10 Commandments of SEO [Infographic] #MattCuttsMoses

Howdy Ya’ll!

Most of us in the SEO community abide by these commandments set forth by Matt Cutts and the Google Webspam Team. However, time and again we find ourselves educating our clients and prospects. So if you’re a beginner or if you need an entertaining way to teach your clients and/or prospects about some SEO basics then this is the infographic for you! Please have a read and feel free to like, share, use #MattCuttsMoses and give our infographic some social love. You can even include this infographic on your own site with the embed code found at the end of this post!

Enjoy: The 10 Commandments of SEO

There will always be SEOs who try to trick Google’s algorithm, but Google is always on the hunt to penalize dirty tactics. Despite the Google algorithm updates, many people still use these sneaky tactics in hopes of bettering their rankings. Black hat techniques will eventually catch up with you. So heed this words of wisdom:

Plain Text Version: The Ten Commandments of SEO

Thou Shalt Not:

  1. Have an Unnatural Link Profile

  • Don’t create spam on forums or blog too many blog comments. Don’t solely build exact match anchor text links or hack into sites to inject links.

  1. Cloak and Use Hidden Text

  • Cloaking refers to showing different content to the Google bot and your visitors. This can be easily uncovered when the Google bot doesn’t identify itself.

  • Putting SEO text in hidden divs or making it white on white for instance is easily detectable.

  1. Steal / Duplicate Content

  • Using other peoples’ information with proper citations is fine, but if you’re copying entire chunks of content, or worse, whole websites you’re not going to fare well.

  1. Spin Content

  • Spun content creates a poor user experience and even if they do land on your page, they’re not likely to convert. Google is also getting much better at detecting spun content.

  1. Stuff Keywords

  • Keyword stuffing doesn’t do anything extra to help Google understand what your page is about, in fact it’s more likely to flag it and push it down in search results. Google relies on many other signals to gauge the relevance of your content.

  1. Spam Google Maps

  • There’s no point in creating a fake listing on Google Maps. What’s worse is that if you’re found trying to game the system, you’re likely to lose rankings.

  1. Create Microsites

  • There’s no sense in building out content-thin sites that only try and rank for a few keywords. The Panda Update wiped these out and they’re no longer a viable method for building links to your main site.

  1. Sell links

  • Just like buying links is punishable, so is selling them. Obviously you can try not advertising that you sell links on your site, but there are certain patterns that can still indicate that you’re doing this.

  1. Go Overboard on Ads

  • If your site is overrun with ads and especially if it’s light on content, you’re not likely to provide a good user experience. Not enough space devoted to real content is something that Google has relatively recently become very good at detecting and punishing.

  1. Create multiple websites to rank for the same business

  • This practice is more common than you think. Many businesses create multiple sites so they can occupy more of the spots on SERPs. There are multiple ways (automated and manual) to detect this. Checking for matching C-blocks is one example. If you’re exposed you could lose rankings for all of your sites.

Follow these commandments and you’ll thrive with each algorithm update!

Copy the embed code below to share this on your own blog!

Embed this Infographic!

Feel free to pin it, like, share it, or embed it on your own website or blog. A very big thanks to Rajesh Balakrishnan, Praseet Arimbra and Saumya Venugopal for their fantastic design!

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Written By Steve Toth

The internet is the world's largest advertising medium and Steve is fully immersed in it. He began working in social media in 2009 and has managed accounts for everything from major label recording artists to software development firms.

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33 thoughts on “10 Commandments of SEO [Infographic] #MattCuttsMoses
  1. avatarChristy Kunjumon

    Matt Cutts will really like this, all the points are very valid & this must be followed by all SEO people.


  2. Generally very accurate points that anybody involved in SEO should be following.
    I would disagree a little on the use of microsites however because they do have a marketing value. You see it from the big companies when they create something to match a particular ad campaign. So as an example I may sell widgets and be launching a new blue widget. Main site would be widgets.com but then I would create bluewidgets.com for the product launch. That is essentially a microsite that would link back to the main site. Yet it is, at least in my view, a perfectly valid marketing strategy.
    BTW both of those domain names do exist but are nothing to do with me. I just have a habit of using widgets when I am trying to create an example.


  3. avatarDouglas

    Steve, you Rock! The SEO mistakes and concept of morphing Matt Cutts into Moses are awesome!


  4. This is the moral ideology for all the SEO people because business owners or clients may not know the black hat techniques in SEO and we all should share this so that the message is delivered to all!


  5. avatarBijy Benny

    And all these 10 commandments be summarized in two :
    1. Thou shall love SEO with all your heart, mind and soul
    2. Thou shall look as genuine as possible to survive the wrath of Google!!
    Loved it! :)


  6. avatarMike Davis

    It seems that Google should follow its own advice in regards to number 9. Geesh.


  7. avatarwinnifred

    I appreciate your commandment on not overdoing the ads on your website. When I see too many cheesy looking ads on a website and not enough content, I am turned off and feel that the website must be struggling to survive. Thanks for the article.


  8. Hi there!

    I’d like more info on the 10th commandment.
    I think one thing is creating multiple websites to rank for the same KEYWORD, as suggested in the paragraph.
    Another thing is creating multiple websites to rank for the same Business (but different keywords), as suggested in the heading.
    I think it should be allowed since businesses can have different products and services maybe in different areas or industries.
    Anyway I’d like to have just some more references, please…

    And by the way the infographic is awesome! :)


  9. avatarAlan Bleiweiss

    Every once in a while someone comes out with a humorous Matt Cutts article or graphic. This one goes down as one of the best ever! Job well done on the creative and on the value people need to take seriously!


  10. avatartheazz

    That is a fantastic infographic. It certainly drives home the points being made in an attractive, easy to read and effective manner. I recently visited a website and when I clicked through on a link that should have taken me to a related listing of the info I sought I landed on a page that was totally irrelevant. I was upset. I hope Google dumps on that site soon.

    There is site called Readbud that seems to do nothing other than score the web, copy other people’s post then post them on their website for people to rate with claims that they will pay. As per my own experience, they are a scam site, but for some reason it seems Google has not found a way to flush them from the internet.

    Those who write blog post and other internet content may want to visit them and see if they have any of your content their.

    Great post.


  11. I am curious about commandment #7. There are times when we use microsites because they make it easier to quickly implement a content-rich, blog style hub. This as opposed to trying to integrate this style of content into the legacy client websites developed in something far less development friendly. I imagine the idea behind #7 is that if you are using this simply as a way to create more inbound links and/or to take up more space on SERPs, then it’s undesireable, but if creating a content-rich, topic area specific hub that links to main site – the end user (and client’s) best interest is served. How do I make sure I’m not getting penalized for this?


  12. avatarheila2013

    Great information and fun way of presenting it. I’m just setting up a blog and this is really helpful. Thank you so much. Heila


  13. A very nice read indeed :) I think I might do a follow-up blog on this while giving your post a free plug as well. That is, if you don’t mind that I do this?


  14. I have seen so many articles on this topic lately, but you covered it very well. Amazing how creative SEOs need to be lately!


  15. #7. It is true that tactic creating micro-sites with a back link to the main site will get you penalized. However if you do a micro-site without linking it to you main site or any other site that you own, it can still work.


  16. avatarfairydust007

    This is genius! This would definitely be a fun way or anyone to learn the basics of SEO. I think I will have to share this to my blogger friends. I think they would enjoy this. I do agree that there is a lot more to SEO that just these 10, but it’s a good place to start off.


  17. We are a stone supplier in London and slowly but surely are following the 10 Commandments of SEO.
    We are finding that having a long term view on SEO building gets you results in the end.
    You have to be professional, trustworthy and knowledgeable within your area of expertise but also need to have the desire to truly inform others.



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