Technical SEO Knowledge Base
You have landed on our hub page to answer any questions you may have about technical SEO and Huckabuy SEO software. Take a look at our various articles, and if you’d like to learn more about Huckabuy software, please feel free to Contact Us.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to the practice of making improvements to your website to help search engines crawl, render and index your site more easily and efficiently, and can refer to any technical changes you make to your site to help it appear among the top results in Google Search Results.
Technical SEO includes practices like:
- Optimizing your URL structure and internal links structure
- Using an XML sitemap
- Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly
- Ensuring your site has a fast load speed
These technical SEO practices help Google and other search engines easily crawl and index every page of your site and they ensure that your website is optimized for all technical SEO ranking factors.
One way to make sure that your website has no technical SEO issues is by running an SEO audit. You can do this on your own with Google Webmaster Tools like PageSpeed Insights, Google Lighthouse and Google Search Console and you can get insights from a Huckabuy Technical SEO Analyst and receive a report on how well your website is performing in technical SEO.
Technical SEO Topics
Structured data — also known as schema markup — is a machine-to-machine learning language that allows search engine spiders (Search Bots) to contextualize and understand each page’s content so that they can accurately index your web pages in search results and amplify them as rich features — like frequently asked questions, ratings, and reviews — which are embedded alongside standard blue links. This page provides a basic introduction to the concept, covers why it is important, and looks at the different options you have to implement it on your website.
To learn more about different types of structured data markup, and to see examples, read Examples of Structured Data.
Dynamic rendering is another key technical SEO Google initiative that allows you to simultaneously serve a version of your website optimized for the user and another version optimized for the robot experience. This page provides an introduction to the initiative, how it works, why it’s important for SEO, and how Huckabuy products leverage it to help our customers.
Edge SEO is a relatively new subset of technical SEO that relies on server-less technologies to execute code as it passes through a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and create a “middle ground” of SEO implementation processes — all without impacting website infrastructure. This page provides a basic introduction to the concept, as well as an overview of content delivery networks and how Huckabuy products utilize both to improve SEO for our customers.
Latest Technical SEO Articles
This article explains what you need to know about the new Google page experience core algorithm update.
In May of 2020, Google announced the new Core Web Vitals, explaining that they will be an official SEO ranking factor in 2021. The new Core Web Vitals include LCP, FID, CLS, and serve as metrics to measure different aspects of site speed (page speed) and user experience. Google studies show a clear connection between fast site speed and positive business outcomes — such as lower bounce rate and a higher conversion rate. To learn more about the new Core Web Vitals, what it means for your business, and ways to improve these metrics, read the full article.
History of Google Algorithm Updates
The Google algorithm is a complex system that determines the relevance of content to search engine users. Over time, Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated at detecting high web performance and quality content that answers user search queries. Read this article to learn about some of the most significant core algorithm updates in the past 10 years and their impact on SEO and web performance strategies.
Largest contentful paint is a key metric in Google’s new set of “Core Web Vitals” that measures how long it takes for the primary piece of content above the fold to be usable by a visitor. It could be a text block, image, video, or some other element — whatever is largest. Anything that extends beyond the initial viewport is not taken into consideration. Continue reading to learn more.
First input delay is a key metric in Google’s new set of “Core Web Vitals” that measures the delay in discrete event processing (like the click of a button) in order to capture a user’s first impression of a site’s interactivity and responsiveness. In other words, it quantifies the experience users feel when trying to interact with elements on a page. Continue reading to learn more.
Cumulative layout shift is a key metric in Google’s new set of “Core Web Vitals” that measures the sum total of all the unexpected layout shifts that occur during the loading of a page. A layout shift occurs any time a visible element changes position from one frame to the next. To illustrate, say you went to click on the menu bar of a homepage and it shifted up and you accidentally clicked on a newsletter signup button that popped up instead. That’s an example of layout shift. Continue reading to learn more.
This article explains the differences between client side rendering, server side rendering, and dynamic rendering, as well as which type of rendering is best for search engine optimization.
This article defines crawl budget, outlines why Google cares about it, lists the factors that influence it, and concludes with how it can be optimized.
Google doesn’t have infinite time and resources to crawl every page of every website all the time. Over the last decade as the internet has grown in size and complexity, they have acknowledged their limitations and disclosed that they discover only fraction of the internet’s content. That makes it the webmasters’ job to factor “crawl budget” into their technical SEO strategy, such that Google is able to discover and crawl the “right” URLs more often. Continue reading to learn more.
This article provides a brief overview of canonical tags and why they are an important part of a technical SEO strategy.
Search engines experience website content differently than humans. For search engines, every unique URL is a separate page. And if a single page on your website is accessible by multiple URLs with similar or near similar content, Google interprets them as duplicate versions of the same page. Consequently, Google will choose one URL as the original and most important piece of content and index that. Sometimes, they make a mistake and choose the wrong one. This makes it important to take the proactive step of telling Google which one is which. Continue reading to learn more.
This article provides an introduction to log file analysis, a task allowing marketers to study how Google interacts with their websites in order to inform changes for technical SEO.
For technical SEO purposes, a log file is a collection of server data from a given period of time showing requests to your webpages from humans and search engines. Marketers analyze the data from these log files in order to understand, for example, how their website is being crawled by Google’s bots. The insights from this data can be used to resolve bugs, errors, or hacks that are negatively impacting how Google is discovering, understanding, and adding your content to search results. Continue reading to learn more.
This article provides an introduction to HTTPS, a communication protocol between browsers and servers that makes a user’s experience surfing the web more safe and secure. Continue reading to look at one of the ways webmasters can make that happen by switching to a HTTPS protocol.
Another key element of a sound technical SEO strategy, a redirect forwards one URL to a different URL than the one requested by the user or robot visiting the website. The most common use case for redirects is when a webmaster deletes or changes page URLs and wants to preserve user and search engine experiences, so they don’t land on the correct new page, instead of 404 error pages. Continue reading to learn more.
In July 2020, Google announced that the rich results testing tool was out of beta and that its structured data tool would be deprecated at the end of the year. After significant feedback from the SEO community concerning this announcement, Google changed course in December 2020, stating that the old tool will be migrated to the schema.org community in April 2021 where it will be used strictly to check syntax and compliance of any markup with schema.org standards. Continue reading to learn more.
Frequently Asked Technical SEO Questions
Why is technical SEO important?
By making technical search engine optimizations to your website, you ensure that search bots are able to crawl, index, and render your content effectively and efficiently. That means search engines will be able to more easily rank your content in search results and use your content for featured snippets — this means more traffic to your site. Technical SEO also means improving page performance, which helps user page experience.
What comes under technical SEO?
Technical SEO includes any practice that will help search engines with the process of crawling, indexing, and/or rendering content from your website. Technical SEO practices include structured data markup (schema markup), XML sitemaps, dynamic rendering, edge delivery (using CDNs), and page speed optimization.
How can I improve my technical SEO?
The first thing to do to improve your technical SEO is to run a technical SEO audit to see where you need to improve. After you know what’s going wrong, you can implement solutions depending on your problem. To generally improve your technical conversation with search engines (like Google), you can implement various technical SEO practices like structured data, dynamic rendering, and page performance optimization using technical SEO software or development resources.
Is SEO a dying industry?
SEO is not a dying industry, but it is changing. As the internet becomes increasingly complicated and expansive SEO is becoming much more technical. Technical SEO is about helping search engines crawl, index, render, and rank your website content effectively.
Technical SEO Terms Glossary
API: An application programming interface is a set of programming code that can be used across different software platforms and comes with a defined set of rules and conventions to follow.
Cacheing: The act of storing data in a caching memory. Search engines store a pre-rendered version of a page in cacheing to serve pages to users more quickly.
CDNs: Content Delivery Networks are globally dispersed locations where data is stored. They are often used to solve page loading issues associated with the geographical distance between a user and a host.
CLS: Cumulative Layout Shift is a page experience metric that measures the load speed for all elements of a page. It measures visual stability.
Cloaking: Cloaking is a spam technique meant to trick a search bot. Cloaking happens when the content on the page on the user-facing side is different than the content presented to the search bot.
Core Web Vitals: CWV consists of three metrics: LCP, FID, and CLS. These three metrics measure page experience and overall page speed.
Crawl Budget: The number of pages that Google will crawl on your site in a day. Crawl budget can vary from site to site.
DNS: A Domain Name System (DNS) connects URLs with their corresponding IP address. Web browsers process data in numbers and a DNS is the thing that matches a searchable domain name (like Huckabuy.com) into a string of numbers that the browser can process.
Edge SEO: The practice of utilizing CDNs to speed up the delivery of content to users.
FID: First Input Delay is a Core Web Vitals page experience metric, and it measures the page load time it takes until the first user input (whether they click, tap, or press any keys).
Google Lighthouse: One of the Google Webmaster tools that can be used to measure page performance and page experience.
HTML: Hypertext Markup Language is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve design effects on web pages.
LCP: Largest Contentful Paint is a Core Web Vitals page experience metric, and it measures that measures the page load time it takes for the largest image or text block on a page to render. To a user, LCP is when the loading of a page visually appears to be complete.
PageSpeed Insights: One of the Google Webmaster tools that measure page speed.
Rich Result: Also called a rich snippet, a rich result is a snippet of information (be it an image, video, a review, etc.) that appears on the top of a SERP above the 10 blue links.
Sitemap: a file that explains the connections between various pages on your website.
Structured Data: Another way to say “organized” data (as opposed to unorganized). Schema.org is a way to structure your data, for example, by labeling it with additional information that helps the search engine understand it.
Technical SEO refers to optimizing your site for the crawling and indexing of search engines, but can also refer to any technical changes you make to your site to help your site appear better in search results.
URL Routing: the practice of defining URLs and their destinations.