Google’s Matt Cutts Regrets Not Acting Faster On Paid Links & Content Farms

In Google’s Matt Cutts latest video, he answers a question I personally asked about what he regrets, what decision he regrets making in the past related to webspam. My question specifically was:

Was there a key moment in your spam fighting career where you made a mistake that you regret, related to spam?

Matt answered it in than four minutes explained he regrets not acting sooner on (1) paid links and (2) content farms.

Google’s Paid Links Regret

Matt explained that several years ago at a search conference in San Jose, a well-known SEO told him that paid links are too common and there are no ways for Google to fight against it. That is when Matt said he realized that Google has made a mistake and they allowed paid links that passed PageRank to go too far. So in 2005 or so, Google cracked down heavily on paid links and now at this point, Matt said “most people” realize paid links are against Google’s guidelines, possibly against the FTC’s guidelines, that they have algorithms that fight against it and also manual actions around paid links. But Matt regrets not taking action sooner and waiting too long.

Google’s Content Farms Regret

The second regret Matt admitted to was around not acting sooner on content farms. Matt Cutts explained that early on, he did get some user complaints about the horrible user experience some of these content farms had. But when Matt himself went to one of the sites based on a search on how to fix a toilet in his home, he felt the user experience was good. He said he “over generalized” based on that one example, when he should have looked at the site overall and not just one page.

Because of that over generalization, Google didn’t act as fast as they should have on content farms and thus it became more of an issue on the web and for Google to deal with. Here Matt is specifically talking about Panda.

Matt did say that Google does do a lot of “great work” and finds it “rewarding” on the whole. But at the same time, he said he always “wonders” if you could do better by acting one way or another.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Link Building: Paid Links | Top News

Sponsored


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.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide