“WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO mechanics.” – Matt Cutts, Google Search Quality team
Matt’s presentation at WordCamp – Straight from Google: What you need to know was full of little nuggets about WordPress SEO.
He stared off with a simple and direct definition of Google PageRank:
Google PageRank = the number of people that link to you and how important those links are.
He then went on to describe some details of how Google ranks pages for the search results.
How does Google rank pages?
It looks for pages that are both relevant and reputable.
Matt’s advice to making your blog relevant was to ask yourself these questions:
- What do I love?
- What am I really good at doing?
- What do I have to say?
If you don’t love what you write about, don’t write about it!
Here are some tips on producing reputable content:
- Be interesting (e.g. Fake Steve Jobs)
- Apply Katamari philosophy – start small in a niche, roll up things into bigger things…
- Provide a useful service for your niche
- Do original research or reporting (Danny Sullivan – compared spam on Gmail, Yahoo. | Louis Gray – watched his referrers, strange user agents, blogged about it, called out some new bots..)
- Give great information (e.g. Lifehacker – High quality tutorials and guides)
- Find a creative niche (icanhascheeseburger, One Sentence, F@#$ My life, Penny Arcade, xkcd
SEO Tips from Google
Next, he gave some general SEO tips.
- Think about the keywords that users will type. Include them naturally in your posts
- ALT attributes are handy (3-4 relevant words)
- Don’t forget image search, videos, etc.
- Don’t stuff your content with keywords – just use natural language.
- Look for keyword opportunities using the Google Keyword Tool.
He gave an example of a site that was all about iPod car accessories. Their primary keyword phrase was popular in Google, with about 540K searches per month. But using the Google Keyword Tool, they found the keyword “itrip” was getting 224k searches per month but wasn’t anywhere on their page. Add that phrase!
PageRank is one of 200 things the Google algorithm looks for. Here are a few other things it looks at:
- Things in title tag
- Things in your URL
- H1 tags
WordPress SEO Tips
He wrapped up with some SEO tips specific for WordPress.
WordPress SEO recommendations:
%postname%for the URLs
Having the date is ok in the URL, but make sure some keywords are in your URL. Using
%postname%includes your post title in the URL.
- Here’s a cool example of helping your post match multiple keywords. You can slightly vary the keywords in the title tag and URL of your post. For example:
title tag = Changing the default printer on Linux and Firefox
url = change-default-printer-linux-firefox
- For keywords in the URL – use dashes, better than underscores, but do NOT do no spaces!! Here’s an example:
Not good: blogname.com/expertsexchange (oops!)
- Another quick tip: you can also include good keywords in your WordPress category names.
Here is a link to Matt’s presentation: Straight from Google: What You Need to Know
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