SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines SEO Hacker is an SEO Agency and SEO Blog in the Philippines. Let us take your website to the top of the search results with our holistic white-hat strategies. Inquire today! Fri, 01 Sep 2023 08:54:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines 32 32 Google’s August 2023 Broad Core Update: How it Affects Your Website Fri, 01 Sep 2023 09:00:43 +0000 It’s here. After weeks of reported search volatility (going back as early as May), we see an official announcement for the August 2023 Google Core Update. Launched on the 22nd, and with a rollout expected to last at least two weeks, webmasters can expect to see some changes—whether big or small—in their rankings very soon. […]

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 August 2023 Google Core Update and How to Help Your Website Recover

It’s here. After weeks of reported search volatility (going back as early as May), we see an official announcement for the August 2023 Google Core Update.

Launched on the 22nd, and with a rollout expected to last at least two weeks, webmasters can expect to see some changes—whether big or small—in their rankings very soon.

If you’re seeing a dip, don’t worry. The guidelines for website owners are the same as always, and I’ve prepared a quick checklist to go through to help your website recover.

August 2023 Google Core Update

Google Core Update August 2023 announcement

Google Core Updates play an important role in how websites will be ranked and displayed in the search results. 

As of writing this article marks the second week since the rollout started of the said Google core update that started last August 22, 2023. 

This is the second broad core algorithm update for this year, after the March 2023 core update, which took 2 weeks to finish its full rollout. I expect this one to take the same amount of time. 

What to Know About the August 2023 Core Update

As Google continues to fully roll out the core update, here are some of the important things you need to know about it:

  • It will target all types of content – blogs, images, etc.
  • It will impact Google Discover and other features, such as featured snippets.
  • It is not a penalty but a reward for great web pages instead.
  • It is a global update that will affect all regions and languages.
  • It will take about two weeks to roll out fully.
  • Recovery post-update is not guaranteed, continuous website improvement is a must.

The August 2023 core update from Google aims to improve how the search engine delivers results to users. This update has the potential to significantly affect the performance of websites, making it important for SEO professionals and webmasters like us to keep an eye on how our websites perform as this core update rolls out. 

Unlike other updates, this one is holistic and updates how Google reviews websites as a whole. This means if your website has been affected, it doesn’t necessarily point to any one mistake—it’s just that there are now other pages that Google thinks provide more value than yours, based on its new ranking guidelines. 

Google’s ranking release history page shows us when this update started, officially. I recommend checking it now and then to see when the update is finished. 

What to do after the August 2023 Core Update?

It depends. If your pages are seeing a boost in rankings, then that’s great—it means your SEO is being rewarded.

If you’re seeing some volatility, then it’s time to review your website as a whole to determine if it’s being caused by the core update or some other things you might have changed on your website (coincidentally at the same time.) 

No need to panic, since Google themselves have provided their advice on how to manage this:

  • It’s important to understand that a drop in rankings doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with your web pages
  • Google also provided a list of questions to reflect upon if your site experiences a core update impact. I summarized the official Google advice on core update recovery in another post.
  • It’s worth noting that while minor recoveries in rankings may occur between core updates, the most significant changes typically happen after subsequent core updates.

Google’s Advice for Boosting Page Rankings After the August 2023 Core Update 

Google advises websites to self-assess their content since the focus of organic search should be on delivering relevant answers and resources to users.

Take a look at your worst-performing pages, and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does my content meet the user’s search intent?
  2. Does my content provide original information or analysis?
  3. Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?
  4. Is my content easy to understand?
  5. Is my content trustworthy, and does it reference other authoritative sources?
  6. Was my content written with the user and their experience on my page in mind?
  7. Was my content written by someone who knows the given topic?
  8. Do my on-page factors (such as title tag and headings) provide a descriptive, cohesive, and helpful summary of my content?
  9. Is the content mass-produced or spammy?

The bottom line that Google is getting to is this: make sure that you have a high-quality website that provides high-quality content. Follow that, and you should be fine.

I also suggest that you check out the SEO checklist and helpful content update guide that I prepared, which cover the best practices to help your website recover its rankings. 

Impact and Recovery after a Core Update

Ranking fluctuations and impact post-update seem normal, and what we’re seeing is similar to the last core update. Lots of SERP volatility. 

SERP volatility from SEMRush sensor for August 2023

I predict that the trend for volatility will also be similar to what we saw in March—volatility will be highest within the first week, before slowly settling and returning to normal around days 12-14.

After that, what we can expect in the next week or two is Google launching another update reversal to roll back any elements that have led to “bad” search results during the update rollout.

I can only speak for myself, we are fortunate that we have not seen any of our current clients being directly impacted by the August 2023 core update. Even most of our clients have seen positive patterns in their rankings, but I believe this is a result of our continuous optimizations versus a direct impact from the core update.

And now if you are negatively affected by the August 2023 core update, have some patience, as it will typically take several weeks or months for pages to recover rankings lost due to a core update if your website improvements warrant it.

Remember that Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms. It may release minor updates between the broad core updates that can positively impact pages that have made changes in the meantime.

Key Takeaway

As I have always said—SEO is a long game. It means you will have to constantly update your website and keep up with any algorithm changes to ensure your website meets what Google is always looking for: a trustworthy website that provides valuable answers for users. So when Google comes up with an update, that just means you have to reevaluate how you’re providing that value to your audience.

So if you consistently strive to make your website highly relevant through the right methods, then there’s no need to be alarmed by the August 2023 Core Update.

As an SEO specialist, I’m closely monitoring the impact of this update and will update this post when I find anything noteworthy regarding search trends or other relevant factors.

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How To Fix a 504 Gateway Timeout Error Thu, 24 Aug 2023 08:30:29 +0000 The 504 Gateway Timeout Error. It’s one of the many server-side issues that prevents your website from loading properly. It’s frustrating to see, especially for your users.  Think of it like walking up to a busy restaurant; if your waiter doesn’t come to your table in time, you will get frustrated and consider leaving–that’s what […]

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How To Fix a 504 Gateway Timeout Error

The 504 Gateway Timeout Error. It’s one of the many server-side issues that prevents your website from loading properly. It’s frustrating to see, especially for your users. 

Think of it like walking up to a busy restaurant; if your waiter doesn’t come to your table in time, you will get frustrated and consider leaving–that’s what your users will do if they see a 504 error on your website. And every second it’s up, it’ll keep hurting your website’s performance and rankings.

So how do you fix a 504 Gateway Timeout error? Well, keep reading. This article will help you understand them in detail, and teach you how to diagnose and fix it.

What is a 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

A 504 Gateway Timeout error is one of the many status codes that can be returned by a web server.

Whenever a user wants to load a page on your website, their web server will attempt to communicate with an upstream server, on which all of your website’s content and data is stored. If this connection is successful, then the page will load like normal.

But in this step, mistakes can happen. In the case of 504 errors, the mistake is this: these two servers are unable to communicate fast enough–which prevents the page’s content from being sent, leading to a timeout of sorts. 

Webmaster’s Note: This post is part of our advanced guide to Technical SEO, where I cover everything you need to know about crawlability, indexing, and page speed optimization, as well as helpful tips on how to troubleshoot common website errors. I also cover other 5xx errors in other posts.

Like other 5xx errors, websites can show a 504 error in many different ways. 

Variations of the 503 Service Unavailable Error

  • 504 Gateway Timeout
  • Gateway Timeout Error
  • HTTP 504 Error
  • Gateway Timeout (504)
  • 504 Error
  • HTTP Error 504 – Gateway Timeout
  • The page request got canceled because it took too long to complete.
  • 504 Gateway Time-out – The server didn’t respond in time.
  • This page isn’t working – Domain took too long to respond.

How Do I Fix the 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

Since a 504 Gateway Timeout Error is generic, you need to do some trial and error to find what exactly is causing the communication breakdown between the web server and the upstream server. Here are the steps you can take to resolve the issue:

  1. Check your internet connection
  2. Reload the page
  3. Clear browser cache
  4. Wait and retry
  5. Check server status
  6. Monitor server health
  7. Optimize server configuration
  8. Load balancing
  9. Check upstream server health
  10. Increase timeout settings
  11. Implement caching
  12. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  13. Resolve Domain Name System (DNS) issues
  14. Review your third-party services
  15. Monitor and test

Check your Internet Connection

If you’re experiencing the error as an end user, ensure that your internet connection is stable and functioning properly. Sometimes, network issues on your end could be causing the error.

Reload the Page

Sometimes, the error might be temporary. Try reloading the page by pressing F5 or using the refresh button in your browser.

Clear Browser Cache

Cached data can sometimes cause issues, which can show a 504 error on your end (but not necessarily all of the users trying to load your website). Clear your browser’s cache and cookies, and then try accessing the site again. 

Wait and Retry

The 504 error might be caused by a temporary server overload, especially if it’s getting a lot more traffic than you usually do. To see if this is the cause, just wait for a while and then try accessing your site again. The issue might resolve itself once the server load decreases. 

Check Server Status

Contact your server host or check your website’s backend to see if the administrators have acknowledged any ongoing issues or maintenance. If so, the issue can be resolved once your server is back online.

Monitor Server Health

If you’re managing your website yourself, you should monitor your server’s health, CPU usage, memory usage, and network traffic. This will help you check if your server is currently experiencing high, sudden traffic load, or dealing resource constraints. If so, then it’s a likely culprit to your 504 error.

Optimize Server Configuration

Review and optimize your server’s configuration settings, including proxy and gateway configurations. Ensure that these settings are correctly configured to support quick communication between web servers and upstream servers. Here’s a guide you can use to avoid server misconfiguration issues if your web maintenance is done in-house. 

Load Balancing

If possible, try to implement or adjust load balancing mechanisms to distribute incoming traffic more evenly among multiple servers. This can help prevent overloading.

Check Upstream Server Health

Ensure that the upstream server is healthy and responsive. Monitor its resource usage, check for any ongoing maintenance, and address any issues.

Increase Timeout Settings

Adjust the timeout settings on the gateway server to provide more time for the upstream server to respond, especially if the server processing is naturally slow.

Implement Caching

Implement caching mechanisms to store frequently accessed content on the server. This can help reduce the load on your upstream servers, and reduce the chances of loading issues like a 504 Gateway Timeout error. 

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Use a CDN to distribute content across several servers in different locations. This can help deliver your website’s content even to users located far from your main server, which also alleviates server load and improves overall site speed

Resolve Domain Name System (DNS) Issues

Check your DNS–particularly your DNS cache. If it’s outdated or corrupted, it could be causing an HTTP error 504 code. Otherwise, if you have recently changed your domain’s DNS server, then web servers might still be trying to find your website with the old DNS records stored in your Operating System’s cache.

In both cases, fixing the error is simple: you just need to flush your DNS cache.

Review Third-Party Services

If your website relies on third-party services or plugins, make sure they are functioning properly. Sometimes, issues with external services can impact your site’s performance.

Monitor and Test

Continuously monitor your website’s performance, conduct regular load testing, and be prepared to scale your infrastructure as needed.

Remember that resolving a 504 Gateway Timeout error might require you to work with your hosting provider and website development team, especially if the issue involves server configurations or network problems.

If you’re having trouble maintaining your website, SEO Hacker also offers web development and design services–we have years of experience creating beautiful, functional, and SEO-friendly websites from the ground up.

What Can Cause a 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

A 504 Gateway Timeout error can be caused by many things that affect the communication and responsiveness between two servers in your web infrastructure. Here are some common causes:

  1. Slow upstream server 
  2. Network connectivity issues
  3. Server misconfiguration
  4. Server overload
  5. Maintenance or downtime
  6. DNS issues

Slow Upstream Server 

Imagine a busy toll booth on a highway. If too many vehicles are trying to pass through the toll booth at once, the toll collectors might struggle to process all the transactions quickly. 

Similarly, if the server that needs to process requests from the gateway is overwhelmed with too many requests, it might not be able to respond on time, causing a 504 error.

A slow upstream server can cause a 504 gateway timeout error because the upstream server’s delayed processing and generation of a response exceeds the timeout threshold set by the gateway server. 

Network Connectivity Issues

Network issues can cause a 504 Gateway Timeout error because they disrupt the smooth flow of data between the gateway server and the upstream server, leading to delays in communication. 

Think of a telephone conversation between two people. If there’s static or interference on the line, the conversation might become garbled or drop altogether. Similarly, if there are network problems or “static” between the gateway and the upstream server, the communication might be delayed or disrupted, leading to a timeout error. 

Server Misconfiguration

Server misconfiguration can cause a 504 Gateway Timeout error due to improper settings or configurations that hinder the communication between the gateway server and the upstream server.

When you introduce processing bottlenecks, incorrect routing, or other issues that hinder the timely communication between the gateway server and the upstream server, that’s when server misconfiguration takes place. 

Imagine a translator who is supposed to convey messages between two individuals who speak different languages. If the translator misunderstands the message or doesn’t know the language well, there’s going to be a communication breakdown. 

Likewise, if the server configurations are not set up correctly, then the intended message might not get through, resulting in a 504 error. 

Server Overload

To understand why server overload causes a 504 Gateway Timeout error, picture a chef trying to prepare multiple complex dishes at the same time in a small kitchen. With too many tasks to handle, the chef might start to slow down and struggle to keep up with the orders. 

Similarly, if the gateway server is trying to manage too many incoming and outgoing requests simultaneously, it’s going to struggle to accommodate those requests, eventually leading to timeouts. 

Server overloads can happen if there’s a sudden surge of visitors on your website, or if your website is experiencing a malicious attack. Either way, this causes your server to exhaust its resources, which prevents it from accommodating user requests, leading potentially to 504 errors.

Maintenance or Downtime

Your server being in maintenance or downtime means that it just won’t respond to any server requests. It’s like a bridge that’s temporarily closed for maintenance. During this time, cars cannot cross the bridge, causing delays. It’s the same for your website–if the server is down or temporarily unavailable, it won’t respond to requests, resulting in a timeout error. 

DNS Issues

DNS issues can cause a 504 Gateway Timeout error when your DNS fails to resolve the IP address of the upstream server, preventing the gateway server from establishing a connection. 

The timeout mechanism on the gateway server is in place to ensure that requests don’t hang indefinitely, but if the DNS issues hinder IP address resolution, the gateway server generates the 504 error message. 

Imagine trying to find a specific house in a new town without a proper address. If you can’t locate the house’s address, you won’t be able to reach your destination. Similarly, if there are problems with DNS resolution, the gateway server might not be able to locate the IP address of the upstream server, preventing communication. 

How 504 Gateway Timeout Errors Affect SEO

504 Gateway Timeout errors can have negative implications for user experience, which means they can also hurt your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and website rankings. 

  • User Experience – User experience is a critical factor for SEO. When visitors encounter 504 errors, it reflects poorly on the website’s reliability and can frustrate users. Users who experience such errors are more likely to leave the site and seek information or services elsewhere.
  • Crawling and Indexing – Search engine crawlers regularly scan websites to index their content. If these crawlers encounter 504 errors while trying to access specific pages, they might not be able to index the content properly. This can affect how well your content ranks in search results.
  • Website Accessibility – If search engines find that a website frequently returns 504 errors, they might consider the site less accessible and reliable. This could potentially impact how search engines rank the site over time.
  • Algorithm Updates – While not a direct factor in search engine algorithms, user experience is becoming increasingly important for search engine rankings. Search engines aim to provide the best results for users, and sites with frequent 504 errors might be perceived as less user-friendly.
  • Backlinks and Referrals – If other websites link to your site and users encounter 504 errors when following those links, it can negatively affect your referral traffic and potential backlinks, which can influence SEO.
  • Indexing Frequency – Search engines might adjust how often they crawl and index your site based on its reliability and uptime. Frequent 504 errors could result in less frequent indexing, affecting how quickly new content is added to search results.
  • Competitive Advantage – A website that consistently provides a smooth user experience, without 504 errors, could gain a competitive advantage over sites that keep serving them. This advantage might translate to more engagement and longer visit durations.

To mitigate the potential negative impact of 504 Gateway Timeout errors on SEO, it’s crucial to promptly address the underlying issues causing these errors. Regular monitoring of server health, configurations, and network infrastructure can help prevent or minimize the occurrence of such errors. 

In addition, providing clear error messages to users and maintaining an informative maintenance page during planned downtimes can also contribute to a better user experience.

Key Takeaway

504 Gateway Timeout errors can happen from time to time on your website, so keep this troubleshooting guide in mind whenever you see this error message pop up on your pages. Fixing this as quickly as possible is key to maintaining seamless user experience, and ultimately contributes to a website’s reputation and effectiveness. 

With the right knowledge and tools, you can get past this hiccup, lessen its effect on your website, and continue delivering a great online experience to your audience.

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How To Fix a 503 Service Unavailable Error Thu, 17 Aug 2023 07:00:56 +0000 Looking through websites is a daily thing now—we use it for practically everything at this point. So, you can imagine how seeing server errors, like HTTP 503 Service Unavailable popping up on your screen, can be pretty frustrating.  For most, seeing this message means we’ll just bounce and head over to the next-best website that […]

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How To Fix HTTP 503 Service Unavailable Error

Looking through websites is a daily thing now—we use it for practically everything at this point. So, you can imagine how seeing server errors, like HTTP 503 Service Unavailable popping up on your screen, can be pretty frustrating. 

For most, seeing this message means we’ll just bounce and head over to the next-best website that can give us what we’re looking for.

But if you’re like me and managing a website of your own, then this error is something you’d want to avoid completely. 

What is the HTTP 503 Service Unavailable Error?

A Service Unavailable Error is an HTTP status code that your browser shows when it tries to visit a website but the server hosting is unable to process the request at that time. 

404 Service Unavailable Error example

In layman’s terms, it means your server is overloaded or down for maintenance. That makes it unable to provide the content and resources any user is requesting at that moment. 

Webmaster’s Note: This post is part of our advanced guide to Technical SEO, where I cover everything you need to know about crawlability, indexing, and page speed optimization, as well as helpful tips on how to troubleshoot common website errors. I also cover other 5xx errors, including 500 Internal Server errors, 501 Not Implemented errors, and 502 Bad Gateway errors, in other posts.

Like other 5xx errors, websites can show a 503 error in many different ways. 

Variations of the 503 Service Unavailable Error

  • 503 Service Unavailable
  • 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
  • HTTP Server Error 503
  • HTTP Error 503
  • Error 503 Service Unavailable

503 vs. 404 vs. 500 Errors

How is this different from other errors, like a 404 “Not Found” or 500 Internal Server Error?

Well, 404s only happen when the requested web page can’t be found on the server, usually because it’s been deleted or the URL has been changed. It’s like looking for a book on a library shelf only to realize it’s not in its proper place—or thrown out entirely. If you’re seeing them on your website, check out my other guide on how to find 404 pages and fix them

404 Page Not Found Error example

The 503 Service Unavailable error, on the other hand, is related to the server’s current capacity. When it pops up, it’s a clear sign that the server just can’t accommodate your request due to the server being temporarily overloaded or undergoing maintenance. It’s similar to a business displaying a virtual “back in a moment” sign. 

But isn’t that pretty similar to a 500 error? Not really. 500 errors happen when your server is dealing with an issue that prevents it from handling the request, while a 503 error happens when the server is still functioning properly and can process the request—but just can’t at the moment.

How to Fix the 503 Service Unavailable Error

Since the error message doesn’t indicate what, exactly, is causing the 503 error, you will need to troubleshoot it methodically to fix it.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Reboot your server
  2. Check for server maintenance
  3. Temporarily stop running processes
  4. Temporarily disable your plugins and website theme
  5. Temporarily disable your CD
  6. Check your DNS.
  7. Increase your server’s resources. 

Reboot your Server

One of the simplest solutions to a 503 error is to restart your web server. If your application is spread over multiple servers, you will have to restart all of them properly to bring the system back online as normal.

Check for Server or Web Maintenance

Either your server or application can be configured to automatically undergo maintenance. This is common if you’re using content management systems, like WordPress, which can be set to automatically download and install updates to their base software, without any action on your end. 

When this happens, your website can return 503 Service Unavailable Error during this period. 

If you have administrator access to your application or server, check its settings for automatic maintenance scheduling. You can disable this if you want to manually handle the updating process and avoid unexpected maintenance. 

Temporarily Stop Running Processes

Your server might be exceeding the maximum process limit, which is what happens when it’s running too many processes simultaneously, and overloading itself. When it does, it can stop working—resulting in a 503 error. 

To get your website back online, you will need to temporarily stop running processes. 

Keep in mind this fix won’t solve the error itself, it’ll just allow your website to go back online. You will need to investigate further into what plugins you have installed in your application that are causing many processes to run simultaneously.

Temporarily Disable your Plugins and Website Theme

Poorly-coded themes and conflicting plugins can up resources, create bottlenecks, and prevent your application from loading properly.

If the previous fixes didn’t work, you will have to take a closer look at what you have installed on your application.

If you started seeing 503s after installing a new plugin, then it’s a likely culprit. Otherwise, you will need to disable all of them, and enable them one by one to test which one is causing problems. 

For theme errors, you will need to set your website back to whichever default themes your CMS offers. In the meantime, you should get your theme fixed by your web designer and web developer team. 

Temporarily Disable your Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs can also cause 503 errors. If you think this might be the case for your website, you should temporarily disable your CDN. Every CDN should have a feature or setting where you can pause its services.

Wait a while before turning it back on, and check if your website is working after the reboot. 

Check your DNS

The 503 error could be a DNS-related issue. This covers unresolved IP addresses, unresponsive DNS servers, and corrupted DNS caches. If your DNS is set up properly, and there’s no problem with your DNS server, then the best way to solve this is to flush your DNS.

How this is done depends on your operating system.

Microsoft Windows

Open the command prompt and input:

ipconfig /flushdns

This will clear out the DNS files and restart the resolver cache, You should see a confirmation message once this is done.


Press F4 to open your Terminal. Run the command:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Google Chrome

Open the browser, and enter this URL into the address bar:


You will see an internal setting page. Select “Clear host cache.”

Increase your Server’s Resources

If after all this troubleshooting you’re still seeing that 503 Service Unavailable error message, then there’s a good chance that it might be caused by a lack of server resources. 

This is especially common if you’re using a cheap hosting service, as they tend to throttle resources. 

To fix this, you will need to either migrate to a new service provider or upgrade your hosting plan. However, before you decide on either one, you should contact your provider’s support service and inform them of the 503 Service Unavailable errors, and what you’ve currently done to try and solve it.

The support team might be able to help you work out the cause by investigating on their end, and advise you on what the next best step might be for your website. 

What Causes of the 503 Errors?

It helps to know what the most common causes of this error are, so you can work through the list and diagnose the source of the problem. 

Here are some typical 503 error causes.

  1. Traffic overload.
  2. Server maintenance.
  3. Server overload.
  4. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
  5. Backend system failure.
  6. DNS issues.

Traffic Overload

A sudden, massive increase in website traffic is one of the main causes of the error. The surge in visitors is something to be happy about—especially if it’s the cause of your SEO efforts—but if your server doesn’t have the resources or bandwidth to handle them, then it’s going to conk out.

It also becomes a problem if there’s a high volume of requests, such as if your website is running a sale or promo on your products, and a ton of people are trying to check out. 

Server Maintenance

If you’re working with a web hosting service, then they may have briefly taken down the server for maintenance. 

While it can be inconvenient for your website, it’s temporary—and it’s a crucial step in ensuring any website on its servers is safe and running smoothly. 

Make sure to communicate with your service provider, so you know when they have scheduled maintenance. I also recommend displaying a maintenance page with a specific period and alternate contact details to let any visitors know that your website is only down temporarily.

Server Overload

Your server needs enough resources to deal with even light traffic. But, resources can be strained from setup errors, such as inadequate memory, CPU processing power limitations, or network congestion. 

These problems may be avoided and server performance can be enhanced by carefully optimizing server settings, load balancers, and caching systems.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attacks are a serious risk to the availability of websites. When these happen, a network of infected devices overwhelms the server of a website with a huge amount of fictitious requests, limiting its ability to serve actual users. 

In response, the server will send a 503 Service Unavailable error as a protective measure. This prevents access to the website throughout the assault. 

Backend System Failures

Websites process and provide content to users through a variety of backend systems, databases, and APIs. Any cog in this machine failing will result in the server being unable to process requests. 

DNS Issues

It can also be caused by Domain Name System (DNS) problems, such as incorrect configuration, server outages, or propagation delays, which prevent the server from finding the requested URL. 

How to Avoid HTTP 503 Service Unavailable

The good news for you is that there are several things you can do to prevent this kind of server-side error from happening to your website, such as:

Scalable Hosting Solutions

Pick a web development and hosting company that provides cloud hosting or other scalable alternatives. They can also dynamically modify server resources depending on changes in traffic thanks to scalable hosting. This guarantees that your website can manage unexpected traffic surges without running the danger of service interruption.

Use a CDN

CDNs are used to spread the content of your website over several servers in various regions. CDNs will cache and provide content from the closest server to the user. When used right, it helps drastically improve site speed, and lessen the burden on your server. 

Monitor Server Resources

Keep an eye on how often the server’s resources, such as its CPU, RAM, and bandwidth, are being used. Real-time monitoring makes it possible to spot potential resource constraints and take preventative measures before they result in service outages.

Optimize Backend Systems

Make sure that the databases, APIs, and backend systems of your website are all performance optimized. Use effective coding techniques, utilize caching tools, and improve database query performance to lessen server load and avoid errors.

Load Testing

You can test if your servers can handle higher traffic through load testing. Doing this can show your server’s capacity, and help you spot performance hiccups. I recommend doing this to take care of any problems before they get out of hand.

Implement DDoS Protection

To identify and stop DDoS assaults, use a reliable DDoS prevention service. DDoS defense systems protect your server from malicious traffic, keeping the service accessible to authorized users.

Monitor DNS Health

Examine your DNS setups often for errors. Make sure your DNS settings are accurate and take immediate action to resolve any DNS-related problems that might result in service interruption.

Custom Error Pages

Make custom error pages for your users to see, in case a 503 error happens on your website. You should add a short message about the temporary disruption, projected downtime, and other ways to contact your company in the meantime. 

Doing this can help potential customers reach your business even if your website is temporarily down.  

How 503 Service Unavailable Errors Affect Your Website’s SEO

Server-side errors, especially 503s, can have a significant impact on your SEO

  • Crawling and Indexing Issues – If a crawl bot sees 503 errors on your website, then it understands that your server is momentarily unavailable. In response, it will stop crawling your website for a time, which in turn means your website might have problems with indexing. 
  • Decline in Rankings – If Google sees that your website is dealing with 503 errors more than just occasionally, it takes that as an indication of untrustworthy content and a subpar user experience. Remember that user experience is a ranking factor, so it makes sense that this kind of issue can push Google to bump you lower in the rankings.
  • Dropped Pages from Index – Google’s crawl bots may ultimately decide to de-index your pages if they’re seeing the same 503 errors again and again on your website. Getting those same pages back on Google’s search results will take some time, leaving your old positions open for the taking by your competitors.
  • Loss of User Trust – Imagine you’re one of your users. What do you think will happen if they find your website routinely returns Server Unavailable errors? Odds are, they’ll remember this experience and start avoiding your website. 503 errors risk your website losing its users’ confidence. If users leave your pages and decide to not come back, your user engagement metrics will suffer, and so will your rankings.
  • Impact on Crawl Budget – Each website has a crawl budget that search engines use to decide how frequently and thoroughly they will explore its pages. Your crawl budget is reduced when search bots encounter errors because fewer resources are available to explore other crucial pages. The indexing and discovery of fresh content on your website may suffer as a result.
  • Backlink Loss – Your linkbuilding efforts might suffer too. Other webmasters might notice that their links back to your website are leading to a 503 error, which can lead to them removing your link on their content, or another link builder stealing that link from you. If you end up losing a ton of backlinks due to frequent 503 errors, then that will have a huge negative impact on your website’s authority and search rankings, and ultimately your SEO.

Key Takeaway

503 server errors should only pop up when your website is in maintenance mode, but if you’re unlucky, it can happen at any time—you might be staring at that error message on your screen right now.

If you are, you need to roll up your sleeves and do some troubleshooting. Keep this guide in mind to get at the root cause of your 503 errors, and get your website back up again before it starts impacting your user experience (and SEO).

The post How To Fix a 503 Service Unavailable Error appeared first on SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines.

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How To Fix a 502 Bad Gateway Error Thu, 10 Aug 2023 08:30:13 +0000 You visit your website, and wait for it to load…but you see nothing but a message: 502 Bad Gateway. If you’re seeing this, you might be wondering what it means–and what you should do to get your website to load properly.  Lucky for you, this post explains what a 502 Bad Gateway error is, what […]

The post How To Fix a 502 Bad Gateway Error appeared first on SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines.

How To Fix 502 Bad Gateway Error on your Website

You visit your website, and wait for it to load…but you see nothing but a message: 502 Bad Gateway.

If you’re seeing this, you might be wondering what it means–and what you should do to get your website to load properly. 

Lucky for you, this post explains what a 502 Bad Gateway error is, what causes it, and what you need to do to fix it.

What is a 502 Bad Gateway Error?

A 502 Bad Gateway error is your web browser telling you: “Hey, I tried to fulfill your request, but the server I contacted to get the information sent back something I didn’t understand.”

Whenever you load your website (or any website, really), you connect with the server that the website is hosted on to fetch all of the bits you need to load the page. 

When something in this process doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, then you’re greeted with an error message. If that message says “502 Bad Gateway,” then the error is a server-side error that’s potentially caused by things like server overload or an invalid response from an upstream server – but more on that later. 

Webmaster’s Note: This post is part of our advanced guide to Technical SEO, where I cover everything you need to know about crawlability, indexing, and page speed optimization, as well as helpful tips on how to troubleshoot common website errors. I also cover other 5xx errors, like 500 Internal Server errors and 501 Not Implemented errors, in other posts.

Like other 5xx errors, websites can show this error message in different ways. 

Variations of the 501 Not Implemented Error

  • 502 Bad Gateway
  • 502 Service Temporarily Overloaded
  • Error 502
  • Temporary Error (502)
  • 502 Proxy Error
  • 502 Server Error: The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request
  • HTTP 502
  • Bad Gateway: The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server
  • HTTP Error 502: Bad Gateway

How To Fix the 502 Bad Gateway Error

Several issues can return a 502 Bad Gateway error, so fixing it will take some time, patience, and a systematic approach. Here are the key things to do if you’re dealing with a 502 error on your website:

  1. Refresh your browser.
  2. Review server logs.
  3. Check server load.
  4. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
  5. Check your plugins and themes.
  6. Check your firewall.
  7. Check your CDN.
  8. Check your DNS.
  9. Verify application code.
  10. Contact your hosting provider.

Refresh Your Browser

The simplest initial step to resolve a 502 error is to refresh your browser. The issue may be temporary and reloading the webpage will quickly solve the problem.

Review Server Logs

Server logs hold valuable information and can shed light on what’s causing the issue. Look for any error messages or notifications that coincide with the 502 error.

Check Server Load

If your server is under high load, it might not be able to handle HTTP requests properly. Consider using server monitoring tools to regularly check server health, including CPU and memory usage.

Clear Your Browser’s Cache and Cookies

Sometimes old data from your browser’s cache or cookies can trigger a 502 error. Clearing your browser’s cache and cookies might resolve the issue.

Check Your Plugins and Themes

If you’re using platforms like WordPress, a faulty plugin or theme could be the culprit. Deactivate them one by one to check if any of them is causing the problem.

Check Your Firewall

Your firewall is important–it’s what protects your website from malicious visitors or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. But, if it’s not properly set-up, or too restrictive, then your firewall settings might be interfering with the HTTP request that your server is trying to perform. Make sure your firewall is correctly configured to allow these requests.

Check Your CDN

If you’re using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) it might be the source of the error. Disable it temporarily to check if it resolves the problem. Here’s a guide I recommend following to check if your CDN is working as it should.

Check your DNS

502 errors can happen if you’ve recently changed your host server, or moved your website to a different IP address. Doing this will make changes to your website’s Domain Name System (DNS) server, which can take a few hours to take full effect. While this is taking effect (which can last up to a few hours), any users visiting your website can encounter a 502 Bad Gateway Error.

Verify Application Code

A bug or issue within your application code can result in a 502 error. You’ll need to comb through your website’s code to find bugs in your application. Or, you can copy your code into a development machine. This tool can simulate the situation that the error popped up, and show you the exact moment when things went wrong. 

Contact Your Hosting Provider

If you’ve tried the above steps and are still encountering the error, it’s time to contact your service provider. There may be issues with the server that they will have to fix on their side. Or, if it’s a problem affecting just your website, they might be able to walk you through the appropriate solution.

What Causes 502 Errors?

A 502 Bad Gateway error commonly arises from communication issues between servers. It’s often challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of this error without a deep dive. However, here are some of the most common reasons 502 errors happen:

  1. Server overload.
  2. Network issues.
  3. Issues with browser cache and cookies.
  4. Restrictive firewall and security settings.
  5. Faulty programming.
  6. Server miscommunication.

Server Overload

This can occur due to a spike in traffic, server maintenance, or hosting issues, causing a server to respond with a 502 error.

Network Issues

Problems with the network, including unstable internet connections or DNS issues, can interfere with the proper communication between servers.

Browser Caches and Cookies

Sometimes, your browser may struggle with corrupt caches and cookies, causing this error.

Firewall and Security Settings

Overly restrictive firewall or security settings can prevent servers from communicating effectively, leading to a 502 gateway error.

Faulty Programming

An error in server-side scripting or a programming mistake can also trigger a 502 Bad Gateway Error.

Server Miscommunications

Incorrectly configured or incompatible servers may have trouble understanding each other’s responses, resulting in a 502 error.

Understanding these causes is the first step toward fixing and preventing future 502 Bad Gateway errors. This knowledge, as executed accurately, can significantly increase your website’s performance and overall user experience.

How 502 Bad Gateway Errors Affect Your SEO

Remember that your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t just depend on your content or off-page efforts, but also on things like user experience. So it’s not enough that you churn out content every week, or build up tons of link juice from high-authority websites, you also have to make it a point to maintain an easy-to-use, fully-functioning website. It’s why I even offer web development services for my clients.

Any problem happening on your website that disrupts your users’ experience—such as a 502 error—can impact your website’s ranking. Here’s how:

  • Crawl Errors–When search engines crawl your website for indexing purposes, they face the same 502 errors that any user would. Consequently, the search engine can’t access the content it’s supposed to index, rendering that page invisible in search engine results. Continued crawl errors can cause your site to drop in search result rankings over time.
    Note: You can use SEO tools or Google Search Console to see if you’re experiencing 502 errors. In Google Search Console, you need to check the Pages section under indexing, and you’ll see any 5xx errors listed in the report.How to see the 5xx error report on Google Search Console
  • Increased Bounce Rate–A 502 error affects user experience negatively. When visitors encounter this error they often leave your site immediately – or ‘bounce’. Search engines measure this ‘bounce rate’, and high bounce rates can lead to decreases in your site’s rankings, as it signals to search engines that your site may not be high quality or relevant to the user’s search query.
    Note: Universal Analytics used to report Bounce Rate, but on Google Analytics 4 (GA4) you’ll only see Engagement Time and Engaged Sessions per User. To find Bounce Rate on GA4, you need to search for it on the search bar on top, like this.How to find bounce rate on Google Analytics 4
  • Site Speed Impact–Frequent 502 errors could indicate an overloaded server, which may affect your website’s loading speed. Search engines consider site speed in their ranking algorithm, with slower sites potentially appearing lower in the search results.

Fixing any 502 Bad Gateway errors when you find them is crucial to keeping your rankings and offering your users an optimal browsing experience.

Key Takeaway

Navigating the often complex world of website management for SEO includes understanding server-side errors such as the 502 Bad Gateway. This error, while seemingly just a minor technical mistake, can still disrupt your website’s functionality, your audience’s user experience, and, ultimately, your website’s rankings.

For SEO professionals, knowing how to handle these server errors is not a choice but a necessity. Keep this guide in mind the next time you see that error message of “502: Bad Gateway Error” to effectively solve this problem on your website.

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How to Fix a HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error Fri, 04 Aug 2023 08:30:07 +0000 Though uncommon, seeing an HTTP 501 Not Implemented error status code can be an alarming experience for those who see it—especially when it’s on your website.  It’s unfamiliar, and entirely server-based, which means that fixing it requires some dabbling in the technical side of running a website. That’s something that not all SEOs or webmasters […]

The post How to Fix a HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error appeared first on SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines.

How to Fix a HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error

Though uncommon, seeing an HTTP 501 Not Implemented error status code can be an alarming experience for those who see it—especially when it’s on your website. 

It’s unfamiliar, and entirely server-based, which means that fixing it requires some dabbling in the technical side of running a website. That’s something that not all SEOs or webmasters are experts at. 

But don’t panic just yet, because there are four easy methods you can try to fix your 501 errors, and I will go through each one here (plus some other useful information you’ll need moving forward).

What is the HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error?

Whenever you visit a website, your browser sends a request to that website’s server. If everything works as it should, then the website receives the requested data—which includes text, images, files, and whatever else should be on that page.

However, when something goes wrong with that request, your screen can show a “501 Not Implemented” error.

When this happens, In technical speak, it means that the server does not support the requested feature. In layman’s terms, it means something has gone wrong with the hosting server, which is legitimately unable to perform that “get” action and retrieve the data you’re asking for, for one reason or another.

The data you’re requesting is still there. It’s just being walled off from you and the hosting server itself might be offline or unavailable as a result.

Now, this might show up differently based on the web browser, web server, and operating system you use. 

Variations of the 501 Not Implemented Error

  • Error 501
  • HTTP 501
  • 501 Not Implemented
  • HTTP Error 501 Not Implemented

501 vs. 405 Error

These two errors both result in the data you’re requesting not being delivered to your browser. However, the difference is that a 405 Not Allowed error is a server administrator issue, while a 501 Not Implemented error is a hosting server issue.

Think of it this way: a 405 means “I am not allowing you to get what you’re asking for,” while a 501 means “I know what you want, but I am unable to get what you’re asking for.”

So a 405 means nothing is technically wrong with the website—your request is just being blocked on purpose. If you’re seeing that, try contacting the server administrators.

Webmaster’s Note: This is part of our more comprehensive guide to Technical SEO, where I cover everything you need to know about crawlability, indexing, and page speed optimization, as well as helpful tips on how to troubleshoot common website errors. I also cover other 5xx errors, like 500 Internal Server errors, in other posts.

How to fix the HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error

There are four ways to address a 501 error on a website:

  1. Reload the page.
  2. Clear your browser cache.
  3. Disable proxy settings.
  4. Scan your computer for viruses.
  5. Contact the server host.

The first three are things you can do on your side to resolve the 501 error, which I suggest you do first. Here’s how:

Reload the page

The easiest thing you can do is just wait a minute and then reload the page (F5 or Ctrl + F5 for Windows, Command + R for Mac). The server might be able to resolve its issue while you’re waiting, and once you reload you’ll get the data you’re requesting. This is common if the website is experiencing a server overload or traffic surge.

While you’re waiting, try using a different browser to open the page to rule that out as an issue. 

Another thing to do while you’re waiting is copy-pasting the domain URL into this website:, which will tell you if the problem you’re facing is just on your site, or a thing for everyone else. 

Clear your browser cache

If refreshing the page doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to the next step: clearing your browser cache. 

The shortcut that works for most browsers (such as Google Chrome and Edge) is hitting Ctrl + Shift + Delete while you’re on your browser. This will quickly clear your cache. If that doesn’t work, you can find the option under your browser settings, or check out the specific instructions on how to clear your cache in the various browsers.

How to clear your cache on your Google Chrome browser

Disable proxy settings

If the previous two steps aren’t solving anything, it’s time to check your proxy settings if you’re using a proxy service.

The exact steps to disable your proxy settings depend on your operating system, but you can usually find this under the Network & Internet section of your system settings. Once you’re there, you can either turn off the “automatically detect settings” option under the automatic proxy setup or disable a proxy server option under the manual proxy setup. 

Example of proxy settings on Windows OS

Scan your computer for viruses

As I mentioned, sometimes this error pops up when you’re dealing with a virus or malware. It’s a good idea to have your computer scanned for those—and make sure that your antivirus program is updated while you’re at it. 

Contact the server host

If all else fails, then it’s time to reach out to the server host. 

501 errors, though they can sometimes be solved on your own, are almost always an issue with your host server. 

So, if the last three steps haven’t resolved the problem, you need to contact them ASAP. If you can’t then check your host’s status page.

How to Fix the HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error If You Manage the Server

Fixing this issue when you’re the server host is a whole different process. First, I recommend consulting the documentation for your server and applications. I also highly recommend working closely with your IT department at this time. 

Here are some ways you can fix an HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error if you manage your server:

  1. Check if your server supports the requested feature.
  2. Upgrade your server.
  3. Configure (or reconfigure) your server.
  4. Look for any missing modules or applications.
  5. Check the client request.

Check if your server supports the requested feature

The first thing to check is if your server actually supports the feature or functionality that the user is requesting. If your server does not support it, you will have to use an alternative method to meet that request (one that is supported by your server). 

Upgrade your server

Your server stack might be outdated. If this is the case, then this is what is causing your server to not be able to support the requests of the user. To fix this, you can upgrade or update your stack to newer versions, to support the requested feature or functionality.

If that doesn’t work, then try updating the web application your website runs on—such as WordPress. These applications have frequent updates so it’s best if you keep up with that.

If you can still access your web application’s dashboard, then try running the update.

Note: Make sure any plugins you have installed on your web application are compatible with the update you’re about to install. 

Configure (or reconfigure) your server

Make sure that your server is configured to handle the requested feature or functionality. You will have to take a look at your server settings, software, and plugins, and see where you need to adjust, reinstall or update, or make other configuration changes.

Look for any missing modules or applications

Another thing to check (if the previous steps haven’t fixed the problem) is if there are any missing modules for your web server. Make sure that you have the ones that you need installed.

Check the client request

If nothing else works, then you have to check if the client is making the request correctly and is using a method that is supported by your server. At times, the 501 error can be caused by the client using an unsupported protocol.

If this is the case, then use an alternative protocol that is supported by your server.

What Causes the HTTP 501 Not Implemented Error?

Some of the most common issues your host might be dealing with for a 501 error to happen include:

  1. Viruses and malicious files
  2. An outdated server stack or software
  3. Server error
  4. An overloaded server
  5. Billing issues

Viruses and malicious files

The server’s inability to get and send the data your browser is requesting might be because of a virus or malicious file in the website’s system. 

This is something you need to check if you’re experiencing persistent or repetitive 501 errors on your website. Run a complete malware scan to find any security issues in the system that could cause a communication failure.

If you’re using WordPress, I also have a guide on how to scan your WordPress site for better security and to prevent any malicious files.

An outdated server stack or software

Server stacks, which are a combination of software programs that make up your web server, are something that your host needs to keep updated for the hosted websites to run smoothly.

It’s uncommon, but the server stack your provider is using can get outdated. You can contact your host to make sure that isn’t the case—but if it is, calling their attention to it can get them to update their server stack. 

Server error

Often, a 501 can be a sign that your server is unable to accommodate the requested feature or functionality—which means it’s unable to appropriately respond to the end-user browser request.  This means that whoever is managing your server needs to take another look at the server stack and how it’s configured (which might be done in-house, or by your provider). 

An overloaded server

If a website gets more traffic than usual or anticipated, chances are the host server is not equipped to handle that surge of visitors. As a result, their requests might not get fulfilled by your host server, resulting in a 501 Not Implemented error. 

If this happens often, consider scaling up your server plan to accommodate your growing audience.

Billing issues

If you’re behind on your server hosting payments, then it’s possible your provider has decided to default your site to 501 status while your payment is pending. This can be their last resort before removing the account altogether. So make sure you’re on top of your service payments.

How HTTP 501 Error Impacts SEO

Even if the error is server-side (and likely out of your control, if you’re working with a hosting service), keep in mind that longstanding or repetitive 501 errors on your website is something you can’t ignore. 

Here’s the thing: any error that doesn’t allow your audience to see your website properly will affect your business. This includes your SEO and its effectiveness. 501s in particular  can have a major effect on your SEO

Now, Google has a little grace when dealing with server errors. If it sees a 501 error, the page is marked for revisitation. Usually, when it comes back to check, the error is already fixed. If, however, the error lasts for an extended period of time (like a day or two), then Google might mark your website as inaccessible, which might lead to it de-indexing any of your affected pages. 

De-indexing is a huge problem—you lose your rankings for any pages removed from the search results, which you’re not guaranteed to get back even if you restore the pages. 

To make matters worse, if Google encounters plenty of 501 errors on your website, it will reduce the frequency at which its bots crawl your site. That means slower indexing and ranking updates. 

So, knowing how to fix 501 Not Implemented errors—and how to avoid the issue in the first place—is a must for SEOs and webmasters. 

How to Prevent 501 Errors from Hurting Your SEO

Monitor your site regularly for errors. You can find server errors Google Search Console’s indexing reports:

Page Indexing Report from Google Search Console

Or, you can scan your website using third-party SEO auditing tools, like Screamingfrog (A tool my team and I use personally). 

If these scans show any 501 errors, you can work to fix them by following the steps outlined in the previous sections.

Key Takeaway

Seeing a 501 Not Implemented error means that your server is unable to process your browser’s requests, preventing pages from being loaded properly. 

This can be solved with a few easy fixes on your end, such as refreshing the page or clearing your cache—and if that doesn’t work, then you’ll have to work with your hosting provider to resolve these errors. This is a must as 501 Not Implemented errors on your website can ultimately impact your SEO, especially if it affects your website for more than a few hours.

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How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error Thu, 27 Jul 2023 10:00:05 +0000 No one likes opening a webpage and seeing a 500 internal server error message—especially when it’s on your own website. The problem with seeing this is the mystery behind it: a 500 internal server error is a very general HTTP status code with no definitive clues as to what is causing it.  If you’re seeing […]

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What a 500 Internal Server Error is, and How to Fix it

No one likes opening a webpage and seeing a 500 internal server error message—especially when it’s on your own website.

The problem with seeing this is the mystery behind it: a 500 internal server error is a very general HTTP status code with no definitive clues as to what is causing it. 

If you’re seeing one now and are stumped, don’t worry. We can help you find what’s wrong, and what you need to do to fix it.

What is a Website Status Code?

Also known as a HTTP status code, these are a series of numbers that equates to a certain status of a webpage that you are currently viewing.

Whenever you visit a website, your browser sends a request to its server. The server then processes it, and sends back the resources needed to load whichever page you’re requesting. Attached to that is an HTTP header as well as a status code. 

If everything can load fine, that status code is a 200. If there’s something wrong, it could be a 500 status code.

Webmaster’s Note: This is part of our more comprehensive guide to Technical SEO, where I cover everything you need to know about crawlability, indexing, and page speed optimization, as well as helpful tips on how to troubleshoot common website errors. 

What are 500 Internal Server Errors?

The 500 Internal Server Error, also known as HTTP Error 500, is a server response that indicates an unexpected problem preventing the server from fulfilling the user’s request. 

In simpler words, it’s a general message from your server saying “There’s a problem, but I’m not sure what.” 

500 Internal Server Error

So if you’re seeing one now, then it is important to understand that the issue is not due to the user’s browser, internet connection, or device. Instead, the problem lies with the server that hosts the website. This server-side error can manifest in various messages, as different websites may display their own variations of the 500 error.

Here are some of the different variations of the 500 Internal Server Error:

  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • Internal Server Error 500
  • HTTP Error 500
  • HTTP Status 500 – Internal Server Error
  • Error 500 Internal Server Error
  • 500 Error
  • Temporary Error (500)
  • 500 – Server Error
  • The website cannot display the page – HTTP 500.

Causes of 500 Internal Server Errors

The generic 500 server error can be challenging to pinpoint, because it is a general error—it does not point to any specific cause from the get-go. This means you have to dig into your website to find the cause. 

But the good news is there are some likely culprits you can look at first:

  • Browser Cache: Clearing your browser cache can help resolve the issue by ensuring that you are accessing the most up-to-date version of the website.
  • Database Issues: Incorrect login credentials or a corrupt database can trigger a 500 error. Double-check that the credentials are correct and consider repairing or optimizing the database.
  • Corrupted Files: If the core files of a WordPress website become corrupted, it can lead to a 500 error. Restoring or updating these files can help resolve the issue.
  • Server and Disk Space: Issues within the server, such as running out of disk space or PHP memory limit exhaustion, can result in a 500 error. Contact your hosting provider to address these server-related issues.
  • File Permissions and .htaccess: Incorrect file or folder permissions, as well as a corrupt or broken .htaccess file, can cause a 500 error. Double-check these settings and make necessary adjustments.
  • Third-Party Plugins and Themes: Compatibility issues or errors within third-party plugins or themes can trigger a 500 error. Disable or remove these elements one by one to identify the problematic ones.
  • Malware infections: Malicious software can compromise your website’s functionality and trigger internal server errors. For example, if a hacker injects a piece of malicious code into your website’s files, it can disrupt the server’s operation and result in a 500 error.
  • Broken script injections: Hackers can inject malicious scripts into your website’s code, which may cause conflicts and result in internal server errors.

By understanding these potential causes, you can take the necessary steps to address them and resolve the 500 internal server errors. 

Troubleshooting 500 Internal Server Errors

To resolve 500 internal server errors and get your website back online, you could follow these detailed troubleshooting steps:

Clear Your Browser Cache 

Clearing your cache can resolve a 500 Internal Server Error

Before diving into complex troubleshooting steps, clearing your browser cache is a good starting point. By clearing the cache, you ensure that any previously stored data or cached versions of the website are removed, allowing for a fresh attempt at accessing the site.

This can be especially helpful if the error was caused by a previous version of the website being cached locally on your device.

  • Example: Let’s say you are using Google Chrome. To clear your browser cache, you would click on the three dots icon at the top right of the browser window, go to “More tools,” select “Clear browsing data,” choose a time range or “All time” option, and finally, click “Clear data” to remove the cached files.

Reload the Page 

After encountering a 500 error, it is worth waiting a minute and then attempting to reload the page. 

The error can be temporary if it occurs due to server overload or maintenance. By reloading the page, you give the server a chance to resolve the issue and send a proper response.

  • Example: You visit a news website and encounter a 500 internal server error while trying to access an article. Instead of immediately assuming a problem with your device, you wait for a moment and then press F5 or Ctrl + F5 to refresh the page. If the server overload was the cause, the website would likely be accessible again after the reload.

Check for Recently Installed or Updated Software 

If the 500 error persists, it is important to investigate whether any recently installed or updated software on your website may be causing conflicts. 

This could include plugins, themes, or any other website components that have undergone changes.

  • Example: You recently updated the content management system (CMS) of your WordPress website, and shortly after, you start experiencing 500 Errors. To troubleshoot the issue, you can compare the date of the CMS update with the start of the errors. If they align, it may indicate that the update caused compatibility issues or conflicts with other plugins or themes.

Check for Server-side Errors

Review your server’s error logs to identify any specific error messages or patterns. These logs can provide valuable insights into the underlying issues causing Error 500.

  • Example: A server error log indicating database connection failures may indicate a misconfiguration in your website’s database settings, leading to 500 internal server errors.

Review Error Logs

Check and review the server's error logs to fix an 500 Internal Server Error

Look for recurring errors or warnings that may indicate underlying issues. Correlate timestamps with user-reported errors if applicable to pinpoint specific areas of concern.

  • Example: If users consistently report a 500 error when submitting a contact form, reviewing error logs during those instances may reveal issues with the form submission script.

Identify and Fix .htaccess File Issues

Open the .htaccess file using a text editor and check for syntax errors or conflicting directives. Rectify any mistakes or consider renaming the file to regenerate it.

  • Example: A website experiencing Error 500 after adding rewrite rules to the .htaccess file may have introduced syntax errors that disrupt the server’s operation.

Address Script Injection Problems

Inspect your website’s files and code for any suspicious or unrecognized scripts. Remove any injected code and ensure that your website’s security measures are robust.

  • Example: If your website allows user-generated content and you notice unexpected scripts in certain posts or comments, it is possible that malicious users have injected their own code.

500 Error VS. Other 5xx Response Codes

Common 5xx Response Codes

If you’re seeing an error screen and none of these solutions worked, then you might be dealing with a different kind of 5xx error. 

To have a better understanding of the differences between generic 500 errors and other internal server errors, it’s essential to know the most common 5xx response codes:

  • 500 Error: This code indicates that the server encountered an unexpected problem that prevents it from fulfilling the request. It’s an unidentified issue without providing additional details.
  • 501 Error: A “not implemented” HTTP status code, it shows that the server is unable to execute the request. This may happen due to an inability to identify the request’s objective or insufficient power to fulfill it.
  • 502 Error: Known as a “bad gateway,” this response happens when an invalid response is detected by the server acting as a proxy or gateway. This means that the server received an invalid response from an upstream server, potentially indicating a problem with your server if you are using a web application firewall.
  • 503 Error: Happens when a service is unavailable, which can be triggered by server overload, maintenance, or even a malware attack. The server is unable to handle additional tasks at that moment.
  • 504 Error: A “gateway timeout” indicates that the server, operating as a proxy or gateway, was unable to identify the request within the specified time limit.
  • 505 Error: This error happens when the server cannot recognize the HTTP protocol used in the request.
  • 511 Error: An error for network authentication. This means that the server requires user authentication to access the requested resource.

How 500 Error Codes Can Impact Your SEO

Encountering frequent 500 internal server errors can have several negative implications for your website’s SEO:

  • User Experience and Rankings Internal server errors can significantly impact user experience, leading to a low engagement rate as visitors encounter a non-functioning website. User experience is a critical signal for search engines, as they aim to provide the most relevant and satisfying results to users. High bounce rates and decreased engagement can signal to search engines that the website may not be meeting users’ needs, potentially impacting its SEO rankings.
  • Crawling and Indexing – Search engine crawlers could also encounter Error 500 as they attempt to access and index website content. If search engines repeatedly encounter these server errors during crawling, they may interpret it as a sign of poor website maintenance or technical issues. This can result in difficulty for search engines in indexing and ranking the site effectively. It also means that fresh content updates or changes may not be properly discovered or reflected in search results.
  • Domain Authority and Reputation – A website that frequently experiences internal server errors can have a negative impact on its authority and reputation, both in the eyes of search engines and users. 

If a site consistently delivers a poor user experience due to server errors, users may lose trust and credibility in the website. Search engines prioritize user satisfaction and may accordingly adjust rankings for websites that consistently provide a subpar experience. That’s why I consider engaging in ongoing technical SEO a must for any webmaster or SEO professional.

How to Prevent 500 Internal Server Errors

To minimize the risk of future 500 Internal Server Errors, implement these preventive measures:

Regularly Update and Maintain your Website

Keep your content management system (CMS), plugins, and themes up to date to prevent conflicts or vulnerabilities.

Remove any unused or outdated plugins or themes that may create conflicts or security vulnerabilities.

  • Example: An e-commerce website should regularly update its CMS, such as WordPress, along with the associated plugins, to ensure that security vulnerabilities are patched and compatibility issues are avoided.

Implement Reliable Security Measures:

Install a reputable security plugin to protect your website from potential attacks and malware infections. Use strong, unique passwords for administrative access and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

If you’re using WordPress, here’s how to scan your WordPress site for better security and to prevent any malicious code.

  • Example: Utilize a security plugin that can actively scan your website for vulnerabilities, block suspicious IP addresses, and provide real-time alerts for potential threats.

Backup your Website Regularly:

Establish a regular backup routine to ensure that you have a clean copy of your website to restore in case of issues or errors.

Store backups in secure off-site locations or use a reliable backup service.

  • Example: Use backup plugins or backup your website manually by downloading both your website files and database, then store the backups on a secure cloud storage platform or external hard drive.

Key Takeaway

Encountering a 500 internal server error can be a frustrating experience, but by understanding its causes and following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can effectively resolve these issues and minimize their impact on your website and SEO

Prioritize regular maintenance, implement reliable security measures, and establish a backup routine to lessen the chances of having to deal with 500 Internal Server Errors.

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How to Maximize Your Online Presence With SEO and CRO Thu, 20 Jul 2023 08:30:35 +0000 Rising organic traffic from your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts feel pretty darn good to see–but have you ever asked yourself how many of those visitors actually contribute to the bottom line of your business? If you’re seeing a surge in traffic, but continue seeing near-zero conversions, you have a big problem on your hands. […]

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How to Maximize Your Online Presence With SEO and CRO

Rising organic traffic from your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts feel pretty darn good to see–but have you ever asked yourself how many of those visitors actually contribute to the bottom line of your business?

If you’re seeing a surge in traffic, but continue seeing near-zero conversions, you have a big problem on your hands. The good news is that it’s easily solvable by supplementing your SEO efforts with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) practices. 

Let’s get into how to start using both SEO and CRO for your website.

CRO and SEO: What Are They? 

SEO and CRO are two significant pillars of digital marketing, each with a distinct focus and objective.

SEO is the process of increasing a website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by optimizing different elements of a website, including its content, design, and technical aspects. This is all done to draw in more organic traffic in your website’s chosen niche or market.

CRO, on the other hand, is similar in that it’s all about testing and optimizing the elements on your website. However, its goal is not to improve your rankings or draw in more people. Rather, it’s all about converting visitors into customers.

The misconception that many people have is that they have to focus on one or the other. However, I consider both to be crucial for a successful online strategy. When done right, these two practices work in tandem to enhance your overall digital marketing effectiveness.

How is CRO Different from SEO? 

SEO – Casting the Net

Think of SEO as the engine behind your brand’s visibility in the vast ocean of the internet. Using SEO, you can improve your pages’ look, performance, and rankings in the SERPs. The more these improve, the wider net you can cast on organic traffic. 

Think about it: when you search for something on Google, don’t you take a look at the results on the first page at the very least? If you’re ranking at #1 for some pretty good keywords, then you’re going to be getting more traffic than if your website stayed on the 2nd page or lower in Google’s search results. 

Take the search results for “seo rates philippines,” for example. If I were looking for a SEO service with good rates, I wouldn’t look past the first page since they’re already giving me the information I need. 

search results for seo rates philippines

CRO – Making the Catch

While SEO casts the net wide to increase traffic, CRO is how you persuade these new visitors that have just opened your pages to do something for your business. That might be to make a purchase, fill out a form, or sign up for a newsletter. Here’s some of the things we do for CRO on our other website:

CRO elements on a website

Through techniques like improving user experience, optimizing landing pages, and using compelling call-to-actions (CTAs), CRO is the attempt to answer your user’s intent (i.e., why they even clicked on your page in the first place) and speak to their interests and needs. This influences them to buy your products, message you, or otherwise engage with your website.

What Happens When You Combine CRO and SEO?

When SEO and CRO are approached separately, their impact is limited. Sure, you might be gaining tons of traffic from your SEO, but if the pages they’re seeing aren’t using the best CRO practices, then you might not see any value from these visitors. On the flip side, a site optimized for conversion is pretty meaningless if it’s not found by potential customers on Google. 

Merging SEO and CRO effectively forms a formidable digital marketing powerhouse. SEO strategies become more targeted and purposeful when combined with conversion data, while conversion strategies are much more effective when they build on the strengths of a strong SEO foundation. 

It’s all about ensuring your website isn’t just found, but is also compelling enough to convert those who find it, ensuring that your digital marketing strategy is truly a force to be reckoned with.

How Do You Make SEO and CRO Work Together?

So, how do you make sure your website not only ranks well–but also converts your visitors? 

Here are some key steps to make your SEO and CRO strategies work together effectively:

  1. Prioritize User Experience: Always put user experience first in both SEO and CRO. Ease of navigation, site aesthetics, informative content, and site speed are all factors you need to consider for your SEO and CRO strategy. 
  2. Be Thorough With Your Keyword Analysis: Make sure to understand the search intent behind the keywords you’re targeting. This information should influence not only the content you create (for SEO) but also the language you use on landing pages, calls to action, and product descriptions (for CRO).
  3. Test & Optimize: Regularly run A/B tests on different site elements like headlines, CTAs, content, etc. Use these insights to improve both search ranking (SEO) and user engagement (CRO).
  4. Write High-Quality Content: Ensure your content is useful, relevant, and valuable to your users. Good content increases the odds of higher search engine ranking (SEO) and encourages users to stay on your site and convert (CRO).
  5. Don’t Forget Mobile Optimization: Since most searches happen on mobile devices, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Remember this is also an SEO ranking factor, too, so putting this as a priority can improve both your ranking and conversion rates.
  6. Create Enticing Meta Descriptions: Although meta descriptions may not directly impact SEO rankings, a well-crafted one can increase click-through rates from the SERP, providing an opportunity to win conversions.
  7. Landing Page Optimization: Use your SEO data to understand what users are looking for and tailor your landing pages (CRO) to meet those needs. The congruency between the user’s search intent and your landing page offering can significantly boost conversions.
  8. Use Clear, Persuasive Call-to-Actions (CTAs): A great CTA can guide users and encourage them to take desirable actions. This helps in achieving your CRO goals.
  9. Avoid Common Mistakes with CRO and SEO: the A/B testing you need to do for these two practices can lead to some pretty costly mistakes if you’re not careful. I covered what to avoid in my guide on how to do CRO without damaging your SEO

Key Takeaway

When you pour your resources into just SEO, the organic traffic you gain might not convert into sales or leads, ultimately leading to an inefficient use of resources. If you focus on just CRO, then you might have a site that too few people visit because it’s lost in the depths of the SERPs–wasting your CRO efforts.

One thing is crystal clear–for your business to profit, it’s not enough to merely have an online presence; you need to make that presence work for you. 

That’s why SEO and CRO need to go hand-in-hand. By combining these two strategies, you can make your website all that more visible and engaging for your online audience.

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Link Juice 101: What it is, and How to Get High-Quality Link Juice Fri, 14 Jul 2023 08:30:02 +0000 “Link juice” is slang in the search engine optimization (SEO) world for how authority and value we get from any external link (also known as backlinks) pointing to our websites. They are essential to ranking your website since they have an impact on your visibility and reach on search engine results pages (SERPs). Understanding what […]

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Link Juice 101: Why is High-Quality Link Juice Essential for Backlinks?

Link juice” is slang in the search engine optimization (SEO) world for how authority and value we get from any external link (also known as backlinks) pointing to our websites. They are essential to ranking your website since they have an impact on your visibility and reach on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Understanding what affects how much link juice you get from every backlink is crucial—this understanding will help you get the most link juice from the least amount of effort. 

In this article, we’ll go in-depth on how to get high-quality link juice for the most important pages on your website. 

What Determines Link Juice?

A website effectively transfers some of its authority, trustworthiness, and ranking power to the connected page when it connects to another one. Search engines use this flow of link equity, also known as link juice, to evaluate the significance and relevance of a webpage.

In short: the more links your pages get, the more Google thinks your page is valuable and worth promoting.

In simpler terms, Google sees any link-back to your website as a vote of confidence. It’s as if other websites are saying, “Hey, this page is pretty informative and useful. Users will benefit from seeing this page.”

But not all links are made the same. If you want links that provide high-quality juice, then you have to know where it comes from. 

Link Relevance

Link relevance is a key element in assessing links. Backlinks that are coming from websites that are in the same industry as yours (or are in some way related to what your website provides) are considered more valuable than any other random website link. 

The more relevant they are, the more Google is pushed to acknowledge your website’s content is reliable and worthwhile. 

So, it is essential to concentrate on building links from sources that are, in some way, relevant to the pages you want to boost. 

You can determine the link’s relevance by the website’s industry, of course. But aside from that, you should look at their domain authority. 

Link-building efforts reap the most rewards when they come from a website that has a high domain authority. 

The Mozbar on Moz

We use tools like Mozbar from Moz and Backlink profile from Ahrefs to quickly get the domain and page authority of websites. These also show us other backlink data we need to consider in our link-building strategy.

backlink profile analysis on Ahrefs

I highly recommend focusing your efforts on websites that have a domain authority of at least 25. Anything less than that won’t give enough link juice, in my experience. The more authoritative the other website is, the more links built will raise the authority of your website. 

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text that’s clickable and highlighted when you create a hyperlink. The anchor text you use for your links gives context regarding the linked page to both users and search engines.

An example of anchor text for hyperlinks

Striking a balance between optimization and naturalness is crucial, too, when it comes to anchor text. You can learn how to do that in my guide on how to effectively use anchor text for SEO.

But to summarize my points from that guide: the anchor text you use needs to give a crystal-clear explanation of what people will find when they click on your link.

Descriptive and keyword-rich anchor text would show search engines that the information is very, very important to the given topic. But of course, the anchor text you use and the page you’re linking to have to be related.

For example, if I wanted to make a guest post on a gardening website, and link back to my page on organic gardening, I can use anchor text like “best organic gardening tips,” or “organic gardening supplies,” depending on what my guest post is about, and what content my page has. 

However, try to avoid over-optimized anchor text. I don’t recommend keyword stuffing, or being repetitive in your anchor text. Otherwise, it raises red flags with Google—and puts you at risk for penalization. 

Instead, put your focus on making anchor text that offers a seamless and user-friendly experience.

Link Quantity & Quality

When it comes to link building, it’s quality over quantity. Just one backlink from a trustworthy, high domain authority site within your industry will give your website more link juice than 10 spammy backlinks from random websites.

Take this backlink one of our recent articles got from SERoundtable, for example. This provides a ton of link juice. 

A backlink to SEO Hacker from SERoundtable, which gives high-quality link juice

Start by locating reputable websites in your niche with high domain authority and a proven track record. The next step is outreach. Approach them with collaborative efforts like guest blogging, expert interviews, or featured pieces to build connections from these sites.

That said, the quantity of backlinks does have some significance in the eyes of Google. I just don’t recommend focusing on quantity alone, as it does not always benefit your page rankings. 

But when it comes down to it, you have to consider: would it be more cost-efficient to focus your outreach towards 10 websites with good domain authority, which are more likely to respond positively—or spend weeks trying to contact a high domain authority website just for a slight chance at one or two backlinks?

You need to be smart with how you approach this. Focus on a balance between quantity and quality to get the best possible ROI. If possible, I recommend hitting a varied backlink profile. In my experience, it’s the most natural-looking to Google and still boosts your rankings.

Lastly, you should always maintain regular monitoring and analysis of the links that are pointing toward your website. This is essential in helping you spot any spammy or low-quality links, which you can quickly disavow before they harm your rankings. 

Why is High-Quality Link Juice Essential?

On-page and technical SEO is foundational to your page’s performance—but off-page SEO (a.k.a, your backlinks) is what sets your page apart from the thousands of other similarly-optimized pages out there. That’s why getting high-quality backlinks to gain the most link juice possible for your pages is essential.

Once you get that, it provides a ton of benefits SEO-wise, such as:

Improved Search Engine Rankings 

No matter what industry you’re in, or niche you’re targeting, there will always be other websites competing for the same keywords. 

If every page competing for the same keyword had all things equal in terms of site speed and usability, content, and on-page optimizations, what would make Google consider your page to be better than the rest?

The answer is your backlinks. It’s the one way you can be competitive in your SEO. The more backlinks that give great link juice to your pages, the more likely they’re going to be ranking high on the SERPs. 

Remember that several factors go into your website’s rank—link juice is just one piece of the puzzle. But it is a very important piece you should not forget.

Increased Organic Traffic

With improved rankings, increased organic traffic tends to follow. This is expected because a majority of people only really look at the first page of the SERPs—maybe the second page, sometimes. So higher rankings equals higher chances that people see your stuff.

But aside from that, good backlinks also serve as another funnel for traffic toward your website. For example, if an article on say, Healthline, links to one of your articles, or links your supplements or other health-related products that you sell, you can bet that many of their readers will click on that link. 

High-quality backlinks overall increase the likelihood that visitors will explore your website, read your content, and engage with your business.

Faster Indexing and Crawling

The visibility and availability of your pages in SERPs are determined by the crawling and indexing activities of search engine crawlers (like Google’s Googlebot).

You can improve how quickly your new pages are indexed, and even how frequently your existing pages are crawled by continuously building links from reputable and authoritative websites.

Crawlers look at all of the content on each page, including the links in them, and where they lead to. So if many websites are pointing towards your pages, then these pages are more likely to start appearing in search results substantially faster than if there were no links at all. 

It’s important to keep in mind that crawlers will scan and index your content more frequently if they keep seeing other websites and pages linking back to you.  

How to Get High Quality Link Juice

It all comes down to the quality of the external links your website has. You can get high-quality link juice if you focus on these three things: your content, how your content is presented, and your outreach strategy.

Content is Key

Focus on producing link-worthy content as the cornerstone of your link-building strategy. The better your content is, the more likely people will read it—and reference it in their writing. 

To make this happen, you need to publish educational, worthwhile, and captivating material that appeals to and answers the needs of your audience. 

Google themselves even makes it a point to only reward content that they consider helpful and valuable to users, which I and my team make it a point to do. I covered how to rank for Google’s Helpful Content update in a different guide if you’re interested in the strategy I use for my articles.

Incorporate Different Formats

There are now a bunch of other materials you can use to pad your articles, such as photos, infographics, report snapshots, videos, and more. 

Consider adding these visual elements in your posts when you can to grab your readers’ attention, and make your pages more visually appealing. 

Do what you can to make your content more engaging. The more engaging it is, the more likely users will read through the whole thing, and potentially link your page to their content or posts. 

Build Connections with Webmasters

I mentioned this point earlier, but I have to emphasize how important it is to do your outreach strategies right and build good connections with other webmasters. I have four backlink outreach strategies that my team uses in our work that you can try in your niche. 

Just as getting external links is important for your SEO, it’s important for others’ SEO as well. Google rewards articles and pages that contain external links, they may help search engines understand its topic and niche. Plus, they are valuable to users as they offer more information and resources. 

So reaching out to other industry leaders and reliable websites can result in a win-win relationship for you both. You get external links, they improve their page’s quality and user experience. 

Key Takeaway

For link building to be effective, high-quality link juice is essential. To generate that almighty link juice for your site, keep the strategies I just shared in mind. With the right balance and effort, you can get more and more link equity to boost the performance of your website. 

The post Link Juice 101: What it is, and How to Get High-Quality Link Juice appeared first on SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines.

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Elevate Your SEO with AI-Generated and Optimized Images Thu, 06 Jul 2023 09:30:19 +0000 In today’s digital world, visuals are everything. Captivating images have the potential to convey messages, create a powerful appeal to your audience, and of course, engage users. In SEO, they have an additional benefit: helping you stake a spot in Google’s image results. But finding the right images to attach to your content is time-consuming–but […]

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How To Optimize AI-generated Images For Your SEO

In today’s digital world, visuals are everything. Captivating images have the potential to convey messages, create a powerful appeal to your audience, and of course, engage users. In SEO, they have an additional benefit: helping you stake a spot in Google’s image results.

But finding the right images to attach to your content is time-consuming–but that’s where the potential of AI (Artificial Intelligence) comes to play.

By leveraging the power of AI, you can effortlessly craft the perfect images, and take your optimization efforts to the next level. Let’s go over the best ways to enrich your images and unlock new possibilities for your SEO.

Understanding AI-generated Images’ Role in SEO

AI images are those created by using AI tools, which analyze massive amounts of content, datasets, and prompts to generate them. It can also understand and extract features from existing images, can recognize objects, and even understand the context or thought of the image itself.

But why is all of this important? Well, it’s because images are becoming just as important as your content when it comes to SEO. Not only are they major visible parts of your website, but they also influence the rankings and visibility of your content in Google.

And similar to content, AI tools make the job of image SEO much easier–and much cheaper in the long run. They allow us to generate relevant images that align with our content with a few prompts and clicks. Other capabilities of these tools also help you optimize your images, with minimal effort.
How to Use AI for Image SEO

Using AI for image SEO can be a game-changer. But how can you use it? Let’s look at how you can use these tools to create or enhance images for your websites:

Create Images with AI Technology

AI algorithms have the remarkable capability to generate images from scratch, incorporating selected data or parameters. And, they can make these images as high-quality and realistic as actual photos can be.

They can even create images of things that don’t technically exist. This is possible because AI models are trained on millions and millions of images, and use this as a basis to generate entirely new and realistic-looking ones. This opens up endless creative possibilities in your content, and enables you to create highly-customized and optimized pictures of various subjects, including objects, people, and scenarios–basically for anything your website needs.  

You won’t have to spend time and money setting up a photo shoot for your next campaign. You’d just have to prepare the right prompt for your tool, laying out all the essential details it needs to include, and let it do its thing. 

Image Enhancement Using AI

Image enhancement is all the edits we have to make to one photo so that it’s perfect for where we want to use it. The good news is that AI tools can also be used for this purpose.

Restoration and Upscaling

You can upscale low-resolution images while preserving and enhancing the important details. This technique is sometimes referred to as Super-Resolution. AI can handle this for you whenever you want to use old or low-quality images that are relevant to your content but aren’t as clear or crisp as you need them to be.


On the other hand, AI can also be used to reduce your image file size, without damaging their visual quality. Optimized image sizes can speed up your page loading times, which we know affects your page’s ranking. 

Object Tagging and Recognition

AI can also analyze and identify objects, scenarios, and even people in the images. Then, they can use that data to optimize the image’s filename, alt text, and captions for you. It can even insert relevant keywords if you ask it to. 

These tags help Google better understand what your image is showing users, which helps it to categorize your images properly, making sure it shows up in relevant image search results. As a result, this can boost your visibility in the SERPs.

Background Removal

Ever wanted to showcase a specific product or model, but the background of the photo is too distracting and noisy? Or, did you want to make an item your icon, but are having a hard time removing everything else in the photo? AI can help with this, and remove the background for you. 

Image Composition and Cropping

AI algorithms can now also analyze and suggest proper image compositions, sizes, and patterns for the images. They can also suggest visually appealing or well-balanced layouts that are suitable for your website pages.

Benefits of AI-generated images for SEO

Optimizing your images is an essential SEO practice that often gets overlooked. Let me tell you why it’s so crucial.

Improved User Experience

We touched upon it earlier, but things like page speed, visual appeal, and layout composition are improved by using AI. These things affect user experience, which plays a vital role in customer retention, engagement, and traffic. 

Basically, using AI to optimize your images can help your website be more appealing and usable for your audience, which can keep them on your website for longer. 

Increased Visibility in Search Engines

Using unique, properly tagged, and descriptive images–which is easy with AI image tools–you’re optimizing your visual content for Google’s image search. In short, these tools make image SEO a walk in the park. 

From this, you, of course, improve your pages’ visibility. You might even snag a few featured image snippets for your pages. Using AI to enhance all aspects of your images, even their metadata, is a good practice to ensure Google understands the context and relevance of your images, so it’s more likely to show your images to users. 

How to Use AI to Create Images

How to use AI in this scenario really depends on the tool you decide to use, but most use a pretty standard process. I’ll cover each step as well as a few tools you might want to try. 

Image Selection and Creation

If you’re using existing images as a guide or basis for these tools to generate new ones, make sure you’re using the right ones. 

Check that your images are high-quality, original, and relevant to the content you want them to be added to.

Creating AI Prompts

If you’re working from scratch, then you need to know how to craft the perfect prompt for your tool. This will lessen the back and forth with the tool to generate the images you’re looking for.

I recommend following these considerations when writing your prompt:

  1. Mention important, specific details.
  2. Use brief, easy-to-understand sentences.
  3. Include an image reference or artistic style.
  4. Decide between creative and realistic.
  5. Use photography terms.
  6. Use AI to generate prompts.

Let’s get into each step:

Mention important, specific details

Mention everything–and I do mean everything–you want this image to have. Be as detailed as you can get. Be as descriptive as you can be too, since AI can now understand things like emotions and tone. The less the AI needs to infer or interpret, the more accurate the photo will be to your vision. 

Use brief, easy-to-understand sentences

Being descriptive and adding all the details you can think of helps. But remember to keep each sentence short, and to use proper punctuation and grammar, so you can avoid confusing your AI tool.

Include an image reference or artistic style

If you can feed the AI images or visuals as a reference, do so. If not, you can describe the subject, context, and composition you want. This can be the styles of well-known painters, animators, photographers, or other artists you want your generated images to feel like. You can even include cinematography examples if you want it to have the same aesthetic and overall mood. 

Decide between creative and realistic

AI can get really liberal with the stuff it creates, so you have to decide early on whether you want it to do that, or to stick to a more realistic interpretation of your prompt.

Use photography terms

You can also use photography terms and even reference specific camera models if you’re trying to generate realistic photos. Set things like your aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and terms like “candid,” or “award-winning” to create more specific images.

Use AI to generate prompts

You can teach other AI, specifically text-generators like ChatGPT, to learn how to make these kinds of prompts for you. You can further prompt them to create templates specific to the AI image tool you want to use. Priming them can help you generate extremely detailed and precise photo prompts to make the whole process even more time- and effort-efficient for you. 

AI Image Tools

There are a few options for you to choose from, and I rounded up three tools that I personally think work pretty well. I did a quick review of each and included their pros and cons. 

DALL-E 2 by OpenAI

Pros: Quick responses, the user owns the copyright, simple and accurate results, and higher resolution options than the original DALL-E. Can also edit the results in the application itself.

Cons: Not yet very proficient with compositionality. Fails at times with simple prompts. Possible legal issues may arise due to potential infringement of intellectual property laws.

Price: 115 Credits for $15.00

Midjourney AI

Midjourney AI, an image-generating AI you can use on Discord.

Pros: High-quality results. Easily understands provided style and references. Provides multiple versions of your prompt, with the option to refine the selected version to perfection with additional prompts.

Cons: Available only through a discord chatbot. The free trial usually encounters errors. Every image generated is displayed in public chat. Lacks in customer service and privacy.

Price: $8.00-$48.00 per month

Dream Studio

Dream Studio, an image-generating AI

Pros: High-quality results. The user interface is easy to navigate. Lets users customize the prompt result in various ways. Free credits with no interruptions. Can purchase credits on an as-need basis, instead of subscribing to a plan.

Cons: Needs very lengthy and descriptive prompts to generate the right image. At the time of writing, it only uses a beta site.

Price: $10 for 1000 credits

Key Takeaway

AI plays a crucial role in optimizing images for SEO. From image selection to file optimization, alt text and metadata automation, image accessibility, and responsiveness. We SEO Specialists cannot deny that incorporating AI in our image optimization strategy can help us effortlessly improve our website’s appeal, usability, and even our search visibility.

So, don’t overlook the potential of AI in optimizing your images. Embrace these powerful tools, craft compelling visuals, and watch as your website rises in the ranks of search engine results.

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A Guide to Seizing Featured Snippet Opportunities Thu, 29 Jun 2023 08:30:14 +0000 Getting a featured snippet is basically hitting the SEO goldmine, resulting in increased clicks, traffic, and potentially, increased business. The good news here is you don’t have to work that hard to get more featured snippets of your website. Interested? You should be. Backed by the years I put into writing and SEO, I’ve put […]

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How to Identify Featured Snippet Opportunities

Getting a featured snippet is basically hitting the SEO goldmine, resulting in increased clicks, traffic, and potentially, increased business.

The good news here is you don’t have to work that hard to get more featured snippets of your website. Interested? You should be.

Backed by the years I put into writing and SEO, I’ve put together a guide to help you identify featured snippet opportunities. 

How Do I Find Featured Snippet Opportunities?

Quick Answer: Use tools to look into where your website currently stands with regards to featured snippets. Use manual search and the same tools to find keywords with featured snippets you can aim for, as well as other related keywords you can leverage. From there, find quick-win opportunities based on your website’s authority, the content you can optimize, and the structured data you can apply. After making these changes, keep track of what techniques worked for your website, and what didn’t.

What are Featured Snippets?

This is a type of search engine results page (SERP) feature that answers your questions using a snippet that crawl bots have pulled directly from an article or web page. Often, it’s a summary of the information that Google thinks users are looking for.

Here’s an example from an older article of mine on link optimization:

featured snippet on an article about how to get people to click on your link.

Google has been rolling out featured snippets for an ever-widening variety of search queries for a while now. That’s because they’re great for serving quick answers to users

Why do Featured Snippets Matter in SEO?

Featured snippets are great for your SEO because they rank #0 on the organic search results. It sits on top of the #1 organic search result.

It’s also formatted in a way that makes it much more helpful and accessible to users, compared to organic search results. 

Let’s look at the featured snippet for the query “What is a featured snippet,” versus the first organic result on the same page.

The featured snippet on the Google search for "What is a featured snippet"

And here’s how short a traditional organic result looks like:

The first organic search result for the Google search for "What is a featured snippet"

That’s it. If I were the user searching this, I definitely gained a more substantial answer from the first, rather than the second.

And, if I was a curious user, I would be more likely to click on the article that feels more helpful to me—which featured snippets are formatted to be like. 

In short, having your content appear in a featured snippet is important for SEO because it can lead to way more clicks to your website. That means it’s good for your click-through rate and growing your organic traffic.

Types of Featured Snippets:

The most common type of featured snippet is the one I just showed you above, but Google can provide different formats in different spaces. 

As of the time of writing, there are five general types of featured snippets:

  1. Paragraph
  2. List
  3. Table
  4. Video
  5. Accordion

Of these, we know that paragraph- and list-type featured snippets are the most common. Lists can come in numerical format, or in bullet format. You often see these two types when asking for definitions, instructions, and of course, lists of products. 

Recently, I’ve also noticed that Google is pushing for more table and video-formatted featured snippets. 

Tables are common if your search has to do something with product specifications, such as price. 

Videos, on the other hand, show up if you’re looking for how-to guides or demonstrations, where Google will show a specific section of a video that it thinks provides the most appropriate answer. 

Last are accordions. These I don’t see as often, but they look a lot like the People Also Ask section. When clicked, the accordion expands and almost always shows you additional featured snippets, which is fascinating.

Important Statistics on Featured Snippets

Let’s take a look at some general stats that I found from several studies regarding featured snippets. This data can give SEOs and site owners a better look into how they affect SEO, and how to find opportunities to gain more featured snippets.

19-23% of all SERPs include a Featured Snippet

One study from Moz states that they’re included in about 23% of all SERPs. Another study from SEMRush and Brando said they appear in 19% of all SERPs. Either way, this is up over 150% since 2016—that’s wild. 

Paragraphs and Lists are the most common types of Featured Snippets

According to SEMRush, Paragraphs made up 70% of all featured snippets, followed by lists at 19.1%. This study, made in 2020, might not have the most accurate numbers for 2023, but this shows us a pretty clear picture as to what kind of content format is often pushed as featured snippets in Google. 

Getstat also had the same findings in their own research—showing that Paragraph snippets showed up in 82% of all the featured snippets they saw.

People Also Ask sections are seen on 93.8% of Featured Snippet SERPs

Moz, in the same study, noted that we usually see the PAA section whenever there’s a featured snippet. 

Here’s an example, using the same search query as earlier (what is a featured snippet):

The google search for "What is a featured snippet" shows both a featured snippet and a people also ask section on the search results

This is pretty interesting to me, as it shows that whenever there’s a featured snippet, there are several other opportunities for your article or page to get on the search results—even if, organically, it might not be ranking well.

If you can’t get the featured snippet spot, you can seed your keyword research, add some of the PAAs that show up to your content, and gain more chances to get put on the SERPs. 

Getstat’s research revealed another interesting tidbit: In 23% of the SERPs with both PAAs and a featured snippet, the first PAA had a similar answer to the featured snippet. 

Featured Snippets affect your CTR rate

A study by Ahrefs a few years back showed that, while featured snippets are eye-catching and informative, they don’t necessarily get the most clicks out of every site on the first page.

A page that’s #1 on a SERP without a featured snippet can get about 26% of all clicks. However, a page that’s #1 on a SERP with a featured snippet will only get about 19.6% on average.

This means the #0 spot effectively steals a good portion of the clicks from the #1 organic result. Pretty good tradeoff if you can’t quite beat the #1 result, but still want to get tons of clicks. 

How to Research Featured Snippet Opportunities

Manually looking for a featured snippet opportunity is going to take a lot of time. And, Google Search Console doesn’t currently show any information regarding featured snippets. 

I recommend using third-party tools to research featured snippet opportunities to optimize your content.  

Research Tools to Use for Featured Snippets

I use two tools to look into where our websites are at, in terms of featured snippets: Ahrefs and SEMrush. You can use both to check for your current rankings as well as untapped featured snippet opportunities. 

How to check your Current Snippets

Before you begin the process of looking for opportunities, I recommend getting a good idea of where your website is first.

On Ahrefs, just put in your domain, and click the organic keywords report. From there, you can filter the results by SERP features, and click on featured snippets.

How to find the featured snippets your website has using Ahrefs

The resulting list contains all the keywords you’re showing up as a featured snippet for.

With SEMrush, put your domain in the search bar, click enter, then select positions in the first menu you see below.

How to filter your domain data on SEMRush by position

From here, you can further filter the results by clicking SERP features, which will show you which pages are currently shown as featured snippets (plus some other features, such as Local Pack).

How to find what SERP features your website has using SEMRush's domain overview tool

On either tool, you can look at the percentage of your search results that appear in any kind of snippet. If you see a low number there, don’t panic. It’s common for most websites to have a low number—especially if you haven’t been trying to optimize for this kind of thing in the first place. 

What you’re getting here is a baseline for your optimization efforts. It’s good to know where you started to understand what’s working for you, and what isn’t, once you start trying to target featured snippets.

Plus, working within a niche where Google already considers you an expert is a pretty good place to start. You’re more likely to capture opportunities here than anywhere else.

How to find your competitor’s snippets

In the same way that you looked at your website’s standing, you can also check your competitors’. 

Why? Because you want to beat your competition. And if your competitors are showing up in the snippets 1 out of 10 times, then you should try to appear in them twice as much. That’s how you can get a bigger market share in your industry. 

The good news is that these two tools let you see the same data for your competitors. Just follow the same instructions using their website domain, and see where your competitors’ snippets are coming from. 

What keywords are they targeting that have a featured snippet? Are these snippets coming from their articles, pages, or homepage? 

These two considerations can reveal new opportunities as well as their tactics—both of which you can use later on. 

How to Identify Featured Snippet Opportunities 

This step-by-step guide can help you potentially win a featured snippet:

  1. Check if keywords have featured snippets.
  2. Look into keyword suggestions.
  3. Optimize content for the featured snippet type.
  4. Know your audience’s intent.
  5. Make your content concise and informative.
  6. Use schema markups.
  7. Keep track of featured snippet targets.

Let’s get into each one.

Check if keywords have featured snippets

You can see this in SEMRush. If you look at your organically ranking keywords, you might see symbols like these, which indicate that the search queries show both organic results and structured results, such as featured snippets, PAAs, and more.

How to check if keywords have featured snippets using SEMRush

You should also check the SERPs manually to see what kind of featured snippet is showing up for this keyword.

Manually checking if the Google search for "how to tell if seo is working" has a featured snippet

From this, we know this particular keyword has a list featured snippet. This means that if I added a list to my old article, I can try to steal this featured snippet from the currently ranking website. 

Look into keyword suggestions

From there, go into Keyword Overview, which shows you related keywords and queries of your selected keyword. In the example below, I’m checking the keyword “how to tell seo is working,” which I used in a previous article.

Keyword suggestions and questions from SEMRush for the keyword "how to tell seo is working"

This data shows what other keywords you might want to include in your article or page, as well as opportunities to hit the PAA section.

Optimize content for the featured snippet type.

Once you know what type of featured snippet your targeted keyword has, it’s time to optimize your content for it.

Make sure you’re adding something that fits the criteria. I also have other tips in another article I previously wrote on optimizing for featured snippets, if you need more help on that.

In the previous example, I said I’d add a list for my article targeting the keyword “how to tell seo is working” because that is the type of snippet I saw in the SERPs. 

If, on the other hand, I saw that it was showing a paragraph-type snippet, then my strategy for this article would change. 

Pro-tip: whatever you saw in the current featured snippet you’re trying to claim, one-up it. If it’s listing, say, the seven benefits of something, list eight to ten. If it’s a concise description of a topic, try doing the same—but with a little extra valuable info (if you have some expertise in the area, this is where it would come in handy). 

Always try to beat the value of the current featured snippet with the content you’re optimizing.

Know your audience’s intent

Part of optimizing your content is understanding your audience. 

When people search certain keywords, they are looking for a specific answer—they may not know what that is, yet, but you should. 

You have to know what kind of answer they’re looking for. Knowing that will help you understand how to best answer their query. I dive deep into this topic in my other guide on how to make helpful content.

Crafting the right response makes it more likely for your content to become a featured snippet. 

Make your content concise and informative.

Aside from using the right type of content, you have to make sure your answers are succinct and relevant to the query. Make your answers as to the point as possible (think 2-3 sentences, max).

Why? Google regularly pushes for short yet informative answers in the featured snippet. So, we know this is the way to go. 

Another pro tip: add a quick summary section to your articles.

You might have seen this in other websites. I’ve also started doing it while I refresh some older content of mine, like this section I added to this article, and some of my older but high-performing work, like my guide to aggregate rating schema

the tl;dr section that was made for the article on how to add aggregate rating schema

Adding a “too long, didn’t read” (tl;dr) to your most popular pages is an easy way of gaining a few featured snippets here and there. Making small additions to deliver your content in a simpler way can actually do a lot for your SEO. Plus, it’s a really easy way to experiment with your content. 

Use schema markups

Schema markups are lines of code that feed search engines (like Google) data in a structured manner. This helps Google better understand your content and its context, which results in improved snippets, also known as rich snippets.

Applying the right schema markup when applicable can help you win that featured snippet. Some common ones include:

  1. FAQ schema
  2. How-to schema
  3. Recipe schema
  4. Product schema

There are two ways to add schema markups to your website. The first is through plugins, the second is through hard coding. I recommend looking into the different markups you can add to your content on the Schema website.

Keep track of featured snippet targets

Lastly, always keep track of your progress. Like I said earlier, you won’t know what’s working out for your SEO and what isn’t if you don’t have a baseline to compare it to. And the same goes for your ongoing progress—so monitor those featured snippet targets.

From there, you can continue applying what works well for your website to other pages, and get rid of the strategies that don’t.

Key Takeaway

As featured snippets continue to dominate the top of the SERPS, knowing how to identify featured snippet opportunities—and how to capture them—can help you increase visibility for your website. 

There’s a lot of untapped opportunities waiting on your website, so get ready to do some research into your keywords, and deliver the right answers in the right format in simple, concise language.

The post A Guide to Seizing Featured Snippet Opportunities appeared first on SEO Services Agency in Manila, Philippines.

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