It might be more than foggy in San Francisco this morning, as Brett Tabke of webmasterworld.com said after I took this picture, “that was a twilight zone moment for me”.
It must have been interesting feeling for him then about 10 minutes later when Mike Grehan invited him and Danny Sullivan on stage to have an impromptu conversation with Google’s Matt Cutts at SES SF.
Mike Grehan jovially greeted the early rising crowd (including me… go me!!) for a special session starting at 8:30 am. Some live blogging to follow, which may or may not make sense as I’m only one coffee in post SearchBash.
Grehan of course kicked off the morning by asking why is Google trying to turn us all into zoologists?
Cutts briefed us all on more panda rolling updates, but then went on to talk about the beauty of the knowledge graph.
The four search veterans then jumped into audience questions and a conversation about the evolution of Google search results, transparency, social signals and more.
Audience member asks, how can Google remain unbiased if it continues to acquire companies like Zagat, Frommers, ITA, etc. Cutts said in web search, their job is to create the best experience in search, regardless of whether it’s their own product or not.
Cutts digs into more about the open source nature of Knowledge Graph info from “Freebase” – you can download the same data yourself to get an idea of what is under the hood in Google.
Tabke noted that Google has gotten increasingly more transparent, but got nowhere when trying to pull the full algorithm out of Cutts.
Cutts went on to say that they can likely raise the dials of transparency in WMT.
audience member says in the SEO world post panda/penguin is “Sheer Panic”.. there’s a lot of extreme measures being taken in response to Google.
Matt says the 500 algo little changes a year sometimes result in a major course correction. Panda was a major shift as was Penguin.
Cutt hopes that a year from now we will have come out of this period of time with the strongest sites possible, built with the user in mind.