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Google on SEO

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Using StumbleUpon Video this evening I came across this video1 of Matt Cutts at the Google 09 I/O Developer Conference. He's the head of the webspam team at Google where he specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) issues so he talks well on what you can do, and what's a waste of time doing, in terms of SEO - for Google at least.

Some points that stuck in my mind which I'm noting here mainly for my benefit:

  1. You get better page rank by being linked to from more significant sites, so a link from www.bbc.co.uk is worth more than three links from your mates' blogs, say.
  2. Descriptive URLs give you a little extra boost. So those URLs I hate from Wordpress et al where they construct the URL from the posting title aren't a complete waste of time. I think the moral for Opus users is: use the "Mapped URL" feature intelligently for URLs which matter. Certainly all your main structural pages should have meaningful URLs, not opusNNN.html which is what they get by default.
  3. Having http://www.DOMAIN and http://DOMAIN resolve separately is not a good plan. We do this for our sites, although the content is identical and Google apparently can spot that but I'm going to fix it so that visiting http://DOMAIN jumps the visitor to http://www.DOMAIN
  4. Flash sucks, and PDFs are not a lot better. But we knew that didn't we boys and girls.
  5. Currently having video on your site is good news - which is interesting as I've got several customers looking to do that at the moment.

So an hour well spend I think. The analysis of the sites he threw up on screen was interesting too. Worth watching.

  1. Only after stumbling across a video of a young woman wiggling her booty at a web cam for a long time (and before you start I know it was a long time because I used the "scrubber" to wind forward in search of a punchline - there wasn't one). Not really the sort of content I'm used to find on StumbleUpon but I couldn't see a button in the video interface for "hmmm ... you might want to review this one" so I moved on.

Tags: web design Written 21/09/09

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