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Google's Matt Cutts: What To Expect In The Coming Months
engine




msg:4573602
 4:26 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)
Google's Matt Cutts does a roundup of what webmasters and SEOs can expect in the coming months.

Here's the video.




 

brinked




msg:4574105
 5:03 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ok let me get into it a bit more. It is not so much about "great content" but more so about offering more to the user.

Lets say that the widget industry is a huge industry. Everyone in the world is into widgets in some sort of fashion. Now you have thousands among thousands of bloggers all writing about widgets. The latest widgets, the best widgets etc.

Then one day "The Big Bad Widget" is released. It is a huge story, every widget blog owner on the planet is going to be writing and covering this event of the big bad widget. How does google decide which articles to rank the highest? There is only so much that can be said about the big bad widget, there are the facts which will pretty much be the same on all the articles, so then what separates the truly great articles about the big bad widget from the mediocre articles? Most mediocre articles will simply cover the facts just like every other author, probably offer their opinion or professional insight. But what other things can google look at to separate the not so great articles from the great articles? The mediocre articles from the boring, plain and bland articles? Well it may look something like this...

Poor articles will have
- Basic facts about the Big Bad widget copy/pasted directly from the maker of the big bad widget.
- default image about the big bad widget

Not so great articles will have
- Basic facts
- Default image
- Some insight, opinion

Mediocre Articles will have
- Basic facts
- Default image
- Extra images, unique images, custom made images
- a graph showing the parts if the big bad widget and explanations
- A break down of the big bad widget with charts and analysis to support their data
- Links to sources where they are pulling their data from for transparency

Good Articles will have
- Basic facts
- Default image
- Extra images, unique images, custom made images
- a graph showing the parts if the big bad widget and explanations
- A break down of the big bad widget with charts and analysis to support their data
- Links to sources where they are pulling their data from for transparency
- An explanation of what led to the big bad widget
- A live feed for updates/conversation about the big bad widget
- A video interview with professionals about the big bad widget


GREAT Articles will have everything from Good articles plus...
- A list of places where you can see/buy/get more info on the big bad widget
- An animation/gif demonstrating the big bad widget in motion
- A link to the official site of the big bad widget
- A trailer video on the big bad widget to hype it up, get people buzzing about it
- A link to the authors profile that shows he is a professional on widgets, he has a history of discussing widgets as can be traced by his posts on googleplus/facebook/twitter etc etc
- Information about the author so readers can understand a pro is discussing the big bad widget and not just anyone.


So this is not exact but I just want you to get the idea that simply offering "unique" articles about something is not always enough to do well in rankings. Google can look at all these other elements that can exist on a page and content is not limited to just text. "Content" is also images, animations, videos, graphs etc etc. When you have only paragraphs full of text it is not really that useful to readers. People are very visual and the internet today is very visual. The more of these types of unique factors that you have, the more google will like it and consider it of higher quality.

moTi




msg:4574109
 5:22 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google are simply failing at detecting quality content and are relying on the "proxy" to quality content which is quality links. I believe this is a very poor proxy. These can be gamed, and also without savvy marketing skills (some could argue this is "gaming" links anyway), they're also almost impossible to come by in 2013 where few people really link out freely.

my experience exactly. i came out with a website ten years ago and operated it for a couple of years before i shut it down. after some years pause i revisited the subject and made a new website - same topic, more content, better user experience, new domain, no ties to the old website.

my discovery: people don't link anymore. the reasons may lie in the monopoly of the few social networks to the disadvantage of personal blogs, the demise of special interest forums, people getting lazy, dunno.

so i have an absolute authority website but no indicators, because apart from the weak factor linkage, google obviously still has no clue how to detect real quality. not even bounce rate or length of stay are good indicators. in many cases rather the opposite applies for good websites with outstanding user experience: if a user immediately finds what he is looking for, no need to click around on the website, no need to stay longer than needed.

all this blah blah an eric schmidt talked about years ago already with the new semantic web and google algorithms in the future being able to read a text like a human being and all the things they promised their search engine would be capable of. nonsense! look at google search engine ten years ago, look at google now. more or less same web interface, same usability, same everything. no revolution at all, not even gradual. i think this is a dead end. as long as machines aren't able to act essentially human, no chance for quality content to gain the position it deserves in the serps.

frankleeceo




msg:4574113
 5:28 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I like the breakdown for the different levels of content. Although I think another key ingredient is user interaction. Does the content actually serve the users for what they are looking for.

A "Great" article has a higher probability of answer the visitors questions because it is more complete. Which increases user interactions and improve other metrics.

Because of it, I personally think that "good" articles can outrank "great" if they are easier to use, from a user's point of view. Sometimes less can be more.

brinked




msg:4574116
 5:36 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Frank,

I have dabbled in user interaction a lot...I see no evidence that google uses those signals such as bounce rate, time on page etc.

Readers are not always looking for an answer. When the user wants a quick answer, that is very easy for google to provide, what I am detailing goes much deeper than simply finding the answer to something.

Think more along the lines of a popular movie being released....there is no answer...except maybe release date type queries.

Bounce rate, time spent on page they all sound great, but that would be a very flawed system if google relied heavily on those factors. I think if user interaction is there, if the content serves that user, that content is more likely to be shared and that is the signal that google relies on to see if something is useful. Links have always been counted as votes, it may be different today, but links....real links do show a vote of confidence that google does weigh heavily.

netmeg




msg:4574120
 5:46 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

With me it always always always goes back to business model, but people get their backs up when I say that.

diberry




msg:4574125
 6:15 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The vast majority of my website users (like practically all of them) do not have websites of their own. In fact, many of them are pretty uninformed about the Internet in general. They come to my site, either download a pdf or print the page, and that's it.


Links were a brilliant way to determine website value back when nearly everyone online was a webmaster or at least a blogger. Now, as you point out, the average user "recommends" your site not by linking from a site - something Google can easily track - but through actions Google cannot so easily track. Social media links, emailing your link to a friend, buying, subscribing, etc. I think Google is really struggling to find a better way to measure rankings, and the only thing keeping them going is that most people haven't yet discovered other options for finding websites.

This is Google's real problem, not spam. Matt indicates they are coming up with more sophisticated ways to analyze links, and that's fine, but it doesn't solve the fundamental problem that you just can't build an algo around links anymore.

So this is not exact but I just want you to get the idea that simply offering "unique" articles about something is not always enough to do well in rankings.


Your examples here are great for those of us building for users, but I just don't see that they correlate to better rankings anymore. The SERPs strongly indicate that the algo cannot reliably tell great articles from the other kinds, and is defaulting to other factors like "trust" signals.

With me it always always always goes back to business model, but people get their backs up when I say that.


I agree with this strongly, and will go one step further: not all business models are compatible with high rankings in Google. Doing well with visitors doesn't mean you will do well in Google. And doing well in Google doesn't mean your traffic will convert.

nomis5




msg:4574133
 6:35 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google can't detect great content (to any degree of accuracy) All they can detect is reaction to great content.


Nope, they can't do that either. Let's face it, if they could the SEPRS wouldn't show some of the results they do. Users are not stupid, when they see a rubbish page they leave quick. But does G recognise this reaction? In many cases no.

The spammers are still winning and G is incapable of detecting them quick enough.

moTi




msg:4574141
 6:59 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The SERPs strongly indicate that the algo cannot reliably tell great articles from the other kinds, and is defaulting to other factors like "trust" signals.

apart from the "link lack", this is the second observation i made: google serps defaulting to the old stuff from which they have years of traffic data. in consequence, new - and often better - website projects have an excessively hard time climbing to the top. good for the old webmasters around here who mostly rely on their aged content, i know. but overly difficult to "tell" google about a high quality new website - even more so if you don't resort to certain marketing tactics which as said in itself can be regarded as unnatural manipulation.

ten years ago, i got a head start in a few months - no problem to rank my content. and therefore no problem to gain the necessary quality signals thereafter. nowadays you are more or less forced to wait for years with not a bit of certainty. the result can be observed in the serps: old websites and outdated content - even in the news sector - dominating the serps.

"trust" isn't everything. the inability for google to get reliable quality signals makes them shy and risk-averse. a good algo has to separate the wheat from the chaff more rapidly and not through years of data accumulation.

purplekitty




msg:4574142
 7:09 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The spammers are still winning and G is incapable of detecting them quick enough.

This is what I always think when I get the advice, "well, just start over from scratch and build a new website." Isn't that the spammer business model?!?

diberry




msg:4574146
 7:24 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is what I always think when I get the advice, "well, just start over from scratch and build a new website." Isn't that the spammer business model?!?


Yes, it is, and I don't think that's good advice either, unless Google rankings is what you're after. If converting traffic and revenue is your goal, a better answer is to pursue other traffic streams - as you're already doing.

mike2010




msg:4574152
 7:39 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm already po'd about this and they haven't even released it.

Does he NOT realize that some webmasters after 2 years are just now finally catching up after the initial update ? Does he NOT realize how making these stupid changes actually put people out of business ?

Even from the sites that have done everything by the rules from the start.

Enough playing around in ur sandbox, Matt... If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

netmeg




msg:4574165
 8:34 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The sooner you recognize that Google is not out to make webmasters (or business owners) happy, the better. They're not. They're not. They're not. I'll say it again. They're not.

purplekitty




msg:4574169
 8:54 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The sooner you recognize that Google is not out to make webmasters (or business owners) happy, the better. They're not. They're not. They're not. I'll say it again. They're not.


Indeed. I said something similar to my husband the other night when we were talking about the decreases I've seen over last year - Google doesn't care about my website. C'est la vie.

I've got to say that my earlier lurking around here, watching as website owners were hit by this update and that update, it definitely gave me perspective that I needed to leverage the rankings I had when I had them because mine could go away at any moment.

So I did. And then they did. lol

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574170
 8:58 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is what I always think when I get the advice, "well, just start over from scratch and build a new website."


Matt Cutts gave this very same advice - that you should "maybe think about starting over" if you're penalised by Google. To me that was a real "tell" by Cutts. I think Google are more worried when companies DON'T start over again. Why? Because it's creating a balkanised web. There are some fantastic sites that people go to and buy from and recommend and go BACK to and buy from again - that do not feature anywhere in Google. There are bustling communities online - that do not feature anywhere in Google. There are these pockets of activity that Google SERPs refuse to direct people to. That's why I believe penalties are largely indefinite - they want to strangle these sites into submission. When Penguin 2.0 hits, for sure most sites that get hit will give up immediately. Everyone knows you don't recover unless you're part of a tiny minority. Why bother? That's what Google want. They want the churn. They want to teach searchers that the web is really just a churn of sites and you go to Google to get the latest "snapshot" of the web, rather than visit directly via bookmarks. I think perhaps penalties is a way to accelerate the churn - therefore making Google a more valuable place to visit.

[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 9:01 pm (utc) on May 14, 2013]

nomis5




msg:4574171
 9:00 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

If it ain't broken, don't fix it.


Take a look at the G serps and tell me honestly
it ain't broken
cos i think it is.
purplekitty




msg:4574175
 9:19 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts gave this very same advice - that you should "maybe think about starting over" if you're penalised by Google.

This thinking is just so nonsensical (unless, of course you have an ulterior motive!) if the goal is have people build quality websites. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I briefly thought about it. Well, that and combining my websites like I wish I had just done way back when I first got started. But that's just not practical for me for a couple of reasons.

Interestingly, looking more closely at that Links to Your Site in WMT, I'm not seeing Facebook. Does Google manually discount those or something?

zeus




msg:4574191
 9:44 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

"6. Improvements planned for host clustering - to make overly dominant results less common"

I dont get it, WHY do they keep doing this domain stuffing, what is the benefit for a user, if you see the same site 70% of the time on the first 5 pages, if I have checked that site, I want other sites in the result, not the same site all over. Is it maybe a way to push other sites way back and give more bonus to "authority sites"

lucy24




msg:4574198
 10:08 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

looking more closely at that Links to Your Site in WMT, I'm not seeing Facebook. Does Google manually discount those or something?

Hm, interesting question. Wonder if it depends on link format? Facebook doesn't have direct links. Instead it's
:: shuffling papers ::
www.facebook.com/l.php?u=URL-of-your-page-here
and then the real link doesn't kick in until user goes to the "Leaving Facebook" page and clicks the "Yes, I really want to leave" button.

Can the googlebot see facebook pages? Does it go to l.php?

It does list pinterest. That's a different link format.

chrisv1963




msg:4574202
 10:20 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can the googlebot see facebook pages?


Google is listing some in the serps. Thus, they can see it.

purplekitty




msg:4574203
 10:23 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hm, interesting question. Wonder if it depends on link format? Facebook doesn't have direct links. Instead it's
:: shuffling papers ::
www.facebook.com/l.php?u=URL-of-your-page-here
and then the real link doesn't kick in until user goes to the "Leaving Facebook" page and clicks the "Yes, I really want to leave" button.

Oh, yes, I see what you mean now. Well that must be the reason then.

Panthro




msg:4574205
 10:39 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

whoa! since when do we get embedded vids here?

sobole




msg:4574212
 11:31 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt is saying " keep chasing your tail as we laugh our way to the banks "

mike2010




msg:4574213
 11:36 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The next Penguin update will make people Rich and will make people Poor.

Which side will u be on ?

austtr




msg:4574215
 11:40 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

@netmeg..

Google can't detect great content (to any degree of accuracy) All they can detect is reaction to great content.


And therein lies the catch 22. There can only be a reaction if a viewer can see the site in the first place. If good sites can't reach viewer eyeballs simply by "writing good content", then the lack of reaction becomes an endless loop, a barrier that is impossible to cross.

The Google mantra of "write good content" can too easily be seen as a motherhood statement, a way for Google to present itself as a paragon of web virtue, a crusader against the forces of evil, protector of the good and virtuous.

But if their algo cannot actually tell good content from bad, as many seem to think, then why trot this out as the key platform for improving site performance?

The message from MC and others seems to be that good content alone is all you need.... and as we all know from bitter experience, that is a long way from the reality.

mike2010




msg:4574219
 11:51 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is starting to remind me of a spoiled little red-headed stepchild lately. (or maybe it's just Matt that's giving them this image) Their self-indulgent and only think about themselves lately...never about how it effects other webmasters that work their butts off just to make a buck a day.


That's why I believe penalties are largely indefinite - they want to strangle these sites into submission. When Penguin 2.0 hits, for sure most sites that get hit will give up immediately. Everyone knows you don't recover unless you're part of a tiny minority. Why bother? That's what Google want. They want the churn.


This is just 1 other example. They will be very idiotic if they are to continue this behavior of penalizing a site forever. What happens when they sell the site and somebody else buys it ? The buyer has no idea the site was severely penalized.

[edited by: mike2010 at 12:26 am (utc) on May 15, 2013]

Leosghost




msg:4574223
 12:11 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

spoiled little red-headed stepchild lately
Please don't "diss" red-headed kids..or people..( on the grounds of their hair colour..you wouldn't do it on the grounds of their skin colour..I hope :)..
I am not red-headed..
But in some parts of the world..having red hair can get kids and adults killed ( just like being albino can )..TIA for your understanding..and now back to your thread :)..

outland88




msg:4574226
 12:34 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Bottom line Google is just training you to give them free quality content to sell their products. The key word here is “free” for them. Hell be damned if you want to make a living via results. Google is at the point where it can well do without anybody in these forums. They can dump all the small business commerce sites or anything else they dislike into the 950’s and it likely won’t make one iota of difference on revenues or stock prices. This extends farther into the future than you can imagine. Growth will come from future acquisitions courtesy of your free content. Meanwhile these sites whose intention was to sell, not to become Hemingway’s, scramble to create this free content to save their businesses. You were being trained and didn’t even know it. I thought everybody knew that was one of the training videos.

turbocharged




msg:4574231
 1:09 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@brinked

Most of the posts you make add a lot of value to each discussion. I just wanted to say thank you. I agree with your rating of content.

If nothing else, people should focus on producing high quality content. Without that foundation, everything else becomes irrelevant and/or short lived.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574296
 7:33 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

If nothing else, people should focus on producing high quality content. Without that foundation, everything else becomes irrelevant and/or short lived.


I agree turbocharged, and I get your inference here - creating quality content should be for reasons nothing to do with Google, but simply to give a good impression to visitors and maximise conversions.

Matt Cutts gave this very same advice - that you should "maybe think about starting over" if you're penalised by Google.


This thinking is just so nonsensical (unless, of course you have an ulterior motive!) if the goal is have people build quality websites. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


purplekitty, here's the actual MC quote:- [searchengineland.com...]

To quote:-

DS: If you were hit by Panda and Penguin, should we just give up? (audience roars with laughter)

MC: Sometimes you should. It’s possible to recover, but if you’re a fly-by-night spammer, it might be better to start over.


The quote is from early June 2012, just 6 weeks or so after Penguin. I'd love him to be asked that question today, with the VAST majority of sites hit by Penguin seeing either zero recovery or only partial recovery, and many other sites that have simply taken his early advice and given up. When Penguin 2.0 rolls around, prepare to see a lot of sites disappearing from the web because this time around, people know recovery isn't likely at all.

cabbie




msg:4574299
 7:47 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Please don't "diss" red-headed kids..or people..( on the grounds of their hair colour..you wouldn't do it on the grounds of their skin colour..I hope happy!..
I am not red-headed..

Or Stepchilds

flatfile




msg:4574301
 7:54 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can the googlebot see facebook pages? Does it go to l.php?


Here's facebook's robots file
Disallow: /ac.php
Disallow: /ae.php
Disallow: /ajax/
Disallow: /album.php
Disallow: /ap.php
Disallow: /autologin.php
Disallow: /checkpoint/
Disallow: /contact_importer/
Disallow: /feeds/
Disallow: /l.php
Disallow: /o.php
Disallow: /p.php
Disallow: /photo.php
Disallow: /photo_comments.php
Disallow: /photo_search.php
Disallow: /photos.php
Disallow: /sharer/

This 193 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 193 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 > >
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