Yesterday, under cloak of darkness, I made a change to this website. Before I tell you what I did (and more importantly, why), be assured that it should not affect you in anyway, you probably will not even notice it and no small children were harmed. Or will be harmed, in case you thought I was trying to do some weasel word-smithing there.
What I did was move part of this site to a sub-domain. I did so at the specific advice of Matt Cutts, the famous Google SEO guy. No, he didn't give ME the advice - I'm so far beneath unimportant that nobody at Google would even tell me to "go suck eggs", never mind drop a hint on how to regain traffic after a Panda slap.
No, apparently he gave that piece of advice (to split weak content off to sub-domains) to the CEO of HubPages, because they also suffered a Panda slap. The difference between them and me is that I made about $70,000 in 8 years of running Google ads. Hubpages probably makes that every couple of days.. which is why Matt was apparently willing to give them some advice.
Hubpages problem is that they have a gazillion authors and some of them are good and some aren't. Matt's advice was that the "not so good" drag down the good in search results - Panda penalizes the whole site. However, if you split each author into their own sub-domain, Matt says Panda will give better results to the better authors.
OK. I can see that, and I realized I had a similar problem here. A big part of it was sitting right in my "Bofcusm" section, which is mostly old, mostly about stuff that nobody cares about and is mostly unindexed by Google. If that doesn't mean "bad", I wouldn't know what would.
Because I'm a nice guy. This stuff does have value to some people and it is getting harder and harder to find it. I have indexed most of it appropriately so that it can be searched in ways that Google wouldn't know to do itself, so I have added value.
There is a bit of irony here. At More guidance on building high-quality sites, Google details what a "quality site" should do and says (among other things):
Yeah. Just a tad ironic, that. Makes me laugh, in that ironic sort of way, you know?
So, I took Bofcusm and transplanted it to "news-posts.aplawrence.com". You don't have to do anything special: I arranged things so that any searches or index listings here will show those pages still. As I said, no harm, no foul and you shouldn't even notice it.
The hope is, of course, that Google WILL notice. There's some unanswered business though: while there is no question about that section being a rusty old boat anchor, there is more that probably should move in the same direction. The "SCOFAQ" section suffers from the same disinterest as the Bofcusm does. I should probably move that, too, though I have to do that with a bit more precision as I have adjusted some of those posts to be non-SCO specific. That just requires a bit more mod_rewrite work on my end and it will cost me some hard earned SEO juice in some places. Again, the hope is that carving off the bad meat will make the whole healthier.
So, there probably will be more changes like this, but (again) you shouldn't notice them at all, so I'm not going to mention them.
OK by you? Good!
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2011-07-26 Anthony Lawrence