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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Live Search: Tips for Optimizing Large Sites

Posted by @ 12:02 am
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If your business has quite a large website, then making sure that it is properly optimized for search engines can be quite a task. However the folks from Live Search are keen to help you out with some tips for optimizing large sites.

The creator of the tips article is Jeremiah Andrick, Live Search Program Manager. He created the article because the Live Search Team are often asked optimization questions from the folks at microsoft.com and msn.com and he thought the tips were worth sharing to all.

The overall theme behind the tips is canonicalization (or normalization), which is the idea of only picking the best URL when there are several choices. For example, most people would consider these the same URL’s:
example.com/
www.example.com/index.html
example.com/home.asp
www.example.com

But technically all of these URL’s are different.

Some large sites use complex URL’s for tracking, co-branding or e-commerce. However, Jeremiah has outlined some optimization tips that will reduce the risk of duplicate URL’s and diluting your link equity:

  • Add or remove the trailing /

http://www.mysite.com/ to http://www.mysite.com

  • Remove the index or default

http://www.mysite.com/default.aspx to http://www.mysite.com

OR

http://www.mysite.com/en/us/default.aspx to http://www.mysite.com/en/us

  • Avoid CamelCase – convert your text to lower case

http://www.mysite.com/FooBar/ to http://www.mysite.com/foobar

  • Remove query string variables or rewrite to readable URLs

http://www.mysite.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ab99&displaylang=en
to http://www.mysite.com/downloads/en/family/ab99

  • Remove Port Numbers

http://www.mysite.com:8080/ to http://www.mysite.com

  • Avoid exposing secure HTTPS version

https://www.mysite.com/en/us/ to http://www.mysite.com/en/us

If you have an older site which was created before optimization was developed, Jeremiah outlines a few solutions for correcting the canonicalization situation:

  • 301 redirect to the canonical form
  • Use a consistent linking convention
  • Don’t link to multiple versions of the page
  • Use absolute links

To read all of Jeremiah’s recommendations, simply click here.

So if you want your site to be optimized so that it is searchable in Live Search then I would suggest taking note of these tips- after all, they are straight from the horses mouth!



Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile






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