Every time you have a release, do you have a test (automated or manual) that you perform to make sure that everything is good to go from an SEO perspective? This is what we call a deployment SEO strategy. Odds are you might not have one, but you should.
You need a deployment strategy for two reasons: first, accidents happen. Second, not everyone knows SEO. This posts highlights problems to look for when when you’re testing a deployment and tips on how to create a deployment SEO strategy that works for you.
The recurring issues I have seen include:
- Nofollows being added to all internal links
- Meta robots noindex added to pages
- Robots.txt updated to disallow: /
- All title tags being set to the homepage
- Product canonical tags set to category URLs
- 301s used for canonicalization being removed
- H1s disappearing
- Content disappearing
- URLs being changed
- Analytics tracking code removed
All of these issues can have significant impacts on SEO. The reasons for this are far and wide, ranging from the wrong code being copied from the dev server to designers forgetting that title tags are important. As SEOs, we can do things to reduce the likelihood of these things happening by creating systems and processes, but sometimes accidents will happen. Sometimes, something is bound to sneak by. This means you need to have a system in place to find problems when they arise rather than down the road.
Posted by Geoff Kenyon and DSP