Publishing Site and SEO

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With the new website builder we have the option to publish and then at another point in time we can change the current domain to point to that site. So ... if published, but not really ready to go 'live' so-to-speak aren't we giving the search engines duplicate content, something we all know can be really bad for SEO.
The solution seems to be to use the Hide from Search Engines option. And then when we're ready to go live we would need to go through and remove that option. Yipes! if someone has a bazillion pages.
Or maybe I'm misunderstanding about the publishing aspect.
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Posted 3 years ago

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If you publish without a domain, the site will be published under the xxxxxxxx.homesteadcloud.com address. If you use copy/paste and use the exact same content, then it is possible that Google could find it and mark it duplicate, but it should only affect the newer site. Once you switch the domain, then Google should catch up. There will always be a dip when making a radical change to a site, but based on the features in the new builder, it should recover quickly.
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And, yes, if you are very concerned then it is best to hide the pages from search engines
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Hi Drew,

I just got off the phone with SEO Gears and was sent the tracking code via email. They told me to insert the code into the footer of the site.  The following is a picture of where I placed the code.  Can you take a look and let me know if that is the correct spot?  

Also, I asked them about:

  1. Inserting the "Achor code" that I can see sporadically placed throughout our current site.  They did not know what I was talking about.  Is that something I should be concerned about?  
  2. Did Homestead possibly place this code when they first designed the original site?
  3. I've attached a picture below showing you what I mean by Achor code.
Additional questions:

  1. Does the tracking code need to be placed on each page?
  2. The tracking code is spread on nearly every page of the old site in HTML boxes.
  3. Should the Use AJAX based navigation be checked?

I would like to launch the new site this afternoon but before I do I want to make sure I've done all I need to do for SEO and that there will be support around in case something goes sideways.

Thanks,

David
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Anchor links are not available in the new builder at this time, but they are not relevant to SEO either.

The Site footer HTML should automatically place the code on each page. It is easy enough to check once published, by viewing the page source on the live site. That can be done prior to switching the domain.

I believe you have also checked the boxes on the page to hide from search engines. You'll want to undo all that before switching the domain as well.

The only reason to turn off Ajax is if you need to add header or footer code to a single page.
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david2953

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Thanks Drew...I think I am ready
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david2953

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Drew...now that I have our new site published I noticed that the Tracking Code I inserted is not showing up on the individual pages.  Should I manually populate each page or is the software supposed to do that?



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I looked at several pages and it is in there on each I looked at. Which page did you not see it on? The site footer should place it on all pages that have a footer.
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I don't see it on any of the ones I just looked at i.e. Home and About as examples. The illustration I provided is where I am looking and they all are blank.
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Should I remove the checked box for AJAX based navigation?
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david2953

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Or should I manually populate each page footer?
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David I looked as well and it is on the pages I viewed. If you look at the Page Source you will see it at the very bottom.
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Yes. Go to the live page and right click. Select View page source. Look to the bottom of the page and you will see the code. You can do a ctrl-f and search for seogears. You will not see the code in the editor on individual pages as it is entered in the site footer, not on the pages individually
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Ok gotcha...I am just not seeing it in the editor.  Is that normal?
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david2953

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Thanks to both of you for looking....I was only looking at the editor....it seems it should be there as well?
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The code boxes on each page only show what is specific to that page. The spot you placed the code is the site footer html. This code is automatically on all pages
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In other words David, all is well. You can relax for now.  :)
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Hi Drew...Once I am ready to publish our new responsive site does the software automatically rename the working domain/page names to our current sites domain name?  I am assuming all the internal links between pages that I've build will change as well...Is that correct?
(Edited)
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When you publish the new site it will publish to xxxxxxx.homesteadcloud.com. The domain will still be on the old site. You have to use the change site association to put the domain on the new site. The SEO group should probably take care of that for you. Did you use the same page names for the new site? If so, there will be no reindexing of links, just content.
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Hi Drew...when you say SEO group do you mean within Homestead or SEO Gears? I emailed SEO Gears to let them know we were about to launch a new site and they responded as follows:

"That should not interfere with anything that is being done for you in terms of link-building. Thank you for informing us of these upcoming changes. On our end things will be the same as they were with us targeting the same keywords no changes to speak of."

Regarding your question about the page names being the same...they are for the most part.  I will go back and make sure I rename them just to make sure.  We also added a couple new pages and may be deleting one.
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I mean SEO Gears. I am not sure they are understanding what is happening. I believe Susan mentioned that they are in fact part of the same company as Homestead, so let me check in with them tomorrow.

As far as what they do they are correct, but they will need to get tracking code on the site.
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Drew did you have a chance to reach out to SEO Gears regarding their response to the question above?
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Yes, but I haven't heard back. I am very sorry. I thought they had reached out to you. Let me get on it again.
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Thanks...I've tried emailing them as well but also not gotten a response.  The last correspondence I had with them was with Michael on December 31st.  

The following is the string with him and the information I provided.

Good Morning Michael,

Thank you for the note back and for letting me know about Ashley’s move.

The reasons I asked if there was anything SEO Gears needed to do anything to our new site before it is launched was in response to a question I asked Homestead and their response. 

 

The exchange with Homestead is listed below.  Can you help sort this out and confirm we are all on the same page?

 

Drew from Homestead:  When you publish the new site it will publish to xxxxxxx.homesteadcloud.com. The domain will still be on the old site. You have to use the change site association to put the domain on the new site. The SEO group should probably take care of that for you. Did you use the same page names for the new site? If so, there will be no re-indexing of links, just content.

 

My response to Drew:  Hi Drew...when you say SEO group do you mean within Homestead or SEO Gears? I emailed SEO Gears to let them know we were about to launch a new site and they responded as follows:

"That should not interfere with anything that is being done for you in terms of link-building. Thank you for informing us of these upcoming changes. On our end, things will be the same as they were with us targeting the same keywords no changes to speak of."

Regarding your question about the page names being the same...they are for the most part.  I will go back and make sure I rename them just to make sure.  We also added a couple new pages and may be deleting one.

2 days ago

 

 Drew N, Community Manager

·          

Drew’s response to me:  I mean SEO Gears. I am not sure they are understanding what is happening. I believe Susan mentioned that they are in fact part of the same company as Homestead, so let me check in with them tomorrow.

As far as what they do they are correct, but they will need to get tracking code on the site.

(Edited)
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Hello David. I just looked and the tracking code does show in the footer now. That is the last piece as far as I know, so you should be good to go.
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Also David, please post here when you change the domain association. This is the first changeover of an SEO I have done and I want to make sure everything looks good.
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Thanks Drew....as you may imagine I am a little nervous about bringing the old site down and launching the new one up.  The desktop version is about 98% complete so my next task is to start working on the mobile.  I don't think that will take me to long to complete but then again I wont know until I start.  With that said is there any documentation I can read showing me how to do this or is this something you guys can help me with?

A couple weeks ago you asked me if the page names were the same....they are with the exception that I have added several new ones and also deleted some....so I'm a bit confused as to what to do next.

Also:
  1. Do I need to enter a site map for Google crawls
  2. I think I saw a place to enter the Google Analytics code.  Does it matter when I insert that?  The last thing I want to do is screw up my current site because I do something out of sequence.
  3. Anything else you can think of?
Thanks for all your help
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Google should figure out the page names. There may be a brief period with links to dead pages, but on the new builder that routes to the homepage and should resolve just fine. I would make the transition to the new site and then upload the new sitemap, but yes as soon as the domain is bringing up the new site, then generate and upload the new sitemap. Do not use the old.

It does not matter when you enter GA code. It does not affect SEO, it only lets you monitor traffic on the site.

The only other thing I would do is keep your old site around for a while, just in case you need something, or we run into an issue, we can revert back if necessary, but I don't anticipate any.
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Drew...I haven't heard from SEO Gears yet but do you know if and when these fields should be populated?  I am thinking this would be done by SEO Gears but until I am able to speak to them or get a response to my email I'm in hold mode. Are these fields I can populate and if so with what?  Is there code I can pull off our current site and copy into the new?

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David, don't shoot me, but could you please give your site address again? 
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david2953

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No problem....www.csthousing.com....I assume you mean the one that is not published yet?  I haven't published the responsive one yet.
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I meant the old one, which is what you gave me. Perfect. I wanted to look at the page source to see if I could pick up exactly what SEO Gears is adding and where. It just seems that you shouldn't have to repeatedly ask for help with this and not get answers except what Drew has been able to come up with. Didn't see anything that stood out - just the usual description and title, but not sure exactly how SEO Gears operates so there could be some code in there that triggers something or other!!
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In Sitebuilder it is added via an HTML box. In Websitebuilder, I myself added it to your footer HTML code in the manage section. I am not sure why it isn't there now, unless SEOGears did something else that I am not aware of. I too am having difficulty reaching them this week. I will keep trying.
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Drew...thanks for looking again.  Is it possible that I was working on site at the same time you entered the code and overwrote your saved data? 
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Susan...thanks for taking a look as well.  It is probably best I wait until Monday to launch the new site.  

Also, is there a way to speak with you privately?
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Certainly. I'll send my email on your site contact form.
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Sent
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I'm not sure if I am posting this in the correct place but since it's a related question to this string I'll leave it to the Homestead guys to repost it if needed. Hopefully, asking the questions will provoke a discussion that will be helpful to the community.

The primary question is what value does an SEO service provider offer after a site has been populated with tracking tags?  Is this an ongoing process...i.e. do tracking tags need to be updated from time to time?

From what I've been reading the other service an SEO company performs is link building.  So the next question is are the quality of the links beneficial to the site?

With that said I ran across the following article that points to the fact that understanding what the quality of those links is, is more important than the actual link building.

Any thoughts or comments from the community?

https://justaddcontent.com/search-engine-optimization-seo-small-business-websites/ 
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If the SEO provider links with dozens of sites and they are either not relevant to your site's content, i.e. your site is about flowers and the links are going to pet food sites and/or they are 'low quality sources' then yes, the links can hurt you.
Outbound links do two things. They drain your page rank and you run the risk of the visitor leaving your site. A link or two to authority sites can be beneficial, but be sure those open in a new window.
Relevant inbound links should be done slowly over a period of time. If hundreds of links are done all at once and they all use the same anchor text you could be penalized. It is also helpful if those links don't all point to the Home page.
I have never felt comfortable with SEO providers since there are hundreds of them out there and lots of rip-offs. If you do decide to use one be sure that:

They provide you with a list of the links and the URL to those - not just a number
They provide you with a list and URL of any articles they have submitted - not just a number

Then check the sites with the link and the articles to be sure they are relevant to your site's content and the SEO provider hasn't just sent them out en masse to anyone and everyone.

Pay attention to Google and what they are up to and what we can expect in the coming months and be sure your site and any SEO provider are up to snuff.
 
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Susan....Thank you.  You've confirmed some things I need to understand better from our current provider.  Particularly with reference to more details around what links are built and what link building articles are written...not just the numbers.  We currently use SEO Gears.  Several years ago they were recommended by Homestead, so I trust they are reputable...however as you stated in your comments...they only report that an activity was performed, not the details.
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Another thing with their report is that they say 100%, meaning I guess that they did it. Ok, fine, but how many and where

Given that EIG owns both Homestead and SEO Gears the $$ eventually ends up in the same pocket I reckon. Makes sense that Homestead upsells their services.

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