What are the top 3-5 SEO areas where webmasters make the most mistakes?
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What are the top 3-5 SEO areas where webmasters make the most mistakes?


Today’s question comes from
Boca Raton, Florida. Warren asks, what are the top
three to five SEO areas where webmasters make the
most mistakes? How can we do better on those? Really good question. And a lot of people might expect
super-advanced stuff. But I’m going to give
you what the biggest mistakes are by volume. This is just– Wiz and I– Wiz is recording this– we were brainstorming for a
couple minutes before we made this video. The biggest mistake is not
making your site crawlable or not having a domain at all. There’s a ton of businesses
who don’t actually have a website. If you have a website or have
it locked up where people can’t find it all that easily,
that’s a big problem. So just click around
on your website. Make sure that you can reach
the pages on your site by clicking on regular links,
ideally in a text browser. But really just try to surf
around and make sure you haven’t hidden the good content
away somewhere where it’s really hard to find. The next one is include the
right words on the page. Think about what the user is
going to type, and include those words. So you don’t want to just say
“Mount Everest elevation.” You want to say words like “how high
is Mount Everest” because people are going to type “how
high is Mount Everest?” And Wiz had a really good point,
not just including the right words on the page but
thinking about if you’re a restaurant, include the menu. Put it in plain text,
not just a PDF. Or make sure that it
is extractable into plain text somehow. Put your business hours
on the page. From going around– and I know
that he’s been talking to a ton of people on, get American
businesses online and even get other businesses around
the world online– the biggest mistakes are not
having a website, not making it crawlable– that’s sort of one– and then not using the words
on the page, not describing what it is that you do, not
including what the user’s going to search for. The next thing, think about
not link building. That limits you to a
certain mindset. Think about compelling content
and marketing. As soon as you think, my job is
to build links for search engines , you’re really cutting
off a lot of avenues, things like talking
to newspaper reporters, for example. Whereas if you think about,
OK, first make something compelling, some reason
why they really want to use your website. And then think about the broader
area of marketing. That can include billboards. It can include paying for
advertising and all that sort of stuff. But it can also includes clever
guerrilla marketing. It can include just
reaching out to people in the community. So I wouldn’t put too much
of a tunnel-vision focus on just links. I would try to think instead
about, OK, what can I do to market my website to make it
more well known within my community or more broadly,
without only thinking about search engines? Another good point is to think
about the title and description of your really
important pages. So we’ve said, make sure
you have the right words on the page. But you really should pay
attention to your home page. What is the title there? If you bookmark it, are you
going to be able to have users later on find exactly
what it was? Or is it going to
say “untitled”? Or is it going to say something
that people won’t even be able to find later? Likewise, your description can
sometimes determine what shows up in your snippet. And that determines whether
people will be enticed into clicking. So you can run various tests,
experiment with different copy for the meta description. And it might not be worth
it for every single page on your site. I know that that is
a lot of work. But for the very high-traffic
sites, you want to not just create a great experience, but
you want to make something that people actually click
on when they see it in the search results. So something that lets them know
you’re going to have the answer that they’re looking for,
something that makes them understand this is
a good resource. And that would actually be
my last thing, not using webmaster resources. So Google provides free
Webmaster Tools at google.com/webmasters. We provide a blog you could
read, lots of webmaster videos, one of which
you’re watching. But we go to search
conferences. We talk to people online. Being in other search
engines also provide a lot of free resources. You can look at links
in blekko, all sorts of stuff like that. There’s a ton of information
out there on the web. And there’s a ton of people who
are interested in SEO, are interested in Search, and are
happy to talk about your website and give you feedback. So you could start on
our Webmaster Forum. But basically explore that space
because it’s almost like an iceberg. There’s a lot of resources in
our HTML documentation, digging through
google.com/webmasters. And that can really help
improve your site. So just to recap, make sure that
your site is crawlable, which includes having a domain
name in the first place. Include the right words
on the page. Include the words that people
are actually going to type. Think about compelling content
and marketing, not just link building. Think about a title
and description of your important pages. And finally, be aware, or
investigate, the free resources that are out there
on the web because they can really help you improve your
site, which is going to make you more money and make
your users more happy. Hope that helps.

100 Comments

  • nomoremrniceguy007

    Ugh, I write 300+ words, I write in 8th grade level, I do keyword research and find low competition, I still don't end up on the first page because Google hates me. Good grief it is hopeless, I wish this advice helped me but it doesn't! Does it help anyone here? We use our meta tags as per instruction, even limit overuse of keywords 1-2x per 100 words. I mean, why doesn't it ever work anymore? So precise yet so impossible to win.

  • Gaurav Agarwal

    Buddy its not so easy 🙂 , The advices given out here are not even the tip on an Iceberg Matt is just giving a right direction for starters , if you really want to clear your basics in SEO , this might help moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo 🙂 ciao , …….. and mind you article with 3000+ words are even struggling to rank 🙂

  • Zack Williamson

    You're right about meta keywords and Matt Cutts has even announced that Google no longer reads those but meta descriptions are still being read and displayed in the SERPs so its important to make sure the descriptions are appealing and contain the KWs.

  • George W Featherstone

    Prominent figure int he SEO community Rand Fishkin recently said this in response to a recent Google seo related post:

    I wish Google said:

    “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that people use and share.“

    Modifying the passive phrasing (“will want to”) to an active proclamation of the necessary ranking elements – usage and sharing – would be far more transparent. – moz.com/rand/googles-updated-seo-advice-is-almost-correct/

  • George W Featherstone

    The point is not just having awesome content (which it sounds like you are capable of producing) but getting it in front of the right audience at the right time.
    Hope that helps a little.

  • Andrew

    Why would anyone ever listen to Matt for ranking on Google? Neither he nor Google want you to know how to rank on their search engine, and rightly so.. Therefore he tells you very generic common sense answers that everyone knows already. Of course you have to create great content and make your site crawlable.. Duh!!! Asking Matt how to rank on Google is like buying a Lottery ticket and expecting the Lotto to give you the winning numbers. It's just common sense..

  • Graeme Caldwell

    Because what's obvious to you isn't obvious to most people. If it were there'd be 1) No SEO industry and 2) less crappy sites.

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  • Andrew

    How do you know what's obvious to most people? How is it not obvious to want to create great content and to want search engines to be able to find that content? If you don't know this then you have no business making a website. My point is that if you truly want to rank, Matt is not the guy to learn from. Why would he be? Asking Matt for seo advice is like going up to a hot girl's dad and asking him how to get in her pants. It just wouldn't make sense. That was the true point of my comment.

  • Graeme Caldwell

    Businesses need websites. Most business people aren't technical experts, and the bullshit the SEO industry spouts has led those people astray.

    If you want in depth details about how to create good content and do the outreach necessary to build high-quality links, then Cutts is not the man to ask. If you want broad stroke advice that helps you avoid wasting money on the charlatanry that's rife in the SEO industry , then what he says is worth listening to.

  • Andrew

    That's why if you're a business owner trying to do SEO you have to dig deep and know where to look. This can take time because you're right about all the crap in the SEO industry. That's why research is important. A better alternative for a business owner is to find a credible SEO with a clean record. Again research is huge. My comment was geared more for SEO's and webmasters wanting to learn from Matt how to rank, not necessarily to businesses learning from him, which btw still wouldn't help.

  • Graeme Caldwell

    You're not going to learn how to game the algorithms or land an undeserving site on the front page from Cutts if that's what you mean. But you might get the idea that it's better to invest your money in content, design, white hat SEO and user experience rather than the black hat alternatives (which in the long run are always counter productive)

  • Andrew

    I am not talking about spamming an undeserving site to the top of Google. There are plenty of white hat link building methods that are not black hat. Effective white hat SEO is more than to just creating great content, design, and user experience, although these are important to keep people coming back, it has nothing to do with actual ranking signals. Google cannot tell what "true" quality content is, which is why knowing how to get ppl to link to your content is everything!

  • Bhutan Rebirth Tours & treks

    So that means if you have a rival who's doing better than you, you can so easily start posting his link in all the dodgy link farms to get his search results to go down. Any defence against this?

  • lewis matthev

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  • circa blonk

    Don't listen to this. Remember, not everyone can rank at the top of google. He works for google, and knows this. I guarantee you that if you do everything he says consistently for one year straight you will still be no where near the first page of google. Third party research and development software helps you to scope out competition, and actually see metrics. This will determine your objectives, then that's when all this other shit matters. Pretty much, quality backlinks cure all.

  • Mary Blake

    Between a conundrum and an enigma – I haven't been able to figure out keywords to what I do. I take people into other lifetimes – even sometimes other galaxies and once there we work together to re-write history and erase karma. This is not past life regression, in which the "past" is over and done. JOURNALS OF A HEALER, A Personal Account of Ventures Beyond Time, Space and So-Called Reality, chronicles about 30 actual sessions (minus extraneus ums and ahs) and some of many benefits. What to do?

  • Make Money Online

    Biggest mistakes is worrying about what search engines think. make your "MONEY PAGE/SITES" non seo optimized. Then set up SEVERAL door-way website/s with different domains. ON THOSE DOMAINS, THEN WORRY ABOUT SEO.

  • The Daily Exposition

    Here are the largest mistakes that i see.
    1. Crawl ability there are are a lot of sites who block themselves from being crawled.
    2. Bad meta tags. Some don't include any tags and others have hundreds of keywords.
    3. No alt tag. The alt tag for images can move your images up to the top of image search. Images have SEO value to.
    4. No social media follow/share not having these ways to promote your content will bring you down.
    5. Poor loading times. Try to keep it under 5 seconds people. 1.8 for me

  • Rick Uzubell

    Joe Simmonds is spot-on. Don't waste money on a company that sells SEO services, rather, take the time to learn it. One great resource is Lynda.com, which has a fantastic video series about the principles of SEO. This is not simple and you won't learn it overnight, but at least in the end, if you dedicate the time you will have a grasp on the subject. The Google Webmaster tools and the MOZ service are invaluable.

  • Felix Perez

    bueno creo gue todo esta cemi perfecto …. pero no encuentro la forma de traducir el video al español gue es el idioma gue domino ok si pueden darme una alluda sera agradecida gracias "

  • Subhash Chandra Bose

    When you do the things in right way no need to worry about SE's. Right things are the ways to reach your targeted customers.

  • Daniel Fortes

    The 3-5 Mistakes Webmasters make. Watch this especially if you're a small local business #localmarketingtips   #seomarketing   #seotips  You'll be shocked at some of the painfully obvious. However, I'm no longer shocked b/c I see it on a daily basis!

  • Onne Vegter

    Love these basic but helpful #SEO   tips from @Matt Cutts at Google about the top mistakes made by webmasters. What are some other common mistakes you have come across?

  • Johnson Marketing

    Great video!  All too often biz owners and webmasters alike make these mistakes…. If you're a small business, don't want to hire an #SEO and want some #seotips definitely check out this video!

  • William White

    Great information Mr. Cutts. I think sometimes people forget the basics. In the modern world so many of us run after the latest fad marketing techniques we skip the common sense fundamentals. You can win a lot of football games if you can block and tackle

  • Seo Marco

    Error 1: No tener un sitio indexable
    Error 2: No tener las palabras  que tus usuarios buscan en tu web en texto plano
    Error 3: Pensar solo en linkbuilding y no crear contenido relevante y que atraiga búsquedas
    Error 4: No optimizar los metatags de la homepage y páginas internas (Title y Description tags) para que sean clicados en los rankings
    Error 5: No usar Webmaster tools ni estar al día de los videos de Matt Cutts

  • tomahawk628

    I'm a new to SEO and was curious on your opinions on the weebly website builder. Does it hold me back in any way?

  • Krissanawat Kaewsanmuang

    มีโดเมนเนมอยู่หน้าแรก
    นึกถึง content ที่มีคุณภาพ และการทำ marketing ลืม link building ไปก่อน
    มี contetn ที่ฟรีมากๆ เพราะเมื่อ user happy
    google ก็จะ happy ไปด้วย

  • CWT MEDIA

    Great overall advice on Marketing, and for people to stop being so Search Engine Focused. Agree with your advice on Search Engines though as well

  • GuideWikia

    I think naming the channel Google Bushbeaters would be more accurate. Oh look, Google Bushbeater just posted a new video "How To Say Something and Not Say Thing at the Same", yay!

  • Philippine Outsourcer

    Appreciate these tips! This video is very informative and helpful.Straight forward and points were laid out and easy to understand. Keep it up!

  • Frankie2socks Gainsford

    This great video by @Google.com   with @Matt Cutts discuses what they believe are some of the biggest SEO Blunders.

    for a collection of SEO related infographics see http://www.pinterest.com/info4u2use/seo-search-engine-optimisation/

  • diw4k

    The following step will be to get visitors to your site once you have built it. This video is good enough to enable you to learning the way to make your zero position site to be the first position on search engine. For more advice watch http://youtu.be/-LnaSNfl_x4 on youtube .

  • joss boy

    This site absolutely great enough for you who want to make your site from zero rank to be the first rank on search engine. Just search "speed rank seo" on Google for more information.

  • ajit mahato

    You need high ranking in Google? See this site first. Absolutely recommended. Just try every step to make your site to be the first rank on search engine.  Search "speed rank seo" on Google.

  • Creative Solutions Digitalni Marketing

    Informative, and with a lot of great info, but I really love the way you present your stuff, energetic but calm at the same time, it's a pleasure to watch, keep up the good work 🙂

  • Seo India Inc.

    Another mistake which Webmasters can make is by not utilizing Google Webmaster and Bing webmaster as a tool to monitor their website. These two tools will give you great insight into your own website. It will help you identify technical issues and various other issues.

  • Lee Calhoun

    What if I buy a domain name and register the domain before a company creates a company name. Can they take the domain name away from me?

  • Wehandy Handyman

    Great video, but for small business like myself, would be really helpful to know some of the free resources you are talking about. I am not a developer or website builder, not everybody can afford to pay marketing and a website developer/builder.

  • Muhammet Tasan

    Question: Assuming that everyone are aware of the mistakes in SEO engineering and also is doing the right improvements for better SEO results, how then google will rank pages? I mean, if there are too much sites which are doing everthing right for a good ranking, how google will handle it?

  • Jonny Lyons

    Hey Matt, I love the Panda, pengiun and other Gogle Updates 🙂 Years ago I used to provide Local and Small Buiness SEO services and couldn;t compete with the 1000,s of Spammy Links the cheap Indian SEO companies were using. Now those companies are offerig a new way to get around the New Rules, but it's so much easier to explain why fewer qality links and Engaging Content is a longer term Strategy and their willing to wait for results (and much easier to convince them that Link Farms and poorly Spun, unreadable content is damaging their reption rather than improving it).
    1 question though, I promote a UK based eCommerce site which has a link from a similar site based in Holland. It get's plenty of clicks, but no sales and the Bounce Rate is very high since the postge costs make it innefective to buy from the UK and have it delivered to Holland. Does this hgh bonce rate affect my rankings now, and would Disavowing the link solve this problem? I could also ask the Dtch Webmaster to set the links to No-Follow. #any sggestion?

  • Roberto Renteria

    Excellent thanks, I have actually share this with clients for them to understand more about SEO and best practices.

  • Ella Blun

    the only things he said that I understood, are the things I already knew. when google and the ilk (who am I kidding, google is the only one, they all use google search results as their own, they just put them in their own css, this goes for bing, yahoo, which used to be good, but it's now just dead in the water, duckduckgo, yandex, weibo, literally all of them just display google generated results, which is demonstrable by image searching "american inventors" on any one of them). Anywho, when he talks about link building, he means that google just looks up what words are linked to some other content, and regards those words as keywords. the only other thing that is taken as keyword, are words inside of <h1> tag. that's why he's talking about paying attention to what you put in your title. the rest of his points I don't know what they apply to, so of course I don't understand what he's saying. I don't know why web developers have to be so cagey about their knowledge. looking up web optimization, gives you few basics on what not to do. looking up cssdom, gives you a shitload of content on web optimization, including how it affects search result ranking of your page. if it loads too slowly, google pushes it down. if you look up meta tags, they give you seo optimization. meta tags are so much more than just content and keywords, robots and viewport, but god help you, in order to find either one of the others, you actually have to look up the result of them, rather than just "complete list of meta tags" which actually results in "description, keywords, viewport and robots, and maybe social meta tags" which really shouldn't be talked about any more, cause literally every resource includes them, we get it.

    Seriously, i don't know if it's web masters who hide this content by forcing you to search for something else, or if it's just an extreme case of seo optimization, but the way he talks about 2 tips I know and get, suggests it's actually web masters who hide what they know to be more competitive. anyone can learn basics, so keeping good knowledge to themselves, they can make sure that noobs stay noobs for a very long time.

  • deepak bhatti

    Hello Sir
    I am a beginner and I am learning digital marketing.
    Please tell me what strategies should I follow to learn digital Marketing.

  • Tim Hill

    Companies put so much effort into backlinking that they limit themselves to not doing real marketing of their company. Just following what this guy is saying has produced the same results as a $1500/mo backlinking campaign.

  • mariocarnival

    There are a lot of agencies who sells you "First position in the search results", like a shortcut, like a magic wand. How truth could it be? What if you pay for that but your site has not a good html structure??? Still magic wand works?

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