Following on from yesterdays post about how Homebase appears to have forgotten about SEO in their new site launch, I decided to take a look at how they handled redirecting pages on the old site to the new site.

For quite a few products, the page has stayed the same so this isn’t an issues. Where the page no longer exists, you should use a 301 server redirect which tells the search engines that the page has permanently moved and is the solution that Google advises when moving sites

Using the site:www.homebase.co.uk we can see all the pages currently in the Google index such as this one.

Clicking on to a link takes you to this page which appears to have the correct product and they have used a 301 redirect

But on closer inspection, there is something a little strange in that the breadcrumb doesn’t appear to match the actual product

However it does appear that the redirect has taken you to the correct product.

A quick search on the site using the products id number 238413, shows the there is an identical product at

http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/essential-kitchen—-amersham—grey—600mm-single-oven-housing-238413

which does have the correct header.

What’s the consequence of this
The site is now presenting two version of the products to the world which means that Google will need to choose which is the the correct one.

Update: 10:34am
It appears that the title, meta description have been added to the site. There are now also canonical tags on the pages which should point to the correct versions

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Oops – Who forgot to SEO the new Homebase website?

Homebase has just relaunched their website and it looks like someone forgot to do any search engine optimisation.

Go to any page on the website and look at the source code and you’ll see this.

Looks like someone forgot to populate these fields with any content and its the same on every page on the site

If you run site:www.homebase.co.uk to see all the listed pages you’ll get something that looks like this. Notice that the home page doesn’t even appear.

The fun really starts when you select the top result and you get the following page.

It looks like a badly implemented 404 page. However the site isn’t even sending a 404 server response code back, so it appears to the search engines that the page is still live. It it happens on enough pages, the site runs the risk of being penalised by Google in the same way that the Reading Festival was a couple of years ago.

The moral of this story is ensure that when you enagage an agency to do a site build they have a good understanding of technical SEO especially when creating a new site.

We’ve helped companies such as Renault, Citibank, Pets at Home and Mothercare with their search engine strategies, so please contact us to find out how we can help you

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Removing SEMalt Visitors & Traffic from Google Analytics

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Google Analytics Not Provided – An Alternative Solution

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Ebay Research Into Google Adwords Effectivness

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