Google’s Matt Cutts On Building Better Sites With WordPress

90% of WordPress blogs he sees are spam. But for those who aren’t spammers and want to do better in Google….

“WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues…WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO.”

Still, he recommends a few extra plugins:

  • Akismet — reduce spam comments
  • Cookies for Comments — reduce spam comments
  • FeedBurner FeedSmith
  • WP Super Cache — improve performance

“We crawl roughly in order of PageRank…higher ranked sites get crawled faster and deeper.”

“What is PageRank? The number and importance of links pointing to you.” But “avoid BO (backlink obsession). You want to be relevant and reputable.”

Relevant is what you say on your page/site.

Reputable is what others say (link) about you.

Be relevant: Blog about what you love. Blog about what you’re really good at doing (or, I suppose, what you want to be really good at). Blog in your own voice. Write often, write every day.

Think about the keywords that users will type. Include them naturally in your posts

Avoid jargon mismatch. Be sure to include language that non-expert users may use to find information. Include relevant information for beginners on the front page. Try Google Keyword Tool to understand what people are searching for.

Recommends /%postname%/ permalinks. And use slightly different terms in the permalink and title. Other URL tips:

  • Use categories that are also good keywords
  • keywords in URL paths
    • dashes best
    • next best is underscores
    • no spaces is worst
  • Should I change old URLs? No.

Ferris’s law: don’t do it if it’s not fun.

Gaining Reputation?

  • Be interesting
  • Update often
  • Apply Katamari Philosophy — start small, build up, don’t over reach. Start in a niche, then “ambigining” that niche.

Build an audience:

  • Provide a useful service
  • Do original research or reporting
  • Give great information
  • Creative niche
  • Write some code
  • Live blogging
  • Make lists
  • Create controversy
  • Meet folks on Twitter, Facebook, etc
  • Make a video

Consider using:

  • Google website optimizer (a/b testing)
  • <!– google_ad_section_start –> and <!– google_ad_section_end –>

In your content:

  • Identify and leverage “evergreen” content
  • Show related content
  • Avoid shortcuts and scams
  • Avoid paid posts

Keep your WordPress updated! Don’t let spammers hack your site.

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