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• Monday, March 16th, 2009

Wow!

That’s the word for day two – just WOW!
For me day two was more about meeting great people and learning about great tools than anything else.

Of course the highlight for the day was that Rhea Drysdale (@Rhea) decided it was safe to follow me on Twitter, even though every time she looked over her left shoulder, there I was.  It was really great to meet you Rhea!

Matt Cutts of Google fame also chatted with a few of us about his recent weight loss success and shared his secret to success.  It’s hard to believe, but apparently if you exercise and eat more fruits and vegetables, it’s good for you.  Who knew?

Matt Cutts – Opening remarks

This was my first time to see/hear Matt speak.  He is quite entertaining.  Much better in person, with a crowd than in his videos (Sorry Matt).

The big announcement for Matt – which he said he hates to do at shows – was that  Google has created a system called Friend Connect and associated plugins for WordPress, Drupal and PhbBB that make it possible for people to use their Google/Yahoo accounts as identification when leaving comments on blogs, rather than having to create a site account with yet another username/password.  Honestly, I didn’t think this was an issue, but there were a few “ooo’s”, “ahh’s” and “cool’s” in the crowd.  I’m certainly not a huge commenter, but I leave them when I feel the need.  The sites I visit just ask for email address, a web site name and my comment.  That’s not a big deal for me.  Maybe it is for you.  I’m not gonna go all @GrayWolf, Google  conspiracy theory on you, but the evil side of me wonders how this information is being collected and used – you have to know that Google is not going to waste an opportunity to know exactly where you go on the web and how you feel about the things you read.  Seems like a no-brainer to me, and I’ll neither be installing friend connect on my site nor using it on others.  In fact, it makes me want to double check that I am logged out my gmail and yahoo before I start surfing.

Matt was asked, and spoke briefly about the issue of duplicate content.  He said Google is less concerned with www vs. non-www versions on the same domain and more so with the same content on different domains.  He did suggest that use of the new canonical tag would be a great way to avoid issues.  However – it is vital that you fully understand how it works and test thoroughly before implementing in a live environment.  He suggested that all your internal links should use full URL so that if your site is scraped/copied the links still point to the right place

Of course, Matt was asked for some search engine optimization (SEO) tips.  He pulled out his “standard response card”  he didn’t call it that, but I’m it is.  He had 7 tips to share – Most are pretty common, one I had not heard before, but makes good sense.

  1. Use good URL & Site structure
  2. Use good and unique page titles
  3. Use your chosen keywords in URL and titles
  4. Use keywords naturally withing your content (don’t try to stuff them in there)
  5. Page title and site URL do not have to match
  6. Check your site logs often to see what you already rank well for
  7. Post often

It was great fun to meet Matt an hear him speak, a great start to the day.

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