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Matt Cutts: You are Wrong About Google!

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, released a new video yesterday where he discusses some of the most common misconceptions in the SEO industry.  In the five-minute video Matt specifically talks about how so called SEO experts tend to confuse algorithm updates with data refreshes.  He also talks about the fact that Panda and Penguin updates were not done to make Google more money in the short term.  Finally he talks about how many people are spending too much time and energy building links and doing other things in an attempt to improve their ranking.

Algorithm Updates & Data Refreshes

Matt talks about the differences between algorithm updates and data refreshes, which should be extremely helpful for many people in the SEO industry.  While it can be confusing, knowing the difference between these two things is essential.  What makes it confusing is that whether Google performs an algorithm update or a data refresh, most people simply call it a new “penguin update”.  Matt explains that a algorithm update occurs any time that Google changes the actual way search results are determined.  Whether it is reducing the weight placed on back links or increasing the value of header tags, these types of things are algorithm updates.

Data refreshes occur when Google clears the data for specific areas so that the existing algorithm can properly reorganize the search results.  While it may cause changes in the SERPs for many people, it is not actually a change to how the sites were ranked, simply a speeding along of the updates which would have occurred slowly as Google’s data was updated over time.

Panda, Penguin & Profit

One of the biggest things people say when Google puts out a big update like the Panda or Penguin changes is that they are doing it only to make more money in the short term.  The goal with Panda, Penguin or any other update, Matt claims, is to provide searchers with the best possible search results so they will come back again and again.  This will improve their long term profitability, but in the short term it would have little impact or may even lower their profits in exchange for providing a better service to their customers.

Too Much Link Building & Focus on SEO

Matt concludes the video by discussing the fact that those who are attempting to increase the rankings of their sites are spending too much time and energy on link building and other SEO practices.  He recommends focusing on providing a great user experience so visitors will come back and share it with their friends and family.  A great looking site which provides value to visitors will end up ranking much better in the long term than one which spends more time obsessing over SEO practices.

Overall this was an informational video which packed quite a bit into the quick five minutes.  It supports much of what has been reported in recent months here, that the art of SEO is becoming less and less important and website owners and marketers should spend their time focusing on creating high quality sites which provide value to visitors.

About Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

10 comments

  1. Blah blah blah – more of the same from Google’s own carpetbagger!

  2. Great article Michael, SEO is important but very hard to understand how to do it properly nowadays. M

  3. Really good article. If reading between lines I think what it means is that social media such as google+, facebook and twitter is becomming more and more important and simple links less and less important.

  4. mostly bla, bla nothing detailed..as Lester noticed above…

  5. People need to stop worrying about SEO and just worry about creating high quality content that readers will like and want to share.

  6. Focus on writing great content and building your social networks to funnel traffic to your site. This is where things are headed.

  7. i agree to Louida that we should only concentrate on high quality contents and always write for the reader not for any search engine. nice informative article Michael Levanduski!!

  8. Hi,

    On the one hand, common, normal bloggers and site owners should not be so concerned about SEO. It is a very tough business and it changes fast. There are hundreds of factors taken into account by Google and you cannot deal with all of them. It’s a waste of time.
    A better idea is to identify the most important 10 factors and focus on them.
    The best idea is to hire an SEO Expert to optimize the site for you.
    On the other hand, Mat Cutts is where he is for one purpose only: to protect and promote Google’s interests. So it is normal to hear such things from him: great content, great user experience etc.
    One thing I learned from the online world (the same as in life) is to NEVER trust the mainstream wisdom. Never!
    Google says: write great content (very tough for an individual), create a high quality user experience (very, very tough for an individual. All who tried know this thing.
    The truth is that social media influence is hard to measure. Also it is very difficult to measure the visual appearance of a site, engagement, relationships etc.
    When the evaluation of a site is performed, hardcore numbers are taken into account. It doesn’t matter what they say, what big and beautiful words they say. What counts are the facts: visitors, keywords, links, clicks etc. Do you have the appropriate numbers? You will be ranked higher. You don’t have the numbers? No matter how good your content is you will rank lower.
    One last thing: outbound marketing techniques are still the best. Why? Because they bring money.
    The huge blah, blah about engagement, relationship, content etc does not bring you money. It just brings you headaches and exhaustion.

    Have a nice day

  9. Great blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

  10. IT makes sense to create a good website so that readers will come back again and again. Updating the site with good information makes it valuable to the eyes of reader. Google is happier in the process.

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