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Technical SEO

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.

Top Articles


Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): What You Need to Know

03 / 27 / 2021

In the spring of 2021, Google will roll out a major algorithm change called the “Page Experience” update. This update introduces a new set of ranking factors called “Core Web Vitals” – largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS) – that measure performance and user loading experience
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Structured Data Examples

04 / 05 / 2021

Have you ever looked up a movie rating, and at the top of the page you quickly find ratings from three different websites — say, Rotten Tomatoes, IMBd, and Common Sense Media — neatly placed at the top of the Google search results page? Do wonder how Google picks out this information?
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History of Google Algorithm Updates

01 / 13 / 2021

Google’s algorithm has a massive impact. Google Search is such a prominent resource in answering questions for so many people and many businesses, organizations, and creators optimize their web content for Google search engine users. That’s why it’s so important that Google is continually adapting and improving its algorithm
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Introduction to First Input Delay for SEO

12 / 19 / 2020

First input delay (FID) 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, FID measures the experience users feel when trying to interact
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Introduction to Cumulative Layout Shift for SEO

12 / 05 / 2020

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
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The May 2021 Google Algorithm update is all about site performance

12 / 01 / 2021

That’s why we built the Huckabuy Cloud — to give all types of businesses peace of mind when it comes to addressing technical SEO issues like site performance. Our software leverages Google’s latest technical SEO initiatives to solve for the most important Core Web Vitals - largest contentful paint and first input delay.
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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.

Book a FREE Technical SEO Analysis

Technical SEO Topics

Structured Data Markup

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.

To learn about how different types of rich snippets can improve clicks, impressions, and CTR for your business in this article.

Dynamic Rendering

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.

dynamic rendering infographic

Edge SEO

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.

CDN map infographic

Latest Technical SEO Articles

Page Speed: 2021 Core Algorithm Update

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.

Core Web Vitals

The Core Web Vitals are a set of Google ranking signals that will rollout in June 2021. The Core Web Vitals measure the page experience — including how a user experiences page speed and overall page performance. Read this article to learn how to fix the Core Web Vitals.

Introduction to Largest Contentful Paint for SEO

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.

Introduction to First Input Delay for SEO

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.

Introduction to Cumulative Layout Shift for SEO

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.

Mobile-friendliness: SEO for Mobile

Mobile-friendliness is a big part of page experience, and it will only become more important with the upcoming Page Experience Update. Read this article to learn about mobile SEO, how your business can benefit from it, and what to do to optimize for it.

AMP for SEO

Mobile users continue to make up a larger portion of internet users worldwide, meaning that the need for webmasters to provide a quality mobile page experience is only becoming more important. Accelerated Mobile Pages are one way webmasters can keep up with this ever-growing population of mobile users. In this article, you'll learn what AMP is, the benefits of using AMP for SEO and business, the disadvantages of AMP and more.

Client Side vs Server Side vs Dynamic Rendering

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.

Rendering is the process by which Google retrieves your pages, runs your code, and assesses your content to understand the layout and structure of your site. This information is then used to rank the quality and value of your site content in search results. As the web has transitioned primarily from a document platform to an application platform, javascript has played a larger role in this rendering process and posed significant challenges to the user and bot experiences. Deciding which type of rendering to use depends on the nature and size of your website. Each of the three options presented in this article have pros and cons. Continue reading to learn more.

Understanding Crawl Budget For Technical SEO

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.

representation of crawl budget

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.

Introduction to Canonicalization for Technical SEO

This article provides a brief overview of canonical tags and why they are an important part of a technical SEO strategy.

canonical tags help search engine bots

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.

Introduction to Log File Analysis for Technical SEO

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.

log file analysis vector image

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.

Introduction to HTTPS for Technical SEO

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 an HTTPS protocol.

Introduction to HTTP/2 for Technical SEO

HTTP/2 — hypertext transfer protocol version 2 — works much like standard hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) only more efficient. With HTTP 2.0 protocol, internet users experience improved page load times and it supports more complex web pages. HTTP/2 can be implemented into your technical SEO strategy to improve your website performance.

Introduction to Redirects for Technical SEO

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.

URL redirects vector art

Alternatives to the Structured Data Testing Tool

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.

How To Use Google's Crawl Stats Report For Technical SEO

In November 2020, Google released an improved crawl stats that gives webmasters better insight into how Google crawls their websites and what they can do to improve their site's performance for search engine optimization. Continue reading to learn more.

How To Use Google's Lighthouse Report For Technical SEO

The latest version of Google's Lighthouse Report includes the new Core Web Vitals metrics that will become ranking factors when the page experience update goes live in May 2021. Continue reading to learn how to use this report for to optimize for this update.

SEO and Accessibility: 6 SEO Practices That Improve Web Accessibility

SEO and web accessibility are linked because many SEO best practices — things like adding image alt text — also help people with disabilities access your site more easily. This article will define SEO and Web Accessibility and give 6 SEO practices that improve your website accessibility.

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.

Critical Rendering Path: The steps a browser takes to convert HTML, CSS and JavaScript into a page that can be viewed by a user.

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.

Dynamic Rendering: The process of serving a client-side version of your site for users and a separate, server-side version for Search Bots. On the server-side, javascript content is converted into a flat HTML version preferred by Search Bots. Dynamic rendering is not cloaking.

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.

Javascript: A programming language typically used to create interactive effects and dynamic elements on web pages.

JSON-LD: JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data (JSON-LD) is a format for structuring the data of a web page to better communicate with search engines. There are other structured formats, but JSON-LD is the one preferred by Google.

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.