14 SEO Tips From Google’s Matt Cutts Pubcon 2013 Las Vegas Keynote

When Matt Cutts speaks, people listen. Google Search is trying harder, now more than ever, to communicate to the SEO universe what to expect as the algorithm universe continues to shake, rattle, and roll.

Here’s the top SEO tips and takeaways from Matt’s talk yesterday at Pubcon in Las Vegas.

Moonshot Changes

Google will be looking to shift the search experience to enable users of today’s devices to get the results they need more quickly. Examples include, voice search, conversational search, google now, deep learning, and
word pair relationships.

1. Conversational Search can be a major boon to the way we get information.
Here’s how it can work: Search will become a dialogue with Google.

Search for “Who is the President of Turkey”? You’ll get the expected results – most likely including an infographic of Tecip Erdogan. Next, search, “how old is he” and Google knows from first search who you’re talking about and provides Erdogan’s age.

Another example of conversational search:
“What’s the chance of rain today” – Google determines your location and gives you the results.
“this weekend” -Google responds with weather for this weekend at your location (even though weather wasn’t mentioned in the 2nd query).

Core Quality Changes

2. Hummingbird – Although no one other than Matt is clear what Hummingbird actually does, he did provide an example of how long tail queries may be affected. In the search “What is the capital of ever loving Texas” – “ever loving” is not important. Understanding long tail and figuring out what words are important from the search will be the biggest improvement from Hummingbird. Matt estimates that this change affects 90% of all queries (!), but not much actual change on each one.

3. Panda Softening – The Google Webspam team continues to work on how to determine if a site is “black”, “white”, or (as for many who were affected in Panda’s wake) are they in the grey zone and deserves to be back in the quality space.

4. Mobile/Smartphone Ranking – It’s likely that at some point in the future, websites will lose rank for a page that has flash and is geared for smartphone users who don’t have flash support.

5. Webspam Changes
Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 will continue to roll out.
Continues Algo tweaking for very spammy queries – like “payday loans” “car insurance” porno, etc…
Advertorials / native advertising – paid content needs to be stated clearly.
Continuing action on spam networks.

6. Google Communitcation
new videos on google support forums for malware/hacking prevention
webmaster office hours, hangouts on air, 100 speaking events
How search works website – HIGHLY recommended to look thru this. pure spam explained, etc…
Follow Google Webmaster Tools on Twitter @googlewmc
Read Google’s Webmaster Blog
Read Google’s Inside Search Blog
Check out the Webmaster Video Channel on Youtube

7. Future of Search
What are the next big future trends?
– Machine Learning – extrapolate and add value
– Mobile – Mobile is HUGE. Traffic is exploding exponentially and ahead of expectations. You need to be there. 40% of Youtube’s traffic already comes from mobile. In some countries, mobile has already surpassed desktop traffic!
You need to prepare your website for mobile NOW.
Social Identity Authoriship – great way to prevent spam. in long term, having good social signals is authority that will help you in the search engines. even though it doesn’t necessarily give you better rank today.

Advice – The most important takeaways!

8. Mobile – see above & get ready!!! get rid of flash on pages that are meant for mobile platform users.
9. Learn about requestAutocomplete – annotate your forms to help users to get forms filled with one click
10. Ad heavy pages above the fold will eventually lose rank. Put your content first and center to give your users a more quality experience.
11. Tightening Authorship – google may remove ~15% of authors to make sure the Author graphic is trustworthy
12. Rich Snippets – may depend on site quality – reputable and high quality sites will be trusted for rich snippets. and vice versa.
13. Google will get smarter on Javascript indexing – I’m thinking that will help websites that use Disqus for their commenting system.
14. Disavow for Negative SEO – not as big a phenomenon as people think. Download links from Webmaster Tools and try to get them removed, and/or use the disavow tool on Webmaster Tools if necessary.

Matt hung around for quite some time after the keynote to shmooze with conference attendees who hung on to his every word.


Best SEO Seed Websites to Increase Your Traffic

SEO – Search Engine Optimization, Tips & Tricks

There are many millions of blogs on the internet today.  Each blog owner is confident that the world would love to read his articles and would come back if they only knew he existed.  That is where search engines like Google and Yahoo step in.  That is also why an entire industry has dedicated its resources to the elusive and mysterious “SEO” search engine optimization.

I have accomplished on my own websites using techniques that I will describe over these pages nothing short of a miracle.  I have taken a website from nearly zero SEO traffic, to within six months to be placed among the top 3,500 websites in the world (more on that later).   Let me share with you some of the basic techniques that I have successfully used.  There truly is no magic in getting organic traffic to your website. It’s all about consistency, and about using the (free) tools that are out there to promote your website in a totally fair and ethical way. 

Play Nicely
Illegal and unethical ways may work for the short term, but you will eventually get sand-boxed by Google.  The search engines have many dozens of engineers writing algorithms to filter out smarty-pants tricks. If you try to outsmart them, they will figure out your tricks and outlaw your website.

Search engines use complex formulas and algorithms to determine which websites will appear on the first page and in what order.  Your job is give them as much good information as possible to increase your website’s score and get yourself onto the landing page for searches on subjects related to your website.

One of the chief ways to get better results and to land on the first page of search results is to align yourself with websites that have a lot of traffic.  Google takes the same approach as we all do in life… e.g. a friend of a friend, is also my friend.  Meaning, if your website is consistently mentioned on important websites with a lot traffic, then your website must be important too.

Fortunately for us, there are many popular websites that focus on doing this for you, and for free!

After signing up for accounts with the following websites, you will then publish your blog articles or website pages on these websites.  Each time you add more content or articles, you must publish those articles on these websites listed below.  By doing so, Google and other search engines, will see your blog’s name multiple times on all of these very popular websites below.  Your own blog’s value will rise, and then you will start to achieve the eventual double-whammy: You will get traffic from these bookmark sites, and from Google and other search engines.  My friends, this is the true magic of SEO (more on that later).

There are countless lists on the web of many dozens (some list over 150) of websites that you can use to publish your blog content and grow your user base.

I have visited and used close to 200 of them and I will share with you the top five SEO-friendly blog seeding websites that are worth signing up and using.  My experience has shown that these are the best websites you will need to promote your general website and get the viral traffic going (assuming that the content on your website is worthy of viral traffic).

Here is my top five list for SEO-friendly blog and website seeding to boost your viral traffic:
1. – This is the top self-publishing website. They may have come after, but they have an alexa of about 250, and easilysend me the most traffic. Their bookmarking process is easy and also thorough. They check to make sure no duplicates exist. If you have time to only use one bookmark site, thisis the one I’d start with. Digg also offers a toolbar that is simple to use.

1. – Among the top 1,000 websites on the planet, they have many 10’s of millions of users.  The concept is simple.  You tell stumbleupon what page you think the world will be interested in visiting, and they bring users to you.  I have easily gotten hundreds of new users from them when publishing content on the web. They offer a easy to use toolbar for quick submission and review.

2. – Their alexa rank is about 3,000.  This is the granddaddy of bookmarking sites.  What a great website name too!  You just bookmark your website’s page, add tags, and a synopsis, and other users who are looking for similar content, will fall on to your website.  You can also share your bookmarks with other users, and visit your own bookmarks from any browser. They provide you with a toolbar for your browser for easy submission of new links and review of existing bookmarks.

4. – The concept is great, and the traffic is great too.  Their alexa ranking is about 300, so you know the chances of users seeing your blog posts are pretty good. At Technorati, the focus is on creating a feed for your blog.  You ‘claim’ your blog to your technorati account, and then set it up to ping your blog every day to see if new articles have been added.  This is a great SEO resource.

5. – They are newer to the bookmarking world. With an alexa ranking of 1,100, and similar to digg and, they have a huge user base and constant traffic.

Five up and coming bookmark and search engine websites that earn honorable mention: (Yahoo has a nice and underrated publishing tool) (the interface is a bit hoaky – 6,500 on alexa) (more geared to geeks – 7,000 on alexa) (5,500 on alexa, simple user interface)  (green related stories only)

In our next installment, we’ll discuss more SEO-friendly techniques to get you better indexed on the search engines, and to help you achieve the holy grail of ‘organic traffic’.
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