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Matt Cutts on links, warnings and search results

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
8 June 2007

At the recent SMX conference in Seattle Rand Fishkin nailed down Google Engineer Matt Cutts  for a wee chat and a number of topics were covered.

So a short summary on the key points raised follows.

In terms of software updates Google can pretty much recrawl and index
the entire web (as known to them) in a couple of weeks and get new
content online and searchable in a few hours. That’s good going!

Paid links is a vexed subject and one which causes no end of
trouble for Google as well as webmasters. But what Matt did say was
that it only takes one slip from someone in a link buying network,
allbeit they may not know each other, to make themseleves known to
Google and they will then react accordingly.

What was interesting is that Google will give warning shots in the
form of short term penalties to sites that participate in ‘irregular
practices’ such as link exchanges and paid links.

We have seen this in the UK a few times over the last couple of months
with penalties varying from a few days to much longer, and from a drop
of 30 places to much deeper.

There was also comment on the recent case of many ‘real estate’
sites in the US who had been exchanging links on a huge scale being
banned. A much more serious issue.

For general spam Matt commented that different sectors and
differant countries required an individual approach. So keyword
stuffing may be more prevalant in some sectors/countries than in
others.

Finally Google recently made it known that they would reserve the
right to remove/limit ‘internal’ site search results from the index.
Quite often these feature unintentionally but it is a system that has
been abused in the past. So Google will be checking these out and if
they add value, such as a niche search, they will be left in but if not
they may well be removed. I think they said these would be reviewd
manually and algorithmically.

So a few points to ponder there. As always the take home message from
Google is keep it simple and for the user. and you should be OK. Well,
it’s not that simple and I am sure they know that but we get the idea!

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