Python Script for Creating an XML Sitemap with rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”

Google specifies three scenarios for which rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” is recommended:

  1. You translate only the template of your page, such as the navigation and footer, and keep the main content in a single language. This is common on pages that feature user-generated content, like a forum post.
  2. Your pages have broadly similar content within a single language, but the content has small regional variations. For example, you might have English-language content targeted at readers in the US, GB, and Ireland.
  3. Your site content is fully translated. For example, you have both German and English versions of each page.

via Google Webmaster Tools Help

Similarly, there are three means for which hreflang can be implemented. It can be tagged with the element within the section of each page, expressed through the http header for non-html files, or within your XML sitemap. There is an obvious advantage to applying it within an xml sitemap for enterprise level sites, like the ones I tend to work on. Typically, it is much easier to get an updated xml sitemap uploaded than to apply new tagging to a myriad of pages. However, even when applied within an XML sitemap, it can a be tedious process for large websites. I created a quick python script to help make that process a little bit easier.

hreflang python tool usage

This is script is designed for a website where the alternate language site has an equal number of pages to the primary language. For example, there are the same number of pages for en-uk and en-ca as there are for en-us.
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The Linkedin Publishing Platform and SEO: Examining 3,000 Posts to See What Works in the SERPS

linkedin-header-image

I recently published an analysis on OkDork, breaking down successful LinkedIn Publishing posts.

This analysis was mainly focused on how many view each post obtained.

I have a lot more data about these posts, A LOT MORE (even beyond this post).

This post will follow a similar structure as the previous post, but instead focus on the SEO value of these posts by looking at the likelyhood of them ranking in the Google SERP–looking at external backlinks.

The results end up looking very different than looking at just the views.
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Get Back Some of That (Not Provided) Keyword Data with a Survey

When Google made the transition to 100% secure search, everyone lost their organic keyword data.

(I’m sure you’ve heard this story before. I’ll stop there.)

It hasn’t impacted me all that much, at least in the sense that I’m still able to grow my clients’ visibility through organic search just fine.

Still, the data was kind of nice to have, and I’d take it back in a heart beat if it were ever to be relinquished.

In marketing, sometimes you need only ask… Continue reading

Parallels’ Content Marketing Strategy for Outranking Software Pirates

The software company Parallels, makers of awesome virtual machine software for your Mac, had a problem:

Thousands upon thousands of searches are being made by people trying to pirate their software, using a myriad of variations of “parallels key generator” and “parallels product key”.

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So, Their SEO team devised a solution… Continue reading

What Is SEO and How Do We Define It? Expert Opinions.

Insight on how to explain SEO to everyone, including your Mom.

SEO is often misunderstood, and I have found that its definition varies dramatically from practitioner-to-practitioner. So, what is SEO?

I asked some experts (primarily via our /r/BigSEO AMAs) how they define SEO and how they would explain it to various people; specifically, I asked the following questions:

  1. How do you personally define SEO?
  2. How do you define SEO to your colleagues?
  3. How do you define SEO to the C-Suite?
  4. How do you define SEO to your mom?

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Named one of the “The 58 SEO Authorities on Twitter You Need to Follow”

I was very pleased to be included among the list of “The 58 SEO Authorities on Twitter You Need to Follow”, recently in a post written by Brian Dean (@backlinko) and Kevin Raposo. It is very flattering to be included among many people in the industry that I have long respected, and some that I have gotten to know personally. I definitely recommend you check out the list and follow these guys.

Check out the list here.

I accept the ego-bait with open arms.