Jun 25 2015

Will Matt Cutts Be Back At Google In 2016?

Google’s former head of web spam Matt Cutts will not be returning to the company this year from the sound of it. He reportedly said on an internet talk show that Google has extended his leave throughout the remainder of the year. Cutts appeared on Leo Laporte’s Twit.tv show, and according to Search Engine Land, he talked about this during … The post Will Matt Cutts Be Back At Google In 2016? appeared first on WebProNews .

Jun 19 2015

Someone Made A Comic About Matt Cutts And His Leave

Ignite Visibility President John Lincoln, who contributes to Search Engine Land on occasion, created a comic about Matt Cutts and his leave from Google. I hate to spoil it, but on the other hand, I don’t really care. It turns out that John Mueller has really been Matt Cutts all along. Last July, Cutts announced he was taking leave from … The post Someone Made A Comic About Matt Cutts And His Leave appeared first on WebProNews .

May 22 2015

Google Has Replaced Matt Cutts

It looks like Matt Cutts has been officially replaced as the head of web spam at Google. We don’t know who his replacement is, and we might not anytime soon, but the company has confirmed his replacement nevertheless. In July, it will be the one-year anniversary of when Cutts announced he was taking leave from Google. It was originally supposed to last at least through the following October. At the time, he wrote on his personal 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. At the end of October, Cutts revealed in a tweet that he was extending his leave into 2015: I'm planning to extend my leave into 2015: https://t.co/T5adq50x4L — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) November 1, 2014 In November, Cutts made some comments on a web chat show indicating that he might be interested in doing different work at Google when he decides to go back to work. Search Engine Land is now reporting that Google has someone new in the Matt Cutts position of head of web spam, but that this person won’t be “the all-around spokesperson” that Cutts was, so they’re not naming who it is. Danny Sullivan writes: Going forward, Google says to continue to expect what’s already been happening while Cutts has been away. Various individual Googlers will keep splitting the role of providing advice and answers to SEOs and publishers in online forums, conferences and other places. So far, webmaster trends analyst John Mueller has been the most publicly visible voice of webmaster issues for Google on the internet, regularly hosting lengthy webmaster hangouts and talking about various Google updates and whatnot. Matt’s Twitter bio still says, “I’m the head of the webspam team at Google. (Currently on leave).” Image via YouTube

Nov 6 2014

Has Google Lived Up To Its ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Mantra?

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Google’s famous “Don’t be Evil” mantra has been questioned time and time again for many years, but it’s back in the spotlight thanks to comments made recently by co-founder and CEO Larry Page. Do you think Google has done a decent job of keeping in line with the “Don’t be evil” mantra? Share your thoughts in the comments . Page did an interview with the Financial Times in which he talked about how, as the FT put it, “the search engine’s original mission is not big enough for what he now has in mind.” The mission is actually that whole thing about organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible, but the evil thing did come up. This is the part that deals specifically with that. FT reports: It is a decade on from the first flush of idealism that accompanied its stock market listing, and all Google’s talk of “don’t be evil” and “making the world a better place” has come to sound somewhat quaint. Its power and wealth have stirred resentment and brought a backlash, in Europe in particular, where it is under investigation for how it wields its monopoly power in internet search. Page, however, is not shrinking an inch from the altruistic principles or the outsized ambitions that he and co-founder Sergey Brin laid down in seemingly more innocent times. “The societal goal is our primary goal,” he says. “We’ve always tried to say that with Google. I think we’ve not succeeded as much as we’d like.” After that, the actual mission statement was discussed, and Page said he thought they probably needed a new one, and that they’re “still trying to work that out.” The reason they need a new one is basically that Google has grown so much, and has become so much more than the search engine it was when it was founded. I mean, they have robots, self-driving cars, smart glasses, smart contact lenses, and are trying to work on a cure for aging. It’s probably not too unreasonable to be thinking about updating the mission. Some took this story, however, and spun it as something along the lines of “Google has outgrown its ‘Don’t be Evil’ mantra”. I think this misses the point. Either way, Matt Cutts, who is currently on leave from Google (and it’s unclear whether he’ll actually be back or not), weighed in on the topic on an episode of This Week in Google . He said, “They have tried to have a culture of ‘Don’t be Evil,’ and you can argue over individual incidents, and you know, whether this specific thing is evil or that specific thing is evil, but Google as a whole, whenever I look at the DNA, the people try to do the right things. So if you’ve got Larry marching off in one direction, and you’ve got the rest of the company saying, ‘No, we disagree,’ then they drag their heels, and they create friction. That, in my opinion, helps to move things toward a consensus of maybe a middleground, which works pretty well.” He added, “And then having that critical mass of smart people lets you say, ‘Oh, now I can do voice recognition better. Now I can do image recognition better, and I can unlock all kinds of good applications to improve the world that way…’ It’s a tough call…It’s a good problem to have, I guess.” Here’s the full episode. This takes place roughly 28 minutes in, but the discussion about this whole topic lasts for quite a bit. The episode also has a lot of discussion about Cutts’ future with Google . Cutts thinks Google tries not to be evil. Do you believe him? What are some specific areas that you think the company needs to improve on in that regard? Share in the comments . Image via YouTube

Nov 3 2014

Matt Cutts Won’t Be Back At Google Any Time Soon

Back in July, Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts announced that he was taking an extended leave from work to enjoy his personal life. On Friday, he revealed in a tweet (via Search Engine Roundtable ) that he won’t be back to work at all this year. I'm planning to extend my leave into 2015: https://t.co/T5adq50x4L — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) November 1, 2014 Cutts didn’t really elaborate on why he’s extending his leave, but if you could do it, why not, right? He did say this on his blog back in July: 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. In Matt’s absence, the industry had relied on updates from people like Google Webmaster Trends analysts John Mueller and Pierre Far. There have been both new Panda and Penguin updates to roll out during Matt’s leave. It remains to be seen when Cutts will return, but there’s not really that much of 2014 left. I’d expect him to return after the New Year. We’ll see. Webmasters must be itching for more of Cutts’ famous YouTube videos. Image via YouTube

Oct 7 2014

Google Is Not Going To Be Updating Toolbar PageRank Anymore

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It looks like Google Toolbar PageRank may officially be a thing of the past. This will no doubt please some, while upsetting others, but for better or worse, don’t expect it to be updated anymore. Do you think Toolbar PageRank should die, or do you still find a use for it? Let us know in the comments . Over the last couple of years, Google has already been updating PageRank less frequently. In fact, it’s not even been updated this year at all. The last update came in December . Even before that, Google had given indication that it wouldn’t update it before the end of last year, if at all, though it ultimately did. By that point, many had assumed Toolbar PageRank was going away because it had been so long since the previous update after years of regularity. Before the December update, it hadn’t been updated since the prior February. Historically, they had updated it every three or four months. Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted a year ago that he would be surprised if there was another PR update before 2014. Well, there was, but that was the last one. It’s now been ten months. Google’s John Mueller actually addressed the lack of an update in a Google+ Hangout (via Search Engine Roundtable ). PageRank is something that we haven’t updated for I think over a year now, and we’re probably not going to be updating it going forward, at least in the Toolbar PageRank… He said that at 20 minutes and 30 seconds into this video. Of course Mueller is incorrect in that it’s been over a year, but he seems to be under the impression that Toolbar PageRank is dead. He wasn’t exactly making an announcement, but discussing it in relation to somebody’s question about a particular site’s rankings, so it’s probably not out of the realm of possibility that an another update could sneak through, but it sounds like it’s not going to happen. A year ago, Cutts discussed PageRank in this video: “Over time, the Toolbar PageRank is getting less usage just because recent versions of Internet Explorer don’t really let you install toolbars as easily, and Chrome doesn’t have the toolbar so over time, the PageRank indicator will probably start to go away a little bit,” he said. In another video earlier in the year, he said, “Maybe it will go away on its own or eventually we’ll reach the point where we say, ‘Okay, maintaining this is not worth the amount of work.’” So the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Still, people have continued to monitor PageRank, and look forward to seeing that data refreshed. The last update was actually kind of a side effect of sorts. As Cutts noted at the time, the team was fixing a different backend service, and did a PR update along the way. He said it wasn’t an accident, but that it was just easier for them to push the new PR data rather than keeping the old data. Maybe that will happen again. Do you want to see Google continue to update Toolbar PageRank? Let us know in the comments .

Jul 7 2014

Matt Cutts Is Disappearing For A While

Just ahead of the holiday weekend, Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts announced that he is taking leave from Google through at least October, which means we shouldn’t be hearing from him (at least about Google) for at least three months or so. That’s a pretty significant amount of time when you consider how frequently Google makes announcements and changes things up. Is the SEO industry ready for three Matt Cutts-less months? Cutts explains on his personal 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. He says he wont’ be checking his work email at all while he’s on leave, but will have some of his outside email forwarded to “a small set of webspam folks,” noting that they won’t be replying. Cutts is a frequent Twitter user, and didn’t say whether or not he’ll be staying off there, but either way, I wouldn’t expect him to tweet much about search during his leave. If you need to reach Google on a matter that you would have typically tried to go to Matt Cutts about, he suggests webmaster forums, Office Hours Hangouts, the Webmaster Central Twitter account, the Google Webmasters Google+ account, or or trying other Googlers. He did recently pin this tweet from 2010 to the top of his timeline: When you've got 5 minutes to fill, Twitter is a great way to fill 35 minutes. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 11, 2010 So far, he hasn’t stopped tweeting, but his latest – from six hours ago – is just about his leave: I got my inbox down to zero for a shiny moment, then unpinned and closed the tab with work email: http://t.co/o7zBOvskBE — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) July 7, 2014 That would seem to suggest he doesn’t plan to waste much of his time off on Twitter. So what will Matt be doing while he’s gone? Taking a ballroom dance class with his wife, trying a half-Iornman race, and going on a cruise. He says they might also do some additional traveling ahead of their fifteen-year wedding anniversary, and will spend more time with their parents. Long story short, leave Cutts alone. He’s busy. Image via YouTube

Jun 13 2014

Google Launches New Version Of Payday Loan Algorithm

Last month, Google rolled out two major updates to its algorithm around the same time – new versions of the famous Panda update and the “Payday Loans” update, which is one of its ways of fighting spam. A newer version of the latter began rolling on Thursday afternoon. @BtotheMcG it's rolling out now! — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 12, 2014 Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts announced the update at the Search Marketing Expo in front of a packed house. Here's what the #smx Q&A session looked like from the stage yesterday: pic.twitter.com/A7kSb90oPL — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 12, 2014 “Matt Cutts explained that this goes after different signals,” recounts Barry Schwartz at SMX sister site Search Engine Land, who was in attendance. “The 2.0 version targeted spammy sites, whereas version 3.0 targets spammy queries.” It will target queries like “payday loans,” “casinos,” “viagra,” etc., he says. According to this recap of Cutts’ announcements (as tweeted by Cutts himself), he referred to the new update as Payday Loan 2.0 with last month’s being 2.0A if that helps you for any reason whatsoever. Also according to that recap, Google is working on improving reconsideration requests so web spam analysts can provide additional feedback. Also, Google is close to getting IE 8 referring data back. It will still show mostly as not provided, it says, but will correctly show the visitor as coming from Google search. Image via MYA (Twitter)

Jun 4 2014

Here’s Another Matt Cutts Floating Head Video (About The Most Common SEO Mistake)

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We’ll just keep this one short like the video itself. The most common SEO mistake you can make, according to Matt Cutts, is not having a website. Hopefully you feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth on that one. Once again , Cutts uses the ol’ floating head trick. I wonder how many more of these things he’s got. Image via YouTube

Jun 4 2014

Here’s Another Matt Cutts Floating Head Video (About The Most Common SEO Mistake)

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We’ll just keep this one short like the video itself. The most common SEO mistake you can make, according to Matt Cutts, is not having a website. Hopefully you feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth on that one. Once again , Cutts uses the ol’ floating head trick. I wonder how many more of these things he’s got. Image via YouTube The post Here’s Another Matt Cutts Floating Head Video (About The Most Common SEO Mistake) appeared first on WebProNews .