Acck! Even though we've published the annual MarketingSherpa Wisdom Report featuring readers' own contributed stories for four years now, every year there's at least one production screw-up.
This year was no exception. My team tell me the reason is because I always "rush the deadline" pushing them to move faster than is responsible. But I can't help myself, I'm too impatient.
Anyway, this year as I was reading the more than 300 submissions (for 110 spots) one particular story was chosen but then somehow left behind "on the cutting room floor". I guess I could republish the report as a 'Director's Cut Edition' but it seems simpler to pop the left-behind story into my blog here…
This story was submitted by Stone Reuning of SEO Advantage, Inc:
"We offer SEO evaluations, so naturally we see all the blunders and mishaps of web sites that are not performing well in the search engines. One of the most common structural mistakes we see contributing to a weak organic search engine presence is inconsistent linking to the index page.
Inconsistent linking to your most important pages can dilute the search engines' perception of the importance of those pages. When you link to your index page in different ways, the search engines treat each as a separate page. For example, if you link to your index page with http://www.domain.com/index.htm" > http://www.domain.com/index.htm in one place and http://www.domain.com/ in another place, search engines do not recognize this as two links to the same page. This applies to links throughout your site as well as inbound links from other web sites.
In 2005, we saw the importance of consistent link structures play a major role in at least two cases: 1. A new client whose website was suffering from inconsistent linking throughout the site realized a major jump in search engine performance within one month of SEO implementation, increasing website leads by 4 times.
Other SEO tactics were also employed, but it's likely that correcting the link structure accounted for much of the immediate result.
2. Another client had some work performed by a designer who inadvertently used inconsistent linking structure. Google PageRank fell by 2 points immediately, and the site's performance suffered until the structural corrections could be made."
By the way, in case you have not gotten your complimentary copy yet, our 2006 Wisdom Report which features 110 more reader-contributed stories like this one is ready for you at: http://wisdom.marketingsherpa.com (open access)
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