5 SEO Tips From Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts Shares 5 SEO Tips with USA Today

USA Today recently asked Google's Matt Cutts for tips to help sites rank in their search engine. Cutts offered up 5 tips plus a word of advice in implementing the tips. Here they are:

  1. Spotlight your search term on the page. If you want to be found for your keyword, make sure that term is on the page you want to rank. The term should be at the top as well as peppered throughout your copy.
  2. Fill in your "tags." The two most important tags are Title and Description becuase that is what is displayed in the search results.
  3. Get other websites to "link" back to you. This is one of the most important of the 100 factors Google considers when determining search engine rankings.
  4. Create a blog and post often. This can help you get links and generate new content.
  5. Register for free tools. Cutts recommends using the tools at google.com/webmaster, as well as creating a text-based sitemap www.xml-sitemaps.com, and adding your business to Google's Local Business center (google.com/local/add)

And that word of advice? Don't overdo it. In other words, don't stuff your pages full of keywords in order to 'cheat' your website into better rankings.

What do you think of Cutts' advice? Leave a comment!

New and Improved AdSense for Search

Improved Adsense for Search
So, I think most people know my abhorrence for the Content network. I have not had much success with it in the past and the ROI, typically, is sub-par. That being said, I know there have been improvements in the targeting, purging of click fraud, etc. since I made my last attempt at achieving Adsense 'nirvana'. That being said, I received and interesting e-mail from the Adsense Team the other day. It started out with:
We noticed that you're not currently using AdSense for search, which means you may be missing out on revenue from your pages.
Ah, yes. Google trying to convince me to spend more of my hard earned dollars! What a surprise. But the 'new features' line caught my eye so I read on:

• Site Search: We've heard that many publishers are concerned about users leaving their sites through Websearch, and so now you can choose to provide just site search. You can also host the search results on your own pages so that your users can find the information they're looking for without leaving your site.
• Improved indexing of your pages: We've recently improved our indexing technology so that you can provide a more enhanced Site Search experience for your users. AdSense for search will now index even more pages of your site, as long as we’re able to crawl them, so that your users will see more results from your site in your AdSense for search results.
• Vertical Search: You can also allow your users to search across multiple sites you select - this could be a network of sites that you own or other related sites that you think your users might find useful. If you write book reviews on your blog, for example, you can use vertical search to specify a list of online bookstores for users to search through.
• Refining searches with keywords: You can tailor your search results and ads to the content of your site, since search terms can have different meanings in different contexts. Let's say you manage a site about yoga - you can enter keywords such as 'yoga,' 'exercise,' and 'meditation' so that when a user searches for 'mat,' the search results and ads will be more related to yoga mats and less to commercial floor mats. (You can see an example of this in our video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEwxC9hrxM4 .) In our experiments, we've found that this tuning has led to an increase in earnings for publishers.
• Selecting ad location: Now, you can decide where to place your
ads on search results pages -- whether it's at the top, bottom, or right side of each page. We recommend placing ads at the top and right side of the page, as we've found this monetizes the best for publishers.

So, I am intrigued - this blows away the content network options of even a year ago! Anyone out there have any thoughts, experience, case studies, numbers, etc? Should I dive back into the content network?

PS. If you'd like to learn more about the new features available for AdSense for search, visit www.google.com/adsense/afs

Adobe Says, Flash Now SEO Friendly

I wrote a post back in January "Google can Read Flash" discussing some comments made my Matt Cutts which 'hint' at the fact Google was working with Adobe to make Flash files SEO or Search Engine friendly. Here is a quick excerpt:

In a recent interview with Stephan Spencer, Matt Cutts admits that Google is using Adobe Systems' Search Engine SDK technology to 'read' flash website content.

That fairly definite confirmation of how Google reads text within Flash files makes it possible to create Flash .swf files with some level of search engine optimization.

With the launch of a Flash-reading tool from Adobe, marketers can factor Flash into their SEO efforts, instead of compensating for the presence of Flash with extra text.

Marketing Vox released a story today discussing the development of a product that interprets Flash applications for web crawlers, making it possible to index that data for searchers. Adobe, the creators of Flash technology, released the product to Google and Yahoo.

Text and links from Flash apps will now appear in search engine results for users querying relevant keywords or phrases, just like ordinary HTML content, Adobe wrote.

Flash software is used to build interactive banners, applications, games or eye-catching graphics on a site. Google is already utilizing the Flash-indexing service; Yahoo "has some work to do," according to Adobe's VP of marketing Michele Turner.

For more information, read the SWF file format specification on Adobe