We’re in a tight spot – can you help?

Do you like problem solving? Helping people? Think you know a thing or two about search engines? We’ve been inundated lately with so many search engine questions that I simply don’t have time to answer them all.

Can you help us out of this tight spot? We’re looking for a  couple of Guest Bloggers to help us answer the search engine Q and A’s here at Ask-Kalena.com.

You’ll need to be a confident writer with a fun, readable style and excellent grammar. It would also help if you didn’t make spelling mistakes very often or at least when you did, you made them entertaining.

To get an idea of what we’re looking for, search our “Q & A” categories under the “Topics” drop down list on the left.

Ready to be a Search Engine Superhero? Give me a shout via kalena [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “GUEST BLOGGER” by Sunday 24 May.

In your email, please include:

1) A 1-2 paragraph summary of your experience in the search industry

2) Links to one or more of your recent articles or blog posts.

Please note that the role of Guest Blogger is unpaid but authors do receive a byline as well as a link to their site/blog from each post, not to mention the enormous kudos from being syndicated on hundreds of sites.

Thanks!

Q and A: How do I migrate my site without risking my SEO and rankings?

QuestionHi Kalena

You optimised my website back in 2004 when we first launched the site – did an amazing job – site still coming up first page of Google 5 years later with some minor keyword tweaking now and again. The site is pretty dated now and am just about to relauch it.

My questions are: MY new CMS has global meta description/keywords as well as page specific ones available. Should I utilise both of these or will it be too much and negatively affect ranking? Also any advice on migrating sites – am a little nervous I will fall off Google under the new site, particularly as one of the most important and high ranking pages will have a different URL. Am planning on reusing existing meta data. Also new site contains flash. Any advice on use of this – alt tags?

Thanks very much for any advice.

Hilary

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Dear Hilary

My word, that’s a lot of questions! Great to hear my SEO efforts from 5 years ago are still paying dividends.

On to your questions. Firstly, you should only ever use one set of META tags per page. Google and most other engines will simply take the first set indexed and ignore others so you are simply contributing to code bloat to include more than one. Each page of your site should have a dedicated title and META tags individually optimized for the unique content on that page.

Secondly, you mention that one of the pages already ranking will have a new URL. Does that mean that all your other pages will retain their existing URLs? That is the ideal outcome but not always possible. For any high-ranking pages that will change URL, make sure you use 301 redirects to point the old URL to the new one so that Google and other engines know it has moved. That will also ensure that anyone clicking on existing links to the old URL (whether in search engines, directories or on other sites) will be automatically taken to the new page. My SiteProNews post about moving a site using 301 redirect should guide you.

Also remember to update your sitemaps in Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer with your new pages.

Keep in mind that changing the structure of a page, let alone the content, will impact the way the page ranks. So your new CMS design may result in the page jumping or falling in the rankings. If the page content has been optimized for particular keywords, try to retain as much of the existing body text as you can. Use the opportunity of the redesign to optimize your existing pages for new keywords and optimize any new pages added.

Good luck!

Please take a 10 Second Poll: Businesses on Twitter

I’m writing an article for a major online/offline magazine about how businesses use Twitter and if you’ve got an opinion to contribute, I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve developed 3 polls about the subject and they only take 10 seconds each! Here are the links:

1) Which of the following US companies do you follow on Twitter?

2) Have you ever communicated directly with a company via Twitter?

3) If you represent a business using Twitter, what is your/their *main* reason for doing so?

If you could take 30 seconds to respond to these polls, I’d really appreciate it.

If you’ve had or observed a particularly positive / negative experience with US-based companies on Twitter, and a 10 second poll just won’t cut it, contact me via the big red button above.

Unless they wish to remain anonymous, I’ll be giving credit to helpful tweeps in the article so when you contact me, please include your Twitter id and the id / tweets of the company you’ve observed.

To make the polls more scientifically accurate, I’m aiming for at least 100 responses on each.

Can you help?