SEO Mistakes: Matt Friendship

A few weeks ago, Barry pointed out a thread on SearchEngineWatch forums. The thread was titled Top Ten Ways SEM Companies Bend The Truth To Win Business and somebody suggested this as a fib:

We share a deep rapport with industry experts such as Danny Sullivan, Matt Cutts, Tim Mayer.

It’s a good point to bear in mind. I can remember one of the first times a search engine optimizer (SEO) asked to take a picture with me at a conference. This SEO was also an exhibitor, and as the person with the camera set up the shot, I realized that they were trying to get the company’s name and booth in the background. I sighed and suggested that we move over a few feet so that the background would be clear.

I’m delighted when someone asks to have a photo taken with them, but that doesn’t mean that I know them or can vouch for them as an SEO. So if someone sends you a photo like this and tells that they’re good friends with me, take it with a grain of salt:

Picture with Matt

Remember: just because I’m in a picture with someone doesn’t mean that we share a deep rapport. Heck, sometimes I might not recognize the person but I recognize their spammy sites. :)

119 Responses to SEO Mistakes: Matt Friendship (Leave a comment)

  1. Amen to that Matt! Hope you’re having a good weekend. I’m hoping to make it up go to Google over Christmas time to see one of my friends and come meet you and Bharat, but we’ll see how those plans turn out.

  2. Love the photo, with the smile and the shirt it’s kind of like a Howitzer with lace trim. :)

    No idea how to make a link in WP (I tried), but I just noticed that Google is now doing Case corrections when searching on a proper noun.

  3. LOL ;^)

    Conference photos do make great souvenirs. But yah… It sucks when people misrepresent things like that. I hope that it doesn’t discourage you from posing for pictures in the future.

    Seth Godin had a great post about treating people with respect a while back.
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/03/not_rights_but_.html

    I like the last three points he makes.

    3) Don’t pretend that you know me personally. You don’t know me; you know some things about me.
    4) Don’t assume that we have a relationship.
    5) Don’t assume that I want to have a relationship with you.

    But anyway… I hope you had a great time!

    Aloha,
    Dave.

  4. Travis

    Evening, Matt :)

    You need to start wearing shirts that say “I’m not with stupid” to conferences. That’d make the pictures worth more or less face value.

  5. I sighed and suggested that we move over a few feet so that the background would be clear

    . :?

    Come now Matt,
    Really, there’s no need to sigh……cast your fate to the wind.

    BTW:
    Now would be an EXCELLENT time to add the words Search Engines Web to the ‘People’ section of your blog’s homepage. :P

  6. Dave (Original)

    RE: “We share a deep rapport with industry experts such as Danny Sullivan…”
    ========================================

    That alone would see me *never* use them.

    Matt, were the usual spammers given a platform (hence credibility) at the latest conference?

  7. re

    “ime with stupid” wouldn’t Eric get upset ;-)

  8. shor

    Hi Matt,

    “somebody suggested this as a fib”

    That was me, and it wasn’t merely a suggestion. :)

    Now, I’m not quite sure if the Australian agency in question did actually attend a search marketing conference in the US and meet you, but I’m damn sure they don’t know Matt Cutts/Tim Mayer on a ‘personal’ level (I could be wrong :P)

    Anyhow, another San Jose SES passes and another opportunity to meet the world’s foremost search pimps is missed. Perhaps one day Danny will bring SES back to Sydney, AU

  9. I am sure some people who seek to be photographed with you have some shady SEO procedures and they will be using your photos to justify their value as SEO providers.

    I wish you could switch to “I’m with Spammer” or “I’m with Black Hat” shirts if you aren’t sure you are posing with a reliable SEO man or not.

    Whatever, I liked the photo above..

  10. LOL Matt… well these people are really some spammers who want to sell themselves by taking names of people who are good…. :)

  11. Hey Matt, you should read that thread about you on Google Blogoscoped :)
    http://blog.outer-court.com/forum/61870.html
    SEO experts too? :-P

  12. Hi Matt,

    Now that you’ve officially reached Rock Star status… You have to admit that this is a cool problem to have.

    The SEO Fangirl posted some cool photos of you as well. You Search Stud!
    http://menofseo.blogspot.com/2006/08/search-engine-strategies-day-1.html

  13. Hi,

    If you ever come to Singapore for an exhibition, we take a picture together mate:) Yeah the things we do for marketing. lol.

  14. “..Now that you’ve officially reached Rock Star status…”

    well, i would consider that far more complicated! The company Matt works for has also created a certain momentum for an industry, where people get paid, fired or simply really involved with. Further there are only a few communication interfaces to connect really to Mamma G and get help.

    If I love Eminem and listen to his music, post in his blog, wear his marketing t-shirts, etc. and he just ignores me, nobody gives a damn if i post, that his latest CD did not play in my CD player.

    But if I spend monthly 5000 US$ in Adsense and for some unknown reason my site goes supplemental without prior notice, revenue drops, yadda yadda, and the few lines of communication lead only to automated answers from Google, it gets more complicated than for Eminem. Some people trying to get to Matt are desperate.

    I would consider Matts job tougher than that of a rockstar and with his new colleagues you see lately, that they already spotted that problem and work on it.

    Matt does a fabulous job in playing Switzerland, but with these huge amounts of money involved it is a bit like juggling chainsaws…

  15. Or you could go the irony route and wear a Krusty t-shirt with the phrase “I heartily endorse this event or product” emblazened on it ;)

  16. Ummm … this took me all of 5 minutes and I don’t even have madd photoshop skillz

    http://static.flickr.com/73/214970482_5cc4777082_o.jpg

  17. I remember the ad of 1980 by actress Brooke Shields created a stir with her ads for Calvin Klein jeans, carried with a tag line “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.” Matt, are you wearing jeans on that photograph ?

  18. Matt and I thought we where friends … can you still Vouch for me thou ?

    DaveN

  19. added by DaveN

    “share a deep rapport with industry experts such as Danny Sullivan, Matt Cutts, Tim Mayer”

    Hey I do !!

    DaveN

  20. “I was with stupid” ain’t?

  21. Hey Matt,

    T-Shirt girl #1 here. I’m the one in the “Matt Cutts Makes Me Google” shirt…

    I had no idea how much attention we were really going to stir with these pics. I guess you were right, we should have link baited or maybe sold expensive AD space on our sleeves or something. Guess just being two seriously dorky fans is not enough these days!!!! :P

    Anyway, thanks for taking the pics with us, even if the only online credit we get is for how quickly we drink our beers, LMAO.

    ~ Audrey

  22. The web is an amazing place.

    Now I see that my post about that company that came to visit us made it on to the Matt Cutts blog. If only a link was given to my personal blog…. ;-)

    Anyway, I didn’t realize how popular that thread would be. I guess it’s because it was not title 10 ways that companies lie to you. Instead it was a real experience around the conference table with CEO, VP, myself and 2 SEO representatives.

  23. I just realized something.

    There is a certain physical resemblance between Matt and Da Ali G

    West Side! Respect.

  24. Harith

    TOMHTML Said,

    “Hey Matt, you should read that thread about you on Google Blogoscoped”

    I assume that this picture of

    Matt Cutts Makes Me Google was shot before Matt got married :)

  25. Me and Matt were chillin at the SES (ok he was in the same room and I was looking at him awkwardly) when he told me (ok he announced to the room) that Google endorses my company and my style and he also said he likes my shirt (ok that last part was not exactly true)

    Here’s the photo for proof
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/search-student/215073610/

    For this reason, I think it is your best interest to buy a metal tag tune up from my company for 10k. Don’t worry if you are a start up with no cash, this will work and bring in a windfall of business. How else do you think Google marketed themselves on MetaScooper when they first started? Now look at them. I think they are bigger than MetaScooper now.

    If you are really interested in ranking, we will auto build millions of doorway pages for you. That’s another 10k. We will even scrape wikipedia (10k) to beef up the site and buy a few old domains to 301 to your main site…. for another 10k per domain.

    In fact, don’t worry about it. Just send me a check for a million dollars. Matt Cutts likes me. (ok that part was a stretch too) so you will rank well and if you get banned I have a neat red phone I can call to save the day. It calls some dude name Surgery who can really make things happen over there.

    My sales and marketing skills cannot be stopped.

  26. Good to meet you at SES, Matt. Got a few minutes today or tomorrow for some follow-up questions from that interview? Hit me up on the e-mail?
    -s.

    p.s. I regret to say that Tom Selleck’s visage is no longer gracing the cover of Googlewatch. Sigh.

  27. OMG I have pics with Matt, buy my Ringtones!!! YOU CAN TRUST ME!

  28. Wow thats a subtle hint ;-)

  29. bah, only pictures? Matt said my name in a video!! That makes me a better SEO than all of you right? (and I don’t even do seo… but thanks to previous work I manage to say no to one or seo jobs a week.)

    So Matt, does that mean we’re friends? Or do we have to be on each other’s MySpace too..

    I never knew this was how to get clients. Should I update my resume to say I have an intimate relationship with the Googler who provided me the phone interview and employment rejection?

    (ok actually it wasn’t a rejection… it was more of a “here fill out this worksheet and send it in, and we won’t reply or acknowledge that we got it, or answer your followup emails, and hopefully you’ll just forget about it after a few months.” )

    Either way… send your money this way. Forget the 10k up front, it’s gonna take about a year’s worth of work, at $1500/month recurring revenue… plus $10 per keyword, and another $10 per keyword per ranking position increase per week….

    for an extra $500 / month we’ll submit your site to google every day to make sure it stays in the index too.

  30. Nice post Matt, thanks for my daily chuckle ;)

  31. AudBall, it was my pleasure–I enjoyed meeting you. :) Harith, I mentioned over there, but I pre-empted any misunderstandings with my wife by showing her those photos after she got back from China. Better than having her stumble across them at some point. :)

    Chris Hooley, I liked your “insert my head in the blank place” idea. I wondered if anyone would do that. :)

  32. It’s good that you bring this up Matt. Although you would think companies would see through such claims.

    BTW, I thought this photo you let us take of you wearing a white hat with white SEO text on it was pretty funny:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/toprank/210973730/

  33. I find it hard to believe you don’t remember that guy, if i had met a man with a face like that i know i would have remembered him =p

  34. Rob

    “like a Howitzer with lace trim”
    … still laughing :)

  35. It’s look like invisible man..lol.. People without face,,:P

  36. Mike

    Matt BE VERY CAREFUL, that guy has eyes so dark, you can not even see them. BEWARE. :P

  37. But you and I are still the bestest of best friends right Matt?! I mean, if I can’t namedrop your name or Larry’s or Sergei’s any more, I just don’t know what I’ll do. Please check one of the boxes below with your answer…

    Jason Dowdell is Matt Cutt’s Bestest Friend

    Yes [ ]
    No [ ]

    I would’ve sent you this note on paper but my writing is terrible.

    Miss You,
    Jason

  38. http://www.ludwik.trammer.pl/inne/matt.gif

    LOL!

    I have to admit not long ago when I had no idea what SEO was I got a little hot under the collars when I saw images of Matt partying with known spammers, it would make any newbie think that the last great refuge (google) on the internet had failed us all completely like Yahoo! has done currently.

  39. I’m glad Lee posted the picture of you in my hat. That was a way funny moment.

    So now that I got busted spamming in Google with my hidden text, do I need to file a re-inclusion request to be allowed back next year? ;-)

  40. Well, Celebrity Status comes with a price tag of its own. Lets hope any paparazi does not change his career to an SEO. If there is some one in the SEO industry who we can call a celebrity, that is you, mattcutts.

  41. Matt,
    Are the people at Google messing with you? I was watching one of your video posts:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1156145545372854697
    and on the side is:

    How to structure a site?
    info Avg: 53 ratings
    Matt Cutts
    4 min 46 sec – Jul 31, 2006
    http://www.mattcutts.com
    Browse: gay porn, seo, website devel…, stupid poster…, mattcutts, matt cutts go…, matt cutts, google, gilligan, gay porn porn, «
    Browse: gay porn, seo, website devel…, more »
    Add your own label

    What the heck is with gay porn!?!

  42. Drew – It seems that you can add labels in G video, not that I am the one who did so…shoemoney? ;)

  43. Nothing big to say, but I never though anybody would do that.

    What could they possibly hope to gain (permanently from it)

  44. J-Lyn

    Hey Matt – (culprit #1 “matt cutts is a god” here) When you said that our t-shirts would be all over the web, you were right. Jeez…

    In any case, it was nice meeting you, I’ve been a fan of the blog for a while. Hope you had a great time at the Google Dance, I know we did!

    Did you get to sing some karaoke? Now *that* would be a great video to post on the blog… ;)

    Jessica-Lynne

  45. [moan]
    I think Google has lost the plot. They’re so wound up trying to deal with spammy sites (and spammy exhibitors) they’re ignoring many perfectly good, content-rich, spam-free websites.

    There’s NO WAY a robot can make the judgement of a human, and I am tired of Google being so greedy and ignoring the need to put “expensive” humans into their rankings loop.

    Yes, this is a complaint about our own rankings, but it is a Legitimate complaint, nonetheless. How can a single-page, single-picture content-poor site with poor in-links rate above ours? What’s going on here? I am following the Google guidelines, and creating content-very-rich sites, non-commercial (we don’t sell anything), education and disabled-friendly, but still many poorer sites rank above us.

    Some of our wonderful sites are below flea-bag hotel listings, with NO incoming links to them, and full of spam.

    Yes, Google’s robots have finally gone over to the other side.
    [/moan]

  46. Kirby

    >I liked your “insert my head in the blank place” idea. I wondered if anyone would do that.

    Nah. But I did find a picture of you with my branded domain printed on your shirt.

    Now you know why the Hollywood crowd hates the paparazzi. Hmm, wonder what a pic of you and Paris Hilton would sell for?

  47. William – “Content-rich” is a bad word, you also mention “flea-bag hotel listings” are you sure you are just not dealing with massive competition in the travel areas of the internet? I know a guy whose travel site does extremely well in Brazil (little competition) but in the US his other travel site (with just as good “content”) does not get any love at all.

    It’s just like trying to rank for “SEO” stuff, my SEO Blog’s stats are a deadzone for organic SERP traffic, well,,, I do rank for all kinds of “Brandi Belle” phrases in Yahoo and MSN…WTF???

    Anyhoo, I will shut up now but from less competitive areas the internet is currently in it’s wild west days. Google will let anyone have some land if they offer something useful, a really simple equation, just don’t get greedy cuz it shows in your “content rich text” know what I mean? Content can be “rich” but lacking the human element or it is simply saturated.

    That is all…

  48. It’s just like trying to rank for “SEO” stuff, my SEO Blog’s stats are a deadzone for organic SERP traffic, well,,, I do rank for all kinds of “Brandi Belle” phrases in Yahoo and MSN…WTF???

    LMAO!

    Man, that chick is gonna be the SEO pornstar by the time we’re all done with her. :)

  49. Indian Dude

    Let’s just ignore White Hat SEO’s and see what they can do. Mutual Black Hat efforts against cocky google algo not just an educational process designed to teach people that White Hat SEO’s views command as much respect as the tales in the supermarket tabloids. These efforts also serve as a ranking beacon, warning the world of the mindless consequences of trying to present useless.. content rich, quality web sites for google approval. The point at which you discover that you are wasting effort by following google webmaster guidelines is not only a moment of disenchantment. It is a moment of resolve, a determination that there is a problem here. A very large, squalid, predaceous 2,3 even 4 year sand rat box problem. The only way out of google’s rat box maze is to abuse and use the many Free older sand box free domains out there. Try a search for the famous blue anti impotence pill and you will see how many successful pages we have for this as well hundreds of other formalistic drug categories. It’s that simple today with google.
    I trust that I have not shocked any of you by writing that. However, I do realize that some may feel that much of what I have penned about White Hat SEO’s in this letter is heartless and in violation of our Christian duty to love everyone. If so, I can say only that I will never give up. I will never stop getting many hundreds of top 10 google rankings for our pharmacy and drug sites. And I will use every avenue possible to create and nurture a true spirit of community spam (with some help from weak google system). White hat SEO’s find it easier to discuss Black Hat’s success rather than their own failures by following google guidelines. Once we realize that, what do we do? The appropriate thing, in my judgment, is for all webmasters to join in making google pay for their silly algo and wrongdoings to honest webmasters. I say that because in order to help young people develop the ability to make many top 10 sites for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world, we must work beyond the predatory plasticity of its canards. And that’s just the first step.

  50. We recently had a SEO seminar here in South Africa where a very respected member of the SEO community aparently claimed the same. When I was told this I got completely peeved. To be told everytime, that this guy is the best and has access to privaleged information is not my idea of fun. The irony is that the majority of people believed this. Therefore all facts supplied to them by him were also excepted as facts, despite SEO not being an exact science.

  51. Aaron, have a look at our sites (click on my name here), especially Explore Kew Gardens (kw: Kew Gardens) and Explore St Paul’s Cathedral (kw: St Paul’s Cathedral). Until 27 June, these were on page one. Now they are on page 7-8. I have talked to 4 pro SEOs and they have no idea what we’re doing wrong. They say “Google’s screwed up”.

  52. William – I would go over to Google groups or the good SEO forum “Cre8asite” and ask but here are a few things they will tell you right off. Note: I spent about 30 seconds looking at your site.

    “Explore Kew Gardens” is an image not a text link (with no alt or title tags?) that leads to a flash site, that alone is not very search engine friendly.

    If you click any of the links in your sitemap it leads to pages that have.
    1 – Ads first
    2 – A duplicate reference to another website?
    3 – Content that in most cases is just a couple sentences with images which could lack any real human interest.

    Here is a quick example of you spamming: http://www.armchair-travel.com/home/index.htm
    Go to the bottom of the page are see the text that you grayed that can barely be read? It goes to a spammy keyword page, that will not get you many points in todays search.

    And I haven’t even looked at you backlinks how do they look? ;)

    To a search engine this site might be seen as a bunch of air (just a guess). I would say your site is trying to monetize before it is deserving of any ad dollars, a common SEO trap.

    BUT being on page 8 is actually good news, this just says your website needs improvement. I am not sure of what SEO’s you have asked about your site but they obviously are not good SEO’s.

    Adam – Brandy Belle is ruining my site flavor! ;-(

  53. Ben Pate

    Matt, I guess you knew what was going on when you took the photo. Hence, the point to the SPAM on your shirt and the point to the guy standing next to you. :)

    This is great I love it.

  54. William, Aaron is dead right. I wanted to say it myself, but for some reason I find myself being the first person to point this out far too often lately, so I decided to see if someone else would.

    Your sites, at best, are dated by at least 6-7 years. They don’t have a consistent navigation bar, background colours change from white to black, they all seem to use the Arial font and your panoramas may be 360-degree pictures, but they don’t behave as actual panoramic shots do. A panorama usually starts out with a section of a circle that is limited to the capturable area of the lens (I believe it’s 90 degrees, but I’m not a photographer.) Then it goes to other shots in the circle, around and around. Your panoramas look like tiled images that repeat when they’re scrolled on. They may combine to make a 360-degree shot, but who has 360-degree vision?

    The reason I bring these up is because the site doesn’t give anyone a reason to link to it anymore. And if you’re looking for traffic, you need to have something that can be linked to.

    Also, try reading your copy without the hyperlinks. There really isn’t much. Yes, your site relies on photography (and the BS panoramas, as pointed out above), but what really describes your site?

    And then there’s this here:

    http://www.explore-kew-gardens.net/index_assets.htm

    That’s supposedly your site map. Why the hell is a press release, which is already listed elsewhere on its own page, down at the bottom of this page? That might (since I know every SEO wannabe will crawl up my ass for pointing this out) trigger a duplicate content filter.

    http://www.explore-kew-gardens.net/pr.htm

    You’re also playing the link exchange game.

    http://www.gardens-guide.com/relatedlinks.htm
    http://www.phoenixlandscapeandconcrete.com/links/

    Baaaaaaaaaaad, baaaaaaaaad mojo.

    And that’s just stuff on the surface. I’ll bet there’s more…I just can’t be bothered to look.

    Any SEO that told you that there’s nothing wrong with your site and that Google’s broken is either an idiot or is lying through his/her gold teeth.

  55. Adam – Brandy Belle is ruining my site flavor! ;-(

    Change the flavour. I won’t mind. ;)

  56. Aaron, thanks.

    Keep in mind this site started out low four years ago, and worked it’s way AS IS up to the #2 – #3 position, and stayed there for over a year. We only added AdSense 18 months ago, and that did not change any ratings (as expected). Even with what you say, Explore Kew Gardens is far more content rich than 600 of the sites listed above it in Google serps.

    Your points:
    ALL the images on the home page DO have alt tags, can’t your browser see them?

    1. “Ads first” – Noted, but is that really a problem?
    2. These pages are available for visitors to download for schools usage. If they want the fully-interactive Flash tour, that “reference to another site” is actually a reference to the SAME site’s home page.
    3. The primary value of these pages is the pictures, in which this site excels. After all (to visitors, but NOT to Google robots) a picture is worth a thousand words.

    The (irrelevant to this discussion?) Armchair Travel website:
    I didn’t realise that old Armchair Travel spammy link to gardens-guide was there. We moved servers recently and that had been removed long ago (just after gardens-guide.com went online), but during a server move that page must have gotten backdated. Still, I don’t see what that’s got to do with Explore Kew Gardens.

    Explore Kew Gardens has been and remains Very highly rated (#7 in MSN, #4 in Yahoo) in other search engines for a long time.

    AND — as pertains to my main point above —- ROBOTS simply CANNOT understand what is interesting and relevant to HUMANS. This is a wonderful site, and Google is promoting sites FOR ROBOTS not HUMANS. Again, they should invest their billions in 10,000 human evaluators, not more spammable robot software.

    I will take this discussion over to “Cre8asite” now.

    BTW- I have asked again and again in the SEO section of Search Engine Watch for paid help on Explore Kew Gardens, but have had no takers (probably due to Google brain damage since 27 June)

  57. Brad Jackson

    Hey Matt, thanks for allowing yourself to be photographed with myself and my g/f outside the lower meeting rooms at SES. I promise the photo won’t appear anywhere on the ‘net! It was a real pleasure to meet the man behind the blog :-)
    Hope you’re over that cold real soon!

  58. lots0

    For those of you that have lost your rankings…

    turn off the javascript in your browser, then take a look at both the cache and the site in the listings (with the javascript turned off).

    I am finding many many pages where 8 or 9 listings out of the top 10 are javascript cloaked spam.

    >>>William Donelson said:
    “How can a single-page, single-picture content-poor site with poor in-links rate above ours? What’s going on here?”

    Javascript Spam my friend. Just do as I suggested and you will see why you lost your rankings.

  59. I gotta agree with Rand on this one…it makes me sad you have to post stuff like this.

    I’ve updated my picture page (in addition to the previous standard disclaimer) just to make sure there is no confusion.

    http://www.stuntdubl.com/about-stuntdubl-todd-malicoat/ :)

  60. Lots0 -

    As far as I can tell, none of the three Taj sites ranking above our Explore the Taj Mahal are using Javascript at all.

    They are single-page, low inbound-linked, broken-links, mostly single picture pages which are years old.

  61. lots0

    Yup, the Taj is not a big money making search.

    What I keep seeing are sites like this, thousands of them.

    “nicolequentin.carookee.com/”

    or

    “candicecaleb.mabulle.com/”

    or

    “www.vip-blog.com/vip/article/2023878.html”

    Take a look at these with your javascript turned on then turn it off and take another look.

  62. Lots0 – sorry, I have only been concerned about the sites above my own in the SERPs, especially the poor Taj (India) sites.

    Should I be concerned about the ones you mention? Why?

    I’d like to know why Google considers the (poor Taj India) sites above mine to be better than mine…

    ( The answer: STUPID Google Robots …. search results perfect for Robots, not Humans )

  63. Although I wish I could be Matt’s friend, I don’t really care about that.

    I just want a picture with him because he always seems to be wearing a cool T-shirt.

  64. ( The answer: STUPID Google Robots …. search results perfect for Robots, not Humans )

    * sighs *

    Let’s try a different tack, Willie. If you want to see what HUMANS see…objective, impartial, honest HUMANS…follow these steps:

    1) Take your left arm and put it behind your head, palm turned inward and facing your head.

    2) Proceed to use your left arm to smack yourself upside of the head as hard as you possibly can. A good shot too, not some piss-assed little graze shot. Nail yourself good.

    3) If you still think your site is so friggin’ wonderful, repeat steps 1 and 2.

    If you don’t get it by now, big Willie style, let me make it abundantly clear to you:

    Humans think your sites suck.

    Your sites aren’t wonderful, they aren’t grand, they aren’t the preeminent resource on all things Taj Mahal or Kew Gardens or whatever else you happen to build a site for. They are dated, and they offer little to nothing of value.

    You might be able to fool About.com and you might even fool the Sunday Times, but you won’t fool the masses.

    And yes, I used Humans in the plural. Aaron has told you, I’ve told you, and SEOs have indirectly told you the same thing.

    Why do you think no SEO has taken you up on your offer to pay them to help optimize your sites? Because they know damn well that it’s next to impossible to promote a site so far behind the game that it needs a total rework from the ground up before it needs anything else.

    They’re not going to take on a project that stands no chance of succeeding, because all they’re going to get is bitching, moaning and complaining when it doesn’t work. You’ve already demonstrated an inability to accept that you might be at fault here, so why would anyone work with you? It’s a no-win proposition.

    I’m not going to tell you why your sites suck here…Aaron and I have already done that to a large extent, and I’m not rehashing it. But at least part of the answer to your problem is right here in front of you…just open your damned eyes and look already!!!

    (Sorry folks for being harsh, but I’m just tired of listening to William bitch when he’s got nothing to bitch about. Someone has to tell him.)

  65. Adam – That is a little harsh, William is just suffering from coming down from the free ride, updating and making websites useful these days is a full time job and not for those who lack passion.

  66. Adam who doesn’t…

    No, you miss the point:

    Why are really terrible sites above mine? In the case of Kew Gardens, Google once liked it, and Yahoo and MSN still do.

    But the point is: Why are many really crummy sites listed above mine (Suddenly 27 June) in Google?

    Perhaps you don’t like the sites; okay. But thousands of people really do like them. They are free entry, provide wonderful pictures and information and interactivity like NOTHING ELSE ON THE WEB.

    The sites are designed to be accessed and enjoyed by humans, just like Google has told us millions of times: Design for Visitors and you’ll be okay. That’s clearly not true.

    What happened on 27 June?

    And it’s not that my sites are so great; It’s that the others are So Awful.

    And insulting me and being condescending is childish and unhelpful. If you don’t know how to be helpful, then don’t comment.

  67. William is just suffering from coming down from the free ride, updating and making websites useful these days is a full time job and not for those who lack passion.

    Exactly. That goes all the way back to the “site is dated” comments.

    William…I get your statement. It’s not a point, because an effective point is valid, logical and devoid of emotion.

    Now…the reason I was harsh with you is to try and give you the slap in the face you need right now. Your biggest problem is that you miss the bigger point…what you think and/or say and the reality of your situation are two very different things. I’m not apologizing to you for it, because you don’t seem to get it any other way…some people need to have a point drilled into them before they get it, and I’m guessing you’re one of those people. If you don’t like it, perhaps what you don’t like isn’t the delivery, but the message itself.

    You shouldn’t have to repeat yourself and tell everyone else how wonderful your site is, just like Aaron shouldn’t, just like I shouldn’t, just like Matt shouldn’t, just like anyone else shouldn’t. The more you have to tell someone how great something is, the worse it becomes.

    If your sites are as good as you seem to think they are, then you would have enough traffic from enough different sources that you wouldn’t be here complaining about how the so-called awful sites are beating you into the ground right now. The big G traffic would be a bonus, not an essential.

    As far as building sites for users, you really haven’t. You’ve got link exchanges to sites that at best are tangentally related, you’ve got large amounts of anchor text, inconsistent navigation, bad colour schemes and a bunch of other issues.

    You don’t have what you say you have. Whether you like that or you don’t (and obviously you don’t), that’s the reality of your situation. And until you accept that as the reality of your situation, no amount of traffic from an SE is going to help you.

    The Yahoo! and MSN still like me argument doesn’t matter much. They’ve been easily manipulable for years now and neither shows any real signs of changing that.

    Now are you going to clue in to what multiple people have now told you or are you just going to sit there and complain about the bad awful sites rather than try and fix your own?

  68. Adam that doesn’t…

    The issue here is that Google robots don’t like the site.

    You don’t like the site.

    Google used to like the site.

    But 90% of humans DO like the site.

    The reality is that we get praise from Many Qualified sources saying (a) how good our site is, and (b) how much more info and pcitures we provide than ANY OTHER site about the Taj Mahal.

    All you say about our Taj site is MORE TRUE for those listed above us in the Google SERPs. Those (Taj India) sites are laughably thin on info and pictures. They are old and haven’t been updated since before we launched our site.

    What we want to know is: WHY are those crummy sites above our site?

    (BTW- 75% of our traffic has nothing to do with Google. Google IS a bonus and always has been. We are not a shopping site, we are not a news site, we are a Resource primarily for schools. As such, we rely on traffic from teachers and students looking “first time” for info on the Taj Mahal. Please don’t judge our site in commercial terms, but in educational terms. If you can find a better site on the Taj, please say so, and we’ll be happy to be #2 after them, with worse sites after us. This is NOT the case now)

  69. Valerie Shepard

    Hold on, you’re quoting Barry Schwartz?

    I’ve twice had to file DMCA complaints to the AdSense program about him running ads on material he copied from my client’s site.

    He is an example of the people we don’t want on the Internet – people who copy others’ material.

    I wish you wouldn’t give him credibility by referring to him.

  70. One more thing; 80% of our home page visitors go into the (“Thrilling”-SundayTimes) Flash interactive virtual tour, and do NOT view any of the other pages. Those pages are there so that the search engines can see the content. Perhaps I could make those pages more Human-Friendly… BUT THEY ARE NOT VIEWED BY HUMANS.

  71. Ben

    Matt the obvious solution is to start doing ridiculous stuff like pulling faces, rubbing your nipples or whatever so the photo cannot be seen to be even remotely professional. :)

  72. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal

    If I’m a teacher, that’s the first place I would send my students. That single page not only has detailed descriptions of the various aspects, but it has other resources people can go to about the Taj Mahal (including yours). So as far as a site being better, that single page is at least on a par with your entire site. (It’s a buttload easier to navigate, too.)

    That would be of more value to a student than your dead-end street (before you misinterpret that, I’m referring to the Wikipedia’s role as a jumping-off point vs. yours as a final destination).

    You really aren’t any better than those so-called crummy sites. The only thing that distinguishes you are the 360-degree pictures you’ve created and maybe the text for schools. I wasn’t evaluating the site commercially either. I was evaluating it on the same principle I use to evaluate any other site…would I recommend this site to someone else looking for information on this topic? The answer is no, I wouldn’t.

    As far as the 90% claim goes, 99% of the people I talk to about the sites I build like them. And that amounts to exactly two things…bugger and all.

    The problem is that 99% of the visitors to the various sites I build never communicate a thing about the site, so the 99% of people that like them is really 99% of 1%. And of that 99% of 1%, at least half of those give a comment like “yeah, it’s good.” “It’s great.” (Yeah, and would you stop friggin’ asking?) So that feedback goes to waste.

    So again, I’m going to tell you what I tell others…your site needs some work. Badly. Before you even think about where you rank in Google, start looking at your own site as a resource not just of information, but of presentation of information. You’re severely lacking. The other crummy sites really are irrelevant in this case. You have issues that you need to address and fix.

  73. Dave (Original)

    RE: “just like Google has told us millions of times: Design for Visitors and you’ll be okay.”
    =========================================

    That’s not true. Think about it. Here is a clue, how many organic results are page 1 of any SERP?

    My advice, stop worrying about other sites and focus on yours alone.

  74. Dave,

    “stop worrying about other sites and focus on your own”

    Well, given the evidence here and elsewhere, focusing on my own site will make NO difference to my SERPs.

    In order to focus on my own site, without wasting time, we ALL need to understand why Crappy Sites do so well !!!

  75. Dave (Original)

    The only reason one would need to focus on crappy sites is if one intends on building one. If crooks started getting away with crimes, would you jump on that bandwagon too?

    William, your page Titles alone tell me you are NOT doing what is needed. I would read what Adman has written. While it may be brutal, it is honest.

    RE: “In order to focus on my own site, without wasting time, we ALL need to understand why Crappy Sites do so well !!!”
    ======================================

    As Dr Phil would say “How’s that been working for ya William?”

  76. OKAY!

    I have a theory.

    Using Google’s “link:www.somesite.com” is showing Very Poor inbound links to those “crappy” sites. BUT…

    Google must be hiding the inbound links. Either that, or Google is just broken.

    BECAUSE…

    If you use Yahoo Site Explorer http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/
    you see MANY MORE inbound links to those “crappy” sites than Google shows.

    And the #2 site, although crappy on content, has 233 inbound links reported by Yahoo, and only “about 20″ shown by “link:….” from Google. This crappy site may be doing so well now because it is Eight Years Old and has accumulated more links over time.

    SO…

    Perhaps the Google 27 June / 27 July “updates” are now relying far more on inbound links than Google is letting on. Perhaps Google is giving “quality” inbound links far more weight now than it used to…

    IN WHICH CASE…

    Changing my sites’ content will make no difference if I don’t get “quality” inbound links.

    ALTHOUGH…

    My Taj site shows “about 155″ Google inbound links, but shows 1,362 Yahoo inbound links, so this Theory may be worthless unless my inbound links are disdained by Google for some reason, although many of the links to my Taj are from the same sites as those to the “crappy” sites

  77. Dave, thanks.

    . “I would read what Adman has written”

    —- sorry, where?

  78. Dave (Original)

    RE: “Google must be hiding the inbound links. Either that, or Google is just broken.”
    =========================================

    Google, for years now, has only ever shown a sample of links. The links it shows may, or may not be included as votes. Who knows? Who cares?

    RE: “Changing my sites’ content will make no difference if I don’t get “quality” inbound links.”
    =======================================
    Wrong, if you do it correctly it will make the World of difference. You homepage is full of nothing but outbound links and Ads.

    STOP OBSESSING OVER LINKS. If you make a good informative, well laid out and written site, you will slowly obtain the VERY best type of links. That is TRUE one-way votes from similar sites on similar pages.

    If you obsess over links you will be sooner or later be *suckered* in a link scheme like Text-Link-”Ads” or Link coop scheme. Then your troubles will really start.

    RE: “—- sorry, where?
    =========================================
    Adam who doest belong to Matt.

  79. Dave

    “Wrong, if you do it correctly it will make the World of difference. You homepage is full of nothing but outbound links and Ads.”

    “Full of nothing but…” – Huh? Are we looking at the same page?

    I have AdSense in ONE place, good descriptions of what the site is all about, internal links, and outbound links to other items such as news (4 links) or other Taj sites, a good novel about the building of the Taj, and links to some praise about our Taj site.

    Would you have me put all our content in HTML-only on the home page? Get rid of the Flash? It seems that’s what you and Adam are suggesting!

    Those “crappy” sites are NOT criminal sites trying to fool Google or cheat anyone, so copying them is NOT criminal, but they ARE clearly doing Something that Google seems to like. What?

    The ONLY thing I see here is that I should get rid of the Virtual Tour, get rid of the panoramas, the narrated mini-movies, the music, the wonderful Multimedia that everyone raves about, and make a boring one-page-only Wiki-like listing of info.

    If that’s what Google wants, then they really are broken.

  80. Dave (Original)

    Ok, William, if that’s what you prefer to *think*, “Googles broken”.

    I have ALWAYS heard this from those not ranking as they would like from the day Google shot to fame. Funny thing is, Google just keeps getting more popular by the day. I guess they intend to keep it “broken” as it works so well.

    You are doing the best thing possible by ranting a raving about Google being broken and not focusing on making your site better. Keep it up and Google will soon change their “broken” algo to make your site #1 :)

  81. Dave, please respond to the points I made above.

  82. First off, I never said get rid of the Flash. I simply pointed out that your so-called panorama appears to be a tiled background. Quite frankly, I’m surprised no one has pointed this out to you before.

    But if you want to see what I’m talking about, sit (or stand) in any location without a mirror or some sort of reflective device. Then, turn around. You aren’t going to see the same thing, are you? Not likely.

    Your “panoramas” don’t reflect that. They look like tiled backgrounds that are repeated when they’re moved. The user should see something different.

    Here’s an actual panoramic view:

    http://216.89.218.233/grandbendhomes (there’s actually a client site that goes along with this, but since I did this for an ad agency, I want to keep this separate from the actual site).

    You see how it starts with a portion of the image and then as it rotates, it changes?

    Compare that to what you have.

    Now I didn’t at any point say to get rid of it. I said that it wasn’t what you actually say it is. Just fix it so that it represents what a normal human eye would see in terms of a panorama, that’s all.

    Your “narrated mini-movies” are a few pics on each page with minimal dialogue to explain them. Movies…well…move. Even movies from the 1920s moved. Again, fix it or call it something else. This is not a movie.

    No one said don’t keep the multimedia aspects of your sites. Just fix them so that they reflect what you think they do.

    No one said don’t link to other sites. Just don’t link exchange to sites that are marginally related at best (see your garden-guides site).

    All that anyone has told you is that you need to improve your user experience quite significantly on your site, and by extension a lot of your issues (if not all of them) will be dealt with in terms of search engines.

    As far as the link count goes in Google, that’s not even close to reflective of the links they’re actually counting for you. Most of the time, it’s a fraction and a small fraction at that.

    You claim to have focused on your users. You have fallen short…you’ve got a good start but it’s not much other than that. And until you fix the mistakes in your site, then you can’t complain about anything any search engine is or isn’t doing for you. So you can either sit and keep complaining about the crummy sites, or you can build something that clearly rises above them.

    You’re really blaming the wrong party here. You need to realize that, and the sooner the better.

  83. Dave (Original)

    RE: “Dave, please respond to the points I made above.”
    ==========================================

    There is NO point in me doing anything like that until you acknowledge the true problem is YOUR site, not Google. If/when you do that you are half-way there.

  84. My advice to you William is to forget about search engines (and other people’s sites) for a year and work to make that site 100%, you can not expect a site that you do not work on to do well in future engines (unless it is for a brand or product). Our goal as webmasters should be 100% perfectionism and if you like this type of thing you can only do well.

  85. I’ve been contacted by a few people who claim to have achieved high rankings for excellent websites which they have clearly had nothing to do with. Some people seem to try anthing, sad thing is it probably works a lot of the time!

  86. Aaron and Dave

    I appreciate what you are saying, but AGAIN the real issue is not MY websites.

    My visitors are VERY happy with the websites, as they only see the interactive Flash tours (which Google cannot see and understand).

    I agree that I can work on making an HTML-only site (that no humans care about), but –

    (1) Why should I make a site that humans do NOT care about? Just to satisfy Google? Then in that case, Google is broken.

    (2) Why are crappy sites (not deceitful or black-hat) given so much prominence these days?

    Those are the important questions for Google and for SEOs and FOR HUMAN VISITORS.

    Personally, I think Google is emotinally obsessed with spammers to the point of insanity.

    They’re so worried about spam-which-fools-Robots that they have lost the plot. Hiring 10,000 with their billions to actually look at pages to weed out Spam would then allow their Robots to do good work.

    They’re like a gardener who is so obsessed with weeds, and applies so much weed-killer, that all the vegetables are Dying or Mutating into garbage.

    Google are the Monsanto (herbicide-resistant genetically modified corn, etc) of the internet. THAT IS THE ISSUE HERE.

  87. Harith

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if young teenagers in Montreal go around with a T-Shirt with printed Motto:

    Canadian Adam Makes Me Boile

    Sorry Adam. Couldn’t resist :)

  88. I’m going to try this one last time, and then I’m giving up.

    William, the answer that you want to hear doesn’t exist. The answer that “Google is broken and my sites aren’t” isn’t true.

    It’s not about your multimedia, or your wonderful educational resources, or your stuff for teachers and kids, or whatever else you want to claim. If a human looked at your site objectively, they’d be just as likely to find it to be a dated resource (as I did) as they would to be a valuable resource (as you claim others have).

    Everything that has been pointed out to you (at least half of which you completely misinterpreted) has been pointed out in both the best interests of your users and search engines. Nothing that has been suggested to you could do you any harm, and everything that has been suggested to you contains potential search engine benefit as well as user benefit (which is what you should be focusing on right now, as Aaron pointed out to you.)

    You can keep all the stuff you want to keep on your site. At no point did anyone say you couldn’t. You just need to fix it, that’s all (by the way, make sure you validate your code, too….there are some spots that are a real mess.)

    When you do that, and you can show that your site has been cleaned up and that it would conclusively be a better resource than anyone else, and find that the vast majority agree, then you can go call Google genetically modified corn or a crop dusting farmer or whatever idiotic thing you want. Until then, you’re just blowing smoke out of your ass.

  89. Kirby

    And yet another entertaining thread shot to hell by cuttletts.

  90. “Remember: just because I’m in a picture with someone doesn’t mean that we share a deep rapport.”

    SO, then by deductive inference of the opposite is it also safe to assume that if we actually DON’T have a picture with you it doesn’t follow with necessity that you have some deep seated resentment or animocity towards us?

    I guess hope is really all I’m holding on to at this point….

  91. Ulysee

    Google is terribly broken and has been so since the first data refresh in Dec ’05.
    Google is losing the battle to spammers in certain sectors and looking alot like Yahoo.
    In fact the algorithm that Google currently has looks alot like Yahoo and Msn serps-wise.

    Google is getting it’s butt whipped by porn spam and I think you (Google) folks are knocked out for the count.

  92. This photo looks like a ringing endorsement for the The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.

  93. Doug Heil

    Donald, if this is the site:
    http://www.taj-mahal.net/

    Isn’t that “one” page also? Well, I found “one” link that lead to an interior page on your page that was the “same” domain. ALL OTHER Links on that front page lead to OTHER domains/sites.

    You are trying to tell this blog that your “page” deserves to be ranked on something? You’ve truly got to be kidding me, right? You honestly cannot look at that one page site and claim it’s meant for real visitors, now can you?

    That domain seems familiar, so I’m thinking you have tried your luck at the IHY forums as well, and probably got “nowhere” there as well. LOL

    Your site would have to have a TOTAL and “complete” redesign. You need new everything. Whoever did that site knows almost nothing about se’s or real visitors at all. I’m real sorry, but those are the facts. The members in here are trying to help you, and they are very right. You are using javascript links which are real bad stuff. You link out to other domains for the first 10 or so links on that page.

    I am really surprised you actually have success at ranking on msn and yahoo as well. I’m surprised Google shows you anywhere at all. NO SEO in the right mind would touch the site without a TOTAL redesign with many pages and lots of great content. The page/site has none of that right now.

    We are simply trying to help you. It seems you really don’t want to listen to anyone and just want to complain about other websites. You really should be spending money and hiring someone who can build a real website the right way.

  94. Doug Heil

    Oh BTW Matt; Thanks for starting this kind of thread. This kind of thing I hear and see daily…. “relationship” with Google, etc. Now I have a link that rebukes the retard seo’s who spew their shite.

    But we emailed once and met once, so does that mean we are friends? :D

  95. Dave (Original)

    RE: “I appreciate what you are saying, but AGAIN the real issue is not MY websites.”
    ========================================

    William, sorry, you have obviously made up your mind and all we are doing is spoiling your “Google’s broken” parroting with facts. Not to worry though, all Googles users will switch to YaWho and M$N just as soon as they realize your “great” site isn’t on page 1 for their searches.

  96. sem4u

    > Changing my sites’ content will make no difference if I don’t get “quality” inbound links.

    Well I think that more people would link to your site is the content was improved….

  97. Dave and Adam who doesn’t (do it at all)…

    My sites were restored to their previous positions last night. (Many other sites were restored to previous positions as well).

    So… I guess this means…. YOU WERE (mostly) WRONG about my sites!

    Still curious as to why “crappy” sites are doing so well…

    One thing you did say that made sense: Many of my pages with collections of topical pictures and only some titles & descriptive text DID have an AdSense ad at the top of the page.

    Although this was NOT the problem, I have JUST NOW removed these ads just to make sure no Robot can accuse me of being a “made for AdSense” site in future.

  98. Stuart

    What an absolute douche… I cringed when I see that picture… why would somebody do that, absolute loser or what :| honestly…

  99. * sighs *

    You’re right, William. Google heard your neverending rhetoric and decided to update the algorithm just for you. That’s what really happened. It was broken, and your constant pissing and moaning led to it getting fixed. Way to go! You did it!

    (Do you see how dumb that sounds?)

    See you when you’re complaining again about this because of this issue. Notice how I didn’t use the word “if”, because I strongly suspect it will be in the next few days.

    None of us were wrong about your sites, because a lot of what we pointed out had both user and search engine implications. You just refuse to acknowledge them as issues because in doing that, you’d be acknowledging that your site needs a full workover from the ground up. You also misread about half of it, after it was repeatedly clarified.

    So enjoy it while you can…it’s not going to last.

  100. Adam who don’t

    “Google heard your neverending rhetoric”

    I never said that, and I never expected Google to listen to me. My discussion here is not for Google, it’s for interested parties to my issue (NOT THE ISSUE YOU CLAIM I AM MAKING)

    You always ignore what I ask, and answer whatever question you want to answer (as snidely as you can), whatever is on your current agenda, just like a boring, spin-doctor politician.

    You are a total waste of time, and so is this thread.

  101. Great, stop posting then. But you won’t. I know that, and you know that.

    I don’t ignore what you ask. I merely point out that what you ask is invalid because you’re in the exact same boat as the people you’re accusing of being in the boat in the first place.

    As far as having an agenda goes, think about how ridiculous that is. What agenda would I have? I don’t know you. I don’t have a site (or a client’s site) that in any way, shape or form is a competitor to yours. So what agenda could I possibly have?

    Right, there is none.

    The only reason I bothered to respond to you is because it was getting to the point where someone had to try and clue you in to the reality of your situation. Aaron tried, I tried, Dave tried, Doug Heil tried, and you conveniently ignored all of us. Why? Because it made your little argument wrong. The idea that other sites may not be any worse than yours to the eyes of those who have nothing to do with the situation (including the very same humans you would want Google to hire to evaluate your site). We all saw gaping holes in it from both the user (primarily) and search engine (directly and by extension) standpoints. You just flipped out at the idea because it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.

    Why would I tell you things that could only help you and not hurt you? Why would anyone else? Think about that. Not one of us has tried to hurt you in any way. We might have come across harsh, but that’s only because you don’t listen when you’re told things.

    See, I used to think just like you. I had a site a few years ago that consistently (over a period of 6-8 months at least) was the #1 for its keyword in both MSN and Yahoo!, but couldn’t get beyond #64 in Google. Pissed me off to no end. And then when I asked why this was, someone pointed out some flaws in the user experience to me (in a rather nasty way). And then I realized this…if my own site, which I’m trying to get ranked, has issues that someone I’d never even heard of before can see, how can I expect any search engine to rank it objectively and still have it ranked the way I want it to rank?

    That’s all any of us have tried to tell you from the start. You can’t go around saying Google is broken by applying subjective thinking to an objective process, and you can’t go around saying it’s broken when you haven’t done all you can do to maximize the user experience of your own site and give people what they want as well. You fall short on both counts. That’s all. And again, the sooner you realize that instead of going off all half-baked and accusing everyone who doesn’t think your site is king of whatever mountain you want it to be on of being a waste of time or wrong in all capital letters, the better off you’ll be.

  102. my, my, my… the things they (or we?:-P) do for business… tsk, tsk, tsk…

  103. ash

    *waits for 100s of seo-ers to paste their head next to yours…*

  104. Blazes

    Matt, so glad you have posted this. What took so long?

    There is a certain ecommerce solution/web promotion service which not only posts photos of you but has also claimed, for years, in its client forum that you have given your personal stamp of approval on each of its shady and temporary SEO tactics. One wonders why more clients don’t catch on but they seem to be desperate enough to believe anything.

  105. The first time I ‘experienced’ Matt was at SES London a few years back. He and Todd Friersen ‘shared thoughts’ across the hall about link building. It was obvious then to anyone that it was a cat and mouse game, and that there was a professional respect between all parties.

    Matt I have mailed those wonderfull ‘reception’@ emails a few times everytime I come across the ‘we have a special working relationship with Google stuff.

    The Best I have read though was a few weeks back along the lines of ‘ we use xxx which Matt cutts has mentioned on his blog, and as such is his endorsing us’ I mean I have heard about teuous reference but LOL.

    Shoemoney, about them ringtones ;)

  106. If only Google took friendship with Matt into account: MattRank!

  107. Interesting how time take to such pictures to appear on EBay;-)

  108. I got my break in Hawaii through a travel agent who was a personal friend of Danny Sullivan. Danny was hired on by a current client of mine (referred through John – Hawaii Travel Agency) 10 years ago to do SEO which he had and drove her site up to one of the top in her industry. Today she is still in the top 3 and 5 on MSN, Yahoo and Google. I took over about 7 years ago and continued to watch Danny’s work.

    Both John and Claudia who have worked with Danny have never used his name on their websites and neither have I. In fact I am much happier to have learned through his own personal work rather than to gain recognition. It was because of him that I keep my work clean and my clients happy.

    It’s unfortunate that people would use Danny or yourself to gain popularity, when they should use the experience they gained from the time they’ve spent with you.

  109. Michelle

    Hi Matt im curious about something. I was reading that if your page droped alot you should check who is linking to you. I found one site with a bunch of links to my site the url in there multiple times along with the text of my page, but now this is wierd i go to the page and ntohing is there. but if i do a view source, there is it along with the content of other pages for the same topic? im like woa! im new to seo im trying to figure out what he did here? is this what they call scraping? or redirect? its these here http://www.natural-alexandrite.com/alexandrite/alexandrite-pictures.html and http://www.natural-alexandrite.com/alexandrite/white-gold-alexandrite-ring.html its wierd. he has the guts of my page and other peoples in the source but the page when you go to it is nothing. i get my site scraped but those pesky adwords page things but i figured they have a direct link back to me on the page so cant be to bad? but this is really wierd looking. Please tell me if this is hurting my page?

    thanks & BIG HUG!

    Michelle

  110. It certainly is easier to whack a photo or come up to you and take a picture than prove your worth by delivering quality results to your clients.

  111. Well I am sure many people whom you have been photographed with might misuse the photograph to justify their adopted SEO black hat techniques.

  112. ConcernedSEO

    Although all the advice given to Willian Donelson regarding his site is valid. I think you guys that are ripping on him aren’t undstanding the simple question he’s asking.

    Put simply, he’s asking:

    “what have the sites above his done to achieve their current ranking ?”

    Which is a simple questio, he wasn’t asking for an analysis of his own site and given his question you could really ignore the fact he has a vested interest.

    Most SEOs will do competative analysis when embarking on a project and this is no different. This guy simply wants to know why what equally crappy sites have done to rank higher.

    No question all the advice already given to the guy should help in the long wrong – for his site.

  113. Alan R

    Matt,

    Shouldn’t you be fair? If you answer SEO questions that an SEO company asks on behalf of a client and then they post it to a blog as a resource, shouldn’t every SEO be given the opportunity to ask a question via a direct email to you?

    Would this be considered an SEO mistake? It looks like Matt friendship to me.

    How about me asking for 2 minutes of your time (Please)? :)

  114. LMAO! You’re a celebrity Matt.. next thing you know, they’ll photoshop you doing weird things like changing the background with their company logo and changing your hand to a thumbs up position..

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