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 .

Dec 20 2013

Google Says It’s Now Working To ‘Promote Good Guys’

Google’s Matt Cutts says Google is “now doing work on how to promote good guys.” More specifically, Google is working on changes to its algorithm that will make it better at promoting content from people who it considers authoritative on certain subjects. You may recall earlier this year when Cutts put out the following video talking about things Google would be working on this year. In that, he said, “We have also been working on a lot of ways to help regular webmasters. We’re doing a better job of detecting when someone is more of an authority on a specific space. You know, it could be medical. It could be travel. Whatever. And try to make sure that those rank a little more highly if you’re some sort of authority or a site, according to the algorithms, we think might be a little more appropriate for users.” Apparently that’s something Google is working on right now. Cutts appeared in a “This Week In Google” video (via Search Engine Land /Transcript via Craig Moore ) in which he said: We have been working on a lot of different stuff. We are actually now doing work on how to promote good guys. So if you are an authority in a space, if you search for podcasts, you want to return something like Twit.tv. So we are trying to figure out who are the authorities in the individual little topic areas and then how do we make sure those sites show up, for medical, or shopping or travel or any one of thousands of other topics. That is to be done algorithmically not by humans … So page rank is sort of this global importance. The New York times is important so if they link to you then you must also be important. But you can start to drill down in individual topic areas and say okay if Jeff Jarvis (Prof of journalism) links to me he is an expert in journalism and so therefore I might be a little bit more relevant in the journalistic field. We’re trying to measure those kinds of topics. Because you know you really want to listen to the experts in each area if you can. For quite a while now, authorship has given Google an important signal about individuals as they relate to the content they’re putting out. Interestingly, Google is scaling authorship back a bit. Image: YouTube

Dec 9 2013

Google Gives Advice On Speedier Penalty Recovery

Google has shared some advice in a new Webmaster Help video about recovering from Google penalties that you have incurred as the result of a time period of spammy links. Now, as we’ve seen, sometimes this happens to a company unintentionally. A business could have hired the wrong person/people to do their SEO work, and gotten their site banished from Google, without even realizing they were doing anything wrong. Remember when Google had to penalize its own Chrome landing page because a third-party firm bent the rules on its behalf? Google is cautiously suggesting “radical” actions from webmasters, and sending a bit of a mixed message. How far would you go to get back in Google’s good graces? How important is Google to your business’ survival? Share your thoughts in the comments . The company’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, took on the following question: How did Interflora turn their ban in 11 days? Can you explain what kind of penalty they had, how did they fix it, as some of us have spent months try[ing] to clean things up after an unclear GWT notification. As you may recall, Interflora, a major UK flowers site, was hit with a Google penalty early this year . Google didn’t exactly call out the company publicly, but after reports of the penalty came out, the company mysteriously wrote a blog post warning people not to engage in the buying and selling of links. But you don’t have to buy and sell links to get hit with a Google penalty for webspam, and Cutts’ response goes beyond that. He declines to discuss a specific company because that’s not typically not Google’s style, but proceeds to try and answer the question in more general terms. “Google tends to looking at buying and selling links that pass PageRank as a violation of our guidelines, and if we see that happening multiple times – repeated times – then the actions that we take get more and more severe, so we’re more willing to take stronger action whenever we see repeat violations,” he says. That’s the first thing to keep in mind, if you’re trying to recover. Don’t try to recover by breaking the rules more, because that will just make Google’s vengeance all the greater when it inevitably catches you. Google continues to bring the hammer down on any black hat link network it can get its hands on, by the way. Just the other day, Cutts noted that Google has taken out a few of them , following a larger trend that has been going on throughout the year. The second thing to keep in mind is that Google wants to know your’e taking its guidelines seriously, and that you really do want to get better – you really do want to play by the rules. “If a company were to be caught buying links, it would be interesting if, for example, [if] you knew that it started in the middle of 2012, and ended in March 2013 or something like that,” Cutts continues in the video. “If a company were to go back and disavow every single link that they had gotten in 2012, that’s a pretty monumentally epic, large action. So that’s the sort of thing where a company is willing to say, ‘You know what? We might have had good links for a number of years, and then we just had really bad advice, and somebody did everything wrong for a few months – maybe up to a year, so just to be safe, let’s just disavow everything in that timeframe.’ That’s a pretty radical action, and that’s the sort of thing where if we heard back in a reconsideration request that someone had taken that kind of a strong action, then we could look, and say, ‘Ok, this is something that people are taking seriously.” Now, don’t go getting carried away. Google has been pretty clear since the Disavow Links tool launched that this isn’t something that most people want to do. Cutts reiterates, “So it’s not something that I would typically recommend for everybody – to disavow every link that you’ve gotten for a period of years – but certainly when people start over with completely new websites they bought – we have seen a few cases where people will disavow every single link because they truly want to get a fresh start. It’s a nice looking domain, but the previous owners had just burned it to a crisp in terms of the amount of webspam that they’ve done. So typically what we see from a reconsideration request is people starting out, and just trying to prune a few links. A good reconsideration request is often using the ‘domain:’ query, and taking out large amounts of domains which have bad links.” “I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going and removing everything from the last year or everything from the last year and a half,” he adds. “But that sort of large-scale action, if taken, can have an impact whenever we’re assessing a domain within a reconsideration request.” In other words, if your’e willing to go to such great lengths and eliminate such a big number of links, Google’s going to notice. I don’t know that it’s going to get you out of the penalty box in eleven days (as the Interflora question mentions), but it will at least show Google that you mean business, and, in theory at least, help you get out of it. Much of what Cutts has to say this time around echoes things he has mentioned in the past. Earlier this year, he suggested using the Disavow Links tool like a “machete”. He noted that Google sees a lot of people trying to go through their links with a fine-toothed comb, when they should really be taking broader swipes. “For example, often it would help to use the ‘domain:’ operator to disavow all bad backlinks from an entire domain rather than trying to use a scalpel to pick out the individual bad links,” he said. “That’s one reason why we sometimes see it take a while to clean up those old, not-very-good links.” On another occasion, he discussed some common mistakes he sees people making with the Disavow Links tool. The first time someone attempts a reconsideration request, people are taking the scalpel (or “fine-toothed comb”) approach, rather than the machete approach. “You need to go a little bit deeper in terms of getting rid of the really bad links,” he said. “So, for example, if you’ve got links from some very spammy forum or something like that, rather than trying to identify the individual pages, that might be the opportunity to do a ‘domain:’. So if you’ve got a lot of links that you think are bad from a particular site, just go ahead and do ‘domain:’ and the name of that domain. Don’t maybe try to pick out the individual links because you might be missing a lot more links.” And remember, you need to make sure you’re using the right syntax. You need to use the “domain:” query in the following format: domain:example.com Don’t add an “http” or a ‘www” or anything like that. Just the domain. So, just to recap: Radical, large-scale actions could be just what you need to take to make Google seriously reconsider your site, and could get things moving more quickly than trying single out links from domains. But Google wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing it. Oh, Google. You and your crystal clear, never-mixed messaging. As Max Minzer commented on YouTube (or is that Google+? ), “everyone is going to do exactly that now…unfortunately.” Yes, this advice will no doubt lead many to unnecessarily obliterate many of the backlinks they’ve accumulated – including legitimate links – for fear of Google . Fear they won’t be able to make that recovery at all, let alone quickly. Hopefully the potential for overcompensation will be considered if Google decides to use Disavow Links as a ranking signal . Would you consider having Google disavow all links from a year’s time? Share your thoughts in the comments .

Dec 18 2012

Google Is “Very Resistant” To Negative SEO

Negative SEO has been a big topic in the search industry this year, particularly since the Penguin update and Google’s link warnings to webmasters. Many have wondered how easy it would be for their competitors to trick Google into making their sites look like parts of “bad neighborhoods’”. It didn’t help much when Google changed the wording in its Webmaster Tools help center to make it seem more possible that this could happen. Eventually, Google launched the Link Disavow tool, which lets webmasters tell Google to ignore certain links or links from certain domains. In theory, this should be a good tool to combat negative SEO if you’re actually experiencing it. According to Google, however, it’s very unlikely that you are experiencing it. This was the topic of a new Webmaster Help video from the company, which features Matt Cutts discussing negative SEO and the Link Disavow tool. “From the very beginning, we have to think about, when we design an algorithm, or when we take action on sites with the manual web spam team, we try to think about, ‘Okay, is there some way somebody could frame somebody else? Some way that person A could hurt competitor B?’ or something like that,” says Cutts. “So we try really, really hard to design algorithms that are robust, and that are resistant to that sort of thing. Any algorithm that we’ve done in recent years – that the web spam team has worked on – we do try to walk through those cases and make sure that we’re resistant to that sort of thing.” “At the same time, as Google has gotten better at assessing, you know, the quality of backlinks, and taken stronger action on a lot of link networks (especially both public and private link networks) earlier this year, a lot more people are thinking about their back links – how do they clean up their backlinks?” he continues. “And some people are asking about, what if people try to do negative SEO, which is ‘Google bowling,’ or they try to point links to a site to make that site rank lower. Again, most people don’t have to worry about this. If you’re just a regular mom and pop – you’re a small business, this is not the sort of thing where you’re likely in any way, shape or form to run up against this. In my experience, there’s a lot of people who talk about negative SEO, but very few people who actually try it, and fewer still, who actually succeed.” For people who are in competitive niches, who are really worried about this Cutts suggests using the Link Disavow tool .

Dec 3 2012

Matt Cutts: Only 3% Of Those 700K Messages Were About Unnatural Links

Google has put out a new Webmaster Help video with Matt Cutts doing what he does best – busting myths about Google. Google sent out a lot of messages to webmasters this year, and a lot of them were about unnatural links. However, not as many of them as you might think were actually about that. “Today, I wanted to debunk a particular message that I’ve heard around on some black hat forums, where they say, ‘Google sent out over 700,000 unnatural link warnings,’ you know, earlier this year,” says Cutts. “That’s not the case, and I wanted to give you a lot more context and explanation.” “Tiffany, a member of the webspam team, was at a search conference, and she showed a graph and basically explained that we had sent out over 700,000 messages in January and February,” he explains. “A lot of people misinterpreted that and said, ‘Oh, these are all about unnatural links,’ because we were taking action on link networks at the time, so everybody assumed that those messages were all about unnatural links. That’s not true. It turns out, roughly 90% of the messages we send out are about black hat, and we had just started adding that functionality, which was why it had grown a lot, and we were deciding to remark on it. So, out of the 700,000 messages that we sent in January and February of this year (2012), over 600,000 of them were about black hat. That’s like pure spam. You know..anybody can look at a site and tell, this is clear cut egregious…nobody wants to see this stuff.” “It turns out, only about 3% of the messages that we were sending out were related to unnatural links,” he says. “So under 25,000 messages of the 700,000 messages we sent out were actually about unnatural links.” Cutts says 25,000 is a relatively small set of people. It still seems like a lot to me.

Oct 9 2012

Google Launches New Page Layout Update (Yes, ANOTHER Update)

Google is on a roll with these updates. I think webmasters are starting to understand what Google’s Matt Cutts meant when he said a while back that updates would start getting “jarring and jolting”. It seems, that rather than one major update, we’re getting a bunch of updates in a short amount of time. This past Friday, Google launched its latest Penguin refresh . A week before that, it was the EMD update and a new Panda update . Today, Cutts tweeted about a Page Layout update: Follow @mattcutts Matt Cutts @mattcutts Minor weather report: Update of http://t.co/kcDiRUjc launching today. ~0.7% of English queries noticeably affected.   Reply  ·   Retweet  ·   Favorite 14 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto The Page Layout update was first announced early this year , months before we ever saw the first Penguin update. It’s sometimes referred to as the “above the fold” update. It was designed to target pages that lack content above the fold. At the time, Cutts wrote in a blog post: As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward. We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content. This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page. This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads. It looks like Christmas has come early for webmasters this year. Although, on that note, this could be a sign that Google is getting all of this stuff out of the way before the holiday season, so they don’t mess too much with your rankings during this crucial time of year for ecommerce. They’ve shown in the past that they’ve learned from the infamous Florida update .

Aug 2 2009

What Is The Advertising Budgets Per Year For Different Liquor Companies? How Much Do They Spend?

I’m looking for advertising budgets of different liquor companies (so I can come up with a median) for doing a feasibility analysis for an advertising agency geared towards the liquor industry. The data would preferably be from Canada, however, US numbers are alright too, as I realize the information is hard to find. (that’s why […]

May 26 2009

Four AMWSO Clients nominated for LinkShare Golden Link Awards

Each year we usually get one or two nominates for awards at the LinkShare Goldenlink Awards, but this year we have been very pleasantly surprised to find that we have ( so far ) had four of our clients nominated for Goldenlink Awards. Our thanks to everyone who nominated us, and to everyone who has worked with our clients over the past year! It's certainly our pleasure and honor to work with such a great team of affiliate partners! If you have not already done so, you can put your vote in for the Publishers Choice awards here.