There’s a hunter out there. He’s been known as the legendary chainsaw guy, prowling the night and looking for fluffy victims. To some Filipino SEO specialists, he’s the nightmare of all nightmares. And he comes by the name Matt Cutts.
Who is Matt Cutts?
Matt Cutts is not just a self-declared expert. He studied hard for his expertise. He has a B.S. degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Kentucky. He earned his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer graphics which he obtained from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Matt joined Google in 2000 as a software engineer. And he is now the head of the Webspam team.
Why it is wise for Filipino SEO Specialists to listen to Matt Cutts?
There is one big reason to listen to what Matt Cutt has to say. And that is this guy knows what he is talking about. He is not just an expert on Google. Matt Cutts is actually the legendary chainsaw guy head of Google’s Webspam team. And that is big enough reason to pay attention. In an effort to help online entrepreneurs improve their SEO practices, Matt Cutts has the following information to share.
1.) Great content is the foundation of a good site.
A good balance has to be achieved between content and links. In essence, Google considers authority and content quality. However, this does not mean there should be a trade-off between the two.
Matt Cutts emphasizes the importance of great content. In fact, it influences the ability to get organic links. Present quality content and you are more likely to build authority in your chosen niche in the Philippines.
2.) Never use underscores as separators.
What looks best in the eyes of the users would work just as well with SEO. Underscores tend to be recognized as such and this can affect your searches. So instead of using underscores as separators for your title tags, rely on using hyphens, commas, spaces and pipes for separators on your Page Title.
Again, the general rule is if it looks pleasant and understandable for the average user, it is acceptable for SEO as well.
3.) Use file extensions for the benefit of users.
Google does not necessarily mind whether or not you have file extensions. However, it may affect the users behaviorally. If they are confronted with a page they are not familiar with, they are more likely hesitant to proceed. But if you present them with something they are used to or understand such as one having an htm or html file extension or whatever mime type is available, they would not worry much.
The key here is to be transparent as much as possible. It would not hurt to leave these file extensions on. In fact, it does not affect your position on Google but it matters for the average user. So you better think twice before you strip off the file extension or better yet, leave it alone.
4.) Google will not flag you for having hundreds of pages with great content.
As long as you have great content to offer, it does not matter if you have a hundred pages uploaded. Google does not penalize sites that offer quality information in the Philippines.
However, you may stir some suspicion if you upload a thousand pages in one day. Google may have a reason to believe such content is nothing but junk. For that reason, you may be flagged up for review. The point is to stick to quality of your content. Do not focus on quantity. Otherwise, you may be questioned.
5.) For the benefit of the user, have your keywords on a URL path rather than on the filename.
Using relevant keywords in the URL is beneficial. It does not matter to Google if you have a series of keywords or whether you have it in a path or in the filename. But for the average user, looks matter. Take this example: example.com/tools/hammers/a-great-hammer versus example.com/tools-hammer-a-great-hammer.
There are basically the same in the eyes of Google. However, having those keywords separated on the path looks much better than separating them with hyphens. Using hyphens does not necessarily make the URL bad. There is no limit to the number of hyphens you use. But you may want to limit it simply because it may look spammy from the perspective of the user.
6.) In some cases, we consider an individual’s reputation on Twitter.
In 2010, is not indexed by Google other than a standard webpage. However, there have been recent changes. Twitter indexing is now performed by Google. What Google wants to measure is your reputation. For this reason, your performance on Twitter may be considered. That gives you all the more reason to work harder on your social media efforts to build an excellent online reputation as such can possibly affect your Google rankings.
7.) A keyword laden domain name is not necessarily the best.
Matt Cutts emphasizes that it is ultimately your decision to create a domain name based on your keywords. But such does not necessarily guarantee success. In fact, Google has been working on adjusting the algorithm to consider more than keywords lain out in the domain name.
What may work better, however, is to use a brandable name, a domain that can be recalled easily which does not necessarily contain a keyword. The most successful ones are not keyword laden. Take the case of Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook and Zynga among others.
Moreover, a keyword laden domain name makes it much more difficult to rise above the clutter. For instance, when you use “android” as a keyword on your domain name, it can get easily confused with thousands of other domains that contain such keyword. The bottom line is you want to be remembered by the user which is why you may want to follow the example of the most successful sites. That is to bank in a brandable domain name.
8.) Google uses meta description more than snippets.
Google is always mindful about what is useful to the users. Previously, Google takes snippets from the content itself. However, Google is now moving towards a different direction.
According Matt Cutts, they tend to favor using meta description rather than snippets. However, he emphasizes the importance of useful meta description. If you cannot offer a useful meta description, the team is more likely to use snippets. On the other hand, if you have a meta description that proves helpful to the user, that will be likely used. The bottom line is Google takes into account what is best for the users.
9.) Do not obsess about keyword density. Just be as natural as possible.
One of the most common misconceptions in the SEO industry in the Philippines is that there is a hard and fast rule about keyword density. There is no one recipe for it. Do not get into thinking that following such density can get you to rank at the top. Think of diminishing returns. Repetition can, in fact, hurt you.
The key here is to be more natural. Stuffing makes it look fate. Instead, incorporate your keywords as naturally as possible. That should get you right on rankings.
10.) SEO is like a resume. You polish it so you have your best foot forward.
Matt Cutts was asked whether or not SEO will survive in the next five years. And he says it certainly will. Matt says what Google is trying to do is to make SEO friendly even to the non experts. SEO is simply about presenting your site well. All the efforts surrounding SEO is about helping you put your best foot forward.
Matt Cutts was also quoted as saying there is no software that can figure out the trade secrets of Google algorithm. If you want to improve your SEO practice and send your page at the top of the ranks, you better listen to what this dude has to say.