Guidelines for comments: March 24 2006

I haven’t talked specifically about the comment policy on my blog for a while. At a recent conference, lots of people said that they really enjoyed reading my blog, but several people complained about off-topic comments that interrupted the flow of the conversation. I plan to keep adjusting things until I find the right balance between free-wheeling discussion vs. comments that don’t add to the discussion. Here’s my current line of thinking:

- I hope to do the occasional “grab bag” post where people can throw out questions or comments about miscellaneous topics. Off-topic comments in other threads may be pruned. If I post about a laser pointer and you ask about a PageRank update, you’re probably outta there. Save it for the grab bag.
- One-line or “me too” comments rarely add much to the conversation, and I often prune them unless they’re frickin’ hilarious.
- I pre-moderate comments, and sometimes I’m traveling/busy. Please don’t double-post, ask when a comment will show up, or accuse me of oppressing you if your comment doesn’t immediately appear.
- For some reason, I hate signature links. Hate them. Your odds of getting a comment approved are much slimmer if you drop a sig in the body of the comment.

I have a limited amount of time to blog, so going forward I won’t be able to answer site-specific questions or requests. If I answer one question about a site, that just encourages more people to post with questions about their site. Those types of posts are rarely of interest to most other readers. That includes “Matt, I think I have a great business and/or patent idea; will you please call me?” posts. Since I started this blog, the comment-to-post ratio is over 50 comments to every one of my posts. I’m grateful for that interest, but there’s no way I can respond to every comment. The best way for me to spend my time is to talk about topics that are of wide interest. I’m sorry that I can’t give feedback on particular sites. Going forward, I won’t moderate questions/comments about individual sites to be visible to everyone; I hope it makes sense why not. Your best bet is to ask questions that generally applicable to a lot of people.

I want to help people, and I also want to enjoy doing this blog. I think these guidelines will increase the signal-to-noise of comments and make the blog more useful and interesting. If these guidelines don’t work out well, we’ll adjust things again. Thanks!

Update: If you do have a concern that’s specific to your site or you want to discuss Webmaster issues that aren’t relevant to a particular topic on my blog, you might want to check out Google’s Webmaster Help group. A lot of helpful people (including some Googlers) are regularly reading and posting there and you’re actually encouraged to give specific examples and include a link to your site.

I would recommend putting your site name in your profile as well. Don’t expect that Googlers will chime in on every thread (the idea is partly to give webmasters a chance to share insights and tips), but the community of users there is often very helpful.

Update, 7/20/2007: It should go without saying, but I also reserve the right to prune comments or delete all comments by someone that is being insulting, lowering the quality of the discourse, or otherwise being a jerk. :) I reserve the right to delete comments for any reason, but I try to allow on-topic, constructive comments.

203 Responses to Guidelines for comments: March 24 2006 (Leave a comment)

  1. Danilo

    Bravo, Matt! I’ve been reading your blog since August and I’ve always enjoyed what you have to say. The comments, though, always annoyed me to no end. You’d have a post talking about, say, cats and three people would respond about cats then some chucklehead posts with

    HAY MATT CATS ARE COOL SO WHAT’S GOING ON WITH PAGERANK I’M SEEING SOME CRAZY STUFF LATELY WHAT ARE YOU GUYS UP TO 8)

    Which is just lame. We don’t have to talk about PageRank, Spam Penalties and the Sandbox all the time, right? (Though I’m always glad to get that info from the horse’s mouth when you feel up to it.) Glad you’ll take a new stance with that stuff going forward.

  2. Great guidelines Matt … and I can understand from your personal point of view why you need to say all this. But given all the questions (on and off topic) that crop up here, I’d (tactfully) suggest that there is a tremendous amount of pent-up interest in the items you cover.

    Has your employer ever considered putting another person on the “blogger beat” – yea, I know there are other Google Blogs, but those just “feel” more Corporate and seem to spend more time beating the Google drum and saying “here’s our great FAQ”, whereas your answers are more detailed and informative … addressing points that are not covered and/or are timely.

    The 50-1 ratio speaks volumes about how useful/popular your blog is, plus you have even coined a new term – Cuttletts – for those folks that follow and quote you! ;-)

  3. Just to add a bit to my previous post, I think one of the best things about your posts Matt is you provide concrete/timely examples. I.e. the webmaster guidelines provide generic advice, but it’s interesting to read your detailed answers/examples to things like cloaking/doorway pages, hidden text, etc. And you’ve been responsive to inquries about generic topics – speaking of which, any chance of a future post on so-called Google Bowling?

    And heck, your blog is entertaining – the whole BMW.DE saga was worth the price of admission, plus your official statement about traffic-powers.com was awesome – glad to see the black hats called out and I’m sure Aaron was happy about that one.

  4. Dude, here’s your problem in a nutshell: you’re in a position of some influence, working for a company that has a significant amount of influence, and you have a clue.

    And whenever clueless people discover people with a clue, they do one of two things:

    1) Endlessly pick their brains for free advice (although, in their defense, I think we’re all guilty of that, including me).

    2) Take the opportunity to voice their cluelessness in a vituperative and uninformed manner. Since alek has mentioned the term Cuttletts, I’d like to suggest that such ranting should be referred to as sewing.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if this going to make a lot of difference. People are going to ask the things they’re going to ask regardless of whether or not you want them to. You should just smash your head into a brick wall repeatedly and make yourself nice and stupid, and you’ll never have these issues.

    You may just want to pre-mod everything, as untrusting as it sounds.

  5. Agreed and can we limit that Adam fellah to 4 comments per day? ;)

    I will try hard to focus on what is said and will not go off track but will do so in silence or on my blog thanks…

  6. Peter Bird

    One of my frustrations reading here is the comments/posts from those who hijack any number of threads wanting help from you with what they perceive as their specific problem for their site – they should be deleted as imagine how many more will happen if word got out.

  7. Matt,

    My double post on the supplemental thread was a genuine error. I hit submit and was redirected to a 404 page so I posted again and saw the double entry. The lack of edit facilty made it impossible to amend.

    I had been relaying answers directed at me to the threads at WPW and WMW where the regular updates were becoming greatly appreciated.

    If that channel of communication is now closed I hope you find the time to post regular updates on the situation if the “threshold tweak” does not have the desired effect in the next 1-2 weeks.

    Many thanks.

  8. Now if you were interested in building some inbound links you could turn of comments all together.

  9. Brian

    “The bottom line is COMMUNICATION.”

    Proselytization has nothing to do with communication, dude.

  10. Unlike most blogs, comments here tend to be complex and interesting. I hope that doesn’t change. What’s a scalable solution to keep Matt from getting overwhelmed with irrelevant stuff? Maybe create companion WMW and/or SES threads where comments from here are automatically posted. Seems that would make it easier for commenters to engage each other without you having to bother with that aspect of your popular and useful blog.

  11. Matt,
    I think your ‘grab-bag’ idea is excellent.
    I have been recently guilty of an off topic post about a login popup appearing on pages related to signing into personal Google and analytics (pauses to to take screenshot and post here as it just happened again (very timely and appropriately).
    Please amend this link to suit your ‘rules’ for posting urls.

    I have found myself, after reading through all your posts made prior to the discovery of your site with specific questions or wanting a clarification. However, what are the chances that you will read new comments posted on an entry from 4 months ago?

    In the grab bag style, is it possible for you to set up an ‘ask matt about…’ email address?
    No-one would expect answers to the millions of posts about individual sites per se but those that are about a topic that could/ would affect many webmasters may be worth you considering for an article.

    Am i asking too much?
    Probably / definitely, but you are a VERY reliable source of information for all of us and I’m sure i speak for many when i say the we NEED your help.

  12. alek, I am thinking about the fact that I can’t scale to answer all the questions that people have. If there were a way to “shard” me, as we call it at Google, that would be nice. :)

    Search Engines Web, until you can talk without the bold tag, the italics tag or ALL CAPITALS, you’re not coming back. And maybe not then.

    webecho, you could ask follow-ups to older posts in the grab bag posts. I worry that providing an email address would get people’s hope too far up, because I wouldn’t be able to answer most email questions.

  13. Matt

    Hello. Sorry to see SEW go. But understandable. The comments by many had gotten out of hand. I first started reading your blog for the information you provide. The comments also have been helpful. When the ‘conversation’ went over my head, it prompted research. Your blog has helped much. I can see that the ‘entertainment value’ of some of the conversations did not justify the frustration and lack of focus of late. Glad to see the adjustment.

  14. Remember Dolly the Sheep? Let’s talk to the Scots and get Matt cloned.

  15. Thank you Matt for the clarification about comments. I do feel though, that through this blog you are Google’s number one communication feed with webmasters, and that puts you in a difficult position. You can only offer so much advice over and above the webmaster guidelines and naturally that is never going to be enough for some people.

    You are right not to offer specific advice too, that would be totally non-scalable. An email address for people to write to would be a nightmare for anyone take on, I have a vision of a Google employee working under a mountain of email! What would be nice though would be another semi-official or ‘insider’ channel where Google can communicate with webmasters – another blog, a more prolific ‘GoogleGuy’ at WMW, or even someone to help you here?

    Thank you for a great blog and all the helpful advice over the past months, I have learnt alot.

  16. Tim

    I say you ask the suits upstairs to tinker with your job description so that it permits you to blog 24/7. It’s not like you guys have anything big going on over there.

    Seriously though, thanks for your efforts toward quality content. It’s as if you did it for a living…

  17. Hi Matt
    A very fair point.
    My, previously unexplained, thinking with the email was a disclaimer saying people should not ‘expect’ any reply at all – ever, therefore having their questions answered should be considered a ‘bonus’ or ‘privilage’ (can’t spell today) rather than an ‘expectation’.

    But you’re right, I guess your busy enough anyway and we appreciate the time you spare for us as it is, i will take your advice and use the grab-bag opportunities.

    Would there be an option to provide more detail in the Google guidelines for webmasters, some of the points are a little ambiguous and without divulging anything of the ‘secret soup’( or whatever it’s called), you could introduce ‘solutions’ to common mistakes or misconceptions.

    Thanks Matt,

    webecho

  18. Harith

    Good morning Matt

    C’mon you make me start a wonderful Sunday by reading Guidlines. I thought you are going to talk a little about the new infrastructure which many of us are iterested to hear more about (:-(

    Honestly Matt, off-topic comments aren’t always so bad or so boring. Take for example this off-topic comment.

    I find what you said on TW recently very interesting and wish to hear more about:

    “Anyone who knows about Google knows that different data centers get different data at different times, especially during Bigdaddy.”

    However in respect of your guidlines, I’m gonna wait until your next “grab bag” post to ask about it :-)

    Have a great Sunday.

  19. Good luck “shard’ing” yourself Matt – although perhaps the term “Cutts Cluster” perhaps be more appropriate as a cloning technology versus splitting yourself up across index servers (?)

    And you oughta approve whatever SearchEnginesWeb must have tossed in this time to generate your response just so the rest of us can see it … ;-)

  20. (I have a limited amount of time to blog, so going forward I won’t be able to answer site-specific questions or requests. If I answer one question about a site, that just encourages more people to post with questions about their site.)

    What about including a membership sites for your friends and those who could answer small questions! I think this will keep good things growing.

  21. Ralf

    “For some reason, I hate signature links. Hate them.”

    this personal view adds an interesting point to the natural link picture
    has a wide range of interpretation but could have a surprising impact.

  22. Chris_D

    Matt Wrote:

    Search Engines Web, until you can talk without the bold tag, the italics tag or ALL CAPITALS, you’re not coming back. And maybe not then.

    So Matt – I take it that’s your pure pants vote http://www.threadwatch.org/node/5985
    :)

  23. Jon Cram

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now but haven’t yet found that I have anything meaningful to add and so haven’t yet commented.

    However, now I feel I just have to thank you deeply for taking action against Search Engines Web. What an [expletive] he normally is – quite astounding!

    Since this is a post relating to comments, I hope it’s not off-topic to ask for a ‘preview’ button when adding a comment? Seeing what a comment will look like before committing oneself would be great, particularly when you’re wondering whether a given HTML tag will show as expected.

    And well done to Adam Senour for coining the phrase “sewing”. Brilliant!

  24. just a thought:
    i’ve seen forums where users were rating threads & propose (spam-)posting for deletion – something like this integrated here could save you some time – offtopic posts and stuff that is not of interest for many could be rated as “bad” by your readers/visitors and that would -let’s not delete them but- gray the text more and more to the background or something like that… (the post/information would still be there but marked as “doesn’t really belong here” in light-grey on a white background)
    and since here are no ads to click to support the writer, your community (we, the readers) could “give back” / say “thank you” by marking the “not really whished” comments while reading …

  25. I’ve said it elsewhere, I’ll say it here: Matt Cutts needs a dozen human secretaries and a few extra staff people to train them. We’re still a decade or two away from an AI / automation solution and what happens here on this blog and in these comments is too important to get pushed aside for lack of time.

    Though I’ll admit I have the same problem, lack of time is what keeps me from reading every post and comment…

  26. Pascal

    If Google makes work for better communication to webmasters when problems show up then you didn’t have to do this post i think …

  27. pgaz

    Matt,

    Most of the people who read your forum appreciate the information you provide and there are probably 3 or 4 times that number who just read and don’t post.

    You are defacto the unofficial official Google search engine customer service department, if you consider the information you are providing. New updates like Big Daddy are announced by Google through forums such as yours. Warnings are given when you what to disclose webmaster practices that Google wants to discourage.

    I’m sure one of the most requested items, when you asked for feedback a few months back, was for a responsive means to communicate with Google on search engine questions or problems. An official website with announcements, problems, warnings, feedback, etc. would probably take a tremendous burdon off you and this forum.

    And you proved once again that your help to webmasters these last few weeks is incredibly valuable and appreciated. If that could be cloned into a department (as others have suggested above), it would be an incredible asset to Google and the webmaster community.

  28. I’m sure one of the most requested items, when you asked for feedback a few months back, was for a responsive means to communicate with Google on search engine questions or problems. An official website with announcements, problems, warnings, feedback, etc. would probably take a tremendous burdon off you and this forum.

    And you proved once again that your help to webmasters these last few weeks is incredibly valuable and appreciated. If that could be cloned into a department (as others have suggested above), it would be an incredible asset to Google and the webmaster community.

    Amen to this though.

    And there may be a way to do this, provide goodwill, and make enough money off it to at least cover costs. http://webmastersupport.google.com … a forum comments that are pre-modded by Google employees whereby webmasters could ask questions, make suggestions, and get answers.

    Before anyone suggests that Google Groups is the answer that way, it really isn’t, since it’s very rare that anyone gets an answer from it anyway. (Not a bad thing, but it’s a public forum so it’s not really to be expected.)

    At least this way, the other employees would be able to pick up the ball and run with it like you have and it would take a lot of heat off of you.

    Oh yeah, for those who may not have figured out the money end of it…put AdWords on it. I’d click on an ad to pay back any answer I may receive, and I’m pretty sure a lot of other people would too.

    By the way, what happened to the “unless you are a spammer” part? I liked that. :)

  29. I think you guys are underestimating the amount of time it’d take engineers to field your questions. Matt is kind enough to give some of us an insight to Google’s search indexing strategies, so let’s not push our luck. Besides, wouldn’t having a place where we can all get answers spoil the mystery that is SEO ;)

    Keep up the good work Matt, and amen to the comment policy!

  30. Ben

    Matt,

    Why not just get a copy of vBulletin, phpbb, ipb etc? You’d probably find you have the most popular seo/webmaster forum on the intarweb within about … a day. :)

    I’m sure you’d have no shortage of volunteers for moderators/administrators too.

  31. Not necessarily, Dean.

    IF Google were to field each one of them and answer it individually, yes.

    But…most questions with this type of thing (as with most questions about anything technological) tend to be in the same vein.

    “Why is my site gone?”
    “Why does this spammer appear first under the phrase ‘widgets’?”
    “Google sucks, are you ever going to fix it?” (Okay, so that’s a rhetorical question, but still…)

    As far as the dupes go, engineers could do one of two things:

    1) Allow the comment, and answer the user by redirecting to the original answer (which gives them another page for revenue generation every time they do, with comparatively little effort).

    2) Hit the “DELETED” button and not answer it.

    Personally, I’d go with Option 1, since Option 2 creates the same scenario Matt finds himself in now (and no, Matt, that’s not your fault…there’s only one of you and what, a billion of us?) But that’s just me.

    It’s also the reason I suggested dropping the ads down the side. Don’t ever give nothin’ for nothin’, as my very first boss used to always tell me. It would at least cover the costs, and take some heat off of Matt.

    There’s another angle to this…by Matt doing this, he gets the glory, but he also takes the heat. And that’s a buttload of stress for what amounts to a personal journal. It’s cool of him to do it (side note: I don’t think people tell him this often enough), but still…if it affects him negatively, it affects Google negatively in turn, and that in turn affects those who use it (although Yahoo! and MSN would likely encourage this. :) )

    At least, that’s some of my thinking behind my suggestion. You got a good point too, though. It’s a strain no matter who takes it on.

  32. I recently deleted a few posts in my blog comments that people did not like, it kind of sucks because I like the guy who posted but the comments were turning an interview in a wrong direction.

    Is this why my joke about Adam was deleted Matt? You have to be careful what you delete, to you something might not be funny but to your vistors it might be so. It is a fact that Adam posts more than anyone in this blog yes?

    Oh well…

  33. There was a joke about me that was deleted?

    If there was, I’m okay with that personally. You can’t offend me, and Aaron probably knows that about me. Besides, I like the guy. His Buzzbox thing is cool.

  34. Matt,

    You might just be a victim of your own success! I would think the problem is that you are the only face in Google that is seen so it would be normal for everyone to flock to you asking you 101 questions. The “grab bag” idea is an excellent one, something in the line of an offtopic discussion but it would need to be controleld though!

  35. Rex

    Gary Elliot said
    “My double post on the supplemental thread was a genuine error. I hit submit and was redirected to a 404 page so I posted again and saw the double entry. The lack of edit facilty made it impossible to amend.”

    I had the same thing or similar happen…went to 404 page…I figured there was some type of timer on the security code…hit refresh…got a new code and submitted. It went through on the second try. So I figure if I take a long time to read and comment, then I should refresh the code just before I post. I hope my assumption is right and helps to elimiate honest mistakes with double posts.

    Matt…no one expects you to be Superman although I must say I did hear a rumor that Google had the big tatooed on your chest…Time Magazine needs a picture for the front cover…

    In addition to the occassional “Grab Bag” for questions, how about an occassional “Light Bulb Box” for constructive suggestions with innovative ideas? Keeps the “how do I ?” away from the “might we suggest ?”… The first one…we ask the questions and you answer what you want…the second one you ask the question and you read what you want (if it doesn’t address the question…86 it)… Knowledge is a two way street…you are able to help us and we should be able to help you. Isn’t theory great?..lol

  36. Adam:
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/

    I think that answers most basic questions.

  37. >>>Dean Clatworthy Said,
    >>>…I think that answers most basic questions.

    Unfortunately there is a huge class of questions that are not basic and not answered on that page. If this weren’t true this post and its associated comments would never have happened.

    I hate to harp on this but businesses, lives, and marriages often hang in the balance while these questions go unanswered. Perhaps people are at fault for thinking that Google understands this, or cares.

    Perhaps doing business online while Google communicates so poorly is a big mistake. If I knew four years ago what I know now I may be in another line of work. Perhaps these unhappy chickens will come home to roost one day.

  38. Dave

    Personally I don’t think Google, or one of their employees, will ever answer PR or spam questions. Besides, it’s already all there (for those that can be bothered) in the Google guidelines. Read them until your eyes bleed :)

  39. I hate to harp on this but businesses, lives, and marriages often hang in the balance while these questions go unanswered. Perhaps people are at fault for thinking that Google understands this, or cares.

    I can see it now. Coming to a TV near you:

    “My Wife Left Me Because I Fell Out of First Page on Google…on the next Springer!”

  40. Adam I can’t think of a reply that is not a personal attack leading me to believe that you’ve just initiated one. Not a very clever one I might add.

  41. It wasn’t intended to be a personal attack, Andi. I’m sorry if you took it that way.

    I just thought the idea of a marriage ending over a Google SERP would make some really great trash TV, that’s all.

  42. OK, well I just find jokes about other people’s misfortune in poor taste if not outright offensive. I’ve not had marital problems because of the vagaries of business, Google or otherwise so it wasn’t truly a personal slap.

    Of couse, I’m not a fan of trash TV either, I guess we just run in different circles…

  43. Dave

    Andi, there are ALWAYS ten happy busineses/people on page 1 of Google for any 1 search term. My point? There are ALWAYS going to be LOTS more busineses/people that BELIEVE their site page should be higher than it is.

    Whenever, site pages dissapear/drop in the SERP’s they are ALWAYS replaced by those of another site. Sooooooo, the;

    “businesses, lives, and marriages often hang in the balance while these questions go unanswered”

    ..is not something Google can/will/should indulge in.

    There are MORE than enough SEO forums that one can use to obtain free advice. Sadly there are not many that offer sound white hat advice. :(

  44. Wim Hoogenraad

    Hello Matt,

    When I was reading the guidelines the first thing I was thinking was: e-mail. Now I see I’m not the only one. The reason is that the only way to get in contact with you is thru the comments. I have a posted a comment with a website name and it turned into a hyperlink. Oeps, I hope it is not considered as spamming your blog. How can I see sorry without making a new comment? So one comment leads to another. I don’t think we expect a reply on every email, but an emailaddress might be handy to inform you about the comments or to even to reduce the number of comments.

    I am happy to know about the guidelines and will keep them in mind.

  45. I wouldn’t worry too much. Things should quieten down all by themselves. You should expect a sharp rise in comment traffic whenever Google role out a hugely buggy update that has the power to put so many good people out of business.

    Comment traffic will gradually decline all by itself. First, as people gradually go out of business, so their ability and enthusiasm for posting declines. And, second, when Google finally notice and then fix the fundamental Big Daddy bug that is causing it to throw away, rather than index, so many perfectly good pages.

  46. Great guidelines, Matt. I would include a link to them somewhere incredibly visible (navigation, each post or comments section) as a reminder. Those demanding your attention seem to have amnesia.

  47. Dave, I’ve been saying this for months now and I’ve heard your sycophantic and tired old apology for Google’s apparent indifference many times in many ways and in many places.

    You, like so many others are missing or are in denial about my point which is that while it’s true that Google really doesn’t have to take this responsibility they are shooting themselves in the foot by not doing so.

    No company has to care about the lives it has inadvertantly destroyed, I’m arguing that Google should. Not the lives of their competitors or the spammers, destroy those, but the lives of those people who in good faith trusted Google. It may have even been a misplaced trust but by being indifferent Google displays a very ugly aspect of itself that it can ill afford to do…

    I think we’ve seen evidence that Google does care, I’m arguing that they should do more.

    This is only tangentially on the topic of these comment guidlines so I wouldn’t be surprised if this entire block of comments disappeared, but I’ll never tire of this argument and have enjoyed the practice for next time. :)

  48. rob

    ..to continue the OT theme…

    Andi, losing serp positions sucks we all know that, a lot of this blogs readership has probably experienced in one form or another.

    Ive had a site knocked out of the serps too. No spam, it just cant rank past page 3 for anything.It hurts, its depressing, it sucks big time, but if I’m really honest with myself its kinda my fault and my fault alone. I cant blame Google Ive got to look at myself and be seriosuly honest about whether what Ive done is THE BEST for the keywords I target. If Im really honest I know in my heart of hearts that it isn’t quite there, and that other more deserving sites should be inhabitating that space.

    I chose a massively competitive sector whereby I thought I could outdo the likes of much bigger players for ever and a day. I enjoyed the free traffic while it lasted and now its gone, Ive just gotta deal with it ( and hope it comes back maybe). I had no real backup plan for when things went tits up and that’s my fault alone. If anything its at least freed me to look at other things and lessen my obsession with trying to keep up with the curve.

    It is a tad annoying to see other sites that IMO are crap ranking for the kw’s that I can no longer, but thats life, I can’t change that, and Im not going to begin to get into the habit of compalining about them either cos…well, its just a waste of my energy really.

    I do agree that Googles search hegemony is kinda bollocks really and could do with a little paring back, but hey, it is what it is for now, so we just all gotta deal.

    Anyhow, just my 2c’s really. Hope it works out and you can find a better way or regain the positions to which you aspire.

    (LOL, the capture for this post was BANPR..couldnt agree more ;-))

  49. rob I appreciate your comiserating but you’ve totally misunderstood me. I’m fine, my web traffic is quite good, I’m doing well.

    I suggest you reread my comments, you are responding to someone else, not me.

  50. The dialog here (including this comment?!) reflects the problem of a blog that starts to act like a forum AND Matt’s challenges with comment moderation.
    We all want “mostly Matt” with smart on-topic comments and this is now reversed to not-much-Matt and a lot of off topic.

  51. Joe Hunkins Said,
    >>>We all want “mostly Matt” with smart on-topic comments…

    I absolutely agree and as I suggested above many of these comments should be “moderated out.” But conversations meander, that’s the nature of conversation. It’s up to Matt to maintain order here, I must respond if my comments are being misunderstood and I will. There is an important thread in my comments, I am persistant, strong-willed and not going away…

    And while my comments may be only tangential to this post they are very much on topic with the general theme of the blog (or one of the themes).

    My first comment on this post BTW, provided a solution that would work.

    A very exciting solution to the “comment moderation problem” has emerged over at digg, it is one of the best developments in years.

  52. Dave

    RE: “’ve heard your sycophantic and tired old apology for Google’s apparent indifference”

    Sorry, my mistake I thought you were an adult.

  53. I would agree with you Matt, especially on the point of receiving URLS in the comment body. Not only have you given us a chance to add it in the URL area, some people find it greedy and add another in the body.

    I get a couple on my blog and simply edit them out. It looks far too spammy and the comments are usually pointless anyway.

  54. Dave

    RE: “but the lives of those people who in good faith trusted Google…”

    Oh they already do look after those that have “good faith” and trust. Are you really suprised you are NOT part of this group?

    How DARE Google dictate what they do with the free organic SERPS. Andi, you should demand your money back ;)

  55. >>>Sorry, my mistake I thought you were an adult.

    Dave, your ability to ignore what I really said and interpret it to be something else is truly astonishing I don’t expect anything from you at this point, you are being irrational.

  56. Dave, If spouting ridicule somehow gets you off, spout away but please take note that your ridicule does not apply to me (which you failed to grasp from my earlier posts).

    I have no complaint about my SERPS, never said that.

    And you are answering quoted passages with things that have no relation to my meaning. You are so accustomed to ridiculing some other argument that you failed to note that I am not positing that argument. Get a grip…

    There is a smug group who will defend Google even when they don’t comprehend the complaint but will lash out with ridicule. I would begin documenting this insanity but eventually it will shake out on its own as this matter will resolve to logic and not to ranting sycophants.

    If you are going to ridicule my criticism of Google at least first try to figure out what my criticism actually is and ridicule that.

  57. Dave

    Andi, by being rational do you mean carry on like you do.

    It’s quite obvious you can do no more than attempt personal insults so I’ll just sit back a laugh at your attempts at insults. :)

    BTW, I THINK I spotted a spare place for another link on your homepage. LOL!

  58. >>>Dave Said,
    >>>It’s quite obvious you can do no more than attempt personal insults…

    If that’s all you’ve gotten out of what I’ve said it is useless to respond to you, this will be the last.

    Your lack of comprehension is astonishing.

  59. Dave

    RE: “If that’s all you’ve gotten out of what I’ve said….”

    You mean there is more? Surely you don’t think you have a point. Do you? :)

    BTW, it was nice of you to end with another personal insult.

  60. And well done to Adam Senour for coining the phrase “sewing”. Brilliant!

    Thanks, dude. Just realized that the comment was made.

    I’m also glad to see someone got what I was referring to. :)

    Hopefully, Matt can eliminate sewing on his blog.

  61. Jay R

    Thank you for throttling down the comments by Search-Engines-Web Matt :) Keep up the good work!

  62. Jon Cram

    This is somewhat related to comments, although more in line with making them and not what they should or should not contain.

    Can we have some basic client-side (JavaScript?) validation on comment form fields?

    I constantly get caught out by forgetting to fill in the security code. If I fail to include it, the error page tells me to go back and try again. If I use the back button in my browser, I get taken back to the comment form but the displayed security code then never works. This, I imagine, is because a cached security code image is being displayed but the server-side partner has changed.

    Client-side validation (ajax considerations aside) can’t check if the code is correct, but can certainly check whether the field is blank.

  63. Even a post about the quidelines was filled with nonsense. Isn’t there a better way to use your own or other people’s time, stop posting, please.

  64. syl castillon

    I am probably one of your million readers right here in your blog. And I should say, I ‘m one of the luckiest individual to have a picture taking with matt cutts at pubcon vegas 2005. I’m a newbie in the web, but, that doesn’t mean, I don’t know anything about matt cutts and the search engine.

    All your post, even the personal category are very inspiring and very substantial.
    Continue this blog.

  65. RSnake

    Hey, Matt, there is an interesting post at http://www.secureseo.com/blog/ talking about IP masking and a new way to detect it that might be interesting to you. Dunno for sure, but take a look.

  66. Wanderer

    Adam Senour Said,

    March 26, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

    I hate to harp on this but businesses, lives, and marriages often hang in the balance while these questions go unanswered. Perhaps people are at fault for thinking that Google understands this, or cares.

    I can see it now. Coming to a TV near you:

    “My Wife Left Me Because I Fell Out of First Page on Google…on the next Springer!”

    A clear case of verbal diarrhoea.

  67. NaNa

    Forgive me if someone already commented and I missed it

    Gary Elliott Said, “If that channel of communication is now closed I hope you find the time to post regular updates on the situation if the “threshold tweak” does not have the desired effect in the next 1-2 weeks.”

    Lest we forget that Matt does this in his “spare” time and we don’t pay him for this, and well, frankly, he doesn’t need to post anything for anybody ever….be grateful he does.

  68. Emma

    Big fan of your blog but disappointed to see elementary spam entering the serps. Found this today while searching. OUCH!

    http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:f5mDdmKT0WIJ:www.mlsfor249.com/home.htm+mls+entry+only+&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=7

  69. I just came to your blog for the first time, through an email that I reeived from David Vallieres, and I must say that your blog is an inspiration for me.

    I Just listened to your google interview, and I must digg in your blog to really know what it is all about.

    Your guideline are also an inspiration itself.
    I was thinking about the same thing, but I didn’t think about writing it on my blog.

  70. Whats the deal with the security code?
    A simple one to type and it keeps coming back with an error?

  71. [quote]Perhaps there is not enough hours in a day, weeks in a month or months in a year for Google to include everything it can reach. A criteria for deciding which ones would then need to be used.[/quote]

    Most hurl-inducing, sycophantic quote of this thread.

    Is Google’s new mission statement is to “index the Fortune 500 information?”

    If MSN can do it, why can’t Google?

  72. Wudzzy

    Hello

    is anybody have succesful result with Matt’s guideline ?

  73. I’m a relatively new reader to your blog and it has quickly become a staple in my daily browsing routine. One suggestion — you state that you would like to minimize off-topic comments yet you allow URL promotion in messages. Cutting out HTML and URL inclusion would minimize pointless comments and make the blog more enjoyable for everyone, less spammers.

  74. The article talked a little about dashed domain names, but not enough to answer my questions. There is so much noise on the internet about how dashed domain names are going to get the boot or at best get thrown into google’s supplemental files. I have a dashed domain name and most of my pages ARE now in google’s supplemental file. I’ve worked hard on my site and have inbound links from all over the place, so for me to change my domain name now would be like starting all over again. Is there any truth to these dashed domain name banning theories?

  75. RickCadger

    Perfectly reasonable guidelines, Matt… But if people can’t even keep their comments on topic on THIS page… well, good luck with keeping it focused on the rest of yr blog! :D

  76. For the record… I couldn’t remove my comment Rick. I was actually trying to leave a comment on another one of Matt’s blog posts, but clicked on these guidelines to be sure I was following protocol. For some reason I must have done something wrong because my post landed up here instead of where it was intended and I have no way of moving it.

  77. Matt you clearly need a team working for you. Ill be the first to throw my hat in and offer some of my free time (the little that is left) to help you do the everyday things that you cant get to. :)

  78. Pythod

    Matt, how do I contact you via email? I’d like to get your advice on why my site which is completely WH disappeared from Google’s index recently but still shows PR on all subdomains and yet Googlebot keeps crawling daily. Thanks!

  79. If there was, I’m okay with that personally. You can’t offend me, and Aaron probably knows that about me. Besides, I like the guy. His Buzzbox thing is best.

  80. I enjoyed the free traffic while it lasted and now its gone, Ive just gotta deal with it ( and hope it comes back maybe). I had no real backup plan for when things went tits up and that’s my fault alone.

  81. Just read the guidelines. Comment only if you actually want to comment. I understood.

  82. I’ve been racking my brains and reading your site and other resources. I can seem to figure out if I’m penalized or not and then if so, for what so I can correct it. I have done the review of my site and submitted for reinclusion but I don’t see any differences. I’d like to discuss my site with you, however I know that’s not possible. I understand you are a one man show and are in high demand. Are there any areas of your site where I can find a reputable person to assist me getting my site back in the graces of the Google Gods?

    Lastly, a suggestion for Google. If there was a Webmaster Support Call Center, where a webmaster could pay for support to inquire about their site, I’d be all over it, as I’m sure others would be as well. I believe this would beneficial to all.

  83. Dear Matt,

    What are your recommendation for “name ” on your comments guidelines.

    Can we post any name ?

    Regards

    Manuel

  84. Hey, love the spam protection :)

    Anyway, don’t publish this comment but I would like to suggest that you do a blog entry on wordpress and duplicate content…I do notice that you do some pretty sensible things to reduce it (like only putting posts in one category) but blog archives can be the source of dup content problems, particularly when you use some pretty cool features, like a calendar format so a user can find a post from a particular day (“My buddy linked that cool site on…Wednesday, ah, here it is”)

    Reading around the simplest solution I saw was to put noindex metas into archive pages, but is that really good for Google?

  85. Hello Matt,

    it might be surprising to a lot of your readers, but up untill a few days ago I had no clue who you are and what you do!

    Being from the “old world” and from a non-english speaking country is probably a bit of a dis-advantage in regards to first hand and useful information about the www.

    Having started a blog myself I was browsing around to get some inspirations on how to do it properly. Subsequently I ended up on your site.

    I love the “guidelines on comments” and I certainly hope that the “old world” is catching on more quickly with good policies and pratices.

    It is a pitty that information like yours is not available (or is it?) in other languages. It would avoid a lot of mistakes with webmasters who try hard to do honest work but don’t know any better.

    Seeking information on how to do it right, one ends up (most of the time) with 3rd class interpretations rather than quality translations. Even Google helpsites in other languages than english are often very poor.

    A real improvement of the www and the non-english (native) speaking world would be if the general sites for information and “help” are made available in other languages throughout. It would certainly boost the quality and “correctness” of websites in the www and subsequently in non-english search results.

    I will certainly visit again, but remain a “silent” reader unless I really have something to contribute that benefits your readers.

    Thank you!
    Thomas

  86. Very good guidelines for blogging. I will have a similar blogging guidelines to protect my blog from spammers.

  87. I run a number of blogs and I was quite surprised to get some very interesting comments. Most supported the theme.
    The area were you seem to get a lot of dubious comments is in the business opportunities arena.
    Most of my blogs are health related , mainly arthritis advice and you don’t seem to get the off topc comments there.

    I tend to see the same cooments from the spammers and it makes me wonder whether they have a pre written set of comments as they always say the same thing.
    Enjoyed your many posts here and It is obvious there are many people out here that know what they are talking about.
    John

  88. Al

    Consider me naive, but I’ve just come across your blog. After spending about close to two hours on it, I think I’ve discovered things that I thought were sometimes only under closed doors. I’m no newbie to SEO, and am actually surprised how I missed your blog before – but hey, its never too later.

    I think that you are doing some people great service by running this blog. I must confess that this site is going to be a very regular visit for me now on.

    Godspeed !

  89. My main problem with comments is that I get a lot of bad trackbacks – they all end up in my suspicious comments to approve section – but it’s still annoying to have to go through them. I see that there are comments waiting to be approved and get excited, but lo and behold, they’re usually these trackbacks. However, I’m not at that point where I want to delete the trackback function on my WP blog.

  90. Thanks for the useful tips on blogging.

  91. I take it Greg Linden is American, with his comment “We must also love destruction”. It seems a national trait!

    Peter

  92. For a while in other blogs I had to moderate comments because every day, and without exagerating, every day spammers my site with lot of stupid comments with lot of urls on it. Today I have installed some antispam plugins for wordpress and I am just calm but spam never dissapear :S

  93. I take it Greg Linden is American, with his comment “We must also love destruction”. It seems a national trait!

  94. For a while in other blogs I had to moderate comments because every day, and without exagerating, every day spammers my site with lot of stupid comments with lot of urls on it. Today I have installed some antispam plugins for wordpress and I am just calm but spam never dissapea

  95. My main problem with comments is that I get a lot of bad trackbacks – they all end up in my suspicious comments to approve section – but it’s still annoying to have to go through them. I see that there are comments waiting to be approved and get excited, but lo and behold, they’re usually these trackbacks. However, I’m not at that point where I want to delete the trackback function on my WP blog

  96. The comments are by far my favorite part of this blog. I mean that as no insult to you ofcourse. Anything major you say here is almost instantly paroted around the SEO world / Internet marketing, but most people forget about the great livley comments this blog attracts.

  97. I’ve been following Robert David Steele’s career since the early 1990s, and I feel that he is more credible than Matt Cutts. Steele also says he knows Larry Page. I don’t agree with much that Steele says on a philosophical level. For one thing, he is pro-Google in a manner that I find rather silly. Basically, he thinks Google can become some sort of a benevolent World Brain if they do things right. I feel that any such techno-utopianism is fundamentally dangerous and flies in the face of what we know about human nature from the study of history.

    But the point is that Steele has made some rather specific statements about Google in bed with the CIA.

    http://www.infowars.com/articles/bb/google_cia_seed_money_launched_google.htm

    He names the CIA’s point man for the Google/CIA interface as someone he knows, Dr. Rick Steinheiser in the Office of Research and Development. Yes, the guy is for real — you can Google him. Now then, why won’t Matt Cutts start dealing with the specifics of Steele’s statements, instead of insulting everyone seeking more information on this issue? It’s a rough guess, but my feeling is that Steele knows about one thousand times more people in the intelligence community than Matt Cutts, and probably has a better perspective on the issue even if he doesn’t work at the Googleplex.

  98. Understandable enough. I’ve also seen many examples in here of comments going way beyond the topic, and then the following comments do the same thing and it’s just an evil cirkle :)

  99. No, it’s not spamming, it’s a lack of common respect and decency. Blasting repeated ads to someone who has clearly shown no interest in such is not respectful. On the other hand, shutting down someone’s Internet access on the grounds of one email is certainly not decent.

    There is no set of ‘official rules’ regarding our Internet. The Internet belongs to no one and yet is everyone’s together. How it will come to function in the future will be based on how each of us uses it today. Ultimately, there will be no ruling legislation, for no government controls it. It will be up to individual ISPs to decide how best to serve their customers. Will increased spamming force them into charging on a per email basis? Will increased law suits force monthly service costs to rise? Will abuse from both directions ruin the freedom of contact we all now enjoy? One simple action can completely dissolve this entire argument. SHOW COMMON RESPECT AND DECENCY TO ALL. If we all did that, there would be nothing else to discuss on the matter.

  100. I think if you want to stop spamming on comments >

    just delete the URL option.

    So people who do comment for a link, will not bother your blog. And people who are interesting on knowledge-building will enjoy your blog. And there is already some spams on this post.

  101. Others, have had problems with spammed emails and really don’t like them. That’s okay. I can value that. There are, on the other hand, a few out there that get really worked up over it. I’m talking about being worked up to the point of fixation. An editor acquaintance of mine, Bobbette Madonna, editor of Logon, has recommended that all of these obsessive people be rounded up and placed on one ISP where they can accordingly be left alone to pester each other. I’d like to call this new ISP the “Anti-Spam Society ISP or the A.S.S. ISP for short.

    Now, the only people allowed on the new A.S.S. ISP would be those who continually cause just as much trouble, if not more, with their anti-spam agenda than real spammers do. I mean after all, it’s pretty quick to fix spam, you just hit delete. It’s awfully hard to fix being shut down by false spam accusations. (I’ve heard some terrible stories.)

  102. Matt, truly sorry in advance…

    About your position on signatures.

    “Hate them. Your odds of getting a comment approved are much slimmer if you drop a sig in the body of the comment”

    I had no idea that you were so against Sig’s, i have posted a few times but never left a sig as there was never a need. But recently i did make one post and left a Sig because i thought it might be helpful to you.

    I did not understand that you had such a strong position on this topic until someone pointed it out for me, i just knew you hate spam, cant blame you either.

    I often find myself in competition with spammers who break the rules and this upsets me when I do everything by the book and don’t always see the results Im looking for. Thats Just life in general anyways.

    I will completely understand if you remove the Sig or even the whole post.

    Wont let it happen again.

    Eling

  103. I appreciate your blog It has been very helpful in helping me to avoid being a spammer!

  104. Hi Matt, I apologize beforehand if this have already been covered.

    What’s your standing on reading or commenting other peoples SEO guidelines? Because I wrote an article on my site and I would like to know. :)

  105. Very reasonable guideline. Comments add an atmosphere of community to any blog, so I am all for them.

  106. I want to mention one point in here,

    I wrote before that the only thing stoping spam is taking that link option on comments. Actually at that time I did not check Matt’s blog deeply.

    He uses ‘external nofollow’ for comment urls. This is ok for Google. Namely Google recognizes that words that do not follow that links.

    So why Matt did not mentioned it in here?

    1-Matt could be too busy to mention that nofollow links (But he wrote this comment policy and mentioned an updated version soon, so this option seems to be wrong)

    2-Matt may want to catch some clever guys who want to get a PR link by spamming his blog.

    What will you gain by spamming Matt’s blog?

    1-) Nothing, in terms of Google and MSN Live (interestingly MSN also understands that command).
    2-) One link in Yahoo (because they still dont understand when you said dont follow)
    3-) The best thing I think is that: your site will be checked by Googlebot for spamming issues:)

    So dont bother to comment for spamming purposes. I like this blog because everybody says different on seo or google criterias, but Matt says the truth.

  107. Some things I never will forget. This is a blog about how a blogger who works for a company that runs the Internet, (if there ever was an owner it would be Google, Sorry Bill). How did Matt get all his followers to post all these comments on only what Matt and Google itself knows?

    SEO is no longer. It is all paid for, and we all know that. The sad part is Google plays this game as if it’s it’s |Wii.

    Google did what Yahoo! said it would never do. That is, placing graphics on search result pages. I had trouble with the question SPAM blocker to make a new post, (the sum of 3+9) I thought was a trick question.

    Remember everyone, this is not rocket science. Google simply did what Yahoo! said they would do. Nothing original has come from Google. I do prefer Google because of the lack of graphics, even prefer lynx.

    2007 Predictions. Google will have less than 1 billion in cash by year end. That’s how fast things change in the infancy of a techlological revolution.

    The company most responsible for this unflattering event?

    -It hasn’t even built a website yet, has no domain, and does not care.

  108. All comments add an atmosphere of community to this blog, 10x for the useful tips on blogging.

  109. cancer-sucks

    What a clever idea! I love the spam protection! I guess it could also be used as idot protection as well though ..lol..

  110. Comment guidelines is really necessary as many people are lazy to search for the right article that will fit their comments. In addition to this, spammers are everywhere. They will post anywhere, just to get their links of junks posted.

    On the other hand, ‘Grab bag’ is really great idea. That will be a great opportunity for people who don’t have much time reading so much posts. More importantly, we can have your intelligent and expert opinion on something.

    Hope I could join in more of your discussions. Thanks.

  111. How about letting your readers help with comment moderation by rating them, like at Digg or Slashdot?

  112. How about tletting your reeaders help with comment moderation by rating them, like at Digg or Slashfdot?

  113. Matt,

    I was looking for some good comments guideline, I got them here in your blog. I too have a blog and I always wonder how to stop people from asking repetitive questions, off-topic discussions and all. Thanks! :)

  114. Just when Google looks like it has done everything it possible can do, I read your blog and find out something new. I am just learning how to increase exposure with sitemaps, mobile devices and such space age tech stuff that I can’t wait to see what’s next. Makes me feel like a teenager again (or at least in my twenties).

  115. well… how can u made out this spam protection. i think it is cooler than any other spam protection i have seen

  116. matt, i creat a blog in 2006. when it created, some spammers have applied there ad to my comment area. i’m very agree with your comment policy

  117. I personally read you blog regulary and I find that people can find a lot of valuable information here. I totaly agree with your comment policy.

    Keep up good work!

  118. This sounds like a great idea! My blog has been spammed so much last year it was pulling my hair out! Keep up the good work Matt!

  119. on Cell Phone use in Hospitals
    I don’t believe that the actual talking on the phone is the problem in a hospital. Yes, they are helpful, and yes there are people that talk to loud and are annoying, but the other legal problem is WHAT those people are talking about and exactly where. As we’ve all seen, many people forget they’re not in a vacuum. Talking about a family members health issues in public (and this could be friends, etc.) is a HIPPA violation. When they openly talk about someone elses health problems, finances, etc. they’re opening up the life of someone else..not knowing who else might be within earshot. Just be considerate and find somewhere private.

  120. Matt,

    I am new to blogging and find that one of the biggest headaches is dealing with the spam that comes through. I think that this is a great solution. Keep this Great information resource open!

  121. Nice one. You had me there. Especially the length of time the site was down for.

  122. Sam

    Lol! What a joke matt, I was totally fooled. The story was covered in every seo website, and you really had everyone going.

  123. I have to say that after just finding your blog about two weeks ago that I laughed, I cried, I learned a bunch and now I am finally going to post a comment of my own. It is amazing to me that internet maketers and SEO people who should be so on top of everuthing were duped by your April fools joke. I think it just goes to show that many people in this serious industry should get out more often and learn to not be so serious and literal all of the time.

    Thanks for sharing all of the info that you do and for giving people a cool place to voice opinions.

  124. just wondering how good is this spam protection; Spam protection: what is the sum of 3 + 6 ?

    Why do you prefer it than image ?

  125. I think because OCR is more developed than adding numbers, by spam bots, so for the moment it gives better results.

  126. Hi, Matt.

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and this is my first comment. I saw the comment policy just today and I find it a real good approach to fight comment spams.

    Anyway, thanks for the update on Google’s Webmaster Help group. I really look forward to joining the group ;)

  127. Hi Matt…

    New reader of your blog here. I wish I would
    have found this a couple years ago…it would
    have saved me a lot of time and frustration
    with certain aspects of SEO.

    Daniel

  128. Hello Matt
    This is my first visit to your site, I have read on several sections of your Blog where you mention white hat techniques, and state excessive reciprocal linking can be overdone and may incur google penalties, but what exactly do you mean by white hat, I understand ethical and linking to relevant themed sites, but would you class one way directory submissions from themed areas pure white hat or could this also now be overdone and a penalty in the future. Regards David UK

  129. I’m adding my voice in support of “I won’t be able to answer site-specific questions or requests.” part. I’m a frequenter of Matt’s blog, but don’t comment as often. Reading input from various people broadens the coverage of the topic on multiple levels (most of the time) but each time someone comes with a request about their specific site… it drives me up the wall. Comon now… have respect… keep these pages informative, not filled with irrelevant information (no, the status of your particular site is NOT relevant to any reader other than you). Gosh…

  130. Hi Matt….its always great to read this blog. and this is the first time i was trying to comment on a topic. I saw comment policy and like it lot. I hope everybody in the world will follow them. And after all this is we “readers” who will get benefit of this.

    I always like reading this blog and want to read it all..every time. What if you can add a search box here, it would be easier to find any relevant topic.
    May be this could be one reason why people commenting on a topic again.

    I thank Google for the best efforts done. I like the way G implement things..

  131. Hi Matt….its always great to read this blog. and this is the first time i was trying to comment on a topic. I saw comment policy and like it lot. I hope everybody in the world will follow them. And after all this is we “readers” who will get benefit of this.

    I always like reading this blog and want to read it all..every time. What if you can add a search box here, it would be easier to find any relevant topic.
    May be this could be one reason why people commenting on a topic again.

    I thank Google for the best efforts done. I like the way G implement things..

  132. I agree that deleting the URL option would stop most of the spamming.

  133. Like always, another wonderful post! I can’t imagine trying to control
    the number of comments you get – letting the good guys in while keeping the spammers out..

    My own blog doesn’t receive a lot of comments yet. I’m encouraging readers to leave comments, but I don’t have the high traffic numbers.
    Blogger appears to have a good comment management system that
    requres a verification code and I must personally approve (or deny) all comments.
    Certainly this task will become more and more cumbersome as I get more comments.
    Ur, but I’m not going to worry about that for now.
    Eddy.

  134. SueB

    Hi! I realize the topic has been totally played by now, but i had to comment- because it [the sandwich topic] has been repeatedly brought up during my lifetime!
    I believe that I may be able to offer some distinction between the sandwiches mentioned.
    Sub- at the north Jersey Shore, the bread is a soft Italian loaf, about 16 inches long and 4” wide. It is sliced length-wise & opened. Many thin slices [at times paper-thin] of meat & cheese are then followed w/finely SHREDDED lettuce
    Grinder- a submarine-type sandwich. Found primarily in New England. The roll may be shorter and denser. The filling is not as tightly packed.
    Hoagie- is from Philly, and her surrounding suburbs. It is generally a shorter, even denser roll. Again, the roll is sliced open to begin the sandwich. The ingredients have a few differences, however. Nothing is “thinly sliced”. The lettuce is iceberg, and broken, as in a salad.
    LOL
    Thanks for allowing me to finally get that off my mind.

  135. If Google knows a specific url contains malware, why not just pull the infected urls? Malware infected urls are not serving users with relevant content.

  136. I agree that deleting the URL option would stop most of the spamming.

  137. Hi! I realize the topic has been totally played by now, but i had to comment- because it [the sandwich topic] has been repeatedly brought up during my lifetime!
    I agree that deleting the URL option would stop most of the spamming. but If Google knows a specific url contains malware, why not just pull the infected urls? Malware infected urls are not serving users with relevant content.

    Thanks for allowing me to finally get that off my mind.

  138. If Google knows a specific url contains malware, why not just pull the infected urls? Malware infected urls are not serving users with relevant content.

  139. Hi
    Would this Jagger Update affect the Mobile site rankings and search engine placement?
    Cheers
    Rehan

  140. Google knows a specific url contains malware, why not just pull the infected urls? Malware infected urls are not serving users with relevant content.

  141. Hi Matt….its always great to read this blog. and this is the first time i was trying to comment on a topic. I saw comment policy and like it lot. I hope everybody in the world will follow them. And after all this is we “readers” who will get benefit of this

  142. Does the pagerank affect the research result in other search engines like Yahoo.com and Yahoo Japan?

  143. Hi

    The guidelines are neat..but does a person have to go through it whenever he posts a comment ?

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/

    Perhaps this could be of use…

    R/

  144. It must be time taking to avoid off theme comments. But respect to Matts Blog. I really got many good hints. I look up for further in´comming postings. Have learned! Relevant content is producing better results. Matt is saying it in an interview on an German Blog. I think regarding to Matts policy: Common sense should guide posters?

  145. achim

    PS……Some blogs are starting with good iontetion. 10 postings later….Ther blog is spoiled by (off them) and insulting and sometimes rude off-puttings? Sorry for my BRO K EN English!

  146. Exactly, if everybody were to contribute good content. It would allow the author to have more time to come up with good articles to share with everyone. Let’s try comply to these policies ok.

  147. Ars

    People that come here will always learn something new. When somebody provides you good information you should provide him at least good reply and not spam. There is many different subjects that might interest you so read it and put something yours and not spam.

  148. Given the recent interest in SPAM @ Squidoo.com, I’m surprised that nothing I’ve seen mentions their gratuitous “Tag Pages” which certainly fall into this category.

  149. is it worth going to SES in San Jose? I am new to SEO, etc. and don’t want to waste $ on a lot of blah blah. thanks for your time.

  150. Interesting guidelines… and also nice Blog… It’s better to larn from your Blog than listen to all the things people are saying about Google, PR and other stuff. Keep up the good work. Thanx.

  151. Thanks for spelling out your policy about which comments you will approve. These days, there is so much spam, and so many “me too” like posts, it is hard to have a real blog discussion without having some sort of policy.

  152. I am a moderator on a photograhy blog and lately I was getting tons of spam like comments. I have no idea why would people do it,but I was getting tons of “me too” “great post” and “nice site”. That’s when I introduced the Captcha :) All of those were cut by about 80%. I don’t really understand why people would do things like this. In my days(300 years ago..) people used to post “get rich here”,but this seem to evolved to some new level.

    Anyhow. I really enjoyed your blog. I just found it and it’s a lot of useful info that I’ll be needing soon. First time posting though(good to be on vacation!!)

  153. Jen

    That’s the payback for having an opinion that people care about, I guess. They want their links on your high ranking pages!

    I agree about comment spam, though. I’m a web developer with an interest in SEO so I am aware of the power of blog commenting for backlinks. However, I try to be an “ethical backlinker”. To find blogs I want to comment on, I google for subjects of interest to me. I don’t want to comment on something I know nothing about, because it will be inherently obvious that I’m just trying to get a link. Also, it’s no fun! I’d much rather spend my time finding interesting articles and becoming part of a conversation with other browsers, and if I get bonus PR for doing so, that’s secondary.

    As always, a great article Matt. Thanks.

  154. Yup. That’s a pretty fair policy for comments, Matt. I see no reason why any legitimate commentors would get all worked when their comments aren’t posted right away…they are either insecure, or worse yet…impatient spammers! Anyway, I’ve heard about your site from friends and will start following your blog on a regular basis to updated in my SEO knowledge. Keep the good stuff coming!

  155. wow, I am first time here and I agree what matt mention in his moderation of first post. it’s fair for everyone right? readers of your posts can find and share some useful guidelines if they follow the rules.

    Great stuff! Matt.

  156. As fair as I am concerned this is one of the cleanest blogs in terms of comments to post. I wish Brazil had a SEO community like the US does. The free flow of ideas is great and you learn to see things from different perspectives :)

    Great stuff! Matt.

  157. Yes, I’m here at the first time too, but I have troubles with posting comments here. So, I’m reading guidelines now…
    Very interesting will this comment be posted ??

  158. Great guidelines! I hear ya ! I hate when people leave a signature link. I totally agree with your guidelines. I see it must have helped.

  159. greed and can we limit that Adam fellah to 4 comments per day? ;)

    I will try hard to focus on what is said and will not go off track but will do so in silence or on my blog thanks…

  160. I can’t understand why people keep spamming blogs even they give no follow links. What’s the purpose, really i find it interesting.

  161. I take it Greg Linden is American, with his comment “We must also love destruction”. It seems a national trait!

  162. I agree that deleting the URL option would stop most of the spamming.

  163. I don’t think removing the URL option would stop people from spamming. People post on matt’s blog because they enjoy talking about his articles. All of the links have nofollow tags anyway, so removing the links isn’t going to change much.

  164. Now if you were interested in building some inbound links you could turn of comments all together.

  165. Jen

    No matter what, people will find a way to spam. I guess the hard part is finding a balance between allowing people the freedom to contribute to your site (a good thing) and too much freedom.

  166. and also nice Blog… It’s better to larn from your Blog than listen to all the things people are saying about Google, PR and other stuff. Keep up the good work. Thanx.

  167. Hi Mr. Matt

    I did what you say and I published my issue in Google Webmaster Forum. I found out that my site has been proxy hijacked…=(. I’ve sent all the spam reports through my webmaster account. I’ve tried all the codes to avoid it… but NADA. It’s so frustrating. I just wanted to let you know this.

    thank you

  168. Great comment guidelines. I think you’re on the right track here. Some of those comments should go somewhere else.
    Comments where guys say, “hey, wanting to get in touch with you,” or “hey, got a great idea” or something similar are weird. I mean, the guy can email you, surely? It’s pretty obvious that you don’t have the time to read through all the comments – I mean, it’s not like you get two visitors to your site a month. You’d have to hire a PA just to take care of your blog messages – hardly the point of a blog then.

  169. Why not just get a copy of vBulletin, phpbb, ipb etc? You’d probably find you have the most popular seo/webmaster forum on the intarweb within about … a day. :)

    I’m sure you’d have no shortage of volunteers for moderators/administrators too.

    thanks you.

  170. I do occasionally use names or handles in the name field, especially when relevant to SEO Expert or SEO Podcast, which are the names I’ve used for quite sometime and I provide other content on my own site relevant to that.

    I know that this is a side benefit to participants in a conversation, but I guess you realize that as well. It should probably be weighed against the quality and relative frequency of a person’s involvement.

    I think your comment policy is well thought out though, and overall very fair. It would be nice to have better plugins for these blog platforms that made it easier to manage spam links.

  171. It’s a good thing that you have this policy and also a security “spam protection” here. Most people, especially those well-known spammers planted some robots just to grab a chance to post comment and have their useless advertisements.

  172. I am first time here and I agree what matt mention in his moderation of first post. it’s fair for everyone right…

  173. I’m sure you’d have no shortage of volunteers for moderators/administrators too.

    thanks you.

  174. PS……Some blogs are starting with good iontetion. 10 postings later….Ther blog is spoiled by (off them) and insulting and sometimes rude off-puttings? Sorry for my BRO K EN English!

  175. Adam:
    http://www.google.com/webmasters/

    I think that answers most basic questions.

  176. The Google Webmasters FAQ section is superb for clearing up just exactly what you should do to make a Googel Friendly site. The stuff on that list most people should know, and do anyway, but it makes a good read :)

  177. Thanks for putting the policy down in writing. A lot of blogs don’t do that and assume that the reader should know their guidelines.

  178. I appreciate your blog It has been very helpful in helping me to avoid being a spammer!

  179. Great guidelines! I hear ya ! I hate when people leave a signature link. I totally agree with your guidelines. I see it must have helped.

  180. If Google makes work for better communication to webmasters when problems show up then you didn’t have to do this post i think

  181. adult, why you hate people who leave a signature link? I don’t understand.

    btw, for Matt Cutts – great blog. thanks a lot.

  182. Duh!
    The keywords I originally used were “contain floats”, not “containing floats”.
    So it’s still there :)

  183. Yea, I don’t understand the spamming thing. I pre-moderate comments, and delete tons of of spam. They never make it on my blog. I assume the spam links are blindly sent to thousands of blogs hoping that some of the links make it on a page somehow. I bet this blog gets quite a bit of it. This blog has more comments on it than any I have ever seen.

  184. I allow comments on my site with moderation, Gets tons of spam. I also use the do follow plug in. I am quite new to this but learning lots and with sites like your its makes it easier to learn

  185. You’re really a genius Matt! As always, you have something to say that is about anything that touches the lives of many people whose work are Internet-based. Personally, I hate people who are commenting on my blogs for the purpose of gaining backlinks. Good thing the nofollow attribute was ‘invented.’ I go for civil and intelligent comments. But I’ve seen blogs of techie people – I won’t name names – which are flooded with comments in which every statement mentions about some bad words. Duh!

  186. Great guidelines, Matt. I would include a link to them somewhere incredibly visible (navigation, each post or comments section) as a reminder.

  187. Thanks for posting these guidelines, I do hope they reduce spam crap for you. I had to change all my blogs to moderation of all comments because people sometimes do not even read the post before commenting.

    Though you have the right to do whatever you want with the comments people leave, it is respectable of you to make them clear up front. I think I am going to do the samething on all of my blogs.

  188. Intresting guidelines, I also like the spam protection its very neat! I Think this is a great idea to keep all the spam out of all the blogs these days.

  189. Hmmm

    I really hope you didn’t kill my long comment to the “Something Is Wrong” post from this morning. It added to the conversation in general, and was a direct response to a concern brought up by a fellow commenter. Please email me, or something, if it was pruned for some particular reason, so I can avoid wasting so much of my time in the future — or just not bother to comment anymore if you have something against me personally for some reason as yet unknown to me…

    Just breaks my heart that I wasted so much time writing a long, long, thoughtful comment…only to have it disappear.

  190. tom

    Ever thought of writing a comprehensive book, detailing all of your tips & tricks for us mortals out there? Need to hurry though, the web, and specifically google seems to be so fluidic, by the time you get to print, you’ll need to re-write all but the introductory chapter. Nice blog Matt, thanks.

  191. Hi Matt:

    The “Me too” comments seems to be a problem everywhere.

    As far as I know, in China, the most popular nonsense comment seems to be “Sofa”, and in Japan, the most popular nonsense comment seems to be “1 get”.

    Sad to see so much garbage on Internet. Wish someday the search engine can not only show the useful information, but also the useful comments.

    Mark

  192. Hi Matt,

    I guess you can hire someone to reply your comments? That would be a nice, although I am sure you dont need any PR :)- But even the hired person cannt possibly comment to all so he will have his own guidelines from you :)

    And all bloggers who get a comment from you can have a widget that can show “Matt Cutts” commented on me badge. Atleast I would like to show one such badge :)

    Thanks!

  193. The commenting system you uses is just fine but a little overhead for you i think commenting is necessary in blogs as it increases interest in a certain topic and give rise to some great discussion so keep comments

  194. Seo

    Yeah, remove all bad comments. Everything must be perfect just like on TV commercial. There’s no place for truth, for people destroyed by Google. There’s no place for your victims…

  195. Matt I was unable to comment about what to do in Los Angeles, so I am doing it here. I hope it’s ok, as I was locked out!

    @Matt:

    First you have a beer with me for destroying the image I had the Google could give a rats ass about small business owners. We do that at the Venice Pier. Then we go for a ride on the Marina del Rey water-bus, which only runs in the summer months, to El Torrito for a few more beers and maybe a Cadillac Margarita.

    Then we laugh about how Obama got the nomination and throw up. On board? :-)

  196. A lot of recommendation in your “Guidelines for comments” but no for comments in French.
    I would like to know if comments in French are a problem on your blog ?

    Information relating to Google in Europe is not also complete as yours.

    Beaucoup de recommandation dans vos “Guidelines for comments” mais aucune pour les commentaires en français. Je me demandais si les commentaires en français posaient un problème sur votre blog ?

    Les sources d’informations relatives à Google en Europe ne sont pas aussi complètes que les vôtres.

  197. Kenneth

    Matt,

    Love the blog! Hopefully this would be a question with general interest in the SEO community.

    Google suggests that SERP is not affected by CTR. “While accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t impact your ranking within search results.” (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35264&hl=en). I thought I had a good hypothesis on the workings of SERP/SEO until I read that help page. I’ve manged about $50MM on Google SEM and am surprised that Google would use CTR as measure of quality in SEM but would not in SEO.

    Keep up the great posts and thanks in advance.

  198. Hi Matt,

    I’ve commented on one of your blogs regarding stats saying.

    We in the UK have just had a broadcast by the BBC telling us that ‘Two search requests on the internet website Google produce “as much carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle”, according to a Harvard University academic’. If that were correct your stats show you could run a small country. I’m sorry but I can’t help imagining that someone got their sums wrong.

    Now I am getting paranioid about my carbon footprint by leaving a comment never mind searching. So the choice is do I leave a comment, or do the readers search Google for ‘bbc search term kettle’ or go get another coffee.

  199. Matt,

    Can I be your blog moderator. Will charge $0.01 per moderation which I think is reasonable!? All kidding aside I don’t think your blog requires much moderation as your providing knowledge as apposed to the many design blogs offering a freebie or download which people use to download in the first instance then write a worthless comment followed by a link to there website. I think you can expect certain types of comments depending on the blog and content. I wouldn’t imagine you would be spammed a great deal but then I could be wrong.

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