Google’s Matt Cutts: Black Hat & Link Spammers Less Likely To Show Up In Search Results After Summer

matt-cutts-seo-futureA video from Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, today answers some of the questions about what webmasters and SEOs should expect in the near future in regards to SEO.

The primary question Matt asked and answered was, “What should we expect in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google?”

Matt addressed 10 points, all summarized at the end as helping improve the search results by awarding the good sites and hurting the spammers and black hats in the search results. Here are the 10 points Matt addressed in his video, followed by the video itself:

1.  Penguin Updates

The next generation Penguin update, Penguin 4 (AKA Penguin 2.0), which is expected to launch in the next few weeks, will go deeper and have more of an impact than the first version of that Penguin update. So expect that we will hear more of an outcry from the SEO community when this does launch.

2.  Advertorials

Earlier this year, Google went after some websites for using advertorials as a means to artificially inflate their link profile. Matt Cutts said Google will soon take a stronger stance against those using advertorials in a means that violates their webmaster guidelines.

3.  Spammy Queries

While queries that tend to be spammy in nature, such as [pay day loans] or some pornographic related queries, were somewhat less likely to be a target for Google’s search spam team – Matt Cutts said Google is more likely to look at this area in the near future. He made it sound like these requests are coming from outside of Google and thus Google wants to address those concerns with these types of queries.

4.  Going Upstream

Matt Cutts said they want to go more “upstream” to deter link spammers and the value of the links they are acquiring from the sources. This seems to imply to me that Google will go after more link networks, like they’ve done in the past.

5.  Sophisticated Link Analysis

Matt promises that Google is going to get even better at their link analysis. Google’s head of search spam explained that Google is in the early stages of this much more “sophisticated” link analysis software but when it is released, they will be much better at understanding links.

6.  Improvements On Hacked Sites

Google has done a lot of work with hacked sites and their index, specifically labeling the search results of potentially hacked sites, removing those sites and also warnings webmasters about the hack. Matt said Google is working on rolling out a new feature to better detect hacked sites in the upcoming months. Cutts also added they plan on improving webmaster communication in regards to hacked sites.

7.  Authority Boost

Google hopes to give sites that are an authority in a specific industry, community or space a ranking boost. So if you are an authority in the medical or travel spaces, Google hopes that related queries will return your site above less authoritative web sites.

8.  Panda Sympathy

While many sites have been impacted by the Google Panda update, Matt Cutts said that many of those impacted are borderline cases. Google is looking for ways to “soften” that impact by looking at other quality metrics to move those on the line to not be impacted by the Panda algorithm.

9.  Domain Clusters In SERPs

The number of clusters of the same domain name showing on the first page of Google’s search results should lessen this year. Google’s Matt Cutts said they want to make the search results on the first page even more diverse, but when you click to the second results page, you may be more likely to see clustered results from the same domain name. Google is constantly tweaking how many search results from the same domain name show up on a single page of search results.

10.  Improved Webmaster Communication

As always, Google is always saying they want to improve their communication with webmasters. Matt Cutts said to expect even more detailed examples within webmaster notifications received within Google Webmaster Tools.

Toward the end of this video, Matt Cutts explains the purpose of all these changes is to reduce the number of webmasters doing black hat spam tactics from showing up, while giving smaller businesses that are more white hat the chances to rank better.

Here is the video for you all to watch:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: SEO | Top News

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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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  • http://www.facebook.com/themattboland Matt Boland

    Is he really wearing a firefox t-shirt??

  • http://www.facebook.com/avi.tomer.1 Avi Tomer

    YES! COOL!

  • http://twitter.com/i_am_MAKSYM i am Maksym

    well. less likely we’ll see a lot of good serp results after summer.

  • http://twitter.com/YoungbloodJoe Joe Youngblood

    No mention of ‘merchant quality’ at all, maybe that’s a part of other things.

  • Takeshi Young

    Sounds like we’re in for an interesting summer!

  • Cakap Niaga

    Hopefully, Google will add features for Panda and Penguin under site’s Health in the Google Webmaster Tools. This is to ensure that site’s owner can refer to these features whether Panda or whether Penguin affected their site the most.

  • Mark Gadala-maria

    Great Summary Barry, looks like Google is making some big strides to get rid of webspam and crappy links ranking sites in their SERPs, looks like its gonna be a great summer for the good guys :)

  • http://twitter.com/pictureve Dorothea

    The question is… does Google really know how to make the difference between GOOD and BAD guys?

  • Woody Phillips

    It’s all BS. The worst quality parts of our sites continue to do just fine while the best quality with zero black hat and no spammy links continue to get hammered even though we have spent many thousands on content by subject matter experts.

    This whole thing is smoke and mirrors. They are putting us out of business for doing exactly what they said to do. We are offering quality content on a specific set of related topics. Yet the first page of their search results continues to serve up keyword stuffed sites with bad grammar and bogus content.

    Don’t laugh. Your site is next!.

  • Salvatore

    “Google is looking for ways to “soften” that impact by looking at other
    quality metrics to move those on the line to not be impacted by the
    Panda algorithm.”

    Yeah, I believe him. After two years of ruining lives, Google is going to be nice. Anyone that believes a word Matt Cutts says deserves what he has coming.Google is looking to cut off even more traffic to force sites to advertise. That’s how they do it, Matt is their PR liar that tries to throw wool over your eyes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MarkBehnken Mark Behnken

    I agree. This is all BS. My 450 page niche site was just hit with something hard, about three days ago or so. 50%+ traffic and income gone overnight. I’ve read that Matt said the update is coming in about 2 weeks. Ummm, what then was rolled out a few days ago? I have never done anything shady with SEO and just built my site with the best intentions in mind. Quality content, 1500+ words for every article, multiple Youtube videos embedded within each, etc. etc. No 300 to 500 word content farm crap that litters the search results. Google is going downhill much faster these days. Time will tell and I hope they get their $hit together.

  • http://twitter.com/kasyallen Kasy Allen

    Ha, that was the first thing I noticed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.larry.kim Larry Kim

    wow lots of details

  • Oral Seymour

    Is “Advertorials” the guest blogging update that I’ve been hearing about?

  • https://plus.google.com/101033525827696008310/posts Jared Bates

    Great article and “its about time”. The system is already too easy to game, even after all their update. I am tiered of being our ranked by hacked .edu pages when I am an authority in my niche. BTW, Firefox is an important non-profit that helps Google, and others, better understand the web. Without competition, we would have no recourse to want to grow.

  • http://twitter.com/RobrickG Robrick Guarin

    Yes. He is. Lol

  • http://twitter.com/Yakezie Yakezie

    What are your thoughts about writing your own content instead of spending money to get content on your site?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan27suzara Di Ei Ehn Suzara

    Brace yourself spammers… A new BREED of PENGUINS are coming! :)

  • http://www.poweredbysearch.com/ Dev Basu – SEO since 2007.

    Interesting takeaways. I hope that sites with a higher G+ author trust rank better and that sites that are still spamming their way to top rankings get obliterated. I still find it really surprising that sites with over 50% EMD anchor text from completely non-contextual domains can beat sites with great content, multiple authors etc. Let’s hope Penguin 2.0 makes things right.

  • Mathew N

    I guess this will be a wait and see moment if they can really effectively tell the difference between Good and Bad? Since, I’ve heard and seen a lot good sites, content centered and all white hat still hammered down.

  • Mathew N

    This is a goof theory, I also notice this one on Adwords where putting phone numbers in your Ad copies are now banned forcing you to avail of their call extension service. Maybe that’s why they are banning advertorials because they want to create the advertising themselves? Creating more revenues ei,

  • Jorge Gonzalez

    Perfect for the spammers, but really is for the users or for increase adwords

  • http://twitter.com/emoryrowland Emory Rowland

    I’ll take some of that Panda sympathy.

  • Alan

    So Danny, Advertorials! Looks like you may need to do the no follow thing on your advertorials like you said a little while back.

  • http://twitter.com/nikhil_makwana1 Nikhil Makwana

    However, directly or indirectly Matt Cutts is trying to say to go with SEM and there will be no use of SEO in near futures to rank in Google.

  • Salvatore

    They know the difference!!

    Good guy = big brand, most likely a Google advertiser.
    Bad guy = small business that doesn’t buy ads but gets “free” traffic from Google.

    Look what Google has done these past two years before believing Matt Cutts or SEL. SEL wants you buy tickets to their conferences, Matt Cutts wants you to buy ads on Google.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    “1500+ words for every article, multiple YouTube videos embedded within each, etc., etc.” So formulaic. Google can only go downhill as fast as the content it indexes and no faster than that.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    No, the “guest blogging update” is simply a conjecture that I and others have shared based on the expectation that as more people turn to guest posting for link building that new abusive patterns will emerge, enabling Bing and Google to isolate and ignore or penalize excessive guest posting (while continue to permit useful guest posting to work within their indexes).

  • http://twitter.com/seominister Ashish Chauhan

    Hope Google will do something with “Clusters” because I don’t like too many irrelevant results from Amazon, yelp, gumtree etc….

  • http://www.websitespot.com/ David Lalumendre

    I don’t like the uncertainty of what Google considers what we did years ago. By today’s standards links that I secured back then are probably not so “webmaster guidelines” compliant.

  • Devbrata Singh

    I hope this time Google will do something good for the SEO companies whose SERP rankings got impacted due to panda update inspite of performing white hat SEO.

  • High Core

    I feel some adwords revenue incerase at google…

  • http://www.mythailand.org/ MyThailandOrg

    Thanks for the share. we are waiting for the new update ;) bad news for blackhat teams and spammers )

  • http://twitter.com/jwdlatif Jawad Latif

    I guess SEOs’ life is going to be more tough after summer.

  • http://twitter.com/digitaldabbler Natalie Wright

    This may prove to squash the proactive use of the disavow tool in more volatile/spammy markets (such as payday loans) no? Many marketers within the payday loan market especially have been known to submit disavows every 3-4 months considering the nature of the market.

  • tylerschofield .

    i think that number 7, authority boost is completely unnecessary! why do the largest companies, and best ranking companies need an extra “boost”?? this just makes it harder for us smaller companies trying to establish/maintain our rankings on page one. its hard enough already, let alone after they get extra help from Google! IMHO they should just man up come out and say we want to make you advertise more. not impressed Google. NOT impressed at all.

  • http://www.moviein3d.net/ Caitlin Roberts

    Firefox is far superior to Chrome and does not track you down, good choice of tshirt.

  • Durant Imboden

    Matt Cutts wasn’t talking about companies as “authorities,” he was
    talking about people (he used the terms “someone” and “you”) as
    authorities. It seems to me that giving an authority boost to people who
    are experts on a topic would be a boon to mom-and-pop site owners–not a
    burden.

    I’d like to think that Google will again reward quality
    niche sites instead of giving an artificial boost (whether intentionally
    or unintentionally) to SEO-driven general-interest sites that spew out UGC pages for millions of keyphrases.

    Side note: It’s important to remember that the Web
    isn’t just about commerce. Many (most?) Web
    searches are for information, and I’d guess that Matt’s comments about
    “authority” relate more to “informational” than to “transactional”
    search topics.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    He wants to keep Google as the default search on FireFox.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    We already had been doing that from the beginning. We had a single case of the few we have where the nofollow wasn’t applied right. That was quickly fixed.

  • Woody Phillips

    Writing my own content IS spending money. We hired in-house writers (some were attorneys) to write our legal advice content. Content is not free and good content is not cheap.

    What bugs me the most about Google’s “quality” measurements is they don’t seem to know a damn thing about quality management. If you can’t measure something OBJECTIVELY then it has no business in your quality equation. Goggle either can’t or won’t share their quality equation so we get stuck with subjective measurements. This is a no-win for everyone involved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/themattboland Matt Boland

    Good luck trying to push in front of the Chrome guys in the Google canteen queue!

  • Woody Phillips

    And another thing …

    This whole deal with Google (since April 2012) really has me worked up. I think Google search has gone off the rails and I’d like to propose a few things they can do to get back on track.

    1. Spammy links. – If you can identify spammy links then you have the power to ignore them completely. By that I mean IGNORE THEM. They don’t count. It is like they don’t exist. They don’t help me so there is no reason to do them. If I do spend money creating spammy links, I’m just hurting myself and eventually I’ll go away. AND, that would put an immediate end to conversations regarding negative SEO (which does exist) because they also CAN’T HURT ME. Remember, they are ignored totally.

    2. Your search quality metrics: Make Them Public. – If everyone knows exactly what you are measuring, then they know exactly what to do to create (what you think is) a quality web site. This allows us to argue with you about what quality means in a meaningful way that will only improve the Internet as a whole. Ah but the black hat guys will know what to do. SO WHAT! The worst that will happen is the black hat guys will build quality web sites.

    I have other ideas, but I’ll stop there as these are my top 2 comp[laints about Google search.

    If given the chance, how would YOU improve Google search?

  • https://twitter.com/RizzoMB RizzoMB

    The million dollar question will be – how does Google figure out Authority?

  • http://twitter.com/Megri MegriSoft

    May use the Google Author Rank

  • Ashley Stanf

    Who wants to bet after this update we going to see all bunch of sh*tty web 2.0 properties with spun content and other unrelated 1 page sites or amazon & yelp links ranking for high competitive keywords …
    Since 1st Penguin google’s search went downhill. So, you want to penalize sites for spammy links? Why not ignore them? With this penalties SEO industry will convert to negative-seo and your BS disavow tool is pretty worthless. If you have large linking profile it will literally take you an year to go through each link and decide which one might be hurting your rankings, even then it’ll help only if you get it right …
    Let’s take searchengineland.com for example with over 1M links. If they got dinged by an update, how long it’ll take them to filter their links to figure out which ones are spammy?
    Google doesn’t realize that webmasters are their #1 customers … yet they keep f*king them by keeping them guessing what is bad and what is not.

  • Ashley Stanf

    Google can’t understand the content… that’s why “quality content” is BS! Google bot doesn’t crawl the site and be like “Oh Wow what a great content, I’m going to rank it higher” It doesn’t know any better between an article written by a 2 y.o. and a professional writer that is why it puts so much weight on the backlinks.

  • http://twitter.com/KOwebsites KO-Websites.com

    I’ve been watching this for over 15 years now and feel like we’re almost going full circle with respect of the actual search results delivered by Google. I find myself competing with amazon, yelp and other listing/ranking type of sites again, instead of real websites/companies. I can understand why people are starting to think the “corporate man” is taking over. ‘You want rank?’ ‘You pay!’ ‘And you can’t pay for ads/links or sell ads/links on other websites, you can only pay us.’

    The value of good search rankings is obviously there and now clearly recognized by everyone. Even the corner flower shop knows it, so I’m not surprised if that’s where this is all going. It is after all, all about money! So drink the Google koolaid or hold your breath and hope that Yahoo bounces back.

    I’d like to know where people think search will be in 10 years from now. Will there be search, or just internet TV where you’re fed what the “man” wants you to see like TV is today?

  • http://twitter.com/rgujrati Ritesh Gujrati

    We Webmasters will going to do Dance on Google music this summer……

  • Faiz Alam

    here Matt Cutts is doing Marketing of Firefox in this video

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