Digging out from vacation/SMX

I’m back from SMX Seattle. It was wonderful to visit with familiar folks. I met a lot of neat new people too. 🙂

I plan to spend the next week or so talking with folks at Google and seeing just how much email stacked up while I was on vacation. Catching up with my team is my top priority, so it will take me a little while before I can get my blog posting velocity back up to full speed. Some things I know I want to talk about:

– discussion of the extra info that’s been added to our webmaster quality guidelines
– thoughts on SMX Seattle and giving more context on some of the things I discussed at SMX Seattle
– talking about how I ordered a machine with Ubuntu pre-installed instead of Windows
– a reminder of a good .htaccess practice, possibly with some thoughts on WordPress caching
– five things you don’t know about me
– a few book reviews from my vacation

Please be patient if I concentrate on catching up on webspam stuff before I blog much. Thanks, and it’s good to be back! 🙂

46 Responses to Digging out from vacation/SMX (Leave a comment)

  1. Harith


    You just take your time and say “Thanks a bunch” to the friends who made the improvements on the webmaster guidelines. Well done! Though still missing more info about filing reinclusion requests.

    Looking forward to your next post: “discussion of the extra info that’s been added to our webmaster quality guidelines” 🙂

    Btw, as far as the webmasters related forums are concerned, one can say:
    Hey Matt & Adam.. long time no see 🙂

  2. We’ve been chugging on conference stuff. I think Adam is doing 3 talks (!) at SES Toronto just around the corner, so he may be scarce for a while. But we’ll dig out from the hole and resume our normal presence at some point..

  3. welcome back.

    and about new addition in webmaster guidelines, i feel it good now, its like more specific now…

  4. Good to hear the mountain didn’t fall on you Matt, and by gosh – you are a late night blogger!

    It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts about your new Ubuntu machine.. is it a Dell?



  5. “discussion of the extra info that’s been added to our webmaster quality guidelines”

    Me too in particular wordpress and dupes caused by the diferent navigation – is it best to block archives and categorys in wordpress using robots.txt (i notice that neither you or Vanessa do this).

    Also we are geting hundeds of bizare hits on a customer site for the saerch term “sexdragsandrocknroll” wheer we dont have that text anny where on the site !!

    Rgds Neuro

    Ps has Emmy and Ozzie been learning LOLCODE 🙂


  6. Good to hear the mountain didn’t fall on you Matt, and by gosh – you are a late night blogger!

    It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts about your new Ubuntu machine.. is it a Dell?


  7. The new detail pages deserve your attention 😉 Especially the cloaking and redirect page which –as I read/understand it– puts down perfectly legit ways to deliver contents in different formats depending on the user agent’s ability to render it:

  8. More people need to read the webmaster quality guidelines, the web would be a much better place is they did. I know some competitors that should defiantly read it.

  9. Oh i forgot Also

    There appears to be a problem with .com’s hosted in the uk geting in the uk index

  10. I can’t wait for your take on SMX. It was great meeting you!

  11. While you are digging out, it appears imposters are springing up everywhere. Augh!


  12. welcome back Matt. There certainly seems to be something wrong with the index because some sites that outrank mine are total crap. Not saying I should rank first but it’s not cool to see someone with duplicate content and an old site outrank good sites.

  13. Welcome back Matt. Did you read ALL those books?

    I wasn’t gonna…honest…but since “Nick – I think the original Nick here. ” already did – I’ll chime in too. Please don’t be mad. 🙂

    I also have recently begun experiencing horrid, business killing results for one of my managed sites – www [dot] jdldatasolutions [dot] com. I’ll not bore with details here – I, and others, have posted to Google Webmaster Help.

    Thanks for your time.

  14. Matt, I would be interested to learn why Google has now promoted Wikipedia articles to 1st and 2nd positions for many keywords despite the fact that few people link to those specific pages AND the many documented complaints about the inaccuracy of Wikipedia articles on social topics, biographies, etc.

    Why does Google continue to diminish the user experience by excluding good information (through partial or non-indexing of Supplemental pages with unique content) and the promotion of well-known false, inaccurate, and malicious content that is frequently posted at Wikipedia. There is no true editorial review process in place there. Many schools now specifically tell students NOT to cite Wikipedia among Web references for research papers.

    This is a serious issue that I feel deserves a better response than something that seems to amount to no more than: “Most people don’t know how bad Wikipedia is so it is deemed to be a good resource.”

  15. Hi!
    It sounds like you have fun and lots of stuff to talk about SMX Seattle. I blog it and come back to check it out.

  16. I should have read your blog a days back, would have loved to meet you as I am here in the seattle area as well. When you will be making another trip out this way?

  17. Matt, as a follow up to your request from the conference. You asked me for some specific examples of Supplemental Pages that provide unique information which cannot be found in Web search results. The examples I have cited from your blog in the past of course now have links pointing to them.

    I cannot share client queries because of NDA requirements, but I’ll keep my eye out for Supplemental Results pages that fit the model and, if it’s all right with you, I’ll post some examples in an appropriate place here on your blog.

    BTW — I’m not feeling well this morning, which makes me a little rude (as Rand can tell you), but I really do feel strongly that Google should not be promoting Wikipedia articles in its search results and what I and some other people took away from Monday’s SMX comments (from you, at least) is that Google apparently does show some sort of deliberate favoritism to Wikipedia. And changes in search results this week seem to confirm that.

  18. Jay Griffin


    After watching you in action Tuesday night you can include in your list of “five things you don’t know about me” is that you are a pretty decent bowler. 🙂

  19. How was it being away from the cats for a whole month? 😮

  20. Harith

    Jay Griffin

    “After watching you in action Tuesday night you can include in your list of “five things you don’t know about me” is that you are a pretty decent bowler.”

    What do you mean by “a pretty decent bowler”? 🙂
    You better read this one when Matt
    was punished 🙂

  21. Looking forward to your .htaccess pointers. There’s a nice thread on SEOmoz about .htaccess / duplicate content. I’d point to it but their site is down. Still, take a look when it gets back up. It was just posted today.

  22. Joe

    I’d like to talk about no follow tags and how sites that agree to use the content in return for a link back to the owner of the content. But big sites with a lot of trust are now using no follow. So they get to use the content but are being sneaky and not really giving credit back.

    See this article

    Matt your imput is appreciated.

  23. Matt,

    It was nice meeting you at the SMX.

    I can’t say that I am happy with how you avoided my devious trap for extracting top secret Google information out of you by offering you some gum. You must have nerves of steel as you resisted the lure of my Dentyne. I mean come on man… it was Dentyne!

  24. “giving more context on some of the things I discussed at SMX Seattle”


  25. Hi Matt,

    With the new updated Webmaster Guidelines, will a directory that charges a Link Revision Fee be penalized for linking directly to sites, instead of using a rel nofollow, or some javascript?

    BTW, there should be a rel paidlink

  26. Do I win the prize?
    I reported the new guideline at SEOish.com

  27. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about a few things you listed off. One being the dell’s with linux and no hardware support..lol I’m also looking forward to seeing what’s new with google webmaster tools.


  28. Matt

    You need to get some one with better pr/writing skills to check the wording on the quality guidelines

    ” which outline some of the illicit practices ”

    Is causing some consternation – could also come back to haunt you I can see some right wingers taking you to court as they may disagree over what should or should not be “illicit”

  29. Emilio

    Hello Matt,

    I’ve been visiting your blog as of late. Just want to say hello and welcome back.

  30. Lindsay Perkin

    Hi Matt,

    It was great to meet you at SMX! During your interview with Rand Fishkin, you mentioned that more people introduced themselves at SMX. As a Matt Cutts handshake first-timer, I must say I was glad to have the opportunity! At SES NY, I would have had to fight my way through an overwhelming crowd of Cuttlets to introduce myself. SMX and the Google Party presented the opportunity with ease.

    I look forward to seeing you at future events. Hopefully my bowling skills will have improved by then. Of course I am referring to bowling with a ball and pins, not the other kind. 😉


  31. Chris

    “a reminder of a good .htaccess practice, possibly with some thoughts on WordPress caching”

    I am very interested in this topic. I am having a hard time keeping up with all the cached copies of my homepage out there. One big concern for me lately has been DomainTools and the spiderable cache they provide via the SEO Text Browser.

  32. Julie

    Hey Matt,
    Just want to say thanks for chatting with me and it was great meeting you!


  33. Steve

    Welcome back, SERPS are looking better, but I don’t think its quite there yet but then it probably never will be, I see some tweaking to some of the sites hit by the 950 penalty and although I’m still guessing I’d say it has something to so with words that have more than one meaning being fine tuned, but I could be wrong 🙂

    Most importantly, my gmail isn’t working, apart from search one of the greatest things ever to come out of Google, nothing to do with you I know, but if you get a chance have a wander around there with a stout stick.


  34. Hey Matt,

    Your first time in the Pacific Northwest – Did you take some time out to visit Vancouver BC?

    I didn’t have time to make the 1.5 hour drive from Vancouver to Seattle for SMX due to some client obligations.

    For future posts could you let us know your thoughts on SMX vs SES.

    Gut feeling, Danny rocks and SMX is going to be the “must attend” conference.

    Any commentary you can make on the conference is appreciated.

  35. Welcome Back Matt! 🙂

    SMX Seattle looked great! In fact I was glued to my feeds looking for all the latest discussions and oh ya videos 🙂 It was great to see you smiling and bulbing while interviewed. I felt the guidelines would be updated but darn did they do that fast hehe. No sooner were you mentioning that Google might update them and pow there they were. Fresh and new. Launching updated Google Webmaster Guidelines during the conference was cute. 😉
    Maybe a little bit more on the paid links would be a good edition. Webmasters should be careful before doing it.

    The Photo of Mexico looked great too Matt! Your wife has a good eye. I look forward to the book reviews. That seemed to be the best setting to snuggle up with a good book.

    Once again Welcome Back Matt!

  36. Kirby

    Matt, can you define “illegal” and “illicit” in the context of the new guidelines?

  37. Harith


    “- five things you don’t know about me”

    Let me bring some “qualified” guess to the equation 🙂

    1- Your real name is not Matt Cutts but Matt Gonzalez

    2- Jeremy Zawodny is your brother-in-law

    3- Once a month you exchange cats with Vanessa Fox. On the 15th of each month Vanessa brings you Charlie and Randy and fetch Emmy and Oz to stay with her until the end of the month..etc.

    4- You are a secret member of the board of directors of amazon.com

    5- You will run for governor of Kentucky in 2008

  38. Helo and welcoming! It is nice to seeing you have blag like Vladimier.. who would have knewn that ther is 2 blags in United States! I am reading many storys of this goosle and ask many women at bus stop to goosle me.. many time they hit Vladimier lik I hit wife of mine sometime. Pleese continu to make quality goosle product, I ask local stor to git some so I can by.

  39. Hello Matt,
    sorry for offtop, but I have question for you about “algoritmic” results in search. I hope you answer me ;). The problem is TITLE in SERPs for my blog when you searxh for my name and my surname (type in search box “Piotr Cichosz” lang PL – http://www.google.com/search?q=cichosz+piotr). Can you tell me WHY Google didn’t take TITLE from my meta tags and puts TITLE like: MY SURNAME, MY NAME?

    Is Google starting listing people in SERPs? 😉
    Have you got idea how am I feeling rigth now? Yea you right like a book in bookstore :P.

    Hope you can explain that ;).

  40. OnlyMe


    Welcome back!

    OnlyMe 🙂

  41. JC

    I don’t believe this has ever been addressed -maybe someone can chime-in, preferably Matt regarding “duplicate content”. Yes I read the latest Google’s “Webmaster – Content” http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66359

    But it does not address this issue. We have a web site and decided to open a second location on ebay -same content. The intent was the same with as with a brick and mortar store “increase sales through different channels. What precaution if any can we take to avoid the possibility of being penalized for our ebay? We would like to open a Yahoo! store too for the same reason. Is there a legitimate method of letting Google and everyone else that we have different sales channels (total and complete transparency)? Perhaps posting links from our main site to the other sites. We would do so on the other site, but ebay, Yahoo!, etc.., prohibits same for obvious reasons –I would too if I were in their shoes.

  42. Piotr/Peter/Mr. Cichosz: this one doesn’t require Matt’s mad debugging skills (or even Ozzie’s).

    Your issue is that Google’s drawing your DMOZ description (which will probably piss off 95% of people that post here because DMOZ won’t even list their sites, so you’ve got a huge edge):


    So Google’s not the one creating that impersonal feeling: DMOZ is!

    You can fix this yourself though with:

    <meta name=”robots” content=”noodp”>

    Source: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-supports-meta-noodp-tag/

    Give it a few days though to take effect.

  43. Welcome back Matt. Nice interview with Rand Fishkind and in particular your comments about excessive reciprocal linking in the real estate industry.

    I was in the group of the sites recently penalized. Everything is fixed. Can you push that button on your computer that lets me back in? 😉

  44. Barry S

    I hope you get on to taking some action against bloggers who are making Google a laughing stock with schemes like John Chow’s – http://www.johnchow.com/make-money-online-batch-79/

    I thought you’d shut him down a few weeks ago but to see him continue to rank #1 for make money online and to flaunt it by now going after other terms publicly disturbs me. This guy is influencing thousands of other bloggers who emulate him. It’s sad to see Google powerless or unwilling to stop him despite his schemes which so obviously manipulate your systems.

  45. Matt,

    When you do discuss “- a reminder of a good .htaccess practice, possibly with some thoughts on WordPress caching,” could you include some thoughts on the use of h1 versus h2 tags? (Or perhaps in a separate post)

    Specifically, some SEO advice I have seen recommends using h1 for titles vs the default h2 that most WordPress themes use. Is this really good guidance, and if so, can it be carried too far? For example, one theme that I recently used actually assigned an h1 to category pages, and now I have visitors landing on a category site when their search phrase should have taken them directly to an article I had written on the search phrase. (Example, several visitors searching for “customizing smartphone start menu” are now landing on my smartphone category page instead of on a specific article that I have written on the subject. At one time, searchers using this phrase landed on the right page, but now they don’t … no doubt I lose readers because of it.

    I think relatively new bloggers like myself can be confused and even misled by some of the SEO guidance floating around in cyberspace. None of us really wants to start out on the wrong foot.

    By the way, I switched to the same theme style you are using, at least for now, to get away from the one that was assigning h1 to “everything.”