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11 SEO Tips & Tricks To Improve Search Indexation

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11 SEO Tips & Tricks To Improve Search Indexation

The SEO game has so many moving parts that it often seems like, as soon as we’re done optimizing one part of a website, we have to move back to the part we were just working on.

Once you’re out of the “I’m new here” stage and feel that you have some real SEO experience under your belt, you might start to feel that there are some things you can devote less time to correcting.

Indexability and crawl budgets could be two of those things, but forgetting about them would be a mistake.

I always like to say that a website with indexability issues is a site that’s in its own way; that website is inadvertently telling Google not to rank its pages because they don’t load correctly or they redirect too many times.

If you think you can’t or shouldn’t be devoting time to the decidedly not-so-glamorous task of fixing your site’s indexability, think again.

Indexability problems can cause your rankings to plummet and your site traffic to dry up quickly.

So, your crawl budget has to be top of mind.

In this post, I’ll present you with 11 tips to consider as you go about improving your website’s indexability.

1. Track Crawl Status With Google Search Console

Errors in your crawl status could be indicative of a deeper issue on your site.

Checking your crawl status every 30-60 days is important to identify potential errors that are impacting your site’s overall marketing performance.

It’s literally the first step of SEO; without it, all other efforts are null.

Right there on the sidebar, you’ll be able to check your crawl status under the index tab.

Screenshot by author, May 2022
errors in google search consoleScreenshot by author, May 2022

Now, if you want to remove access to a certain webpage, you can tell Search Console directly. This is useful if a page is temporarily redirected or has a 404 error.

A 410 parameter will permanently remove a page from the index, so beware of using the nuclear option.

Common Crawl Errors & Solutions

If your website is unfortunate enough to be experiencing a crawl error, it may require an easy solution or be indicative of a much larger technical problem on your site.

The most common crawl errors I see are:

semrush crawlability problemsScreenshot by author, May 2022

To diagnose some of these errors, you can leverage the URL Inspection tool to see how Google views your site.

Failure to properly fetch and render a page could be indicative of a deeper DNS error that will need to be resolved by your DNS provider.

google search console URL inspectionScreenshot by author, May 2022

Resolving a server error requires diagnosing a specific error. The most common errors include:

  • Timeout.
  • Connection refused.
  • Connect failed.
  • Connect timeout.
  • No response.

Most of the time, a server error is usually temporary, although a persistent problem could require you to contact your hosting provider directly.

Robots.txt errors, on the other hand, could be more problematic for your site. If your robots.txt file is returning a 200 or 404 error, it means search engines are having difficulty retrieving this file.

You could submit a robots.txt sitemap or avoid the protocol altogether, opting to manually noindex pages that could be problematic for your crawl.

Resolving these errors quickly will ensure that all of your target pages are crawled and indexed the next time search engines crawl your site.

2. Create Mobile-Friendly Webpages

With the arrival of the mobile-first index, we must also optimize our pages to display mobile-friendly copies on the mobile index.

The good news is that a desktop copy will still be indexed and displayed under the mobile index if a mobile-friendly copy does not exist. The bad news is that your rankings may suffer as a result.

There are many technical tweaks that can instantly make your website more mobile-friendly including:

  • Implementing responsive web design.
  • Inserting the viewpoint meta tag in content.
  • Minifying on-page resources (CSS and JS).
  • Tagging pages with the AMP cache.
  • Optimizing and compressing images for faster load times.
  • Reducing the size of on-page UI elements.

Be sure to test your website on a mobile platform and run it through Google PageSpeed Insights. Page speed is an important ranking factor and can affect the speed at which search engines can crawl your site.

3. Update Content Regularly

Search engines will crawl your site more regularly if you produce new content on a regular basis.

This is especially useful for publishers who need new stories published and indexed on a regular basis.

Producing content on a regular basis signal to search engines that your site is constantly improving and publishing new content, and therefore needs to be crawled more often to reach its intended audience.

4. Submit A Sitemap To Each Search Engine

One of the best tips for indexation to this day remains to submit a sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

You can create an XML version using a sitemap generator or manually create one in Google Search Console by tagging the canonical version of each page that contains duplicate content.

5. Optimize Your Interlinking Scheme

Establishing a consistent information architecture is crucial to ensuring that your website is not only properly indexed, but also properly organized.

Creating main service categories where related webpages can sit can further help search engines properly index webpage content under certain categories when the intent may not be clear.

11 SEO Tips & Tricks To Improve Search IndexationScreenshot by author, May 2022

6. Deep Link To Isolated Webpages

If a webpage on your site or a subdomain is created in isolation or an error preventing it from being crawled, you can get it indexed by acquiring a link on an external domain.

This is an especially useful strategy for promoting new pieces of content on your website and getting it indexed quicker.

Beware of syndicating content to accomplish this as search engines may ignore syndicated pages, and it could create duplicate errors if not properly canonicalized.

7. Minify On-Page Resources & Increase Load Times

Forcing search engines to crawl large and unoptimized images will eat up your crawl budget and prevent your site from being indexed as often.

Search engines also have difficulty crawling certain backend elements of your website. For example, Google has historically struggled to crawl JavaScript.

Even certain resources like Flash and CSS can perform poorly over mobile devices and eat up your crawl budget.

In a sense, it’s a lose-lose scenario where page speed and crawl budget are sacrificed for obtrusive on-page elements.

Be sure to optimize your webpage for speed, especially over mobile, by minifying on-page resources, such as CSS. You can also enable caching and compression to help spiders crawl your site faster.

Search Engine Journal PageSpeed InsightsScreenshot by author, May 2022

8. Fix Pages With Noindex Tags

Over the course of your website’s development, it may make sense to implement a noindex tag on pages that may be duplicated or only meant for users who take a certain action.

Regardless, you can identify webpages with noindex tags that are preventing them from being crawled by using a free online tool like Screaming Frog.

The Yoast plugin for WordPress allows you to easily switch a page from index to noindex. You could also do this manually in the backend of pages on your site.

9. Set A Custom Crawl Rate

In the old version of Google Search Console, you can actually slow or customize the speed of your crawl rates if Google’s spiders are negatively impacting your site.

This also gives your website time to make necessary changes if it is going through a significant redesign or migration.

Google Search Console crawl rateScreenshot by author, May 2022

10. Eliminate Duplicate Content

Having massive amounts of duplicate content can significantly slow down your crawl rate and eat up your crawl budget.

You can eliminate these problems by either blocking these pages from being indexed or placing a canonical tag on the page you wish to be indexed.

Along the same lines, it pays to optimize the meta tags of each individual page to prevent search engines from mistaking similar pages as duplicate content in their crawl.

11. Block Pages You Don’t Want Spiders To Crawl

There may be instances where you want to prevent search engines from crawling a specific page. You can accomplish this by the following methods:

  • Placing a noindex tag.
  • Placing the URL in a robots.txt file.
  • Deleting the page altogether.

This can also help your crawls run more efficiently, instead of forcing search engines to pour through duplicate content.

Conclusion

The state of your website’s crawlability problems will more or less depend on how much you’ve been staying current with your own SEO.

If you’re tinkering in the back end all the time, you may have identified these issues before they got out of hand and started affecting your rankings.

If you’re not sure, though, run a quick scan in Google Search Console to see how you’re doing.

The results can really be educational!

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Featured Image: Ernie Janes/Shutterstock



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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Screenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

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Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

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5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

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