￼Last May, I spent a few hours in Dublin’s Googleplex to hear Matt Cutts‘ take on “How Google Works”, and took away four thoughts that I will add to the Web Analytics, Social Media and Media Writing modules at Tipperary Institute where I work as a lecturer.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce arranged the well-attended event and Matt Cutts did the assembled group a big favour by bringing the warmest day of the year to Dublin during his visit. That personal feat also earned Matt a Dublin sunburn, something many Irish yearn to obtain.
First Takeaway: Reset page/post titles in the URL. With some blogging programmes, it is important to note that what appears in the URL can be quite different to your headline. But you may have the opportunity to write your own headline separate from the URL of the written page and it is something you should pay attention to. It’s relatively easy to do with WordPress and I’ve occasionally edited a Typepad post to get a more powerful URL for a blog post. If you write for a newspaper or broadcaster, you should ensure your software can produce URLs with hyphenated post syntax.
Second Takeaway: Write often. A frequently updated site attracts regular crawling by Googlebots and that could result in higher quality being awarded to the site which means a higher page ranking. This is because ping services can notify the Googlebots of any updates you make. This has clearly beneficial advantages over the bots coming around at scheduled intervals. Matt did not explain how to configure a page to show activity through new comments. If that’s your workaround for producing new content, you need to read SEO boards to ensure your comment streams are truly producing new and discoverable content on your site.
Third Takeaway: Build a reputation. Matt cited this incentive because if you have a good rep, people will cite your work and link to it. Since, none of these tactics will enhance a website’s standing unless established sites point to the target site, the emphasis remains on producing content that others value. So in addition to your main message, Matt suggested performing a useful service, offering tutorials, establishing a creative niche, giving away code, doing live blogging, making interesting lists, creating controversy, socialising in real events, or making (compelling or viral) videos… And so on.
Fourth Takeaway: Use cool tools. Deep dive into Google Analytics, open up Feedburner’s tools, and subscribe to Google’s Webmaster Video Channel – these are great places to start.