Notes from Matt Cutts Recent Web Chat

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

Last week, Matt Cutts held a live chat to discuss a variety of search-related topics. Below are some of the highlights:

Google’s Algorithm and Ranking Factors

– Google will be rolling out their Panda update for languages other than English.  However, it will be months before they are ready to implement. Once the update is in place, I expect a similar negative response to their US update because I’m still not 100 percent sure that their current Panda filter is really doing what the company intended.

– Your server’s IP address is used as a ranking factor as a way of correlating content and geography. If you have a site that features Japanese content (ex: language or character set), having an IP address in Japan will help you rank relative to a site on a US based server. This doesn’t mean you’re site won’t rank. In fact, you can rank well if your content doesn’t match the IP but if you’re targeting a specific country, it is beneficial to have an IP within that country.

– Google’s new +1 service is expected to be a much more important ranking factor than first reported. Cutts reiterated that +1 will be used as a ranking factor and noted  Google will being paying a lot of attention to it in the future. While I think that Google should consider user behavior as part of their algorithm, giving users direct power to influence rankings is ripe for abuse by SEO firms. I can only imagine  +1 campaigns on a service such as Mechanical Turk.  Hypothetically, a company could pay 1 cent per +1 and can get 2000 +1 votes for $20.

Webmaster Tools

– Cutts discussed adding a notification in Webmaster Tools should a hacker change your rel=canonical tag.  He added that it was not a planned addition because occurrences of rel canonical hacking are very rare.

– He also noted if a site is blocked by a user, there won’t be a notification or running total in Webmaster Tools because it doesn’t offer any insight other than the fact the site was blocked.

Site Architecture

– Finally, he emphasized that attempting to implement pagerank sculpting using nofollow on internal links was a waste of time.  He recommended site owners to nofollow external links to sites that they can’t vouch for since linking out to bad neighborhoods can negatively impact your site.


Related Posts