Whenever you make some big changes to your website, for instance to your brand name, you’re probably eager for these changes to show in the search results. Unfortunately, it can take a while for Google to crawl your site again and until then, it will show the indexed version of your site in the results, without the changes. Of course, when people click to your site they see’ll the changes, but you want them to be visible in the results pages too.

So, is there anything you can do to help or speed up this process? And is there anything else to bear in mind when making these changes? Let’s get into that in this Ask Yoast!

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Jolene Moody emailed us her question on this topic:

“I recently changed the name of my business. We have changed it in the WordPress dashboard too. But I didn’t see the change yet in the search results. How long does it take Google to show this change?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Helping Google pick up changes on your site

“It depends on how often Google visits your site and you probably don’t know how often that is. Now, what you can do is go to Google search console and go to ‘Fetch & render’ and then fetch and render your homepage. Then, after it’s done, there’s an option to submit to index. At that point, Google will have already crawled your site and will use that data to show your site in the index, so when people search for your brand, at least your homepage will have the proper brand name.

But it’s very important, if you change the name of your business and people are still searching for the old name of your business, that you also have the old name of your business on your site somewhere. That way people can still find you for that, when they don’t know that you’ve renamed your business. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘SEO Basics: What is Googlebot?’ »

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To work properly, websites contain multiple CSS and JavaScript files. These must be fetched from the server by the visitors’ computer, to fully load a webpage. In the old standard, HTTP/1, only one request at a time could be handled, so minifying and concatenating multiple files was a good idea. Otherwise, visitors would experience a slow website because of too many requests. The new standard, HTTP/2, allows for much easier communication between a visitor and the server.

So, does this increasing move to HTTP/2 mean that it’s no longer necessary to minify and concatenate your CSS and JS files? After all, site speed is still crucial for SEO. Let’s get into that in this Ask Yoast!

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Danny O’Neill emailed us his question:

‘With the increasing move to HTTP/2 should we still minify and concatenate our CSS and JS files?’

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Is it still necessary to minify and concatenate your CSS and JS files?

“In the old standard, HTTP/1, the browser could only open so many files at the same time on your server and thus it was smart to combine those files into larger concatenated files. In HTTP/2 that’s not needed anymore, so no, you don’t necessarily have to do that.

What you need to look at is which portion of your traffic already supports HTTP/2. If that’s the large majority then you can stop doing that altogether. Good luck!”

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In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Performance optimization in an HTTP/2 world’ »

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With the holiday season now mostly behind us, many owners of online shops are probably still recovering from this very busy time. Many businesses offer special, holiday-themed products and gifts during this season. But how to handle the product pages of holiday gift sets after the holidays are over?

Even if the gift set or product was a great success, and you want to offer it again next year, it’ll be a long while until the page is relevant again. So, what’s the best way to deal with these pages in the meantime? Let’s get into that in this Ask Yoast!

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Marek emailed his question on this subject:

‘I want to offer special gift sets for different holidays. What to do with them after the special is over? Should I archive or redirect them?’

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Holiday gift sets after the holidays

“Well, it really depends if you’re going to offer that special gift set again next year. And I’m guessing you’re going to if it worked out. In that case, I would probably keep the pages up. You might want to make them less visible to people just browsing your site. But having the page there, even when it’s not linked for a while, and then linking to it again, when you’re back in the season is better than deleting it and making a new one next year.
So, keep it up, and make sure that it has a slightly timeless content, so that if someone wants to order a Christmas box in March, they can… Why wouldn’t you allow that? So that’s how we would treat it. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Holiday season SEO’ »

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With so much of our day-to-day communication happening online these days, the use of emojis, to add some flavor to typed messages, has gone through the roof. They don’t just express emotions, but depict a range of animals, objects, places and so on, as well. The options to express yourself with them are endless! If you frequently use emojis in your daily communication, you may also feel like using them on your website. But what’s the deal with emojis and SEO? Do they have any impact on your rankings, positive or negative? In this Ask Yoast, I’ll get into that :)

Iris Schöberl emailed us her question:

“Do you as an SEO expert recommend to use emojis? Or is it spam to Google?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

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Emojis and SEO

“I’m thinking that you probably mean in the meta-description and titles etc., where some emojis will actually show up in the search results. If they do show up in the search results, I would use them because they make you stand out. And standing out in the search results means the more people click on you; more clicks is what you want, so yes, I would use them.

Would I use every emoji? No, I probably would not use the poop emoji for pages that I want to sell something on, unless it’s poop.

So, see if it fits in with your brand. If it fits in with your brand, there’s nothing I have inherently against it or in favor of it. Just see what works for your brand and what works for your audience. And do that. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘5 tips on branding’ »

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Branding plays a vital role in the success of your business. We’ve written about branding several times on this site, for instance, the 5 tips on branding and Low-budget branding for small businesses articles. Your domain name should also be a part of your brand. But should you buy one of those fancy new TLDs like .amsterdam or .guru to enhance your branding? Watch Joost answer a readers question about this.

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Andrew emailed us this question:

“Now that there is a wide range of top level domain name options, is it possible to use the TLD as part of your brand? I have a site which focuses on Oakland tourism and oak.land would be cool. Or should I just go for something like visit-oakland.com?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Can you use a TLD as part of your brand?

“Well yes, of course. We sometimes use Yoast.com instead of just Yoast, because Yoast is actually a last name in the US as well. So, you can definitely do that. You could use .tourism or .land; there are so many options out there. Of course, you can use these in your branding. In fact, I’d encourage that.

But you have to keep in mind that not everyone might realize that they are looking at a domain name. Let’s take oak.land. Would everybody in your target audience realize that’s a domain name? Most people that are slightly older might not realize that’s something they can type in. At that point, it would be a good idea to add www or http:// in the branding when you put it on a poster or show it somewhere so people realize they can type in oak.land. Ok, good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

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As most of you will agree, the free version of Yoast SEO is already an awesome plugin. So, we understand that many of you frugal site owners and bloggers may be a bit reluctant to ‘splurge’ on Yoast SEO Premium. What more could the premium version have to offer? Well, as a matter of fact, it has a great deal more to offer! It has several features that help you drastically improve your site structure, make it easier to avoid 404s, and give more insight into your content. In this Ask Yoast, I discuss Yoast SEO premium features that are especially interesting for bloggers.

Alexa emailed us this question:

My audience are travel bloggers and I think they all use the free version of Yoast SEO. I don’t think they would pay for Premium unless they really understood the value. Can you share the main differences of the free vs. the paid version?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

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Yoast SEO premium features explained

Well, there’s nothing I like more than an opportunity to tell you why you should give me money. So let me do that. There’s a couple of things in Yoast SEO Premium that I think are awesome for regular bloggers. One of those things is the redirect manager: if you change a URL somewhere you can easily redirect it; if you delete a post we will give you options to do something with that.

Even more important for bloggers is the internal linking feature that we have. We give you options for posts that you could link to from your current post. Based on what you’re writing about, we’ll tell you, “Hey, this looks similar to that post, you should link to that post.” We’ll give you that option. This will hugely increase how many internal links you have in your site. And because of having more internal links, people will stay on your site longer, your site will rank better, there’s lots and lots of benefits.

Yoast SEO Premium comes with a few more options; I’d encourage you to check out the Yoast SEO Premium page and well, go buy Yoast SEO Premium, is not that expensive. Good luck.

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.
(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Why you should buy Yoast SEO premium’ »

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If you started your website as a newbie to all things internet, chances are that your site’s URLs aren’t pretty. Perhaps the URLs contain the post-ID, or the date when it was first published. URLs like that don’t say much about the content of a page and look cluttered. If you want to change your URL structure for this reason, or whatever other reason, it could affect your rankings. In this Ask Yoast, I discuss to what extent changing your URL structure will have an impact on your rankings, and if it’s still worth the effort.

Chris asked us a question on this subject:

We are changing our URL structure to make it look cleaner (by leaving out numbers etc.). When we launch our new site, will this new URL structure negatively affect our existing Google rankings?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

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The impact of changing your URL structure on rankings

Well, if you launch a new site and you have new URLs, you’ll need to redirect all the old URLs to the new URLs and it’ll take some time for Google to pick up that those URLs have changed. If you’re staying on the same domain name, your traffic will probably stay the same, but you will need to redirect all those URLs and it might take some time.

You might lose some traffic for a while, up to even six months and then after that everything should be fine. It’s probably worth it if your URLs look really bad though, so it’s a trade-off but I’d probably still go for it. Good luck!

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.
(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘The perfect WordPress SEO permalink structure’ »

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Would you buy a product or service from a website that doesn’t look trustworthy? Probably not. So you understand how important it is to gain the trust of your visitors if you own a business. Adding testimonials to your site can help you with this. They give potential customers some idea of the experiences of others, and why whatever it is you’re offering them is so awesome. If you have some nice testimonials on your site, of course, you want to make sure people can find them. So, what’s the best way to do that?

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Ariette emailed us a question on this subject:

I have 30+ testimonials on my site and all of them are in separate posts. These testimonials don’t have content other than a few kind words from clients. Can I just add keywords like ‘realtor testimonial’ or ‘realtor review’ to every post?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

The best way to use testimonials on your site

“These testimonials are testimonials for something you’re selling, so you should add those testimonials to the pages that you’re selling those products on. Don’t have them on separate pages, but show them on the pages where you’re selling that individual product and then show a couple. Make them show a picture, make sure that they look genuine and real, but add them next to the product that you’re selling.

Having separate pages for reviews is hardly ever a good idea, unless they are reviews of books or something like that, where the review itself is a read-worthy piece. But don’t add reviews as a single post type on your site. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.
(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Testimonials: increase your visitor’s trust’ »

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As a site owner, you want to come across as an authoritative result, as well as stand out in the search results. Even if you’re already ranking nr. 1. Sitelinks can help you achieve that. These links appear under the main search result, highlighting subpages of a website. Sitelinks can push down the pages of your competitors on the results pages, and provide potential visitors more options to navigate to your site and find what they’re looking for. Of course, this could be beneficial to your traffic. You’ve probably seen sitelinks in the search result pages at some point, but how do you get Google to add them to your site? As it happens, getting sitelinks isn’t for just anyone. In this Ask Yoast, we’ll get into that.

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Sergiu Tere sent us this question:

I see that some sites have sitelinks, but not from Google AdWords. How do they do that?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Getting sitelinks

 Well, it’s very easy. Sitelinks are given to you. It’s not something that you can put in somewhere. Google will give you site links if it thinks you are very ‘authoritative’ for that query, so if you’re a very important result for that query. In that case, it will add site links from your site, based on how people browse your site and how they use your site.

So, it’s not something that you can change; it’s not something that you can opt in for, it’s not something that you can do specific SEO for. You just have to become very important for that specific query.
Good luck!

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.
(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Google’s sitelinks searchbox & Yoast’ »

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If you’re a bit familiar with the ways of SEO, you’ll be aware that duplicate content is a problem that can happen to anyone and could seriously harm your rankings. But in some cases, it’s difficult to know where you stand. For example: if you translate your existing content into a different language, it isn’t considered duplicate content. But when you have a website in English, one for the UK and one for the US, this can cause issues, if you don’t tell Google what’s going on. So how do you deal with that? How do you avoid duplicate content for your multi-regional site? We’ll get into that in this Ask Yoast!

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Jay Zijp-Koolmees emailed us this question:

I’m creating a site for the Netherlands and Belgium. If I create the same site on .nl and .be, do I get a duplicate content problem? And would geotargeting in Google Webmaster tools help?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Avoiding duplicate content with hreflang

Well first of all: yes, you will have a duplicate content problem. Geotargeting in Google Search Console or formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools would absolutely help, but I would honestly also suggest that you use hreflang to tell Google which page to use what for.

Hreflang is not an easy thing, we have a very long article about hreflang. So look that up, look at what you need to do and implement that. Good luck!

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.
(note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘Ask Yoast: When should you use hreflang’ »

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