Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

Fixing Duplicate Canonical Link Element in WordPress

If you work with WordPress blogs and websites you will, no doubt, have had lots of fun over the years with duplicate content and spent plenty of time trying a) get it out of Google's index and/or b) stopping it getting in there in the first place.

The introduction of support for the canonical link element by Google and the other search engines offered a powerful addition to the ways in which duplicate content can be suppressed. The canonical link element and its use has been widely discussed in the blogosphere so I won't go into it here. Check out Matt Cutts' Canonical Link Element in 5 minutes blog post for a good explanation if you don't know about it already.

Back to WordPress. The two popular SEO plugins Platinum SEO Pack and All-in-one SEO Pack have supported addition of canonical link elements to posts and pages for a while now. I noticed recently that on a couple of my new sites using WordPress 2.9.2 there were duplicated canonical link elements in the header: -

<link rel='canonical' href='' />

which had been added by WordPress and, a bit further down: -

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

in the Platinum SEO pack section.

Further investigation revealed that WordPress has supported the canonical link element and added this by default to all posts and pages since version 2.9.0. Now, I don't know for sure if this is a bad thing, but intuition suggests that duplicated meta data in the header of a Web page won't make a search engine think it's a better quality page than if that data was only specified once. So, how to get rid of the duplicates?

It's easy. Either a) turn off "canonical URLs" in your SEO plugin or b) comment out the following line in wp-includes/default-filters.php: -

add_action( 'wp_head', 'rel_canonical' );

Personally, I commented out the bit of the WordPress script. After all, the SEO plugin writers thought if it first.

Search Engine Optimization for Choppers Bonnets Verbier

choppers bonnets logo

Choppers Bonnets Verbier is the Alps' leading maker of hand-knitted and crocheted ski hats, beanies and headbands. Now based in Verbier, Chopper and her pompom-maker-in-chief began hatmaking five years ago in the frozen wastes of Zermatt. What began as a way to kit themselves and their friends out in fetching headgear for the slopes quickly grew into a more significant undertaking, with both of them beavering away into the small hours of the winter nights to keep up with demand for what has become the must-have fashion item for the ski & snowboard world's movers and shakers.

To further spread their message, Chopper recently invested in a new website which was designed by the legendary Andy Oddsock of Ski & Board magazine fame. Despite looking extremely good, the website unfortunately did not make much of a splash in the search engine world, meaning that prospective hat buyers were unlikely to find it in Google, Yahoo, Ask and the many other search engines busily crawling and indexing the World Wide Web.

Feathered Owl Technology was engaged to optimize the website so that it could be properly indexed by search engines and to improve its effectiveness as a marketing tool for the Chopper's Bonnets brand.

Following the addition of a text navigation menu to all pages of the site, Google and its competitors are now able to follow all internal site links from the homepage, which has increased the number of indexed pages from one to six. The Owl's creative meta-data writing skills were brought into play to optimise each of the site's page titles for  subtly different search terms and to encourage viewers of search results containing entries for Choppers' to click through to the site by dint of engaging and informative page descriptions.

The results are now in - ranks #1 in Google's UK index for the search "handmade ski hats" and #5 in the worldwide index for the same term - and this with a pagerank of zero. In time the site's pagerank will rise as other websites link to it and Choppers' many happy customers bookmark it on social networking sites, so expect to see a further improvement in the rankings for searches relating to ski headgear.

A final word must go to the Choppers' team. The Boss has declared herself  "well happy" with their new-found visibility on the Internet, with her pompom-making sidekick reportedly "over the moon".  We wish them every success and a busy winter of knitting and crocheting.

The Owl is hoping that Santa will bring him a nice hat for Christmas...

a choppers bonnet

Feathered Owl Technology is an independent IT consultancy based in London, UK (and various Alpine locations during the winter). To find out how your brand can benefit from our website and search engine optimization services, please email us or or submit a comment to this blog post. |

Alpinemojo Verbier Website Goes Live


Feathered Owl assisted Alpinemojo Verbier with development and implementation of their new website which went live today (8 November 2009). We optimised the HTML code, implemented a WordPress blog and devised appropriate page title, description and keyword metadata for all pages in the site for search engine optimization according to the client's requirements.

We are now working on a programme of registration and syndication of the blog with our preferred set of blog and feed consolidation sites around the Blogosphere to maximise the visibility of the blog content and the main site.

Feathered Owl is hosting the website and will provide ongoing search engine optimisation and consultancy services to the Alpinemojo Verbier.

Feathered Owl Technology is an independent IT consultancy based in London, UK |

Feathered Owl Technology enters the Blogosphere

A few days ago we here at Feathered Owl made a commitment to start putting some of the advice we freely dispense (actually, ideally we don't dispense it entirely for free...) to our clients and anyone else who happens to be listening into practice. In fact, this blog is one of the results. And guess what, all that stuff about blogging being a great way to increase the visibility of your site out there on the Interweb seems to be true. Although our expectations as to how many people are actually reading this blog at this moment in time (please let us know if you are) remain on the low side, Google seems to know all about it already and indexes new posts within hours or even minutes of them being posted. We are keeping a close watch on some of the other search engines, which appear to be less interested in our outpourings here but have, at least, discovered the blog homepage itself.

In addition to search engines, there are a seemingly endless number of social networking and blog watching sites out there. The theory is that once your blog starts to be seen by Net surfers it will be bookmarked, tagged or otherwise linked to and so become more visible since the search engines assume that if a few people have bothered to link to something it must be interesting for some reason. Thus, we are told, a virtuous cycle (or circle, whichever you prefer) is created and over time your blog and maybe even the rest of your website which contains details about what you want to sell, or whatever, becomes more and more visible. To start the ball rolling, we've created an account for ourselves on Technorati and added this blog to our list of "claimed blogs". At the time of writing  we are ranked number 3,196,618 or  thereabouts so there's a bit of room for improvement...

We're going to keep monitoring the progress of all this and will keep you all in the loop. Maybe by the time the next update is posted "you all" may have ceased to be an abstract concept, who knows.