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Simon Cox
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Have not seen what looks like normal SERP Sitelinks on an Advert before - anyone seen this before? 

Some might say this topic is not for SEO's - but I think it is. Search factors are sometimes offline:

Have seen some photos on Twitter today showing a poster on London Underground for Tottenham Hotspur Football club. It is promoting Premium packages for matches and has a marketing url. However the poster design has the text running over the centre of the poster and the poster has not been pasted up in place correctly so we have two apparent spelling mistakes. One of the instances says Premum and the other, the marketing URL, says

I checked the misspelled URL and sure enough I got a 404 - they have not redirected the misspelling.

Ultimately this was caused by a bad piece of poster design but reminds us that we do need to check what Marketing are up to at all times.

I had an instance years ago when marketing forgot to ad the www in our domain on a set of TV adverts (because the agency though without was more hip) but the non www did not resolve at all and we could not technically change it in time for the TV adverts. Lots of lessons learnt from that one.

Anyone had similar experiences?

One of the threads that was discussed quite a lot at BrightonSEO on Friday was site migrations. Tons of good advice from the speakers - even i picked up a few good tips and I do a lot of this.

My question for the hosts is how do they approach a site migration - many people are scared of them, many reckless and arrogant about what they need to do and what they can ignore.

My tip is to build a list of all the URLs - not just the ones you think you have after a Screaming Frog Crawl. I use a Google SERP extractor to grab all the links Google has for the site (have to do it manually for Bing!) as there will be links to your site with incorrect paths - still worth redirecting those. Also i use SEMRush and other tools to add to the backlinks - any source really that will add to a comprehensive list for redirecting.

Then I have to fight IT teams to get all the redirects put in - always a struggle as they never want to do more than 200. :(

Anyone at BrightonSEO today? I will point out it is now probably the biggest SEO conf in the world. 

Cougars, ROI, AMP and mobile ad blocker ideas - another great episode from the Cliff and Norm of SEO!

The new Google activity areas is released today. Areas with lots if activity are coloured orange on Google maps. If your local business is not in one how will this affect your rankings?

interesting topic came up today. We have been looking at the descriptions under PDFs in the SERPs. We have a lot of PDFs with no descriptions at all while others do have some that appears to be arbitrarily pulled from the content.

We thought that adding metadata descriptions might help (available as a Properties field in Acrobat Pro but not in Acrobat Reader) but in the instances where we have added a metadata description Google has not used it at all - leaving us with no real control on the PDFs description in SERPs. The content that Google pulls out of the PDF for the description is rarely a useful summary of the PDF - so this could be a lot better.

Would be interested in anyone else's thoughts and experiences with indexed PDFs.

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Anyone tried the Blippar visual search app yet? I am not convinced of its usefulness yet but watching it recognise things is fascinating.

hreflang is doing my head in again at the moment. The basics are straight forward and I get it - one site with language variant pages aimed at different countries. Easy.

But now I have a global site and 50 country sites all saying pretty much the same thing.
The global site is for where there is no local country website.
The country sites all have top level local domains.
Some country sites are multilingual.

All sites carry common content and come from a common content repository (this is to ensure accuracy of message and make the sites economic to manage - business decision).

Should the hreflang tags be across domains?


The english language pages have the same content (albeit with colloquialisms for the US spellings) and the french pages are the same content translated.

My take so far on this is that the, .us and .fr sites would have no hreflang as they are in one language only. Canada has the hreflag as there is an alternative language available on that site.

However - should we be referencing the other country sites with the hreflang alternatives for each of the other pages across all of these sites as they are the same content targeted at different audiences.

Then there is canonical to think about...

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I wrote too soon. Once you have a set put together you can only see the message for that set and the Analytics. You don't even get a filtered set of websites which I was expecting and would have been very useful.

It is pants.
Just finally got on with trying out the new Sets in Google Search Console.

First experience isn't a great one as adding sites to each set comprises of scrolling through an unsorted list - well it might be sorted by something but nothing useful to help quickly find the sites I want out of the hundreds I have. And then you have to add them one at a time meaning you need to scroll back to where you were to continue - this has led to some of my colleagues giving me a funny look as I have my finger stuck on the screen showing where I got the scroll bar to.

Once you have a set together though this is going to be a really useful way to access sites data quickly and methodically.

It does look like Search console might be consolidating all the Search Analytics for the sites in a set - I will need to wait for a while to see this as currently no data available - but this will be a great round up tool for analytics!
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