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Categories: Bad reviews, How to, Internet. Tags: ,

Cash Gordon: some SEO advice

March 23, 2010 No Comment

Following on from yesterday's #cashgordon debacle, the site is now live again. I thought I'd offer some SEO tips as they seem to be floundering about the place ...

1 You're not very high up in Google ...

If you search for Cash Gordon, once you plough past the news and tweets, there's not much sign of the site. The Guardian has two results, then the Register, Policital Scrapbook and then, finally (just above my post from yesterday) is the site. Well, it is new I suppose, but maybe try linking to it from some sites you already control?

2 You look stupid in Google

One problem is that you need to sort out your HTML title and meta description. The former is "Cash Gordon" and the latter is missing, hence we see this result:

Cash Gordon in Google

Cash Gordon in Google

If you set a meta description, you'll be able to control the long snippet of text to make it more meaningful. At the moment Google has selected some text and it trails off without a point.

I'd also think of a better HTML title. Maybe something with "Gordon Brown" in it, so that it's (a) clear what the site is about and (b) you might get it to rank for Gordon Brown's name that way.

3 Fix the duplicate pages

You have various versions of the home page. You can reach it at http://cash-gordon.com/ and http://www.cash-gordon.com/ and http://cash-gordon.com/index.php and http://www.cash-gordon.com/index.php - people will be confused over where to link to, and also some of those URLs don't work properly (the tweet box is broken).

4 Don't use iFrames and javascript so much

iFrames aren't great. They are not very accessible and search engines don't index the content. Also, you are iFraming the Times website (well, you're trying to but your iFrame is broken) which, if you were doing it right, would be against the Times T&Cs.

But also, you seem to be calling most of the content on the page using javascript. By checking the Google cache, we can see how Google sees your page. Not much there, is there? There is some text about "Cap and Trade facts" suggesting that as you've bought the template off someone else, you haven't removed all their old copy. In fact, you appear in Google's results for a search on "Cap and Trade facts".

#cashgordon: Cap and trade

#cashgordon: Cap and trade

However, if I search for some relevant text on the page (EG "Michael Gove has spoken about Charlie Whelan's New Militant Tendency in a speech setting out how dependent the Labour Party is on Unite - Britain’s biggest trade union."), Google doesn't return your site - because it can't see the content due to the javascript.

5 Fix your HTML

I don't want to get into a debate about whether valid HTML is an SEO ranking factor. But you have lots of broken HTML, which won't help your users if nothing else. Your <a> tags aren't closed, so links aren't working properly.

6 Broken pages

You have lots of non-existent pages. Clicking "read more" (not great anchor text by the way) takes you to pages that don't exist.

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