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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.




 

ColourOfSpring




msg:4575101
 8:44 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the short term, maybe. But it'll catch up with him eventually when word gets out.


netmeg, I'm not really talking about out-and-out "scamming" companies. Of course they're going to attract bad publicity. I mean companies that have a middling/average/a-bit-below average service/product, but are great at online marketing (or more likely hired a great marketing company) - they are judged "better" by Google if they're better at online marketing. Marketing quality is a proxy for actual service/product quality in most instances. Sure, there's some outlier companies that truly get the praise and rankings they deserve, and that's great. But in my experience, Google simply can't tell the difference between companies that genuinely win great praise, and the other 95+% of companies that create their own buzz.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4575102
 9:02 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is bigger, crawls futher, deeper, faster ..and it lets publishers run webmaster welfare ( adsense* )..worldwide..


I agree with all of that. No other search engine can compare with Google's indexing power. On one of my sites, Blekko visits me once a fortnight, Google twice an hour. However, Google have to sort their results into a certain order depending on the query. If Google are judging by content and "online reputation" alone, then the results can always be gamed. Online is like a smoke and mirrors version of reality it seems, and Google are happy (resigned, perhaps) to play along with it. For the most popular directory on the planet to give you top billing, you just need to create a great brochure and orchestrate the impression that this brochure is endorsed by various individuals / companies, and you're good to go. In short, it's pure marketing. My basic point is you can't really talk about "greatness" in this situation (outliers excepted) - it's a marketing game, and "great" marketing wins over "less great" marketing and actual service / product quality is a distant second. Please bear in mind I'm talking purely about Google here. I'm a big proponent of companies spending the majority of their costs and time on perfecting their product / service as it saves hugely on substituting that for marketing hype. My advice doesn't seem to translate so well online though....marketing seems to rule supreme no matter what online.

Leosghost




msg:4575104
 9:12 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

This part of what I wrote..

*If that was not the case..99% of websites would not exist..and nor would 98% of the posts on this website..


Refers only to this part..
and it lets publishers run webmaster welfare ( adsense* )..worldwide..


There was a halcyon time when it did not..

diberry




msg:4575106
 9:32 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Then what makes it better than any other directory out there?


"Better" is a matter of personal preference, isn't it?

Leosghost




msg:4575107
 9:35 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

<OT>Btw
On one of my sites, Blekko visits me once a fortnight,

Block Blekko..with extreme prejudice..
</OT>

netmeg




msg:4575109
 10:00 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google simply can't tell the difference between companies that genuinely win great praise, and the other 95+% of companies that create their own buzz.


Right. I wouldn't expect it to.

muzza64




msg:4575118
 10:50 pm on May 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

So there's two approaches then:-
1) If you have a weak proposition you'd better be great at marketing on a budget to survive long term (or have deep pockets)
2) If you have a strong offering, something that can't be easily replicated, people will do a lot of your marketing for you and you won't need to be a clever marketer (but all the better if you are). This approach appears to have a better chance of existing long term, with or without Google.

Both approaches appear to be equally valid and both stand a chance of success in Google. Which one you choose depends on your goals, ambitions, budget and skillset.

This Matt Cutts video really demonstrates this. Look at how many sites it is on, all of them expressing their own unique but ultimately unnecessary viewpoints. MC is an authority in this business and when he speaks people want to know about it (and tell others).

He didn't have to pay a marketing company to get this video out there. And his video generated a vast amount of links, likes and general buzz.

aristotle




msg:4575124
 12:15 am on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think that Google's algorithm actually can distingiush different levels of quality, at least approximately. And quality used to count for a lot more than it does now. But over the past few years Google has been gradually de-emphasizing quality, and also relevance, because it was the only way to get big brands and "authoritative" sites to the top of the search results.

seoskunk




msg:4575134
 1:34 am on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Short term gain long term pain.... Google may experience a short term boost in advertising from brands but I would expect this to be followed by a decline overall in advertising as brands rely on SERPS.

The internet is about finding the source and the expert for the product, not just about brands.....

tedster




msg:4575143
 2:59 am on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

assuming sentiment analysis is actually a thing

Sentiment analysis is a very real thing and Google is deeply involved in its development. However, the last official comment I heard about it from Gogole is that sentiment analysis is only being used in Google News, not organic. Granted, that was about two years so we really can't know for now.

I've been quite close to some world class sentiment analysis programming and I'll tell you it's a real bear. Makes search engine ranking look like child's play. Even if Google's sentiment analysis is state of the art, I really don't see how they could be using it in organic rankings. The best results I've seen run around 20% error rate unless the document collection is strongly limited, like Google News is.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4575204
 11:25 am on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

So there's two approaches then:-
1) If you have a weak proposition you'd better be great at marketing on a budget to survive long term (or have deep pockets)
2) If you have a strong offering, something that can't be easily replicated, people will do a lot of your marketing for you and you won't need to be a clever marketer (but all the better if you are). This approach appears to have a better chance of existing long term, with or without Google.


Yes, though I'd argue that even with a strong offering, you'd better have good marketing strategies online because you'll be usurped by more mediocre and even poorer offerings that do their marketing better than you. With more people looking for services online these days, it might be the difference between surviving or going bust. In the past before the internet, it was a lot harder to "fake your reptuation" - the skilled mechanic or plumber was always fully booked. Now though he will lose a lot of business because people are looking online for these services, and it's the better-marketed plumbers and mechanics (not necessarily better plumbers and mechanics) who are taking his business. Instead of competing on service quality, it's who can better market their services.

This Matt Cutts video really demonstrates this. Look at how many sites it is on, all of them expressing their own unique but ultimately unnecessary viewpoints. MC is an authority in this business and when he speaks people want to know about it (and tell others).

He didn't have to pay a marketing company to get this video out there. And his video generated a vast amount of links, likes and general buzz.


MC is a bit an outlier. We listen only because we have to - he's the head of Google's spam team. Like it or not, his decisions greatly influence the flow of money and business online. In fact, many companies (myself included) have been working hard over the last 12 months to lessen MC's importance to our own businesses. I look forward to the day when MC is a complete irrelevance to my business. I'm sure he's a nice guy outside of work, but I don't like this whole idea of my business being so influenced by another company.

diberry




msg:4575260
 2:22 pm on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, though I'd argue that even with a strong offering, you'd better have good marketing strategies online because you'll be usurped by more mediocre and even poorer offerings that do their marketing better than you.


That's just it, even offline. It's not about competence or value, it's about reputation and consumer ignorance. Most people aren't good at distinguishing hype from proven claims.

dethfire




msg:4575315
 7:58 pm on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

there is little doubt in my mind that Google's knowledge graph is a severe threat to websites. the ceo has been quoted to say they want to turn google into an "answer machine". They don't want to be a search engine anymore. You ask a question and google gives an answer. It's like IBM's watson. The days of Google handing visitors to other websites is quickly fading. Google is not our friend anymore. they won't do it all at once though, it will be a slow progression like turning the heat up on a frog in a pot. when we realize it's too late, it's too late.

purplekitty




msg:4575327
 8:52 pm on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Was Google ever "our friend?"

Honestly, I've see these same types of comments over the years, and they confuse me. Google's a business, with shareholders to satisfy. That is its priority. Its business model will continue to be shaped by that priority. And if they can keep customers happy and profit by being an "answer machine," whyever wouldn't they?

I can understand being irritated by changes that negatively affect your business (BTDT!), but that doesn't mean I misunderstand my relationship with Google.

jimbeetle




msg:4575345
 10:28 pm on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is a directory of websites, not a magic thing that can guide you to any solution, on or offline, to your various daily wants and needs. But people don't understand that.

Ah, but that's exactly what Google wants to be and do. In its world there ain't no such thing as offline, folks are always connected. And it's been moving away from its "directory of websites" for the past couple of years. Read the reports out of Google I/O this past week and find exactly what Google wants to be. Yes, it does want to guide you to any and all solutions. And, yes again. it wants to be magic.

jmccormac




msg:4575362
 12:12 am on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

there is little doubt in my mind that Google's knowledge graph is a severe threat to websites. the ceo has been quoted to say they want to turn google into an "answer machine". They don't want to be a search engine anymore.
I still think that Google's PR about its "Knowledge Graph" complete with the iffy Star Trek references was a direct response to Facebook's stockmarket flotation. Facebook is beating it in the Social Media market.

Social Media, specifically Facebook and Twitter is beating Google's G+ effort. A recent survey that I ran on active Irish websites showed that approximately 25% of active websites had a link to Facebook. (Some would have been "Like this" buttons.) Twitter was up around 15%. The plus. google .com link (less than 2% from what I can remember) was overtaken by Linkedin. I think that Marissa Meyer is now talking (I think I saw it on Bloomberg TV programme) about the "Interest Graph". Facebook still has them (Google and Yahoo) beaten with its Social Network Graph.

Regards...jmcc

chalkywhite




msg:4575425
 9:58 am on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Im interested in this "grey area" as I think I may be in this seem to rise and fall with panda iterations.

aristotle




msg:4575475
 3:41 pm on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Most of humankind's important problems and issues can't be reduced to some simplistic summary or "answer". Resources like the Knowledge Graph, or Wikipedia for that matter, will most likely only give a superficial, and possibly biased, overview of an issue. One of the great things about the web is that, for most issues, you can find numerous websites providing various perpectives and types of knowledge. Unfortunately Google's current policy trend is making these websites harder and harder to find, and could eventually starve many of them out of existence. The ultimate result could be the destruction of the best part of the web.

HuskyPup




msg:4575492
 4:55 pm on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

The ultimate result could be the destruction of the best part of the web.


I feel they're already doing that judging by the many sites in my widget sector I see with incorrect information meanwhile the ones with correct facts are being pushed further down.

One of the big problems with the way all search engines deliver results is that they all mix the results up between retail shopping, small business, large business and facts. I, for one, do not want either retail or small business contacting me, of course they're most welcome to use our sites however I don't do their kind of purchasing supply therefore they're wasting their time and mine by contacting me.

aristotle




msg:4575529
 9:26 pm on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another aspect of this is that Google isn't just intentionally boosting the rankings of big brands, they're also boosting the rankings of big political, social and media organizations which have the money to push their (often biased) agenda. Meanwhile sites of small activist organizations, and sites expressing minority or dissenting views, are being pushed down the rankings into oblivion. Effectively Google is joining with the establishment powers to help them reinforce the status quo, and making it harder for new ideas and new voices to get an audience. in other words, Google's current policies could very well make it harder for humankind to solve its problems.

netmeg




msg:4575535
 10:03 pm on May 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Somehow I think we're kind of veered off SEO issues now.

HuskyPup




msg:4575565
 12:16 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

netmeg - luv ya ... SEO for Google doesn't exist any more, basically Google is fubard except for simple, or very complex, queries, it has so much information it hasn't a clue what to do with it.

The most unfortunate aspect is that all those so-called intelligent people sitting round a table make life-changing decisions for many people GLOBALLY yet they never know since they really do not care whilst postulating their hypothesies meanwhile they keep earning HUGE amounts whilst others are bankrupted...YES Matt, bankrupted for following your recommendations!

[edited by: tedster at 12:44 am (utc) on May 20, 2013]

jmccormac




msg:4575566
 12:22 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is what SEOs and Irish website owners seem to think of Google's G+ effort. The results are from the latest survey of the Irish webscape that I ran this month:

Facebook: 21.21%
Twitter: 15.19%
Youtube: 5.91%
LinkedIn: 4.10%
Google+: 1.33%

These are the percentage of active Irish websites and which Social Media type sites that they link to by order of popularity. G+ might even get overtaken by Pinterest at this rate.

Regards...jmcc

taberstruths




msg:4575587
 1:24 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Somehow I think we're kind of veered off SEO issues now.


Could it be the reason for this is that the largest search engine doesn't want to be a search engine anymore?

dethfire




msg:4575596
 2:23 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think seo is kinda dead in many ways. I've run my site through countless "seo" scanners and they all give me flying colors. seomoz even gives my site a 77 for domain authority and still my traffic has plummeted the past 5 months.

diberry




msg:4575618
 4:47 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of the big problems with the way all search engines deliver results is that they all mix the results up between retail shopping, small business, large business and facts.


This bothers me too, and I'm speaking as a searcher. I would love to see them separate these types of queries into separate sections. I think it would provide better value to users. I guess they think it could be confusing, and maybe so, but right now a lot of people are frustrated with search and don't know what would make it better. A smart engine would approach it in a really easy-to-use way with a friendly, funny marketing campaign.

Meanwhile sites of small activist organizations, and sites expressing minority or dissenting views, are being pushed down the rankings into oblivion. Effectively Google is joining with the establishment powers to help them reinforce the status quo, and making it harder for new ideas and new voices to get an audience.


Very true, and very unfortunate.

We are off topic for SEO, but the topic here is actually what's coming in Google over the next few months. What we've wandered into are some suggestions of stuff Google maybe OUGHT to be looking into in the next few months. I think they need radical changes, not slightly more paranoid spam filters. Again, speaking as a user (well, Bing user now) and not a webmaster.

Zivush




msg:4575619
 4:49 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I canít stop thinking that if I knew what I know now about SEO and Google, my websites would have written and were looked different. Too late.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4575684
 9:22 am on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think seo is kinda dead in many ways.


I think "traditional" SEO has been dead since April 2012. Since then, we have no control over our SEO efforts at all. I've seen lots of negative SEO since then and also "hostage SEO" - link networks used by sites that ALSO place links to their competitors* - in the last 12 months. We have no control at all with anything that happens outside of our web pages. A daily look at my GWT "latest links" shows me all kinds of sites I've never heard of linking to me - often bizarre links from sub-sub-sub-sub-domains of Brazilian sites and whatnot. Am I supposed to babysit my inbound links and submit disavow files every week for every site I own?

*on hostage SEO, you might think "why link to competitors? They will get the rank improvements you get". Many spammers only have a short-term goal - churn and burn - but they're taking competitors "out with them" (hostage-style) who certainly do NOT want to churn and burn. If all sites are penalised by being on a link network, the spammer is already ready to start up again. What of his non-spammy competitors? They're more likely to try and "fix" the problems, but as we all now know - these fixes rarely work. Meanwhile the spammer is already ranking his 2nd site without the competition he "took out". Secondly, two links on a page are not the same. One link can be spammy, the other not. Hostage takers always make the hostage look bad, and them look better. You can see examples of hostage SEO when you look up a spammy site's link profile. If you come across a splog network, just look at the camouflage / hostage links on the pages - quite incredible. From what I've seen when looking at this problem in the last few months, there's going to be a huge number of legit sites that get penalised when Penguin 2.0 rolls around.

diberry




msg:4575796
 3:44 pm on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Since then, we have no control over our SEO efforts at all. I've seen lots of negative SEO since then and also "hostage SEO" - link networks used by sites that ALSO place links to their competitors* - in the last 12 months. We have no control at all with anything that happens outside of our web pages.


Google has rendered white hat SEO ineffective without even slowing down black hat. I suspect this is an unintended and unwanted side effect of their attempts to eradicate spam, but they show no signs of changing course. What's missing from this video is any mention of user satisfaction with queries.

Pair that with the talk of no longer being "committed to being a search engine", and maybe Google just isn't very interested in search anymore. After all, it IS only valuable to them as a place to stick ads without having to pay a publisher's cut. Maybe they're more interested in developing other products that do the same, like Gmail, and may have better longevity going forward.

jmccormac




msg:4575813
 4:12 pm on May 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Looks like search engine development by press release at the moment. Every month I run a web usage survey of approximately 325K Irish websites. It flags compromised websites automatically. The problem is when I compare the compromised site data to Google's index, the compromised sites (along with the dodgy links payloads) are still in the Google index.

Regards...jmcc

turbocharged




msg:4576102
 10:57 am on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

We had a nice office discussion about Penguin 2.0 and other algo changes Google is likely to make later this year. I think most in our office, in one way or another, believe Google is trying to reign in referral traffic by making webmasters scared to link to other websites. By limiting links to other websites, people would be more likely to use a search product.

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