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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.




 

Whitey




msg:4574596
 1:24 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

What to expect in SEO in the coming months
If someone is paying for links that pass PageRank (which violates our quality guidelines), that can affect both the source site and the destination site. [mattcutts.com...]

Just in case anyone is confused with previous statements.

With the disavow data in place, and the "unnatural link notices" in, these are probably the last few days left to correct the situation [ if indeed it's not too late already ].

Hmm. One common issue we see with disavow requests is people going through with a fine-toothed comb when they really need to do something more like a machete on the bad backlinks. For example, often it would help to use the “domain:” operator to disavow all bad backlinks from an entire domain rather than trying to use a scalpel to pick out the individual bad links. That’s one reason why we sometimes see it take a while to clean up those old, not-very-good links. [mattcutts.com...]

There are some "good" "authority" sites out there that still sell links.

I'm coming across SEO's still setting up footer link networks between their clients with unrelated subjects in their anchor text subjects and ranking with it. This is 2006 SEO trickery.

And lot's of reciprocal link pages that pass little to no influence, yet still hang around. Since Google ignores these I wonder if it will soon penalise sites for leaving the pages up.

It seems to me that although this next Penguin update will hit hard, Google still relies on webmaster participation to inform Google through the disavow tool, editorial quality control on key search verticals and FUD.

Given the ineffectiveness of the battle to have 100% control and the commercial objectives of Google, I would expect brands to still have a free ride, unless they have gone hog wild.

Because Google has issued a warning, it must back that up with action. And I expect that to be painful with plenty of the usual false positives, and stripping of income from a lot of dependent business', often with limited resources to counteract and repair.

Google has provided communication, true. But it's communication delivers "gaps" except to high publicity exceptions, such as the recent BBC case [ [webmasterworld.com...] and [seroundtable.com...] ] , where only one page in millions was effected causing a generalised "unnatural links" notice to be sent.

Not everyone is treated equally in these communications

What we can expect is another significant scythe sufficiently large to cause the reaction that MC expects to come out - big. Personally, I think Google's actions are too aggressive requiring a more considered approach that would be fairer with better communication through WMT. Allowing site owners to make changes, and be rewarded for their innovation and tidying up.

[ Still, don't get too hung up about the SERP's. I saw only one organic slot left on a popular search the other day, which kinda signals the direction Google is moving to with it's various other assets and advertising products. Even the most mindful CEO can become a slave to Wall Street's demands of "more" and "growth" - just look at the US processed food industry to provide that precedent.]

Panda 2.0 : Because Google has issued a warning, it must back that up with action. And I expect that to be painful with plenty of the usual false positives, and stripping of income from a lot of dependent business', often with limited resources to counteract and repair.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4574637
 5:22 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)


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


Actually they can profile you using not much more than your browsers cookies. If you visit a dozen sites and pick up a dozen cookies then visit any google page, or page with Google product on it(adsense, analytics, etc), then you've just told Google which sites you visit and they can make a pretty good guess at a lot of things from that.

Reaction example: Joe likes to share everything he sees on his social networks, which Google also monitors, so if he visits your site but doesn't share what he saw it might be a good indicator that he didn't love what he saw.

Prediction example: Jane has been looking for a crib for two months now so its safe to assume she hasn't bought one yet. Google sends Jane to Amazon and suddenly Jane stops looking for cribs. Now when Janet wants a crib Google may send her to Amazon directly, predicting she'll have a good experience there.

Google "tests" pages by comparing a whole lot of data but in the end they heavily predict what your response will be so if you do not do as expected then expectations of a page are changed, for better or worse.

PREDICT might not even be strong enough a word to describe what Google does since they claim to know what you want before you know you want it.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574652
 7:27 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Prediction example: Jane has been looking for a crib for two months now so its safe to assume she hasn't bought one yet. Google sends Jane to Amazon and suddenly Jane stops looking for cribs. Now when Janet wants a crib Google may send her to Amazon directly, predicting she'll have a good experience there.


But doesn't this just consolidate the status quo? Let me explain. Jane's most likely method of search will be Google. Jane will likely (like 99% of the population) click on one of the top 5 results. If a "buy signal" is recorded from one of of the top 5, then it's a positive signal to a top 5 result that any crib seller outside the top 5 didn't get. Sure if Jane doesn't buy from the top 5 results for cribs, it might put a tiny negative against them, but I'd bet that the buy signals will outweigh the non-buy. It doesn't mean they're the best results, it just means they have more data points and are therefore more tested (and trusted) by Google.

mcskoufis




msg:4574660
 8:02 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Spam rules on competitive SERPs for years now... What do I expect from Google? More spam and easy algo gaming..

I've been lucky (or maybe mindfull) and haven't had a client affected by Google's wild animals over the past couple of years, only from other agencies which took over and client came back a year later begging for saving the site.

Footer spam, hidden links and unrelated link networks that do not sell links but serve as a client SEO hub are things that make websites rank in some of the heavily competitive niches I am working on.

I don't expect that to change much. I honestly hope to be proven wrong, but give me a break Matt!

There are possibly thousands of reports on search engine spam here and elsewhere. I am pretty sure Google is actively monitoring the discussions here, even though there is no GoogleGuy anymore.

Yet their attempts to rein in spam have let to several miserable failures. I've read the argument here somewhere that Google is intentionally leaving spam to rank high so they can better understand it, but doubt its going to ever effectively deal with it.

arieng




msg:4574723
 2:45 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

f a "buy signal" is recorded from one of of the top 5, then it's a positive signal to a top 5 result that any crib seller outside the top 5 didn't get


True, but that doesn't take into consideration personalized results. There are a lot more than 5 pages getting into the top 5 results in any given day, and Google is able to measure the response metrics for each and compare them against one another.

rish3




msg:4574728
 2:57 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've read the argument here somewhere that Google is intentionally leaving spam to rank high so they can better understand it


One side effect of the organic results looking spammy would be increased traffic to the paid results. Google's most recent quarterly earnings could be interpreted as supporting this idea. At a high level, global searches are flat, Google's search share is flat, but search revenues are way up.

No proof that it's intentional, but with revenues way up, there certainly wouldn't be much pressure to change their current course.

I am curious about how long the SERPS can look crappy before it starts costing them market share. People tend to give dominant brands lots of leeway before bailing on them.

diberry




msg:4574730
 3:00 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

True, but that doesn't take into consideration personalized results. There are a lot more than 5 pages getting into the top 5 results in any given day, and Google is able to measure the response metrics for each and compare them against one another.


Yes, but I don't see that making much impact. I search logged in and not logged in (through a proxy) and get the same results - sometimes the top 5 are rearranged, but Google's "personalization" isn't all that personal. It's more about ads than organic results, I think.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574732
 3:06 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

At a high level, global searches are flat, Google's search share is flat, but search revenues are way up.


Good point rish. If you can't add more ads to the page, you can shape user behaviour to notice and click on the ads more. Did you hear that Google were experimenting with SERPs with no URLs shown in the organics? For me this could be another move from Google to have us trust the ads more than the organic.

zeus




msg:4574736
 3:16 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

is the seo business now just add bad links to the competition.

lfgoal




msg:4574759
 5:16 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nothing that Matt Cutts says is useful,relevant, or helpful. It may be intended to appear as such, but the honest truth is that their advertising engine, or "search" engine, has continued to progressively degrade over time, sacrificing pretty much every positive characteristic that its reputation was built on.

I am curious about how long the SERPS can look crappy before it starts costing them market share. People tend to give dominant brands lots of leeway before bailing on them


Altavista turned into pure crud and along came Google and it was that easy. Google is primed to fall (its so very common now to hear people you know personally complain about their search results), the only problem is that the alternatives are not attractive. If Bing would clean up their visual appearance to mimic Google's circa 2003, it would help them get some traction. They should sacrifice ad placement for a couple years to facilitate that purpose and build subliminal trust.

jimbeetle




msg:4574818
 9:59 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

If Bing would clean up their visual appearance to mimic Google's circa 2003, it would help them get some traction.

Bing doesn't want to mimic Google circa 2003. Heck, Google darn sure doesn't want to mimic Google 2003.

Fact is that search as we came to know and love it is going out the door and has been for some years. Page, Schmidt and every other search exec has said that it ain't going to be ten blue links on a page any longer.

One of the biggest things from Google the past couple of days is the new Google Maps [google-latlong.blogspot.com] and expansion of the knowledge graph [searchengineland.com] that takes search steps closer that goal.

When thinking Google search you have to think Amit Singhal; when thinking Amit Singhal, you have to think Star Trek.

That's Google goal, not some warmed over 2003 page with ten blue links.

Leosghost




msg:4574821
 10:52 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

When thinking Google search you have to think Amit Singhal, Page ..very heavily modified and directed by Schmidt ( on behalf of the VCs and their friends who put the money up for Google and most of what "IT" ( and financial markets ) is/are "these days" )..

Adjusted to match/ correspond to reality* ( *defined as how it is actually working out..as "it" was intended to do:) ) ..for ...

HuskyPup




msg:4574837
 11:49 pm on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's Google goal, not some warmed over 2003 page with ten blue links.


Well F their goal, I don't like all this crap, in fact in all the international business "circles" I am involved with they HATE all this deliberate confustication they are deliberately creating in many widget sectors.

Users expect a search engine to provide relevant results ... NOT a pile of useless crock and that is what Amit Singhal et al have been serving for at least the last two years now and IF no one cannot recognise that then there is something seriously wrong with their comprehension of their SERPs.

They are crap, period!

mcskoufis




msg:4574894
 5:32 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

@rish3 sorry for the late reply.. :)

One side effect of the organic results looking spammy would be increased traffic to the paid results.


That is indeed something that helps out their business model. Also the recycling of search traffic back to their other "universal" properties.

But hard to believe there was an algorithmic update for this purpose.

I still think they are the best search engine in the markets I work in (Greece, UK, USA, Spain). Some Bing results are terrible IMHO although they are getting better.

Google must be the best cause they will lose users and this doesn't seem to be the case based on comScore reports. The quality of results do matter to them IMO.

mcskoufis




msg:4574897
 5:41 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

They are crap, period!


HuskyPup I would rephrase that to "they are gamed easily".

GeraniumV




msg:4574898
 5:53 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google/Bing is about 50/50. The one thing Bing seems to be bad at is searches for info on Microsoft technology, IIS, C#, MS access, MS SQL (go figure). I just change the default from on to the other when I get a bad result

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574902
 7:23 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google/Bing is about 50/50. The one thing Bing seems to be bad at is searches for info on Microsoft technology, IIS, C#, MS access, MS SQL (go figure). I just change the default from on to the other when I get a bad result


I found that short keyword (1, 2, 3 keyword) / commercial searches are better on Bing simply because they're pretty much a pre-Penguin 1.0 representation of what Google used to show. Google's better on long-tail and/or non-commercial searches.

zeus




msg:4574924
 10:24 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

my favorite SE is duckduckgo.com, has been that the last 2 years.

HuskyPup




msg:4574927
 10:35 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is genuine, just a few minutes ago:

[img21.imageshack.us...]

I'm waiting for this day!

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574931
 11:28 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

One thing I do hope Google do is reward sites with responsive design. There's a huge difference in usability between responsive and non-responsive when viewed through a small screen. Currently I see zero difference between the SERPs on my mobile phone when compared to my laptop, and yet I have a big difference in user experience when I click on the those very same results if I'm using my mobile phone as to when I view them through my laptop. If they reward responsive design, then it will push web developers to take that route more and more (there's already a good reason to do responsive design, but better rankings would be another great reason).

IngoZ




msg:4574932
 11:38 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

True, Google is relying too much on links, on algorithms based on links. They should focus more on users, from those who buy online how many have a blog or site to share their experience. Not too many and I don't think taking only the webmasters as sample is representative.
Let's assume there are 100 internet users, potential clients in the world and 15 % are webmasters (people with blogs, sites) why the opinion of these people (15%) should be considered representative and dictate for all, even for those who are not tech savvy but are internet users, buyers. Google is concentrating only on a small sample of tech savvy people who can now manipulate very easily the results. These 15% are in general those who offer some services, selling something or are affiliates, many are paid to place a link, write a review, they are not representing the real consumers, simple clients and the most of them. And we need the opinion of those who consume, simple people, not those who produce or have have something to earn if they promote a product.

The link manipulation is an entire industry, producing, selling links for all needs... seo these days, we can offer you any type of links, homepage links, advertorials, PR links, just name it. They don't tell you, we help you create great content for your users, no, they directly sell you links to improve your rankings because anyone knows links are the key to Google's heart, who needs content? our users? who cares, Google wants links, a lot of links, let's give Google more links then.
In this context how can you say, create great content and wait for others to link to you, hopefully your small site will receive 5 natural backlinks in 1 years, useless because your competitor can buy 15 backlinks and will rank better, another competitor 25 because wants to rank better than our previous competitor, and so on, you are out of business. Seo these days it's all about buying links, advertorials and hacking sites for backlinks.

chrisv1963




msg:4574935
 11:58 am on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

One thing I do hope Google do is reward sites with responsive design.


The very first thing they should do right now is reward sites with good original content instead of the scrapers that work their way up in the serps with bought links and stuff like that.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4574940
 12:29 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

In this context how can you say, create great content and wait for others to link to you, hopefully your small site will receive 5 natural backlinks in 1 years, useless because your competitor can buy 15 backlinks and will rank better, another competitor 25 because wants to rank better than our previous competitor, and so on, you are out of business. Seo these days it's all about buying links, advertorials and hacking sites for backlinks.


And while the earnest and well-intentioned webmaster who has crafted great content from hundreds of hours of work does wait that whole year for those 5 natural links, a competitor spends $5 and 10 minutes on a fiverr gig blasting the same site with spammy links, thus framing the innocent webmaster as a "spammer" in Google's eyes, and thus sending his site straight to jail without passing Go. In Cutts' own words, it's better for that innocent webmaster to start over and try again, and hope that nobody else does a negative SEO campaign on him.

The very first thing they should do right now is reward sites with good original content instead of the scrapers that work their way up in the serps with bought links and stuff like that.


I agree.

aristotle




msg:4574943
 12:33 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well I just watched Matt Cutts' video -- Apparently he is living in some alternate reality where the google algorithm is getting better and better, and he and all the millions of little webmasters are one big happy family.

moTi




msg:4574947
 12:37 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

One thing I do hope Google do is reward sites with responsive design.

let's hope not, because there's more than one way to do it. responsive design is not the only solution for good user experience on different screens - not even the best necessarily. i have two different layouts, a website and a webapp with server-side browser detection depending on screen size and touch capability. i'd find it unfair if google would reward others, resp. penalize my approach. they shouldn't get into the game to dictate our web design as well.

in other words: it should be possible for google to rank websites according to user reaction without judging the web design directly.

[edited by: moTi at 1:12 pm (utc) on May 17, 2013]

simonlondon




msg:4574951
 1:00 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get a little disappointed whenever Matt comes out with the "write great content" mantra.

This actually is, and has always been the most important part in his answers, yet most people ignored it.

Google is trying to achieve this, however it is not possible to identify great content by just looking at the "content" itself. Don't blame Google, we all know it is not possible and Google had to look at hundreds of factors to try to work it out.

netmeg




msg:4574959
 1:12 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Great content isn't enough, we all know it isn't enough, and Google knows it isn't enough either. It's also not enough to just follow the rules anymore. The idea behind your site (be it transactional or informational) has to be something different, and something above and beyond. I mean really really above and beyond. If it isn't, they fall back on authority, and if they can't figure out the authority, they go with brand.

HuskyPup




msg:4574960
 1:15 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

One thing I do hope Google do is reward sites with responsive design.


I hope not as well, I have static I have mobile and I have responsive yet overwhelmingly the static wins hands down all the time even on smart phones ... don't ask me why, I seemingly wasted many hours creating mobile and responsive yet no one wants to use them even though they are only a click away.

taberstruths




msg:4574975
 1:49 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think everyone is forgetting the definition of "great".

In a world that everyone does what is necessary to get by we forget that ordinary or adequate does not define greatness. It has to be extraordinary. It has to be above and beyond. It has to be better than anything that has been done before.

Find a need and fill it with the best content out there, package it in a container that outshines the competition and deliver it with faster speed than anyone else, and you will get close to having a "great" product.

How can you objectively tell if you have adequate, good, or great content? Look at your bounce rate and dwell time. High bounce rate and low dwell time means your content sucks. High bounce rate but high dwell time means that you satisfied their query. Low bounce rate and low dwell time means that they are having to work to find the information. Low bounce rate and high dwell time means that they are liking what they are seeing and want to see more.

netmeg




msg:4574980
 2:17 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

You're right; and the problem is that that will cut out a lot of people who have existing businesses and existing sites that traditionally have done okay in their niches without having to figure out how to be "above and beyond." If I have had a profitable chain of shoe stores for twenty years, I'm probably still not going to beat out Zappo's in search, no matter how much I spend on "great content." (*)

This dilemma is not limited to organic search, of course. And there are no easy answers. Google isn't going to go back to being "just a search engine" and I certainly understand why people don't want to have to fundamentally alter how they manage and execute their website or business plans. But it is what it is. This is the new reality.

(*) That's not to say there aren't things I can do to try to compete, but on overall shoes, I'm probly not going to get there unless I change my business model. Which not everyone wants to do.

chrisv1963




msg:4574984
 2:25 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

How can you objectively tell if you have adequate, good, or great content?


I knew that I had good content when visitors sent emails to tell me that they loved the site and to ask me to add pages about certain other subjects. I had a very successful Q&A service. Free answers, written by industry professionals.

And then ... Panda came along ... the emails stopped ... the Q&A dried up. Google decided that all those happy visitors were wrong ... very wrong. They didn't know what was good for themselves and it was about time that Google showed them the right direction.

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