SMX Sydney 2012 – Anne Kennedy – Duplication, syndication & all that other mess

This is a summary of Anne Kennedy’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.Anne Kennedy at SMX Sydney 2012

Anne Kennedy has co-authored the first book on international SEO and PPC, called Global Search Engine Marketing. Anne provides search engine consulting to hundreds of companies worldwide and formed an international online marketing consortium with Nordic eMarketing in Reykjavik, London, Stockholm, Rome and Beijing.

Duplicate content happens, says Anne. URL duplication is a big one. This is where you see several different versions of the same page being indexed and/or linked to. For example:


and so on.

You should always use the Rel=canonical tag to lose the canonical versions of pages and also let Google know in Webmaster Tools which version of your pages to index.

Anne says to watch your crawl budget. Your crawl budget is the percentage of your site that Googlebot will crawl. Googlebot rarely crawls your entire site, so keep your low quality pages out of the index by excluding them from your sitemap and blocking them using robots.txt.

Common Duplication Causes

A very common duplicate content mistake is to have printer-friendly versions of your content. Whatever you do, lose the print friendly versions from your sitemap!

Use 301 redirects on your pages, but only when necessary because not all link value will transfer to your replacement pages. PageRank will not transfer 100 percent over to pages if you 301 redirect them – keep that in mind.

Think about using a separate XML feed for your product pages, says Anne. Separate out your e-commerce or product-specific pages from your main sitemap and create a sitemap just for them. Upload the two sitemaps separately in your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Content syndication and site scraping can cause duplicate content headaches. If you are an article syndicator or blogger, make sure you link back to the original article with the title in the anchor text within the article, not the footer, because some syndications sites strip links out of footers. Require syndicators to use the canonical url version or require a no index (exclusion) of the article link in their robots.txt. This will ensure Google finds the original article more easily.

Another trick is to give syndicators a logo or image to go with the article that contains a link to your article and article title in the alt tag of the logo/image. Syndicators will often miss those.

Be sure to update your XML sitemap immediately whenever you publish a new article or blog post – you can use WordPress plugins to update your sitemap automatically for this.

If your article is out of date or no longer accurate and you want it gone from the SERPs for good, use a 410 code to tell Google the article is GONE. This is a more permanent solution than 404.

Dont put your international content on your English TLD. If you want your content to rank well in a particular international market, you should put the content on a related TLD e.g. a German language site should site on or at the very least, Your international content will rank better in regional markets if you have links pointing to it from related TLDs e.g. will rank better in if it has plenty of .de sites linking to it.

And finally – dont leave it up to the bots! Take control of your content.

SMX Sydney 2012 – Stephan Spencer – SEO in 2012

This is a summary of Stephan Spencer’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.

Stephan Spencer is the author of two books: Google Power Search and The Art of SEO. He is also the founder of search marketing firm Netconcepts.

Stephan starts by talking about Google’s Penguin algorithm update released on 24 April. A lot of people were hurt by the algo change which impacts 3.1% of searches. Stephan says, if you haven’t already done so, remove any dodgy SEO tactics NOW. Google is keeping a rap sheet on you – too many infractions and you could get hit.

The algorithm is basically about killing old dodgy SEO – nothing new. Lots of customers are receiving warnings in their Webmaster Tools console about spam signals such as link networks. Google Search + Your World is becoming more important now and they are trying to clean up the SERPs to display more of this social content and improve user experience.

Stephan says to give your content a better chance of being shown in SERPs, make sure your content is above the fold. Google is now distinguishing pages that have ads above the fold and filtering them out. Google is also giving more relevance weight to fresh content, so make sure you blog, post or update regularly.

A leaked copy of the Google’s Quality Raters Handbook 2011 edition shows that user intent, malware, oudated or shallow content can impact your site ranking. Sites with lots of ads can be impacted. Keyword stuffed URLs can signal spam. Google’s Panda update was about low quality pages, but Penguin is about spam. Keep in mind that Panda impacts whole sites rather than individual pages.

You should also look at the number of clicks it takes to reach each page on your site. Make quality content easier to find. Something not widely realized is that Google Instant can interfere with your URLs if you use URL parameters. One tip, says Stephan, is to use position tracking in the SERPs to determine your site’s *actual* position and then find vulnerable ranking pages above you that wouldn’t take much SEO in order to overtake them.

Keep in mind that you need to be logged in to Adwords to see historical keyword trending. You won’t see historical data if you use the Google Keywords tool without logging in, says Stephan. Also – very important – make sure you only ever research your search terms using [exact match] in the Google keywords tool, otherwise data will be skewed and inaccurate.

When it comes to SEO for videos, track your YouTube rankings using the Online Video Optimization Tracker It’s currently in BETA but you can request an invitation. Another tip for video optimization is to optimize your YouTube video thumbnail rather than SERP position.

You can follow Stephan on Twitter via @sspencer.

Presentations from SMX Sydney 2012

Hi folks

Sorry I haven’t been updating the blog daily lately, but I’ve been traveling, amongst other things. Last week I attended the Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney from 1-2 May 2012.

I’ve attended nearly every SMX event held in Australia and although I enjoy them immensely, I rarely learn anything new. It’s a credit to the organizers that this year, I came away with an enormous amount of exciting, cutting edge industry information, helpful new tools to play with and the inspiration to take Search Engine College in a new direction.

I have been positively itching to apply some of these new ideas into my own business, but first, I thought I’d share with you some of the inspiring presentations I witnessed at the conference. Over the next couple of weeks, I will post summaries of the best speakers and notes and ideas I jotted down during their sessions. Where allowed, I’ll post a link to their slide decks as well, so you can absorb a bit more detail that I may have missed (we had some fast talkers this year!).

Feel free to comment on any of the posts – I’d be interested to hear how the rest of you interpret the sessions as well.

Search Industry Job of the Week – Managing Editor Website Content

Job Title: Managing Editor (Website Content)
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Parenting Research Centre
Location: Sydney or Melbourne
Date Posted: 24 April 2012
Position description:

About the Parenting Research Centre

The Parenting Research Centre is Australia’s only independent not-for-profit parenting research and development centre dedicated to helping all parents raise happy, healthy children.

The Centre believes that parenting is the critical factor in a child’s development and quality of life and that the science of parenting can make a difference in the everyday lives of families and communities. Since 1997, the Parenting Research Centre has conducted research and developed evidence based parenting support programs.

About the Raising Children Network (RCN) is the Australian parenting information website for early childhood. It covers all the basics about raising children from birth to eight, providing a comprehensive online child health and support resource for parents and professionals. It was commissioned by the Australian government.

About the Opportunity

The Parenting Research Centre (PRC) is offering an exciting opportunity for a creative Managing Editor to join its enthusiastic team located in Sydney or Melbourne.

In this role you will be responsible for the ongoing development and publication of new content and user engagement features on the Award-winning parenting website,

This is a 12 month fixed term contract position.

About the Benefits

This is a fantastic opportunity to make your mark with an Award-winning website focused on helping parents!

In return for your hard work and dedication, you will receive an attractive remuneration circa $74,787 – $84,225 plus super, commensurate with your skills and experience.

The Parenting Research Centre is committed to supporting its employees achieve a positive work/life balance, with 5 weeks leave each year as well as the capacity to ‘buy’ additional leave.

You will also have great opportunities for professional development and career pathways as you work within a friendly and supportive team.

In addition, the following fantastic range of benefits is also available:

  • Free on site flu vaccinations and health checks;
  • Garaged bike racks;
  • A public transport travel scheme; and
  • A reward and recognition program.

Best of all, you will gain tremendous satisfaction in this rewarding role that allows you to have direct impact on the future growth of this invaluable organisation.

If you’re ready to take the all important next step in your career – Apply Now!

For more information, or to apply online, please visit:

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info about company from:
Contact: Send resumes via online form:

For more search industry job vacancies, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.