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Tony “Tiggerito” McCreath
The Glorious and Fabulous SEO Giant
The Glorious and Fabulous SEO Giant

Tony “Tiggerito” McCreath's posts

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Nice to see Google clarifying that rich snippets are not guaranteed
Umm, it seems Google makes some new clarifications in its guidelines...
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I own a business. Automation means I save time & my clients get a better product. For employees it's different

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This talk from +John Mueller is primarily about crawling #JavaScript based websites, but it contains a lot of valuable insights into how #Google crawls in general. A must watch for any serious #SEO.

"Hello, how are you doing, are you the person who manages the power bill for your company".

"Sorry, we don't use power"
[Hangs Up]

Sometimes I can't be bothered to be polite.

When I get asked about my phone line I can honestly say I don't have one.

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I often see people over worrying about 404 errors in their Google Search Console. These errors can highlight potential issues, but they are not always a problem. This post from +John Mueller at Google provides more details on why.

I always suggest that you check the "linked from" tab sometimes shown when you click on one of the errors. Check all the listed examples to see if they still exist and link to the missing pages. If so, try and fix them. If there are no current links to the 404 URL, then there is nothing to worry about, "mark as fixed" and move on.

I see this kind of question several times a week; you’re not alone - many websites have crawl errors. 

1) 404 errors on invalid URLs do not harm your site’s indexing or ranking in any way. It doesn’t matter if there are 100 or 10 million, they won’t harm your site’s ranking. 

2) In some cases, crawl errors may come from a legitimate structural issue within your website or CMS. How you tell? Double-check the origin of the crawl error. If there's a broken link on your site, in your page's static HTML, then that's always worth fixing. (thanks +Martino Mosna)

3) What about the funky URLs that are “clearly broken?” When our algorithms like your site, they may try to find more great content on it, for example by trying to discover new URLs in JavaScript. If we try those “URLs” and find a 404, that’s great and expected. We just don’t want to miss anything important (insert overly-attached Googlebot meme here).

4) You don’t need to fix crawl errors in Webmaster Tools. The “mark as fixed” feature is only to help you, if you want to keep track of your progress there; it does not change anything in our web-search pipeline, so feel free to ignore it if you don’t need it.

5) We list crawl errors in Webmaster Tools by priority, which is based on several factors. If the first page of crawl errors is clearly irrelevant, you probably won’t find important crawl errors on further pages.

6) There’s no need to “fix” crawl errors on your website. Finding 404’s is normal and expected of a healthy, well-configured website. If you have an equivalent new URL, then redirecting to it is a good practice. Otherwise, you should not create fake content, you should not redirect to your homepage, you shouldn’t robots.txt disallow those URLs -- all of these things make it harder for us to recognize your site’s structure and process it properly.  We call these “soft 404” errors.

7) Obviously - if these crawl errors are showing up for URLs that you care about, perhaps URLs in your Sitemap file, then that’s something you should take action on immediately. If Googlebot can’t crawl your important URLs, then they may get dropped from our search results, and users might not be able to access them either. 

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Are some of your products out of stock? Here's what to do

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Math Puzzle with averages.

I have data on a series of queries that includes clicks, impressions and ctr.

What would be the most correct what to calculate the ctr for the whose series?

sum(clicks) / sum(impressions)

This chart demonstrates how different they are. I'm erring on the sum/totals version being the better one. It also seems to indicate that people are less likely to click on single word queries than two word queries

p.s. Not sure if this particular chart has any value. I'm going to work on one that shows average click position for different word counts. I think that may indicate that people click higher up for long tail queries.


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I've eventually developed my Google Search Console API client and am working on using it to try and discover a few things. Like how CTR varies based on device and position (see chart).

Quick stats so far:

65,051 unique query terms gathered. Longest is 250 characters. Highest search position is 932.

1.5 million rows gathered with dimensions query, device, search type and search appearance. Data covers 3,612,172 impressions and 104,149 clicks over all devices.

32% of impressions and 50% of clicks related to query terms that are not provided. I'm going to have to double check the math on this, as I do not think it was so high.


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Your products have to stand out to win in eCommerce

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