The best Google Webmaster videos

Dear Matt Cutts I thought it might be useful to bring together ten of the most popular videos from Google’s Webmasters YouTube channel.

I’ve taken the liberty of filtering out the marketing videos and have just focused on the freely given SEO advice. Most of these feature Matt Cutts answering user-submitted questions or Maile Ohye giving general advice. These are pretty jargon-free and are clearly intended for webmasters without much working knowledge of SEO.

  1. How does Google search work?

    This must be one of the first questions new webmasters have about Google, which explains how this video has accumulated over 267,900 views. (The most popular video in this channel is actually a promotion for Google Webmaster Tools, with half a million views.)

  2. Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

    A significant revelation from 2009 that Google doesn’t much care about <meta name="keywords">. Read more on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.

  3. Using Webmaster Tools like an SEO

    Google Webmaster Tools is a fantastic resource that all site owners should make use of.

  4. SEO for startups in under 10 minutes

    Maile Ohye from Google advises your startup as if she had only 10 minutes as your SEO consultant. Another video with a strong focus on Webmaster Tools.

  5. Canonical Link Element

    In this 20 minute video, Matt Cutts talks about rel="canonical".

  6. Introduction to Rich Snippets

    Meet Richard Snippets. Just kidding! Rich snippets are semantic markup tags that webmasters can put in their sites so that Google can display more useful search results. Learn more at

  7. What are some effective techniques for building links?

    Bald Matt Cutts advises not to use controversy to attract traffic; to be helpful on forums and in blog comments; doing original research to create useful content; use newsletters; use social media; don’t do list posts; establish yourself as an authority with a blog; write how-tos and tutorials; make sure you have good site architecture; make some videos.

  8. 5 common mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas!)

    Mistakes: No value proposition; a segmented approach; focusing on time-consuming workarounds; getting caught up in SEO trends; slow iteration.

    Good ideas: Do something cool; Include relevant keywords in your copy; be smart about your tags and site architecture; Sign up for email forwarding in Webmaster Tools; attract buzz and natural links, vites, +1s and follows; Stay fresh and relevant.

    (Also, if you insist on paginating articles in your blog, make sure you’re using rel="next" and rel="prev"!)

  9. How important is it to have keywords in a domain name?

    Short answer: Not very important.

  10. Is over-optimization bad for a website?

    Short answer: No, unless you’re damaging your user experience somehow.

There’s a common theme to a lot of these answers and tips: Google don’t want you to try and game the system – they would much rather prefer you make good content that deserves traffic.

Here are a few other videos that I thought were particularly interesting:

Further reading

Updated 2012.12.22 to replace the image up top with a screenshot from this video. To me it seems like a lot of these videos are just Matt pleading – very politely – for webmasters to focus on creating good content rather than trying to game Google. Matt appreciated it.


2 thoughts on “The best Google Webmaster videos

  1. It’s good to see that SEO/Google are rewarding good sites these days and are weeding out the spammers. Good post idea having all the basics in one place like this. I love Matt Cutts videos!

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