Last week Google's Matt Cutts gave an interview in which he revealed some things that will help webmasters to better optimize their websites. Here are the most important things that Matt Cutts said in the interview:
1. The more relevant links you have, the more pages of your site will be indexed
Matt Cutts said that the number of pages that Google indexes from your website is roughly proportional to the PageRank of your website. That means that more pages of your website will be indexed if your website has many inbound links.
Google does not have an indexation cap, i.e. they will index all pages of your website if you have enough inbound links. Remember that the PageRank that Google uses in its ranking algorithm is not the PageRank that is displayed in Google's toolbar.
2. Slow servers can cause problems
If Google can only crawl two pages at any given time due to a slow server, Google can set some sort of upper bound on how many pages they will fetch from that host server. This can be a problem for websites that are hosted on shared or slow servers.
3. Duplicate content can cause problems
"Imagine we crawl three pages from a site, and then we discover that the two other pages were duplicates of the third page. We'll drop two out of the three pages and keep only one, and that’s why it looks like it has less good content."
As mentioned above, Google will index your web pages based on the PageRank of your pages. If you have duplicate content, some pages of your website will be discarded and you'll waste ranking opportunities.
Matt Cutts also indicated that if you link from one page to a duplicate page, you can mess up your PageRank. Google also tries to pass the PageRank and other link signals from the duplicate pages to the original page.
If you use the rel=canonical tag on your web pages then the pages needn't be exact duplicates but they should be conceptual duplicates of the same product, or things that are closely related.
"It's totally fine for a page to link to itself with rel=canonical, and it's also totally fine, at least with Google, to have rel=canonical on every page on your site."
However, Google does not always obey the canonical tag:
"The crawling and indexing team wants to reserve the ultimate right to determine if the site owner is accidentally shooting themselves in the foot and not listen to the rel=canonical tag."
4. Affiliate pages don't get high rankings
If a website is an affiliate website that is very similar to other pages (only with a different logo, etc.) then this page won't get high rankings.
If Google detects an affiliate link than this link won't pass any PageRank power.
5. Redirects work but they don't pass the whole PageRank
If you change your domain name and redirect old pages with a 301 redirect from your old page to your new page then the link power will be passed to your new domain name but the overall power of the links will decrease. 301 redirects do not pass the full PageRank.
6. Low quality pages can cause problems
"If there are a large number of pages that we consider low value, then we might not crawl quite as many pages from that site, but that is independent of rel=canonical."
If you have a lot of web pages with thin content then Google might stop crawling your website. Matt Cutts also suggested that it might help to be wordy:
"You really want to have most of your pages have actual products with lots of text on them."
7. PageRank sculpting and website navigation
Google does not want you to sculpt your website for PageRank reasons. The best way to pass link power from one page to other pages is to have a good website navigation.
"Site architecture, how you make links and structure appear on a page in a way to get the most people to the products that you want them to see, is really a better way to approach it then trying to do individual sculpting of PageRank on links."
"You can distribute that PageRank very carefully between related products, and use related links straight to your product pages rather than into your navigation. I think there are ways to do that without necessarily going towards trying to sculpt PageRank."
9. Google does not like paid links
Matt Cutts said they Google doesn't want advertisements to affect search engine rankings.
They might put out a call for people to report more about link spam in the coming months. Matt Cutts said that Google "does a lot of stuff" to try to detect ads and make sure that they don't unduly affect search engines.
If you want to get high rankings on Google, you should use search engine optimization methods that lead to lasting results. Don't try to cheat Google.
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