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← 5 common mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas!)

Maile Ohye from Google covers the five most common errors
she finds in SEO, and then concludes with six quick tips to make sure you're on the right track.

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Showing Revision 9 created 01/16/2013 by fabio.

  1. I'm Maile Ohye.
  2. I work at Google as a Developer
    Programs Tech Lead,
  3. normally from our headquarters
    in Mountain View, California.
  4. But today, I'm at home in San
    Francisco to talk about the
  5. five most common mistakes
    I find in SEO.
  6. Mistake number one is working on
    SEO before your site has a
  7. value proposition.
  8. Ask yourself, why would
    a user choose my
  9. site and search results?
  10. Let's say you have a site that
    promotes your offline
  11. business, like a local
    bike repair shop.
  12. What differentiates your
    business from your
  13. competitors?
  14. Are you a nonprofit
    organization?
  15. Or perhaps you offer free
    estimates, a free demo, or
  16. you're the oldest independent
    dealer in the city.
  17. Or if you're an e-commerce site,
    what separates your site
  18. from the others?
  19. Do you have lower prices, free
    shipping, great customer
  20. service, or better product
    descriptions?
  21. Starting with a value
    proposition, simplifies SEO.
  22. No matter where your site ranks
    in search results, if
  23. you want to stay on top,
    searchers need a value prop to
  24. click on your site, to come back
    and revisit your site,
  25. and to recommend your site
    to their friends.
  26. Start with a value prop, and
    then focus on a quality user
  27. experience.
  28. Let's move to mistake
    number two, a
  29. segmented approach to SEO.
  30. I call this the bento box
  31. approach, because I'm Japanese.
  32. And it's like your dinner
    plate, with every item
  33. segmented and none of
    it working together.
  34. It's great for your sushi
    and your salad.
  35. It's not as great when there
    is no communication between
  36. your marketing, bizdev,
    and SEO teams.
  37. So mistake number two is about
    working on SEO in a silo.
  38. A better, more holistic approach
    to SEO is to consider
  39. the entire user experience, from
    marketing campaign all
  40. the way to the actual conversion
    and potentially
  41. repeat business.
  42. Vanessa Fox, a consultant and
    author on search engine
  43. strategy, wrote about this type
    of bento box approach
  44. with respect to the Superbowl,
    when it's difficult for
  45. companies to completely
    integrate their offline
  46. television ads with their
    online SEO efforts.
  47. She noted that a car company
    spent millions on TV ads to
  48. lead users to a website,
    edityourown.com, where they
  49. could then edit their
    own car video.
  50. On Superbowl Sunday, this
    commercial probably not only
  51. brought users to the website,
    but actually helped the query,
  52. edityourown, to rank number
    36 on Google Hot Trends.
  53. Now, imagine if this
    were your company.
  54. As the SEO, you can't just focus
    on your regular keywords
  55. that you do every day.
  56. But you also need to integrate
    marketing campaigns and
  57. optimize for the words
    "edityourown."
  58. Mistake number three is
    putting effort into
  59. time-consuming workarounds,
    rather than researching new
  60. features or best practices that
    can simplify your tasks.
  61. For example, for sites with
    paginated content, in the past
  62. some webmasters tried the
    workaround of using
  63. rel="canonical" on subsequent
    pages to their page one.
  64. This unfortunately can
    cause a loss of
  65. content in Google's index.
  66. The good news is that there
    are new best practices.
  67. We now support rel="next"
    and rel="prev" markup.
  68. So your paginated article or
    product category is treated as
  69. a single series, rather than
    having page rank diluted into
  70. the various components.
  71. Also in the past, to have
    several new or updated pages
  72. crawled as quickly as possible,
    web masters might
  73. have performed the lengthy task
    of updating their site
  74. map with the new URLs, then
    uploading the new site map
  75. file, and then submitting
    it to Google.
  76. But in 2011, we expanded
    Webmaster Tools "Fetch as
  77. Googlebot" so that, per week,
    you can submit up to 500 new
  78. or updated URLs that you'd like
    to be crawled or up to 10
  79. URLs that you'd like crawled,
    along with their linked pages.
  80. When submitting through "Fetch
    as Gogglebot," most URLs are
  81. crawled within 24 hours.
  82. An easy way to stay in touch
    of new features and best
  83. practices is to subscribe to
    the Webmaster Central Blog.
  84. Now, while mistake number three
    is about time-consuming
  85. workarounds, often because an
    SEO isn't as up to date,
  86. mistake number four is along
    a similar spectrum.
  87. But now it's getting caught
    in SEO trends.
  88. In the early days of search
    engines, both webmasters and
  89. search engines chased
    the user.
  90. We were running the same
    race, get more users
  91. to visit and convert.
  92. Then, as the market matured,
    things went a little crazy.
  93. It was as if this race split
    into two simultaneous races.
  94. And rather than chasing users,
    some websites started chasing
  95. search engine algorithms.
  96. In over six years at Google,
    I've seen SEO trends take many
  97. forms. Around 2005, SEOs lost
    focus and spent countless
  98. hours editing their content
    for the optimal keyword
  99. density, meaning key
    words per page.
  100. Not a great use their time.
  101. Instead, they could have better
    spent their time making
  102. their content readable,
    compelling, and informative.
  103. I'm sure you have a long list
    of tasks for your site.
  104. Try to avoid the SEO trends,
    and instead prioritize the
  105. tasks that will bring
    lasting value.
  106. Finally, this brings
    us to mistake
  107. number five, slow iteration.
  108. At Google, we've been know to
    say that the main constant in
  109. SEO is that it's constantly
    evolving.
  110. The faster your team is able
    to iterate, the better.
  111. A good recipe is to, one, define
    metrics for success.
  112. Then two, implement
    improvements.
  113. Next, measure the impact, and
    then create new improvements.
  114. And then last, prioritize those
    improvements based on
  115. the market and your
    team's personnel.
  116. And then, of course, repeat.
  117. The advantage to having
    an agile SEO
  118. cycle is quite clear.
  119. In 2009, we launched
    Rich Snippets.
  120. Recipe or event sites that
    could iterate quickly and
  121. implement the proper markup
    could now show much more
  122. appealing search results.
  123. The same was true of video
    sites that were able to
  124. quickly create and submit
    video site maps.
  125. Again, those who are agile
    could get the benefits.
  126. Those are the five most common
    SEO mistakes that I find.
  127. But now, let's cover good
    practices in SEO.
  128. First, do something cool.
  129. Have a value proposition that
    separates you from your
  130. competitors.
  131. Second, include relevant
    keywords in your copy.
  132. There's no need to think
    about keyword density.
  133. But make sure your content
    includes the keywords people
  134. actually search for.
  135. Three, be smart about your
    tags, title tags and
  136. meta-description tags, and
    your site architecture.
  137. Four, sign up for email
    forwarding in Webmaster Tools.
  138. This allows important messages
    from Google, such as
  139. notifications for crawl issues,
    to be forwarded
  140. directly to the inbox you
    check regularly, whether
  141. that's your work account
    inbox, Yahoo, or Gmail.
  142. Five, attract buzz.
  143. This helps bring natural links,
    great reviews, votes,
  144. +1s, and follows.
  145. And last, stay fresh
    and relevant.
  146. Perhaps expand your reach to
    social media sites, if that's
  147. a great place to reach
    your audience.
  148. Or make sure your site is
    accessible on smartphones, if
  149. your product is great
    on the go.
  150. I hope this video helps you
    avoid the common SEO mistakes
  151. and instead, focus on the good
    practices that can bring
  152. lasting, positive benefits.
  153. Thanks for watching.
  154. [ending titles]