Common Pitfalls with Dynamic Rendering for JavaScript SEO

Earlier this year, Google announced official support for dynamic rendering as a solution for JavaScript-driven websites: serving search bots a server-side rendered (SSR) page, while providing a client-side experience for users. (In truth, many sites have been doing this for years via in-house solutions and services like Prerender.io, but it was great to see Google address that …

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Video Featured Snippets: How Suggested Clips Work

Early last year, Google released Suggested Clips as a type of Featured Snippet that appears at the top of SERPS for how-to process queries with visual intent. Unlike traditional video search results, this feature jumps to a specific point in the selected video where the answer to the search query appears. In particular, this feature …

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On-page SEO for NLP

Traditional on-page SEO guidance is to target a primary phrase, its near-related terms, and its longtail variants by using them in the text and placing them in strategic locations on the page (i.e., title, headings, early in content, throughout content). However, writing for Natural Language Processing, or NLP, requires some additional steps and considerations. Managing …

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Video SEO: Ranking Videos in Google Without Rich Snippets

[This blog post is a summary of the first part of a presentation I gave at SearchLove London. You can find the full presentation here.] Too often, Video SEO is simplified to a discussion of video rich snippets, which are the visual markup of video results to include thumbnails and timestamps. This perspective leads to …

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Core Principles of SEO for JavaScript

The shift to JavaScript crawling is one of the more significant changes in technical SEO in the last few years, but the conversation around it historically has been limited. When it is explored in-depth, it’s typically platform-specific or jargon-heavy. Many SEOs have a lot of confusion when managing requests from developers about JavaScript. However, the days …

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How Do Users Interact with Predictive (Queryless) Search?

The growth of mobile and the prevalence of personalization data has empowered the growth of proactive search systems, which push out information in a predictive fashion. While reactive search (user enters a query) remains the dominant aspect of search, platforms like Google Now and Microsoft Cortana are increasing the sophistication and frequency in which users interact with …

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How to Use Internal Search for SEO

Internal search data provides useful insights on how your customers search. Basically, your customers are giving you free keyword research.

1. Information Architecture

Look at how your customers are searching and compare that to the information architecture. Does your category system match how customers search?

2. Indexable Search Pages

Don’t limit your landing pages to your defined category pages. Create indexable search pages. You’ve probably heard Google doesn’t like to index search pages, but they do.

Really, the difference between a category page and a search page is design and content. You can fix this. This means design, a heading, maybe get rid of some of those facets. That’s all you really have to do.

We’re just making it look more curated than automated. This also means adding a title and meta description that make sense. And if a search page returns only a few results, make sure to go ahead and noindex it. This will help you avoid Panda and duplicate content problems.

3. Related Search on Search & Category Pages

It can also power related search, think “people who searched for this also search for that.” There are a lot of ways to do this, so just pick one that works. Now you have an internal search driven linking system that will expose these indexable search pages.

4. Related Search on Product Pages

Don’t limit this to your category and search pages. Think “people who found this product also searched for this.” Practically, it’s a search-driven tagging system.

5. International Keyword Research

Do this for international sites. Internal search is basically keyword research in its targeted language. This is invaluable for sites that don’t have resources to translate content for all their international domains.

6. Trending Searches

Make sure you’re using search deltas. Top search terms are great, but trending is better. This modifies your internal linking structure based on seasonality and events. By doing this, you can drive internal link value to pages while their demand is the highest.

7. Search Pages in XML Sitemaps

Include your dynamic search pages in your XML sitemap. Concatenate your top search terms into your URL pattern for your new indexable landing pages. I highly recommend filtering this list by adult terms, search volume, and grammar.

Now just submit them to Google. Depending on your domain authority, you can get a significant number of pages indexed this way.

So if you’re currently not using your internal search data, find a way to get your hands on it.