How Aunt Bessie’s Redesign has Ruined Their Search Visibility
Nov04

How Aunt Bessie’s Redesign has Ruined Their Search Visibility

25SHARESFacebookTwitter Aunt Bessie’s is a well-known UK brand that produces processed frozen foods. Notably their Yorkshire Pudding range of frozen processed foods is what they are known for. In October, Aunt Bessie’s website was updated and from the looks of it, it was updated with interactivity and design in mind only. This of course has led to Aunt Bessie’s fall in search visibility, as there has been no thought in regards to SEO. One glance in Search Metrics of their SEO Visibility reveals quite a shocking drop: This drop in visibility occurred throughout September – October. You might be thinking that this was either a Panda 4.1 or Penguin 3.0 update that caused this. However, I ruled this out once I had identified what they had done when they had re-designed their website. The technical elements (redirects) have also played a large part in the demise of their visibility. It also hasn’t helped that they’ve deleted pages and not really replaced them with like-for-like pages. What Keywords Dropped? KeywordURLPos.TrendSearch Volume yorkshire puddingwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/16-666,850 roast potatoeswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-roast-potatoes/13-130,191 yorkshire puddingswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/17-57,130 yorkshire pudding mixwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/yorkshire-pudding-mix-1/9-14,308 mashed potatoeswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-mashed-potato-1/22-86,154 rice puddingwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/classic-rice-pudding/31-1017,916 spotted dickwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/great-british-puddings-1/spotted-dick/17-27,570 dumplingswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/savoury-additions/light-fluffy-dumplings/28-211,133 onion gravywww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/onion-gravy-granules/30-512,441 If we look at the table above, Aunt Bessie’s has dropped for these highly searched-for keywords. Their website re-design has been the culprit for this. If you look at the above keywords and the respective URLs, you’ll find out if you go to any of those URLs they all redirect to one location: Original URL301 redirect to www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-roast-potatoes/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/yorkshire-pudding-mix-1/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-mashed-potato-1/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/classic-rice-pudding/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/great-british-puddings-1/spotted-dick/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/savoury-additions/light-fluffy-dumplings/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/onion-gravy-granules/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product It’s because they’ve mass redirected everything to a single page that they’ve lost search visibility. They’ve not created pages to replace the old; instead they’ve created one HTML5 interactive website that tries to cater for multiple landing pages. However, there is no relevancy considering there is near to no textual copy on the page and when it comes to meta data they aren’t clearly defining pages. In effect, they aren’t helping Google at all with regards to defining their own pages, which in turn is impacting how Aunt Bessie’s website ranks. All Title Tags are the Same If we take a closer look at their page title tags, one of the most important SEO elements, they’ve effectively duplicated their title tag throughout their entire website: AddressPage Title http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/great-british-puddings/morello-cherry-pieAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/70Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/73Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/store-cupboardAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/72Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/71Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/potatoesAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/74Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/PromisesAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/board-packagingAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/eggsAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/meatAunt Bessies |...

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BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine
Oct18

BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine

9SHARESFacebookTwitter I’ve been a user of BrightEdge for around 18 months now and at the beginning of this year I started to distance my ‘liking’ for the platform over other tools such as Search Metrics that provide a more holistic view of a website’s performance. When you’re tracking a defined list of keywords, you can very easily not pick up on successes of other keywords that may have started ranking as a result of your hard work. I always thought that it would be too expensive to track every keyword that a website ranks for until I learned that another SEO company in London had built its own keyword tracking tool that was literally tracking millions of keywords. This is exactly why I’m impressed with the launch of Data Cube – a new feature in BrightEdge that opens up their large database of “1 billion keywords and 150 billion URLs” of which they have converted into information that is actionable. In March 2014, BrightEdge launched a platform called ‘Data Cube‘, which makes use of the massive amounts of data that BrightEdge collects from search engines. BrightEdge says that it digs through over 100 terabytes worth of data, which equates to 1 billion keywords and a 150 billion URLs (as pointed out above). This data is stored on a month to month basis, so you can go back and compare results vs historic records. BrightEdge has named this new feature (historic comparisons) ‘Data Cube Time Machine’. How does it work? What does it actually do? Data Cube – Performance for my ‘Best SEO Tools’ article If I want to see how well my ‘Best SEO Tools’ article is doing and what keywords it is ranking for then you simply paste the URL into the search field and it will look at where that page ranks in the SERPs: Not doing too badly. I do however rank in 6th position for ‘best seo tools’ in the US search results, which has a search volume of 720. It would be pretty neat if you could add another column for rankings and search volume for US and other market keyword positions and search volume. Data Cube Time Machine – Performance for my ‘Best SEO Tools’ article With ‘Data Cube Time Machine’ you can see the performance of an entire website or even a specific page. In the example above, I went from 2 keywords ranked on page 1 in April (for the ‘Best SEO Tools’ article only) to around 6 keywords ranked on page 1 in August. That’s progress! What is Data Cube Score? Data Cube Score is a really simple metric and is based...

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Free SEO tool: Branded Unlinked Mentions Finder
Aug24

Free SEO tool: Branded Unlinked Mentions Finder

16SHARESFacebookTwitter Turning brand mentions into links is a link building method that still works today and is in my opinion one of the safest methods of link building around for brands that are frequently mentioned on the internet. So that’s why when I came across a tool called the “Branded Unlinked Mentions Finder” — I got all excited about the potential uses that this would give to the team that I work with. This tool is so good that I’m even thinking of placing it in my list of  ‘best SEO tools‘. For example, before I’d be seeking out these brand mentions and contacting the sites that it would make sense for them to link back (i.e. if they’ve mentioned my brand’s survey, or infographic etc). I’d just be scouring the web for opportunities, and that works to an extent but is also very tedious and time consuming. It’s also very easy to miss opportunities if all you’re doing is going through the search results pages. What this tool does is that it checks the search results for brand mentions and utilises Google Docs to parse this information. The developer of the tool mentioned on reddit how he had devised the tool, saying that he had made use of several Google Doc functions such as the importxml function that makes use of XPath to grab data on the page that it checks. It’s something that I’ve been looking for and would likely have been something that I would like to have developed. Hopefully I’ll be able to show off its usefulness below. Example of its usefulness If we take NatWest’s Student Living Index, a recently released survey on student expenditure by city/town, you’ll see that past indexes have been frequently mentioned by university sites, news websites, student websites and generally the sort of websites that you would want your site to be associated with. But those sites aren’t linking to the source of the information that they’ve referenced: Only University College London is linking to the survey page, but look at all those other sites that aren’t! It would be perfectly natural to contact these sites and ask them to actually link to the source of the information they are referencing — to provide readers with access to claims that they are stating through the survey (a valid way of stating why they should be linking to the source). You can also do this for purely branded terms (it doesn’t have to be a survey or infographic) and you can simply enter the brand term to identify those that are mentioning your brand and to see if they are linking to you, but obviously if...

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6 Big Brands Penalised by Google
Jul20

6 Big Brands Penalised by Google

11SHARESFacebookTwitter I thought that I’d put together an example of big brand websites that have been penalised by Google. This is partly inspired by the recent Rap Genius penalisation debacle. Plus, it’s good for SEOs out there who work on large brands to avoid the sorts of tactics that got the following websites banished from the search results by the all-powerful Google. 1. Interflora.co.uk 22 Feb 2013: If you’ve not heard about the Interflora penalisation case then you haven’t been paying too much attention to SEO this year. The popular flower service saw 95% of its top pages for high traffic keywords such as “flower” and “roses” removed from the search engine result pages. 11 days after it was penalised it was allowed back and ranked for many of the high driving keywords that it ranked for prior to its penalisation. In 2011, JCPenny was penalised for engaging in paid link schemes, which saw them out of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for around 90 days. Quite the contrast in comparison to Interflora’s 11 days, but this could be due to the amount of paid-for links that JCPenny accrued over the years. What did they do to recover from this? According to Search Engine Land, they contacted many of the bloggers that they may have incentivised  (possibly with free flowers) to remove any links that may have looked unnatural. What’s also curious about this case is that their website may have been penalised with excessive use of advertorials on major newspaper websites, which I’ll come onto in the next bit. There was likely quite a bit of disavowing going on in the background, which only Interflora and Google would know about, but this may have expedited the status that Google placed on their website from penalised to “normal” — or whatever Google calls a website that is no longer in the penalised stage. 2. 600+ Regional Newspapers Punished Due to Advertorials  22 Feb 2013: Although this wouldn’t be considered a manual penalty by Google, this is still in part related to the penalisation of Interflora, so is very relevant and would be something to take note of for many SEOs out there. First spotted by Anthony Shapley, he noticed that a lot of regional newspaper websites had their toolbar PageRank decrease from the highest case, PageRank 7 to PageRank 0. It can almost be blamed in part for advertorials that they were selling (without including the rel=”nofollow” attribute) and as a result they suffered a blow to their toolbar PageRank. Advertorials offer SEOs an opportunity to increase rankings if they insert keyword phrases along with relevant copy. However, this didn’t...

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My Take on Google Removing Authorship Photos
Jun29

My Take on Google Removing Authorship Photos

12SHARESFacebookTwitter On the 25th of June, Google’s John Mueller announced that they were going to remove the authorship pictures and Google Plus circle counts from the search results page on a global scale. It’s now the 28th of June (as I write this) and they have already implemented the ‘change’ to the SERPs. The search results already look significantly different. I guess for the casual user they won’t really see the difference and this has really only affected article related searches and not really the product side of search. So, why Google? What gives? Google has put this down to a visual design “clean up” and with Google talking a lot more about the growth of mobile – they are simply trying to cater to a less cluttered GUI… or so they say. There are some theories going around saying that the authorship snippet profile pictures were drawing too much attention away from Google’s much lucrative ads. And some even saying that they have removed the pictures because Google’s attempt to force people to use G+ has been a failure. Whether Google is telling the truth on why they are removing it is all too difficult to conclude, as they could have done this for any number of reasons. Hell, perhaps those images were contributing to a slower load time for mobile users and were adding that extra bit of latency? Or perhaps their analysis shows that too many people are clicking on the actual profile pictures (leading to a G+ profile page) rather than the actual articles that people searched for. It could be anything! In my humble opinion, I put this move to remove the authorship images down to multiple reasons that have factored into this abandonment. I believe one of the reasons is this is just another update part of a mobile SERP update and just to be consistent they have rolled out the same update on desktop & tablet. If you look into it a bit more, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, stated at the recent SMX West conference that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile search would surpass desktop queries this year. In 2010, Google’s Eric Schmidt announced that Google would do everything via “mobile first”. This could be fueling these changes and with Google wanting to be “consistent” across all platforms they’ve applied this sort of reasoning across all verticals. It sort of makes sense that they don’t just have one reason for this move, but multiple reasons. I believe it’s based on these reasons: It’s drawing attention away from PPC ads and gives more visibility to organic search results. (which by the way already...

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