This week in San Jose at SMX West there was one special session: the SMX Evening Forum. In this talk Danny Sullivan asked a lot of questions to two Googlers who know about what is going on with the search part of the company: Matt Cutts and Patrick Thomas.
Last week Interflora was quite humiliatingly outed for its use of advertorials and unnatural link building; even for its own brand name, the site all but disappeared from the SERPs. Without speaking about Interflora or a collection of newspaper sites that were clearly selling advertorials directly, Matt Cutts wrote a statement reiterating Google’s position on paid links: it’s bad, don’t do it. While that position has been clear for some time, it’s not been clear that Google was prepared to act quite so abruptly on punishing major brands. With the dust from the hit still floating around, it appears that this is another step by Google to clean up Search Engine Optimisation, and another notch in what has been a tumultuous two years for the industry since the first Panda Update in April 2011.
With advertorial link building now clearly presenting higher risk, some SEOs must be wondering where to pivot. Inevitably, brand building will seem a likely option, and building credibility through quality content and inbound methods is the future. I’ve read and heard this rhetoric many times before, but I’ve often wondered how suitable the wedding of SEO and brand building will actually be. (more…)
Negative SEO, ranking your competitors for ‘bad’ keywords or for example badmouthing competitors or trying to give your site ‘bad links’ so you are less visible to Google, has been talked about a lot in the past few years. With Google’s disavow tool that Google recently launched fighting against negative SEO became easier. Matt Cutts explains that in his latest Webmastertools video. About Negative SEO.
The year is closing and that means people are looking back on the year. As does the Google Webspam Team. In his latest webmastertools video Matt Cutts answers a question about 2012: What has been the biggest surprise of 2012 for you and your spam team?
Once in a while we post a video of Matt Cutts answering a question from a webmaster. Most of the time it is because the question or the answer is remarkable. In this case it is a remarkable question, one where even Matt Cutts has to groan about…
With Google’s Panda and Penguin updates fresh in mind a lot of people are focussed at knowing how Google thinks about links, so if Matt Cutts starts talking about site-wide backlinks, we will listen. In this webmaster video Cutts answers the question “How does Google consider site-wide backlinks? Are sitewide backlinks considered good or bad by Google? Or do they just count as 1 link from the whole domain?”
An oldie this week in pur Friday Talk. A presentation from 2007. But not just any talk, it’s a talk from Google’s Matt Cutts who talked to bloggers about Whitehat SEO.
He talks about WordPress plugins recommendations, SEO keyword tips, migrating to new webhost, Google Analytics, Google Webmasters and some security tips. Yes, it’s old and not all advice still is valid, but it is fun to listen to!
“Finally” and “About time” were amongst the remarks of many reactions yesterday when Google officially announced their “disavow links” tool at Pubcon. The tool is a way to let as a site owner Google know which links pointing at your site you think should be ignored by Google.
The tool was already expected by many SEOs because Google had been testing it out amongst several SEOs in the past few weeks and Bing already launched its own tool back in June. The tool can be seen as a direct response to Penguin updates: sites with a lot of bad links need to clean up their act. With this tool Google makes that a bit easier. But not just for the site owners, for themselves as well. (more…)
This Friday Talk is not a ‘regular’ presentation which you are used to see here every week. This one is a Google Hangout, one which is part of the ‘Power Searching‘ series which Google offers. In this hangout Matt Cutts shows up. And he adresses for example the +1-s and how they are related to search results.
Once every now and then Matt Cutts answers questions from ‘the field’. This time the question came from AJ Kohn who asked about guest blogging.
Now we get a lot of guest post requests, we understand why, it gets links and attention. But is it really good for SEO? Matt tries to answer that question and kind of says “Yes, maybe, but it depends on who you are”. He talks about influential bloggers and about how guest blogging can be good to get attention, but he also seems to hint at that not all guest blogging is appreciated by Google. Which makes sense, he just says it a bit vague.
SES San Francisco is on its way for day 2 already and the organizers had a big surprise for the attendees yesterday: Matt Cutts would make a surprise visit to SES San Francisco to talk on stage and answer questions. Something Cutts doesn’t do that often outside of some SMX appearances in the past few years. On top of that Danny Sullivan and Brett Tabke were pulled on stage to participate in the talk. It also had been a while since Sullivan had been on a SES stage as well.
I live blogged the session and ‘cleaned up’ the notes below so it’s a bit more readable. The biggest things that came out of the conversation
Bad links, there is a lot of discussion going around them at the moment with Panda and Penguin fresh in our memories. And with all the ‘outing’ going on, you better watch your steps right?
The question asked to Matt Cutts in his latest Webmasterhelp videos “What happens if I link to a good page that later becomes spammy?” therefore is one where the answer is listened to carefully by many SEOs.
The question is whether or not a site you link to, which used to have good content before, now turns ‘spumy’, will have a bad influence on your rankings. The answer? Cutts says ‘not to worry’, at least as long its not too many of these kind of links.