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Simon Cox
Technical SEO consultant
Technical SEO consultant


Thought I had hreflang wrapped but someone pointed out this little sentence in Maile Ohye's video on hreflang:

"Can submit one sitemap if all sites are verified"

Does this mean if I have 10 sites all the same, but on different country domains and languages etc, I can create a single sitemap.xml file containing the hreflang alternative locations for every page on all 10 sites - rather than creating one for each site?

If so how would I choose which site to upload it too? (though it probably should not matter, but the one with the most crawl frequency would seem to be the obvious candidate).

Had an interesting exchange with one of our web design agencies working on a project today. I had recommended a full (every page) html sitemap for the site because there were news articles that you could only get to through other news articles - pagination (not great but thats how it is and no full index of articles). So I thought the html sitemap would be a good thing to do.
However the agency are insisting that the html sitemap only shows 4 levels of content not all of it as this will amount to 1200 pages/links and the think it will be too much on the page. I have suggested putting in accordions for anything below lvl 4.

Then they told me that to meet our SEO requirements we should build an xml sitemap instead. (which of course we were doing anyway - this is an egg grandma and what you do...)

My intention was to make the deeper pages less deep so that their internal link value was not wasted.

I have just realised this is a bit of a rant. Apologies!

Anyone built html sitemaps to enable short cut links to deep pages?

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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?
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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.
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