Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 4th, 2009

How to Avoid SEO Seppuku

samurai_sword_0.jpgIf your business built its own website, chances are you tested its features on a development server. Once you’ve completed the testing of your website on your development server, it is very important to turn off the server. Otherwise, you risk search spiders finding your test environment and crawling the pages. Suddenly, your test site is indexed and you have a duplicate of your entire site competing with your live site. This practically guarantees your rankings to go any direction except up.

There are all sorts of ways to diminish your search rankings and traffic, but leaving your development server accessible to the search engine robots is committing ritual suicide. A good way to check if your development server is in the index is to search for one of the development URLs, like your homepage. If your test homepage is in the index, chances are your test site has been crawled. A good way to ensure that your development server is inaccessible to robots is to implement a login. You can also disallow robots in the robots.txt file and tag all your test pages as ‘noindex’.

Making small mistakes can have large consequences, especially when it comes to getting your site ranked well from its first day going live. Volacci doesn’t own any samurai swords, but we feel your pain. Volacci believes that any way you can avoid making the mistakes in the first place, the more success you will have in your business. We believe in purposeful, proactive communications that will help you make informed decisions, increase your conversion rates, and optimize your search, with honor.

Volacci. Your Profit. Our Passion.