Presentation from Google's Matt Cutts -- WordCamp SF 2009 Transcript
"Straight from Google: What You Need to Know"
I was going to
ask how many power bloggers there are, but I think there are a few power
bloggers. How many people are relatively new bloggers, new to
WordPress, your first Word Camp? OK. Very cool.
There is a good reason why
you might care what I have to say, which is I am the head of the web
spam or anti-web spam team at Google.
So 90% of the Word Press
blogs that I see look like this. They didn't even change the
default templates! Bastards!
I am hoping that a PG-13, R
rated talk is OK, because if
Tim Ferris can outsource his love life,
it is OK if I show you guys a few slides here.
Most of the spam that I see looks like this:
Word Press is such a powerful
tool that the spammers use it, too. Right?
(insert ugly default WordPress theme).
So I have seen a lot of really
bad sites, but I have also seen a lot of good sites, and I am going
to try to give you a few tips about things that might be helpful if
you want to get crawled by Google.
First off, though, let me ask
Why do you blog?
To be read? What do you get
out of it? Tim was just talking. He said, "I get access."
I had never thought about that before. I made this list and I
had to update this slide from backstage. I was like, "Oh yeah,
you want something out of blogging. Fame attention, money."
And then Tim was like, "Access! You get to meet the head of
the swim team!" OK. I will add that to the list.
But not everybody wants something
from blogging. Some people are just doing it for fun. And
if you are doing it for fun, power to you! I fully support your
ability to post cat pictures. Yeah! Rock on! I do
This is Emmy my cat.
This picture is what led me to want to adopt, because she is so cute!
Ever since she was a kitten she has just wanted to lie on things.
She was grumpy this morning when I got up. As soon as I get dressed
she is ready to be perched like a koala bear on my shoulder. ...
So it is OK to cat blog.
In fact, we have got two cats and they both like to just...
Half this presentation was with a cat perched on me when I am trying to make the
So if you are a cat blogger,
or you like to post poems or you just like to keep up with your family,
congratulations. You are happy. You have won. You
don't need me. You don't need advice from anybody. Whatever
you want to do you are doing it.
But most people want something from their blog. The number one
request I hear is...
"I want to do better in Google."
you are a cat blogger, if you just post poems, power to you. But
the rest of this talk we will talk a little bit about
how to do better in Google.
Now the wonderful thing is
you have all made a fantastic choice. This audience looks smart.
I walked in and thought, "Not only are they attractive, but they are
really intelligent," because you are using WordPress. WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues. Instead of doing
it yourself you selected WordPress.
Now this is kind of a broad
WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO.
When I say that, what I mean is the mechanics of SEO. And by that,
we talk about how crawlable a website is.
You would be amazed at how
many sites throw up a big old glob of Flash or block a page with robots.txt so we can't even crawl it. So by using WordPress, you have
already taken the first big step. WordPress is a fantastic piece
But there are a few things
you can do to optimize it. I notice a person asked Tim what plug-ins
he uses. So I threw this screenshot in.
These are the (Wordpress) plug-ins that I use:
and that is literally all of the plug-ins that I use.
That is how good WordPress is. You don't need to modify it
- Akismet, already built in.
Cookies for Comments
-- shout out to Dancha in Ireland. He does an amazing job of preventing
spam. Basically it sets a cookie, and then when the spammer posts and
they don't have that cookie, you are like, "Yeah dude. You
are a bot. All you did was just post directly."I hesitate to tell people about
this because it is so useful that if everybody starts using it the spammers
will adapt, but you guys are cool, so I highly recommend Cookies for
Enforce WWW. Preference (Enforce www. Preference enforces your yes-www or no-www preference as defined by your Blog URL setting in 'Options - General.')
good. You don't even need to worry about it. All this
thing does is it says, "Look at my preference." Do I prefer
or (non-www) google.com, whatever your
It does a redirect so you don't have to worry about
having your domain split between example.com and
So this sort of stuff is fantastic.
- FeedBurner Feedsmith, I like to use...
WordPress Super Cache
is a great plug-in.
So the beauty of WP is that you don't need to do a lot of stuff.
But before we talk about how you can rank higher in Google, we need
to learn a little bit about how Google works, and it is not that complicated...
Learn a little bit about how Google works:
We crawl roughly in order of PageRank. That means the more PageRank
you have, the faster you are likely to be found, the deeper we will
crawl in your site, and the more often we will visit your pages to see
if they have been refreshed.
OK. Cool. PageRank-magic
green juice. How do I get more PageRank?
What is PageRank?
PageRank at a 50,000 foot view is this. It is the number of people
that link to you and how important those links are.
So one of my favorite examples.
Suppose you have a buddy from college. Suppose you have a blog
and he has a blog. Suppose you have got 10 links pointing to your
blog and your buddy has 20 links pointing to his.
Who has more
PageRank? Well, he has get 20 links. You have only got 10.
But what if your 10 links are the New York Times, the LA Times, Reader's
Digest, CNN.com, and his 20 links are all his buddies from college.
So PageRank is not just getting
as many links as you can. It is also how important they are.
So having high quality content can really make a big difference.
I promise I won't get more technical than this. It looks a little
complicated. I will walk through it very quickly, but it is not
as bad as it looks.
Look at this page right here.
These are links coming into one page. PageRank is at a page level
and these are out links pointing to your blog. If you have got
a bunch of links pointing to your blog, and your blog home page has
a PageRank of nine, and you have got 3 out links, you more or less divide
that nine by three and the three goes out on each of the out links.
That is the basic idea of behind
PageRank. If you look at the top one, this guy has a PageRank of 100.
He has got a lot of PageRank and he has got two out links. So
you take 100 and divide by two because you have two out links, and 50
goes to each one of those. That is literally the idea behind PageRank.
It is that simple.
Now in practice, if it really
worked this way and you had a loop, PageRank would just keep cycling
around forever and ever, and mathematically speaking, the world would
blow up. You don't want the world to blow up.
So there is a little bit of
an additional thing, which is that PageRank kind of evaporates.
It decays a little bit every time it goes across a link. But that
is literally the idea behind PageRank. It is the number of links
you get pointing to you and how important those links are.
Avoid Backlink Obsession (BO).
Now I always worry when I talk
about PageRank, because a lot of people, as soon as they hear about
back links, they are like, "I need back links! I need a lot
of back links! I need 1,000's of back links from thousands of
This is literally something
I found on the web. This person suffers from what I call BO.
You do not want to suffer from BO, which is Backlink Obsession.
This guy is saying, "I have 297 links with a PR7. This guy has
only got 59 links with a PR6 and he ranks higher. It is not fair,"
blah, blah, blah.
Don't get down to this level
of detail. Think about it at a very high level. You want
to have people know about you and you want those people to be reputable.
So you can spend an infinite amount of time learning about SEO.
But here is the 50,000 foot view.
How does Google rank pages?
There is a tension between
being relevant and reputable.
You want to be relevant AND reputable.
Matt Mullenweg, he has got a pretty
reputable blog. He has got good PageRank. He beats me.
I hate that.
He is like the number one Matt and I am like number
You think, "Can't you tweak it so you are number one?"
No, we can't tweak it so we are number one.
So he is the number one Matt.
He has got a ton of PageRank. Suppose you are searching for a
random thing like a medical condition such as ADD. If Matt Mull
just mentioned the phrase "attention deficit disorder," and he is
saying it in passing, like just a joke, like "Yeah, I organized this
conference but I didn't spend a lot of time on it. I have got
ADD. But it will be cool. We will have a good time."
That is reputable. His
blog is reputable, but it is not that RELEVANT. So another way
to think about relevance is what you say on your page, and reputable
is what people say about you and how they link to you. So you
want to be both. You want to be on topic and reputable.
So you don't want to just
return pages that barely mention something in passing.
move to the middle chunk of this, which is,
"How do I be relevant?
How do I be reputable?"
Relevance is stuff on your page; what
you write, including the mechanics of how you write.
Tim pretty much nailed this: If you do not love something, don't write about it. Life is
Google Wave launched a couple of days ago, and there
was this huge thing on Tech Beam. Everybody is talking about this
new Google Wave thing. There are so many articles.
where a guy was like, "Will Google Wave take over the world?
I don't know. Here is the press release." Like literally
two sentences and they he copies like four paragraphs from the press
release. No one wants to read that! It is boring.
You have to have something that you care about.
You have to have something, whether it is
cats, LINUX, transparency, Google, open government, search, you have
to talk about something that you care about. If you are not doing
that, you are not going to be doing as good of a job.
One of the pieces of advice
I give is to try to write often.
And if you write often, if you
write everyday, if it is something you really care about, you are going
to get a lot of practice writing and you are going to write good stuff.
SEO Tips: (Use) Keywords.
do a little exercise. Matt said earlier today that the theme of
this conference is getting to know your neighbor. So we are going
to do a little exercise where you get to know your neighbor.
I am holding in my hand a little
device. You might have seen them before. You stick them
into computers. They store things. Maybe you put your presentation
on it. You give it to a friend. She sticks it in her computer.
Maybe you are proofreading a friend's paper and you take it.
Maybe you put pictures on it. You have all seen these. This
is not alien technology.
Think in your head, if you
were going to go to Google and you were going to type in what this is,
prepare your search query, what is this? What is this device?
OK. I am going to Google. I am going to go buy one of these.
Turn to the person next to you and compare notes. Literally take
a minute and say, "What would you search for on Google and what would
I search for on Google?"
OK, cool. Now you have
gotten to know your neighbor a little bit. So let's hear it.
What did you type into Google to find this? Flash Drive?
USB drive? Thumb drive? What else? Retractable?
So you think, "Oh yeah.
This is a USB drive." Your neighbor thinks, "Oh no. This is
a thumb drive." And the person on your right thinks, "No.
It is a flash drive." And somebody might not even use the word
So the takeaway is, if you
were a blogger, think about all the different ways that someone can
describe something. Think about all the different ways that you
can naturally fit that into your post.
Now I am not talking about
saying, "Would you like to buy a thumb drive? If thumb drives
are you, then you would like to get a thumb drive which is really good."
We will see an example of that later on in the talk.
Instead, think about ways to
naturally put that into your post. "Hey! Buy a flash drive.
I was using this one thumb drive that was really cool. It works
via USB." I have used most of my major keywords in a couple
of sentences and it still sounds natural. You don't have to
stuff it. You don't have to be really unnatural.
There is another thing, which
is jargon mismatch.
What (search terms) will your visitors type?
A lot of times, if you are in a particular
industry you are thinking about the words that people are going to use,
and you don't think about what a regular user is going to say.
For example, earlier this week
we were doing a site review, and we were giving SEO advice to people
who had sites. This was a site. This was pretty cool.
This is from the University of California at San Francisco and they
have a site about HIV.
Now what is this? Oh
my God! This is the home page! You land on the home page
and you are like, "Recommendations for use of antiviral drugs in pregnant
HIV-1 infected women for maternal health and interventions to reduce
perinatal HIV-1 transmission in the United States." What is
that?! I don't even know!
Is this a technically good
paper? Probably. I have no idea what the hell it is about!
It is an editor's pick. Someone has selected this paper.
It is important for some reason! This one is about Swine Flu.
Is there something I need to know about Swine Flue and they are not
telling me? I don't know how to translate it into regular English.
Translate it into regular English.
For example, I have seen the queries that people type. This is
the sort of stuff that people type, right?
"Do I have AIDS? I don't know!"
So think about that. Think about, "OK.
What are the things that you can do to type that will be normal?"
Now the interesting thing is
this site had a section called "basics". And if you clicked
on basics, these were the things you saw.
"I just tested positive.
Now what?" That should have been the front page, right?
It is obvious to us, but sometimes
your own site can be like that. You are like, "Oh yeah, I have
got great content! Yeah, this is fantastic stuff!"
a regular person is like, "What the hell are you typing dude?
I don't even understand this! Is it English? I think it
So you would be amazed how
much help you can get just from feedback, just from asking your friends
or just from a regular person to sort of look at this and say, "OK.
Brainstorm with the
Google Adwords Keyword tool.
Now there is another tool that
you can use. And in fact, Tim mentioned it. Thanks for stealing
my thunder, DUDE! But it is pretty nice. It is called the
Google Keyword tool, Adwords Tool.
If you search on Google for [Keyword tool], it is number one. Not
because we hard coded it. We don't do that. It just ranks
that way. A lot of people link to it.
So I was doing this site review,
and there was a site, icarkits.com, and they sell iPod car conversion
kits, which is pretty cool. There main trophy phrase, if you looked
in their title, was "iPod car".
I went to the Google keyword
tool. I typed in "iPod car" and I said, "Show me keywords
related to "iPod car". Have you guys ever heard of this iTrip
thing? It is an FM transmitter. So it is more like a $30
thing. It is to the $400 thing that they sell.
But their trophy phrase showed up 550,000 times a month. People searched for iTrip 246,000 times
a month. So here is this keyword right here where people are looking
for information about iPods and cars, and you are ignoring them.
They didn't have the word on a single page on their site anywhere.
If you don't have the word on your site, it is very hard for search
engines to return that site.
Sometimes we can. You
can type in the word automobile and we can return if your page has the
word car. We can do that a little bit. But if you don't
have the word iTrip anywhere on your site, you are probably not going
to rank for the query iTrip
Now it turns out that these
guys actually had content about the iTrip. They have an iTrip
trade in program. So you send in your $30 iTrip and you get like
10% off on the $100 kit.
So in the middle of the site
review the guy edited his page. And by the end of the site review
panel he had iTrip right there on the front page. He is starting
to get more traffic already. So think about the niches and the
keywords that you are targeting and put them on the page.
Here is one thing that I recommend:
I like to do a custom structure on my URL's /%postname%/.
your blog has p=123, you are missing out on an opportunity, which is
that Google looks at a lot of different things. We look at over
200 things. PageRank is just one of them whenever we rank things.
Other things that we use:
things in the title, things in the URL, even things that are really
highlighted, like h2 tags and stuff like that. So if your blog
has p=123, you are massively missing out on opportunity to put a few
keywords, not keyword stuffing, just a few keywords in your URL.
So Mattcutts.com/blog/samplepost -- it works pretty well. If you want to throw in the date, feel free,
but make sure that you put the title and the keywords in your URL in some way.
Now here is a power tip:
Tweaking titles, urls, content.
I did a post where I completely, for a while at least, dominated the
keywords, "how to change your default printer in Firefox on LINUX."
I was number one. It was awesome! That niche was mine!
How did I do it? Well,
I made a good descriptive title, "Changing the default printer on
Linux and Firefox."
Notice that I changed the URL as well.
So in the title I have got, "changing". In the URL I have
got "change", because sometimes users type "changing printer"
and sometimes they type "change".
Now this is not spam.
I am not throwing in a ton of irrelevant keywords. I am not even
throwing in a lot of keywords. I am just throwing in one or two
variants that people might type.
No one is going to look at this
post and say, "Oh my God! The title is a little different than
the URL! Oh my God! He took out -ing'! Throw him
in the clink!"
That is not the way it works.
But just by doing some simple things like having title and URL, and
viewing them as separate opportunities to put a few keywords in, now
you can rank for both "changing" and "change".
but a lot of people don't think about that level of detail.
So if you are doing a post,
it is worth doing the post, and then going to the Google Keywords Tool,
think about the words you want to rank for, type those words in, make
sure that those words are in your post.
This is a little bit in detail,
but you can also have your categories be good keywords.
just make your categories like "cool stuff". My categories
are like Linux, Search, and SEO. So if somebody has those categories,
they are like, "Oh, OK." Now I don't have to include the
word "search" on every single post. It is in my category.
If you are going to put keywords
in your URL, like I showed, it is better to do dashes. So "my-keywords".
Underscores can work. Dashes are a little bit better. But
no spaces is pretty bad.
Has anybody seen the site expertsexchange.com?
Some people like it. Some people don't. If expert exchange
were all one word ... You know it can be expert sex change. You
don't want to rank for expert sex change. And if it is all one
word, some people are like, "I read it a different way!" So
put some dashes in there and then you can have separators. Search
engines do look at dashes. They do look at separators like that.
Now if you use underscores
or if you have used spaces up until now, should you go back and change
every single thing on your previous posts? Should you rename them
and change all those old URL's to add dashes? No! Why?
Because of Ferris' law: don't do things if they are not fun.
Search engines do a relatively good job at making separators.
But spend your time on good content. Don't worry about small
things like that. It is just something to be aware of going forward
in the future.
You can overdo it.
And finally, talking about
relevance, we are talking about on page stuff. Don't overdo
This was a site that put itself up for review earlier this
week. Can you guess what it is about? It is about furniture.
It is a lot about furniture. In fact, if you notice, this first
paragraph is all one sentence.
Let me just read the last half of that paragraph:
"Manufacturing and offering for sale innovative
modern furniture and antique wood made according to our valued customers'
esteemed order and requirements of home furniture, home furniture, as
well as office furniture for the use of indoor furniture and outdoor
furniture purposes." Furniture, furniture, furniture, blah!!!!
doesn't say, "Oh my God! He included the word furniture 400
times in the post! It must be really, really relevant. It
has got to be 400 times better than that other post that only mentioned
That is not the way it works.
After you have mentioned furniture once, two, or three times, we know
you have got furniture on the mind. It is OK! You don't
have to say furniture as every third word.
You also don't need to bold
it. Users don't like this, believe it or not. Other things
that this site did. Rattan; you have heard of Rattan furniture.
At some point they misspelled it as rotten furniture. Yeah, well,
judging from the website, I don't know!
So you don't need to do this.
You can mention furniture two or three times and that is enough.
You don't have to go overboard on it.
So to sum up On-Page:
Being relevant, being on topic, talking about the things you care about.
Find something you care about, and as a result, you will write about
it more often, which gives more material that search engines can find.
And pay attention to the mechanics, some of the small things that I
have mentioned, but don't overdo it. If you are reading it aloud
and it sounds stilted, you are overdoing it. If you give it to
a friend and you notice your friend is sneering or raising their eyebrow,
you are overdoing it.
So that is half the battle.
Now let's talk about how you gain a reputation.
How do you get
to be more known? How do you get more PageRank and more people
linking to you?
Anybody ever heard of fake
Steve Jobs? Has anybody bought the book? It is pretty good!
I was like, "This one note gimmick cannot last for an entire book."
It can! It is a lot of fun!
I love this! He is like, "I fired that idiot Jerry Yang." I am like, "Whoa!"
This guy is pretty mean. Now it turns out that this was actually
Dan Lyons. He has got a pretty sweet gig at Newsweek now, so he
did pretty well.
Earlier this week, someone
started a fake blog for Carol Bartz, who is the CEO of Yahoo.
The first post, I was on the floor laughing so hard. I instantly
added it to my Google Reader. I want to see what else they have
So being interesting is really
important. If you are the guy who is phoning it in and you are
like, "Oh, I want to rank on Techmeme or I want to write about celebrity
news, so I am going to talk about John Mayer and Jennifer Anniston for
the 88,000th time, and I am not going to add anything new
to it, no new insight." Don't bother writing it. You
want to be interesting.
And again, it helps the more
you write. You get practice. You get into the habit.
This is a blog by Sergey Brin who is one of the co-founders of Google.
Did you know that Sergey had a blog? He does! He has written
I have never asked Sergey about
the blog. On one hand it is cool. He has written two posts.
On the other hand, his last post was September of 2008. People
are not going to Sergey Brin's blog everyday saying, "I wonder if
Sergey wrote something new? Yeah!"
But if Sergey is posting everyday
or every week, people will come and check. They will come and
say, "What is new with Sergey?" So you have to update often.
Now this, I have to admit, is my favorite slide in the entire talk, because I am going to tell
you the real, true deep secret of blogging, and that is Katamari.
Has anybody played Katamari?
What is Katamari?
It is a Japanese game where you play the prince. The prince starts
out and he has got a little Katamari that is five centimeters tall.
And he rolls up things. He can roll up paper clips. He can
roll up stamps and coins.
Eventually he can roll up bigger stuff.
He can roll up gum. He can roll up a wooden block. And when
you are done, you have a Katamari hundreds of meters tall and you can
roll up islands, and the Earth, and buildings. And you hear these
people scream when you roll up the buildings. It is awesome!
I love Katamari! I think a lot of people play it stoned.
I play it perfectly sober. I do!
The Katamari philosophy is
this: start small. Start in a niche where you can do well.
And that might be a very small niche. It might be the, "Change
the default Firefox printer on Linux" niche. But then build
up, build up, build up.
Don't overreach. When you
are the prince and your roll up in Katamari, you can't roll up a skyscraper
the first thing. You have to get their gradually. If somebody
tells you there is a shortcut where you can be the number one gadget
blogger in three days, and you can be in Gadget and Gizmoto, laugh in
their face and send them packing because it doesn't work that way.
But one thing you learn in
Katamari is you are always reaching. You are always trying to
roll up bigger and bigger things. So if you want to be the world's
best gadget blogger, start out with a smaller niche. Start out
with a niche like, "OK. I am going to write about a particular
type of phone." You know, Google Android, or Crackberry, or
the Palm Pre.
And then you can imagine embiggening, to quote the
Simpson's, embiggening that niche. You are writing about more
and more important things and bigger niches.
And eventually, over
time, people get to know you, and you are writing about important things,
and people are sending you links and they are sending you things to
review, and life is good. The Katamari philosophy works very,
OK. What else about gaining
reputation? Oh, yeah. This is the only slide where I have
like cool dissolves and stuff.
There are so many other ways you
can get links. You can provide a useful service.
a law professor. His name is Eric Goldman and he is a "blawger".
Have you guys heard of the "blawgers"? They are law bloggers.
He writes posts about how people
have Adwords trademark policy. And not everybody cares about that.
But he has got his niche, and it is really useful, really insightful,
because he is a law professor. He knows things that regular people
do not know. So you can provide a useful service, things like
Original research and reporting
is huge. There is a guy who writes about search. His name
is Danny Sullivan. He is very respected because he has written
about search for 10 years.
And one of the things he did was he
just looked at, "What are the spam levels on Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail?"
And for a month he tracked all of the spam that he got, which would
be the most annoying thing in the world to do. But he tracked
it. And at the end, at 30 days, he was able to say which service
had less spam. It was Gmail. Woo-hoo! Yay! But
that was great original research. Anybody could have done it.
Anybody could have counted their spam folder and done that analysis.
Have people heard of Louis Gray? He is a great blogger.
One of the ways that he got
to be known is he looked at his referrers. Referrers are your
search engine logs. This is like web logs, where people are coming
from, where they are visiting from.
He just noticed some strange
user agents like Read Burner or stuff like this. And then he was
like, "What the heck is Read Burner" And then he did a blog post
about it. And two days later, the people were like, "Yeah, we
are making a totally new service. You found us out." And
he did that like three times in a row.
So just by looking at the bots
that were visiting his site, he was able to do some really cool stuff.
And from there, he just hustled his butt off, which I respect a lot.
Lifehacker. Anybody read
Lifehacker? I like to call Lifehacker productivity porn because
you spend more time learning how to be productive than the actual productivity
that you get. But you read about productivity all the time.
It is so cool. Like Merlin Mann and these guys. The fact
is Lifehacker saves you a ton of time because they have these really
high quality tutorials and guides.
have one good idea, that can carry you so, so far. Lolcats anyone?
I have made lolcats. F My Life.
One sentence. You should seriously search for all of these on Google and add them
to your Google Reader. It is like the best way to burn time in
the entire world.
F my life is just all these people who have sex and then their grandmother walks in and stuff.
One Sentence is just like they write one creative sentence. It is really, really fantastic.
Some people can draw. Penny Arcade, they can draw.
XKCD, the guy can't really draw,
but he is really funny and he knows a lot of science and technical stuff.
He found his creative niche.
Open source can be a fantastic way to get links and reputation. Write a good project and people
will use it. Case and point, WordPress. Tons of people
use it. WordPress doesn't need any PageRank. It has amazing
amounts of PageRank.
Live Blogging. Anybody Live Blogging this? All right. Cool. So you guys are probably
going to get three or four links automatically while the rest of us
are just sort of sitting back and enjoying ourselves, because you are
actually writing about what is happening in this session. If you
can make it to a session you can Live Blog it.
If you are lazier
than that, two days later you can say either you hated Word Camp or
you loved Word Camp.
People love lists, so if you give 11 reasons
why Word Camp ruled...
If you cry wolf too often, if you have too
much negative energy, people don't like to read you as much, but it
is something you can do. And Twitter, Facebook, Friend Feed; there
are a lot of people who get to know all these people on various social
networks and it can make a big difference.
I had the pleasure of speaking
at Word Camp 2007, and one of my funnier favorite lines was, "Should
you do a podcast?" Everybody who is doing a podcast is probably
downstairs listening to the other session.
Make a Video
The Litmus test I said was,
"Should you do a podcast or should you do a video?" Well,
put your picture up on Hot or Not, and if you are a six or higher, then
you should do a video. If you are a five or below, then you should
do a podcast.
I already said this was a very
attractive audience, so you guys should all do video. The fact
is, these days a Flip is a couple hundred bucks and you can make a video
in two minutes, and it can be as creative as you want.
Podcasts are fantastic.
I would really recommend making videos these days, because it is not
that much harder to make a video than it is to make a podcast.
And a lot of people really enjoy just sort of watching this stuff.
This one got 15,000 views in like a day, and we literally threw it up.
This was one Tweet. It was like, "Hey, here is a video."
We haven't even posted on the blog about this. It is really
easy to do video and it can draw a lot of attention to your site.
And in fact, videos tend to rank relatively well on Google.
OK. I will whiz through
this part. I do not want to sell you guys on anything. I
use WordPress rather than Blogger, so I am not going to like say, "Google
is the top. Always use Google. Go for Google." But
there are a few tools that you should know about. I will show
screenshots of the first three.
Google tools can help.
Google Website Optimizer.
you have already heard about the idea of A/B testing. If you are
really that into power blogging, you might want to try different templates
and see if certain ones have better return on investment and if certain
ones give you more conversion, and there is something to let you do
You can get a free site search.
And here is a tip that very few people know that use AdSense: (Section Targeting)
You can use these two tags to mark out the meat of your blog post.
<!--google_ad_section_start --> and <!--google_ad_section_end
And then AdSense will target
the meat of your blog post and it won't target all of the frilly stuff,
the boiler plate, the archives, and all that kind of stuff.
if you use AdSense, I highly recommend that you add these tags around
your post, because your ads will get more targeted, people will click
on them more, and you will probably make more money.
Let me show you a few quick
"Free" links - google.com/webmasters/ ...
I did a post on my blog that a lot of people ended
up reading called, "Free Links! How to get Free Links!" which
everybody would like free links. We have something at Google.com/webmasters
that will show you the 404's on your site and who linked to them.
So for example, the link in
purple, ie7/promo-page, which you seen in parenthesis;
who was a blogger at Yahoo and now he is at Craigslist, linked to my
blog and the link was broken.
Jeremy has got a lot of PageRank.
It might be worth dropping Jeremy an email and saying, "Hey!
Do you want to take that parenthesis off?" And now you have
got a free link to Jeremy Zawodny because he had already linked to you.
He had just linked to a 404.
So this is a completely free
service. You can use it and find out about all kinds of people who are
linking to sites or pages on your site that don't really exist.
One more quick thing about
google.com/webmasters/. We will give you all kinds of crawl stats.
So for example, this is how much time Google spent downloading pages
on your site. You can see it took a huge drop down. That
is because I changed my theme and it does better CSS handling.
So you can see the amount of changes and the amount of stuff being downloaded.
All this stuff is free. It can be pretty handy and help you diagnose
Google also lets you set whether
you want to have
or mattcutts.com, which is kind of
Here is a quick tip:
(Create)Evergreen content - Google Analytics.
Anybody use Google Analytics? Here is something you might not
know about Google Analytics. You can click in like settings and
top landing pages and this will tell you which blog posts get the most
This one about
iPhone, anyone want to guess when I wrote that? 2007. I
wrote this blog post in 2007 and it is the number six page on my site.
What does that tell me? Maybe I should go back and update that
post because everything in it is probably wrong. Or maybe I should
write another one.
Here is another one.
One of my top ten posts is, "
Three solid Gmail productivity tips."
It was a total throwaway. I was like, "Oh, OK. People
don't know this so I will throw it up." They love it!
Maybe I should write five more Gmail productivity tips.
So when you are sitting on
a blank screen and you are thinking, "I really should blog something
today. I haven't blogged in like two weeks," you can get some
good ideas about what to blog just by looking at where people are already
going on your page.
What about bounces? Yes!
So bounces tell you how often people land on your page and then leave.
If people come from Digg, they come on your page and then they leave.
So if you try to reduce the amount of bounces, that can mean more people
on your site, which can mean more ads. It can mean more revenue.
It can mean more clicks and all that sort of stuff.
A very simple trick, which
I haven't done on my newest template, is show related posts.
Someone has just finished reading your blog. It was a great article.
They have a warm happy feeling towards you. What do they do now?
They leave. Why? Because you didn't give them anything
else to do! Show them related blog posts. IF there is one
blog post and they liked it enough to read down to the bottom, they
might click and read some more.
So that is like the simplest
way in the world to reduce the number of bounces, which leads to more
people on your site for longer periods of time.
FeedBurner is kind of nice.
You can tell where people are coming from, how many visitors and stuff
you are getting.
I have got about five minutes
left, so let me just finish with some things that you should probably
Avoid shortcuts and scams.
This is an email that I got in September 2008. It
is, "Be a lazy Google millionaire!" Here I have been working
at Google for nine years and I could have just filled out forms and
collected my cash! If only I had known!
If something looks too good
to be true, it probably is. Has anybody heard about this Google
Money Tree thing? Consumer reports just wrote about them.
The Better Business Bureau got 478 complaints about them and the last
460 haven't even been responded to.
"Learn how to make $107,389 filling out forms and doing searches on Google and Yahoo."
I call bullshit. This stuff is not endorsed by Google. It
is incredibly spammy. What tends to happen is you pay $3.88 for
access to something and you are secretly enrolled in a program where
every month you are billed $72 until you opt out. That is what
is usually going on with these money tree systems.
So you see these things and
people are like, "Oh you make tons of money! You can't help
to make money! You are too stupid to tie your shoes and you make
$107,000!" People still fall for it just because it has Google
in it or it has Google on a potted plant. "Oh well it has got
to be from Google!" No it is not from Google. Don't
do this sort of stuff.
Avoid paid posts.
One thing I love about WordPress is Matt and Automatic in the terms of service for WordPress specifically
say don't spam. Don't do things like paid posts. It
pisses off your users. It tends to get caught pretty quickly.
And right there in the terms of service, "Don't do things to third
party sites that would boost the search engine rankings and that sort
Security: Please keep your WordPress updated.
The one plea that I would make,
the one ask that I would have, is please keep your WordPress updated.
We have just barely got enough time to show an example of that.
The American Nazi Party. Is anyone in here pro-Nazi? Any big fans of the Nazis in here? I didn't think so.
I tend not to be a big Nazi fan myself, so I thought it was really funny.
This is hilarious, by the way. Evidently, for Nazis, put in a
bunch of eights and your comments are like way cool. Like, "Ah,
you are a much better Nazi than me! You have eights in your comments!"
But I thought it was hilarious, because if you go down to the bottom of the Nazi Party archives, oh,
no! Maridia, Hoodia, Cheap Cialis, Cialis for Women. I didn't
even notice they had Cialis for women! Ah, man!
And so you have this dilemma.
Who do you hate more? The Nazis or the hackers who have hacked
the Nazi's website?
I don't know. It is
But it happens, and the best thing you can do to try
to avoid it is make sure that you have done good security yourself.
So in particular, there is
this really cool site called Save the Internet. They fight for
net neutrality and all this sort of stuff. But earlier this week,
if you went to blog/wp-content/uploads/authors/pletal.html, you can
buy Viagra from this Canadian pharmacy. And it has got to be trustworthy.
It is the number one Internet drug store!
Thanks to WordPress/Automatic!
It is very simple. WordPress has gotten much, much better security. There are automatic
updates. All you have to do is take advantage of them. And
if you are a super power user and everything you have heard up until
now has been completely boring, you are like, "Oh, I know that,"
here is one power tip.
Security tip: add .htaccess in /wp-admin ...
What this says is only these two IP addresses are allowed to reach your
/wp-admin. So when the hackers come in and they are trying to
use some brand new zero data exploit, they can't get to your blog
to hack it.
If you search for like protect
/wp-admin or htaccess, and I will put this up on my blog as well, it
is a fantastic thing to say, "Yeah, you know what? Only I can
get to my blog."
AuthName "Access Control"
deny from all
# whitelist home IP address
allow from 18.104.22.168
# whitelist work IP address
allow from 22.214.171.124
Let me close out by just saying
a huge thanks to Automatic and WordPress.
I was looking back
at my talk from 2007 and I had like six things on my wish list.
Three of them were already done without me even asking for them.
Automatic updates for security, better protection for /wp-content/directory,
I haven't even talked about rel=canonical
because you really don't need to know about it. It is a standard
that lets you say, "Given two web pages, here is the web page that
should be the preferred web page in Google."
And the folks at Automattic
have basically built this in. It is already live on Wordpress.com.
As I understand, in the core of 2.8 it is coming as well. So you
don't have to know anything about it. All you need to know is
that you will do better in search engines because you won't be dividing
your PageRank between multiple pages.
So the Automatic folks and
WordPress folks have been fantastic about being receptive.
That is it! -- MATT CUTTS
the end -- r