Nov 6 2014

Is The Matt Cutts Era Over?

It’s not 100% clear yet, but it’s looking like for webmasters and SEOs, the era of Matt Cutts is a thing of the past. His career at Google may continue, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be the head of webspam going forward. Would you like to see Matt Cutts return to the role he’s held for years, or do you look forward to change in the search department? Share your thoughts in the comments . It’s a pretty interesting time in search right now. Matt Cutts, who has been the go-to guy for webmaster help and Q&A related to Google search for quite a few years, has been on leave from the company since July. Meanwhile, his counterpart over at Bing has been let go from his duties at Microsoft . @DuaneForrester sending you good thoughts today. Thanks for providing info to so many people and tough love when needed. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 30, 2014 When Cutts announced his leave , he didn’t really make it sound like he wouldn’t be back, but rather like he would be taking a nice,long, much-deserved vacation. He wrote on his blog : I wanted to let folks know that I’m about to take a few months of leave. When I joined Google, my wife and I agreed that I would work for 4-5 years, and then she’d get to see more of me. I talked about this as recently as last month and as early as 2006. And now, almost fifteen years later I’d like to be there for my wife more. I know she’d like me to be around more too, and not just physically present while my mind is still on work. So we’re going to take some time off for a few months. My leave starts next week. Currently I’m scheduled to be gone through October. Thanks to a deep bench of smart engineers and spam fighters, the webspam team is in more-than-capable hands. Seriously, they’re much better at spam fighting than I am, so don’t worry on that score. Scheduled to be gone through October. See? Pretty much sounds like a vacation. As you know, October has since come and gone. On October 31, Cutts provided another update, saying he was extending his leave, and wouldn’t be back at Google this year. I'm planning to extend my leave into 2015: https://t.co/T5adq50x4L — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) November 1, 2014 Ok, fine. Cutts has been at Google for fourteen years, and can probably take a considerable amount of time off with no problem. But he’d be back in the swing of things in the new year, right? Well, he might be back, but what he’ll be doing remains to be seen. Cutts appeared on the web chat show This Week in Google , hosted by Leo Laporte, who asked him if he’ll go back to the same role, or if this is a chance for him to try something different. This part of the conversation starts at about 9 minutes and 50 seconds in to the video below (h/t: Search Engine Roundtable ). “Well, I really have been impressed with how well everyone else on the team is doing, and it’s created a little bit of an opportunity for them to try new things, explore different stuff, you know, approach problems from a different way, and so we’ll have to see how it goes,” Cutts responded. “I loved the part of my job that dealt with keeping an eye on what important news was happening related to Google, but you know, it’s not clear that having me as a lightning rod, you know for, you know unhappy black hat SEOs or something is the best use of anybody’s time compared to working on other things that could be making the world better for Google or in general. So we’ll see how it all works.” It doesn’t really sounds like he intends to go back to the classic Matt Cutts role. In fact, later in the discussion, he referred to the initial leave as the “official” leave, implying that the one he’s now on is open-ended. Laporte asked him if he has the ability at the company to just do something different if he wants to. He said, “The interesting thing is that at Google they try to get you and go do different projects, so the product managers, they encourage you to rotate every two or three years, and so it’s relatively rare to find people who have been around forever in a specific area. You’ll find Amit [Singhal] in search, Sridhar [Ramaswamy], you know, some of these people that are really, really senior, you know – higher ranking than me for sure – they do stick around in one area, but a lot of other people jump to different parts of the company to furnish different skills and try different things, which is a pretty good idea, I think.” Again, it sounds like he would really like to do something different within the company. He also reiterated his confidence in the current webspam team. On his “colleagues” (he prefers that term to “minions”), he said, “I just have so much admiration for you know, for example, last year, there was a real effort on child porn because of some stuff that happened in the United Kingdom, and a lot of people chipped in, and that is not an easy job at all. So you really have to think hard about how you’re gonna try to tackle this kind of thing.” Jeff Jarvis, who was also on the show, asked Cutts what other things interest him. Cutts responded, “Oh man, I was computer graphics and actually inertial trackers and accelerometers in grad school. At one point I said, you know, you could use commodity hardware, but as a grad student, you don’t have access to influence anybody’s minds, so why don’t I just go do something else for ten years, and somebody else will come up with all these sensors, and sure enough, you’ve got Kinect, you have the Wii, you know, the iPhone. Now everybody’s got a computer in their pocket that can do 3D sensing as long as write the computer programs well. So there’s all kinds of interesting stuff you could do.” Will we see Matt working on the Android team? As a matter of fact, Laporte followed that up by mentioning Andy Rubin – the guy who created Android and brought it to Google – leaving the company. News of that came out last week . Matt later said, “I’ll always have a connection and soft spot for Google…” That’s actually a bit more mysterious of a comment. I don’t want to put any words in the guy’s mouth, but to me, that sounds like he’s not married to the company for the long haul. Either way, webmasters are already getting used to getting updates and helpful videos from Googlers like Pierre Far and John Mueller. We’ve already seen Google roll out new Panda and Penguin updates since Cutts has been on leave, and the SEO world hasn’t come crumbling down. I’m guessing Cutts is getting less hate mail these days. He must have been getting tired of disgruntled website owners bashing him online all the time. It’s got to be nice to not have to deal with that all the time. As I said at the beginning of the article, it’s really not clear what Matt’s future holds, so all we can really do is listen to what he’s said, and look for him to update people further on his plans. In the meantime, if you miss him, you can peruse the countless webmaster videos and comments he’s made over the years that we’ve covered here . Do you expect Matt Cutts to return to search in any capacity? Do you expect him to return to Google? Should he? Do you miss him already? Let us know what you think .

Sep 7 2012

Cutts: Last Time I Checked, Bing Was Still Using Google As A Signal

Microsoft unveiled its big “Bing It On” campaign this week. Part of that is a site , which allows users to perform a search query, and choose which results they prefer. After five rounds, the tool reveals whether your picked Bing or Google for each one. The one you picked the most, must be your search engine of choice. It’s an interesting comparison of organic search results between the two rivals, but it strips out large parts of the user experience for both search engines. It doesn’t include Google’s Knowledge Graph or BIng’s social bar, for example. It’s hardly an accurate representation of today’s search experience for either engine. Still, Bing says people prefer Bing to Google two to one: On Thursday, after the Bing It On site was launched, Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted: Follow @mattcutts Matt Cutts @mattcutts Tried searching for bingiton on http://t.co/RArZYm0D . Bing had trouble finding itself: http://t.co/l7s3SK3k   Reply  ·   Retweet  ·   Favorite 19 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto I tested the query out myself, and found similar results to Cutts’. It must be embarrassing for Bing to have Google beat Bing on a query for the very tool that Bing is promoting to show that its results are better for Google. However, it’s unclear how many users actually had these results. In the comments section of an article we did on that, some users said BingItOn.com was the top result on both. Perhaps some personalization signals come into play, though I can’t imagine why Bing would associate the cheerleading movie “Bring It On” or its musical counterpart with anything from my personal life. Honest. Despite the differences in results in this example, there are other queries that provide much more similar results. Cutts had something to say about that too. In a comment thread on Hacker News ( via Barry Schwartz ), Cutts said, “Last time I checked, it looked like Bing was still using clicks on Google search results as a signal in Bing’s rankings.” It’s funny he should mention that, because I couldn’t help but be reminded about that whole ordeal as I was playing around with Bing It On. Early last year, Google ran a “sting operation,” as Danny Sullivan who first reported on the story called it, that appeared to show Bing “stealing” at least top results from Google, by monitoring how Internet Explorer and Bing toolbar users use Google. Google created some test search results pages returning results for queries that nobody would ever search for, and results that wouldn’t make sense for such queries. For example, a query for “hiybbprqag” would return a top result from TeamOneTickets. A query for “mbzrxpgjys” would return RIM’s homepage. A query for ” indoswiftjobinproduction” would return a result for Sandra Lee Recipes at FoodNetwork.com. “The only reason these pages appeared on Google was because Google forced them to be there,” explained Sullivan at the time. “There was nothing that made them naturally relevant for these searches. If they started to appear at Bing after Google, that would mean that Bing took Google’s bait and copied its results.” Bing’s results were mirroring each of these examples, though Google found that only a handful of the pages tested proved the point. In response , Bing’s Harry Shum wrote in a blog post, “We use over 1,000 different signals and features in our ranking algorithm. A small piece of that is clickstream data we get from some of our customers, who opt-in to sharing anonymous data as they navigate the web in order to help us improve the experience for all users. To be clear, we learn from all of our customers. What we saw in today’s story was a spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking. It was a creative tactic by a competitor, and we’ll take it as a back-handed compliment. But it doesn’t accurately portray how we use opt-in customer data as one of many inputs to help improve our user experience.” “The history of the web and the improvement of a broad array of consumer and business experiences is actually the story of collective intelligence, from sharing HTML documents to hypertext links to click data and beyond. Many companies across the Internet use this collective intelligence to make their products better every day,” Shum continued. “We all learn from our collective customers, and we all should.” “From its inception, we have had what we believe is a distinct approach to search, and the features and innovation in Bing – from our new user experience and visual organization approach to our focus on inferring user intent and helping customers complete complex tasks, Bing has added a new voice and new experiences to search,” he added. “We never set out to build another version of an existing search engine.” After that post, Cutts and Shum (as well as Blekko’s Rich Skrenta) had a discussion about the whole thing at the Farsight Summit. Throughout that, Cutts maintained the position Bing was basically cheating, and Shum echoed the sentiments of his post, adding, “My view is that we just discovered a new form of spam or click fraud and the Google engineers helped us to figure it out. He said that he wished people could share things like that with them before taking it to the press and getting a “wow effect”. He also said that it would be great if he and Matt could compare signals that they could use. At one point, Shum played the “Google has a toolbar too” card, but Cutts said users see “big red capital letters” letting them know about the data sharing as soon as they install it. Cutts also said at the time, “We don’t use clicks from Bing’s users in Google’s rankings.” In the new Hacker News thread, when asked how Microsoft has access to Google’s algorithm data, he replied, “IE and Windows, I believe.” He then points to a section in Microsoft’s IE 8 privacy policy , which says: “When Suggested Sites is turned on, the addresses of websites you visit are sent to Microsoft, together with standard computer information. … Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms might be included. For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered “Seattle” as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Seattle&qsc0=… will be sent.” “Most people have little idea that allowing a feature called ‘Suggested Sites’ will result in their Google searches and clicks being sent to Microsoft, or that Microsoft will use clicks on Google search results in Bing’s ranking,” said Cutts. “MSFT also uses something called the Microsoft CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program), and I think that’s either opt-out already or they’re making it opt-out in Windows 8–it’s built into the ‘Use Express Settings,’ I believe.” “Again, I haven’t looked at this very recently, but if you’re using a recent version of Windows and IE, you’re probably sending your searches and clicks to Microsoft unless you’ve been very careful about how you configured your computer,” he concluded.

Mar 15 2012

Will Google Rank New TLDs Better Than .com Domains?

Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, took to Google+ to bust yet another myth (there’s been a lot of Matt Cutts myth busting lately, it seems). He points to an article from Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services (described as “a top-level domain specialist”), which claims that the new top-level domains will “trump .com in Google search results” . Kinderis writes: Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will. I’ve been researching this topic since development of the new TLD program first began (around 6 years ago) and have closely followed the opinions of the many search industry experts who have taken a great deal of interest in the introduction of these new domains and the impact they will have. The more I research, the more I have no doubt that a new TLD address will trump its .com equivalent. Followers of Cutts may have some doubt. Here’s what he said about it on Google+: Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings. In the comments on Matt’s post, one reader suggested that Google doesn’t rank good content, but ranks popular content. Matt responded to that, pointing to a post we did on a video where he discussed porn sites and PageRank .

Jan 11 2010

Any Legitiment Computer Work At Home Jobs?

I am looking to make some money for my family. I’m a stay at home mom and I can’t seem to find a legitiment at home job out there. I do not want to pay out any cash to get started. I’m NOT looking for a get rich opportunity, I just want real honest work. […]

Nov 16 2009

Does Anybody Know Of Jobs In Computer Aided Drafting That Allow You To Work At Home?

i am wondering if there is such a thing as a stay at home drafter. I am currently attending college and am looking for summer work as well as a part time job during next school year. Has anyone ever heard of a job that is telecommute?, but for drafting? WordPress Autoblog Software

Nov 5 2009

What Is The Best Work At Home Job On The Computer No Money To Start?

I need to know a work at home job on the computer that does not want me to pay them money to start.

Aug 7 2009

I Want To Work At Home Answering Calls By Computer For Doctors Or Medical Groups. Any Suggestions?

I am in New York state, near cities of Ithaca, Corning, Geneva, Elmira and Seneca Falls. I would like to use my computer to answer medical calls, set up appointments, advise patients if they need to go to hospital or call ambulance or call 911. Do you know of any medical groups that are employing […]