Friday, June 09, 2006

Links + Content = Rankings?

Sometimes even people in the industry over look the most obvious things.

I was speaking with a "SEO knowledgeable" client today who is in the process of switching domains. The new domain will still encompass the products and services that the old domain did but will also take on new products and services. Basically they are re-branding with a larger scope of services under a new domain.

This client expressed to me that she was going to switch domains and have her domain-name registrar do a redirect of the old domain to the new one. Once the old domain expired she then planned to just let it go. While this course of action would not count as a negative against the new domain I felt it would be throwing away all her years of link building for the former domain. And since the new domain covered the same topics and was still relevant to the users of the old website I recommended that she keep both domains and do a 301 permanent redirect.

After the call the client still seemed uncommitted to doing a 301. So we'll see if she takes this advice.

But this situation is not unique. Recently I was discussing the value of doing a mod-rewrite of "non-www" urls into "www" urls for a domain of another client with the client's very experienced and talented webmaster. The webmaster questioned the necessity of doing the mod-rewrite since the domain was already indexed with both the "www" and "non-www" versions. I explained that the mod-rewrite had nothing to do with indexing but had everything to do with link popularity. By combining both the "www" and "non-www" versions of the URL you combine the individual link popularities for both versions into one. Essentially this strengthens your link popularity.

Again, the webmaster seemed reluctant to make this change and to this date has not yet implemented it.

Life is funny like that. People want to improve there search engine rankings, people work hard to build nice websites, and people put time and effort into doing promotions. But then, almost with out any thought, they over look the basics. Link popularity is the Holy Grail of Search Engine Rankings. Links + Content = Rankings. And Links are the biggest factor in that equation.

If you don't know what a 301 is or if the term mod-rewrite sounds scary... it's not. And if these simple server side tweaks can help boost the most important factor to your websites rankings then why run from it? Here is a good tutorial about the topic.

If you have any specific questions about this or any SEO topic please email us at Info at SpiderBait.com. We'd be happy to answer your questions in future posts.

Have a happy Friday.