Matt Cutts' Videos
Posted 03 August 2006 - 02:42 PM
Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:00 PM
Edited by Nadir, 03 August 2006 - 03:00 PM.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:32 PM
Thanks for the link to seomoz -- I love this quote: "If you can get through the entire site using only a text browser, you're gonna be in pretty good shape." Now I wonder, does Lynx do Google Video?
Edited by softplus, 03 August 2006 - 03:31 PM.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 02:13 AM
Edited by softplus, 04 August 2006 - 02:15 AM.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 07:28 AM
Frankly speaking, I understand why Matt doesn't do the ultra advanced stuff. If he explains what works and what doesn't at a high level (link patterns, page block-by-block comparison, etc), spammers will catch this up and rip it to pieces, which will add more work to Google engineers. Though it may be great in the long run (it will happen sooner or later, and it'll make the search engine algorithm more bullet-proof), I understand why it is scary to let the cat out of the bag.
Not that it means that he can hide such issues as effect of the web standards on rankings (he didn't mention whether content above navigation is helpful and other CSS related issues in these videos) - he did say that 'they cant just throw the rest 40% of the web out of their index due to invalid code', though.
Though Matt doesn't mention usability and accessibility, I understand why he does not pay attention to them. From the point of view of Googlers, usability and accessibility is another reason to make a site more usable but may as well be irrelevant to the offsite SEO (which they are currently concentrating it seems).
Even if Matt knows that both usability and accessibility can make a site more search engine friendly, I don't think he views them separately from SEO. Quite the contrary - usability just adds up to SEO. That's my guess and it is unofficial
Btw, there are a lot of Googlers' blogs out there (forgot the URL) - he's the only one educating the SEO folk though as far as I know. If it were not for him, Google would be another MS I guess.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:03 AM
Let's see if I can concentrate it down a bit...
Perhaps what I really mean is that I would prefer he handle the real issues than to explain the "basics" of SEO (which you can already get all over the web, sure some are junk, but there is a lot of good stuff out there). Perhaps they could get someone else to do it, but I'm sure he is very much overqualified to do that.
There are some real issues out there which need to be solved. I'm sure he can pass it to the appropriate people (after deciding if it is by design or really a problem). Would it not make sense to handle these, give feedback in the blog, etc? I'm thinking of things like redirects, obsolete pages, supplementals, datacenter updates, spam signals, etc..
Another of my main problems with Matt's blog is that it is unofficial. It's one of the main communication forms between the webmasters and Googles natural search - but it's unoffical. Imagine the police instead of Google -- all they say officially is "drive carefully", but internally they have a large rulebook with fines for this and that. The chef of the police blogs unofficially, writing up all sorts of things about what they allow and what they don't. But it's unofficial. But if you break the (unknown) rules, they'll fine you for it.
I don't understand it, I can't imagine the thinking behind it. In my opinion, either he's doing it for the company (officially) or writes about his hobbies (unofficially), but writing about the company, their policies and how they effect other people unofficially is weird. What sense does it make? If we communicate with him it's because of his official know-how (leaving the rest of the blog out for a moment). We want answers and it seems that he has the desire to write something and answer questions; if it's unofficial, can we trust it? I just don't get it. (or is it a legal problem? liabilities?)
I think it all comes down to: the lack of official communications with Google is frustrating. With lots of time, work + money you can work most things out and test them properly (but even that is almost impossible given the rate that they change things); a hobbist doesn't stand a chance. There are too many issues that turn a hobby site into one large spam-signal, leaving the professional spammers to fill the index and the legitimate hobby sites outside.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 12:14 PM
I think it all comes down to: the lack of official communications with Google is frustrating. With lots of time, work + money you can work most things out and test them properly (but even that is almost impossible given the rate that they change things); a hobbist doesn't stand a chance. There are too many issues that turn a hobby site into one large spam-signal, leaving the professional spammers to fill the index and the legitimate hobby sites outside
The lack of official communication from Google is indeed frustrating. A business who has so much influence on the web is indeed very short of reaching out to webmasters. Their guidelines spelled out on a couple of short pages fall very short of what they should be telling people.
Personally I read Matt Cutts blog now and then. I find it a difficult read and the guy is incomprehensible most times. I find Google's results many a time cannot be used for proper research of a topic. The front pages are normally dominated by a couple of strong websites whereas 'gems' can be found on other pages. This is a result of the failure of Computer Science to make a serious break into Artificial Intelligence. Currently all search engines just use metrics to rank their search results. Until AI will enable a search engine to 'understand' what is reading and dish out meaningful results we are condemned to listen to the propaganda rants of the like of Matt Cutts!
In the meantime do a bit of research and reading and a LOT of EXPERIMENTS!
Posted 04 August 2006 - 01:59 PM
Most of the information is diluted, but there are several places where you can read between the lines and draw some conclusions -- like when he changes his mind from SES until now regarding whether launching a whole bunch of pages at the same time ... good stuff.
He also addressed something I wondered about for awhile -- whether A/B testing can make it look like you're spamming. In the past I've advised people to avoid doing A/B testing on a home page. He confirmed my sentiment.
I'm also going through his blog retroactively and doing a post of gems from the past with dates next to them for convenience (in a future post).
I see his blog as an invaluable resource if you're willing to spend time to pick out the good stuff.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 02:54 PM
If he said it makes sense to put "$" (dollar-signs) in the title, how many would jump and do that? What kind of signal could that trigger at Google, and how would they use it? Wouldn't it make sense to apply a spam-penalty to those sites, since they're obviously just doing it for the rankings and not thinking themselves?
Posted 05 August 2006 - 06:21 AM
Posted 06 August 2006 - 07:30 PM
And yes, it is confusing that he blogs how Google works - unofficially and talks about the basic stuff. Really, there are billions of sites, and most of them would get a boost from just doing the basic SEO stuff. That's why he is probably in the basics. It wouldn't hurt to give us pros a couple of answers as well. Hear me, Matt? .
That being said, he is one of the few sources to get the knowledge directly from Google from and I don't think we should be looking in the horses mouth that hard.
Edited by A.N.Onym, 06 August 2006 - 07:32 PM.
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