500 Internal Server Errors: What They Are & How to Fix Them

Troubleshooting an HTTP 500 internal server error is like solving a mystery. You don’t know what exactly happened or why it happened — all you know is that something’s wrong and you need to fix it. To guide you through the hassle of troubleshooting the dreaded HTTP 500 internal server error, let’s go over what it exactly means and its most common causes and solutions. Here’s what your 500 error page might look like in your browser: How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error Unlike other server-side errors like a 502 code or a 503 code, a 500 internal…

The Parts of a URL: A Short & Sweet Guide

If your website is like a house, then your website’s URL is like that house’s address. It defines where your website lives online, similar to how your home address determines where you live in a neighborhood, helping your visitors easily find your site. URLs also help Google understand what your website’s pages are about. There are technically five elements of a URL, and they’re discreetly important for optimizing your site’s user experience (UX) and SEO. To help you develop a concrete understanding of every part of a URL, let’s explore each of them in detail. Below is an illustration of…

What Exactly Is Semantic Search (& How Does it Affect SEO)

Ten years ago, SEO strategists across the world followed a relatively similar process. Step one, conduct keyword research. Step two, randomly write those keywords into the text on a page approximately five billion times. And step three — rank number one for that keyword. I hate to break to you, but that isn’t the case anymore. Several algorithm updates like Hummingbird and RankBrain brought about a new concept: semantic search. While this may remove jobs for black-hat keyword stuffers, SEOs who prioritize the importance of providing a good customer experience can sigh in relief that Google is now on their side….

The Plain English Guide To Google’s RankBrain

Have you ever done some obscure search on Google, and been amazed when the search engine still returned such accurate results?  You can thank RankBrain for that. RankBrain went live in 2015 and is now an essential part of the Google algorithm. This article will help break down what you should know about it, and how you can optimize for it. What Is Google RankBrain? RankBrain is a part of Google’s algorithm that uses machine-learning and artificial intelligence to better understand the intent of a search query. This understanding can help return the most relevant search results to users. It…

The Exhaustive List of HTTP Status Codes & What They Mean

We’ve all been there: You’re mindlessly scrolling the web, clicking on a variety of links from Google, social media, or other sites, when suddenly — you’re prevented from continuing a search due to an HTTP error code. This can be a frustrating experience as a user. However, HTTP status codes go beyond simply communicating an error — these codes can also signify a successful transmission, or a re-direct to a new site URL. Here, let’s explore an exhaustive list of HTTP status codes, so when you come across one, you’ll know what it means. What is an HTTP status code?…

Full List of Meta Tags, Why They Matter for SEO & How to Write Them

Meta tags can be used to increase the visibility of a website on search engines, so they’re undeniably important for SEO. On the other hand, they can negatively affect your website’s SEO ranking if written improperly. Let’s discover what meta tags are, why they matter for SEO, and how to use them correctly to reap the benefits. What are meta tags? Meta-tags are snippets of HTML code capable of being crawled by search engine robots such as Google. They are influential in determining the visibility of a web page on the SERPs. Meta tags are added to the <head> section…

Your Cheat Sheet to Google’s 200 (Known) Ranking Factors

If you’re an SEO, I know you can relate to the following scenario. You do thorough keyword research and create super awesome content that ends up performing well — score! You are riding the waves of growth in SERPs and feel like you’re on top of the world. And the next day, there’s an algorithm update that comes along … and just like that, your rankings have tanked. Regardless of whether an algorithm update rocks or destroys your world, they’re an inevitable occurrence. So it’s time to face the facts, and take the changes in stride. As difficult as ranking in…

If you spend time optimizing your blog or website’s content, headers, subheaders, and meta descriptions for search engines, the following image should alarm you: The screenshot above is the first search engine results page (SERP) Google produces for the search term, “excel table examples.” Notice how, in addition to the “Images” tab at the top, Google pulls in a substantial pack of clickable images to the beginning of the main results page — before any organic text results are even visible. Today, nearly 38% of Google’s SERPs show images — and that’s likely to increase. That means, despite your best…

The What, Why, and How of Canonical Tags & URLs

“That’s canon!”  You might’ve heard this phrase used to describe a creative piece that stays true to an original piece of work or fictional universe. If you’re familiar with canon, you are well on your way to understanding canonicalization and how it impacts web pages. Here, let’s explore what canonicalization is, why it matters for SEO, and how to add the tag to your own website. What is canonicalization? Canonicalization declares an original or preferred web page, which helps consolidate duplicate pages for crawling. Without naming a canonical URL, web crawlers could crawl and index multiple versions of your web…

6 Ways to Use Google Trends for Marketing

What did you last Google? Willing to share it with the public? Search histories can tell a story about a person and what they’re thinking. But I can’t imagine anyone would willingly give up their personal search history — especially if it identifies them — without some sort of incentive. Thankfully, we can tap into Google Trends for these insights. Let’s dive into what Google Trends is, where the data comes from, and how you can use Google Trends for market research, product innovation, and more. What is Google Trends? “Explore what the world is searching” greets you on the…