Grabbag questions, April 2009

I scheduled some time today to record video, so I opened up a thread for questions. Post your questions over on Google Moderator so that I can see which questions are popular. I’ve only got 45-60 minutes, so I can’t answer every question, but I’ll try to answer several popular questions and a few interesting questions.

Just like in the past, please ask questions that everyone might be interested in, not just “What happened to my site example.com?”

46 Responses to Grabbag questions, April 2009 (Leave a comment)

  1. Hi Matt:

    Is Google starting to consider traffic, rather than link backs, as a more integral part of positioning? It seems like links from no follow sites such as Stumbled, are helping the positioning of several sites I have been tracking that have hardly any do follow links.

    It makes sense, since the ultimate vote in my opinion is traffic, not just links on a bunch of sites.

  2. Matt are your answers counted as Official Google answers or are they only points of view ?

  3. Matt,

    I’ll try, but I always seem to get voted down:-)

    Morris

  4. YouKnow

    The first answer is an internet bank truely owned by the net and complete visability.
    The second answer is a internet currency that rewards innoviation.

    Then you CAN win….

  5. Matt,

    Is this your long lost son on the Google Mobile team or just trying to steal your old look?

    Rob Stacey – http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/smarter-shopping-on-smartphones.html

  6. Dave (original)

    Matt are your answers counted as Official Google answers or are they only points of view ?

    Now there is a great question and one that everyone who asks questions should be asking

  7. Did you people miss this part?

    “Post your questions over on Google Moderator.”

  8. Been waiting for this to come around again, have submitted my question in the right place :)

  9. sara

    Where will the answers to the questions be posted? I was looking for it the last time and didn’t find anything. Thank you!

  10. I would appreciate if Matt could answer specific search related questions as opposed to Google’s other related products.

  11. Dave (original)

    Is Google starting to consider traffic, rather than link backs, as a more integral part of positioning?

    Now that would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Which came 1st, the traffic or the link?

  12. Pat

    Is there some place that we can post our questions, and then people will vote on them in order to determine which are the best?

    That would be awesome.

  13. Hi Matt,

    Why is it that Google requires a full URL for a no follow in the robots.txt file? I have a very large site divided into 6 sections. Each section has 3 to 6 subsections. Each subsection has a folder that contains content that I do not want spidered and indexed. All of these folders have the same name – “promo”. I want to hide the content in all my “promo” folders. Unfortunately, “Disallow: /promo/” does not work. The only option I have from what I understand is to create a hundred or so disallows with the full URL structure – “Disallow: http://www.mysite.com/section/subsection1/promo/

  14. Matt,

    Nowadays, The SERPs are constantly changing and even the PR is updating in less than 3 months. Will google now be updating SERPs and PR constantly or this is just the temporary steps ?

  15. I just want to know who the MC impersonator is.

    “Can you talk about the change in Google’s referrer string?”
    Matt Cutts, Bay Area, California

  16. Actually, I’ve got a bit of a beef with the “Grab Bag/Moderator” setup and I’m not sure if others have the same one.

    My biggest issue with the setup is that you allow 60 minutes for answering questions, which is fine in and of itself…but you allow what appears to be the same 60 minutes for people to ask the questions. I happened to be on the road during that period of time and would have not only missed the post itself here, but the opportunity to post a long-standing question of my own related to Accessible Search (i.e. when are you guys going to bring that thing back, because it truly kicked ass)?

    If you’ve got 60 minutes to answer questions, that’s fine…but can you make it so that there’s a 24-hour window to post them instead?

  17. Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions ….looking forward to the video answers. The designers and I are constantly going back & forth on which is better for seo tables or css. Got my question in so I hope to get the debate settled! Thanks again for your valuable service.

  18. Matt,

    I know my question might not come to the top and you might not answer that for the same reason but this is something at least I want to know about.

    “What is the best practice to go international?”, If I have a site and that has many valuable information but that is been followed by only english speaking countries, what I should do to make that internationalize so that all other languages speaking countries can view the pages?

  19. As video blogs become more popular, what is the best way to optimize sites with lots of videos? Sure all of the video sites have ‘keyword’ tags for each video, but there’s lots of good information that goes untagged.

  20. Is it normal that the validation by phone for the Local Business does not work anymore? The validation is available by phone but as soon as we answer, the Google LB page indicates a failure and afterward the phone validation isn’t available anymore. I first encountered this problem about 2 month ago and still live it today. All my clients are located in Quebec, Canada.

  21. I noticed that your DataCenters are not synchronized: One search made on Google.ca (French) from 2 computers in our office does not return the same results! Which of the 2 results should I give to my customers? Is there a specific DataCenter on which we can verify real search results and what’s its synchronization frequency?

  22. Regarding the PageRank: I understand that PR is constantly updated in your databases, so why not synchronize the Googlebar with these instead of 2 or 3 times per year?

  23. Why isn’t there an official blog in French translated by your offices in Montreal or Paris?

  24. Matt,

    3 liked my question, 9 hated it.

    I suck:-)

    Morris

  25. Dave (original)

    My biggest issue with the setup is that you allow 60 minutes for answering questions, which is fine in and of itself…but you allow what appears to be the same 60 minutes for people to ask the questions

    Quote from Matt

    I’ve only got 45-60 minutes, so I can’t answer every question, but I’ll try to answer several popular questions and a few interesting questions.

    So opening up for any longer will only result in less people getting answers.

  26. Dave (original)

    3 liked my question, 9 hated it.

    You need multiple Google accounts so you can vote your question UP, like those “popular” questions have.

  27. Jim

    Mike,

    I believe googlebot understand pattern matching in the robots.txt so you could probably use “Disallow:*/promo/” . I don’t think all bots will recognize the pattern matching so better to all the user-agent string before that line.
    User-agent: Googlebot
    Disallow:*/promo/

    I think like this it will work for you.

  28. lots0

    Hi Matt,

    I had a question about the large amount of hacked WordPress blogs.

    Can you tell us what google is doing to deal with all the WordPress sites that have been hacked and are being used to manipulate the search results? OK scratch that, I know you can’t tell us what your doing… But can you tell us that you are doing something? I just want to have some hope your doing something, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    And what can Webmasters do when they are being targeted by these hackers.

    Thanks

  29. Mark T

    Whats a URI?

  30. Twad

    If you have been in Google’s index for 8 years, and ranked well for a high profile term, so high profile that the Webspam team at Google certainly knows your site.

    So, nothing has changed, but you get banned. The only thing you can see changed is that, in order to sabotage your site, people are spamming your URL in comment spam, and someone has registered a similar-looking domain, 302-redirected that domain to you, and is spaming that similar-looking domain.

    So you think you have been banned because of this sabotage. But you have no idea why Google banned you, because Google won’t tell you.

    What are you supposed to do? Should you bother continuing to build up your site? Or just abandon it, since Google has decided to ban it?

    Why would Google decide to ban an honest site that is actually helpful to people? Why punish the good guys while the rest of the SERPs (especially two word and the word searches) are dominatd by the most nefarious sort of spam?

  31. Jamie

    Where can we find the answers to the questions?

  32. So opening up for any longer will only result in less people getting answers.

    It also allows for a larger base of questions from which Matt can choose and potentially find better questions to answer as opposed to the mind-numbing and largely self-serving question base that exists.

    It would also allow more time for people to vote on existing questions and likely a change in what’s “popular” and what isn’t.

    When people conduct email interviews and select questions from website readers, they don’t select questions at the same time they’re conducting an interview.
    If a site conducts a live chat where people can ask questions in real-time, they at least post advance notice.

    The same logic should apply here. It just makes sense.

  33. Dave (original)

    I think you will find that the “popular” questions are being bumped up by friends, family, workmates and multiple Google accounts.

    True it would increases the chances of getting better answers, but Matt still only has 45-60 mins to sort the wheat from the chaff. So the bottle neck, as I see it, is Matt’s spare time, nothing more.

  34. Give us a lil bit o that secret sauce recipe matt! :)

  35. angilina

    Hello Matt,

    The Grab Bag Questions is already closed? I am late once again. I only managed to ask two question in the last Grab Bag Questions and unfortunately, they were voted down.

    Anyway, I will try to be more alert on the upcoming week ends :)

    And Matt, you liked to new monitor or not? I saw its reviews and looks like it costs around $2000 which is little too much for a 60 Hz monitor. Matt, I think 100+ Hz monitors are more beneficial and are less expensive.

    Regards

  36. Si

    Matt

    There is quite a storm in the UK at the moment around whether posting bespoke and on topic content to the web via solicited email is within or against Google TOS? Is it an online form of PR or not? Google needs to clarify.

  37. in the past google always updated Page rank every three months and I see recently it is not every three months again. Looks like random. What the new change on Google Page rank ???

  38. Matt,

    Hi. Thanks for engaging in the monthly Grabbag. Please Tweet when answers become available as well as urls. I esp. look forward to any that make it to Youtube. Thanks.

    Rob

  39. Dave (Original)

    625 people have submitted 310 questions and cast 13,303 votes

    Anyone else see that the “popular” questions that get answered are a farce?

  40. OK so I am always a day late and a dollar short but here goes…

    Does google have a problem with one person having lots of blogspot blogs? I mean blogging on them all from the same IP address? My cousin says Google is smarter than that but I worry about it. I have many blogs (all different subjects.) Also…if a blogspot hasn’t been updated and there is only one post from years ago, is there a way it can come available to us who may want that particular name (and since it obviously as been forgotten?)

    Thanks Matt!!!

  41. Dave (Original)

    Does google have a problem with one person having lots of blogspot blogs?

    Nope.

  42. Jamie

    Can someone tell me where I can find the answers to these questions.

  43. Where can we see answers to these questions?

  44. Hey Matt,

    A small tricky question to you. Does trading links still votes for sites rankings? Have you ever observed the fact that link trades are devaluated these days ?

    Some shared light on this could easy some SEO’s lives :)

    thanks!

  45. angilina

    Matt,

    Something is wrong with your blog. On opening your blog homepage, I see no theme just text all over the place.

    Secondly, I do not see the last post you did, which was about the few things we do not know about you. It was on the top of your home page as it was the latest post but now, I see grab bag questions post on the top of home page.

    Opening any particular post show proper theme.

    And most importantly, if I open your blog, I see MattCutts.com, but when your posts are opened, I see dullest.com

    Something is wrong with your site.

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