15 Tips from Matt Cutts

By Daniel Scocco - 1 minute read

Charles from Blogging Pro recently published a post covering the first day of the WordCamp 2007 conference. He is sharing his views on the event, including a description of the first keynotes. The most interesting part is his summary of the presentation delivered by Matt Cutts. Here are the 15 points that Matt covered:

  1. Don’t put your blog at the root of your domain.
  2. Name your directory ‘blog’ instead of ‘wordpress’.
  3. In URLs, no spaces are worst, underscore are better, dashes or hyphens are best.
  4. Use alt tags on images: not only is it good accessibility, it’s good SEO.
  5. Include keywords naturally in your posts.
  6. Make your post dates easy to find.
  7. Check your blog on a cell phone.
  8. Use partial-text feeds if you want more page views; use full-text feeds if you want more loyal readers.
  9. Blogs should do standard pings.
  10. Standardize backlinks (don’t mix www with non-www).
  11. Use a permanent redirect (301) when moving to a new host.
  12. Don’t include the post date in your URL.
  13. When moving between hosts, wait until Googlebot and traffic begin to visit the new host before taking down the old one.
  14. If using AdSense, use section targeting.
  15. Use FeedBurner’s MyBrand feature to take control of your feeds (i.e., feed.domain.com instead of http://feeds.feedburner.com/domain).

I agree with most of the points, but not with all of them. First of all, I don’t think you should install WordPress on a subdirectory unless you have clear plans to develop the root directory for other purposes (e.g., a business website).

Secondly, I don’t agree with using partial feeds for maximizing page views. Feedburner confirmed sometime ago that the click-through rate is very similar to partial and full feeds. Additionally, you might be limiting the potential of RSS subscribers on your blog by offering a partial feed.

You can find another coverage of his presentation on the post “Matt Cutts, Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers.”

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56 Responses to “15 Tips from Matt Cutts”

  • Linda Lee

    Thank you #37 for sharing that insight. This root thing for the blog has been bugging me since I read that. I have a few sites I installed as the root for blogs and the rest not. Recently two of my root blogs dropped off from #2 and 4 in the Serps for certain keywords and now one is on the 3rd page and I was really wondering why.
    My other site similar in a certain topic, keeps ranking higher, and that one has a regular website and the blog.
    I am seriously thinking about adding a regular website home page to both of them.
    The problem is now, like Matt said, I have quite a few posts and time now in the blogs in the root installs, how would I add a webpage now?

  • Rommel B. Sario

    Thank you so much for sharing this tips. A very informative post. I would really apply this tips to my blogs.

  • sam’s tips paradise

    I like your 3rd tip. I have actually proven it to be a working tip so many times and I would not be surprised if this had better effects with a blog URL.

  • Filipino blogger

    Thanks for posting tips for seo matt cutts. We are proud of you for sharing information about seo tips..thank you.

  • cebu seo

    great! all those 15 tips are surely fully functional on my list of to-do’s in my wordpress blogs. My blogspots are getting a few little changes because they’re totally not necessary because of automation on widgets, i just make sure to write a post each day or two and it’s enough.

  • cebu

    nice blog. keep it up.

  • renan orola

    nice blog it is very informative more people appreciate this kind of blog..thanks for the tips i learn in this blog.

  • Jampool

    Finally i found this very nice post. 🙂

  • Cebu

    Wow, this tips gave me a big learning. I may apply this to my blogs.

  • hee-haw

    Nice article daniel , thanks for the tips. But i was wondering how can we “12. Don’t include the post date in your URL.” ?

    any idea on how to do that? For im not aware we could, for normally when post a post it will auto capture the date into the URL.

    I hope you could point out some ways 🙂

  • Dawid Michalczyk

    “1. Don’t put your blog at the root of your domain.”

    After reading this post at first I thought that the #1 tip should not matter as long as your blog posts are niche related, but later I gave it some more thought (mainly because my rankings have been fluctuating and I started to suspect the blog for it). So I decided to move my news/blog to news.html and optimized the root index.html for my main keywords. I could always reverse it if it wouldn’t work.

    I did this some 6 weeks ago and my rankings went up significantly already after a couple of weeks, and with it traffic (about 15%). One of my main keywords went up from 13 to 5 place in SERPs!

    Now the #1 tip makes sense. The root page defines the whole site in a way. It tells the SEs “this is what I’m about”. So if you have a blog at the root, there will always be some variations in terms of keyword density/focus and that will always cause some SERP fluctuations.

  • Seo-blog-part1

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  • Grinder

    Although I think some of these blog tactics are good, I dont agree with some. I am sure they all work depending on your Business.

  • JTPRATT’s Blogging Mistakes

    wow, I have to do some more research on this one….I don’t get #1 or #12 at all. Like you said – why would you want to put your blog in /blog instead of the root? that makes no sense to me? Also, not putting the post date in your URL – that flies in the face of every WordPress site on the web! I don’t get how that would help, if only to get the keywords in the url closer to the root of the domain.

  • Transcriber

    You could checkout my blog as well as mattcutts.com on how the url should be as said by Matt!

  • Lincoln

    Sweet, thanks for the section targeting link Daniel. 😀

  • raj

    Eric, even if you accidentally have two identical titles, your blog platform will stick in an unique identifier – usually an integer, possibly preceded by an underscore or hyphen.

    Some SEOs use the post id after the post-title. You can hack your permalink URLs so that the post date is after the post title, but not as a virtual directory path.

    The closer a page is perceived to be to the root of a website’s home page URL, the better, is it is accorded more importance. So look at the following examples. Which is better?

    (1) http://mysite.com/2007/july/my-great-post/

    (2) http://mysite.com/my-great-post-145

    (3) http://mysite.com/my-great-post-2007-07-26

    The first one appears to put the post several directories below root. The second uses the post id. The third embeds the date into the page slug.

    If you want numbers, I’d say pick #2 or #3. Personally, I now use one of the following formats on my newer blogs:


    (I’m experimenting)

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