August 13, 2015
In recent times, housing.com has changed the face of Indian reality in Digital space. Their keen focus on the product and product delivery and this is the key differentiator for Housing.com and others.
Their focus on the product can be explained by the way they built their website. Specifically we will look in to their website and analyze it with SEO perspective.
Housing.com is a good example on how websites should be created and how to code is written to enhance the SEO of the website.
The aspects which will be discussed below are essential from a SEO’s perspective. These techniques are supported & suggested by Google Search team, so it is imperative for good SEO.
These techniques might not give you instant results, but definitely helps the website in long run. It also helps in long tail keyword search results.
Now let’s look at the source code to understand this well.
To go directly to source-code type view-source: https://housing.com, it works in Chrome and Firefox and in Smartphones as well
If one looks at source code closely, one will find the following code
<html data-placeholder-focus="false" lang='en' prefix="og: http://ogp.me/ns# website: http://ogp.me/ns/website#">
Here , HOUSING.com follows open graph protocol opg.me which is non profit organization
The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph & search graph
These tags help web pages turn in to graph objects, one needs to add basic metadata to the page. Housing.com follows ;website; specifications of Open graph protocol. This helps search engines especially Google which has moved to knowledge graph understand what housing.com is all about. For more details visit opg.me
link rel="dns-prefetch" href="//assets-0.housingcdn.com
Housing.com uses CDN( content delivery network) for faster delivery of his content . Since the content is running on another host. Above tag conveys that Housing.com uses DNS Prefetching. “dns-prefetch” is basically a suggestion to the browser that it should consider prefetching that DNS lookup as soon as it’s practical to do so.
DNS resolution time can contribute significantly towards total page load time. This filter reduces DNS lookup time by providing hints to the browser at the beginning of the HTML, which allows the browser to pre-resolve DNS for resources on the page.
DNS prefetching helps in reducing the loading time which directly helps in getting more traffic, less bounce rate and indirectly helps SEO as Google favors sites which has better page load speed.
This is one of the most important aspect for SEO. In next few months mobile search will overtake desktop search as maximum people will search on mobile. It becomes critical for any website to go mobile as Google has high preference to mobile friendly website in search results. Though this viewport feature Google can identify whether a site is mobile friendly or not. One can find following code
meta name='viewport' content='width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no'
By default, all mobile browsers will render the page at a desktop screen width (usually about 980px, though this varies across devices), and later try to make the content look better by increasing font sizes and scaling the content to fit the screen. For users, this means that font sizes may appear inconsistently and they have to double-tap or pinch-to-zoom in order to be able to see and interact with the content. This can be very frustrating for the mobile users.
To overcome this above mentioned tag is used. It basically tells the browser that content has to be displayed based on the device width and initial-scale=1 suggests that browsers should create a 1:1 relationship between CSS pixels and device independent pixels regardless of device orientation (Portrait or Landscape) , this allows the page to take advantage of the full landscape width.
Through this tag, Google identifies whether a site is mobile friendly or not and Google has stated that Mobile friendly websites are beneficial to users and mobile friendly sites fare better in search results.
link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/+Housing-com" title="Housing.com"
Few years ago, Google has experimented with Authorship, but it officially discontinued. Anyways it worth to take notice that about this tag. This tag identifies that author of the post/page.
As mentioned before, mobile search has overtaken desktop search and as per Google reports, Apps are great way for user interaction and that is the reason Google has separate search tab for Apps.
If your company has mobile app, then it is must to have mobile app indexing done. This is one of sure shot ways to move up the rankings. Also Google has started indexing content that is available in the mobile app as-well.
Currently mobile app indexing is not as crowded and one must take this as first mover advantage.
Housing.com too has a Android app. To link housing.com with the corresponding mobile app, it uses the following tag
link rel='alternate' href='android-app://com.locon.housing/com.housing/home
This link is used to setup housing.com website with Android deep links. App indexing is critical as the content in your app and website should be allowed to indexed by Google and this above tags helps in App indexing. Once housing android app is indexed, mobile users who search for content related to the app can see an install button to housing.com Android app in Search results.
This helps to increase install base of housing.com.
Structured Data is one of the important features endorsed by Google. This is a way where one can inform Google about their data or info about their website.
Housing.com wants to inform Google that +91333333333 is their contact number. Through Structured data, housing.com conveys this information to Google. Similarly Housing.com can inform which image can be considered as Logo. etc.
These features help Google to understand a website, what are its key features , what the website represents, website key aspects etc. If Google identifies a site which provides this information, it indexes that website in a better way than a website that does not provide this data.
Look at below source code snippet
Housing.com uses the Structured data format prescribed by Google to index its page, how search in housing.com is done, what is the customer care number, what housing.com is ? ( Organization or NGO etc) . One can see the rectangle marked in red in above picture. Here the JSON-LD format is used prescribed by schema.org. This structured data is used to all index page and provide answer to search queries. Eg: If user searches with “housing.com customer care number”, then Google can show the customer care number written in JSON to the viewer in the search results itself.
These are some of the SEO optimized features that you will find on housing.com’s website. These features when enabled, express the health of the site. These features may seem small when looked in isolation, but in totality they do provide a significant improvement in search results.
If you have any questions/ want to share your feedback, please share through the comments section. Happy to hear 🙂