Google’s Cutts: We Don’t Ban Sites Critical Of Google, But Here Is Why We Do Penalize Sites…

google-penalty-squareIn the latest video from Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, he addresses Google’s standards for manually removing spam from the Google index.

Matt Cutts first said and repeated it a couple times within the video that Google will not penalize or ban a site that is being critical of Google. Matt said:

“One thing that we don’t do it is just say or someone has been critical of Google, therefore take action. We’re big believers in the Voltaire saying of I might not agree with what you say but I’ll defend to death your ability to say it. So just because you’re critical of Google that’s not the sort of thing where we’re gonna mark your site as spam.”

Outside of that, Matt outlines how Google makes sure they are consistent as possible when they take manual action. They include: Google has very clear webmaster guidelines

  • Most manual penalties are indeed “clear cut cases” and easy
  • Google has training sessions
  • Google has “shadowing” to train new team members
  • Google will always review new manual penalties set by new Googlers
  • They do random spot checks for quality throughout the database
  • There are philosophical questions in the spam gray zone where they work together as a team to come to a consensus.
  • Google is not bound by a narrow view, they look at the whole holistic picture. Such as looking at repeat spammers, malware cases and so on. Anything that is counter to the spirit of the guidelines, they will act on them.

Here is that video:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | SEO: Spamming | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Guest

    Yeah Matt is right.

  • Jolene

    defend, not defended.

  • joe_flanagan


  • Michael Smith

    Matt Defended google manual spam. nice to see some clear communication from google team.

  • The Franchise King

    Really? We believe Google management, why?

    Like any corporation, they’re out for themselves.

    And Google is so big, they can take over the freaking world.

    Google needs some real competition. Real competition in the search game will change the search game.

    I love what Google has done for search…for education. They’ve made it really easy to get information. They’ve really helped to change our world.

    This comment isn’t meant to slam them. But, I don’t believe a lot of things that their team says. That’s because they’re out for them. Not us.


  • Clayburn Griffin

    “the whole holistic picture”

  • Grizzly Gadgets

    Does anyone know when new Panda refresh is coming? This is the longest delay between refreshes or algo updates for two years.

  • Gerry Cariou

    Actually Voltaire said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

  • Katherine Tattersfield

    “Matt Cutts first said and repeated it a couple times within the video that Google will not penalize or ban a site that is being critical of Google.”

    I beg to differ and I believe I have enough evidence to back up my sentiments. I manage a domain that I believe was specifically targeted by Google because of a post critical of Google Plus back when it was in beta mode.

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