|Click Play to Listen to Podcast Now[podcast]http://ewebstyle.podomatic.com/enclosure/2010-08-30T17_02_20-07_00.mp3[/podcast]|
301 Redirect .htaccess and SEO
Paul: Yes. I find some really cool tools that I’m ready to share with you guys.
Chris: All right. So rock, paper, scissors, who goes first?
Paul: Let’s go to Google Places.
Chris: Okay, Google Places. All right. That’s you. You just wanted to go first, huh.
Paul: I don’t know. I didn’t say —
Paul: Okay. I found something on Google places, right? So we got to do an account. We’re setting up — we always set up Google Places/Google Local Listings, whatever, Google maps.
Chris: Google Local Places.
Paul: Yeah, and now this client runs a couple of different businesses out of the same address. So I’m setting up their Places listing. If you haven’t listened to that podcast, go back and listen to it. It’s very important. Make sure your listing is 100% and I get the — you know, there’s a PIN verification. You can — when you submit your listing they’re going to verify that it’s really you that’s trying to submit this listing so they’re going to either — they will opt to call you and/or send you a postcard. Sometimes they’ll only give you one option. That is okay. It just depends on a few different variables. I thought that something was wrong with me. So —
Chris: Yeah, I think the lighting — I’m sorry to interrupt. I’m just excited.
Paul: The lighting is working?
Chris: The lighting is looking pretty good.
Paul: Yeah, you can actually see my face now and I’m not just this dark blob with teeth.
Chris: You’re shaded on the other side so we’ll have to — sorry to interrupt.
Paul: We’ll work on that.
Chris: We’ll get our lighting better so…
Paul: So here’s one thing that I found out. I was working on this — I was getting all these different issues and the bottom line it boils down to you can only have one business listing per address per phone number and that’s what it was. So if you have had this issue with your listing, say you entered all your information, it says verify your listing, you clicked the verify the listing and maybe it might give you a — it will say, needs review or needs attention or needs action — that’s what it says, needs action or being reviewed.
Sometimes it will give you — it will say, hey, click to verify. It will give you the PIN number. You’ll go back to your listing. There won’t be a spot for you to actually enter the PIN number. This has a big problem, not just in the United States but worldwide. And typically, it means there’s an issue with your listing. Here’s what sucks about this. There is no support. There is no person that sits there and you can call them and — you can submit it to the Google Help forum. They’ll say, “We’ll take this into consideration when reviewed,” you know, when looking at issues.
Chris: When they have their next big meeting about what is the direction of the Google Places.
Paul: But they’re not going to reply to you. They’re not — really they’re not going to do anything so you can submit a — if you have any issues about Google places, you can submit to the forum and there are Google employees who will comment on some of them, not all of them. So if you ran into that issue, make sure that your listing — and I think I may have said this is correct. The only thing I’m sure about is addresses. You can only have one business listing per address.
Chris: Is it address and phone number combination or just — or do you know or —
Paul: I said the combo. I don’t — I’m not confident about the phone number.
Chris: So just the address?
Paul: Just the address I’m confident about if you have more than one listing.
Chris: And suite numbers do matter. Is that — do you know?
Paul: I tried to switch it on one of our clients and I haven’t gotten a response yet from the actual Google Places site. It just still says being reviewed.
Paul: So if you have a business and you’re running two businesses out of the same location, maybe try to switch the suite number or do suite 1A and suite 1B. But if they are the same you got to run into a Google local places — whatever.
Paul: You’re going to run in issues with that.
Chris: And there’s a lot of value — frankly, with there’s not that much ’cause currently when you do SEO search is it doesn’t pull up Google Local listings.
Chris: So the other business that is listed with us is something that people would look for.
Paul: Yes, that’s true.
Chris: We’ve been getting calls for that so it would be interesting to double check if that is still showing up. I mean, what is under review. Does under review mean that it doesn’t come up at all or —
Paul: You know, that’s a good question ’cause I hadn’t taught about that.
Chris: Because Patrick has got and called us and —
Paul: Yes, he has.
Chris: — and we’ve seen him in local listings before so I don’t know how new this policy is or whatever.
Paul: Yeah, and also if people are searching for you by name, I think it could affect whether your local listing appears ’cause you know if you search someone by name and they have that local listing it will — a little map will come up with that. So I need to double check and see ’cause I’m not sure if it will affect that listing.
Chris: But just — you know, we just bring these things up. You know, we haven’t fully flushed this out. We’re still working on it and there’s a lot of questions and nuances to it, but so that you guys are aware of it. If you run the same business out of the same place or excuse me, that wouldn’t be a problem. If you’re running two businesses out of the same place and you’re trying to get Google Local listings, you know, keep after it. Follow the process and if you come with a solution, e-mail it to us.
Paul: Yes, please.
Chris: We’ll be happy to share it ’cause —
Paul: We’re going through the same thing —
Chris: — the same thing, yeah.
Paul: — with some of our clients trying to figure out what’s the best way to approach or delete one, change suite numbers. And if you just had any issues with Google Places, let us know. We may have the same things.
Chris: Yes. I wanted to mention this ’cause I had to do a little bit of this work this week. We’ve talked about 301 redirects and I actually had to do this on the htcaccess level this week for one of our clients, for one of our new clients. We do not — we typically work on Windows boxes so htaccess is not available as a method. You got to use other things, ASP code. There’s lots of easy ways to go round it. Htaccess has a lot of advantages and so I went in there and made sure. There’s two things to look out for. One is that — I’m totally drawing a brink — oh, if you’re — and the way I found this — this is interesting. I went into the existing stats of our existing client, not Google Analytics but existing stats and it had traffic arriving at www.AandB and AandB, right?
So without the www. Google will see those as different pages, links going to those different pages will actually be split apart, your Google Juice is split apart so what you want to do is make sure that if somebody, either way, if somebody doesn’t type the www for some to go to it or the opposite, if they do type the www for some to not go to it and there’s little scripts out there that are readily available. I don’t do htcaccess so I’m not an htaccess programmer — not htc, htaccess. It’s my phone.
Paul: [Laughter] You said that yesterday and I was like HTC has like some access program?
Chris: Yeah. [Laughter]
Paul: [Laughter] So like I was lost until you just started explaining about it now.
Paul: So that was like 24 hours. I had no idea what you were talking about.
Chris: So you want to make sure their points to header — you can find that script out of line. The other thing that you want to be careful of is when you type in a website, you know, AandB.com is typically the index page. It can also be referenced and usually is referenced from either pages when you click the home site as AandB.com/index.asp, index.php, index.html, whatever one of those it is or multiples. Again, Google sees AandB.com and AandB.com/index whatever as different pages so you can be splitting your Google Juice so there’s a script out there. That’s what the —
Paul: If I had to take a wild guess I’d say that when people are linking to you they’re probably going to link to your AandB.com before you’re AandB index, AandB.com index.
Chris: Probably, yeah. But you know —
Paul: So what should like — and I know we talked about this this week about like — is this like a redirect issue?
Chris: It is a redirect. Yeah, that’s what we’re doing. It’s a 301 permanent redirect. So all Google Juice from one page goes to the other so that’s a great aspect of it when Google comes back and it’s transparent to the users. They don’t really see it. They’re like okay well, how many people look in the address bar. We do ’cause that’s what we do, but a lot of people will type — if they type www.AandB.com and glance at their address bar and all of a sudden the www. disappears, you know, they’re not going to notice that and if they do they — because just the fact that they’re glancing they know what’s going on.
Paul: So here’s a question because I don’t know the answer.
Paul: What is the best to redirect to like is it best to reach —
Chris: One page.
Paul: Okay. Is it — do you redirect to the page with the most Google Juice.
Chris: The Google Juice is going to get transferred and there’s really not any easy way to figure Google Juice, if you know what I’m saying.
Chris: Now, that’s a great question though. If you spend a lot of time building inbound links and those inbound links are to www.AandB.com, don’t make the decision to get rid of the www, right, and vice versa. Now, if they’re evenly split, it doesn’t really matter. Google is going to pass the juice. What you do end up with is those other links in other places are always going to be or probably always going to be the way they are unless you call them and ask them to redirect them or e-mail them. You don’t even need to bother with that because the Google Juice has passed on to the final target page. So there’s a lot of value in that so make sure you take care of that. So one of the things that we took care was a recent SEO client and we got an error and quickly recognized that we needed to —
Paul: To use a redirect.
Chris: — make sure that 301 redirects were done properly so…
Paul: Now, what’s the redirect that Google doesn’t like?
Chris: Okay. So you can just — in code you can just redirect the page and there’s like an ASP code you can redirect the page without an error code and PHP you can redirect the page without an error code and in HTML you can get to the browser and then have the browser redirect. Those three forms do not pass on Google Juice and Google doesn’t like those. Typically, if your page refreshes, it doesn’t like to index that page and — I’m not exactly sure how it handles if it does go to the next page and indexes it. It probably does just as a regular course, but any Google Juice going to that first page is just ignored —
Paul: Lost. Okay.
Chris: — when it gets to the target page. So you definitely want to do a 301 redirect.
Paul: 301 is the good kind of redirect —
Paul: — that they want to see. Okay.
Chris: And 301 refers to the error code. Have you ever typed in something and you got a 404?
Chris: That’s a web-based error code. 301 is another type of error code. Hey, wrong page. Go over there.
Paul: Go over here. Okay. That’s cool. I know that.
Chris: Yeah, so that’s something that we did this week that I want to mention. Also, we read a review last week. I just got to read this again ’cause I actually read it in one of my networking meetings. “I find myself laughing out loud in the car and using my memo feature to capture some of the suggestions.” I mean does that sum up like the deal —
Paul: That’s cool. Now, it needed — it had some jokes.
Chris: Yeah. Well, if somebody says if you can — he also talks, “If you listen from the beginning you can understand — see these guys grow in sophistication,” that’s wow! What a compliment, “and understand the running jokes.” Didn’t you know we got the Gino time limit and —
Paul: Yeah, and if we start talking about being a douche like — in your own podcast number 5 you probably wouldn’t understand what that means.
Chris: Yeah, yeah, it’s important.
Paul: So that’s cool. Yeah.
Chris: The douche podcast. So we posted a review on iTunes. It’s Corey Malcheski and I didn’t click the “more” so he’s actually chief geek for Funwatercraft.com.
Paul: That’s what’s up.
Paul: Chief geek. [Laughter]
Chris: Yeah, that’s awesome. Is that like —
Paul: That’s awesome. That’s cool.
Chris: CGIC, chief geek in charge.
Paul: Oh, that’s on your business card. Oh, that’s awesome.