Does Google Like SEO?

Matt Cutts – Head of Web Spam at Google

Does Google like SEO?

Yes and no.

Let’s start with Yes.

Google’s goal is to make the make information as easy to find as possible. So in a natural sense SEO is very good in their eyes. Search Engine Optimization is really just optimizing a website for a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo. So when optimizers can help users to find the best websites with the right source of information faster than they would otherwise, Google LOVES it. You never know, Matt Cutts might even send you a YouTube T-shirt or if you are really lucky, people will just start linking to you naturally because you really are the best source of information. This will never happen unless you really do optimize your site. Even if you have written the best article in the world, no one will find it if your site is in bad shape.

Here are five things you need to make sure you have for your site to be search engine friendly:

5 tips for a search engine friendly site:

  1. Make sure your title tags display what they should. Does your website portray what it really is in 65 characters or less?
  2. Make sure your site has a well-structured sitemap. (check by entering www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml)
  3. Remove¬†broken links. Do you have links that are old or that go nowhere? Get them out of there. It’s like Google eating an ice cream cone with a cockroach inside. As soon as it finds out what it’s eating, it will stop.
  4. Do you have fresh content? Do you maintain a blog? Google loves fresh and unique content and a blog is the best way to keep your site fresh. You can find someone in your company to write a little post once a week. This will not only keep your content fresh, but create even more ways for people to find you. Especially if your blog posts are useful to people who need information. That is the key.
  5. Is your site user friendly? What was your bounce rate last month? 50% or higher? Don’t make your visitors have to think or they will leave.

These are just a few things that will help your website. There are plenty more that you can read about or that we can help you with.

Now for the no.

I won’t say as much here other than this, stay away from anything that is considered “black-hat” and to be completely safe, stay away from “grey-hat”. There are still certain tactics that are working for some. But don’t think that you are the exception to the rule. It is not a great day when you get an email from Matt Cutts that says: “We are sorry, but on behalf of the Google web-spam team, we would like to let you know that you no longer exist on the internet.” Don’t get de-indexed. It’s not a fun place to come back from. Google doesn’t like you if you are manipulative in your linking. If you just buy 1,000 links from some dude in India who charged you $25 for them, you are not going to be smiled upon by Mr. Cutts or any of the web-spam team. Their job is to find sites like that, and make them invisible for trying to manipulate the Google algorithm.

Hope that helps. Just don’t be stupid and try to get something for nothing. Swap links with other sites. Post a deal on your blog that everyone will link to and tell their friends about. Write a controversial blog post that people will argue about and link to you. Heck you might even get an interview out of it with a local news station.

Make it natural. And maybe a little…colorful. And let us know if you need any help.