Internal Linking for Mobile First

Something I’ve been thinking about for a while – what does internal linking best practice look like in a world with mobile first and (it turns out) “noindex,follow” URLs not being re-crawled? It’s easy enough for small sites, but this ought to be a major concern for any site with a 4+ figure page count.

Do you need local pages? – Whiteboard Friday

While I was in Seattle for MozCon, I had the chance to record a couple of videos for Whiteboard Friday – this was actually the one that I got out in a rush at the end, so hopefully I’ll be able to share the first one, too, in the fullness of time!

In the meantime, this is the 5-minute version of my MozCon talk, covering the meat of the analysis involved.

Testing (no)followed links

Original text (24th January)

This page is explicitly “noindex,follow”.

Here are some links to pages that (at the time of writing) are not and have never been linked to anywhere else:

In about a month I’ll remove that robots.txt rule, and see if Google crawls the previously blocked page. If it does, that means that this page is still being treated as “noindex,follow”. If it doesn’t, and that remains the case for a reasonable period of time, that indicates that this page is being treated as “noindex,nofollow”.

I’m using robots.txt to do this because it means I don’t have to update this page to change what it (follow) links to – so if this mechanic described by John Mueller refreshes when the page is updated, that won’t invalidate my methodology.

Here’s a link to the Screaming Frog output as it currently stands.

Update (29th January)

Here’s the site: search result on January 29th (I forgot to check sooner):

Site search for, showing the homepage, a paginated page that shouldn't be there, and the "perfectly normal page" linked to from the test page

This is behaving as expected, with two of the pages linked to from here both found, but not the one that I’ve linked to with a “nofollow” attribute.

In addition, I decided to add this link, in case I need a 2nd robots.txt blocked URL to play with later:

The 30-Minute Information Architecture Audit

Information architecture is a broad topic, which arguably includes almost everything that we traditionally call technical SEO, and a lot of UX. In this post, I’m going to focus more narrowly on quickly identifying simple changes to a site’s internal navigation that can boost the performance of your key landing pages. At its most basic, this is a process you could execute in half an hour.

The State of Links: Yesterday’s Ranking Factor?

Back in Google’s early days, people navigated the web using links, and this made PageRank an excellent proxy for popularity and authority. The web is moving away from primarily link-based surfing, and Google no longer needs a proxy — so what, in 2017, is the point in links?

(Spoilers: We’re not done with them yet…)

Getting Started with Measuring Brand Awareness

This article originally appeared over at That URL 404s at the time of writing, hence the new location here.

Few people dispute that brand awareness is an important consideration for companies of all sizes – there’s a half-trillion dollar global advertising industry built largely on that premise, after all. In the SEO industry, however, we’re probably not as aware of it as we should be. I recently published a study on Moz showing that branded search volume is better correlated with organic search ranking in Google than Domain Authority, and as Google gets smarter and links become increasingly unrepresentative of how the web works, we can only expect this relationship to deepen.

Continue reading “Getting Started with Measuring Brand Awareness”