Ok, here is a poorly formatted liveblogging of this session:

Maile Ohye of Google sez:

Talking about ecommerce issues where we have a site with 158 products but because of filtering there are 380,000 URLs, so Google doesn’t know what to crawl.

  1. Maintain a consistent URL structure
  2. Directories and filenames are case sensitive.  http://apple.com/itunes/ & http://apple.com/ITUNES/ are considered to be different URLs
  3. Keeping consistent reduces duplication, facilitates more accurate indexing and simplifies your robots.txt configuration
  4. 301s & rel=canonical are crawled much less frequently than 200s
  5. 404/410 URLs are crawled less frequently
  6. 500 errors are treated as a transient error. Pages not removed from index.  We will retry in the near future.
  7. Use standard encodings & key=value (e.g. /product.php?item=nexus-one&category=mobile) v. non-standard
  8. Crawlers interpret standard keys & values.
  9. Use the URL parameter tool with Yahoo & Google Webmaster Tools.   Tells bots which parameters are relevant and which they can ignore
  10. Indexing priorities:  Googlebot looks for what users will find relevant:  URLs with updated content, URLs with unique/important content (as determined by linking signals); Sitemap info and bandwidth considerations
  11. How to increase Googlebot visits: Strengthen indexing signals via uniqueness & freshness.  How well the page is lined from your site and other pages on the Web.
  12. Use proper response coes
  13. Serve content reliably
  14. Prevent crawling of unnecessary pages
Now for the Advanced stuff (yay):
  • Optimize performance: Shopzilla improved conversions by 7-12% just by increasing site speed
  • Improve long-tail content: unique & fresh content, get links to these URLs
  • Reduce duplicate content: Choose canonical URLs and be consistent.  Include the canonical URL in internal links and sitemap.  Use 301 & rel=canonical.
  • Include microformats & RDFa: Enhances results with rich snippets – ability to include reviews, recipes, people & events.
  • Use Video Sitemaps

Adam Audette of Audette Media

It’s all about user experience.  Users come first and then the SEO.

4 Big Issues with SEO & IA Right Now

  1. Categorization, Search & Browse: Amazon provides key categories on the homepage but as you click into categories you get relevant sub categories and links to important product URLs in the category.
  2. Make Use of Link Relationships
  3. Know Your Internal Link Profile
  4. Content is more important than ever
Giving a 304 unmodified URL signal to the bots will improve crawl efficiency.

Faceted Navigation:
Great user experience but bad for bots
  1. Rewrite facets to pretty URLs based on priority
  2. Place faceted experience in a folder for more control
  3. Append “overhead” attributes (e.g extra parameters) to the pretty URLs; rel=canonical back
Make your View All page the canonical version (and default browse)
Brian Ussery of Search Discovery now going to talk about Image search:
Brands need to be mindful of what shows up for their brand queries in image search.
Image results in universal search varies depending on the size of the searcher’s screen.
Googleboth downloads X(HTML)
Page parsed
Image url discovered
Classified (photo, face, b&w, adult, etc.)
Duplicates identified (tries to find canonical)
Rankings based on multiple signals
You can include images in XML sitemaps

Image Search Signals:

Content signals (color, facila recognition, etc.)

Attribute signals (ALT text)

Textual signals (captions)

Quality signals (pixels, etc.)

XML sitemap

Images inside of flash/js are hard for the bots to access.

Provide dimensions of each image in the href whenever possible

Use JPEG for photos (strip meta when appropriate)

Use PNG for graphics

Use GIFs for small and animated images

If you register image with Creative Commons you can add more data to your image.

Provide as much info as possible along with your image:


Putting images in keyword relevant directories will help (e.g. images/lady-gaga/)

According to Maile, the major signal for site speed is client side rendering

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14 Response Comments

  • Tim Cohn  June 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Nice recap…

    Use Video Site maps as in site maps of video catalog?

  • John Hickey  June 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Are there differences with local search when using a mobile browser? if not, should there be?

  • Andrew Shotland  June 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    There are differences when using a mobile browser as the search engines seem to assume that more searches have a local intent, therefore more local results show up.

  • Everett  June 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Agreed, nice recap.


    Creating an xml video sitemap is different than a ‘regular’ xml sitemap. It contains different parameters. Basically you want to tell Google (ahem, and other search engines) where your video file is (eg flv), what page it is embedded on (eg .html, .php…), where they can find the thumbnail image (eg .jpg) and some other meta data for the video, such as the Video Title.

    They are a pain in the ass to make. Does anyone know of tools that will create them for you, like all the tools that can make your XML sitemap file?



  • Tun Cohn  June 11, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Thanks Everett and Hiren for the info and insight.

    Andrew thanks for bouncing Ahole. Didn’t know initially what to think about that.

    Also – is there some science to this typing comments in 2 pt font that I am unaware of?

    If not, is there anyway you could make typing in the comments box AARP ready? Either I am way older than everybody else here and really do need to get glasses or this 2pt font size is designed to discourage commenting.

  • Courtney Ramirez  June 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks for the recap! Poorly formatted on not, it was great info. As a copywriter, I’m always looking to stay on top of ways to use more SEO techniques in my writing since more and more local people are coming my way for SEO copy help.

  • Calvin Ayre  June 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Nice recap, we are going to start using video sitemaps also!

  • Gab Goldenberg  June 16, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Andrew, I’m catching up on all the goodness of your blogging I missed… but I can’t figure this out:

    “Faceted Navigation:
    Great user experience but bad for bots

    1. Rewrite facets to pretty URLs based on priority
    2. Place faceted experience in a folder for more control
    3. Append “overhead” attributes (e.g extra parameters) to the pretty URLs; rel=canonical back

    What’s faceted nav? Why is it bad? (Js?) What do 2 and 3 mean?

  • Phil  June 24, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I am sure site speed will increase if taken care of many factors mainly with images……………

  • Alex Zagoumenov  March 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Andrew, thanks a lot for the review. Definitely a very useful list for those who runs SEO for larger websites.

  • Calin Daniel  August 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the info. I hadn’t heard of 304 unmodified URL signals before.