Extreme Makeover: Live Site Clinic

SES San Jose 2009 Review:
Extreme Makeover: Live Site Clinic

Greg Boser & Matt Cutts
Greg Boser & Matt Cutts

While sitting in Mrs. Li’s keynote I did a quick Google News search on SES. What came back? A Vancouver local’s SEO website on Matt Cutts being added to the panel for the session Extreme Makeover: Live Site Clinic. Needless to say I suddenly changed my plans of attending SEO Through Blogs & Feeds and made a b-line to the session.

The Extreme Makeover event was quite informative with an obvious focus on specific examples and suggestions of attendee’s websites. As usual, WebGuerrilla’s president Greg Boser provided equally hilarious and informative dialogue with Matt.

Key Takeaways:


  • Make sure contact information is in text-format, as Bing will list this in search results
  • Take the time to do unique meta descriptions and google will trust your site more
  • Each subdomain is a separate site so you have to verify them in Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics
  • 301 and 302 are shenanigans
  • Return true 404 page so Google doesn’t cache multiple instances of this page
  • Host your own videos, Google is adding other people’s video’s to search results
  • It is all about profiles. When you have lots of domains it makes you look like a spammer
  • Wiki should die. We hate wiki.


  • When dealing with duplicate content try to eliminate through a clean site architecture, then 301, then canonical tags
  • When changing site architecture change one part first then see what happens, then change the rest
  • Use term “store locator”–as this is the most familiar for users searching for store locations
  • Have a search box, but also add a “browse” option within the text so directories can be crawled
  • Preference lies with subdirectories instead of subdomains, as it puts it into one group
  • Users don’t like deep subdirectories
  • Grab 5 random people–describe what you do–ask them what they would search for–optimize for it
  • Page sculpting: if people are using nofollow, and this hurts the crawl, change your policies to counter it
  • If you have a bunch of domains for branding purposes, 301 them to your main site


  • Watch out for the all-in-one-SEO-plugin, because WordPress has duplicate content issues–the plugin will insert nofollow tags