Partnering to help solve duplicate content issues

One of the most common challenges search engines run into when indexing a website is identifying and consolidating duplicate pages. Duplicates can occur when any given webpage has multiple URLs that point to it. For example: URL Description http://mysite.com A webmaster may consider this their authoritative or canonical URL for their homepage. http://www.mysite.com However, you can add ‘www’ to most websites and still get the...
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Optimizing your very large site for Search — Part 3

Working with large sites often means being a part of a large organization, which brings its own set of challenges. Many stakeholders with different agendas or needs influence how sites are structured. Within larger organizations, there are long to-do lists and a lack of understanding of the impact certain designs or architecture choices can have on the ability of the search engine to index the site. In our past two articles on large site...
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Optimizing your very large site for search — Part 1

At Live Search, one of the most common questions we receive from our peers at microsoft.com and msn.com is how to optimize their sites for search. But microsoft.com is unlike most other sites on the Internet. It is huge, containing millions of URLs, and is growing all the time. However, large content sites like microsoft.com and msn.com are not the only sites that can have an infinite number of URLs. There are also large ecommerce sites and...
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Getting the right kind of links

On the web, links are the coin of the realm and as such, it is probably one of the most talked about subjects in webmaster blogs and at search conferences. In the last few weeks, there have been a few blog posts and "link" related product launches that make it clear there are still some misconceptions about what are effective and beneficial ways to build links. Link building is one of the most important and difficult jobs for a...
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SMX East 2008: Unraveling URLs and Demystifying Domains

This is the second of three posts covering our presentations at SMX East last week. URLs are the foundation of the Internet. However, they can cause some significant problems for search engines due to the number of synonyms that are often automatically created for each piece of content. If there was only one thing I wanted the audience to take away from this presentation, it was that they should always create short, descriptive URLs, and redirect...
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SMX East 2008: Webmaster Guidelines

Updated: SMX has posted the video for the What is Spam session.  One of the most common questions I get from companies concerned about search engine optimization (SEO) is which optimization tactics are acceptable by search engines and which ones are not. We pulled this session together with the help of Danny Sullivan and SMX to provide a definitive answer to that question and help clarify any misconceptions that the audience might have. This...
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Is your robots.txt file on the clock?

Just recently a strange problem came across my desk that I thought was worth sharing with you. A customer notified us that content from a site she was interested in was not showing up in our results. Wanting to understand why we may or may not have indexed the site, I took a look to see what the problem was and stumbled upon an interesting but a potentially very bad use of the robots.txt file. The first visit I made to the site had a very standard...
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Diagnose SEO Issues - SES San Jose Presentation

Thank you all for coming to our presentation at SES San Jose. We’ve posted the deck online for folks who are interested. If you have any questions, please post them to our forums. Diagnose SEO Issues with Live Search Webmaster Tools View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: seo) — Nathan Buggia, Webmaster Team
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Making backlinks actionable again

In 2007, we shut off the linkdomain attribute in the advanced query syntax, but promised to make link data available to you as soon as possible. Last fall when we launched the initial beta of the Live Search Webmaster Center, we offered a limited look into backlink data. But we soon realized that for you to be successful, you really need more and better backlink data. That’s why we’re really excited about the updates that we a have...
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Robots Exclusion Protocol: joining together to provide better documentation

As a member of the Live Search Webmaster Team, I'm often asked by web publishers how they can control the way search engines access and display their content. The de-facto standard for managing this is the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) introduced back in the early 1990's. Over the years, the REP has evolved to support more than "exclusion" directives; it now supports directives controlling what content gets included, how the...
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