Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Worry About Poor Grammar In Comments

In today's video from Google's Matt Cutts, Cutts addresses the concern over having third-party comments with poor grammar on your blog or site. Cutts said that you do not need to worry about the grammar people use on your site. You should worry about your writing style and your grammar but there is no need to worry about how other people are writing comments on your site. He did add that this doesn't mean you should allow spam comments, you still should remove spam comments. But when it comes to being on top of grammar, you have enough to worry about with content that you write, and you [...]

Google Updates Its Page Layout Algorithm To Go After Sites “Top Heavy” With Ads

Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced that Google has released a refresh of its Page Layout Algorithm. The filter, also known as the Top Heavy algorithm, downgrades the ranking of a web page with too many ads at the top or if the ads are deemed too distracting for users. Cutts said the algorithm was refreshed last Thursday, February 6. Here's his tweet: SEO folks: we recently launched a refresh of this algorithm: Visible to outside world on ~Feb. 6th. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 10, 2014 This would be the third confirmed update to the [...]

Suspected Paid-Link Penalty Hasn’t Hit Expedia Bottom Line — Yet

expedia-featured Yesterday online travel giant Expedia announced Q4 2013 and full year results. The company "beat the street," reporting strong room night and revenue growth across all geographies. So far a suspected penalty from Google hasn't hurt the company's bottom line. See our earlier stories: Expedia Lost 25% Of Their Search Visibility In Google Possibly Over Unnatural Links Expedia & Google: No Comment From Both About Possible Expedia Penalty Last month the site took what appears to be a major traffic hit, losing as much as 25 percent of its organic search traffic. Many believe this wa [...]

How Google Glass Will Change Search — And What It Means For You

google-glass-local-search-featured Last week, Google officially announced that Glass will be made available for purchase to the general public by the end of the year. The impending launch of Glass is exciting, but it does present some new challenges for search marketers. Given the differences between how Google Glass handles search versus a desktop or traditional mobile device, we can predict that optimizing for search on Glass will require marketers to devise new strategies and tactics. So what exactly makes search different on Glass? And what can we, as marketers, do to prepare for the Glass invasion? To find out, che [...]

Google Penalized A Germany Agency & Their Clients For Link Schemes, Says Matt Cutts

google-war-links-featured Soon after Google has warned Germany SEOs about paid links and link schemes, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted on Twitter that they took action on a German agency and their clients for link schemes. Matt Cutts wrote, "this week we took action on a German agency's link network/clients." He added that Google will be going after more Germany link schemes in the near future. This was not unexpected, the other week, Matt Cutts also announced on Twitter that they targeted a French link network, that shut down shortly after the announcement. This time, Matt Cutts did not spec [...]

Authority Is The New Links: Reading Between The Lines Of Matt Cutts’ Guest Post Critique

guest blogging authority The SEO industry has been all aflutter over the last few weeks, ever since Matt Cutts stated that guest blogging is dead. In The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO -- a headline that is a particularly strong statement from Google's Head of Webspam -- Cutts essentially said that if you are link building by guest posting thin content across the Internet, stop. It is reasonable to conclude that Cutts' post serves as an announcement of Google's intent to crack down on those more interested in building links than quality content. Now, I hate to climb on the parse-Matt-Cutts's-every-w [...]

Google’s Latest Manual Action Penalty: Spammy Structured Markup

google-web-spam Google recently began sending a new manual action spam notification to webmasters for "spammy structured markup" also known as rich snippet spam. This comes after Google dropped 15% of the rich snippets, setting the bar higher for what sites are able to display rich snippets in the search results. The new manual action message from Google reads as follows: Spammy structured markup Markup on some pages on this site appears to use techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violat [...]

Google Warns German Webmasters That Paid Links Violate Google’s Guidelines

links-danger-risk-featured Google head of search spam Matt Cutts posted on Twitter this morning another stern warning to German webmasters about a link penalty looming for them. Matt Cutts tweeted: A reminder (in German) that paid links that pass PageRank violate our guidelines: — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 3, 2014   The blog post is written in German on the German Webmaster blog, which basically says Google reserves the right to issue penalties for unnatural links. It then goes through the process of explaining the types of unnatural links and how to submit a reconsiderati [...]

Google Is Not Broken

google logo - basic 570x270 In spite of what many think, Google is not broken. But wait, naysayers will say, Look at this search result, it stinks! This spammer is succeeding in ranking high, they emerged from nowhere and are now in the top three results! It's true -- there are many such examples that you can point to. Making sense of this landscape can be quite confusing, but that's what I will attempt to do in today's post. Firstly, there are two basic reasons why Google can be quite slow to address some of the problems you might find. 1. They Can Afford To Be Thoughtful And Patient Why, you ask? They have domi [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Try To Build Links Through Article Directories

matt-cutts-article-directories Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, posted a video answer encouraging webmasters not to use article directory web sites with the goal of building links. The question posed was: Links from relevant content in article directories — Seen as good or bad? E.g., I link my beauty website from a cosmetic surgery article on say, Ezine? Would you do that? Matt Cutts responded in short said that his personal recommendation is to not upload articles to article directories. Matt also tweeted his answer to the question, saying "No." [...]

Google Takes Down Another Link Network, France’s Buzzea

google-cop-busted-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter earlier this morning that Google has taken action on another "link network" named Buzzea. His tweet read, "Today we're taking action on a French link network that violates our quality guidelines (Buzzea)." In addition, Matt added that they are working on a German based link network, "today France; Germany soon," Matt added. This is the latest in a long number of link networks Google has been going after over the course of the past few years. Here are some of the more recent stories we have on Google going after link netwo [...]

Google Issues Subtle Warning To Affiliates That Have “Thin-Content”

google-penalty-square Google's Chris Nelson of the search quality team issued a warning on the Google Webmaster Blog to affiliates who produce thin-content. He said that affiliates that produce thin-content and have little-to-no value-add on their site may be penalized for going against Google's guidelines. The warning was more direct to affiliate sites in the "adult" space, saying this has become more of an issue recently in that space. Chris Nelson said, "recently, we’ve seen this behavior on many video sites, particularly in the adult industry, but also elsewhere." When Matt Cutts, Google's head of searc [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts Explains That Older Sites Won’t Always Keep Their Current Rankings

matt-cutts-old-sites Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a video yesterday answering why some old sites may not have their rankings in Google last forever. Matt Cutts explained that there are many old sites that are in the range of about 15 years old and while that is a good thing, some of these sites have their original design templates and have not done much to their sites to improve things over the years. They have never redesigned the site, never updated the user interfaces, never added new features for their users, etc. If you want to stay competitive, Matt said you need to take a "fresh" look [...]

Google To Replace Smartphone User-Agent To Improve Smart Phone Indexing

Google mobile app logo Google announced they are replacing the old smartphone crawler user-agent with a new one in order to make it possible for Google to index more smartphone content. Zhijian He, a smartphone search engineer at Google said that the previous user-agent "made it impossible for Google to index smartphone content of some sites, or for Google to recognize that these sites are smartphone-optimized." The new smartphone user-agent crawler will follow robots.txt, robots meta tag, and HTTP header directives for Googlebot instead of Googlebot-Mobile. This will give webmasters more control, but Google s [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: We Don’t Use Twitter Or Facebook Social Signals To Rank Pages

matt-cutts-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released a video today answering the question, "are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm?" The short answer was no. Matt said that Google does not give any special treatment to Facebook or Twitter pages. They are in fact, currently, treated like any other page, according to Matt Cutts. Matt then answered if Google does special crawling or indexing for these sites, such as indexing the number of likes or tweets a specific page has. Matt said Google does not do that right now. Why? They have at one point and they were block [...]

Google Webmaster Tools Crawl Errors Reports Now Showing Errors On Final Redirect URL

subdomains-google-webmaster-tools-13960 Google's John Mueller announced on the Google Webmaster blog this morning that the Google Webmaster Tools team has updated the crawl errors report to show errors on the final URL of the redirect, as opposed to the origin URL of the redirect. What this means is that Google is now showing the errors on the final destination URL instead of the redirecting URL. This should make it easier for webmasters to diagnose issues in their crawl error report, because it makes it easier for the webmaster to locate the page with the error. In the past, Google would have reported the error observed a [...]

Matt Cutts: “Stick A Fork In It, Guest Blogging Is Done”

blog-featured Google -- and Matt Cutts, in particular -- has made a number of statements about guest blogging over the past year as the tactic has grown as a link building tactic. None of those statements are as clear as the one Cutts wrote today on his personal blog. Cutts, the head of Google's webspam team, says that he'd "expect Google's webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward." He begins the post with a very clear message: Okay, I'm calling it: if you're using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it's bec [...]

Expedia Lost 25% Of Their Search Visibility In Google Possibly Over Unnatural Links

200px-Expedia_logo.svg The major travel website, Expedia, seems to have lost 25% of their search visibility in Google according to Search Metrics. It appears that drop was due to an unnatural link penalty, where Nenad called out Expedia over a month ago for possible paid links on article sites.'s Google Traffic Decline: Patrick Altoft noticed a drop in Expedia's traffic today and posted about it on Twitter. If you look at their decline today, it looks like Google has penalized Expedia in their search results. We reached out to Marcus Tober from Search Metrics who sent us additional details showing that [...]

5 Not-So-Common Reconsideration Request Errors

SEO I've been struggling with a particularly difficult link cleanup project lately. On the occasion of my 100th reconsideration request (4th for this particular client), I thought it might be helpful to share five not-so-common problems that you might run into during your own link cleanup project. [Editor's note: Since this post was originally published, it's received praise from two Googlers: webmaster trends analyst John Mueller and webspam head Matt Cutts! Which just goes to show how important it is that you continue reading!] 1. Don't Block Your Pages With Robots.txt One good solution to [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: We Don’t Have Different Algorithms For Different Web Position Slots

google-matt-cutts-duplicate-content Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a video answering another webmaster question. The question was, "Are results in different positions ranked by different algorithms?" The answer is no, Google does not have reserve web search results slots or positions for ranking for specific algorithms. For example, slots 3-5 in the results are not reserved for fresher content, while slots 6-8 are not reserved for more authoritative content. It does not work like that. Google has algorithms that ranks all the search results and the algorithms are not assigned to specific positions. Her [...]

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