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 .

Nov 6 2014

Matt Cutts Talks About Google Trying Not To Be Evil

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. 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 . Image via YouTube

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 .

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

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

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 The post Matt Cutts Won’t Be Back At Google Any Time Soon appeared first on WebProNews .

May 27 2014

Google: Panda 4.0 Brings in ‘Softer Side,’ Lays Groundwork For Future

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Back in March, Google’s Matt Cutts spoke at the Search Marketing Expo , and said that Google was working on the next generation of the Panda update, which he said would be softer and more friendly to small sites and businesses. Last week, Google pushed Panda 4.0 , which Cutts reiterated is a bit softer than previous versions, and also said will “lay the groundwork” for future iterations. @Marie_Haynes think of it like P4 is a new architecture. Brings in some of the softer side, but also lays groundwork for future iteration. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 23, 2014 Barry Schwartz at SMX sister site Search Engine Land, who was in attendance at the session in which Cutts spoke about the update, gave a recap of his words at the time: Cutts explained that this new Panda update should have a direct impact on helping small businesses do better. One Googler on his team is specifically working on ways to help small web sites and businesses do better in the Google search results. This next generation update to Panda is one specific algorithmic change that should have a positive impact on the smaller businesses. It’s interesting that Google even announced the update at all, as it had pretty much stopped letting people know when new Panda refreshes were launched. The world is apparently not bored enough with Panda updates for Google to stop announcing them entirely. Here’s a look at Searchmetrics’ attempt to identify the top winners and losers of Panda 4.0. Image via YouTube

May 27 2014

Google: Panda 4.0 Brings in ‘Softer Side,’ Lays Groundwork For Future

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Back in March, Google’s Matt Cutts spoke at the Search Marketing Expo , and said that Google was working on the next generation of the Panda update, which he said would be softer and more friendly to small sites and businesses. Last week, Google pushed Panda 4.0 , which Cutts reiterated is a bit softer than previous versions, and also said will “lay the groundwork” for future iterations. @Marie_Haynes think of it like P4 is a new architecture. Brings in some of the softer side, but also lays groundwork for future iteration. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 23, 2014 Barry Schwartz at SMX sister site Search Engine Land, who was in attendance at the session in which Cutts spoke about the update, gave a recap of his words at the time: Cutts explained that this new Panda update should have a direct impact on helping small businesses do better. One Googler on his team is specifically working on ways to help small web sites and businesses do better in the Google search results. This next generation update to Panda is one specific algorithmic change that should have a positive impact on the smaller businesses. It’s interesting that Google even announced the update at all, as it had pretty much stopped letting people know when new Panda refreshes were launched. The world is apparently not bored enough with Panda updates for Google to stop announcing them entirely. Here’s a look at Searchmetrics’ attempt to identify the top winners and losers of Panda 4.0. Image via YouTube The post Google: Panda 4.0 Brings in ‘Softer Side,’ Lays Groundwork For Future appeared first on WebProNews .

Apr 17 2014

Cutts Talks SEO ‘Myths,’ Says To Avoid ‘Group Think’

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In the latest “Webmaster Help” video, Matt Cutts talks about SEO “myths”. He responds to this question: What are some of the biggest SEO Myths you see still being repeated (either at conferences, or in blogs, etc.)? There are a lot of them, he says. “One of the biggest, that we always hear,” he says, “is if you buy ads, you’ll rank higher on Google, and then there’s an opposing conspiracy theory, which is, if you don’t buy ads, you’ll rank better on Google, and we sort of feel like we should get those two conspiracy camps together, and let them fight it all out, and then whoever emerges from one room, we can just debunk that one conspiracy theory. There’s a related conspiracy theory or myth, which is that Google makes its changes to try to drive people to buy ads, and having worked in the search quality group, and working at Google for over thirteen years, I can say, here’s the mental model you need to understand why Google does what it does in the search results. We want to return really good search results to users so that they’re happy, so that they’ll keep coming back. That’s basically it. Happy users are loyal users, and so if we give them a good experience on one search, they’ll think about using us the next time they have an information need, and then along the way, if somebody clicks on ads, that’s great, but we’re not gonna make an algorithmic change to try to drive people to buy ads. If you buy ads, it’s not going to algorithmically help your ranking in any way, and likewise it’s not going to hurt your ranking if you buy ads.” Google reported its quarterly earnings yesterday with a 21% revenue increase on the company’s own sites (like its search engine) year-over-year. Paid clicks were up 26% during that time. Cutts continues with another “myth”. “I would say, just in general, thinking about the various black hat forums and webmaster discussion boards, never be afraid to think for yourself. It’s often the case that I’ll see people get into kind of a ‘group think,’ and they decide, ‘Ah ha! Now we know that submitting our articles to these article directories is going to be the best way to rank number one.’ And then six months later, they’ll be like, ‘OK, guest blogging! This is totally it. If you’re guest blogging, you’re gonna go up to number one,’ and a few months before that, ‘Oh, link wheels. You gotta have link wheels if you’re gonna rank number one,’ and it’s almost like fad.” To be fair, some of this “group think” stuff has worked for some sites in the past until Google changed its algorithm to stop them from working . He suggests that if somebody really had a “foolproof” way to make money online, they’d probably use it to make money rather than putting it in an e-book or tool, and selling it to people. “The idea that you’re going to be able to buy some software package, and solve every single problem you’ve ever had is probably a little bit of a bad idea,” he says. “It’s kind of interesting how a lot of people just assume Google’s thinking about nothing but the money as far as our search quality, and truthfully, we’re just thinking about how do we make our search results better,” he says. Google’s total revenue for the quarter was up 19% year-over-year, which still wasn’t enough to meet investors’ expectations. Image via YouTube