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Often contact pages, directions pages, and other mundane "everyday" pages are overlooked when it comes to optimizing a site. Yet, those pages may present opportunities for organic and Universal Search results that can’t be matched by other pages on a site.

These are pages that small businesses could be taking advantage of, but often don’t.
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from qwerty 3786 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m afraid it goes further than businesses failing to take advantage of these pages. I’ve actually read advice on a number of occasions that pages like this should be blocked from spiders, or links to them should be nofollowed, all in an effort to increase the PR of other more important pages.

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from dannysullivan 3786 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great article and advice, Bill. I always generally look at these pages and try to give them good titles and descriptions to cover a site generally. I’ll have to think more about body copy changes, as well.

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from searchcommander 3786 Days ago #
Votes: 0

These are great points to remember, in contrast to the common practice these days of no following your "no money" pages. I used to have some very good results using suggestions like yours here, and then I got sucked into the nofollow camp and started ignoring these pages. Thanks for the reminder...

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from DavidLaFerney 3786 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Great stuff, especially since for some sites a contact is the main conversion goal. Question: From a usability standpoint, what do you suggest for anchor text instead of "Contact Us"? After all that’s what users are accustomed to looking for.

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from billslawski 3785 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks. @qwerty - I’ve been seeing that advice, too. There are some pages that it makes a lot of sense to disallow on a site. For instance, when each product on an ecommerce site has a page where you can type in a review, but the review itself appears on the product page, and those review entry pages contain the exact same text for each product, those entry pages don’t need to be indexed by the search engines. Block those, but not the "About Us" page. @danny - It is easy to overlook these pages, or take them for granted (done it myself). But they can really be workhorses, and produce some positive results if you invest the time in them. @searchcommander - I’ve never been a big fan of using "nofollow" in links to your own internal pages. The definition of that attribute value is ambiguous enough that I’m concerned about what it could eventually transform into over time. Hope that your good results return. @David - Agree completely - make it as easy for people to contact you as possible, and to find that contact page when conversation is how you measure your conversions. Excellent question about anchor text pointing to those pages. It’s hard not using something like "Contact Us" and you probably shouldn’t stop. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t include some other links on your pages to the contact page that use different anchor text. "Ask us about our Viginia Baked Hams" could be one for the snippet of content that I used in the article. The UIE (user interface engineering) folks have a couple of articles where they talk about trigger words (http://www.uie.com/articles/trigger_words/) in links. Those are well worth a look, if you haven’t seen them before. One of them, Getting Confidence From Lincoln (http://www.uie.com/articles/getting_confidence/), points to an Edmond’s front page where there are links for people looking for "new cars" and people looking for "used cars" and both links lead people to the same page. The front page of Amazon.com has the following text at the top of their page: Hello. Sign in to get personalized recommendations. New customer? Start here. There are two links in that line: "personalized recommendations" and "start here." Both bring you to the same page. If it makes sense to have more than one link to the same page, using different text, then from a usability stance, that’s a good thing to do. For these "everyday" pages, if the more generic labels make sense for anchor text in the main navigation, or in secondary navigation like what you might place in your footer, that doesn’t mean that you can’t also include some links to those pages on other parts of your pages, with different anchor text as defined by the context you place them within.

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from Halfdeck 3773 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’ll have to disagree with Bill on this one. First, I do agree that some pages (e.g. "about us") should be included in the main index. Some people looking for me come into my site through my "about this blog" page. Also several bloggers directly link to my "about this blog" page. But if a site has indexing problems, then you are left with a choice: do I want page A (optimized for a money term) to be indexed or do I want my "privacy policy" to be indexed and my money page turn supplemental? In that case, the answer is obvious: Robots.txt disallow or META NOINDEX the privacy policy page. Obviously, if you have enough backlinks you never have to make this decision. Just because you disallow the privacy policy page doesn’t mean visitors will never see the page. It just means the page will not be listed in Google. My question then is why would I want the privacy policy displayed in search results instead of another page that will generate trust, build credibility, increase brand awareness, and sales? Tweaking the privacy policy page for any other search term other than "privacy policy" I think is disengenuous.

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