homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.237.38.30
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 85 message thread spans 3 pages: 85 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Google's Matt Cutts: Comments Stuffed With Keywords May Be Seen As A Manipulative Link Scheme
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:02 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google's Matt Cutts produced a video which is worth watching and listening to. Do you use use commenting to market your site?

In the video, Matt indicates that keyword rich commenting may be seen as manipulative, and Google reserves the right to take action. There, you've been warned.

Here's the video.


 

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:46 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

What Matt is saying is that if you are commenting on blogs, and your user name is "Best Green Widgets" with a link pointing to a site selling green widgets, Google may see this as manipulative.

The practice he would prefer is that when commenting, to identify yourself by a person's name and if there is a link, then the link should be to a personal website/blog.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:00 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

In other news, taking a long walk on a short pier will get you wet and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:02 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

What if your competitor sprinkles comments all over the web pretending to be you by including keyword-rich links to your site?

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 8:49 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Where is 'nofollow' in all of this? Unless the blog CMS is custom built then 'nofollow' links are standard on comments these days.

This Q&A raises more questions than it answers. Does this advice and warning apply to 'nofollow' comments too - Google ignores those as far as we've been told (and I've tested, although not that recently). So by that rationale it wouldn't matter if you wrote 'Thanks for this interesting topic I'm like to read these advice' and signed off as 'cheap v**gr*' - right?

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 9:16 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I understand correctly, the nofollow attribute does not mean no record of the anchor text. I do believe that anchor text on any link helps G understand what the website being linked to is about. Which means that most of us who use our name as the anchor text is basically making a link that is equivalent to "click here".

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 10:04 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Where is 'nofollow' in all of this? Unless the blog CMS is custom built then 'nofollow' links are standard on comments these days.

Excellent point, FranticFish.

I am wondering whether there is perhaps another reason - to encourage people who comment on blogs to use their own names? Or as Matt says in the video "..it's better often to leave your name, so someone knows who they are dealing with.."

Alternatively, it could be further push by Google to discourage link building alltogether, or perhaps nofollow links are weighed more than we are led to believe (emphasis mine):

"...at some point that can be considered a link scheme, at the very high level we reserve to take action on any sort of deceptive or manipulative link schemes that we consider to distort our rankings..."

<ADDED>

I have just found the following YouTube video by Matt Cutts where he is also referring why nofollow links in comments *can* hurt your site and why (startng at 0:45):

Can nofollow links hurt my site's ranking?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSEqypgIJME [youtube.com]

"...it was clear that he was trying to piggy back on the traffic and drive the traffic from people reading the article directly to whatever he was promoting, so even if those links were nofollow, if we see enough mass scale action that we consider deceptive or manipulative, we do reserve the right to take action...."

</ADDED>

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 10:47 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

"...it was clear that he was trying to piggy back on the traffic and drive the traffic from people reading the article directly to whatever he was promoting, so even if those links were nofollow, if we see enough mass scale action that we consider deceptive or manipulative, we do reserve the right to take action...."

Yeah, I saw that one too -- So what I'm "getting from it" is now Google's going to "do something" if someone goes too far to drive traffic to their site from other sites, even though the method used should have no effect on their rankings in Google?

Talk about a monopoly flexing it's muscle -- Seems like it boils down to: "If you drive too many people to your site from other sites rather than making sure they're more likely to have to search [Google +60% of the time] for what they want, we're going to take action against you..."

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 11:10 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

[SpamTeamMember] Code Blue; Code Blue! We've got a traffic piggy-backer!

[MC] What?! Which domain?

[SpamTeamMember] It's omg-wtf-lmao-ru4rl.lol

[MC] Are you sure they're piggy-backing traffic?

[SpamTeamMember] Well, they've got the exact match of their domain in nofollowed comment links way too many times according to this report and some of those links are from sites like serious.news, very-serious.news and super-serious.news -- Those are serious websites and omg-wtf-lmao-ru4rl.lol has no business being mentioned there...

[MC] You're Right -- Tank it!

[sorry, couldn't resist]

mrguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 12:50 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is why you work your hardest on driving traffic to your site from anything but Google.

That way, you don't care what MC or anybody from Google says or does because if you lose the Google traffic, you hardly even feel it.

Not to mention all the time you save by not visiting this Google forum every day to see what Google is saying now.

I did just that and visit this forum maybe once a week or so just out of being bored.

The days of me planning my sites out to make Google happy died a long time ago.

I plan them to make my visitors happy.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 1:13 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google's founders (and people like Matt Cutts) have been around long enough to remember how trolls and spammers contributed to the demise of UseNet. Encouraging people to use their real names--and verified IDs--helps to make the Web a "clean, well-lighted place" and leads to higher-quality discussions.

Something to consider: On many blogs and other sites that use commenting platforms such as Disqus, the comments often exceed the original posts or articles in total word count. I can easily imagine a scenario where Google could use "comment quality scores" as a tie-breaker when calculating rankings. After all, if there are two similar blog posts about the same thing (such as Matt Cutts's newest video), why not highlight the post that includes comments by real people, rather than the one that's accompanied by comments from anonymous trolls?

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 1:23 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google's founders (and people like Matt Cutts) have been around long enough to remember how trolls and spammers contributed to the demise of UseNet. Encouraging people to use their real names--and verified IDs--helps to make the Web a "clean, well-lighted place" and leads to higher-quality discussions.

I'm fairly certain that job should fall on a site's operators, not a search engine -- The "self appointed Internet Police" mentality Google seems to have is a bit too much for me.

After all, if there are two similar blog posts about the same thing (such as Matt Cutts's newest video), why not highlight the post that includes comments by real people, rather than the one that's accompanied by comments from anonymous trolls?

Again, the requirements for posting on a site are up to the site owner/operator, so if *they* [being the site operator] want to rank in Google *they* should take care of and enforce their commenting policy, but "discounting a commenter's site", because *the commenter* made a comment on another site *within the terms of service* of the site they commented on is "Google playing the Internet Police" [and tailoring the Internet and what's "acceptable" to their wants/needs].

Another way to explain so people can "get what I'm saying" is by "discounting the commenter's site" rather than simply the site the comment(s) are on is Google effectively taking control of other sites commenting policies -- They are effectively and essentially saying "you can't do that on [any site you feel like putting here]", even if whatever someone did on another site is within the TOS of the site they were visiting -- It's really not Google's place and they're way out-of-line, imo.



BTW: I've been around sites and the web long enough I used to find sites through link exchanges and web-rings, but we don't have those any more, because Google doesn't want them, and for good reason -- Why would a search engine want someone to be able to find a site on a topic they're interested in other than through a search engine?

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 1:59 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, wait!

Google didn't make it so link exchanges, web rings, forum signature links etc. and now specific types of comment linking that are within another website's TOS are "bad practice" to further their own agenda, they did it to make the web a better place -- Silly me, I gave them a bit more credit for being *incredibly* smart than they actually deserved... My bad.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 2:31 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm fairly certain that job should fall on a site's operators, not a search engine -- The "self appointed Internet Police" mentality Google seems to have is a bit too much for me.


Google just wants to return the best results for its end users. Is it wrong for Google to drop hints about what may (or may not) help sites rank in end users' searches? People are always asking for Google to be "transparent," yet when Google {i]is{/i] transparent, those same people complain about whatever it is that Google has revealed.

Getting back to the topic of this thread, it seems to me that Matt Cutts's video about blog comments is just common-sense advice. Site owners and spammers are free to ignore it if they wish.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 3:00 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google just wants to return the best results for its end users. Is it wrong for Google to drop hints about what may (or may not) help sites rank in end users' searches?

Nope, but that's not what they're doing -- They're telling people what they can/cannot post on another site, even if what the person posts is within the site's TOS.

It's the job of the operator(s) of the site being posted on to modify/update/adjust their TOS to Google's whims and wants for the Internet if they choose, but Google "punishing the poster" for posting within the TOS of a site that doesn't do that is Google dictating the terms of someone posting on someone else's site.

The "Google can do no wrong, even when they are" mentality and trying to argue "They're just making their results better by 'punishing a commenter' who leaves a comment on a site within the site's TOS rather than 'punishing' the site the comments were made on for allowing the comments." really doesn't make any sense to me...

Maybe you can explain: How does "dropping the site of a commenter in the results because they left a comment on another site within that site's terms, yet may run a 'squeaky clean' site themselves" help make Google's results better than dropping the site allowing the comments to be made in the manner they were does?

Personally, I'm not smart enough to figure out how "punishing the commenter's site" rather than "the site the comments were allowed on" makes Google's results better...

Remember, we're talking about nofollowed links, so the comments don't improve search rankings, and your argument really makes no logical sense to me, so please, explain how Google's results could possibly get better if they "take action against" my site for a comment I left here [or anywhere else] rather than "taking action against" the site that allowed me to leave the comments.

None of my comments are on my site; they're all on some other site(s) -- I don't allow comments on any of my sites, so the info/look/feel/content I present on my site(s) is *exactly* the same before and after I leave a comment on another site -- How does "taking action against" my site for a comment I left somewhere else within that site's TOS possibly make Google's results cleaner/better?

bluntforce

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 4:46 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Gotta wonder about the reference to a "clean, well-lighted place".
Casual reference, or did you just drop something that might promote your property?
"Google just wants to return the best results for its end users"
If you don't understand that, you are doomed. We just need to realize their best results are what provide them the greatest return. FTFU

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:36 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google has positioned itself as an interface or data-abstraction-layer between average surfers and the "real" Internet. It is a colored lens through which much of the world views Cyberspace and Google is adjusting the focus adjusting as it sees fit. You may not want your site ranked through rose colored glasses but sorry, that's what is in fashion right now.

The kid holding the magnifying glass, doesn't really care how the ant feels as it's bursting into flames and Google doesn't really care about publishers because it can wipe out whole colonies of them and still have plenty of content to show the masses. Bottom line, Google, Bing, etc. can and will do it their way (until a government or some divine being steps in) and I don't see them providing any meaningful information that will help webmasters understand how to escape their gravity or take advantage of it either. Obfuscation is a tool for controlling a situation and maintaining a competitive edge. So is misinformation and so are red herrings. This is a magic show and focusing on the misdirection is keeping everyone from seeing where the fire escape is.

I believe Google wants people to think this

Google = Internet and Internet = Google

"Can't wait till I get home so I can surf the Google."

We can talk till the cows come home about what Google wants and in the end, that's just what we'll get -- what Google wants! Google is not a just a search engine anymore. It's trying to replace what we know as the Internet with itself! All these hints we're getting are just about keeping everyone in the game until their Internet Abstraction Layer is fully implemented. Then I'll challenge you to try and get noticed through that lens.

Time to throw away your dated playbook and figure out a new way to reach the masses (perhaps smoke signals or drums). Keep playing this game and join the Dodo or evolve. Maybe even devolve a bit. Google may not like web-rings because they provide an alternative way to find information that doesn't fit into their plan. Perhaps it's time to revisit some of the things we abandoned because they didn't suit Google's master plan. Cowering to the master's whip will get you a cup of gruel after a backbreaking day's labor but you're never gonna get a day off and you'll always be one false move away from a lynching.

Call this off topic if you like. I'm thinking MC is off topic and has been for a long time.

ADDED: The Internet is an information network and if networking information is a bad thing for Google Vision then it's time for a new perspective on Cyberspace to emerge. Watch for it, use it, encourage it, promote it.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:48 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Time to throw away your dated playbook and figure out a new way to reach the masses (perhaps smoke signals or drums).

--

Maybe even devolve a bit.

I've seriously thought about "devolving" to the pre-Google days when I could find topical sites by visiting sites rather than searching for quite a while, meaning link exchanges, web-rings, forum sig links, and anything else I can think of to drive traffic.

Perhaps it's time to revisit some of the things we abandoned because they didn't suit Google's master plan.

Totally agree! -- Most things "come full-circle" given enough time and, well, Google's going to put enough sites "in the dumps" to where the owners disregard them and their view of "the Googlenet" to do what they need to in order to generate traffic [survive] at some point in time...

To me, they're really "stepping over the line" by telling me what I can/cannot post on another site, especially when what I post is within the site's TOS and any link to my site is *nofollowed* so it should have no impact on my rankings, yet they say if they find it at a level they think is too high, then they reserve the right to take action?! Uh, okay, but who's really too high?

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:07 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Comments Stuffed With Keywords May Be Seen As A Manipulative Link Scheme"

Hmmm. Sounds like advertising to me. Perhaps G should start penalizing advertiser websites for spamming themselves across the Internet via Adwords. Guess paid manipulation is OK.

Just sayin'. Hypocrisy is what hypocrites do.

And just addressing the source of this discussion I'll add...

"Consider the source."

bluntforce

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:16 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

JD_Toims

I've seen so many actual results that vary from the Google's best practice spiel that I can't take it seriously anymore.
They are grinding the mom and pop informational sites into the ground, yet those are the sites that made Google's search results interesting.

It's possible to get a lot of targeted traffic without feeding the Google machine. Not that you'd know that if you believe "Guys". FT

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:19 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Comments Stuffed With Keywords May Be Seen As A Manipulative Link Scheme"

Oh how I wish we could have a thread titled:

"Google's Practices May Be Seen as a Manipulative Monopoly Furthering It's Own Agenda, So Disregard the BS Spewed and Do What You Need to Do to Generate Traffic Without Google"

Unfortunately, it's way too long of a title for a thread here, so I'm outta luck on that one...

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:22 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've seen so many actual results that vary from the Google's best practice spiel that I can't take it seriously anymore.

Know exactly what you mean -- I've been called a "fan boy" before, but I really call sh*t as I see it, and if they do something I think is "good", then I say so, but when they "just plain mess up", then I'm not afraid to post about it, crazy as posting about when they're wrong and calling things as they actually are may be to some ;) lol

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:04 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

and if they do something I think is "good", then I say so, but when they "just plain mess up", then I'm not afraid to post about it


Been there, done that for sure. I remember when Gopher was a futuristic search tool so progress hasn't all been bad. Checks and balances are a good thing and I think we're definitely at a point in history where the balances need re-calibrating.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:09 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

OFF-TOPIC:
We just need to realize their best results are what provide them the greatest return

Are you referring to the organic results or the paid ones? Last quarter earnings 2012 were up 36% year on year. Hard not to see that connected in some way to their 'quality updates'.

Remember 'garbitrage'? It's a similar principle. With garbitrage a page of scraped crud meant the AdSense was the best result for the searcher. With Google, they are slowly squeezing everything with commercial intent out of the organic listings, leaving the paid ads the best result for any commercial query. That's aside from any increasing space on the page devoted to ads in the first place.

ON TOPIC:

aakk999, thanks for that video. First he says that 'if people report you we might take some manual action'; then he says (direct quote FWIW) "if we see enough mass scale action that we consider it deceptive or manipulative then we reserve the right to take action".

Wow. Confirmation from Matt himself that negative SEO is real. If I were an unscrupulous person I'd certainly be tempted to fire up some bots and spam the heck out of every blog I can find with anchor text nofollow links to my competitors' websites.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:22 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thinking more (stewing would be more accurate) about this comment, and the whole position on negative SEO. I have to say I'm staggered.

Ignore the links? Guaranteed least harm done to anyone. Spammer cannot benefit. Target of negative SEO cannot be damaged.

Notice these links, penalise, and then TELL PEOPLE THAT'S WHAT YOU DO? Encourage spammers to try. Absolute certainty of some sites somewhere being cases of mistaken identity.

This is not only naive programming of your algorithm, with the desire to be some sort of internet vigilante more important than your responsibility to innocent websites that might be caught up in this, it is also naive public relations.

Disgusted.

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:29 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I were an unscrupulous person I'd certainly be tempted to fire up some bots and spam the heck out of every blog I can find with anchor text nofollow links to my competitors' websites.


The way things are going, you might be doing your competitors a favor. Those links can actually bring some traffic in their own right on occasion and who knows when such an action actually results in more traffic than the traffic they will lose from G as a result of your actions. Particularly if they were going to lose it anyway in some futuristic Google shuffle. I'm being a bit tongue in cheek here but sometimes flipping the argument on it's head can be enlightening in its own way. This refers back to the concept of going back to what worked before G decided what the "proper" way of doing things should be. Who said they're providing the best answer to my query anyway? Only I can answer that and I can only answer that if I have access to all the possible answers. As webmasters it's easy to take G's results personally least you forget that another 9 million or so possible answers also exist. What makes my solution any more special than any other? I don't think it's about whether your solution is commercial or not. It's about whether your solution is commercial enough to warrant attention.

slowly squeezing everything with commercial intent out of the organic listings
I don't see Amazon getting squeezed out (which should emphasize the above point).
FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:36 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Amazon is not a good example, given that the Google/Amazon relationship has been the subject of antitrust investigations by the US FTC.

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:51 am on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Amazon is not a good example, given that the Google/Amazon relationship has been the subject of antitrust investigations by the US FTC.


It's a good point and then again, it's not such a good point.

My point is that if you're big enough to get in bed with Google then you're liable to do better in the SERPS or at least you're more attractive to them as a potential partner/revenue stream or whatever. It's turning into a big dog's game and the big dogs are colluding with one another while the smaller commercial players are getting squeezed out. It's about the money and, the more financial clout you wield, the better chance you'll be a Google customer (advertiser for example) or the more attractive the idea of forming strategic partnerships with you and catering to your interests becomes for G and others. The little folk have no chance of playing this game. It doesn't matter who's embroiled in an anti-trust suite and who hasn't been caught yet. It's all about getting as many hotels on Park Place as possible and shaping the environment to benefit the hotel owners.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 3:12 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think some of you are way overthinking it.

(I'd sign this one "Common Sense" if it would let me)

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 3:33 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, you should actually use your real name to keep from there being any chance of your comments having a negative effect on your site.

This 85 message thread spans 3 pages: 85 ( [1] 2 3 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved