11 SEO Insights From Google’s Matt Cutts

11 SEO Insights From Google's Matt Cutts

If you’ve been around the SEO world for some time, the name Matt Cutts is familiar. He is one of Google’s leading developers. His focus? Stopping webspam and punishing low-quality websites.

Matt Cutts started at Google as a computer coder. He became well-known for his many blog posts and videos explaining how to avoid getting penalized by Google. He especially focused on the big Google updates that surprised the SEO world in 2012, like Panda and Penguin.

Where Did Matt Cutts Go?

Matt Cutts, formerly of Google, announced plans to join the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) for a short stint. He attributed his interest to the team’s “infectious” energy, particularly those who tackled the healthcare.gov challenge.

While his specific role within the USDS remained unclear, the news arrived just days before the 45th president’s inauguration nearby. This seemingly temporary leave from Google ultimately marked Cutts’ departure from the company.

Why Matt Cutts Took the Leap

Matt had been itching to put his skills to work for the greater good for a while. He’d seen the impact Mikey Dickerson and his crew made fixing the healthcare website.

Jen Pahlka, Ed Felten, and even Megan Smith all jumped in to help the government too, each in their own way. At a Chicago conference, he met Paul Smith, another healthcare rescue hero who now ran a company streamlining government contracts.

Everywhere he turned, Matt saw people he admired tackling tough problems.

Being an idealist, the chance to help really resonated with him. Plus, his Google team was on fire, he had some time in his life to spare, and Washington D.C. was calling.

The final push came at a dinner with Haley Van Dyck, an early USDS rockstar. After their chat, the question wasn’t why, but why not? Just like that, Matt was in.

Here are the top 17 SEO insights and tips from Matt Cutts that I believe you should follow in your SEO content marketing strategy.

#1 Guest Blogging’s Demise

We get over 20 spammy guest post pitches every single day here at Great Guest Posts. It’s getting ridiculous! We’re run by guest bloggers ourselves, and we’ve had to tighten our rules to only accept the best stuff.

Just like Matt Cutts, I’m sick of all the low-quality content out there. He even said, “Guest blogging is dead. It’s become too spammy. Don’t accept guest posts unless you personally know and trust the writer. And don’t rely on guest blogging for SEO.”

So, what does this mean for you? If you want someone to guest blog on your site, make sure they’re a great writer with a good reputation. You’re putting your blog’s credibility on the line! Crappy content and bad writers will only hurt you in the long run.

#2 Going Ahead

Hold on, SEO lovers! Guest posting isn’t on its deathbed, and neither are your online lives. But if you’ve been relying solely on guest posts for links, it’s time to shake things up.

Instead of link-chasing, think about the real people you can reach and the connections you can make. Create awesome content that inspires and helps others, and those links will naturally follow. This kind of real, valuable SEO is here to stay.

I’m pretty sure Matt Cutts isn’t bashing all guest posting, just the link-hungry robots doing it wrong. Stop just spamming links and start sharing your knowledge! Teach, inspire, and surprise your new audience. Be a genuine part of their community and build your personal brand the right way.

Focus on quality, not quantity. Share your best stuff, and the rest will fall into place.

#3 Homepage Must Have Text

Having a fancy homepage is great, but if it’s just a pretty picture with no words, search engines won’t have a clue what it’s about. Think about the terms people might type to find you, like “best pizza in town” or “cat yoga extraordinaire.” Sprinkle those words and phrases naturally throughout your homepage text.

Remember, keywords aren’t just for the stuff you really want to rank for. Even text that might not be the main focus can still include relevant keywords. It’s like dropping breadcrumbs for search engines to follow and understand what your page is all about.

#4 Ranking for Irrelevant SEO Keywords

Hold off on stuffing your meta tags with every keyword under the sun, even if they’re kind of related to your niche. Don’t think you’re impressing Google with tons of keywords – they don’t even read those things! Adding a bunch of keywords to your meta tags won’t help you rank one bit.

#5 Great Images for SEO

We’ve all been there: you’ve got stunning photos and killer ideas, but describing them? Yikes!  But fear not, fellow website owner, because help is here!

Just like I mentioned before, great pics need great text buddies. That’s where ALT image text comes in. It’s like whispering sweet nothings to search engines about your photos, helping them understand what’s going on.

And guess what? You can even get users to do the keyword work for you!  Enable comments on your photos, and watch as people sprinkle their magic SEO dust (unintentionally, of course) with every keystroke.

#6 Cross-Browser Compatible Websites

Designing a killer website is sweet, but it’s a total bummer when your masterpiece gets mangled by popular browsers. You might have epic content and a banner that screams “look at me!”, but guess what? Some browsers might just show the banner and hide all that awesome content you worked so hard on. Yikes!

#7 Search engine complaint descriptions

Pack your description with the juiciest keywords, because some search engines might just ditch the rest after a couple hundred characters, you know what I mean? Short and sweet gets clicks, so nail it!

#8 Get Noticed and Be a Standout

Standing out online? Your website needs serious swagger. Find your unique niche, and the brand name falls into place. Sure, sounding cool is sweet, but let’s get real. Ditch the “ChocolateIceCream.com” and think outside the box. Crave a short, memorable domain? Go “Icey.com”. Now that’s flying.

#9 SEO-Friendly URL Structure

If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS), chances are you can choose SEO-friendly URLs built-in. But if not, remember: dashes (-) are your friend! Unlike underscores (_), which get treated as one word (like “A_B”), dashes are seen as two separate terms (“A-B”). This means more search engine love for your content, because you’ve got double the keyword options. Simple math, right?

#10 Getting the right focus

Don’t let your business blog lose its focus! Avoid turning it into a personal diary with party invites and headcount forms. Keep it professional and on-topic to attract the right audience.

Final Thought

I believe this article will help you create a better SEO strategy and provide maximum value to end-users. 

No matter your website’s size, type, or reach, backlinks are crucial for online success. We’re the pros at finding the right ones. We analyze your industry to figure out what builds a strong backlink profile, then create a plan to get you there.

With the right mix of incoming links and a smart internal linking structure, your pages will be climbing the rankings in no time.

Christopher Smith
Author: Christopher Smith

SEO and linkbuilding expert. More than 7 years of work in the field of website search engine optimization, specialist in backlink promotion. Head of linkbuilding products at GREAT Guest Posts, a global linkbuilding platform. He regularly participates in SEO conferences and also hosts webinars dedicated to website optimization, working with various marketing tools, strategies and trends of backlink promotion.

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