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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager wwalter's Avatar
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    Insights from our Backcountry.com SEO Guru
    This is an exerpt from our April affiliate newsletter. We have an SEO engineer here at Backcountry.com whose responsibility it to keep up with whats happening with the search engines. He's graciously accepted the request to write monthly articles that we can give to our affiliates to help them out.

    Here is his first article:

    Same Back Link with Different URLs: What do I do?

    Q: If some people are linking into your site using the 'www' like <a href="http://www.yoursite.com">link</a>, and others are linking in not using the 'www' like <a href="http://yoursite.com">link</a>, does this confuse the search engines?

    A: Yes... Because even though each of those sites end with the root of the domain, they are often treated by the search engines as two individual pages. But, to say that this confuses the search engines is a bit misleading. All the search engines realize that they might have two URLs in their index that present the same content. To further illustrate the issue you could add the example of www.yoursite.com/index.html and /index.htm, or any other variation of a URL that points to one unique piece of content in to the same example.

    The job of cleaning up the search engine indexes of the duplicate URLs, or sourcing only one of the URLs, has been an especially hot topic and has received a lot of attention over the last few months.

    You may have heard of the latest update from Google named BigDaddy that was designed to address this issue. This wasn't just another Google Dance PR change, but a fundamental change to the framework to better handle this single sourcing, or canonicalization.

    Canonicalization is the process of converting data that has more than one possible representation into a “standard” canonical representation – Canonicalization - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The best solution for this age-old problem is to decide on the best source URL on your site for that content and use 301 redirects for all the variations. I would probably make sure you cover the non-www URLs first and then use some link analysis tools like Back Link Analyzer or WebCEO to find other links to redirect.

    The added organic search benefit of organizing your back links is that your site’s page will now receive full credit rather than splitting the value of the links.
    Last edited by wwalter; April 3rd, 2006 at 07:28 PM. Reason: change title
    John Walter
    Backcountry.com
    wwalter at backcountry.com
    P 801-746-7580
    [URL=http://www.Backcountry.com]www.Backcountry.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.backcountryoutlet.com]www.backcountryoutlet.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.tramdock.com]www.tramdock.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.dogfunk.com]www.dogfunk.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.steepandcheap.com]www.steepandcheap.com[/URL]
    We use the gear we sell.

  2. #2
    The Thin White Duke PreacherMan's Avatar
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    Accurate article John. Google really is a mess at the moment. They have been a year trying to sort out the canonical issues and things have amzingly gotten worse. It seems like during the process of trying to fix this they have introduced further glitches into the system.
    Keep on learning, keep on earning. :fan:

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    GREAT ARTICLE....!!!!!!!!

    Looking forward to more.....!

    This will also help your affiliates do better for ALL their merchants... AWESOME Stuff......

    You Guys
    Rock and Roll...!!!


    -------------




    LMAO...

  4. #4
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Nice one Walt~!

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Nice! And very timely, too.

    Using mod_rewrite in .htaccess:

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} .
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com [NC]
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    Another thing - being technically challenged (aside from copy and paste) I have NO idea how to do it, but I understand in IIS you have to use all absolute URLs for some sites so that navigating back through breadcrumbs doesn't create a different URI each time.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    always wondered why the simple address bar type-in of... ecomcity.com brought up my site with no PR.

    typing in www.ecomcity.com brings up the same page with PR5. I didn't even know this was a word... Canonicalization
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    Mike, here's the header for ecomcity.com

    Status: HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 04:05:35 GMT
    Server: Apache
    Last-Modified: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 12:58:08 GMT
    ETag: "47cd679-106f0-44311be0"
    Content-Length: 67312
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html
    You don't want a 200, you want a 301 to www.ecomcity.com if that's mostly what you use for linking. If redirected, this is how it would look:

    Server Response: http://example.com
    Status: HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
    Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 04:08:33 GMT
    Server: Apache
    Location: http://www.example.com/
    Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=99
    Connection: Keep-Alive
    Transfer-Encoding: chunked
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

  8. #8
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    Webworker is right. Typically, most people would standardize their URL to the version using the www subdomain. In your case you definitely should because that is the version showing PR. If you are on a Unix or Linux server, it's easy to do using mod_rewrite. See the following article.

    Setting up a 301 Permanent Redirect for Apache Servers

    Once installed, when you enter the version of the URL without the www, you should see it resolve (change) into the standardized version with the www. Also, be sure to verify that the proper 301 status code is being sent. There are several sites with header checkers on the Web. Just search for "HTML header checker".

    FYI. A status code 200 means that the page was sent properly, but it will not resolve this issue. A 302 indicates a temporary change, which will not change the URL in search engine databases and can lead to a range of other problems. A 301 status code tells the search engine to change the URL in their database to the new URL. Ideally, you only want to see one version of your site's URL in a search engine database when you use the site:domainname.com query.
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
    [url=http://www.topranksolutions.com]Phoenix SEO[/url] :: [url=http://www.tech-evangelist.com/category/affiliate-marketing/]Affiliate Marketing Tutorials[/url]

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager wwalter's Avatar
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    As much as I'd like to take credit for that article, I can't. All that came out of the mind of our SEO engineer, Jimmy Mack, one of the brightest minds here at Backcountry.com. He'll be putting together more information for future newsletters and we'll make sure to post them here because the information is so valuable.
    John Walter
    Backcountry.com
    wwalter at backcountry.com
    P 801-746-7580
    [URL=http://www.Backcountry.com]www.Backcountry.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.backcountryoutlet.com]www.backcountryoutlet.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.tramdock.com]www.tramdock.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.dogfunk.com]www.dogfunk.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.steepandcheap.com]www.steepandcheap.com[/URL]
    We use the gear we sell.

  10. #10
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    John,

    Can you ask him to type a bit about a 404 going to a 301 that drops on the home page?

    Case in point. You have a page for a product that is indexed and the index stays stale for a while from what I've seen. In the mean time the catalog is updated (product removed), thus the product page is now a 404. If that 404 was then redirected to a 301 redirect that points at the home page...how would this be viewed by the search engines?

    inquiring minds want to know ;-)

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager wwalter's Avatar
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    mrb,

    That's a great question. Jimmy Mack found a couple of urls from Matt Cutts' blog that addressed this same issue:

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/sitemaps-interview/

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/the-li...01-that-could/

    Basically it says that 404 header (page not found temporarily) and 410 (page not found and gone forever) are treated the same way by the SEs. So essentially a 404 header returned is a kiss of death for that page. If you read down in the discussions you'll see that some people have talked about doing the exact thing that you're talking about.

    However, we didn't find anything specific about this being a solution to the question you ask. But it is something that our engineering team has been thinking about for a while now, doing something like adding a 301 redirect directive in the .htaccess file anytime a SKU is removed from the active catalog.

    Getting to the point, I'd say that there needs to be some testing done to make sure. If you have a page that you need to move that has some decent page ranking, do a 301 redirect for it to the new page and then watch the page ranking of the new page to see how it measures up to the previous page. The one thing you definitely don't want to do is return a 404 error to the spider. So it's feasible that this could work as long as your script/program intercepted the headers before anything was returned.

    I hope this helps.
    John Walter
    Backcountry.com
    wwalter at backcountry.com
    P 801-746-7580
    [URL=http://www.Backcountry.com]www.Backcountry.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.backcountryoutlet.com]www.backcountryoutlet.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.tramdock.com]www.tramdock.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.dogfunk.com]www.dogfunk.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.steepandcheap.com]www.steepandcheap.com[/URL]
    We use the gear we sell.

  12. #12
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    JW, it's awful nice that you folks are putting up information to help webmasters, it says a lot!

    Got a question though - this is the page redirected to after filling out your "feedback" form

    https://www.steepandcheap.com/

    People do have problems with https pages getting indexed, and I notice that it doesn't redirect to the regular homepage. How does your webmaster keep the https from being indexed?

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager wwalter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    JW, it's awful nice that you folks are putting up information to help webmasters, it says a lot!

    Got a question though - this is the page redirected to after filling out your "feedback" form

    https://www.steepandcheap.com/

    People do have problems with https pages getting indexed, and I notice that it doesn't redirect to the regular homepage. How does your webmaster keep the https from being indexed?
    We use our robots.txt file to control what gets indexed. What you're referring to, however, is a function of the https protocol. For the most part we're not concerned with indexing on the https connection. If you notice the PR on the http ranking is pretty good at 5/10. However, on the https connection there is no page ranking registered.
    John Walter
    Backcountry.com
    wwalter at backcountry.com
    P 801-746-7580
    [URL=http://www.Backcountry.com]www.Backcountry.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.backcountryoutlet.com]www.backcountryoutlet.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.tramdock.com]www.tramdock.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.dogfunk.com]www.dogfunk.com[/URL] | [URL=http://www.steepandcheap.com]www.steepandcheap.com[/URL]
    We use the gear we sell.

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