WordPress SEO 101 Advice from Google Guru

WordPress SEO 101 Advice from Google Guru

Matt Cutts is a distinguished engineer at Google. He is also the current head of the company’s webspam division and an authority on search engineer optimization (SEO). Below is a summary of one of Matt’s presentations at WordCamp, a conference focused on WordPress. WordPress is the Internet’s most popular open source content management solution (CMS) and hosting tool and is currently used by over 15% of the top 1 million websites. Matt uses WordPress for his personal blog over Google’s Blogger.

SEO is the practice of making your website and content easy to find for users and easy to understand for search engine robots. According to Matt, Google looks at over 200 factors for SEO. Five critical factors in Google’s SEO algorithm include keywords, rank, relevance, reputation and URL. The good news is that 80-90% of the needed SEO mechanics are built into WordPress to make is easier for the beginner and more customizable for the novice/advanced user to leverage SEO to rank higher. The five critical factors include:

  • Keywords – Keywords are the different ways people naturally describe what they are looking for. Use the Google Keyword Tool to generate phrases and words to incorporate into your blog posts. Do not “keyword stuff” or incorporate “jargon mismatch” into your posts (e.g., write canine versus dog). Use plain English.
  • Rank – Page rank is the number of people that link to you and how important they are. Google ranks pages by relevance. Net: Google is a popularity contest. Having 20 backlinks from your friends at college means far less than having backlinks from three highly influential websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Relevance – Relevance occurs when what you say and what people say/think about you is in alignment. Start small in a narrow subject area that you can do well in (e.g., changing the default printer on Firefox and Linux) and expand from there. Continue to expand into bigger and broader subject areas.
  • Reputation – Reputation is what you are known for. When you are interesting and write great content, you become better known and more people link to you. Ideas for consistently writing great content include creating controversy, doing research, making lists, proving information and serving niches..
  • URLs – URLs are the specific web addresses for content and sites. Put keywords or the title in the URL; e.g., example.com/my-keywords. Separating words with dashes is the best (underscores are second best). Not separating words (no spaces) is the worst.

All contents copyright © 2013, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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