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Google’s Matt Cutts On SEO Industry Misconceptions: Updates, Revenue Goals & Link Building Obsession

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cutts-google-seo-misconceptionsGoogle’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released another video named 

What are some misconceptions in the SEO industry?

 In short, Matt outlined three topics in this five-minute video.

(1) SEOs confuse algorithm updates with data refreshes.

(2) Panda & Penguin algorithms are not about making Google more money in the short term.

(3) SEOs spend too much energy and time focused on link building and only thinking about search engines.

Algorithm Updates Versus Data Refreshes:

Matt explained that one of the biggest misconceptions he sees in the industry is that SEOs often confuse data refreshes and algorithmic updates. This is a topic we covered before at least once, but in short, here is the difference. An algorithm update is when Google changes the algorithm on how the search results are ranked, indexed or filtered. A data refresh is when Google updates the data where the algorithm runs. For example, we had a Penguin updaterecently; and, that last update was an algorithm update. There was a change to how the algorithm worked. Prior to that, Penguin 3 and 2 were mostly just data refreshes.

Panda & Penguin Updates Are Not About Revenue Gains For Google:

There are many people in the industry that feel Google releases algorithm updates, such as thePanda and Penguin updates with short-term goals of increasing their revenues. Matt said that is absolutely false and the algorithm and organic search results are completely separated from revenue goals.

Matt added that in one of the older earnings report, Panda was listed as a reason why Google’s revenues may not be as high in future quarters. Simply because Panda may have short-term negative impact on Google’s revenues. Why? Because Panda’s goal was to eliminate low-quality content sites that monetized mostly over AdSense revenue.

Then, Matt goes into explaining how Google looks at long-term goals, making the searcher happy, so they come back and search more. Google has methods for letting users take their data and leave. Google is rarely interested in short-term revenue goals, Matt added a few times.

Clearly, this is the PR side of Matt talking; but in my opinion, he 100% believes it.

SEOs Focus Too Much On Link Building & Search Engines:

Matt’s final point in the video is discussing what SEOs spend too much energy focusing on. They include link building and search engines, as opposed to their users. Matt said they can spend more time on social media and other areas to help build awareness of their sites.

He then discusses how the history of great sites, those sites generally focus on design and user experience first. This way the user is happy and recommends it to others. Matt added that Craigslist is a great site; but, their user experience is not great. So, there are many startups that come in and beat them on user experience to take over in some niches.

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Watch out for repetitive web-words that you should watch out for while watching out for…

Google Says Search Quality Improved With New Spam Detection

Jan 21, 2011 at 12:00pm ET by Barry Schwartz

SpamMatt Cutts, a Google engineer working on search quality, wrote at the Google Blog that Google has recently released a new spam detection classifier to help prevent “spammy on-page content” from ranking highly in the Google search index. None of this comes as a surprise, Matt told us Google would be stepping up their search quality efforts in 2011.

The new classifier was introduced based on Google seeing a “slight uptick of spam in recent months,” said Cutts. Matt Cutts did say that spam compared to five-years ago is at rates “less than half” as of now, but in the recent months, there has been a slight increase in spam impacting Google’s results.

The redesigned document-level classifier will specifically make it harder for on-page spam to impact Google’s search index. Matt Cutts explained, “the new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments.”

In addition, Google also has “radically improved” their methods of detecting hacked sites and they are “evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content,” said Cutts.

In addition, Matt said Google will pay even more attention to “content farms,” which are sites that have low-quality content. Google introduced, what SEOs named, May Day update, which was Google’s first stab at low-quality content sites. So be prepared, if you are a site that aggregates content and repurposes it, you might be hit by whatever Google releases in 2011. Matt Cutts and Google vows to take “even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content.”

For more information, see the Google Blog and related stories on Techmeme.

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