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Google I/O 2010 - SEO site advice from the experts


Poziom:

Temat: Media

Matt>>: All right, so we're gonna spend the next hour doing site reviews. The week before
we put up a forum, just on my personal blog, and did one tweet and said hey, submit your
sites if you'd like to get your site reviewed.
I was thinking maybe 20, 25 people would sign up, put their sites up there. We got 500 sites.
So we're gonna send, spend about six seconds per site [ audience laughs ]. No, not really.
So we went through and I pulled out some fun ones. And we're just gonna look at them.
And by the way, all of us are gonna stay around a little bit afterwards. So if you get, want
to get like a little bit of one-on-one advice, stuff like that, we'll all stick around a
little while. Let me introduce my colleagues. We have Greg Grothaus who's also on my team,
Tiffany Lane, also on my team, and Vanessa Fox former Googler.
Vanessa>>: Not on Matt's team. [ laughter ]
Matt>>: But author of Marketing in the Age of Google, which is a very good book. Okay,
so let's go ahead and start jumping into it. The very first site that we got submitted
was this one. Phoenician Stone, since 1943. Okay, the main reason I wanted to show this
site was because so many people submitted, "Oh tear us down, we're awful, Our SEO's horrible,"
Right?
This site has no text on it. Okay? It looks like it has text on it. It has no text. Oh,
each resurrected piece of, no that's not text. [Audience laughs] Resonates with over a thousand
years of humanity in it. No, that's not text. Where's the text? There's like Phoenician
Stone and that's it.
Vanessa>>: Yeah, there is text on the page. It's in the title tag.
Matt>>: Yes, exactly.
Vanessa>>: And he wants to rank for antique fireplaces.
Matt>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: And his title tag says Phoenician Stone.
Matt>>: Right. So, so here's the tricky bit. Literally the only text on this page is in
what are called meta keywords. That's only, just about the only place that Google doesn't
index that text. [Audience laughs] Okay?
We even did a video, because people will tend to sue each other and say like, "Oh, you copied
the name of my business. I'm Grecian Stone, and how dare you put Grecian Stone in my Phoenician
Stone website."
And so people get really up in arms about this. And what we discovered is, believe it
or not, some people will stuff keywords on a Web page. Hard to believe, I know. I know.
Your eyes will be opened by the end of this session. And so we don't trust the meta keywords
tag.
Now, if you look at the rest of the text on this page, you'll find that there is none[Audience
laughter]. All right? So that's, that's a little bit of a problem. So the simple advice
is put some text on your page [Audience laughter]. That's, so we'll start out and we'll build
on that.
First off, you got to have some text on your page. Now, I'm being a little bit harsh, but
there's a lot of stuff that this guy can do. For example, his title tag, as Vanessa mentioned,
is Phoenician Stone.
If you're looking to buy a, an antique fireplace or reclaimed biblical stone. Has anybody ever
searched for this stuff? Any of these words? Antique terracotta jars. Maybe not. No? No,
no antique. Oh yeah you're, we have one antique terracotta jar specialist over here. She's
a real fan.
Vanessa>>: It's her site.
Matt>>: Yeah, it might be her site. [Audience laughter]Since 1943. So the trick is, we have
a free tool called the Adwords Keyword Tool. There's a ton of free tools out there. If
you search for keyword tool, just click number one. You can type in like antique fireplace
and you'll get related words that people type.
So tip number one, put text on your page. Tip number two, think about what users will
type when searching for your services, and put those words on the page. Because I guarantee
you - it's okay, I've pre-labeled everything. By the way, this, this WiFi is powered by
Bluetooth, so we have a keyboard over here and, I, I can't imagine anything would go
wrong with that, right? [Audience laughter]
Vanessa>>: No, these are loading great right here.
Matt>>: Yeah.
>>: Use the other box.
>>Matt: Yeah, I'll just switch it to the other box. It's totally fine. [Audience laughter
and clapping] That's why I prelabeled all my tabs. On the other hand, people did get
free phones today. So that kind of balances out. [Audience laughter] That's, use that
for good, not for evil.
Okay, so I think we've made enough fun of Phoenician Stone. And, and really there's
not fun to be made of Phoenician Stone so much as there's some education here, which
is number one -- put text on the page. Number two, think about the words that users are
really going to type.
Okay. Another one, rodsbot.com. First off, if you just heard the word rodsbot.com, [audience
laughter] what do you think they specialize in? What kind of a website do you think rodsbot.com
is? It sounds like robotic sex toys to me. I don't know.
But[Audience laughter] in fact rodsbot.com is weird sites on Google Earth. That's kind
of cool. In fact, it's kind of addictive. Twenty hours ago this guy's market worse than
marijuana was. So maybe all the sheriffs are keeping an eye on this. Here's this face,
evidently it's somewhere in Turkey. Here's a ghost plane, whoa, Oceanic Flight 814 or
whatever.
So the question is, how do we make this site rank higher? Well, I'll put the question to
you guys. What, what's wrong with this page? I'll give you a hint, we, it sort of relates
to the last site. There's not a lot of text on this page. And in fact, the person who
asked about it understood that. They said, "I'm having problems getting text to a content."
So how do we solve this?
>>: [Inaudible].
Matt>>: Descriptions, yes. You can write the content yourself. Now let's do the jujitsu
where you try to make other people do the work for you.
>>: [Inaudible].
>>Matt: All text. Yes, yes. But you're still doing the work yourself.
>>: User reviews and comments.
Matt>>: User reviews and comments, thank you. User generated content. Why do the work when
you can get someone else to do the work for you, right? So in some cases all you have
to do is add the ability to add comments, and people will, they'll show up and they'll
leave the comments for you.
So they'll say, "Whoa, that's a weird face in Turkey. That plane looks like it's not
even real." And suddenly you'll get all these sort of keywords and you haven't done the
work. So that's one simple way to do it.
So level one of understanding is okay, I'll type it in. Level two is I'll open it up so
that other people can type it in for me. And then probably you want to think about throwing
it up on Twitter, Facebook, something like that. Promote it a little bit.
Vanessa>>: Yeah, 'cause what are people searching for where they would get to the site?
Matt>>: Yeah, that's tough.
Vanessa>>: Like he may want to even have a blog where he talks about-
Matt>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: -thinks about things that people are searching for that would care about interesting
geological phenomenon or something.
Matt>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: 'Cause I don't think anyone's gonna be searching for Turkey face. I mean maybe,
I don't know.
Matt>>: They're probably not gonna search for Rodsbot either.
>>Vanessa: No.
Matt>>: So, or if they are you don't, they want something different than what this guy's
offering.
Vanessa>>: Yeah. I was really disappointed when I got here [laughs].
Matt>>: It was like I was looking for a different kind of Rodsbot. So, so yeah, you want to
probably, you can see a little bit of text down here. And in fact, it's a little weird.
As fast as a rods, rodsbot.com. I don't, I don't think of rods like cheetahs, turtles
with rockets on them, greased lightning, rods.
I don't think of rods as like whoa, they're super fast. Oh my gosh. So, and it's not like
the domain is so great that you couldn't come up with a slightly different domain name or
brand it a little bit differently.
Now I'm being a little bit rough, but that's partly because this guy has multiple sites.
He's actually got like five or six sites. And, and one piece of advice I would like
to leave you with is if you can put more work into a single site as opposed to not very
much work into 50 sites, that can make a really big difference.
Because sometimes you can build up one really good site instead of like five or six that
are not quite as finished as they could be. Does that make sense? Okay.
>>Vanessa: Matt?
Matt>>: Yes?
>>Vanessa: What do you think of the friends page? I can't actually get it to load.
Matt>>: Yeah, friends page. I, I believe this is, a, a couple of these might be his sites.
Yeah. You want to always think about your linking strategy. These things don't especially
suit like news websites about Internet TV, movies and games seen from France. Don't seem
to have a whole lot to do with Google Earth weird places. On the other hand, weird face
in Turkey. That's kind of cool. Okay, so next up androidandme.com.
[pause]
Matt>>: What's the very first thing you notice whenever you're looking at this page?
Tiffany>>: Where's the content?
>>: [Inaudible]
Matt>>: Grab it. [laughs] Tiffany's saying
Tiffany>>: Where's the content?
Matt>>: Yeah.
Tiffany>>: You can't see any content.
Matt>>: Right. So on a lot of browsers the actual content is gonna be below the fold,
right? And that's okay. It's okay to show a banner ad. That's not the end of the world.
Hey, I hear this is a pretty good product. It's not bad to show cool things that are
being shown up.
But maybe you don't need this username and password, maybe you don't need two levels
of these things. Because if you think about it, if you have to start clicking down below
to get to the content, not everybody's gonna click through.
Now let me give a little bit of love. Whenever you view source, I don't know if you guys
can see it but they are running WordPress Version 2.9.2. Does anybody know what the
current version of WordPress is?
>>: [Inaudible]
Matt>>: At last I checked it was 2.9.2. Now it may have been updated in the last 36 hours
or something like that. But this means that they're running the current version of WordPress.
If you run WordPress, and I do and I love it, you have to keep it up to date.
In fact, I would recommend using an .htaccess file to whitelist the IP addresses that can
access your wp-admin directory. And not to harsh on WordPress, because it also applies
to Drupal, Jumula - Joomla, all this sort of stuff. If you run a content management
system which is a stock content management system, and that's usually a good idea because
it comes built in with relatively good SEO.
WordPress is great as far as SEO goes, but you have to keep it patched otherwise you'll
get hacked. So by using WordPress, Android and Me has actually done a fairly good job
of making sure that SEO is in good shape.
For example, look at this particular thing. Froyo is now officially Android 2.2 (Highlights).
Right? Good keyword text. It's not spammy, it's not stuffy and it's right there in the
URL. That also applies in the title. Little things like URL, keywords in the title and
the URL can make a big difference. And WordPress is just built to handle that naturally. So
that's really, really good.
Now here's one thing that's kind of strange. If in Chrome I hover over something I'll see
the title. So the title of Android and Me is Android and Me. Is that the optimal title?
No, no. So if you view source on Android and Me, Android and Me covers all the latest Android
news, phone launches, app reviews, software updates, Android hacks and phone accessories.
Great. Perfect.
Put a little bit of that in the title, right? And you don't, and you don't want to put all
of that in the title. But you can say the latest Android news and reviews, right? Stuff
like that can make an actual difference on how stuff ranks.
So I have to give a little bit of hard time for the title, just because in most ways Android
and Me is actually in pretty good shape. And it was sort of fun because they were like,
"Yeah, beat us up. Give us a hard time." And I was like, "You know you're actually doing
pretty well. There's not that much to beat you up for."
Now one thing I would say is how many people, just at the drop of a hat, know the difference
between Android and Me, Fandroid, Andronica, AndroLib, AppBrain. How many people know the
difference between all those? Okay. A lot more of you actually know the difference between
all of those. But they have the tendency to blend together a little bit.
Think about, think about a site like TechCrunch. M.G. Siegler writes these crazy headlines.
I can pretty much read a headline and know M.G. Siegler wrote it. So you want to think
about branding. You want to think about how can you differentiate yourself. How can I
stand out from the crowd a little bit?
And if everybody's got Android communities or Android Central or Android whatever, that's
a little harder to do. Now it's good for people who are searching for Android, but you don't
have to have Android in the name of your site.
Boy Genius Report, people heard of Boy Genius Report? It's a pretty known mobile site. Nothing
to, it doesn't say mobile phone anywhere in there. But it's actually a little more brandable
because it stands out from the crowd. It doesn't just have the same kind of name as everybody
else.
So when you're thinking about buying a new domain name, it doesn't have to be Android
whatever or cheapest car, online rentals, discounts, stuff like that. It can be something
brandable. So that's something to think about.
Oh, yeah, somebody submitted Google.com. [Audience laughs]And their comment was, "I would like
to know the backlinks of it. [Audience laughs]. Ah okay, they want to know the backlinks of
Google.com. Well luckily I'm prepared. In one point font I printed out the backlinks
of Google.com. These are the links from all the sites that begin with AAA.
[Audience laughs]
Matt>>: Now I'm kind, I'm kind of joking, right? It turns out Adobe and Google and Apple,
these are some of the most linked to sites on the Web. But the reason for that is because
they offer something of compelling value. So again, distinguishing or differentiating
yourself from the crowd. What can you do that is so excellent, that is so cool that people
want to link to your site?
Then you get this kind of level of links. You don't have to fight for each individual
one. You don't, you're not swimming upstream. You're sort of coasting downhill with the
wind behind you.
So, joking on Google.com but, now if people wanted to follow along the next site we're
going to look at is Surprises Galore. Do not go to this site. Stop. I, I see you. I see
you, you're gonna type enter. Don't do it. Don't go there. He's-
Vanessa>>: Let him do it.
Matt>>: No. Why, why would you not want to go to Surprises Galore? Well I saw this. By
the way, whoever submitted a bondage site for a public URL review, [Audience laughter]funny
but I'm not gonna show that, right?
So I saw the URL Surprises Galore and I'm like, "Is this another bondage site? Let's
find out." So I click on Surprises Galore and it's a completely normal, gourmet gift
basket, all this sort of stuff. So why do I want to highlight this site? Well, if you
view source on Surprises Galore there's this right here. And it's a little hard to see,
but it's holasianweb/oo.php.
And I apologize that I can't scroll it up further, but it's the very bottom of the page.
But I can click on that, and that will bring up this page. This is a script written in
PHP sort of stuff. All the way at the bottom of one page. And it's setting and doing cookies.
And then it's doing this thing rubid, ruboidmon-64tld. Anybody guess what's going on with Surprises
Galore?
>>: [Inaudible]
Matt>>: You all got it, Surprises Galore has been hacked. Okay? It's built such that the
first time you visit the site you get one of these scary fake malware warnings. Like
your computer has been infected with a virus. Here, pay us $99.95 and we'll take it off
for you. And click here to disinfect.
And in fact, when you click to disinfect you're actually installing the virus and then you
will have to pay $99.95 or reformat your hard drive to get rid of it. So this goes back
to the fact that out of the 500. I didn't look at all 500 sites, I looked at about 40.
That, rough odds would mean like 1% or 2% of all websites are hacked.
Now, I'm not gonna give any names but there are two Google employees, none of these people,
but actual Google speakers at Google I/O who the very first time I met them I googled them.
I said oh, type in their name. And they were selling Viagra.
[Audience laughs]
Matt>: It's like, that's kind of weird. I mean, that's a strange side business for a
Googler. You don't want to sell Viagra, right? And it turned out they were hacked and they
didn't know it. So a really scary trend that's happening. I'll, I'll just give you like the
projection when you're out.
Personal computers are getting better about security, right? Vista, Windows 7, actually
pretty good about making sure you don't get hacked, don't get infected. So where are the
hackers gonna go? They're gonna go to your Web server, right? So if you haven't done
security audits, if you use stock software, if you haven't patched it, they will hack
it. And they'll do stuff like this.
-I've seen Donald Trump's site hacked. I've seen Al Gore's site hacked. All sorts of stuff.
And they get sneakier and sneakier. They do things like they only show the hacked site
when you come from a Google search results page. Or they'll only show you the Malware
warning once. All sorts of stuff like that.
Vanessa>>: Yeah, the best one was when I got hacked.
Matt>>: You got hacked?
Vanessa>>: Yeah, a couple years ago because I hadn't updated WordPress-
Matt>> Yeah.
Vanessa>>: And when I went to the site it looked fine, but when the Googlebot went to
the site it was full of Viagra [laughter]. But I could never see it.
Matt>>: Yes. Now there are tools to help you with that. And Vanessa, do you want to tell
them about any of the tools to help with that?
Vanessa>>: I would love to tell them about some of the tools available. How many of you
have heard of a tool called Google Webmaster Central?
Matt>>: Please raise your hand, please raise your hand.
Vanessa>>: All right.
Matt>>: Even if you haven't, please raise your hand. Everyone should-
Vanessa>>: Just pretend.
Matt>>You were, you were literally negligent if you have not registered your site at Google
Webmaster Central.
Vanessa>>: Yeah. So this is, this is available as many of you know at Google.com/webmasters
and one of the awesome things that it does is if you log in and you verify your site
it will let you know if your site has malware on it.
So, and it gives you all the steps to, of what to do about it. Because Google will if
they, if they see that your site has malware they'll block it in the search results so
that they're not sending searchers there as well. And so, yeah, so this is a great tool
for a variety of reasons.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
Vanessa>>: But certainly the malware detection is one of them. And I don't know who did that
tool, but gosh..
Matt>>: Vanessa was the product manager on Webmaster Central before she left Google.
[Vanessa laughs]There's a lot of great..
Tiffany>>: I also got hacked.
Matt>>: Who got hacked?
Tiffany>>: I did.
Matt>>: You got hacked?
Tiffany>>: I also didn't keep my WordPress up to date. [laughs]
Matt>>: Okay. Greg, have you been hacked yet?
Vanessa>>: Have you ever done that?
Greg>>: I'm a blogger. [laughs]
Tiffany: I also, one thing that Webmaster Tools has is it tells you your most common
keywords on your site. So under normal circumstances when I look at Webmaster Tools I see photos,
photography, Tiffany. These are good words.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
Tiffany>>: Then when I was hacked, I was checking Webmaster Tools and I see Viagra and Cialis
and that's not supposed to be in my content..so
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: Yeah, so that's one way. Another way that that report is helpful, is I've been
in site reviews like this where people get really mad, right? They're like the tool's
totally wrong. I looked at this report, it said my site's about Viagra. I don't have
Viagra on my site at all.
And it's because they have a guest book or they have comments that they don't moderate.
And so there's been so much spam that's been added. And they have no idea and they just
let it go. One was this guy that had this guest book that it must have been, I mean
it was like five miles long. One page of guest book just full of Viagra spam [laughs].
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: So it, that, I, I, I, I think that's a great report for this kind of thing.
Greg>>: Um-hum. In addition to that, prior to getting hacked one of the things you can
do is Google released this tool a few months back called Skipfish. And Skipfish is something
you can point your development server before you launch it in the real world.
And let it run and crawl your website and look for vulnerabilities that you've, you've
created by, as a developer or via third party apps or anything like that. So check it out.
It's all one word, Skipfish. And that's pulling up now.
Matt>>: And if you haven't heard of Google.com/webmasters, it's at Google.com/webmasters. Pretty easy
to remember. One more tool in that tool set that I'll mention is called Fetch as Googlebot.
And what that does is you prove that you own your site. You have to like either edit a
meta tag or make a DNS entry, something to show that yeah, you really do own that site.
That way you can't claim whitehouse.gov and start doing weird stuff with whitehouse.gov.
But once you've proven that you own that site, you can tell Googlebot, and it's something
like 50 times a week, come fetch any page on my site and show me exactly what you saw
including any redirects, any server headers, anything like that.
So if you've been hacked you can say okay Google, fetch the page, show it to me. Am
I still hacked? Dang it, I still am. Okay, ah, fix it up, patch the servers again, Fetch
as Googlebot. Okay, now I'm clean. So it's a very handy tool. I would recommend everybody
check that out. It's free and all that sort of stuff.
Okay, not to dwell on hacked stuff too much. So I'll let Surprises Galore off the hook
now. Okay, so now the next site that I wanted to look at is called The Hook Up.
Vanessa>>: All right. [laughs]
Matt>>: I love these URLs. And the URL is, I believe it's…
Vanessa>>: Thehookupsite.com.
Matt>>: Yes, thehookupsite.com. Anybody want to guess what The Hook Up site does?
>>: [Inaudible]
Matt>>: It gives you the hookup on the best car audio.
[Audience laughs]
Vanessa>>: Woo-hoo.
Matt>>: Wait a second, what were you guys thinking?
[Audience laughs]
Matt>>: Get your head out of the gutter. Oh my gosh. Okay, so this is an interesting site.
It's a local site in Kansas, but the problem with being on the Web spam team, is once you
see spam and you learn how to recognize it you can't unsee it, right?
So here's what looks like a pretty good CD mp3 player. And then it's got a list of parts
stuff in the owner's manual. And then it's got white marine speakers. What's going on
here? And then it's got car component speakers. This seems a little strange. Is, is this the
sort of stuff that regular people normally write on their blog?
[pause]
Not, not so much [laughs].
So what this guy's actually doing is he's taking press releases and just syndicating
on, on his site. The problem is that's not really original content, so you won't tend
to rank very highly. So you can put up a website, right? Props to anybody who wants to put up
a website. But if you don't have something original to show, it usually tends not to
rank as highly.
Now there is some original content on this site. He has a photo gallery. And I have to
say, this is a really blinged out '83 Chevy, 24-inch dubs, or is it 24-inch dub-dubs or
just dubs? I always get that mixed up, I don't know. So it's kind of neat. They say submit
your site and we'll pimp it out and stuff like that.
So this, this is a real site. There's a real person, you know, Shawnee, Kansas who's looking
at this. The problem is you're not putting enough core attention on just the basic stuff
of building up original content. Original content can make a huge difference. People
don't get in love with a site like this, right? There's no loyalty. People don't come back
to it.
Think about the things that make people come back to a site. It's typically not a press
release that's just thrown up on the Web. Okay. Next up is Kathy Toth, who is a real
estate agent in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Now, there's some interesting stuff going on here.
This is, she has original content. In fact, quite a lot of original content.
But she's also part of a sort of real estate network, Pro Step Marketing. And they basically
step out from the ordinary. We'll make your real, realtor site step out and look different
than anybody else's. The problem is, it doesn't really look all that different. In fact, if
you look here and do a sample analysis it goes to marketsnapshot.info.
And you look here, oh, did you guys see yesterday Google announced the Google font API and Google
font director. Really, it's, it's a good idea to put text in actual text, not in images.
Because here's the text, Ann Arbor real estate experts, and there's no way for Google to
see it because it's embedded in an image.
So we have joked about it, we have said, "Why don't we crawl the entire Web and run OCR
on all images on the entire Web," right? And be like, "That says Ann Arbor real estate
experts, so we'll help Kathy Toth. We will add that text to the page. But we haven't
done that yet. And the Web is pretty big. So I don't expect us to do that any time soon.
So in the mean time, that's the kind of thing that you can just put right on your page.
You don't have to have it embedded in an image. There was also, this is a little bit strange.
If you click on blog, it goes to AnnArborTalks.com.
And I just want to drill this point home again. Okay, so here's a listing of a real estate
site. This is supposedly a blog. "Ann Arbor foodies want to get fresh at the produce station."
It turns out this content is not original. It appeared someone else, somewhere else first.
This one I love.
I don't know if you guys can see it. It's an application to marry my daughter [Audience
laughs] in Ann Arbor. Okay? And it starts out pretty simple, like boy scout rank and
badges, tattoos, earrings. It gets down to "in 50 words or less what does don't touch
my daughter mean to you?" [Audience laughs]. "In 50 words or less what does abstinence
mean to you?"
[Audience laughs]
All right.
So I swear all this is truthful. Otherwise water torture, red hot poker and the Hillary
Clinton kiss torture. [Audience laughs]I kind of missed that until now. [Audience laughs]Okay,
so number one this is amusing. You want your blog to show your human side, but there's
such a thing as too much information, right? [Audience laughs]If you happen to be in a
blue state, the Hillary Clinton kiss torture that might be a little offensive. Right?
So it's, it's a delicate sort of needle to thread. You want to show a little bit of your
human face, but you don't want to be like, "I think Hillary Clinton sucks." And then
you fall off the edge. Right? So ask yourself, "Is this the right place for my professional
blog?" Maybe you want to have a personal blog. Maybe you want to do this on Facebook, somewhere
a little more private, something like that.
Vanessa>>: I have a minor point that you, I don't know if you noticed about the site.
Is she had said that she has a Web design firm that's good at SEO.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
Vanessa>>: But I noticed that at the bottom of the page her Web design firm links to themselves
for
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: different times with keyword rich anchor text.
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: So, they perhaps are good at SEO for their own site.[laughs] But I mean, you
really want to watch for that, because you don't want whoever does your website to use
your site as a link farm back to their site with a bunch of different sets of keywords.
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: And not that this is a link farm, but four links to them in the same little
block of text seems a little, a little bit suspicious.
Matt>>: Yeah. It's a little bit overboard to say powered by Pro Step Marketing, Pro
Step Marketing, Real Estate Web design, Real Estate Marketing Services. What are you really
doing? You're really giving your anchor text, your page rank, to the person who made your
site. And it should be your site.
And so to the extent that if some of this is a little bit cookie cutter, you have to
be a little careful about that. If they end up just making a ton of sites. And by the
way, a lot of these individual resources whenever you click through and do searches and stuff,
they tend to be other sites.
So that's the sort of thing to be a little bit careful about. A lot of this is like mlsfinder.com.
So you want the value on your site. You don't just want to be framed in someone else's site,
if that makes sense.
Greg>>: So Matt, can I point out one thing that this person's doing really well?
Matt>>: Yeah.
Greg>>: If you go to maps.google.com and search for Kelly Toth, or Kathy Toth, sorry, in Michigan.
Kathy is a very local business, basically a realtor, so she's got a owner verified listing
in, in Google Maps, which gets her some extra points for certain kind of queries that show
up for people locally. And also gets a lot more information than, there's actually some
good content there that isn't even on the website, so-
Matt>>: Yeah.
Greg>>: -that's a big plus.
Tiffany>>: I just did a blog post maybe a month ago about local business SEO, and I
talked a lot about ways you can optimize Google places. So if you do have a local business
that might be something to check out.
Matt>>: Yeah. So many people get focused on I have to be number one for Ann Arbor real
estate, right? They have a trophy for it, is they have one thing they want to rank for.
I want to rank number one for Android apps. I want to rank number one for Viagra online.
Whatever you want to rank for.
And the problem is people don't type that in. They type in thousands of different phrases.
So instead of paying attention to the one trophy phrase that's the most contested, the
most competitive, the hardest to rank for, look at what is in your server logs. Look
at what people are already typing. A lot of the times you might check those keywords in
your own page too. And if you put the phrases just once or twice more in a natural way,
you can move up to page one.
And the points that these guys are making, which is a very good point, is that it's not
just the Web. You can make videos. You can make business listings. You can submit stuff
to, to Picasa Web and Flickr and all this sort of stuff. You can participate on Twitter
and Facebook, where a lot of traffic is these days.
So it's not all about getting number one on a particular phrase. It's about looking at
where all the people are online and trying to go to them. Does that make sense?
Vanessa>>: Hey Matt.
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: You're saying you could check your server logs to see the stuff you may rank
on page two or three or four. But I feel like there's a tool that shows you when you're
ranking on page two
Matt>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: or three
Matt>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: And it shows you the
Matt>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: click through rates
Matt>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: on the search results
>>Matt: Yes. Yes.
Vanessa>>: and I think, we might have mentioned it even earlier at Google Webmaster-
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: -Tools.
Matt>>: I don't want to oversell it, but yes, you can find out the kinds of things that
you ranked for. Google Analytics
Vanessa>>: Well, I mean it's
Matt>>: is also great for that.
Vanessa>>: It's especially great though when you're, when you're ranking on like the third
page or the fourth page, because you probably would never know that. And you might not even
see that in your analytics. But it's really interesting information I think to see those,
that, those reports that show you that stuff.
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: And that was launched well after I left so
Matt>>: Yep [laughs]. So, another person submitted the site called Forchan. I don't know if anybody's
been to that. [Audience laughs]The, the comment was, "How can I optimize this site which has
fresh content?" I hear Forchan does have fresh content [Audience laughs]. And keeps changing
frequently, also true. Or is it a moot point? [Audience laughs]
Dude, come on. You think we don't know about Moot? Moot's a cool guy. We're not gonna look
at Forchan because I don't want to get sued. So, moving on. [Audience laughs]Sheesh.
Okay. Okay, this one's great, SEOpackages.net. So we have a search engine optimizer. So we're
gonna give the secret to search engine optimization. Number one, get a good hosting plan [Audience
laughs]. Do not let your bandwidth be exceeded [Audience laughs].
I was all set to try to give constructive advice to this guy, right. And he's just,
sorry I'm not alive on the Net anymore. So okay, we'll move on. So make sure to have
good up time. Oh should we, okay do people want to do fun, evil, sort of spammy sites
or more constructive positive advice?
>>: Advice.
>>: More positive.
Matt>>: More constructive positive advice, okay. Good deal. And I'll, I'll check the
Wave. We'll get to a few of these questions too. There's not that many, there's only five
questions on the Wave right now. So if people want to submit, just do Google/IO Sessions,
go to the session, click on the Wave, submit a question. And we'll do, start a little questions
toward the end as well.
Okay, so here's a question from AppBrain. It's really two. One is they make extensive
use of the Google Web Toolkit, and does that hurt their search results? And number two,
how do you get Google to recognize their sort of breadcrumb structure? Because you want
that to show in the search results.
So this is actually a really good question Let's take Shoot U!(LITE). AppBrain is a very
cool site. If you guys haven't tried it, I recommend it. So AppBrain has 15,000 results
indexed. What does that mean?
That means GWT, the Google Web Toolkit, is not really hurting them. And in fact, if you
look at the sort of URLS that they generate, they're perfectly natural, good looking URLs.
You can use a period as a separator, you can use a dash as a separator.
I would prefer a dash over an underscore, because whenever you have two terms like A_B,
Google tends to index those as one term. If you have A-B, we'll index them as two different
terms. And most people type, tend to type A B, not A_B.
So I wouldn't change your site if you've got something that already works for you. But
if you're making a brand new site, I would use separators though like dashes or periods
or something like that.
So the URLs are actually pretty good. Here's Shoot U!(LITE). GWT is not hurting you in
this case, as far as I can tell. Now there is a little bit of design advice for this
site. If I'm interested in this app, am I gonna be more interested in change logs or
am I gonna be interested in user reviews?
User reviews, obviously. So why are the change logs above the user reviews? There's no good
reason for that, right? So just swap the order of those. Think about the layout a little
bit. This while interesting is not really all that useful to people. So I'd put that
more towards the bottom of the page.
But it is doing a good job. It's having some normal text. It's got images. So AppBrain
is doing a relatively good job of having all this sort of content, useful stuff, right
up front.
Related Android apps, critical. Why is related Android apps critical? How are people finding
this site? You're probably searching for one specific Android app, right? You land on it
and you're done, and you close the window and you go off and you start work.
Or you see related Android apps, and suddenly you've lost half an hour because you go, "Oh
wow, Space Light. I've never heard about that. Okay, Bazooka. Wait a second, Bazooka Rabbit
Demo." And suddenly you've lost 40 minutes sort of surfing through all this kind of stuff.
YouTube gets an incredible amount of traffic from its related videos. It might be more
than from the homepage. So people come in on a specific video and then you know what?
If they had the time to watch a five minute video of a cute kitten, maybe they have time
to watch another two minute video of a dog on a skateboard. And then maybe they have
time to watch another seven minute video of something else. And before you know it, the
whole afternoon's gone [Audience laughs].
Now you as the developer want that whole afternoon to be gone on your site, so show these related
contents. Show these related apps. It's actually
Vanessa>>: Did you, did you look at their meta description tag? Because the meta description
tag, unlike the keywords tag that Matt was mentioning earlier, can be really valuable,
particularly in the search results. When someone's skimming the search results to figure out
which one to click on.
And for this one I would think if you're looking for a particular Android app and you're looking
through the search results, you might use the meta description to really figure that
out.
And they're just populating it based on the first part of the text from the page, which
is good and then it gives them something that's unique for every page. But it causes everything
to be sort of cut off oddly, 'cause it only takes a certain number of characters.
So that meta description that shows up in the search result tends to be very awkward
for users because it just randomly cuts off in the middle of a sentence. So as a developer,
if there's a way, if you're going to automate that try to automate it in a way that's a
little bit more
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: easy to read
Matt>>: Absolutely.
Vanessa>>: and it's useable.
Matt>>: So what do you really want? You don't want search rankings, you want traffic. And
you don't really want traffic, you want conversions. So you really want interested users who are
kind of prequalified. You have already said this is what my site's about, and they still
chose it.
So here's AndroidLib for example. The snippet is Shoot U! was developed by Camel Games,
package name com.camelgamesshootu. That's not that handy, right? Whereas go down to
AppBrain and they're saying hand drawing style physics game. That's pretty good. All you
need to do is shooting the little guy to hit the stars, simple, we'll see who it cuts off
in the middle.
Putting a little bit of work into trying to craft the right meta description, and you
clearly have the text, because it's on the main part of the page, can entice users to
click more often. It is really worth the time to try to get a good meta description, especially
if it's automatically generated like this. And it's not spamming it's just, it's relevant.
For each page there's a meta, a different meta description.
If you don't have a meta description, or you have the same meta description on every single
page, we'll try to pick out the best part of the page to summarize the user's query.
And we don't always get it right. A bunch of Webmasters used to call them the ransom
note style snippets. So we do a pretty good job of highlighting where the words are on
the page. But if you give us a good meta description, we'd often prefer to show the good meta description.
Now the second part of the question from, from AppBrain was how do I get the breadcrumbs?
This is what they're talking about. This is breadcrumbs. And I went ahead and I, I asked
the team that worked on this.
And the short answer is make sure that you have the same sort of markup as everybody
else. And then you have to be a little bit patient. Typically it might take a month or
more before a site gets processed and we realize that you have something that's amenable to
bread crumbs and we're showing breadcrumbs.
So that's something to be aware of. They're working on making it faster. They hope that
by about the end of this quarter they'll be able to make that much, much faster. So, if
you can come up with something that's a relatively clear structure then you might get a couple
extra links. And sometimes this attracts more click through than something like /app/comgames,
stuff like that.
Okay. Let's move onto a new site. Okay, airportcarparks.co.uk. I'm just gonna be really kind of snippy real
quick. Because I think a few people like the sang froid and some people like the constructive
advice.
If you have good text, don't hide it under a bushel. Check out this text. Oh man, oh
man, oh man, ohhhh. Is this written for users? No, it is not written for users. Oh, right.
Okay, so right here is where I can tell you're scraping content. Right? Because you didn't
escape Britain's correctly.
Somebody typed Britain's in Microsoft Word which used a non-standard apostrophe which
went up on a Web page which someone copied. It showed up here, and now it's a question
mark character. I know it's not the original content, because they didn't put it up the
right way. And in fact, if you search for this phrase it appears on some other Web page.
So scrapers, there are lots of ways that you can spot them. And usually you can tell whether
something is inorganic. Do these comments look organic to you? I don't know if you can
read them. I'll read a few. F. Adams, R. Rushworth, D. Anderson, T. Quigley and G. Foyles. Do
most people sign their comments with G. Foyles? Usually they use either some weird handle
like hacker elite or their full name, right? Not D. Anderson. And it's, it's a little strange.
Airport, airparks for Gatwick Airport. Jet Parks for Manchester Airport. And did you
notice they use six stars instead of five? [Audience laughs]Right? You don't understand,
five stars wasn't enough to convey how great these sites are. You need six stars to get
across how, this one goes to 11. Okay, so don't just reuse content. Don't just make
up sort of things that look inorganic. Okay, back to constructive a little bit.
Vanessa>>: Although that is, okay I know that was a scraper site. But the thing with the
text scrolling at the bottom.
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: Now that I don't work at Google anymore, people sometimes are a little more
honest with me
Matt>>Um-hum.
Vanessa>>: than they were when I worked there.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
Vanessa>>: And I'll talk to people and I'll ask them, "Why do you have a bunch of text
at the bottom of the page? Do you really think that this is useful for people?" And they
say to me, and they don't mean it in a bad way at all. They go, "No, that's for search
engines, 'cause I heard that search engines like a lot of text on the page."
And people really think that this is a good strategy. And they're not trying to spam necessarily.
They just think that's the way to get enough content on the page for search engines to
like it.
So of course what I always go back and tell them is what search engines want is the same
thing that users want. And so that content has to be useful for the visitors to your
site for the search engines to value it as well. So
Matt>>: Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, here's a quick one, growinstyle.com. The question
is, they have unfriendly URLs, how much is that going to hurt their SEO? So the URL is
item.axpx item id=67.
The fact is, if everything else on your site is pretty good, don't get that worried about
your URLs. If you're making a brand new site, and you can make it have keywords in the URL
- not crazy stuff, but like three or four keywords like WordPress does go ahead and
do that. But don't beat yourself up or like do an eight month project to completely change
your content management system if you can't get exactly the URL that you want.
Search engines work with the Web as it is. And Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask all the
big search engines try to cope with syntax errors, people that don't have keywords spreckled
all over their page, all that sort of stuff.
So I wouldn't, I wouldn't worry about that at all. If you can put a URL in, put a keyword
in the URL that's good. But you don't have to go overboard and you don't have to worry
about it if you can't do it. It's a relatively quick one.
Okay, jimdantona.com. This one's interesting, because it's a little bit savvy and a little
bit naïve. On one hand, Jim Dantona is fighting for Ventura County. On the other hand, does
anybody know where Ventura County is?
>>: [Inaudible]
Matt>>: Okay, a few people do. You're probably from Southern California. As I understand
it, Ventura County is like near Bakersfield or something like that.
>>: [Inaudible]
Matt>>: What? What? What? What? Okay, hold on. [Audience laughs]Maps. Hold on, oh, oh,
oh, okay. The mere fact that we can disagree about this is interesting. Okay, so the area
code is 805. So if you do this query 805, area code Bakersfield. That's why I was saying
Bakersfield. I apologize.
Matt>>: So, okay, so maybe, the mere fact that we can disagree about this means put
the address on the page. Right? Nowhere on here does it have the address. It has a phone
number. So that's the sort of thing you need to have on your page. Because some, people
are going to type county clerk California, county clerk Santa Barbara, county clerk Bakersfield,
wherever you are.
Vanessa>>: And this happens a lot with restaurants in particular, where they only put the address
but they don't put the city or the state. Because they just, of course I'm in Seattle.
But you're not gonna be found when people do restaurant in Seattle.
Mark>>: Yep. Here, here's one more trick. Now this is, this text is again not text.
If I click on this, check out the URL. It becomes default.htm. The easiest links you
can possibly get to your website are your own links.
Making sure that your internal links point to the same place that you want it is one
of the easiest things to do. If you shoot yourself in the foot by saying okay I have
default.htm, I have index.html, I have index.php, I have it without any of those. Suddenly your
page rank and your links and your anchor text can be divided four ways. And you might not
rank.
So there are simple ways to handle this. Just make sure that everything is consistent. You
usually don't want to have extra stuff on the end. It just gets in the way of the mind
of your users. If you can get rid of it, there's a tag called rel="canonical".
And if you just search for rel="canonical", it's incredibly simple to set up. All you
do is you say in fact I'll use our help page about it. I even made a video, which I don't
want to play. All you do is you say where would you like this URL to point. For example,
my canonical might be jimdontana.com/, that's it.
So even though you might have these different URLs out on the Web, if you can't fix it yourself
use rel="canonical" and you can sort of unite the page rank, the trust to the anchor text.
All that stuff into one place. And that can make a really big difference.
Tiffany>>: Just to add to that, so like Matt was saying they have the default, they have
index, multiple versions of the home page. They also have the dub-dub-dub version versus
non-dub-dub-dub.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
Tiffany>>: It's a really common thing. You can just redirect one to the other.
Vanessa>>: So they've got eight versions of their page. [laughs]
Matt>>: Yeah.
Tiffany>>: All the combinations of dub-dub-dub and default.
Matt>>: Right. You, you don't really want to be the Octomom with your URLs. You don't
want to have eight different versions of your URLs out there. You want to have an only child.
All your page rank, all your anchor text should be pointing to one place.
Another thing is there are a lot of good things about this site. He's got testimonials, he's
got text. If you click on this it starts to play a really cool video of like, stuff's
flying around and voting and all sorts of cool stuff.
I would argue this video would be a much better thing to show than this tired slide show.
Right? Because I just happened to click on this, and I watched the video all the way
through. I'm not gonna watch this slide show all the way through. So think about your resources
and your assets. And sometimes you want to match stuff up differently. Okay.
Vanessa>>: He did a good job on the title though.
Matt>>: Hmm?
Vanessa>>: In terms of
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: primary election county clerk recorder and his name, even though
Matt>>: Yeah.
Vanessa>>: it doesn't have
Matt>>: Yeah. So check out the title. Excellent title. This is the sort of title that works
really fine. Vote June 8, 2010, right? He's managed to get June and 2010 in, so if somebody
searched for election or June 8 or 2010 he might show up for that.
This is totally fine. None of this seems like keyword stuffing. It's a little on the long
side as titles go, but he gets useful keywords in there and nothing in there is at all spammy.
So yeah, good point. Excellent title.
Okay, so we can do a couple things. We can start to go into a lightning round. We can
start to take some questions. Strong preference either way?
>>: Questions.
Matt>>: Questions, okay. I'm going to close these out like super fast. This guy also has
duplicate content troubles. You can build a website on Google sites. It is possible.
Discount plus size dresses. As soon as you click it's a JavaScript link and it goes to
a completely different domain name. Why would I even bother?
Tiffany>>: It's not even the same dress.
Matt>>: Yeah.
Tiffany>>: That's impossible to buy the dress you like.
Matt>>: Yeah. Give me the plus, give me the two-in-one dress. Where is it? I can't get
it from this site? So make sure that you actually have the stuff.
Nextsprocket.com is pretty cool. It's a marketplace for open source tools. So if you want like
an open source tool you can pay $30, $50. Is Next Sprocket in the, in the room? Maybe
they're shy. Their question was, how can we get more links?
The answer is come up with a cool idea. I think this is a cool idea. I might find a
couple Chrome extensions. So get the cool idea and then think about marketing it. Get
on Twitter, get on Facebook, submit it for a site review, that sort of stuff.
We'll skip on that one. Oh yeah, we don't need. Ah, we'll talk to Sarah Science later.
Okay, let's do some, oh, oh, okay.
One last one. There, there is a trend where some people think that they need a lot of
links. And so rather than develop the links out of merit or because your site is excellent,
they think, "I'll just take the shortcut, I'll just buy a bunch of links."
That is really not a good idea. You tend to get links from sites like this. Syriaalaan.com.
You get, get term life insurance quotes for free, banking, freshwater fish and aquariums,
Nike football kits, cheapest hotel rates, Himalayan salt lamps to ease asthma.
These are not really targeted useful links. If the user lands on this page they're not
gonna stay to read about the Himalayan salt lamps. So this is the sort of stuff that makes
spam fighters see red.
We want to find every single one of your back links, we want to go over them with a fine-toothed
comb to see what's going on. This is the sort of stuff that you definitely want to avoid.
So if you can, I would definitely stay away from this sort of stuff.
Okay, questions. We'll alternate between questions from the Wave and questions from the mic.
We'll sort of go back and forth. Please use one of the mics, don't just shout out questions.
Then everyone's going this mic. We have one over there too [Audience laughs]. You were
first so go ahead.
>>: Can you talk a little bit more about GWT and SEO?
Matt>>: Yeah, absolutely. GWT, the Google Web Toolkit, is a fantastic package, because
you can do like really fast interfaces. You can write your stuff in Java, compile it down
to JavaScript.
Historically, AJAXy type stuff hasn't been that crawlable, right? Which is a real problem.
Now, if you're just doing something like Adwords, Adwords is written in GWT whenever you're
using that interface on the Web. So you can make fantastic applications. But it historically
hasn't been that crawlable. They've introduced a new standard and Google supports it, I think
Facebook is already adding this to some of their URLs.
Vanessa>>: And it's built into GWT now.
Matt>>: It is built into GWT, where basically if you want something to be indexed instead
of just having the hash mark you can do hash mark bang, and exclamation point. And that
will tell search engines this URL can be indexed. So we're already indexing a lot of content
from Facebook that's doing this. Anybody else that wants to use GWT. If you, if you search
for…
Vanessa>>: No, there's a little more to it than that. [laughs]
Matt>>: Yeah.
>>: To actually generate the page, when you…
Vanessa>>: Yeah, you have install a headless browser on your server to generate static
versions of the pages when google.com's it's all documented and it's actually fairly straightforward,
but you do have to do a few things for it. But that does help your AJAX to get crawled
that otherwise wouldn't be if you're using something like the Google Web Toolkit.
Matt>>: Yep. So if you search for crawl AJAX you'll find a page like this, making your
AJAX applications crawlable. And the rough idea is you want to introduce this sort of
bang character. There's a few other things to do. But at least now it's possible. It
used to not really even be possible. Good question.
Okay, so let me take one question from the Wave. MayDay. There were a bunch of people
on Webmaster forums like Webmaster World. They saw a, something go live that happened
right around May 1st, so they called it MayDay.
MayDay is an algorithmic change in Google search results. We are looking for higher
quality sites, especially more towards long tail queries. And it's something that's been
through rigorous evaluation. Every change that we do goes through a ton of evaluation.
We do over 500 changes a year so it's not a mistake. This is something that is going
to go forward.
If you never heard of MayDay or it doesn't affect you, don't worry about it at all. But
it is an algorithmic change. It's working where we're trying to find high quality sites,
and sort of show those a little bit higher, which means unfortunately that some sites
show a little bit lower. So that's just a few seconds about MayDay. Yeah, question?
>>: So I run a popular website that is currently number one for our particular term. I, I got
a lot of feedback from my users that wanted features. So I added the new features and
I put the links to those new pages in the top level nav.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
>>: And instantly I fell in the rankings.
Matt>>: Okay.
>>: This happened during the busy time of my company, so I had to revert those changes.
And I instantly went back to number one.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
>>: So what is the, the best way to add new features to the site and not fall in the rankings?
Matt>>: Usually that doesn't happen. Usually just adding a link or two won't make a big
difference. Were you adding like 20 or 30 links?
>>: No, I added about three links to the top level nav
Matt>>: Okay.
>>: and I fell to number three.
Matt>>: Even though it sounds like a smoking gun. You put it here it went down, you take
it off it goes back up.
>>: Yeah.
Matt>>: Sometimes that still can be a coincidence. Because when you've got tens of billions of
websites, you take stuff on you take stuff down, things can happen.
The other thing that sometimes happens is that sometimes a site is down or down intermittently
and they don't realize it whenever they're rolling out new code. Feel free to catch us
afterwards to sort of show us the site. But normally just adding two or three links would
not make that big of a drop.
Vanessa>>: Yeah. What did it drop to, from one to what?
>>: It fell to a three.
Vanessa>>: To three, and it was the same URL? It was the homepage of those pieces?
>>: It was the homepage, yes.
Vanessa>>: Yeah, I…
Matt>>: It can be that you're right on the cusp. You know what I'm saying? You might
want to make sure that if you're showing up number one for a particular phrase, maybe
put that phrase once or twice more on the page, somewhere else on the page.
Because if you're right at the hairy edge, then having that phrase one more time can
make a difference. But normally adding just a link or two wouldn't make that much of a
difference. So we'd be happy to look at the site afterwards if you want.
>>: Great.
Matt>>: Cool.
>>: I'd just like to know the small business blog that was referred to earlier.
Matt>>: The small business blog?
Vanessa>>: Oh, the blog post that I mentioned?
>>: Yes.
Vanessa>>: Oh, so my site is ninebyblue.com and I did a blog post a couple weeks ago about
local business. So you can find it there.
>>: Nine by Blue?
Vanessa>>: Yeah.
>>: Thanks.
Matt>>: Yep. And in fact, Vanessa's very fun to read. I like one of her posts, "Micro sites,
a bad idea most of the time." [laughter] It's sort of an underselling way to say don't make
500 different sites, concentrate more on making one good site that has branding and stuff
like that. It can be really handy. Yeah?
>>: Yeah, I have a question about domain extensions. It's tough to get good dot coms.
Matt>>: Um-hum.
>>: And just wondering if you guys have, give preference over a dot com versus a dot info
for example.
Tiffany>>: Always go with dot info's, they're awesome. [Audience laughs]
Matt>>: No. Iím office mates with a guy named Amit Singhal. Amit basically guides the entire
search quality team at Google. I'm, I work on Web spam, so trying to catch the cheaters.
He deliberately runs a dot info. He's at Singhal.info, so then we can't say, "Well we don't know
of any good dot info sites." Well here's one, you know.
So we try not to look at the TLD. There may be parts, I'll automatically run parts within
our system that say well we think this is a little bit better or that's a little bit
worse. But that's gonna be a small factor no matter what. Until recently there was nothing
like that.
And there's no like super duper hand boost for EDU or gov sites or anything like that.
It's just people tend to link more to EDU sites and gov sites and stuff like that. So
plenty, Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, his domain is ma.tt.
>>: Hmm.
Matt>>: And he still ranks number one for Matt, which really annoys me. I'm like number
eight or something like that [Audience laughs]. So he's just got so much value added to the
Web. Rrrr. So typically I wouldn't worry about it. If you can get the dot com, you can usually
get dot org, dot net, dot name, all these things can work pretty well.
Vanessa>>: I do think though that dot info users tend to be a little suspicious, because
dot info sites used to be free, right, so there's just a lot, there's more of a percentage
of spammy info sites. And so some of your visitors might be a little hesitant, maybe
is what I mean.
Matt>>: Yep, cool. So let me take a question from the Wave. In Google.de I see more English
results in the SERPs. SERPs stand for search engine result pages. Why do these things,
sites rank so high lately? Is this done to promote the U.S. economy? [Audience laughter]Sometimes
people in Germany get a little angry at us. There are side effects from buying U.S. guns
online so it's not good for users.
So I think Google does a better job than most at localizing the search results. So for example,
if I go to Google.com and I type in bank, I get Bank of America, Wikipedia, bank.com,
World Bank, Wells Fargo. If I go to, let's say Australia, and I type in bank I get Westpac,
ANZ, Commbank].
If I go to Google.co.uk and I type in bank, whoop, it'll say did you mean bank. And I
get Bank Fashion, Bank of England, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, right? So we actually
do localize quite a bit.
And we can localize even knowing that some of this stuff, for example, Lloyds TSB is
a dot com, but we know that it's related to the U.K. So we try to localize as best we
can.
If you have specific examples, feel free to point them out. So Torvall, if you want to
submit the specific site that you think is showing up that shouldn't be showing up, let
us know and we'll take a look at it. Okay, question from the audience.
>>: Hi. I have two very short questions. One of them is regarding accentuation in Spanish.
So we have the English and Spanish where, for example the word pronóstico and pronostíco]
are two completely different words with two completely different connotations.
And how is, and when I put the hyperlink with the accentuation mark in it, the way that
Google reads it, I've seen with the fetch bot, is the ampersand i-o, a bunch of code
at the end to make the, the accentuation mark. And I was wondering how we can work with this,
correct this anyway.
Matt>>: Yep, absolutely. Punctuation is interesting, because for example in Woodside there's something
called Cañada Road. So you have the-
>>: Yes.
Matt>>: those sorts of things. And the trouble is, do you index it as Canada Road or Canada
Road. So typically what Google will do is we'll try to index it both ways.
>>: Um-hum.
Matt>>: Not every search engine does that. For example Ask for a long time didn't know
how to handle anything except for ascii. And I wouldn't claim that we'd get it right every
single time. But what we essentially try to do is we index the text
>>: Um-hum.
Matt>>: -and then if we think there are alternatives-
>>: Um-hum.
Matt>:: -then we'll index the alternatives as well, but with a little bit less weight.
Now I wouldn't claim that's perfect. There's ligatures, there's interpunks, there's, there's
weird stuff out there on the Web. We try to handle it as best we can.
>>: Um-hum.
Matt>>: But I wouldn't say that we're perfect a hundred percent of the time. So any time
you see something where you think something should be indexed and it shouldn't, those
are a great example to, tweet my way or show up on the Webmaster forum and sort of point
those out.
Vanessa>>: And we did a post on the Google Webmaster Central blog in late 2006 I believe,
so it was from a really long time ago. And I wrote the post. It's specifically has Spanish
as the example, and it talks about the different accents. And so if you go find that post,
it goes through some specific examples of way different accents are handled. So you
might find that helpful also.
Matt>>: Yep.
>>: Thank you.
Matt>>: Okay, so let me do a couple from the Wave. Dash versus underscore, we already talked
about that. How bad is it to have more than one H1 or no H1 on a page? We try to react
to the Web as it exists and index it as best we can.
There was a study right at the beginning of the Web, like in 2000, that said 40% of all
Web pages had a syntax error. Let me say that again, 40%. Now if Google throws out 40% of
the Web, 'cause we say, "You didn't close your table," what's that gonna do to our search
quality? Chhhh, rip it out, throw it away, right? Because there goes 40% of your potential
answers.
A lot of great people [laughs] on student blogs, they're writing stuff by hand. They
don't do it correctly. We still have to try to index that. So if, if you have an H1, great.
If you don't have an H1, we'll probably handle you just fine.
If you have all H1, your entire page is H1, then you might have a problem. There's no
need for your entire page to be a headline. That's the equivalent of shouting at the entire
audience. It's like all caps, right. So if you can avoid that, it's probably a good thing to do.
>>: I was wondering if you had any comments on link shorteners, like bit.ly.
Matt>>: Sure.
>>: My company is using them more and more, and kind of using them permanently.
Matt>>: Yep. Absolutely. So URL shorteners are fantastic for things like Twitter where
you really need the extra characters. And what I would look for in a URL shortener is
that it does a 301, or permanent redirect. Because that tends to pass page rank. There
are a few URL shorteners that don't. So I think-
Vanessa>>: We use 302 in some cases, that's what you want to watch out for.
Matt>>: Yes. There is a great, Danny Sullivan has a site called Search Engine Land. He's
actually at this conference. And I think he wrote URL shorteners, he did a review of like
70 different URL shorteners. So you can actually see, whatever you do please don't use tweet
burner or whatever. Whereas the ones that use 301s tend to be a little bit better.
>>: All right, that's great.
Matt>>: If you can't
Vanessa>>: We have 32 seconds.
Matt>>: If you can get away from using short URLs, long URLs are a little better because
they don't break the Web, all that sort of stuff. Really the only reason to use a short
URL, if you're worried it might get truncated in an email or in tweet, something like that.
Can you ask a question in 15 seconds?
>>: Yes I can.
Matt>>: Okay.
>>: What are your views of changing in Webmaster Tools, the location for different seasons
or in a, in a SEO campaign? Is that okay?
Matt>: Changing SEO Tools for…
>>: In the Webmaster Tools.
Matt>>: Yep.
>>: Change the location by physically for different…
Matt>>: Yeah.
>>: -seasons on a campaign, on a Web campaign.
Matt>>: So we have a tool in Google Webmaster Tools where you can say I'm not related to
the United States, I'm related to Peru. Even though I'm a dot com. Or I'm related to Israel.
It tends to be more of a do it once kind of thing. I would not set it per season. Like,
"Oh it's fall, I'm related to Peru. Wait a second, it's spring I'm back to Chile." I,
if you can avoid that I would probably avoid that.
Vanessa>>: Yeah, I would avoid that.
Greg>>: That's not a good idea.
Matt>>: Okay, so we're out of time, but we will try to stick around if anybody wants
to talk about their sites one-on-one.
>>Vanessa: Thank you.
>>Matt: Thanks very much.
[Audience claps]
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