Best Practices For SEO: The Search User Experience Featuring Nascar.com
Nascar.com is published and managed by Turner Interactive. One reason I write this article is the sheer disappointment I have with the “face” of Nascar online, Nascar.com. When they started serving multiple pop-up ads to site visitors I stopped visiting the site and am now a fan of ESPN’s online coverage of Nascar.
Now, on to the point of this post, the search user experience.
A couple of years ago I shared some research with Norman Migglietta and Matt Bass at Turner Interactive that fell on deaf ears and I am dumbfounded to find the same mistakes rearing their ugly heads as the 2008 Nascar season kicks off.
In one instance, I explained to them that they are not providing searchers with the content they are looking for in the search engines. For example, when a Google visitor would search for “Nascar schedule,” the top result would display the 2003 schedule, rather than the then-current schedule for 2006. Let’s review why this is happening.
The screenshot below displays the current Google search results for “Nascar schedule.” Note the highlighted URL for the top listing.
Below is a screenshot of the page representing the top listing in the natural results for the Google search “Nascar Schedule.”
As you can see, the visitor is incorrectly directed to last year’s schedule. The screenshot below illustrates the obstacle in further detail. Note the highlighted URL in the address bar.
The fix is simple–the URL for the “Schedule” navigation should simply be a static link without a time stamp, that remains the same year after year after year. For example:
In addition, note the lack of Title Tags. The title tag for this page is simply “NASCAR.COM.” This is an SEO 101 oversight. An appropriate title tag would look more like this:
2008 Nascar Schedule – Racetracks – TV Schedule – Radio Schedule
If Nascar would like to keep previous years’ schedules accessible through search I would recommend an archive folder featuring the time stamp in the URL and appropriate title tags.
By implementing these adjustments the correct schedule would be presented to the Google searcher every time. This is an SEO best practice.