What would Matt Cutts do?


What would Matt Cutts do?

Some of you might have realised that Jimmy Jangles does more than simply haunt the pages of The Optimus Prime Experiment and engages in a few side sites, mainly The Spaghetti Incident? That blog started out with the intention of being focussed on music but it kind of floundered. Now I've discovered its niche in the interwebz and I focuss on providing setlists from rock concerts.

People seem to love set lists, the fan boys go nuts when they realise that Stone Temple Pilots have played their first gig together, Radiohead is touring America and played a random U2 B-side or that R.E.M. played Ignoreland for the first time ever in concert.

Ideally I'll make some money off the site and I also want it to be popular. A purple cow or something. So I've been learning all about search engine optimisation which is basically a way of saying, make your page so Google likes it and ranks you over the other purple cows in the paddock.

So from reading SEO sites like Mr Neil Harvey, Edyran and Matt Cutts I've learnt some of the basics of SEO design.

Matt Cutts is the guy that is Google's public face for rules about using Google's Adsense program and search engine optimisation. He is the guy that puts the fear into SEO black hatters - people who try and trick search engines into ranking their pages higher than others by dubious means.

Here's my brief summary of what search engine optimisation technigues have worked for The Spaghetti Incident? Proof it works? Visits in Feb - a few a day. Visits in May 300 - 600 unique per day (increased content has of course helped but I figure the following has too).

Content: I've tried to put on set lists of rock concerts of bands I like, have heard, respect etc. A couple of posts every day means the Google spiders are likely to visit more often and get my content into the google hivemind.

Titles: The titles of each post generally reflect three things: The band's name, that it's their set list and some kind of geographic tag. Searchers look to titles for info on what the subject of the post is. Don't be like a newspaper or woman's magazine and say something outrageous and unrelated to the content. It will just annoy people and they will bounce from your site quicker than a Brett Lee beamer.

Content and Key Words: As they say, content is king. Seeing as one set list of a concert can easily be copied from one site to another (that's how I do it) I try and add a lil bit of an intro to the set list, trying to incorporate the key words that were used in the title. I often use a lil of my own music knowledge and chuck in a factoid or two. Making the key words bold is apparently a good idea too. Good content is not however, it needs to be noticed!

Links:Links to your webpages are like votes in an election. He or she who has the most votes wins right? He who has the most votes, because of their great written content, wins.

Pictures: The SEO experts all say to use images in the post as the google's algorithm likes that stuff (and related links too). Naming the photo properly, giving it a caption and using the famous "alt tag" description gets you into google. Search under Images in Google using the key words 'Jimmy Jangles' and you'll see what I mean. Some people get in photos real fancy like visual sliders..

Making the site sticky: If people stick around and read more than one set list I reckon there is a better chance they will click a google ad and bring me 15 cents closer to retirement. So I try and offer at the end of every set list a url which takes them to more set lists of the artist within the site.

Always provide your source. It's just good manners and Google love's links.

This is all a very amateurish approach but its fun learning about all this stuff. If you want to know more you can ask yourself what would Matt Cutts do?

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