If you’ve checked the BBC news site this morning you’ll notice a new design, the navigation has jumped to the top, new headings and a new side bar. Another little change is the URL structure of the news articles.  Old URL’s used to be locaed on the sub domain and use the folder path the article appears in e.g.

However the new URL’s use the main www. subdomain and no folder path.

As we all know if you change your URL’s you need to implement 301 re-directs from the old URL’s to the new URL’s. And the BBC have it’s just they are all temporary 302 redirects (Click the picture below to see results from httpfox)

bbc-302-rediect

Could be a lot of PR lost if the re-directs stay as 302.

Not sure why I picked this article???

Edit: This is not effecting older articles where the URL remains the same, seems to be recent articles.

Posted in SEO.

Lunchtime find : Every so often you come across a site that hasn’t added nofollow to comment links. The independent comments allow you to add links in (check out the comments) BBC magazine websites are a free for all on the forums.

Checking over a few blog posts on the BBC surprisingly I’ve noticed that links don’t have nofollow on, which has led to anchor text links being placed into comments. Some of the BBC blogs add nofollow to links while others don’t.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/fivelivebr……ivin.html#P91629883

bbc comment

The link goes over to the Phones4U home page.

What’s great about the BBC blogs is you have a profile page which links to all the comments you have made. The comment above has been made by Vince (maybe related to the vince update?).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=14285586

vince comments bbc

Vince has been busy recently targeting “iphone”, “mobile phones” and “phone” all to the Phones4U home page. It’s not clear if this is being done by an agency or Phones4u themselves but they are not the only one at it.

A further look finds this account http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=14129205 in the name of David Cooper, which links over to www.very.co.uk, Phones4u.co.uk and k7computing.com (but that links broke!).

Others include…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=14125842 – seospecialistbirmingham.co.uk
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=14235298 – seomomo.com
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=14137534 – bluelightseo.co.uk
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=14130042 – clarebrace.co.uk
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=1773493 – openeyemarketing.co.uk
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile/?userid=13952511 – david-whitehouse.org

I could go on…. Question is

a) Are these links any good considering they are located in the comments section rather than in the article content?
b) Is this a legitimate way of building links?

My view

a) Yes but they would be better in content.
b) Its a ok way to build links but in the long run not effective.

Anyone else have a view of this type of link building? If so add a comment

Online reputation is becoming more and more important for companies to manage. Already this year we’ve seen the problems that Ryan Air caused and other companies continue to make mistakes. But does online reputation match the reputations of companies offline?

For example it tonight on BBC watchdog Two Left Feet www.twoleftfeet.co.uk were the subject of a slating by Nicky Campbell and guest Richard Farleigh for taking orders via their website but not completing orders. Interviews with unhappy customers also revealed that refunds for a failure to deliver were never honored by Two Left Feet.

BBC watchdog clocked up around 500 complaints about Two Left Feet so it seems that the company have a few problems. Is that reflected online? Yes and no.

First of all checking the top 10 search engine results for “two left feet” you get two review sites and and no blog posts about the company. This seems to be due to them sharing their name with a couple of bands and a dancing company.

two left feet search engine result

On www.reviewcentre.com they have knocked up no reviews so far which is surprising considering it’s one of the largest review websites in the UK. www.reviewcentre.com doesn’t show up on some UK serp’s as it’s not 100% geared to the UK marked.

two-left-feet-review

So so far so good. But http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/online-shops/twoleftfeet-co-uk/ reviews of the site are really bad with only 9 out of 53 reviews being 3 star or above. Some of the comments are really negative.

A thread on http://community.babycentre.co.uk/talk/a959975/httpwww.twoleftfeet.co.uk also is negative.

The review on http://www.ciao.co.uk/twoleftfeet_co_uk__Review_5687570 is also negative.

The majority of the complaints seem to be payments taken but no products delivered and then no refunds given afterwards. To add fuel to the fire watchdog reported that two left feet pulled their customer service too.

So it seems in this case that off line activities of Two Left Feet have appeared online. Review websites like Ciao, dooyoo have given consumer the chance to voice their views and experiences of companies.

Something that I spend a lot of time doing at work is finding content management and e commerce platforms that create duplicate content. It’s generally generated from print views, pdf’s, differences in URL generation or clients ripping off other sites.

It can lead to big problems if it effects your entire site. Often getting these problems sorted out can lead to a good increase in long tail traffic by 10 to 20 percent. I noticed in the past that the BBC site does spurt out duplicate pages. For example.

Andrei Arshavin signed today for Arsenal, the BBC have a nice article with a video at the top. The URL for that page is:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7831046.stm

You also have a second URL, the difference it’s in the folder sport2 and not sport1

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7831046.stm

That URL 302 re-directs to the 1st one, but Google does cache the second URL. This can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/bdsj3q.

Thats not it, soon the low graphics version will get cached.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/low/football/teams/b/blackpool/7831046.stm

And under the sport2 folder

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/low/football/teams/b/blackpool/7831046.stm

So it’s duplicate content, Google says that you should try to make sure that you only have one version of a page on your site. The reasons why you should sort this out are pretty simple.

- Splits the flow of link juice
- Splits the possibility of inbound links
- Search engines spend time caching pages it’s already seen rather than picking up your new pages

So should the BBC block Google from caching the duplicates? Well, yes, but for a site of that site and the speed that Google caches the content and the inbound links that generate it’s not going to cause a problem.

If you see similar problems in new sites then you do need to get fixes in place. 301 the pages that have been cached already and then block the search engines!

Posted in SEO.