Is your website’s advertising getting in the way of the search engines?

Is your website’s advertising getting in the way of the search engines?

Recently I googled “Tire Business” as a test to see how a few major publishers in the tire industry showed up in Google Searches.  I did this with a hidden agenda.  I know that most online publishers sell advertising on their websites and I also know that many of them don’t take into account the SEO implications.

The three biggest online advertising mistakes most publishers make are:

1.  Not correcting the default meta description on a pop up ad for the homepage.  While ideally, from an SEO perspective, pop ups are just bad.  The worst part is by default, the meta description on the pop up page which is being indexed by Google is “Skip this ad.”  Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the first thing a potential reader sees when Googling “Tire Business” to be “Skip this ad.”

While the meta description is not algorithmically important to the search engines, it plays a critical role in conveying to a searcher what they will find on your website.

2. Using aggregated RSS newsfeeds.  To fill content on the homepage, publishers who lack the resources to write lots of stories use syndicated feeds from other news sources such as Associated Press.  Some use services such as Twitter Trending to scrape news based on topic.   There are two major SEO issues with this practice.

1.  News feeds produce duplicate content because there are tens of thousands of other websites using the same feeds and the search engines like to have one authority.

2. Publishers run the risk of actually having a link to a competitor’s page show up when scraping news by topic.  Sometimes that’s not a big deal, but if