Ask SISTRIX
What are Featured Snippets?
Over the years, Google has been adding more and more information to the search results, aside from the Adwords and organic...
Chartpattern Examples for the SISTRIX Visibility Index
Sometimes you might want to make your point with the help of an example that you remembered seeing somewhere on a domain,...
What are the general forms of link-distribution?
The quality and quantity of incoming links to a site are still the most important criteria for sorting search results on...
How can the noticeable decrease of backlink numbers in the SISTRIX Toolbox for many domains on September 19, 2012 be explained?
If you analyze any domain in the SISTRIX Toolbox and look at the course of time of the links (menu entry “Development”),...
Shelf space optimisation on Google
What are the two things that a search result page on Google and a supermarket shelf have in common? They serve a specific...
How can I quickly get a new page into Google’s index?
Google is already pretty quick when it comes to finding and indexing new pages (URLs). This process may be a little quicker...
SEO-Basics: Never relaunch a website without redirects
A “relaunch” is effectively a “reboot” and in our case means the fundamental revision of a web presence....
Domain move risk and Google rankings
Theoretically, changing your domain name does not have to cause any damage to your rankings on Google – that is, if you...
Should the domain’s homepage rank first for a site:-query?
The site:-query (site:sistrix.com) displays the number of indexed URLs that a domain has within Google’s index. The...
The consequences of negative user-signals on Google’s rankings
The homepage of the German domain hotel-bonn.de offers a great example for how much influence user signals can have on Google’s...
SEO Basics: internal link optimisation
Links are one of the most important ranking factors in Google’ algorithms. While there is much talk about external...
Crawling and Indexing for extensive websites
As soon as websites exceed the size of a typical private homepage, there are a number of new challenges that arise. One of...
Why the Visibility Index does not want to be an SEO-traffic index
The SISTRIX Visibility Index is often mistaken for an SEO-traffic index. As a result, we see blogposts pop up on a regular...
How do I optimise my website for Google News?
We will use this Ask SISTRIX article to take a holistic view at both the questions of how to optimise a website and the content...
What is the difference between SEO, Ads and Universal Search?
To better explain the differences between the three categories SEO, Ads and Universal Search, we best take a look at one...
Can I visually compare the Visibility Index to other KPI?
The SISTRIX Visibility Index is a reference number for a domain’s visibility in Google’s search result pages. The higher...
How important is a sitemap for the indexing of my site?
A sitemap is a list of all the pages (URLs) on a website. This file is used by search engines as an overview of all available...
How regularly do I have to update my sitemap and can I automate it?
As both XML- and HTML-sitemaps are used by search engines to find, and hopefully index, new content faster, you should update...
How can I submit a sitemap to Google?
You can manually submit your sitemap to Google through two different routes and it is recommended that you add a reference...
How do I create a sitemap for my website?
It is extremely easy to create a sitemap, which will help with the indexing of your website. You will find more on this topic...
How should I handle my online-shop’s multilingual content?
Many online shops today are available in multiple languages. Most of the time, the different pieces of content (for example...
How do I correctly use the new x-default hreflang link-attribute for international targets?
If you have different language versions for your website or online shop, then you should use the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”...
Which headlines are SEO-relevant?
All of them. Headlines form the semantic backbone of every document and should be used according to their hierarchy. This...
Which advantages as well as disadvantages do geoTLDs like eg. .berlin have?
A geographic top-level-domain, also called a geoTLD, should have a clear focus on a geographic-, geopolitic-, ethnic-, language-,...
How far would .tel domain’s have a positive or negative effect on the SEO-results of my website?
Using a .tel domain does not have a positive influence on being able to find a website, when compared to a normal gTLD or...
We get more and more specific domain endings. What influence do they have on Google?
Google knows of and differentiates between a number of top-level-domains (TLDs). The two most well-known and most often used...
Top-Level-Domain (TLD)
A top-level domain, TLD in short, is what a domain name ends with, like ".com". It is important to differentiate...
Does it make sense to include the domain- or brand-name in the title?
The title element is one of the most important factors when it comes to a website’s OnPage optimisation. The website...
If I have an XML-sitemap, do I also have to provide an HTML-sitemap?
It is indeed recommended to provide both an XML-sitemap as well as an HTML-sitemap. The XML-sitemap serves as a structured...
What do I have to keep in mind when creating a video-sitemap?
A video-sitemap is the basis for providing Google with the necessary information about the content of your videos. The video...
Are there different kinds of sitemaps?
Yes, there are up to six different kinds of sitemaps. HTML- and XML-sitemaps are the two sitemap-types that are seen most...
Sitemaps
A Sitemap is a list of all the pages (URLs) on a website and serves to give both search engines and users an overview of...
How to identify and use a SEO KPI?
When it comes to search engine optimisation, not every indicator is suitable to be a SEO KPI. Please also remember that every...
What is an operative SEO Indicator System?
The name operative SEO Indicator System might be a bit confusing, as it does not have much in common with a classic indicator...
SEO KPI
Anyone who deals with SEO, whether at an agency, company or working as a freelancer, will come across the subject of “SEO...
What is an indicator system?
Indicators and indicator systems are vital tools that enable you to measure, control and steer your SEO-methods. Indicator...
What is a financial SEO indicator system?
Provided you know the answer to the question of “What is an indicator system?“, we will now talk about creating...
How do I safely move my website to a new domain name?
Changing the domain name does not have to be the cause for any (long lasting) negative SEO effects. As long as you plan the...
Which meta-elements (meta-tags) are relevant for SEO and which are not?
We talk about SEO-relevant meta-elements if a search-engine crawler reads, processes and takes them into consideration for...
Which meta-elements (meta-tags) are there?
Meta-elements, often-times wrongfully called meta tags, are pieces of information on an HTML page (web document), which are...
Meta Element (Meta Tag)
Meaning / Use If you use the meta elements, also called meta tags, you can add information to your website which is solely...
How to correctly return the HTTP status code 404 for an error page
A 404 error page, also called an ErrorDocument 404, is, first and foremost, a page that informs the user that the requested...
Why should a 404-error page return the correct HTTP status code and not be redirected, for example?
A 404 error page is a manually created error page that is returned when a nonexistent page is requested by a client. An example:...
How many 301 redirects in a row can I use?
If possible: none at all. Why? 301-redirects take time and users are often impatient. Depending on the server load and the...
HTTP Status Code
A HTTP status code, more commonly referred to simply as status code, is a three number code which is send from the webserver...
Setting up a 301-redirect from the non-www to the www. domain-name
You should use a 301 Redirect to indicate the preferred domainname, in order to avoid problems with how the Google-Bot indexes...
What is the optimal pagination for sites with a lot of content?
Google has published concrete recommendations on how to deal with the pagination of websites, which efficiently solve the...
Title Element (Title Tag)
Meaning / Use The title-element, also called title-tag, is one of the most important factors when it comes to the OnPage...
PageSpeed Optimization: Improving your website’s loading times
In 2009, the loading speed, also called PageSpeed, was no direct ranking factor. But a fast website can lead to positive...
How can I check my website’s PageSpeed?
There are a number of ways and options available for you to check the PageSpeed of your website. Google PageSpeed Insights...
OnPage-Optimisation
The OnPage-Optimisation is one of the two pillars of Search Engine Optimization. You can differentiate between the OnPage-...
Google PageSpeed – the loading speed of a website
In mid 2009, Google started their initiative for a faster internet “Let’s make the web faster”. This laid the...
When does it make sense to use NOFOLLOW on internal or external links?
You do not gain any advantage by using the nofollow attribute for internal links. I would not use nofollow on internal links...
When does it make sense to use the meta-robots values NOINDEX and FOLLOW together?
Only search engine crawlers will interpret the values within the meta-element “robots”. In most cases, the values...
Should I use NOFOLLOW on such pages as the legal notice?
Generally there is no advantage in adding the nofollow attribute to internal links. (Please also see: “When does it...
Are there links that must be marked as NOFOLLOW?
Google will indeed require you to mark specific types of links with the nofollow-attribute. These restrictions can be found...
nofollow attribute value
The nofollow attribute value, also called nofollow tag, is used to specifically instruct search engines to not follow one...
How do I return the correct HTTP status code for my 404 error page?
A 404 error page is basically a HTML document which you can design any way you like. With a self-designed error page, you...
4xx Client Error (404 Error Page)
Webserver error pages and the HTTP status codes 4xx Error pages, also called error documents, inform the user that a problem...
How do I create a 301 redirect?
With a 301 Redirection, a webserver returns the HTTP Status Code 301 to the requesting client, which could be Google-Bot,...
3xx Redirection
The status code category 3xx Redirection is divided into eight HTTP status codes. The status code category 3xx informs the...
Does the same content in different languages constitute a duplicate content risk?
If a piece of content is available in multiple language versions, for example in German and English, it is not considered...
Do quotes constitute a duplicate content problem?
Using quoted text passages from other websites on your own site does not constitute a duplicate content problem and you will...
Is Duplicate Content responsible for the strong fluctuations in the indexed pages of my website?
If you notice continuous fluctuations in the number of the indexed pages over a longer period of time then the reason for,...
Is it possible to identify Duplicate Content through the Visibility Index history?
Yes, a potential Duplicate Content problem can have a visible impact on the SISTRIX Visibility Index, as it can lead to a...
How can I check the quality of a potential backlink-website?
You can use the link module of the SISTRIX Toolbox (https://uk.sistrix.com/links) to analyse the backlink profile of any...
Should I actively work on removing links?
When we talk about link-removal, we speak of the manual deletion, changing, or devaluing of backlinks already in existence....
Are nofollow links harmful?
Internal or external links that use the nofollow attribute are not followed by searchengines, just as the name suggests....
Can an RSS-Feed be used for link building?
Yes. This link building strategy is called Content Syndication. Content Syndication is the distribution and repurposing of...
What is link building?
Link building is a concept that is part of the topic of OffPage Optimization and describes the process of gaining external...
Can I buy an existing domain to strengthen the backlink profile of my website through 301 redirects?
When it comes to the OffPage Optimisation and link building, you can use the link profile of another domain to increase and...
Using and correctly implementing Content-Syndication
Definition of what Content-Syndication actually means Content-Syndication is using specific (media) content multiple times....
OffPage-Optimisation
The OffPage-Optimisation is one of the two pillars of Search Engine Optimisation. You can differentiate between the OffPage-...
How do I recognise an Algorithmic Penalty?
An algorithmic penalty is the sanctioning of a website by one of Google’s algorithms. With this kind of penalty there...
How long does a Google Penalty last?
As there are different types of Google Penalties there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Though we can generally...
What kinds of Google Penalties are there and what are the differences?
A Penalty is a measure by Google to punish websites that are in violation of their Webmaster Guidelines. A penalty can have...
What is a Reconsideration Request?
A Reconsideration Request is a request for another manual review of a website that has been punished by a manual penalty....
What do I have to pay attention to in a Reconsideration Request?
If you want to submit a Reconsideration Request because of a manual penalty by Google, you should take a number of things...
Google Penalties
A penalty is the sanctioning of a website by Google. The reason for punishing a website is because of a non-compliance with...
Why am I getting different values for indexed pages in the Google search, the GSC and SISTRIX?
Sometimes it may happen that the numbers you get from a Google site:-query, the Google Search Console (GSC) and the SISTRIX...
How can I remove a URL on my website from the Google Index?
To remove a specific URL (for example, the page http://www.example.com/page4.html) of your own website from Google’s...
How can I keep the Google-Bot from crawling my website?
Whatever your reasons may be for blocking Google from crawling all or parts of your domain, you can do so within the so-called...
How can I find out how many pages of my domain are indexed by Google?
Google provides two simple options to determine the number of indexed pages of your domain. The total number of indexed pages...
Why does the amount of indexed pages fluctuate so much?
The current course of indexed pages in the SISTRIX Toolbox shows a noticeable up and down movement with a large degree of...
Google-Index, Google-Bot & Crawler
A website can only be found on the Google Search when it has been incorporated into Google’s Index beforehand. To make...
Does Google punish websites that are not mobile friendly?
No. A website which is not optimised for mobile devices does not receive minus points by Google and will also catch no penalty....
HTTPS Ranking Factor Update
In August 2014, Google started considering HTTPS to be a ranking factor. If a website exclusively uses the HTTPS-protocol...
Google Vince Update
What is the Google Vince Update? The codename “Vince” describes a comprehensive and permanent change (Update)...
Google Venice Update
What is the Google Venice Update? On February 27th 2012, Google announced an algorithm change with the codename “Venice”,...
What are the consequences of the Penguin Update 2.0?
What is the Google Penguin Update 2.0? The Google Penguin Update 2.0 is a new and improved generation of the algorithm change...
What is the Google Payday Loan Update 2.0?
The Google Payday Loan Update 2.0 is a new and improved generation of the “Google Payday Loan Update” which was...
Google Payday Loan Update
What is the Google Payday Loan Update? The Codename “Payday Loan” combines extensive and permanent changes (Update)...
Why is the Panda Update also referred to as the Farmer Update?
In January 2011, Google promised to do something against so-called “Content Farms” in a timely manner. At the...
Google Panda Update
What is the Google Panda Update? The codename “Panda” refers to a large and permanent change (Update) to Google’s...
Can the Google-Bot fill out and crawl forms?
The Google-Bot will generally try to fill out and post forms on a page, in order to discover new content and URLs that are...
How can I recognize a valid SSL certificate?
Every modern web browser shows the use of encrypted HTTPS connections in the address bar and indicates if the website’s...
What is the difference between an Update and a Data Refresh?
Google continuously works on improving their algorithms. When an algorithm improvement takes place, it is called an “Update”....
Overview of Google Panda Iterations (Data Refreshes)
An update of the data basis of the Panda filter is called a “Data Refresh”. Google irregularily deploys iterations...
Why does a Google search with the quotation mark operator sometimes deliver more results than the same search without it?
A Google search can be made with different search operators. The quotation mark-operator: [ “keyword” ] can be...
Why does a URL that is blocked through robots.txt show up in the search results?
If you use the robots.txt to block access to a directory or specific page for search engine crawlers, this page/directory...
My website can be reached with and without the www. Is this harmful?
To minimise Duplicate Content problems and to ensure a better indexing by the Google-Bot, Google recommends using a preferred...
How often does Google carry out Algorithm Updates?
Google constantly tries to maintain and increase the quality of their search index. In order to accomplish this goal, Google...
What is the Google Everflux?
Everflux stands for a permanent fluctuation and means that Google’s Ranking Algorithm undergoes a continuous updating cycle....
What is the Google Panda Update 4.0?
The Google Panda Update 4.0 is a new and improved generation of the algorithm change “Google Panda Update“, which...
How can Above the Fold advertisement have a negative effect on the user experience?
This depends on the display resolution and the resulting relationship between immediately visible content and advertisements....
What does Google consider to be high quality content?
Google’s Panda Filter Algorithm goes through the Google-Index and looks for bad or low quality content and punishes websites...
What does Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) mean?
What is QDF? “Query Deserves Freshness”, in short QDF, is a ranking algorithm by Google. It essentially means:...
What is a 301-redirect?
Technically speaking, a 301-redirect returns the HTTP status code 301 Moved Permanently. The webserver answers the client...
What is the difference between a URL, Domain, Subdomain, Hostname etc.?
The abbreviation “URL” is short for “Uniform Resource Locator” and is commonly used to refer to a...
Why is the Penguin Update also referred to as the Webspam Update?
This case is similar to the Panda Update, which was also known as the Farmer Update. When Google announced the “Penguin...
Are there multiple Penguin Updates?
Yes. There is a Google Algorithm-Change with the codename “Penguin” or “Webspam” (called the Penguin...
Why does the Panda Update have the version number 2.4 in Germany?
Google will update the databasis for their algorithm updates from time to time, which is the reason why updates or a data-refreshes...
Is it a penalty if a website is affected by the Panda Update?
Yes, it is indeed an algorithmic penalty. If a website is affected by the Panda Update it is oftentimes referred to as a...
Google Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above the Fold)
The Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above the Fold) is a change to Google’s ranking algorithm that was rolled out worldwide...
Why is the Vince Update also referred to as the Brand Update?
The Vince Update gives a bonus to brand websites when it comes to search results for traffic-rich keywords. It is irrefutable...
How does Google consider freshness and what does it mean for the rankings?
When we look at how Google determines the “freshness” of content, they look at the following types: Topicality...
How can I check my website for inferior links?
You can use the SISTRIX Toolbox Link module extensively to shine a light on inferior links and other criteria. We have a...
How can I check if my website has an unnatural link-profile?
We have written an entire tutorial on the question of how you can get a rough idea of how natural or unnatural the link-profile...
Google Penguin Update
What is the Google Penguin Update? Behind the codename “Penguin” hides a decisive update to Google’s ranking-algorithm....
Google Core Algorithm Update (Phantom Update)
Google deployed a core algorithm update at the start of May, 2015. The searchengine from Mountain View chose not to reveal...
Can PDF-files of my HTML-pages lead to a Duplicate Content problem
From a technical standpoint it would be a case of internal Duplicate Content if the same content can be accessed through...
Duplicate Content
Duplicate Content means that content is accessible through multiple URLs. This so-called Duplicate Content should be categorically...
Google Hummingbird Update
What is the Google Hummingbird Update? The code name “Hummingbird” stands for a new generation of Google’s search algorithm,...
Google Freshness Update
What is the Google Freshness Update? The Google Freshness Update is a comprehensive and permanent update of Google’s ranking...
Google Expanded Sitelinks Update
On August 16, 2011, Google introduced the Expanded Sitelinks Update to a worldwide audience. This update exclusively targets...
Google Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update
The Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update is a change in Google’s ranking algorithm launched on 27th September, 2012. The algorithm...
Future Google Panda Updates have been integrated in the Panda Everflux
Since March 2013, iterations of the Google Panda Update will not be identified as such anymore. Instead of deploying bigger...
Can my website be punished by the Google Penguin Update? Do I have an unnatural link profile?
The two algorithm changes Google Penguin Update and Google Penguin Update 2.0 have the purpose of identifying webspam in...
Overview of Google Penguin Update iterations (data-refreshes)
Anytime there is an update to the data base on which the Penguin Update runs, it is called a “data refresh”....
Are there multiple Panda updates?
No. There is a Google algorithm update with the code name “Panda”, called Panda Update, which was rolled out...
Are there multiple Page Layout algorithm updates?
No. There is a Google algorithm update under the name “Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above The Fold)“, which...
Google Caffeine Update
What is the Google Caffeine Update? Google introduced a new system, codenamed “Caffeine”, for handling the indexation...
Google updates and algorithm changes
The goal of every Google algorithm change, also called Google Update, is to (further) increase the quality of the search...
Is there a duplicate content penalty?
No. There are different kinds of a Google penalties, but a so-called duplicate content penalty does not exist. Internal duplicate...
Google May Day Update
What is the Google May Day update? The code name “May Day” stands for a comprehensive and permanent update to...
Loss of Visibility due to Google’s Expanded Sitelinks update?
If you look at the event-pins for the Visibility Index of a random domain in the SISTRIX Toolbox, you will notice that the...
Mobile-friendly ranking factor update
On April 21st 2015, the mobile-friendliness of a website became another ranking factor on Google. “Mobile-friendly”...
What does the optimal meta-description look like?
Since Google does not draw on the content of the meta-description when calculating the ranking in the SERPs, the “optimal”...
Google automatically replaces the page title. What can I do?
In cases where Google decides that the existing Title is either “written too badly” or “unfitting”...
Title-Tag Optimisation: What does the optimal title of a website look like?
The Title-element of a website is one of about 200 factors that Google uses to calculate the rankings in the SERPs (Search...
Google DMCA Penalty
Because of the algorithm change called “DMCA Penalty”, which Google announced on 08/10/2012 and implemented a...
My own meta description is not being displayed in the search results. Why?
In cases where Google believes the existing and optimised meta-description to be “too badly written” or “inappropriate”,...
What is the SISTRIX Visibility Index?
The SISTRIX Visibility Index is a reference number for a domain’s visibility in Google’s search result pages....