Matt Cutts Sheds Light on Algorithm Updates, Google Revenue Myths and Too Much Link Building

Answers to your SEO questions

SEO questionsAs the head of webspam at Google, Matt Cutts has proved that he does indeed love being in front of the camera. Following his recent video on the Penguin 2.0 update  and other plans Google has in the works, Cutts released another video in order to answer the question:

“Which aspect of Google updates do you think the SEO industry simply won’t get? Where do you see many SEO experts spending too much energy on when they could be taking care of other things?”


Algorithm Updates

For many SEO marketers and specialists, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding or speculation around the difference between an algorithm update and a data refresh.

Cutts explains that a data refresh means simply using the same algorithm but changing the data it uses or bringing in new data from different places.

On the other hand, an algorithm update involves changing the signals you use in the algorithm and/or the weight each of those signals has, which naturally changes the algorithm itself and hence the way results are indexed and ranked.

This response can particularly be applied to the recent Penguin 2.0 algorithm update, which was specifically changed to better target link spam and overuse of exact match anchor text, much more so than the original Penguin. So, rather than simply being hit by the same algorithm that’s been floating around the online space for a while, webmasters now need to be much more wary of Penguin 2.0, since it is using different indicators and signals to target low quality sites.

Google Revenue Myths

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s lips in the SEO industry is, “Is Google updating its algorithms simply to rip us off and make more money?”

Cutts openly denies this criticism or ‘conspiracy theory’, as he calls it, stating that Google’s changes are purely directed at creating better long term experiences for users, in order to foster loyalty. In short, Google doesn’t worry about whether updates and changes will make money or lose money (at least in the short term). He uses the Panda algorithm as an example, explaining that when it was released, Panda actually decreased Google’s revenue in the short term.

While there seems to be a lot of credence to what Cutts is saying in relation to quality, revenue and algorithm updates, one wonders if some of Google’s other strategic moves, such as using Google Plus and Authorship as quality or authority signals, are actually geared towards creating more money for the search giant or if Google would even implement an update or a strategic move if it meant a serious blow to their revenue.

Too Much Link Building

Finally, Cutts goes on to say that many webmasters and professionals involved with SEO are simply spending too much time and energy on link building strategies.

Instead, marketers need focus on the bigger picture of creating a quality website with a great user experience and then thinking about how to best market it to users.

While link building is valuable, Cutts claims that areas like social media marketing are also a great way to get your brand in front of users. He also states that creating great user experiences as a whole is essentially what drives traffic and hence results and growth.

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Virginia is an SEO Specialist and Website Design Expert based in Sydney. Virginia's focus also covers Social Media and general marketing strategies on the Internet. Always happy to provide free advice to small business's. By Virginia Cottrell

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