Quick Follow-Up To My SEO Changes

It took a while but it now looks like the changes I made back in April, which aimed to improve this site's SEO, have kicked in and had a positive effect.

Change 1

The first change I made was to use a server-based Rule document to permanently redirect all domains to the same place. If you visit http://codestore.info you'll end up at http://www.codestore.net.

Whereas Google used to consider all the different (sub)domains as different sites, it now seems to consider them as one. Here's how the PageRank of each domain has been affected, according to whatsmypagerank.com:

Domain PageRank Before PageRank After
www.codestore.net 5 5
codestore.net 5 5
www.codestore.org 3 5
codestore.org 3 5
www.codestore.info 2 5
codestore.info 2 5

As you can see all sites now have the same PageRank. Unfortunately this hasn't (yet?) had the desired effect of increasing it from a 5 to a 6. The PageRank for this site used to be 6. Although I won't be losing any sleep over my PageRank.

Change 2

The other problem I tried to alleviate was that of "duplicate content". Consider the image below of a search illustrating how Google considered /store.nsf/ as a different page to the root / URL. Not good.


To rectify this I added a canonical link to all page. In the head of each page is now a meta tag like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="/store.nsf/" />

So, Google now knows that it should consider all the following pages as the same thing:

Again, this seems to have worked as, no matter what I search for now, I can't seem to get the same page to appear in the results more than once.


There you go. Two simple changes that have had an "immediate" effect on this site's SEO. If you have your own site or are responsible for others then why not make the changes too?

Only time will tell if the changes take the PageRank back up to 6. For now I'll just have to accept it as yet another sign that this site's not what it used to be ;-(


  1. I suspect the site is the same quality, it's just before there was probably a significant amount of 'invisible but for the web stats' people coming for Domino advice because that's what they needed in their practical work.

    I was one of them I suspect.

    Now, those people have probably drifted to other things and other sites based on their actual work.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 17 Jun 2010 04:25 AM

      Number of visitors doesn't affect PR though, does it? It's all about the links.

      Show the rest of this thread

  2. Links within your site or links to your site? Not my strongest area SEO.

    If it's links to your site well that has to be a function of visitors in some way I'd have thought - though it might be impossible to put any numbers on it.

  3. Hi Jake, never knew the canonical link thing! I'm going to implement it straight into our website! Thanks.

  4. One of the things I've been experimenting with is using the server-based rules to eliminate the ".nsf" in the URLs. Here's an example of that. No matter what internal link you click on you'll never see the actual name of the Notes database.


    It seems like you should be able to use the server-side rules to make the URLs canonical as well, although the your solution may be simpler.

  5. @Jake: The Canonical tag should be more like a last resort than an approach to fix dublicate content issues. The thing about relying on the Canonical tag is that you might not get the benefit of incomming links to the dublicate pages.

    So you should avoid public dublicate URLs in the first place.

    @RobShaver: Good approach eliminating the ".nsf" in the URLs, but why not take the full step? You got URL folders like /a/ or /nav/ in your web page URLs. As with the ".nsf" extension, it would be a lot better not to bother users with that kind of noice.

    Substitution documents can take care of that problem quite nicely, as seen here: www.e-conomic.com

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Sun 20 Jun 2010 04:10 PM

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing Tue. If only I'd known way back when that one day I'd care about SEO then I'd not have registered anything other than codestore.net.

      However, the links are all out there now, pointing to different variations of the same URLs and unless I pain-stakingly hunt them all down I'll have to cater for that.

      On new sites I work on I always do try to avoid. For this site it's too late.

      Hide the rest of this thread

      1. Hindsight is great :-)

        I understand the situation, many other websites have similar issues. But there are options, even if you have many backlinks pointing to DC pages:

        1) Like you made 301s from other Codestore domains to the www.codestore.net domain, do so for the pattern www.codestore.net/store.nsf*. Assuming ofc. you want www.codestore.net to be the homepage URL (recommended), otherwise the other way around.

        2) Make sure all internal links to your homepage goes to the correct URL, as Yahoo Site Explorer suggest you have many internal links pointing to both www.codestore.net and www.codestore.net/store.nsf/. It could be you already rectified this (I didn't check) and Yahoo Site Explorer just haven't figured it out yet.

        301s will transfer link value (as indicated by the visible Google Toolbar PageRank), but - propably - not 100%. Another drawback is the added round trip, making 301 pages slower. Still, 301s are the best option for situations like this.

        Btw., an annoying thing about the trailing "/" in Domino is that these 2 URLs:

        1) www.codestore.net/store.nsf

        2) www.codestore.net/store.nsf/

        - are technically different URLs, but Domino does not seem to care about the trailing slash at all. I have not managed to find suitable substitution/redirection documents to fix this issue.

    1. @Tue,

      I agree but that was the best I could muddle through to. It's been six months or so since I did that. I was trying to have the fewest rules I could manage. It was a trial and error process with a httpd restart each time I made a change.

      As I recall the only way I got figure out how to make it work was to have those intermediate targets like the fake view "a".

      Have you got any links to better documentation about how the rewrite works or how the wildcards work? Perhaps you could describe how you did it on e-conomics site.



      Show the rest of this thread

  6. Hi Jake,

    i've implemented it on our domino based website, but today I've been reading up on the following post, which shed a different light on the issue: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/complete-guide-to-rel-canonical-how-to-and-why-not

    Perhaps interesting for you to read.

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CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

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