Wishing you a very jolly Xmas and see you in 2010

Well, that wraps up Ask Kalena for 2009.

It’s been quite a watershed year for us and if you’re a regular subscriber, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of you for sharing the ride.

I’d also like to thank my loyal guest bloggers Andy, Saurav and Peter, as well as my hard-working Virtual Assistant Sarah for their dedication this year.

I hope you all have a safe and memorable Xmas, a kickass New Year’s Eve and remember to find some time to reward yourself for your hard work throughout the year.

As for me, it’s time to unplug from the Internet and shut the laptop down to spend some quality time IRL with family and friends.

Catch you in 2010!

Q and A: How do I avoid the supplemental index if I have duplicate content?

QuestionHi Kalena

If I have two blogs where I effectively have duplicate content, how could I get around that?

The duplicate content could be because the two blogs are for different audiences (read lists) or because sometimes we syndicate other articles. I thought of always placing a permalink to the original article, or should I play with the robots txt file to make sure one of these pages does not get indexed? What would be the best way around this issue? I do not want to end up in the supplemental index.



Hi Jen

I’m not convinced you need to have multiple blogs with the same content. That said though, these days you don’t need to worry too much about duplicate content. Google does a pretty good job of filtering out pages it thinks are duplicates.

However, you DO want to control which version of the blog post or article Google considers to be the original or else Google may just decide for you. There’s a couple of ways of ensuring the pages you want are indexed and similar pages are ignored or filtered out as duplicates:

1) Include only one version of the post / article in your Google site map.

2) Make sure internal and external links only point to the original.

3) Use a noindex robots tag on the duplicate pages.

4) Block Googlebot from accessing your duplicate pages/folders via your robots.txt file.

You might also want to check the advice given in our other posts about duplicate content.


Like to learn more about SEO and duplicate content? Download our free SEO lesson. No catch!

December Search Light Newsletter: the *don’t mention the “C” word* edition

Search LightOur final issue of The Search Light is out. Yes it’s December but I don’t think we didn’t mentioned Christmas once.

I think that’s got to be some kind of record for corporate newsletters right? We thought you might be sick of hearing about it and spared you the agony of flashing Xmas lights and animated jolly fat men in red suits.

Ok, the truth is that we forgot and just hoped you wouldn’t notice.

Apart from lacking festive bling, we think the final edition of the Search Light for 2009 is pretty darn good. It includes some of the more interesting FAQs answered in this blog and an article about why Google SideWiki and public graffiti have a lot in common.

If you’re not yet a subscriber, (the horror!), you can catch it here.

Oh and even though we forgot to mention it in the newsletter, we really would like to wish all of you a safe and memorable festive season.

Q and A : When will my site show up in Google ?


Hi Kalena

I just created a site for world of warcraft hunter talent builds. It is a blog site, and I checked in cPanel, and googlebot has visited. But I am not indexed.  I tried ‘site:www.domainnameprovided.com’ in the google search box, but it can’t find me.

Is there an average time gap between googlebot crawling and your site showing up in results?  Or should it be basically instant (as long as your site is not rejected).  I checked my site and it seems that none of the keyword densities are above about 4%.  So please can you check out my site and tell me if I’m spamming somehow?
(Website URL Provided)


Hi  Danny

This is quite a common “concern” for owners of brand new sites.  Many have an expectation that their site will automatically show up in the search engines as soon as their site is launched.  As you’ve discovered this is certainly not the case.

Google and other search engines are pretty good at finding new sites (eventually) but there are a number of things that you can do to help speed up this process.  The best way to be found is to get links to your site from other third party sites – the higher the profile, and the more relevant these sites to yours the better.  It is also possible to “submit” your website url to Google via http://www.google.com/addurl/ – but you are much better off getting third party links.  Creating a sitemap.xml file and submitting it via Webmaster Tools can also help.

Use a site: Query to See What is Indexed

Typically, you could expect your site to be crawled and at least partially indexed within a few weeks. Using the site: command as a search query – e.g. site:yourdomainname.com is a quick and easy way to determine what pages on your site are currently indexed by a search engine (this works under Google, Yahoo and Bing).

Under Google, it is likely that you will be found for a query on your business name, or some other unique string from your site – you may even (initially) achieve some reasonable rankings for more general keywords – but typically (unless your website covers a very niche area), these generic rankings are short lived, and you will more than likely not be found for most keyword phrases for 6 to 8 months (this is known as the sandbox effect)

Site Check

It’s now been a couple of weeks, and I’ve had a look at how your site is indexed in Google. You currently have a dozen or so pages indexed.  However, your site appears to be redirecting to another URL which is a subdomain of another site – and that other site contains a variety of other subdomains – some of which include adult content. This is likely to impact your rankings and you would be much better off setting up your site under it’s own hosting environment.

WOW sites are of course hugely popular, and this is a pretty competitive area.  There are many free WOW based blog “themes” available, and it looks to me like you have selected one of the free themes for your site.  This is OK – but is another factor that makes it difficult for you to differentiate your site from the others – and as far as the search engines are concerned could very well make it harder for you to “stand out from the crowd” and achieve better rankings than your competitors.

Keyword Density

Finally, don’t get too hung up on keyword densities. Whilst keywords are certainly important (and you should know which keyword phrases are the most important ones for you to optimise for) – you should be focusing on providing interesting, relevant, useful, and unique content for your users, rather than writing for the search engines.  If it is good for your users, it will be good for search.

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

Q and A: Is there a Google method to find the ranking and traffic of a specific search term?

QuestionDear Kalena…

Is there a Google method to find the ranking of a specific search term? For example if I’m tweaking my site as I sell thermo seals, I’d be interested to see if more people search for ‘thermo seals’ or ‘winter window leaks’ or ‘stop window drafts’ etc. etc.

If I see that one term gets 5,000 hits or is ranked #17,500 where as another one gets 7,000 hits and is ranked #12,345 then I’d be sure to talk the talk of the higher rated search term. I’d like to enter terms, get some form of ranking and then enter another term, so that I have an apples to apples list of results.



Hi Dave…

Although Google is generally against automated rank checking / reporting, they do allow you to research historical organic search data using their Insights For Search. This will allow you to compare search patterns and volume for various search terms and keywords across specific regions, categories, time frames etc.

For paid search listings, you can use the Google Adwords Traffic Estimator. This gives you estimates on the typical number of clicks you’re likely to receive if you were to bid on these keywords using Google’s Pay Per Click system – Adwords. And with this information, you can then identify which keywords are worth optimising for. Generally, more people click on organic search rankings than paid listings, so this type of data won’t give you an exact figure if your focus is organic traffic, but it certainly works well as a guide.

If you’re willing to spend some money and would like to see what keywords your competitors are focusing on (along with the traffic they attract and a whole bunch of other competitive information), you could try tools such as SEM Rush, Compete.com or SpyFu.

There are plenty of other tools out there that can help achieve similar results, so if you have a favorite or would like to share the tools you use, add some comments below.

Hope this helps!


Peter Newsome
Brisbane SEO with SiteMost