a new tag that can tell the search engines which URL it should have for the current page.

The issue websites have is duplicate content, the same content is indexed under different URL’s.  This is an issue SEO’s have been trying to solve for a long time.

New canonical URL tag

To help solve this problem, the 3 major engines have declared that it will recognise a new HTML tag, which, if inserted into your web page, will allow you to specify which URL you want to be the “official”, URL for the content.

The tag needs to be inserted into the HEAD section of your web page:

HTML:  <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.yourwebsite.co.uk/correct-page.html">

XHTML: <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.yourwebsite.co.uk/correct-page.html" />

This code needs to be placed in the HEAD section not in the BODY section.

Google will now count the links it has seen to that campaign tagged URL, towards the canonical URL, and not index the campaign tagged URL.

In summary, may be to early to tell if this will help webmasters as it was only announced on the 12th February 2009, but in my opinion this is handing back a little bit of control to the webmaster instead of letting the search engine’s figure out the correct URL.

Disclaimer:  The tag is aonly a suggestion to the search engine. It will probably be used 99% of the time, but they have the right to handle things their way.

Canonical URL plugin for WordPress users now available from Joost de Valk.

Twestival – Day of the Twitter Festival

So, the day is finally here, Twestival 2009!

Today is in aid of the charity charity: water and the talk on the tweet is that over $1 million is to be raised.

I’ve also read today that the BBC and Sky News are going to be covering the London Twestival, so Twitter is really making it mainstream!

My home city of Manchester is hosting their event at the Living Room and there seems to be a great buzz going round, as well as what should be a fantastic event, there are the following prizes to be won in the charity auction:

  1. A Nintendo Wii – donated by Stardotstar
  2. An iPod touch – donated by Citypress
  3. A champagne dinner for two – donated by The Living Room
  4. A pair of first class train tickets to anywhere on the First TransPennine Express network – donated by FTPE
  5. A beautiful Pandora necklace (RRP £248) – donated by McCann Erickson
  6. Dinner for two at Nui Sicilian restaurant at The Trafford Centre  – donated by the restaurant via SKV PR
  7. Two crates of Tsingtao beer – donated by Tsingtao
  8. An annual pass to the Northern Start up 2.0 (worth £350.00) – donated by @ManojRanaweera
  9. Two fantastic handpainted glasses – Twestival theme, by artist Roz Clark – donated by Realfresh.tv
  10. A pair of 3D webcams (the mind boggles!) – donated by Tangerine PR
  11. Make up and beauty kit  – donated by McCann Erickson
  12. A white North Face women’s jacket – donated by Brazen
  13. A complete ‘love’ kit – donated by Durex
  14. Tickets for two for Chill Factore – donated by Staniforth
  15. Something fabulous from Rags to Bitches – donated by Rags to Bitches

Those that are lucky to have tickets have fun!

Google PageRank Penalty given to Google

It has come to light over the past week or so that Google.co.jp has been caught paying bloggers to write about them to help improve their hold in the Japanese market as Yahoo are strong in Japan.

Now, as we know Google does not like link buying and has penalized sites for doing this with search ranking penalties.

To my amazement and to be honest this made me giggle, they have given themselves a PageRank penalty for link buying!

The site was previously a PR9 and now is a PR5, I don’t think it will have any real effect but certainly won’t do them any harm.

Twestival meet ups for charity

twestival-logo1On 12th February 2009, there is a worldwide “Tweetup” to raise money and awareness for charity: water.

Twestival is organised by volunteers around the globe to raise moneyy for charity:water, over 100 cities worldwide will be hosting an event, from London to San Francisco.

The Tweetathon will happen over a 24 hour period and will bring tweeters from around the world together. Twestival began over a year ago in a one-off event in London but the power of Twitter enabled the main 40 cities to organise their events in less than 24 hours.

This should be one hell of a tweetup -I might be at the London or Manchester event so maybe see you there!

Here is the latest list:

Twestival Americas

10 fold increase in UK Twitter traffic

Recent stats from Hitwise are showing that over the last year UK internet traffic to the most talked about website at present, Twitter, has increased 10-fold.

As one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, the stats produced by Hitwise are mearly just the traffic to the main site suggest. With the many ways to access Twitter from the simple web interface, mobile phones to third party applications such as Twitterfon, Twitterfox, Twitterfeed and more.

Twitter for those who don’t know it it’s all about (where have you been) is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows registered users (tweeple) to send and read updates from other users’ updates also know as a tweet, using text based posts, the post has a 140 character limit.

The update is displayed in the users profile page and can also be seen by users that follow that user in your twitstream.

Twitter has become an addiction or users can be referred to as twaddicts (more twitter related words available at the Twittonary) as the amount of time people spend on Twitter has trebled from ~10 minutes to half an hour.

At present the user with the most tweeple following them is the newly elected US President, Barack Obama, at time of writing he has over 140,000 followers. Other celebrities know on Twitter are Stephen Fry (>50,000), John Cleese (>30,000) and Jonathan Ross (>13,000).

Wossy has used his account to communicate with his followers since his suspension from the BBC and is using the service to validate bogus accounts created to impersonate real life celebrities. He has also revealed that he will mention Twitter on his comeback show which has Stephen Fry as a guest, which airs on the 23rd.

There are a host of useful Twitter related resources to find information; I have listed a few of my favourites:

· Twitterfox – Firefox Plugin

· Twitterfon – iPhone App

· TwitterCounter

· Twitter Search

· Twitpic

More can be found at Traffikd.

As far as optimising for Twitter, there is a 5 steps to Twitter success guide on SEOptimise which is a useful read.

So enough tweeting from me for now, feel free to drop by for more twambles from me in the future and don’t forget to follow me @d3l80y!

How to track your SEO rankings with Google Analytics

One of my favourite SEO and WordPress blogs is by Joost de Valk, and on the 5th january ’09 a brilliant guest post by Andre Scholten explains how a Google Analytics filter can enable you to track your Google rankings.

So here is the post:

Track SEO rankings?

Well, you can’t specifically track the exact position of the keyword that was clicked like you can do with AdWords. But it is possible to determine the page he was on. A ranking tool can tell you over and over again that a certain keyword is around position 15 in Google while Google Analytics claims he is on page 1 (position 1 to 10). This effect can come from ‘personalized search’ or ‘local results’ that can influence the Google rankings dramatically. People see other results than you see with your ranking tools. And therefore you need Google Analytics to do the real ranking.

Setup the filter

To get the rankings in your Google Analytics reports you have to create a new filter:

analytics google ranking

The title of the filter contains a 3, that’s because filter 1 and 2 take care of filtering out everything else than Google Organic traffic. So yes: you also have to create a new profile to apply these filters on to be sure you don’t screw up your main profile.

This filter only works for Google. if you want it to work for Yahoo and Live Search also, make sure you change the filters 1 and 2 so they accept Organic from all three of them. Then setup the filter like this:

analytics ranking

The ranking results

After a while the “User Defined” report will look like this (ignore the language):

rankings example

What you see are not the actual rankings, but the number of the first result of the page the keyword was on. So when you see 20, it means the keyword was on the third page, and a 50 means the sixth page. (Yahoo and Live Search will report 21 and 51 in stead of 20 and 50).

When you don’t see a number but only “(page: ): it means the keyword was on the first page. So perhaps it is better to change “page:” to “minimal position;”, I leave that up to you.

If you want to filter the list of keywords on keywords with at least a page 2 position you can use “(page: d{2,3})” in the filter field below the list. The d stands for digits, and the 2,3 for the amount of digits you’re looking for.

Enjoy.

The credit for the post is found on Joost’s blog.

Don't know how to create iPhone Screenshots?

I recently received an iPhone at work and whilst playing around on the internet looking for apps and so on, i have seen many screen grabs of the phone in use, so i wondered how do you do that?

There is a built in feature on the iPhone, but it must be running the 2.0 firmware or above to be able to take screenshots.

Taking the screenshot:

Navigate the iPhone to the screen you want to create an image of.

While holding the Home button, press and release the Sleep/Wake buttonYour screen will flash letting you know that the screenshot was taken.

Navigate to your Camera Roll library (Photos)

The most recent image should be the screencapture you just created

That’s it! I didn’t stumble across this on my own. Credit goes to Make Magazine & On a Mac.

This is a sample of the screenshot of the home page of my iPhone.

iPhone