Performancing have a great interview with Google engneer and webmaster relations guy Matt Cutts where he talks about splogs, Adsense and ranking well in Google. It’s a really worthwhile article – especially his answer to a question about how bloggers could rank well in Google. I’ve broken his answer down into some bite sized points (with some of my own comments beside them in brackets and italics):
- I wouldn’t bother with year/month/day in blog urls; I’d just use the first few words from the title of the post in the url – (this is key information. If I was to make one change to the way I set up ProBlogger it’d be along these lines – I’m halfway there with keywords in titles but the date numbers were a silly move).
- Don’t try to rank for a huge phrase at first–pick a smaller niche and get to be known as an expert there, and then build your way out and up – (very wise. The beauty about being the number 1 blog in a small niche is that you get a lot of inbound links virtually every time someone talks about the topic. This enables you to build up your authority both in the eyes of readers, other bloggers and search engines which in turn allows you to expand and perhaps even compete for some of the big terms)’
- Controversial posts are sure to build links, but too many controversial posts may undermine your credibility. I think you attract more links with a conversational style, humor, and doing your own research to produce new insights or tidbits of info – (I’ve written about this myself on a number of occasions. Controversy can have an impact in the short term but to sustain it can be difficult. If you want a sustainable blog you better be willing to back up those controversial posts with worthwhile content that stands on it’s own two feet).
- In my opinion, just commenting on other blogs isn’t as useful. There are a lot of ways to build a reputation, from having a great blog to producing a unique service to speaking at conferences. A single creative idea that catches fire in the blogosphere or digg.com is probably more useful than just chasing/buying/trading links. Original information or research is great bait to attract link – (I agree but not completely with this one. There are some bloggers out there that do very well with link style blogs. It’s much much harder to make it big these days with this style of blogging though and most new blogs coming on the scene that are making it big are doing so with original content).
Read the full interview at Google Talks About Splogs, Ranking & More