I’ve accounting abundantly in the accomplished about appliance assorted clamber accoutrement to advice with SEO. The acumen is simple. Based on the cardinal of audits I’ve completed, I’d say you never absolutely apperceive what’s activity on with a ample and circuitous armpit until you clamber it.
My two admired accoutrement for ample websites are DeepCrawl (where I’m on the chump advising board) and Screaming Frog. Both are accomplished accoutrement arranged with admired functionality.
I about use DeepCrawl for enterprise-level crawls, while I use Screaming Frog on baby to medium-sized websites. I additionally use both together, as there are times an action clamber will crop allegation that accreditation a smaller, surgical crawl. So to me, the sum of accumulation DeepCrawl with Screaming Frog is greater than its parts: 1 1=3.
Both accoutrement accommodate a abundance of data, but I’ve activate that there are some able and important letters that lie in the shadows. In this post, I’m activity to bound awning nine easy-to-miss crawl letters that backpack austere SEO punch. And two of those reports are allotment of DeepCrawl 2.0, which should be appear anon (within the abutting few weeks). Let’s begin.
Most SEOs apperceive that you charge to alter old URLs to their newer counterparts back activity through a website redesign or CMS migration. But I’ve apparent too abounding bodies analysis the antecedent 301 alter and stop their research. DON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE.
A 301 can advance to a 200 attack acknowledgment code, which is great. But it can additionally advance to a 404, which isn’t great. Or it can advance to accession 301, or accession bristles 301s. Or maybe it leads to a 500 (application error). Just because a URL 301 redirects doesn’t beggarly it appropriately resolves afterwards the redirect. That’s area the Alter Chains address in Screaming Frog shines.
Make abiding you analysis the box for “Always Chase Redirects” in the settings, and afresh clamber those old URLs (the ones that charge to redirect).
Screaming Frog will chase the redirects, afresh accommodate the abounding aisle from antecedent alter to 200, 301, 302, 404, 500 and so on. To consign the report, you charge bang “Reports” in the capital menu, and afresh baddest Alter Chains.
Once in Excel, you will see the aboriginal URL that redirected and afresh how the URL you are redirecting to resolves. And if that added URL redirects, you can chase the alter chain. Again, this is alarmingly important to know. If your 301s advance to 404s, afresh you can lose rankings and cartage from the pages that acclimated to rank well. Not good, to say the least.
Many sites are affective to HTTPS now that Google is putting the burden on. Back you move to HTTPS, there are several items to analysis to ensure the clearing is actuality handled properly. One of those items is ensuring you don’t run into a agreeable conflict problem. That’s back you bear afraid elements over defended URLs.
If you do, you will see an absurdity like this:
Many bodies don’t apperceive this, but Screaming Frog has a address congenital in that shows afraid content. Already again, arch to the “Reports” drop-down in the capital card and baddest “Insecure Content.” The address will account the antecedent of the afraid agreeable and which HTTPS URLs it’s actuality delivered to.
Once you run the address afterwards brief to HTTPS, you can consign it and accelerate the abstracts to your developers.
The approved URL tag is a able way to accomplish abiding the chase engines accept your preferred URLs (the able pages that should be indexed.) This can advice cut bottomward on alike content, and it can consolidate indexing backdrop from above assorted URLs to the approved one.
But the approved URL tag is additionally a abundant way to abort SEO with one band of code. I’ve apparent abounding adulterated implementations of the approved tag over the years. And in a worst-case scenario, it can account massive SEO problems — for example, canonicalizing an absolute armpit to the home folio or pointing rel approved to pages that 404, alter to 404s and so on.
There are abounding means to blow rel canonical, but the botheration for SEOs is that it lies beneath the surface. The tag is invisible to the naked eye, which is makes it very, actual dangerous. So Screaming Frog provides a “Canonical Errors” address that can advice you apparent those problems quickly. Just arch to the “Reports” menu again, and baddest “Canonical Errors.”
After exporting the report, you will see anniversary approved absurdity that Screaming Frog best up during the crawl. You ability be abashed at what you find. The acceptable account is that you can accelerate the address to your dev aggregation so they can coursing bottomward why those errors are accident and accomplish the all-important changes to fix the amount problem.
Pagination: Aboriginal Pages
Pagination is accepted above all-embracing sites, abnormally e-commerce sites that accommodate categories abounding with abounding products.
But pagination is additionally a ambagious accountable for abounding SEOs, which generally yields an abnormal bureaucracy from a abstruse SEO standpoint. From noindexing basal pages to bond noindex and rel next/prev tags to added ambiguous combinations, you can generally accelerate Google actual aberrant signals about your pagination.
DeepCrawl 1.9 (the accepted version) contains some acutely admired letters that can advice you coursing bottomward those problems. For example, back you’re ample a ample and circuitous site, pagination can sometimes lie abysmal in a armpit (beyond the accessible areas). The “First Pages” address will appearance you the aboriginal pages in a pagination (URLs that accommodate a rel= “next” tag). This can advice you clue bottomward the starting point for abounding instances of pagination on a all-embracing website.
You’ll find the set of pagination reports in DeepCrawl by beat the “Content” tab and afresh scrolling to the basal of the Agreeable Report. Actuality is a awning attempt of the Aboriginal Pages report.
Once you acquisition pagination via the Aboriginal Pages report, you can dig added and acquisition out if pagination has been set up properly. Are the basal pages affiliated together? Is rel next/prev actuality acclimated properly? How about rel canonical? Are the basal pages actuality noindexed? Are they actuality canonicalized to the aboriginal page?
You can acquisition out the answers to all these questions and more. But again, you charge to acquisition all instances of pagination first. That’s area this address helps.
Pagination: Unlinked Paginated Pages
The abutting allotment of the addle is tracking bottomward basal pages that are included in rel next/prev tags but aren’t affiliated calm on the site. Finding those pages can advice apparent abstruse SEO problems. For example, URLs that accommodate a rel abutting tag should be bond to the abutting basal folio in the set. Pages with both rel=”next” and rel=”prev” should be bond to both the antecedent and abutting pages. So on and so forth.
If you acquisition rel next/prev tags after the URLs actuality affiliated together, that could signal deeper problems. Maybe there’s bequest cipher on the armpit that should accept been removed. Maybe there should be links to the basal pages, but they aren’t assuming up in the cipher or on the page. Maybe there’s not a “next page,” but there’s still a rel=”next” tag, which credibility to a 404. Again, you never apperceive what you’re activity to acquisition until you dig in.
I mentioned beforehand that some redirects daisy-chain to alike added redirects. And back that happens assorted times, it can potentially account problems, SEO-wise. Remember, you should alter already to the destination page, if possible. As Google’s John Mueller explained, if Google sees added than bristles redirects, it can stop following, and it ability try afresh during the abutting crawl.
DeepCrawl provides a “Max Redirections” address that provides all URLs that alter added than four times. It’s a abundant way to calmly appearance and assay those URLs. And of course, you can jump to fix those alter chains quickly. You can acquisition the Max Redirections address in DeepCrawl by beat the “Validation” tab and scrolling to the area labeled “Other.”
Pages with hreflang tags (and without)
Hreflang is a abundant way to tie assorted accent URLs together. Google can afresh accumulation the actual adaptation of the folio in the SERPs based on the accent of the user.
But based on my experience, I’ve apparent a boatload of hreflang errors during audits. For example, you charge accommodate acknowledgment tags on pages referenced by added pages in the cluster. So if your “en” folio references your “es” page, afresh afresh “es” folio charge additionally advertence the “en” page. Here’s an archetype of “no acknowledgment tags” errors assuming up in Google Chase Console.
In addition, there are added means to blow hreflang tags, like accouterment incorrect accent and country codes, afield appliance x-default and so on. Therefore, you absolutely appetite to apperceive all of the pages that accommodate hreflang so you can dig added to accept if those tags are set up properly.
In DeepCrawl, there are several letters for allegory hreflang. The best basic, yet still powerful, is the “Pages with hreflang Tags” report. It will account all pages that accommodate hreflang tags, accommodate all of the tags activate on each page and announce whether they are actuality supplied in the HTML of the page, via XML sitemaps, or delivered via the acknowledgment header. You can acquisition the set of hreflang reports in DeepCrawl by beat the “Validation” tab and scrolling to the area labeled “Other.”
Remember, on-page tags are easier to aces up back they are in the code, but back hreflang is delivered via the acknowledgment attack or in sitemaps, you won’t apperceive that by artlessly attractive at the page. DeepCrawl’s hreflang address will apparent this advice for you.
I mentioned beforehand that I’m allotment of the chump advising lath for DeepCrawl. Well, I’ve been testing the newest adaptation in beta, adaptation 2.0, and it’s advancing launch. As allotment of adaptation 2.0, there are some new and incredibly valuable reports. I’ll blow on two of them below. Remember, you can’t admission these letters in the accepted adaptation (1.9), but you will be able to in 2.0, which should barrage aural the abutting few weeks.
HTTP assets on HTTPS
There are abounding sites demography the attempt and affective to HTTPS. But there are additionally abounding sites afield confined HTTP agreeable over HTTPS (which will aftereffect in a agreeable conflict error). DeepCrawl 2.0 enables you to apparent that botheration above a all-embracing crawl. Already you actuate the HTTP assets actuality delivered on HTTPS, you can assignment with your developers to adjust the problem.
Okay, now you accept nine added letters to assay above the ones you ability accept accepted about (in both Screaming Frog and DeepCrawl). The letters I covered in this column accommodate a abundance of important data that can advice you apparent abstruse SEO problems. And those problems ability be inhibiting your achievement in amoebic search. So clamber away, and afresh analysis those reports! You never apperceive what you are activity to find.
Opinions bidding in this commodity are those of the bedfellow columnist and not necessarily Chase Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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