Join the webmaster chat today!

At 9 a.m. Pacific time (noon Eastern) today, we’re going to do our third Google webmaster chat. People will be able to ask questions via Google moderator and we’ll answer a bunch either in Google moderator or over the audio portion of the chat. There will also be several Googlers doing short presentations. I hope to chat with lots of people, so please thinking about signing up. Here’s how to do it.

Update: You can read some of the questions and written responses from the chat. Thanks to the 600+ people that showed up; it was great spending a couple hours with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

45 Responses to Join the webmaster chat today! (Leave a comment)

  1. Hope to see you there!

  2. Matt, in relation to

    IF Google knows the page/site has been hacked, why do you punish the the victim and NOT the perpetrator?

  3. Let’s see, 9 a.m. Pacific Time, PDT is 8 hours behind UTC, but there’s still daylight savings time, so that’s 16:00 UTC, right? Er … could you maybe give times in UTC? All this to and fro is kind of awkward and error prone.

    So, 16:00 UTC. That’s 18:00 CEST. Exactly the time I’ll be leaving office and the hour in which I’ll be commuting home, so I won’t be able to attend. ๐Ÿ™

  4. What topics will this be covering?

  5. Will we able to contact you Matt?

  6. Thanks Matt! BTW, I’m in San Jose visiting with IS. Would have been great to stop by and shake your hand. Thanks for all you do to help us stay informed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. It’s an hour and a half till this event, and I already have some commitments arranged for the following hours. Will some of the content get published somewhere?

  8. Morris Rosenthal


    In case I don’t manage to ask at the chat, I just noticed this morning that Webmaster Tools sometimes shows external links which include the REL=NOFOLLOW tag.

    Also, O’Reilly TOC is hosting an SEO webcast an hour after Google’s starts today, if you don’t OD on the things, I’m sure Mac would let you in even if you forgot to register early:-)


  9. Morris Rosenthal


    Why does the internal linking style on a site matter? I usually use relative links on static pages, since I know where they are going, but absolute links on blog posts, which can appear in different places (feeds) and different directory levels (main blog page, dated subdirectory).

    I suppose I could grind through my whole site and make them all absolute, just don’t understand why Google would care.


  10. Matt,
    First of all, I am sorry to write this as a reply to your post, but I didn’t know where else to go or whoelse to talk about this.

    I am really pissed at how Google in my country disrespects its paying costumers, I am talking about Google Brazil, man, Brazil is huge it has a huge online value, people here are buying more each day online and you know what it took me 4 emails to Adwords to have a question solved, every time they would reply with a template email like “we cant answer your question, please read the Q&A pages”, Hello!!! I have read the darn FAQs and this is why I am emailing you!
    I can’t understand why Adwords doesnt provide not even a phone support to its Paying costumers in Brazil, man, we are talking about the 5th most populated country in the world and estimates are that by 2011 25% of the population will be online. This is an enormous profitable market and you know what not even half of the pages for adwords support are translated into portuguese, but still the guys at google here tell you to read them! I can read english but I am sure that not most of the small businesses that would advertise in adwords can.

    I don’t know man I think it’s really bad (I am trying hard not to use bad words..) that such a great, huge company doesnt look this way… I am completely frustrated and have just closed my adwords account, I guess Iยดll have to continue with YSM….
    Anyways, talking about web spam, you have no idea how many pages rank high on that use keyword stuffing, cloaking, all kinds of black hat crap possible. So, who the heck is the Brazilian Matt Cutts???? does he exists????

    Matt, please dont take me wrong, I like Google and it is a company that has become part of the life to soooo many people that it surprises me and irritates me how you guys just ignore this part of the world…

    I wanted so bad to make it to the webinar to ask these questions to live people, but I couldnt, so wanted you to know anyways and maybe you can forward it to the responsible people….

    Best Regards,

    P.S. I did not checl my spelling and I did not count to 10 before clicking the submit comment button. Sorry again, enjoy your day.

  11. Matt,
    Thanks for being involved with this. I had a small group of people in a conference room with me to join in. Unfortunately the majority left when they got off subject and started talking about the 401K and missed your contribution. Thanks again. I enjoyed seeing the personalities and fun loving attitudes we love from you guys…There were also some handy bits of information.

  12. Please, you are welcome to delete the comment, since I understand itยดs out of place.

  13. Hi Matt. These are the notes I took during todays session. Thanks for all the advice. Serapis Murillo

    Notes Taken During Google Session
    By Serapis Murillo
    Online Marketing Specialist for
    Date: October 22, 2008

    Duplicate Content:

    -Search Engines don’t really care.
    -They just ignore it.
    -However, it is always good to let Google now what version of the content you want indexed (could be done in various ways for internal duplicate content)
    -If possible, have sites using the content link back to you to tell google you are the authority

    Keyword Stuffing

    -A no no.
    -Always write naturally
    -Don’t hide the meaning or mislead people with inapropriate words for your topic.

    Keyword Density

    Not really a factor. Yes keyword should be present but density is not important. Include the keyword but make writing sound natural.


    – It is important to keep your sitemap up to date.
    – Google Webmaster tools help you identify errors you should fix.

    Keyword Ranking in SERPs

    -There is no such thing as universal ranking. Rankings are personalized. Factors that affect results seen are location, search history, etc. Ranking is going to be very different oversees.
    -Don’t focus on ranking, focus on Conversions
    -Don’t obsess over one phrase. Focus on quality content that will push long tails.


    -Yes Google uses it in their algorithms but it is only 1 factor of many.
    -Don’t stress over it.
    -PR is seen as authority but pages with quality content will outrank pages with lesser quality content even if they have higher PR.
    -Google also uses 200+ other factors (most are secret and won’t be disclosed)
    -Toolbar PageRank is only updated 3 or 4 times a year (this means current PR may be different than Toolbar PR until update is made.)

    HTML / CSS / Site Code Validation

    -Less than 5 % of sites use valid code.
    -Valid code makes site much easier to find, fix and index
    -W3C validation helps.
    -Webstandards help accessability and also make the site look good and work in multiple browsers
    -Valid code will not boost rankings though because Google does not want to penalize pages with quality content that have poor code.

    *Personal Note: Perhaps this does affect ranking because Googler were kind of contradicting each other on this. First they say it helps alot then they say it wont boost ranking????


    -Telling robots to index and follow is not necessary or important.

    Robot Exclusion

    -No Index is most effective for staying out of SERPs,
    -If you really want to avoid being in Google SERPs Let Google Crawl but tell them not to index, otherwise a page will not be indexed but external factors such as inbound links may cause page to be in SERPs.
    -Other method. Include No Index in robots.txt page. Don’t just disallow.
    -Very careful, you might accidentally tell Google to remove entire site.

    Inbound Links

    -The more the better but only if they are quality links.
    -Links are editorial votes for a specific page, not an entire site (this could cause internal links to have higher page ranks than the home page).
    -Authorative sites that naturally link to you are the best
    -Quality over quantity: One quality link may have more weight than 100 not so quality links.
    -Inbound links to removed pages should use 301 redirects. This will insure reputation for that page is passed on to new page.

    Dedicated IP vs. Shared IP Hosting

    -Unique IPs are not essential
    -Shared IP Hosting has no negative effect on rankings.
    -IPs are becomming scarce and Google knows sites sharing IPs may not be related so they will not penalize you for spammy sites using your same IP. (Unless 99 percent of other sites are spammers, in which case you will likely have problems unrelated to Google anyway)

    404 Not Found Error

    -While 404 errors wont hurt you Google encourages using 301 Redirects.
    -301s will help you keep earned link credit.
    -Use HTTP Check Header tools to see if 301s are correct or pages are returning the appropriate info (200 ok, 301 Permanent Redirects).

    Adwords and Adsense

    -Using or not using have absolutely no implication on organic results.

    Hidding Links as Text

    -Using CSS to make links act like normal text so people wont be able to differentiate between links ant text is NOT A VIOLATION OF GOOGLE’s GUIDELINES.
    -Disguising links is not a violation directly but it’s not the safest practice.

    Note: WHAT???????????? isn’t this sort of like cloaking? Telling robots to follow links but not telling humans to do so?

    First Click Free

    -Allows high quality sites such as academic journals to get listed.
    -These sites previously used cloaking (feeding content to Google and registration form to users).

    Geo Targeting using Sub-Domains and Sub-Directories

    – Webmaster Tools have an option to tell Google that a subdomain or a sub-directory caters to a specific geografical area. example: or can be used to geo target visitors from Germany and Google will take that into account in their German SERPs.

    Video and Images make it to Universal Search

    -Original and compelling video, images or other files will show in Universal Search results.

    Supplemenal Index

    – Still exists but it is simply not labeled that way anymore
    -Clearly based on PageRank

    Title Tag

    -People don’t Pay attention to Title Tag
    -Compelling title will help clickthrough
    -Make it compelling

    Google Profiles

    -Now being indexed.
    -Indexed using a regular sitemap but get no preference.

    Google Penalizations

    -Google tries to bring good sites up rather than bring bad sites down.

    Google Algorithm Changes

    -Last year there were approximately 400 changes made.
    -Some weeks had as many as 8 to 10 changes.
    -Some related to spam others not.

    JSession Ids or Session IDs

    -Google is pretty good at removing session IDs.
    -A perfect site however, wouldn’t need to use sessions.

  14. I was so bummed to miss it. I was stuck in depositions all day!

  15. Mike: if you’re getting paid to work, then you don’t really need the chat as badly as some of those who would sit there glued to it waiting for that nugget of worldly big G wisdom that will rocket-ride them to millionairosity.

    I also missed the chat due to problems I had to solve…and that, my friend, is a very good thing for both of us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Actually, one of the posters in the GWC blog asked a good question, and one that might work for people like Mike and I…will there be a downloadable version of the audio portion of the chat? That way, we can work and subliminally inject the goodness into our auditory system simultaneously. And we could drink sodas too. Sodas RULE!

  17. Google are never going to give any valuable information other than common sense, which sadly, isn’t so common in the SEO and Webmaster World.

  18. Hello Matt,
    I have attended the webinar yesterday and it was a brilliant experience, over past 5 years I have been hearing about your blog and various other official google blogs, but never spend time over here and/or there. But yesterdays experience was really great and immediately today before beginning my work I have spend more then 2 hours just reading your posts and comments from other webmasters.
    However, I will point 1 of my question which was asked in google moderator which was not anwered appropriately.

    This shall be helpful if you can answer the same ?

    Sub-Domains are considered as a new site for Search Engines, if a 5 years old site which uses, now plans to add and will this take another few years for both new domains to get rank”

  19. Abdullah A. Al-Ageel

    Hi ,

    One participant asked you a question related to (subdomains vs subdirectories). You postponed the response after the official presentation.

    Are we going to find something here ?

    thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I’m present on the said webmaster chat, hope we could have the record of the conversation and the powerpoint presentations. Thanks!

  21. oops just noticed it was yesterday OOPS! soory about that

  22. Matt, thanks for a great presentation. I wrote about what I got out of it in case anybody is looking for a summary.

  23. Hello Matt,

    I can’t believe that I just missed this great opportunity once again. I wish I had visited your blog a little sooner so that I could find out about the webmaster chat.

    Matt, isn’t it possible for Google to send an email to all webmasters informing them about this live chat? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the info,

  24. I missed it only by hour =(.. I wish they could have sent an auto reminder via email. During Google JuneTune, I got an email just 15 mins before the event….

  25. Hi Matt, something else, (didn’t know were to put my question)

    What is going on with the sitemap.xml generator
    I’ve notice Google robots needs over 24 hour nowadays.
    Normaly withing 2-4 hours they indexed the sitemap.xml.

    thanx in advance for your reply

    best regards


  26. Dave (original)

    RE: for Google to send an email to all webmasters

    That’s called Spam.

  27. Hey Matt!

    Was wondering if you’re going to talk about the G1? I know it doesn’t have much to do with SEO (at the moment), but I like your insight on Google stuff ๐Ÿ™‚


  28. Great summary, Serapis. Thanks!

  29. Hey Martin,

    Your experience with Google in Brazil is no different than anybody else’s experience with Google in other countries. That’s the way Google works. You can like it or dislike it, but my experience usually is that if you send them an email, explaining very precise what the problem is, they will respond. If you keep your questions vague, you’ll get the standard template emails from them.

    I’m located in Brazil and have an internet marketing company. We can help you with your adwords campaign. Click my name and contant us through the website.

    Hey Matt, no self promotion intended here. Just want to help somebody that’s frustrated while there’s no need for it.

  30. You’re welcome Trader Joe. Glad to hear it was useful.

  31. Good day,

    I’d appreciate your opinion on an ethical issue related to the text ads google displays on searches. I know that other companies like to target competitors adwords, but they have to pay for this privilege. Do you think it’s unethical for google to display a text ad advertising its own competing product after a user specifically searches for the competitors product. Particularly since it can theoretically keep that ad their forever at no cost ?

    more here:

  32. Dave (original)

    Today Today anymore ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Hey matt, I don’t know what’s up with that goog-a-whatsa site you have but I think i should rank higher in it. Let me know what you can do.


  34. @Multi-Worded Adam

    Yeah but after being banned from Google Maps for doing exactly what 90 percent of the guys with shitty sites are still doing who are destroying my NLS business, I cant afford not to be glued to Matt Cutt’s blog. I had to fire several employees after Google Local started ranking non authority sites in the very top.

    Finally Carter Maslan is allowing me back into Maps. One problem, my Local Account won’t let me edit my listings and no one responds at the Maps Team to my requests, other than in cryptic language that does nothing to assist me.

    If these people only owned a small business, perhaps they would understand my frustration and other Google stockholders. Arghhhhh!!! ๐Ÿ™

    Matt Cutts is the only guy who seems to get it over there. The black hat guys are stealing my business and the sentiment is obviously if you cant beat em join em.

  35. Serapis – Thanks for taking the time to write up and post the summary. It was very useful.

  36. Hi Matt,

    I have followed your blog for awhile now but have never commented before. I have been looking all over the web for the answer to a question I have and have not been able to find it. I was hoping that you can shed some light on the subject.

    I have been putting together a slew of videos of neighborhoods in my local market to provide those moving to get a feel for the area prior to arriving. I am about ready to start posting the video and have been contemplating loading them upto you tube and then embedding them into my website. However, I have been hearing alot of noise about duplicate content. If I load the videos to you tube then embed them into my website will this then be viewed as duplicate content?

    I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

    James Wheelock

  37. Dave (original)

    and the sentiment is obviously if you cant beat em join em.

    Then you should be surprised when Google treats you as a SE spammer. Lets hope that blackhats don’t start to Murder people so you don’t blindly follow suit.

    I had to fire several employees after Google Local started ranking non authority sites in the very top.

    How do you KNOW the sites above yours aren’t “authority sites” in the eyes of Google?

    Focus SOLEY on your own sites content and stop wasting time mirroring blackhat ways.

  38. Dave (original)

    DOH! “Then you should be surprised…” should be “Then you should *not* be surprised…”

  39. @Dave (original):

    That is not my sentiment dude. My sentiment is that the Google Maps rules are very vague and even though they were improved, they can still cause one to be branded as a spammer even if he arguably is not.

    What my main complaint is, is that the companies that rank in the one, three and ten packs in Google Local, are almost all using business names that are fake, and they are not being removed as spammers, despite the new rules that disallow this old practice by businesses to exploit the fact that Google Maps relies upon the title of the business, rather than the business description to delve out rankings in the one, three and ten packs at the very top of the natural language results next to that nifty and attractive map!

    When I did it, I got branded as a Mapspammer, when others do it, nothing seems to happen. Some people are using domain farms to get multiple local listings and they are using different addresses, or spelling the business names different, using multiple phone numbers, using a fake name for a law firm, such as Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney [See example here ], when the name is really completely different [See real name here ] or law firms using each attorney’s name at the firm as a separate listing, and multiple url’s that 301 redirect, to get multiple listings and despite spam reports, they get away with it.

    Or multiple listings for the same business at the same address [See here ]

    So there is an unfair application of the Maps Rules, which makes Google look bad ultimately. Also, you can see that this listing which has dominated the one box for many months, is not being banned, but instead allowed to do whatever.

    The Google Local Algorithm is easily manipulated, and most of the sites doing well there are PR-0 “Page Rank” Zero, so I doubt Google thinks they have any authority.

    It’s just that Maps has many serious flaws. I love Google and they are helping me live a better life. So none of this is an insult. But come on, seriously, get some rules that are intelligible, or don’t unfairly apply the rules to the detriment of some and to the benefit of others.

    This is a publicly traded, billion dollar company, not some mom and pop shop. Anyways, off my soap box. Semper Fi dude.

  40. This is great – I am so happy to see all the content of chat, though I reply later but I must say it is possible only by Google and Googler

  41. That is not my sentiment dude

    LOL! Dude, YOU wrote it.

    and the sentiment is obviously if you cant beat em join em.

    The Google Local Algorithm is easily manipulated, and most of the sites doing well there are PR-0 โ€œPage Rankโ€ Zero, so I doubt Google thinks they have any authority.

    NO it is NOT “easily manipulated”. You only ever see TBPR, not the REAL PR that Google uses as a small PART of their Algorithm.

    You are better off believing in Tooth Fairy rather than TBPR. It is lagged, stale and on a different scale to real PR.

  42. Dave (Original)

    That is not my sentiment dude.


    and the sentiment is obviously if you cant beat em join em.

    Which one do you stand-by?

    BTW, TBPR is stale, lagged and on a different scale to REAL PR. Stop obsessing over TBPR, “dude”.

  43. Robert MacDowell

    “-IPs are becoming scarce and Google knows sites sharing IPs may not be related so they will not penalize you for spammy sites using your same IP. (Unless 99 percent of other sites are spammers, in which case you will likely have problems unrelated to Google anyway)” …

    But that can happen more easily than you think. Real webmasters write content pretty slowly. But spammers are produce with automation, making millions of pages a day. You could find yourself on an IP or hoster that contains 100 legitimate webmasters like you, and one spammer… and in a day or two the spammer has created 10,000 sites, making himself 99% of the content. How would you know?

  44. Hi Matt,

    Here’s my complain…about the way you guys respond to questions in the Google moderator. I have posted a Question about 3 weeks ago ..”Does google supports OpenId for Gmail or google accounts ?”
    (other websites of google also).

    But I didn’t got any answers. I think you should not wait to get a question get rated before you answer as this leaves many interested people waiting for too long to hear back from you people. Your app.. Moderator is not as user friendly as your search engine, gmail or IGoogle, blogger etc.

    You may also think of another model if it is too difficult for you to answer so many questions.

    Amarendra k.