Google algorithms value quality content above all. The more interesting and unique your materials are, the more users will visit your site. But even high-quality content will not help search rankings if there are serious structural issues in a web platform. Let’s examine key technical SEO problems that slow down the promotion of Internet resources.
Problem 1: Duplicate Pages
According to Google guidelines, identical or very similar texts in the same language are considered duplicates. Such materials may be located on the same resource or in different domains. For example, these can be product description cards placed at different URLs or two identical articles published on various news sources.
Why should you avoid duplicate content? The search engine “doesn’t like” to spend time reviewing identical pages. Anything that slows down the algorithm is considered undesirable. In addition, the value of the pages is lost, because traffic and links are “scattered” across the duplicate. A page that is important for promotion loses weight and, consequently, its position in Google. Thus, all site promotion activity is nullified.
How to deal with this issue? SEO experts suggest referring to robot.txt, a file controlling the behavior of the algorithm on a page. In it, you must specify directories, folders, or pages that need excluded from scanning. In the case of “duplicate” URLs, the rel=”canonical” attribute is useful. It will tell the bot which page among the duplicates must be considered the main one. If a website has several versions in different languages, the search engine should be informed through the “hreflang” attribute. Thanks to this key, the algorithm will understand that these pages are localized versions of the same content. You can also use the option to redirect from a duplicate to the main page so that visitors go to the priority address.
Problem 2: Lack of adaptation for mobile devices
Since 2015, the share of mobile traffic has increased 14 times and amounted to 14.42 GB per month. People are more likely to use their smartphones to access the Internet. Initially, this was a technical SEO problem. Yet, anticipating this development, Google adopted the Mobile-Friendly concept in 2015. Since then, websites that have a mobile-friendly version have started to benefit from search engine rankings.
The search algorithm checks the adaptation of the content to different screen formats, in other words, its responsiveness. It scans page load speed and evaluates the ease of navigation and other parameters. At the same time, the mobile and web versions must contain structured data, identical content, and metadata.
You can check whether the page is adapted for mobile devices through special resources (for example, https://www.google.com/) or through the developer console (the F12 button, choose the icon with an image of a smartphone).
Problem 3: Black hat link building
Increasing the number of backlinks to a site being promoted has always been an important part of search engine optimization. The algorithm followed the logic: “The more resources refer to a source, the more valuable and authoritative it is.” It didn’t matter to the bot where the links came from and how many. Therefore, site owners used this simple rule, massively buying links on special exchanges and artificially increasing the “weight” of their websites.
As a result, resources that did not always have high-quality content began to appear at the top. Developers decided to improve the algorithm to filter improper resources. They came up with a mechanism that helped identify shady link building and block low-quality sites. The algorithm began to pay attention to the number of backlinks and the authority of the domain referring to a resource. The bot analyzes the number of such domains, the quality of the link, and the anchor text. Resources that abuse spammy links are deindexed and penalized.
SEO professionals need to wisely manage their link-building strategy in favor of quality over quantity. For example, by publishing content on external blogs and giving a link to one’s own resource or using public relations (PR) strategies. High-quality links leading to a website and created naturally will increase the authority of a resource and its position in the search results. It can become an IT project rescue.
Problem 4: Confusing navigation
If simple and convenient navigation between components was not thought out at the app development stage, this will affect the SEO in the future. Not a technical SEO problem you want to have. If a user visits a page and fails to understand how to interact with the site, they leave it. The search engine regards a short session time as a low-quality resource and lowers it in the search results.
Therefore, a UX/UI designer needs involvement in the development process. This specialist will think through the issues of user interaction with a web app, research the audience and plan the information structure of the app. The designer will also create and test a prototype to make sure the platform is comfortable to work with.
As a result, a website design will attract numerous users. The designer will make a simple and aesthetic product that visitors will find pleasing. If a user spends a lot of time on the resource, the search engine will take it as a signal that the site is really in demand. And useful web platforms need to be raised to higher positions so that as many people as possible can visit them.
Problem 5: Unoptimized URLs
Sometimes websites give URLs from a series of numbers and letters at the end. They are difficult for a human to read. Users will not understand what “index.php?p=493692” in the address bar means.
It is easier for people and the search engine to navigate if an address contains keywords that suggest the subject of a page. For example, reading a URL like “https://andersenlab.com/industries/financial-services” will tell the visitor that this page contains information about services for the financial industry.
To make your site as easy to index and rank as possible, optimize your URLs for SEO.
Problem 6: Slow page loading speed
Developers often overload a page with photos, videos, cascading style sheets (CSS), scripts, flash, and other elements or technologies. Accordingly, a page may load longer than the established standard of 3 seconds. A user accustomed to fast-loading websites probably refuses to wait longer than usual. They will simply close a slow resource and go in search of another, faster option.
For the search bot, a user’s leaving a website will be a signal that it is not interesting. As a result, the rating of the resource will decrease. And instead of the desired “wow effect” produced by the site design, the owner will receive negative feedback. Therefore, it is worth using page loading speed measurement tools to test important application metrics. Such services as GTmetrix, Google Page Speed, and others will tell you what needs completing to speed up the loading of your website. By following these guidelines, you will achieve higher positions in the search engine.
For digital marketing to work, you need to skillfully combine the content of the resource with technical SEO. Without the technical part, search robots will not be able to enter your site or rank it. Make sure that your app does not have the issues we have mentioned above and check the site for technical SEO problems. By focusing on the architecture of your web app and its technical characteristics, you build a strong SEO and ensure that the resource ranks high on Google.