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Matt Cutts talks about what makes a good quality site
Whitey




msg:4474005
 7:15 am on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Top interview between Eric Enge and Matt


Eric Enge: We always speak to our clients about focusing on activities that are brand building.

By doing things that help build your own reputation, you are focusing on the right types of activity. Those are the signals we want to find and value the most anyway.

Does that make sense?

Matt Cutts: Yes, it does. By doing things that help build your own reputation, you are focusing on the right types of activity. Those are the signals we want to find and value the most anyway. Just promoting your site on a spammy blog network that no one would ever choose to visit is not a good strategy.

It’s wild to see some blog networks just repackage the same spammy sites and services and have the nerve claim that their content is “Panda and Penguin compliant” when the quality of the network is clearly not at the level that even a regular person would choose to read it
[stonetemple.com...]


Plus many more points. Well worth a read and some feedback comments.

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4474020
 8:30 am on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting stuff here. This should set the warning bells ringing with a lot of webmasters ...

Eric Enge:Let’s switch gears a bit. Let’s talk about a pizza business with stores in 60 cities. When they build their site, they create pages for each city.

Matt Cutts: Where people get into trouble here is that they fill these pages with the exact same content on each page. “Our handcrafted pizza is lovingly made with the same methods we have been using for more than 50 years …”, and they’ll repeat the same information for 6 or 7 paragraphs, and it’s not necessary. That information would be great on a top-level page somewhere on the site, but repeating it on all those pages does not look good. If users see this on multiple pages on the site they aren’t likely to like it either.

arikgub




msg:4474081
 12:38 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)


Matt Cutts: ThatŐs absolutely right. Those other sites are not bringing additional value. While theyŐre not duplicates they bring nothing new to the table. ItŐs not that thereŐs anything wrong with what these people have done, but they should not expect this type of content to rank. ..... Without meaning any offense to Jane, but if Jane is just churning out 500 words about a topic where she doesnŐt have any background, experience or expertise, a searcher might not be as interested in her opinion.


Yeah, right. So why does ehow rank so well?

Listening to Matt Cutts is such a pleasure. He makes perfect sense. The only problem is that Google doesn't work the way he says it does.

timwilliams




msg:4474136
 1:59 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Good article, the best part in my opinion was from a comment:

...Site quality can either be poor, fair or good. Link building can either be poor, fair or good. Google decided that poor sites with fair link building are better for users than good sites with poor link building.

What do you think the user wants to see more? The good sites or the poor sites? Users don’t see backlinks nor do they care. If Google is really all about the user as they claim and really wants webmasters to be all about users, their only concern should be the quality of content. If you have more and/or better content, you should outrank those sites with little and/or awful content...


So on the surface it would appear that google cut their nose off to spite their face, threw the baby out with the bathwater, but did they? The answer to that question will come with the announcement of their Q2 earnings on July 19th.

mhansen




msg:4474153
 2:44 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

The first thing that gleaned info to me is:

Eric Enge: Of course, one thing that make one of these sites a bit different is if it represent Jane’s opinion about frogs.


Matt Cutts: It might make it different, but that may not be enough. Without meaning any offense to Jane, but if Jane is just churning out 500 words about a topic where she doesn’t have any background, experience or expertise, a searcher might not be as interested in her opinion. In the case of movies, for example, a lot of people care about Roger Ebert’s opinion so that is an example where a person’s opinion could be of great interest.


(Bolded by me)

It sounds to me like Matt is reinforcing what we already know. (without saying it) If you want your opinion (aka your web page) to be of relevance in the Google search engine, you have to earn it by building a relationship with Google. Only then will your "Opinion" (mentioned several times) be taken serious.

- Join Google+
- Create an Authorship profile to build your authority. (link [google.com])
- Relate your profile to your site. (claim in WMT)
- Build reputation and make your opinions count.

Don't like Google+ or care to be a part of it? Seems like it's just too bad. Google search is Goog's product and if you want to be a part of the system, you have to play by their rules.

It was definitely a good read.

ecommerceprofit




msg:4474191
 3:56 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

What do you think the user wants to see more? The good sites or the poor sites? Users don’t see backlinks nor do they care. If Google is really all about the user as they claim and really wants webmasters to be all about users, their only concern should be the quality of content. If you have more and/or better content, you should outrank those sites with little and/or awful content..


Exactly! Whomever said this is right on the money. My site is perfect for my industry - we have the lowest prices for commodity product - the site looks nice - every item has descriptions - no spam - but because I do not have links Google does not like this...what a waste of my time to go link begging...please spare me the lecture on linking - we have been through this before - good lively debate - I can post a link to this debate on Webamasterworld if anyone wants to debate again :-)

Oimachi2




msg:4474193
 3:56 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

you have to earn it by building a relationship with Google


Yep, and then Google will dump you, no allimony, no phone calls, no letters, no nothing and plenty of abuse.

Not exactly the kind of entity I would want to have a relationship with, but then again...wife beater's victims don't want to stay married either..what choice do we have! ;)

Bewenched




msg:4474204
 4:04 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

you have to earn it by building a relationship with Google


I'm not even sure that this is really even a factor. We've used webmaster tools ever since it was in beta, we're totally white hat, only rely on natural link building etc... yet we've been hit by Panda, not so much by penguin, but Panda really hurt.

martinibuster




msg:4474238
 5:03 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google decided that poor sites with fair link building are better for users than good sites with poor link building


Google has made great strides in peppering the SERPs with sites with mom and pop level of optimization, if any at all. It has been doing that for a few years now. Panda and Penguin, in my opinion, are Google's attempts at addressing the shortcomings in citation based rankings by including sites into the SERPs based more on quality metrics.

The statement that Google is ranking poor sites with fair link building is a gross oversimplification of how Google ranks websites. The statement overlooks the non-link quality metrics inherent in Panda and ignores the quality metrics Penguin applies to links. That statement ignores the two most important changes in ranking to hit our industry.

If you believe that ranking in Google boils down to just acquiring links, my message to you is to reconsider what you think you know about promoting a website.

what a waste of my time to go link begging


Why go through the trouble and expense of building a site then balk at telling anyone about it? Nobody is entitled to rank, regardless of how good a site is.

The SERPs are an editorial opinion. They must be approached with that in mind. If you are going to apply for a job, you must dress in a similar manner as others in the company. You should share cultural touchstones. It's not enough to be competent and have a good work history. Those are the kinds of things that will tip you over to being hired. Similarly, if you are trying to get a book or article published, it pays to understand what has previously been published, what the editors lean toward in terms of writing style and topics. The SERPs are an editorial opinion.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:23 pm (utc) on Jul 10, 2012]

zehrila




msg:4474246
 5:17 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

and they’ll repeat the same information for 6 or 7 paragraphs, and it’s not necessary.


That means a lot of boiler page content can cause issues!

JohnRoy




msg:4474330
 7:10 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Nice link post, but nothing "new". However, after seeing the negative comments there a "frog" twist came to mind.

The Froogle Story

Once upon a time, the Google shopping portal, while in beta, was named frog, eh, froogle ;)

Frogs like to jump. Same with the Google Serps. Frogs are green, and for years, Goog is here looking to earn more plain 'green' cash... Frogs, Toads & Googs are not your friends; just follow the rules or else.. you may find your site deep in the 'water'..

timwilliams




msg:4474334
 7:42 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

@martinibuster I have a lot of respect for you and what you say makes a lot of sense. That said, I think it is difficult to give google praise for the state of the serps right now. They say that they have done well at determining the quality of content in a website with panda, if that is true then why would they feel the need to penalize a site based on factors other than the content of the website like they do with penguin. With penguin they are saying that regardless of the quality of the website they will demote it based on factors that have nothing to do with the website itself.
I liken penguin to the teacher who gives the entire class an F on a test because someone stole the test answer key.

martinibuster




msg:4474392
 11:17 pm on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think we're in agreement about the state of the SERPs. My personal belief is that they need improvement. I'm happy with where my sites are ranking, they're doing fine. My opinion is shaped by my personal searching. The current state has made it difficult to research non-work topics I am interested in, like angling.

The point I wanted to make is that we end up taking two or three steps backwards when we over-simplify what Google is trying to do.

The thing about Panda is that it tries to identify good quality sites, and as I mentioned, that's an editorial decision, it's subjective. Which means that quality sites that don't meet their algorithms ideas of what a quality site looks like are going to end up at the back of the SERPs. It's not quite like a bouncer at the head of a long line judging who gets into the nightclub, but it's an editorial decision that is subjective and debatable.

There are clear misfires that result from the effort, and that is surely black and white, no gray area there.

docbird




msg:4474420
 12:35 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Reading comments on google quality being lower now, would be interesting to see, say, Google Retro - such as with results as the Google of golden days would create from today's mix of websites. [Golden days being when Google had risen to dominance, and was a less baffling beastie]

I've long been curious how Brett's "successful site in 12 months in google alone" might look nowadays; just found short 2006 thread here on this topic.

Whitey




msg:4474431
 1:05 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts:

A brand could be potentially useful, but it’s certainly not the only lens to interpret the world. There are lots of signals we use to try to find the results that bring the most value to users. And whether or not someone is an advertiser does not matter at all.

One of the great things about the web is that it still offers up-and-coming businesses opportunities to build their own reputation online. This can enable them to succeed even though other companies may have large advertising budgets.

....

If it is already a crowded space with entrenched players, consider focusing on a niche area initially, instead of going head to head with the existing leaders of the space. This is probably what you would have done if there were no search engines, and it’s often still the best approach. Find something that the entrenched players do not do well, and focus on that. Establish a reputation in that niche, become a leader in it, and then expand from there.

This whole brands thing is something that's been observed and debated on WebmasterWorld a lot.

My interpretation here is that managing "reputation" matters a lot. Not completely, but a lot. And Eric Enge's earlier remark about building reputation seems to me to matter a huge amount.

So if nothing else stands out in a crowded space, chances are, existing brands will surface to the top in the algo.

What Matt is also saying, in my interpretation, is that in crowded spaces it's all been done. He shows an example of a website which is geeky and provides a new way to visualize online airline bookings - which is currently different.

If you are going to break out of Panda into a crowded space, you are not going to do it with stacks of "unique content" which is not really sensationally different. You will have to build your reputation differently.

And you are not going to rank it better by lot's of links from crappy sources in crowded spaces. You'll be "Penguined".

Now that's my interpretation. The reality seem to me that Google defaults to brand in verticals that are too hard to administrate. But don't underestimate the amount of manual quality control that's likely going on in the big verticals.

Kendo




msg:4474435
 1:25 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

The only problem is that Google doesn't work the way he says it does.


It never has. That's why they dread their algorithm being vetted by any outside party. They claim that stance is about obscurity being good security. They also claim that it's all about quality of search, but don't ever forget that Panda increased their turnover by 30% within 3 months... that's 30% of billions of dollars!

tedster




msg:4474439
 1:28 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Panda increased their turnover by 30% within 3 months

I'm not sure what you are saying here. Do you have a reference link?

Whitey




msg:4474446
 1:47 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Panda increased their turnover by 30% within 3 months

You're talking to the king of conspiracy theorists here, but i think in order to be productive we should hone in and focus on the very powerful feedback Matt has given us. Focus on the big issues, the big points, and let's keep out of the sand.

Matt very deliberately conveyed his conversation away with Eric Enge, about specific mention of there being no direct link to "commercial revenue motives" aka "advertisers" and revenue. Indirectly, it likely exists due to the employment of Google assetts on pages. Matt and his team and the quality team do not control this area. You have to believe him and the other cross checked remarks leaked from Googlers involved with the algo.

But let's be productive - this is a great thread opportunity to discuss the key points. If you miss these you miss a big opportunity of understanding. Interviews of this quality are rare. Don't let's burn it.

BaseballGuy




msg:4474459
 2:51 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)


(Bolded by me)

It sounds to me like Matt is reinforcing what we already know. (without saying it) If you want your opinion (aka your web page) to be of relevance in the Google search engine, you have to earn it by building a relationship with Google. Only then will your "Opinion" (mentioned several times) be taken serious.

- Join Google+
- Create an Authorship profile to build your authority. (link [google.com])
- Relate your profile to your site. (claim in WMT)
- Build reputation and make your opinions count.


@Mhansen

My take on that....was that Google pays attention to who "you" are. If there are other websites/press releases/etc out there that give you credibility as a "frog expert"....and you have your Google plus account attached to your website....your site stands a better chance of reaching page one.

In other words, the Google algorithm has a database built on "Jane Doe". Based on citations from other websites, press releases, etc, Google knows that Jane is an expert on frogs.

So you need more than a Google account to be an "expert".

netmeg




msg:4474462
 3:15 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

What I see across a number of sites is that authority and trust come first, and failing that, Google resorts to big brands. Which is pretty much what people do, too. You can compete with a brand if you can find a way to make yourself the authority. That means offering something the brand doesn't.

I can't compete with Amazon on books, and I'm never gonna try, but I can compete with them on some products that they may sell cheaply, but can't advise the customer on how to pick the right one for his need, with the correct options and accessories, and how to care and maintain it, or repair one he already has. That's my UPV, so that's where I go.

That seems to align pretty well with what Matt was saying.

ecommerceprofit




msg:4474464
 3:20 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

martini - you are dead wrong. I knew the points you made would come up again. See this long thread:

[webmasterworld.com...]

tedster




msg:4474470
 3:49 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

What points in martinibuster's posts do you feel are wrong? They sound like pretty good points to me. Google search results are "editorial opinion" and the courts have upheld that deterimination. The "opinion" may be embedded within a complex algorithm, yes - but it was still written by humans and because if that it is necessarily based on their opinions.

backdraft7




msg:4474471
 4:04 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

The SERPs are an editorial opinion. They must be approached with that in mind. If you are going to apply for a job, you must dress in a similar manner as others in the company. You should share cultural touchstones. It's not enough to be competent and have a good work history. Those are the kinds of things that will tip you over to being hired.


does that mean we must now become Google's automatron brown-nosers?
being self employed, I was hoping the days of office politics were over.

ecommerceprofit




msg:4474473
 4:06 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

tedster - Google can do anything they want legally. Not a legal agrument. I'm only stating my opinion of how they could improve their engine. I am grateful that search engines exist - helped make me a lot of money over the years. Unfortunately, they are going in the wrong direction.

Whitey




msg:4474475
 4:10 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, they are going in the wrong direction.

@ecommerceprofit - Will you be changing your response to how you run your strategy now and run with what Matt and Eric are saying?

[edited by: Whitey at 4:12 am (utc) on Jul 11, 2012]

ecommerceprofit




msg:4474476
 4:11 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tedster - regarding what I do not like in martini's comments please see the prior thread. We debated backlinks forever...all my points were made in the thread. Would take forever for me to go over them one by one again.

[webmasterworld.com...]

ecommerceprofit




msg:4474478
 4:16 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Whitey - I have been so busy doing manual labor lately for my new company I have been out of SEO for a few months now. I look forward to reading what they are saying in the future and learning here. However, my guess is Google has not yet devalued linking as much as I think they should.

I wish they would. I know it's hard...I use their index for my searches...I like the company...I just wish they would think outside the box. They need to think ahead more...

Beachboy




msg:4474480
 4:27 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

"...Site quality can either be poor, fair or good. Link building can either be poor, fair or good. Google decided that poor sites with fair link building are better for users than good sites with poor link building."

I'm sorry, that's just plain dumb.

Zivush




msg:4474482
 4:38 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's an example from Alexa to some arguments discussed [
These four site have more or less the same traffic metrics but one site is 'very young' as compared to the others].
Site #1: Site linking in: 4,599
Alexa Traffic Rank: 49,606

Site #2: Site linking in: 333
Alexa Traffic Rank: 50,197

Site #3: Site linking in: 1,309
Alexa Traffic Rank: 47,130

Site #4: Site linking in: 2,733
Alexa Traffic Rank: 57,486

ecommerceprofit




msg:4474486
 4:57 am on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

beachboy - I hope I did not write this...a bit confusing...but what they are saying "can" be right - not always the case...but this is often the case

This 82 message thread spans 3 pages: 82 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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