• The Search Blog

    Useful info from Google if you have a mobile site


    Matt Cutts recently presented some valuable information about detecting the ‘Googlebot-Mobile’ user agent string, to identify the Google mobile crawler.  If you have a mobile version of your website, it’s worth taking a look at this clip which lasts less than 3 minutes…

  • The Search Blog

    Seller rating scores will impact your SEO


    imageShopping comparison sites have for a long time been a popular method of finding the cheapest price online.  In a recent video, Matt Cutts from Google discusses how the rating scores from multiple price comparison websites across the web are actually used as an SEO ranking factor.

    So negative reviews from your customers on comparison sites could be directly impacting your search referrals from Google.

    The full video is available to watch here…

  • The Search Blog

    Search engines treat meta refresh the same as 301 redirects


    imageSEOMOZ recently published a good post for testing your level of expertise on SEO.  Whilst I am pleased to say I got the majority of the answers correct, there was one fact in the follow up post which was news to me!  I would like to share this in case this is also a surprise for others.

    Meta tag refreshes can be used to ‘redirect’ users from one page to another.  The code is placed in the head section of a page and looks something like this…

    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="5; URL=http://support.microsoft.com/newpage.html">

    This example code will wait 5 seconds, and then redirect the user to http://support.microsoft.com/newpage.html.  The delay time can be used to display a notification to the user informing them that they are being redirected.

    Whilst I had previously thought that these types of redirects were not as effective as 301 redirects for informing search engines that a page has moved, it turns out that as long as the delay time is low (0 or a few seconds), then the redirect code is considered the same as a server side 301 redirect code (i.e. the link juice will be passed to the new URL).  Longer delays may not be considered the same.

    This is valuable news for anyone who…

    1. Has difficulties creating server side redirects for their content
    2. Would like to make it clear to users that they are being redirected (by displayed a short message first)


    Author: Chris Moore is a program manager from Microsoft working on Search Engine Optimisation.  Follow him on Twitter

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