TheOptimizationIdiot - 12:46 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
Cutts does not flat out say, "We're not using that patent." I think his point is more that we should NOT read a patent and decide, "Well, I give up." And fair enough.
I should probably add I agree with this.
And I don't think it's about "oh, you added a word" or "corrected a spelling error" or even "made your headings more concise" or "made the headings more descriptive" type changes that would cause anything more than a "bounce" for a bit, if they even caused that.
I think it's much more about "obvious manipulation attempts", especially when it "actually does something" (penalize, demote, rank lower, whatever) more than "fluctuate the SERPs a bit" to see if you made the changes for manipulation or if you just made some changes you thought were improvements for visitors
One more example of "obvious" based on what I was saying above.
A site has a "average steady rate" of 10 inbound links per month for last year and only one link every 4 months goes to the Blue Widget page.
The Page Has the Title:
Then the Title Changes To:
Blue Widgets, Blue Widgeting, Widget Made of Blue, Best Blue Widgets
And 20 new links to the Blue Widget page appear over the next 2 week with random variations of the title text with no other changes to the page.
How did a page that only averages 3 links a year on a site that only gets 10 links a month and has consistent rankings make a change to the title and nothing else on the page then in one month "naturally" gain the number of links it would take the page over 6 years to get and the site itself 2 months to get (based on the historical data) and the all links happen to be pointed to the same page and they just happen to have variations of the new title's keywords in it? Do you really think it was natural?