I just spent the last week in Las Vegas for the PubCon conference. Pubcon is a super large conference where major webmasters and SEOs from across the world get together and learn more about the industry by participating in seminars and networking with each other. It’s also a great place to build relationships with other webmasters and SEOs.
But nothing in the form of seminars and such compare to the experience that I was so lucky to have and that was meeting with the #1 Google SEO guru himself, Matt Cutts.
In case you aren’t aware of just who Matt Cutts is, he is the programming engineer that created Google’s SafeSearch, which blocks out pornographic content from Google’s search engine. He also administrates the search engine’s spam and comes up with incredible ideas in which to use as part of the Google search algorithm. If you want to know more about him, I suggest that you read his blog.
Matt didn’t show up until the last day of the conference, and I can completely understand why. As soon as he showed up in the room, webmasters and SEOs were like the paparazzi around him, shooting photos and asking him a ton of questions (most of which he couldn’t answer because of secrecy). I decided to be polite and wait until after the final conference session was over before I talked with him.
I had only a select few questions in which I wanted to ask. One was about Geo IP targetting on a website that I’m consulting for. I noticed that when I turn on this special Geo IP targetting program that was installed, the search engines will begin to index the redirected page and not the actual homepage, which is not what I want. I wanted to make sure that Google didn’t see my website as cloaking or anything, so I had to ask Matt what was going on. He explained to me that I might be using a 301 redirect right now, and that I should be using a 302 redirect instead. I still have to check it out, but I’m sure that he’s correct.
The group that I was with also made some great suggestions to Matt. One of the more important suggestions that we made was to make it easier for websites to change their domain name and not have to worry about losing rankings for the typical three to four months. We also noted to him that we liked how the Google sitemap tool tells us when we have errors on our websites, but it needs to be improved by adding in exactly WHERE the errors have been found.
All in all, I wasn’t too pleased with the first couple days of the conference, but when Matt Cutts and the rest of the panel showed up, I learned more than I bargained for.