Category Archives: SEO

WordPress Blogs and Google’s Supplemental Index

It seems that WordPress-based blogs have a tendency to be dropped into Google’s Supplemental Index pretty quickly. The general consensus is that this is due to the duplication of content present within WordPress. A typical installation will generate a minimum of five instances of a post – more if the post is identified in multiple categories.

To alleviate the problem, include the following Javascript in which ever template contains your <head> tag information:

<?php if(is_home() || is_single() || is_page()){
echo '<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">';
} else {
echo '<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">';
}?>

You may also want to block the Googlebot from your Feeds as well. Add the following to your robots.txt file:

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*/feed/$
Disallow: /*/feed/rss/$
Disallow: /*/trackback/$

Poisioning your RSS feed for Splogs

One of the sites I write for regularly has a rather large visitor base, 5k daily uniques to the site and over 2k rss feed subscribers. We’ve always published a full article feed for the convenience of our readers but in the last year we have constantly battled splogs – spam blogs who exist only to aggregate others’ feeds for monetization purposes.

We’ve experimented with few different tactics, but lately have settled on “poisoning” the feed with blatant copyright information with links back to our site and requests to inform us if they find our feed on a non-approved site:

© 2006 thesiteinquestion.com. This RSS Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact legal@thesiteinquestion.com so we can take the appropriate legal action.

While it may be a minor inconvenience to our subscribers reading our feed in their own feed reader, it amounts to 2-3 lines of text following some white space at the end of each post and should be fairly unobtrusive.

Another tactic we’ve tried in the past is stuffing hidden links in our feed. Taking a page out of the link-spamming technique of including a hidded div and creating keyword rich links to domains that feed into affiliate programs. While this was highly successful in creating backlinks to sites (blackhat SEO Tip to think about), many of the web-based feed readers were running into display problems with the hidden div (namely bloglines.com). We’ve since discontinued the practice until we can perfect a way to avoid the display issues.

I hate splogs.

Google Is Liking Expired Domains

Interesting goings on at Google lately. It seems that picking up expired domains might be a valuable practice again. Previously, Google was dropping all PR and backlink reputation from expired domains to cut down on the SEO possibilities.

In the last month, I’ve grabbed two domains that previously held content but expired and were picked up by those playing the parking page monetization game. Both domains I acquired were showing back links in Yahoo and MSN, but nothing in Google – and accordingly weren’t showing a PR value at all.

Upon parking* them myself for some content development projects (less than 3 weeks ago) I was surprised this afternoon to find both domains now had solid PR values (4 and 6) with backlinks showing in Google.

I’ll keep these names to myself for now, but it may be worth testing the waters again for expired names which have last see life on the web as a part of domain parking monetization projects.

*in the interest of disclosure, my parking pages are nothing more than a coming soon page without any type of advertising on link stuffing.