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

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

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

Jul 3 2014

Google Continues Link Network Attack

It would appear that Google’s attack on European link networks is not over (if it ever will be). Google has been penalizing link networks on the Internet with a vengeance over the past year or so, with much of the focus on Europe. The company says it has now penalized two more from Poland. This week, Google posted about reconsideration requests on its Poland blog, and then Googler Karolina Kruszyńska told Rusty Brick they took action on two networks in Poland: @rustybrick We took action on two link networks. — Karolina Kruszyńska (@karo_krus) July 3, 2014 She didn’t name the networks (at least publicly). Google’s Matt Cutts also tweeted about it: @bart_goralewicz Yes. I didn't tweet about it because people have been asking us to be more positive, but yes. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) July 3, 2014 I wonder who those people are. Back in February, Google said it was focusing on networks in Poland. Since then, it was gone after various other networks in Europe, and also in Japan . 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

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 .

Jun 2 2014

Google Talks Determining Quality When There Aren’t Links

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Google has a new Webmaster Help video out talking about how it looks at quality of content that doesn’t have many links pointing to it. Specifically, Matt Cutts takes on the following question: How does Google determine quality content if there aren’t a lot of links to a post? “In general, that sort of reverts back to the way search engines were before links,” he says. “You’re pretty much judging based on the text on the page. Google has a lot of stuff to sort of say OK, the first time we see a word on a page, count it a little bit more. The next time, a little more, but not a ton more. And that after a while, we say, ‘You know what? We’ve seen this word. Maybe this page is about this topic,’ but it doesn’t really help you to keep repeating that keyword over and over and over again. In fact, at some point, we might view that as keyword stuffing, and then the page would actually do less well – not as well as just a moderate number of mentions of a particular piece of text.” He continues, “We do have other ways. In theory we could say, ‘Well, does it sit on a domain that seems to be somewhat reputable? There are different ways you can try to assess the quality of content, but typically, if you go back to a user is typing possibly some really rare phrase, if there are no other pages on the web that have that particular phrase, even if there’s not that any links, then that page can be returned because we think it might be relevant. It might be topical to what the user is looking for. It can be kind of tough, but at that point, we sort of have to fall back, and assess based on the quality of the content that’s actually on the text – that’s actually on the page.” A few years ago, after the Panda update was first launched, Google shared a list of questions one could ask themselves about their content to get an idea of how Google might view it in terms of quality. You might want to check that out if you haven’t yet. Image via YouTube

May 30 2014

Google’s Transparency Called Into Question Again

Though it’s back in Google’s results now, another company is making headlines for being penalized by Google. This time it’s Vivint, which produces smart thermostats, and competes with Nest, which Google acquired earlier this year. PandoDaily’s James Robinson wrote an article about it , noting that Vivint had received warnings from Google about external links that didn’t comply with its quality guidelines, but didn’t confirm what the links were. Rather, the company was “left to fish in the dark to figure out what i had done to upset its rival.” As Robinson correctly noted, Rap Genius was removed from Google’s search results last year for violating guidelines, and was back in business within two weeks. At the time, Google was accused by some of employing a double standard for letting the site recover so quickly compared to others. Google’s Matt Cutts had some comments about the Pando article on Hacker News . He wrote: It’s a shame that Pando’s inquiry didn’t make it to me, because the suggestion that Google took action on vivint.com because it was somehow related to Nest is silly. As part of a crackdown on a spammy blog posting network, we took action on vivint.com–along with hundreds of other sites at the same time that were attempting to spam search results. We took action on vivint.com because it was spamming with low-quality or spam articles… He listed several example links, and continued: and a bunch more links, not to mention 25,000+ links from a site with a paid relationship where the links should have been nofollowed. When we took webspam action, we alerted Vivint via a notice in Webmaster Tools about unnatural links to their site. And when Vivint had done sufficient work to clean up the spammy links, we granted their reconsideration request. This had nothing whatsoever to do with Nest. The webspam team caught Vivint spamming. We held them (along with many other sites using the same spammy guest post network) accountable until they cleaned the spam up. That’s all. He said later in the thread that Google “started dissecting” the guest blog posting network in question in November, noting that Google didn’t acquire Nest until January. In case you’re wondering when acquisition talks began, Cutts said, “You know Larry Page doesn’t have me on speed dial for companies he’s planning to buy, right? No one involved with this webspam action (including me) knew about the Nest acquisition before it was publicly announced.” “Vivint was link spamming (and was caught by the webspam team for spamming) before Google even acquired Nest,” he said. Robinson, in a follow-up article , takes issue with Cutts calling Pando’s reporting “silly,” and mockingly says Cutts “wants you to know Google is totally transparent.” Here’s an excerpt: “It’s a shame that Pando’s inquiry didn’t make it to me,” Cutts writes, insinuating we didn’t contact the company for comment. Pando had in fact reached out to Google’s press team and consulted in detail with the company spokesperson who was quoted in our story. It is now clear why Google didn’t pass on our questions to Cutts. He goes on to say that Cutts’ assessment of VIvint’s wrongdoing is “exactly what we described in our article — no one is disputing that Vivint violated Google’s search rules.” He also calls Cutts’ comments “a slightly simplistic version of events, given the months-long frustration Vivint spoke of in trying to fix the problem.” Robinson concludes the article: The point of our reporting is to highlight the unusual severity of the punishment (locked out for months, completely delisted from results until this week) given Vivint’s relationship to a Google-owned company and the lack of transparency Google offers in assisting offending sites. Multiple sources at Vivint told us that the company was told that it had “unnatural links” but was left to guess at what these were, having to repeatedly cut content blindly and ask for reinstatement from Google, until it hit upon the magic recipe. To these charges, Cutts has no answer. That’s a shame. Now, I’m going to pull an excerpt from an article of my own from November because it seems highly relevant here: Many would say that Google has become more transparent over the years. It gives users, businesses and webmasters access to a lot more information about its intentions and business practices than it did long ago, but is it going far enough? When it comes to its search algorithm and changes to how it ranks content, Google has arguably scaled back a bit on the transparency over the past year or so. Google, as a company, certainly pushes the notion that it is transparent. Just last week, Google updated its Transparency Report for the eighth time, showing government requests for user information (which have doubled over three years, by the way). That’s one thing. For the average online business that relies on Internet visibility for customers, however, these updates are of little comfort. A prime example of where Google has reduced its transparency is the monthly lists of algorithm changes it used to put out, but stopped. Cutts said the “world got bored” with those . Except it really didn’t as far as we can tell. Image via YouTube The post Google’s Transparency Called Into Question Again appeared first on WebProNews .