In this session we discuss Thesis SEO after Google Panda and Google Penguin which are the latest updates in Google. We recommend the use of Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide to understand what it is that Google is looking for so you can make the appropriate changes to your site. We also discuss the importance of having a well-organized site, well-structured pages, the use of meta title, meta description, headings and internal links.
Rick: The question is I read somewhere that Google’s planning another update soon that might affect SEO again. Will this post info still be relevant? And the answer to that question is yes it will because in fact, I think I just recently wrote something in the forum. Thank God for Google Panda and Google Penguin. Those are the code names of the last two updates and because if you’ve followed my advice all along which is… hey, there you are.
Member: Good, gotcha.
Rick: My advice is really good for Google Penguin and Google Panda which were the last 2 updates. Google Penguin just came out. Google Panda’s been the one that they’ve been working on for the last several months and both of those things have been really good to BYOB Website because our search traffic has been significantly up. And the rationale is that you know, what really matters is high quality content. And so the advice that I give is essentially ignore all of the tactics that people teach about SEO and focus on the basics that Google tells you to focus on.
So you know, I recommend you use the Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide and you’d begin by organizing your site correctly so then it’s easier for Google to find and understand. And then using you know, good meta title, good meta descriptions and by good, I mean, descriptive of the actual content and then having good structure of your content.
Member: Now if we’re using Thesis, how… the Thesis settings can pull from titles and post content. Do we need to be moe descriptive and really dig in to the Thesis meta inside each post or can we leave that be?
Rick: No, you absolutely should write a custom meta description and a custom title tag. If you don’t, Google is going to pick its own. So when I talk about this in the beginner class, I talk about the various ways in which the page title works and the various… essentially, versions of a page title or post title. And you know, you have the reader friendly page title that shows up on the page but then you have the search friendly title that is in that meta desription and then the search friendly desription that’s in the meta description.
And those are essentially, the first two recommendations that Google gives you. So I would start off by looking at the Google Optimization Starter Guide and or look at one of the basic courses that I’m teaching because I do start right off with you know, what you need to do in order to make sure that your pages are search friendly. And it’s less than 7 in both… in either Thesis or Genesis Lesson 7 – Organizing Your Site is where we start off with this whole question of preparing your pages to be indexed by Google. And so Lesson 7 and Lesson 9, the two places where I talk about that stuff at length.
Member: Alright, I’ll check both of those out.
Rick: But having said that, Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is really, as far as I’m concerned, the bible. People have all kinds of little schemes for trying to improve on that but really the fundamental is have good, useful, original content. You know, make sure it’s well-organized on the site. Make sure it’s well-structured on your page and then use those things that the search engines look for like meta title, meta desription, headings, internal links. Use those things in order to make the page more explicitly clear to Google.
Member: Yeah, I haven’t had problems in the past. I just… I don’t spend… when I write my articles, they tend to be longer then shorter. So I tend to use a lot of subheadings and I try to optimize those subheadings according to the keywords that I planned for the article.
Rick: So you’ve got that big piece of a nail then.
Member: Yeah, I guess. I mean, I… but I haven’t gone through and really concentrated on tweaking every meta description for my posts. It just seemed like it was extra work. I’ll read through that if you’re saying it makes that much of a difference, I’ll go through and I’ll put more time into creating those custom meta descriptions.
Rick: Well, the meta description is your chance to throw a sales pitch at the person who’s searching. And the sales pitch you’re saying is ‘Come look at my site.’ So if you don’t do the sales pitch, Google is just going to put what it thinks is the most relevant code or most relevant text there, whatever that happens to be and it may or may not include the sales pitch.
Member: It makes sense to do.
Rick: Yeah because the meta description is what is displayed on the search results page. Thesis automatic meta descriptions are just the first 170 characters of your post which may or may not be useful in any way. If you look at this right here, if this doesn’t have a meta description associated with it, the meta description will just start with the kind of site we are creating… you know, so on and so forth and would end down here when it got to 170 characters. That’s what happens if Thesis was doing that and what Google will do is look at that, decide whether or not it likes it and picks something else otherwise.