Multiple XML sitemaps can be used to help detect how the indexing of the site is progressing or if there are any problems. For example if you have 20,000 pages in the site and only 15,000 are indexed it’s hard to find out which 5,000 pages are not indexed by the search engine.

Google Webmaster Tools feeds back on this information saying how many pages have been indexed from each XML sitemap, best of all you can submit multiple sitemaps to the search engines.

multiple-sitemaps

Breaking the sitemap down can pinpoint which sections of your site are not getting indexed. So lets break that 20,000 pages down.

pages-indexed

So we can see that the main problem is with the products section not getting indexed with only 44% of pages indexed. This now means you can start to find out the reasons why your product pages are not being indexed.

That then opens a new can of worms as it might be due to duplicate content, poor coding, internal linking, server issues etc. The good point is that you now know what area is the problem.

To link the XML sitemaps together you should have one sitemap called sitemapindex.xml that links to the other sitemaps using the xml protocol. Submit all the sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools and list all the sitemaps in the robots.txt. E.g.

Sitemap: http://www.domain.com/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: http://www.domain.com/categories.xml
Sitemap: http://www.domain.com/sub-categories.xml
Sitemap: http://www.domain.com/prodcuts.xml
Sitemap: http://www.domain.com/blog.xml

So if you think your site has an indexing problem then split your site down logically into different XML sitemaps. It’s not going to solve your problem but will point you in the right direction.

Posted in SEO.

Matt Cutts has opened up a new vote for Video’s to answer and guavarian from guava has asked a question about the current problems with the UK Search Engine Results.

uk-serps-question2

Currently the vote is 28 yes and 4 no. Head over to the question and get voting! While you are there vote for any other questions that you might find helpful the questions are answered on you tube on the Google Webmaster’s Help Channel

As we know ever the biggest sites have duplicate content and SEO problems (See the BBC duplicate content post). I’ve come across another site site with a duplicate content problem today, Facebook.

two-facebooks

With the recent change to get a URL with your name in it also seems that my profile can also appear on another domain.

http://www.facebook.com/johnpcampbell

and

http://en-gb.facebook.com/johnpcampbell

At the moment the en-gb.facebook URL isn’t indexed in Google but there are other people’s profiles indexed. Twitter also have a duplicate content issue with indexing on the secure https server.

Wonder if they’ll start to 301 to the other? I’ve seen a number of Google results with both URL’s listed.

Posted in SEO.

If you’re an avid reader of any UK SEO blogs you should have noticed posts about the recent shift with foreign (predominantly American) sites, outranking many UK sites on certain search terms. The problem has been seen under a wide selection of search phrases from many SEO companies / individuals in the UK. There have also been some indicated of the problem reserved with UK sites ranking well in Australia search results.

So what have we seen?

- 1st / 2nd page can seem unaffected with no movement at all.
- Around 10-30 sites rank from the 2nd / 3rd page thus pushing rankings 2 to 3 pages down.
- Domains are .com and hosting in foreign country or have a country specific TLD e.g. ww.domain.be

What should you do?

- Continue to add relevant unique content to your site be that news or a blog
- Continue to build links to the site, don’t increase this rate rapidly.
- Read SEO blogs to track the changes.
- Clean up any errors showing on Google Webmaster Tools, doesn’t have any effect just something to take your mind of the problem.
- Don’t panic and sit this problem out, Google should* reverse this problem.
* Nothing is guaranteed but with so much talk about this problem in the UK Google has to rectify this problem.

The issue seen by many UK SEO companies is that when Google makes a change such as the one seen you can’t really do much to rectify it. Clients will be annoyed about this stance but you can only sit it out and wait for the Search Engine to update, explain the issue to clients and keep them up to date. Most importantly you can’t really complain about Google, for all we know they could shut down tomorrow and there is nothing we can do about it!

An Idea

I do have one idea that could help thanks to Bing. Collective pressure from UK SEO companies on Google to either publically acknowledge the problem or get a fix in place. The only way this could succeed is by getting the issue in the public domain, on the BBC, ITV, Sky News etc. This then forces Google into doing something to prevent losing users to Bing, which is actually succeeding in being decent alternative to Google for UK public.

If you want to read up more on this or need proof to see that this isn’t an isolated case then here are 11 articles on the problem.

Google American Results Conspiracy – Fresh Egg

US websites ranking in Google.co.uk an example commercial laundry equipment – A UK SEO

Google uk mixing in us based queries – SEOptimise

Big Geo Problems Still Exist in Google UK Serps – PPC Blog

Google UK Serps Com On Down – North South Media

Have you noticed Googles shift from UK to US? – Argo IBC

The mystery of the UK SERPS – updated – Search Cow Boys

Will the Real Google Search Results Please Stand Up – SEO Design Solutions

Is Google’s Geo Targeting Off In Web Search? – Search Engine Round Table

UK Ranking Problems – UK Business Forums

Poor State of UK search today – Andrew Girdwood – Big Mouth Media

If you have any more, add them into a comment below and I’ll add them to the above list. Do you think collective pressure would get a responce from Google?

A little off SEO topic but I’ve come across a presentation style called Pecha Kucha. The idea is very simple.

20 slides – 20 seconds on each slides.

The slides should be pretty simple, maybe just a full screen picture without any text. It’s seems a great way to get over a topic quickly while keeping your audience’s attention. Often watching presentations online can be really boring (never mind in a stuffy office) but if you know that every twenty seconds a slide is going to change, users should stay to view all 20 slides.

I came across Pecha Kucha watching this video about building Links from the team at www.sitevisibility.co.uk

19 Ways To Build Links to Your Website – Pecha Kucha Kelvin Newman from SiteVisibility on Vimeo.

Posted in SEO.