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Matt Cutts Shows Up, Panelists Freeze


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:17 PM

I'd love to get Rand's take on this. This blog post describes a session on paid links at Pubcon that went south when the panelists saw Matt Cutts walk in and seat himself in the back of the room. They apparently clammed up.

Matt Cutts Ruins "Link Buying" Session at PubCon

#2 AbleReach

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:32 PM

What a way for Raven to launch a SEO services forum.

:)

Added to my feeds.
Great picture!

#3 iamlost

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:41 PM

Which is silly.
The session was being live-blogged.
Not exactly a 'secret' event.

Apparently the 'best' tip was Jim Boykin saying 'stay under the radar and don’t p*** off Google'. The others said much the same obvious common sense stuff in rather more words.

Mr. Cutts is a convenient out for a session that never could actually give up link building 'secrets'. Makes the presenters sound like they just might 'know' secret stuff though. That should be good for business. :)

Jon Henshaw does a nice humourous writeup about a non-event and the bloggartsphere goes gaga. Amazing...

#4 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:50 AM

Interesting... so there are a group of people giving advice etc... and someone who is known to be smart in that field, and against what the advisors will be likely to say, shows up... and the advisors go quiet...

and people assume it's because they have secrets?
Obviously I'm more cynical than I believed, as to my mind that would have suggested they didn't havea clue, and someone they knew could shut them down showed up.


The real gigle is it isn't like it was a suprise... anyone could have checked his site and known he was going :)

#5 jonhenshaw

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 04:16 AM

The thing is, I've seen Jim Boykin dish out some really good advice, secrets or whatever you want to call it, at PubCon before. But I've never seen him shut up like this. I agree that it was silly, regardless of Matt's presence, to have the panelists clam up. But clam up they did.

I generally expect to hear about 90% of what I already know, 5% of a reminder of something I forgot and 5% of something totally new that I've never thought of. I was hoping to get that from this session – as were many other people I've talked to since then – but what we ended up getting was a complete waste of time. I only wish I had left the session earlier.

#6 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 05:49 AM

I'm going to disagree, myself. The Link buying session was NEVER going to include any meaningful "tips." Matt Cutts was in the session from the very beginning; and some of the panelists, at least, already knew he would be there.

(Anybody with any sense would have known it, at any rate.)

I found the session to be very enjoyable, in that it effectively portrayed the whole debate about the concept behind paid links: what they are, how they're identified, and how much it matters to the web marketing industry as a whole. Jim Boykin's comments were clever, in that he acknowledged that the only real value to purchased links is to ensure, as best as possible, that they aren't readily detectable.

But if anybody seriously believed that the point of the session was ever to provide helpful tips on tricking search engines they were deceiving themselves. Wasn't going to happen; won't happen. Any serious link building secrets are far too valuable to give up in that kind of context in the current anti-paid link environment.

#7 iamlost

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:26 AM

joedolson: stop trying to bring reason to a tabloid story ;)

#8 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:32 AM

stop trying to bring reason to a tabloid story ;)


Whoops. My bad! ;)

Edit:
Is anybody else cringing as much as I am that I wrote "my bad?" Eeuw.

Edited by joedolson, 06 December 2007 - 11:33 AM.


#9 eKstreme

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:38 AM

Yes, you're bad.

(Pun 100% intended.)

Pierre

#10 cre8pc

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:38 AM

LOL

I actually had an internal self debate before even posting to the story...knowing it was likely link bait for the writer and all.

Bad Kimmy won!

:angel:

#11 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:46 AM

Has the Xmas sherry been opend by everyone already ;)
Still, nice to see others using bad syntax/grammer... makes up for my renaged hands making it look klike I canont type ;)

...joedolson...
I'm inclined to agree with your view (not the you being bad ;)), but about the tips... then again, if paid links are considered as bad/wrong... how comes they seem to get seminars and attendee's?

#12 iamlost

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:03 PM

if paid links are considered as bad/wrong... how comes they seem to get seminars and attendee's?

I do trust that is a retorical question?
Or shall I sit you down and explain the birds and the bees the webmasters and the SEs...
It is a tale of excitement and woe, of secret handshakes and loose lips, the drama of good and evil writ large and played out on the seminar floor...

Bad Kimmy won

Now it's a genuine tabloid screamer - all that had been missing was the bad girl...

#13 AbleReach

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:06 PM

New captions for the photo of Matt crushing candy bar:

Bad Kimmy Won


Shall I sit you down and explain the birds and the bees the webmasters and the SEs?


Yes, you're bad.


Anybody with any sense would have known it, at any rate.



#14 cre8pc

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 01:30 PM

My caption for Matt in the back, apparently mutilating a candy bar:

Damn! My invisibility cloak is malfunctioning!



#15 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 01:37 PM

no... should be "has anyone seen my cloak of invisibility?"
;)


...iamlost...
LMAO

Only partially a legitimate question ;) That being, if we all know it's pants... why pay attention?
It would be little different than someone hosting seminars on how to build sites that suck... and having people show up for it (then again, you could at least obtain positives form the those negatives).

#16 AbleReach

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:14 PM

Why? Because it's fun?

..............

Matt *could* be making the ASL sign for "yes."

"Say, Matt, is that chocolate?"
"Yes."

Make the letter S, a fist with the thumb going across the front, and then nod the fist like a little head that's nodding "yes."

Now you know one of my 20 words/phrases of ASL. ;)

#17 Wit

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:34 PM

IMV it's a cross between the sign for "twinkie" and "w**ker".
Had I been on the panel, I would have been offended as well ;) heh

#18 AbleReach

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:51 PM

I can sign "kitten" or "star" or "stop" or "pasteurized milk," but I have no idea how to say "w...

that other thing.

:ph34r:

(thinks Wit is an, um, interesting personage)

:angel:

#19 iamlost

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:19 PM

AbleReach: curl hand, thumb tip to index and move wrist up and down.
Yes it can look as rude, crude, and Brit as the term itself.

A deaf friend once upon a long time ago spent a lot of our date-time explaining the nasty mean signs...I don't remember the alphabet or much except some 'bad' words...strange that :)

#20 projectphp

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 07:20 PM

What possible secrets are there that can be shared? Think about it: if something "works", it is a gibbon that it won't for ever, and the only value in the secret is making hay while the sun shines.

As a matter of fact, what secrets could there possibly be? Link building == getting wiomeone to put <a href="http://www.example.c...e.com">text</a> on a page accessible to, and indexed by, SEs. Anything beyond that is just execution, effort and spotting an opportunity first.

The agriculture analogy is actually pretty accurate. There is no secret to what makes a good glass of wine: Terroir (which means a combination of climate, soil and outlook). Finding a good site for a winery isn't a secret, it is just hardwork. I am not sure that hard work is much of a secret, but given the ammount of top ten this, ecret way to that %#$%#%# writen about SEO, perhaps hard work is the ultimate secret that very few people get?

#21 cre8pc

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:11 PM

Lisa did a good recap (live blog) of that session - Link Buying

Jim Boykin is up and says he doesn’t have a presentation. He doesn’t want to get any search engineers upset. The main thing he has to say is stay under the radar and don’t p*** off Google.


Matt Cutts on Paid Link Reporting:

Do it because it’s in your best interest to see your competition receive lower rankings
Do it because you want the Web to be a better place and make the search engines’ jobs easier
The argument of “honor among thieves” is a fallacy – no one can/should legitimately believe that paid links made the Web a better place.
Send reports through your Webmaster Central account for faster response time.



Aaron Wall, one of the panelists, expresses more of his thoughts on the topic in his blog today - An Unjust Fear of Link Buying

If your business model is entirely reliant on Google 5 years from now, your user experience is sub-par, and you haven't built up any brand equity after ranking for 5 years then there was not much effort put into building a legitimate business, and it deserves to fail.



#22 DianeV

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:29 PM

Is it just me, or does Matt Cutts NOT look like he's crushing the candybar?

It looks like he's opened it and eaten some of it (at least, some of what I presume is a candybar is missing). I don't see any crushing/crushed-ness, and he's looking to his left, rather than toward where I presume the panel is sitting.

Am I missing something?

#23 cre8pc

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:41 PM

From the original article:

In the back of the room — as this picture clearly captured — Matt Cutts took out a candy bar and crushed it in the palm of his hand, obviously signaling to the panelists that they would be next if they said the wrong thing.


However, I, too, sat and pondered the same thing. Where in the heck is the crushed candy bar?

From the comments:

That’s me sitting beside him. He’s demonstrating how he inserted the knife into Aaron’s back.

(I’m kidding!)



#24 randfish

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:45 PM

Yeah - I don't think any of the panelists thought he was "crashing" and besides, there were tons of other search engineers in the room from Yahoo!, Live and Google, so even if Matt wasn't there, it's not like the panelists would go yelling the names of under-the-radar brokers to buy from. Personally, I think there were quite a few valuable tips on how to buy and sell links in safer ways, but certainly no true black hat tactics are going to be discussed at any sort of event with that kind of publicity.



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