Miscellaneous Monday: March 27, 2006

Okay, I can feel Harith twitching with the desire to ask questions, so let’s start a grab-bag thread. Ask whatever you want. I’ll tackle a few of the questions that are general. Please make sure you read the most recent comment guidelines so you know to avoid “what’s up with my specific site?” or other questions that won’t apply to most people.

Today I’m actually away from work up in San Francisco with my wife, so I may let questions accumulate before I tackle them. I’m going to get cleaned up and prowl Union Square for a copy of Me and My Katamari, and I guess I’ll need a PSP to go with it. I’m sure later this week I’ll be asking how to run homebrew code on a PSP firmware v2.6.

Examples of fine questions include:
– Is Bigdaddy fully deployed?
– What’s the story on the Mozilla Googlebot? Is that what Bigdaddy sends out?
– Any new word on sites that were showing more supplemental results?
– Is the RK parameter turned off, or should we expect to see it again?
– What’s an RK parameter?
– What are you doing in San Francisco on a weekday?

Update: Okay, enough questions for now. I’ll tackle a few of these, and I’ll try to do another grab-bag thread in a week or two. 🙂

181 Responses to Miscellaneous Monday: March 27, 2006 (Leave a comment)

  1. Hi Matt

    You read my mind. Thanks for this great opprtunity 🙂

    Here I go, Matt:

    – On which datacenter to look for improvements of the supplemental issues?

    – When should we expect to see first signs of improvements regarding to canonical issues?

    – Do you take Emmy with you to San Francisco 🙂

    Thanks. Wish you and Mrs Cutts a nice trip.

  2. Hi Matt!

    – Is Bigdaddy fully deployed?
    – What’s the story on the Mozilla Googlebot? Is that what Bigdaddy sends out?
    – Any new word on sites that were showing more supplemental results?
    – Is the RK parameter turned off, or should we expect to see it again?
    – What’s an RK parameter?
    – What are you doing in San Francisco on a weekday?
    – Do you check your email (i@) ever?

    — Stephen Deken.

  3. Well, Matt, those are perfect questions, so I’ll ask them…

    – Is Bigdaddy fully deployed?
    – What’s the story on the Mozilla Googlebot? Is that what Bigdaddy sends out?
    – Any new word on sites that were showing more supplemental results?
    – Is the RK parameter turned off, or should we expect to see it again?
    – What’s an RK parameter?

  4. Hi Matt,

    Will the deployment of BigDaddy stabilise the rolling PR issues we are experiencing at present?

  5. This datacentre works differently to all of the others. Noticed just a few hours ago.

    Many of the oldest Supplemental results no longer appear on a site:domain.com search (but adding a keyword makes many of them re-appear) in that DC too.

    Where does that DC fit into the scheme of things? Is it mainly made from newly spidered data?

  6. For sites and pages expected to come out of supplemental status will they need to wait for an update of some kind to rank properly again? Or as the pages go live is this where they can expect to be?

    Thank you.

  7. Not so much a question…

    GET A PSP! Hunt around for a pack with a larger (min. IGb) memory stick, and preferably the power pack add-on. You could go to eBay for the memory though, I just got a 1 Gig card for under £25, including postage. The built-in browse on wi-fi is just great – geek utopia. War-walking/driving is fun 😉

  8. Did you check out the guys all painted in silver doing the robot on milk crates in San Fran?

  9. Hello Matt,

    Is Google working to eliminate parked domains used solely for displaying ads from top results (even if they match the search term exactly)?

  10. Matt,

    Can you give us a general way of getting a good idea in front of Google ?


  11. Can you comment on the so-called Google Bowling
    phenomena – the ability for someone else to clobber you in the SERP’s.

    The URL in my signature has an extensive writeup (I actually think my case is self-induced due to natural exuberance of folks wanting to help out) but I think this is of general interest rather than just about my site. HEY, how many times have you heard that assertion! 😉

    As I wrote, this is argueably a next-generation anti-spam technique in the on-going arms race between search engines and SEO’s. Does not appear that MSN/Yahoo have deployed any algorithmic approach like this yet. So while it may seem wierd/unfair that a 3rd party could clobber your rankings, my two cents is that it is a pragmatic solution to a real-world problem, so they should be looking into it.

    If we suspect this has happened, should we just file a re-inclusion request with information showing why we think this may have happened?

    But I can envision it being very difficult for you guys to determine if the unnatural back links were self-generated by someone trying to game the search engines, or by nefarious black hats … as the linking signature basically looks the same.

  12. You asked for questions. 😉

    Why do you focus your attention so much on SEOs and not at webmasters who make actual quality websites?

  13. How come some sites rank so highly when they are obviously stuffed full of spam (keyword stuffing etc) and have been reported?

    How can a site rank so well for just about everything except for one key phrase? (obviously penalized, but when is that lifted, all other pages KWs seem to rank fine.


  14. Hellow Matt,
    The whole adult sector has been taken over by spam and 404’s no matter what search term I search for there are at least 40 spam/redirect/404 pages for a search in adult.
    Since October and even more so in December It seems as if allinanchor doesnt matter anymore because spam pages rank well in allinanchor and in regular serps even if the site has no links.
    Will this problem be fixed and is Google aware of the problem?.

  15. Thank you for doing this grab-bag Matt.

    I am hoping that you can address Keyword Density and Keyword Stacking (using the same keyword over and over again on a page to increase density).

    In content rich sites there is a tendency to use the same Key Words and Phrases reptitively on a page so as not to dilute them. Other times, important words can have a lack of synonoms or alternate terms.

    On the other side of the balance beam are sparse websites that employ very little text around their Key Words and Phrases.

    Both types of sites have the same Keyword Density. One site is content rich and user friendly, but the language might read a little unnatural. The other site reads more naturally, but there is little content to read.

    The obvious examples that I am thinking of are shopping sites, though I’ve seen other examples of this as well, and it seems that very often less content is rewarded more strongly than rich content. I would think that the opposite would be true so I am wondering why this is and what guidance you can provide? Also, how do search engines use Keyword Density?

    Thank you Matt.

  16. I’m also very interested in the answer to RobinKay’s question – I’m seeing some of our pages come out of supplemental, but they’re ranked much lower than they used to be. I was thinking it could be because Google takes into account the ‘size’ of the website for the rankings, and since only a small fraction of the pages are back into the main index yet, it thinks the site is too small to be important.

    Matt – without getting into the search algorithm details, could you confirm that I’m thinking in the right direction here? Thanks.

  17. Does this mean there is an end in sight to the www/non-www canonical issue? No need anymore for re-directs in htaccess? Google now understands it’s the same site?

    Also, year old (plus) cached data no longer features in Google’s index?

  18. I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that PR for pages other than the main page of my blog has dropped to 0 while the main page seems to be as popular (even more popular) then ever in search results. This is sort of a problem as I’d like my archives to be the primary source and the main blog page is just for things that are recent.

    It was just fine in the past, but now I see people hitting the main page for articles I’ve posted in the past. At that point they see a posting about a tree or something and don’t find the technical information they were searching for.

    It seems like this behavior is a step backwards, at least in cases like mine where the blog is a device used to archive important info instead of a place for topical discussion.

  19. Jaimie Sirovich

    Hi Matt,

    Did you ever look into the issue with new web sites being penalized for launching on an expired domain (that may or may not have a penalty associated with it). The site I alluded to when I spoke to you still is in the pooper, but I know this isn’t supposed to be a “specific site question.” So I won’t mention the specific site 🙂

    I’ll note 1 more thing:
    I vaguely suspect that the fact that I tested some tier-2 and tier-3 PPC (and some 302s? by extension) early-on might have tripped a red flag, though I kind of doubt it. Just wondering if that could actually be a bad thing.

  20. Hi Matt –

    we saw a permanent switching from supplemental to normal and back, but it seems that even when back our pages are ranking for nothing; other webmasters report te same problem.

    So may it be that Google forgot about the ranking by trying to fix some issues and thus making things worth and worther?

    Regards from Germany
    Werner G.

  21. Matt,

    I’ve reported this problem for a few times, but still nothing has changed.

    On the Google SERPS page when a specific biography is searched for (or anything else which wikipedia is useful for), the ‘quicklink’ at the top like this:

    Charlie Sheen — Carlos Irwin Estevez, whose stage name is Charlie Sheen, (born 3 September 1965) is an American …
    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie Sheen

    is shown. However, the link given is incorrect. The ‘According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie Sheen’ part is, but not the actual link to click on.

    Every wikipedia link is the same way on the SERPs quicklinks which has a space. Google places ‘+’ in between the two words, when infact it’s a %20 (space).

    I think it would benifet every searcher if this was changed ASAP as the way it is now is no help at all.

  22. Matt,

    A subfolder of my site I rented out to a friend as mentioned in your blog here


    This part of my site looks to be banned, but it didn’t affect the rest of my site.

    Q) Is it possible for google to ban part of a site. Or is something else amiss.

    Needless to say I’m not hosting content for this person anymore 🙂

  23. I think you’re going to get A LOT of posts in the thread so I’m going to get my question in now!

    3 of my sites have all lost thousands of indexed pages with the introduction of Big Daddy (not a supplemental issue). I know many other webmasters are having the same problem. Scratching my head a lot over this one. The only thing I can think of is that sometimes some of the pages are quite similar. I can’t help this, it’s done the best way from a usability point of view. They’ve been like this for 2 years.

    My question is therefore, is Big Daddy penalising pages where the content is not different enough from page to page?

  24. Matt,

    What is the reason that there are many cases yet of sites ranking for the YSM! ads running on their sites? Is this being properly addressed in an upcoming update, or will I still need to watch for when those sites rank above me and turn off the content network so I don’t pay for the organic listings that my well written ads seem to achieve?

  25. Does Big Daddy have a different approach to ranking third level domains?

    Are there improvements in the filtering of splogs?

  26. one binary question 😉

    is bigdaddy 100% deployed in every google international versions ?

  27. Matt-

    Any specific kind of feedback you looking for now that BigDaddy is almost fully deployed?

  28. Matt,

    Is the use of DMOZ content justification for an outright ban of a domain? By ban, I mean all pages removed from the index and info:www.example.com returns

    Sorry, no information is available for the URL http://www.example.com

    Find web pages from the site http://www.example.com
    Find web pages that contain the term “www.example.com”

  29. I feel oppressed (in the “other” comments thread), so why won’t you approve my comment? :p

    Seriously (a stupid-looking question that is actually really serious):
    When is Google expected to stop doing internet searches?

  30. Matt,

    – Is there any good reason why a Supplemental result would outrank a non-Supplemental result? I see this quite a lot.

    – Is it possible to elaborate any more on the 27th Dec 2005 data refresh? The SERPs changed drastically for many on this date.

    – Are Google aware that raw affiliate URLs and massive pages (I’ve seen 5Mb upwards) are outranking really relevant results?

    Thanks for your time Matt.

  31. Matt-

    Should we submit a spam report to Google for a site that has multiple domain names with just a few design changes on each domain name?

    The company name is different on each site as well.

  32. Ok I won’t ask the RK questions sine i assume you’ll answer them soon.

    Here’s a good one.. What is Google’s reccomended course of action for a site that is copying your content?

    I just had somebody steal my layout, javascript, html, and text character for character (he only today removed my email address from his FAQ).

    What is Google’s reccomended course of action in this case?

  33. Do the vote buttons on Google Toolbar really do anything?

  34. Matt,

    Thanks for your hard work at Google.

    My question is about pages lost in the google index. Before big daddy my forums had around 950,000 pages indexed. After big daddy, we are now only showing around 150 pages indexed. Myself and other forums have taken a huge hit in traffic since big daddy becuase of this. Googlebot previously had indexed the site so well that we were able to use google site search. Which is now no use to us since we only have a few hundred pages now indexed.

    Here is an excellent post on webmasterworld about the big daddy and forums issue: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/33550.htm

    Any help here? Are you guys penalizing forums now?

  35. Hi Matt,

    What kind of traffic does your blog generate?

  36. Can a re-direct link like this hurt the targeted site’s Google ranking…


  37. I tried to make an AdWords campaign, and use one of my sites in it. It has a peruvian TLD extension (.com.pe). Much to my dismay, the site wasn’t there at all. It didn’t appear on the site targetting tool, not even when searching for it by url. I did a few more searches, and found out there wasn’t a single .com.pe domain featured there. I’ve already reported this to google, and had a mail saying they would look into it…

    My questions are:
    1) Is this a bug or a limitation?
    2.a) If it’s a bug, can you encourage or discuss it with an engineer to have it fixed?
    2.b) If it’s a limitation, what is the reason or arguments behind it? And why is it not documented anywhere in the help, or support pages?

    Thanks, regards!

  38. @Luis: Huh, what are all of these?

  39. Hi Matt,

    For accessibility purposes, my site has ’skip navigation’ etc…to allow screen readers to get straight to the content. However, this breaks my CSS layout when implementing the stylesheet, so I have ‘hidden’ these accessibility links using display:none in the stylesheet.

    In addition, again using stylesheets, I have a screen layout and print layout. The screen layout hides my full contact details whereas the print layout prints these at the top of the page.

    Will Google regard this as hidden text and penalise my site?


    P.S. Sorry for double posting – I posted this previously on “SEO Advice: Check your own site” but I guess it got lost in the noise…

  40. What is more adictive:: Google or Katamari?

  41. Matt explain what this means?
    -> http://www.google.com/search?q=info%3Aarticles.com

    there is no even “articles” word in this site
    want more weird examples ?
    strange isn’t it? webmasters seeing “strange things” all the time but they scare to talk about this because the google team probably will ban their site and continue to work with smile on their face . this changes killing our business man!
    please excuse my bad english
    best regards: Ivan

  42. – What’s the story on the Mozilla Googlebot? Is that what Bigdaddy sends out?
    – Any new word on sites that were showing more supplemental results?

    Please answer these two. I’m going on a month now with partly being out of Google and I’m going insane! Though, I think Googlebot has revisited my entire site over the last week with both the Mozilla and non-Mozilla version yet none of it is making the index.

  43. What is the meaning of life? And what is the question?

  44. Although not a “Publicly Noted” feature of the results (and a little hacked) the RK feature is my question. I noticed that the RK turned to 0 a couple of days ago. For those asking “what is the RK feature, here is some information: http://www.ahfx.net/weblog/8 and more currently about RK being set to 0 http://www.ahfx.net/weblog/66. My questions are:
    – Is the RK “hidden feature” turned off
    – As speculated did the RK feature have anything to do with “live and current” pagerank
    – Should we expect this RK feature to become “public” knowledge without the need of “hacking” a checksum

    I completely understand why Google would turn off this “feature” seeing as it isn’t a advertised feature and aparently was being abused. I’m just curious of it’s status.

  45. Hi Matt,

    A simple one, duplicate sites on different TLD’s – I see some taking up multiple top positions in the SERP’s

    Bad for business bad for Google.

    I understand there will be no penalty for these spammers (it’s deliberate) but when will it be fixed ?

    It is a REAL problem where I am.


  46. When does bigdaddy is completed and when will the SERP’s settle?

    Which or how much updates may we expect in the future @ Google?

  47. We often heard that Big Daddy is an infrastructure update. Was Big Daddy also responsible for some changes in the SERP´s in the last 3 month?

  48. I have a question about the sandbox and the various “aging” algorithms. What’s the point?

    SERPS don’t seem to have been improved by these new algorithms. New spam sites at the top of the SERPS have been replaced with old spam sites. Good news sites at the top of the SERPs have been replaced with good old sites.

    Is Google implying that spammers have less patience than legitimate webmasters?

    Is Google implying that you can’t make an awesome web site in 6 weeks?

    On a personal level, these changes are good for me. I rank better, and there’s a bigger barrier of entry for my competition. Life is better for me, and life is also better for Google (explanation below) – but it isn’t any better for searchers.

    Why is life better for Google? Well, new business’ used to pay SEOs and other webmsaters to link to them in order to get MAD traffic. Now this isn’t as attractive as it used to be, which makes the second best option, adwords, more attractive – which in turn means more money for Google and for me. But again, not for searchers.

  49. I (really) wanted to buy a Buffalo Technology TeraStation 1.0 TB. When I search Froogle for Buffalo it now pushes me into Local Search with results for Buffalo, NY and Star-Kist Tuna – not quite what I’m looking for. Froogle should not be assumtively used for local search when so many products have city names, zip codes, etc, IMHO.

  50. Matt,

    When filing a re-inclusion request, what are the procedures at Google? My site has no hidden text, doorway pages, cloaking, etc…

    This is my story, but could apply to others as well:

    1. Submitted a “reinclusion request”
    2. Got automated response from Google
    3. Waited a week or two
    4. Replied to automated response to get a status update
    5. Got a response from Google telling me to check the Webmaster guidelines
    6. Responded to say I read the guidelines and site is clean and please pass case to Google engineers
    7. Get reponse from Google saying my case was forwarded to the engineers
    8. Stuck at step 8

    Why was the site removed from the index in the first place?

    How long does the reinclusion request take?

    If there are no violation of the webmaster guidelines, how long does it take the site to be re-indexed?

    How long until the Googeblot returns to the site?

    How long until a site shows back up in the SERPs?

  51. Matt

    Hello. Can Google ‘read’ images? If not, how long before Google does?

    With so many spammers fooling Google with hidden text (white on white, or the like) can / does Google read pixels to defeat this? The scripts are out there for us webmasters that allows reading pixels / pictures – but they are rudimentary at best and for other uses. It certainly seems possible that Google could develop algos that at least read a background image and compare its collective pixel color with the text ‘on top’ of the background image? If that is possible, is it then possible to read an image that has text – yes- read the text in an image. Again, it seems Google should be able to do this. After all, think of the image security code that we all verify to make comments here… the image is distorted slightly to prevent a script from reading it and hacking the comments. If so, has Google the capabilities to read images in navigation bars? For sometime, we have been told by the SEO world that text is better for the search engines, and to use images sparingly. How far are the search engines from reading images and getting over this hurdle? Obviously, images make a much prettier website but a pretty website does not rank well unless text is carefully integrated. If Google can get to the point of reading images, it sure would make for a better web and even help Google beat some spammers. Are there any such applications in the Google pipeline or is this a ‘secret sauce’ question? Thanks

  52. On the “no-follow” tag. Is G still taking these links into account in its algo? I ask this since I have started to notice pharma spam requests full of links on our blog which include the “no-follow” tag. In other words has G tried a bit of reverse psychology and included in its algo “if the link has a no-follow tag – trust the site since it must be trustworthy because it has this tag”. Can you confirm that links that have the “no-follow” tag are not used in any way to determine SERPS.

  53. Relevance, Matt.

    How do you measure relevance?

    That’s all you really need to discuss from this point forward.

    Thank you.

  54. Matt,

    There is a new spam trend in the UK financial SERPs.

    Many companies are using a secure server hosting company that has a high Google PR to host a form page and then point zillions of links at it most appearing to be of the link farm variety.

    The result is very high ranking in very competitive markets and the trend is growing fast. The company offering the service is https://www.secure-server-hosting.com/ who are offering a legitimate service.

    Some users of the service are gaining top positions on major keywords using this method as they are unable to rank using their own domains.

    Do you consider this spam? Having though about it I think it is if zillions of link farm style links are used to rank the page.

    We hosted a page without links as a test to see if was just the PR of the host but the page did not rank so it is the crudy links that are ranking these pages.

    You opinion as “Spam Master General” would be interesting?

    PS: Search for “Loans”, “Personal Loans”, Secured Loans” on http://www.google.co.uk and you will see what I mean in the first page of results.

  55. I just wanted to thank you fine people at Google for finally removing those pesky scrape sites that like to use keywords in their code and then redirect that listing to questionable sites. It was getting quite bad there for a while for some of my client sites as some of their sites were getting hit relentlessly. As bad as some of those results were the ones that I found to be much worse were the ones that used my personal, full name as a search query with the resulting link being redirected to some gay porn sites. I didn’t so much mind the lesbian sites but Gay Porn… Come on – hold it, scratch that thought as I don’t like the visual it conjures up.

  56. Thanks for the opportunity to fire a million questions at you, Matt.

    And I’m going to fire off a very strange one…but rest assured I’m not the only person it affects.

    With RSS gaining popularity and numerous sites syndicating other content (including Google itself), the potential for an incredibly large database full of repetitive information is huge. I’m sure big G is very aware of this potential problem, but by the same token I suspect most aren’t.

    Side Note for those that don’t know how RSS works (if you know, don’t bother reading…it’s for the newbies):

    RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, allows a webmaster from Site A to legally acquire syndicated content from Site B and format it in any manner (s)he sees fit, usually via an XML content feed. Think of it as the online version of newspaper article syndication. The code output from RSS is normal HTML.

    The only clues as it pertains to content being fed are hyperlinks that lead away from the original content page and the mentioning of a source (if they do it properly) at the bottom.

    For an example of how RSS feeds work, see http://news.google.ca .

    End side note.

    Okay, back to the question:

    How is the issue of duplicate content and unreasonably large SERPs with said duplicate content going to be dealt with, and is there going to be a way to do so without harming the authors of said content?

    Or, for those who need a practical example, if Abhilash publishes an article that gets distributed across 100 sites, would he get full credit for the backlink from those 100 sites and yet only have 1 article appear in SERPs?

  57. What happened on March 8th, 2006 in the Google SERPS?

    I’ve seen, tucked away, in dozens of threads webmasters commenting how their sites either recovered or tanked in the SERPS on that date. One of my sites tanked, severly on 3/8/06, going from 15,000 referals per day to 250 per day from Google.

    Surely there must be something specific that was changes on 3/8 to cause such a drastic decline in my site while also “recovering” other sites.



  58. Why do RSS feeds rank before content pages? I have seen this several time in the serps and IMHO it does not make sense.

  59. Hi Matt

    When I change a robots.txt to exclude more existing files from being crawled, how long does it take for them to be removed from the index? Perhaps the answer is a function of how often the site is crawled and it’s PR?

    How is the issue of duplicate content dealt with for (valid) articles being spread across various sites?

    Since reciprocal links and some directories were downgraded in value because of abuse, will article directories also be downgraded in time?


  60. My sitemap has about 1350 urls in it. I use coffecup sitemapper to generate the sitemap in both html and xml formats and then submit the sitemap to google. the bot vists my site at least one a day, everyday and downloads the sitemap.

    When I do the site:mydomain.com, it returns anywhere from 700-1000 pages as being in the index, right now with all the bigdaddy mess happening. Why does the site command not return a figure closer to the actual number of pages? I would think that my site would have been fully crawled by now, its been around for 2+ years, but I cannot seem to get all the pages indexed. Am I missing something here?

  61. Matt,

    I posted this back in October, but wanted to repost just in case you didn’t read those comments:

    I would like to mention a site of mine that was penalized by Google a while ago. I sent in several requests to Google asking why the site was penalized (because it does not, and never did, use any prohibited tactics), but was never given a reason – nor was the site unpenalized. I am just asking for resolution of some sort to my predicament. If Google is neither going to unpenalize the site nor send me a reason, at least PLEASE ask them to tell me so, so that I can reach resolution with my situation. I have been in a state of limbo for quite a while now. I believe that advice on how to handle this type of situation would be useful to many webmasters who find themselves in this predicament.

    Thank you.

  62. Thanks so far Matt. My questions:

    – image replacement // hidden text
    Which method for image replacement (usability) does Google prefer? Ans with Toby Adams: can Google “see” background-pictures?
    – redirection
    What redirect minimizes the loss of serps?
    – links
    Is the linkcontext getting more important? What about footer-links.

    For me future-values should be: more content, less links.

  63. Matt, google still seem to have no handle on expired domains.Is there any progress being made in this area?
    By the way the blogger profile http://www.blogger.com/profile/17839170 still has all his blogs intact and even the first profile i gave you a while back is still alive and doing well although under a different profile number http://www.blogger.com/profile/17696490
    If Blogger wont act on these expired blogs and google are helpless with expired domains, whats a webmaster to do… Join the merry spam goround?

  64. Spam in “other” languages.

    Hi Matt,

    When Google will consider to take a closer look at spam in other languages? I understand that this requires human resources, especially who are capable of speaking/understanding the “other” language. But many spamers ranking well in SERPs are so obvious (with thousands of doorway pages, redirects, etc.) that anyone can easily see it at first sight.

    For example, a site (in Turkish) uses doorway pages that has a “Click to Enter Site” (in Turkish) in 30 pt font above the fold on a seemingly blank page, but when you scroll down, you see literally a thousand keywords stuffed with a 1px font, or a visibility:hidden div.

  65. Hi Matt,

    I’ve got a question that I’ve tried to research and always seem to get a different answer wherever I go.

    When moving to a new domain name, google recommends using 302 redirects. My questions are, do you lose page rank/relevance? If so, how long does it normally take to get it back? Right now our current front page has a page rank of 7, and we are pretty nervous about changing the domain name.

    For those curious as to why we would change the domain name, we are going from a rather hard name to spell for most folks, to a domain name that better describes our business and is much easier to spell.

    Much appreciated

  66. Couple of questions

    Using Digital Point I see rankings for phrases that I can’t see using a few different data centres manually including the original Big Daddy one. Are there still going to be major differences in results for different locations (geo-targetting)?

    Also how does a major redesign from old html files to new php files affect the SERPs? Even with 301s in place. I’ve seen a badly written web site be improved code wise and content wise, just the right balance of it all, and disappear from it’s original ranking of 4th. It’s a concern with the amount of people wanting to migrate over to modern accessible standards and utilising modern methods such as php/asp files.

    Thanks :o)

  67. Any chance that Google will consider expanding the scope of “Don’t be evil” to apply to Google Groups that focus on things like hacking instruction and password trading? I strongly oppose such newsgroups and I currently won’t use Adsense for moral reasons and so I don’t appear hypocritical.

  68. What is Google’s opinion on well written semantic code versus nasty tag soup – does it care?

  69. I’ve lost a lot of results from my site (totally clean) in Big Daddy. It seems to have spidered a lot of crud from my site and lost the meat. I.e. down from 30,000 results to 9,000. Just wondered if this was typical and if it will recover as BD settles in?

  70. Hi Matt,

    I see a lot of my ads show up on spam websites. It angers me whenever I see this because the clicks cost a lot of money.

    I get AdSence pop-ups on my computer. They seem to be triggered by content that I’m browsing. IE: Surfing for travel spawns an AdSence pop-up with travel related ppc ads.
    Why does Google encourage the spam industry by supporting scum like this?

    You fight spam with one hand and monetize it with the other.
    Why not fight spam by Not monetizing it in the first place?

    As a webmaster I can select domain names that I don’t want advertised on my website. IE: direct competitors. So… Why as an advertiser, do I not have the same privilege? IE: Select spam and parked domains that I Do Not want my PPC ads to be shown?


  71. I am told that links per page should be limited to 30 or 40 per page to improve SE performance. I use around 150, I have 100% positive feed back from my customers on doing so. So why such a limit and just how much does ignoring it hurt me in the rankings?

  72. Oh and also, you think you could come up with something better for http://www.mattcutts.com after all this time?

    “””Some fun stuff is here
    You probably want this. Because, um, there’s nothing else here right now.””” – come on.

    * Yes, I Python.

  73. Hi Matt,

    Just like you told me a couple of months ago, the Supplemental Googlebot (SG) got around to my site and things got sorted out. Thanks.

    2 quick Qs.

    1. Can you ask the team why they treat 410s and 404s the same. You really have to work hard at the .htaccess to get 410s and to me they mean you really want to tell the search engines that the pages in question are kaput, gonzo, terminated, removed and never to be seen again. Therefore, I would like for google and the other SEs to permanently remove them from the index.

    2. If you are in San Fran and want to check out the Monteray Aquarium, could you please write a short review? I’ve been thinking of visiting and wondering if it is worth the trip.

  74. How long do 301 redirects from non-www to www take to spread across the DC’s please?

    (been waiting 5 months – still only visible on one DC)


  75. Even Matt is afraid to use a redirect from http://www.mattcutts.com/ to http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ because Google might penalize his website and put it into supplemental hell.

  76. Hey Matt,

    When you gonna’ come up to Canada and do some serious pike and walleye fishing?

    Too much stress is not good for you. You got to have some fun once in a while.

  77. Oh and also, you think you could come up with something better for http://www.mattcutts.com after all this time?

    “””Some fun stuff is here
    You probably want this. Because, um, there’s nothing else here right now.””” – come on.

    Like what, exactly? He’s got enough to do just handling the blog.

  78. My question is similar to Little Guy’s

    “Can a re-direct link like this hurt the targeted site’s Google ranking…

    I found, via copyscape, a porn-affiliated site that copied my site (which is not porn related) into another language and linked to my site this way. Anything to worry about?


  79. LOL! I didn’t read anything about Matt answering ALL these questions only some.

    RE: “Any chance that Google will consider expanding the scope of “Don’t be evil” to apply to Google Groups that focus on things like hacking instruction and password trading? I strongly oppose such newsgroups and I currently won’t use Adsense for moral reasons and so I don’t appear hypocritical.”

    That IS a good one indeed though!

  80. Hey Matt:

    I am seeing some wild swings on http://www.google .com However everything is fairly stable and “nice” on this datacenter:

    Should I be checking into the Cleveland Clinic or just chillin for a day or two?


  81. I blog. Would it be possible to add a date range to quiries? I might get 91,000,000 results, but the first 200 are 2-3 years old.

    I would like to limit results to items no more than 6-12 months old.


  82. When can we expect new updates to the google pagerank and/or algorithms. It seems it’s been a long time since the last update, I assume because of the big daddy infrastructure overhaul, but now that it’s nearing completion, won’t we see an update sometime soon.

    Thanks. Travis.

  83. Almost forgot:

    Gmail should have an option to download all the messages as XML/Text or something to backup.


  84. Hi Matt,

    I have a question or two pertaining to Big Daddy. With many sites coming out of supplemental there is still the burning question of are my pages ever going to be indexed like the old serp’s.
    I myself went from 40k pages to a mere 650 and just can’t seem to get anything resolved. Even if I place a link to a page on my home page it just will not be cached.

    Also I know this is not on only my site. I check my links etc from hundreds and hundreds of sites that seem to have the same indexing issue.
    If Google bases their search results on “votes” from one page to another isn’t this non indexing of so many once indexed pages, link pages, etc going to skew the results for the worse.
    My total links on a link:site.com search took a tremendous dive and I can only assume it is beacuse so many pages that had links to my site are just not indexed in Big Daddy.
    Even my own pages that have links to other resources which Google calls “votes” are no longer indexed. So any site that was getting a “vote” from my site is no longer getting that same “vote’. If it was just a few pages Ok but it is thousands, if not millions. The forums are just FULL of webmasters asking where their pages are.

    I guess my question is – Are these pages ever coming back? Is this part of the new BD to only index certain pages of a site?

    Thanks, Joe

  85. Can I shoot a few international Questions?
    Since I’m on Tokyo time I missed your entry
    1. Before the updates of the Data centers with double byte text seemed to take a bit longer is there a difference in the update schedules for certain languages? For example Japanese & English sites?
    2. Since progress is moving towards international users using IDN Domains (Thank You Google for being one of the first to show IDN Domains natively) will the Domain Parking Program be extended to Japan, China, etc for the use of IDN Domains since the root of the domain is actually native searched keywords?
    3. Any results on why IDN Domains don’t show pagerank.
    4. Will any of you guys be attending SES in Tokyo this year?

  86. Why does Google continuously juggle the number of sites that link to web sites on a daily basis with BD? It seems like a convenient way to increase or decrease any site’s rankings. In other words many high ranking sites show stability or a continous increase in sites linking to them but others increase and decrease. Certainly there is a natural change but some seems manufactured by Google.

  87. Why is it that when I search for [endangered species Africa] Google gives a whole section of results for “cookie recipes”?

  88. Now look what you did Matt! At least all the questions are in one place though…hehe

    Looking forward to understanding RK parameters!

    Well, you said enough questions and this is not a question so you can’t delete me, you can’t delete me…uhm yeah I guess he deleted me. ;-(

  89. Ohh, please tell me what is this bigdaddy??? Plz help me at immi1979@gmail.com or immi1979@hotmail.com

  90. Hi Matt,
    This is an adwords issue – I am at the end of a rope – an 8 month long rope – as a responsible marketing campaign I deploy SEO, very responsibly, and am trying DESPERATELY to do adwords but am not allowed.

    It seems, for some reason, Google decided to suspend my account for some breach of terms? Man, not only is my industry straight forward, but in no way did we ever think we breached any terms. Anyway, our account has been suspended, and I emailed, well, 15 times and actually communicated with someone via live chat off the adwords site (have names if interested), both ‘live’ operators of course promising to escalate our issue – twice. No word, 8 months and counting. And still no inidication to what we did wrong, and more important, what we need to do to re-instate our adwords account.

    Really, it’s like we are the best kid in class but are being punished for something… But are not being told what we are being punished for. And forget about punishment, what can we do to be ‘okay’ again.

    Doesn’t sit right. In any country, regime, or democracy

  91. Zee Mee:

    You’re probably better off hitting up a web discussion thread than waiting for an answer from Matt.


    Those are my two favourites, but others will have other equally valid suggestions, I’m sure.

  92. If a company changes its name (ie: goes from llc to inc) and updates the name in the whois info, does this sandbox the site or kill its rankings? Don’t forget ICANN requests that everyone updtaes their whois info for errors.

    Why do copyright infringers with multiple domains using the same stolen content replace the original content site in the Google SERPS?

    Why does the old Magellan site still rank well for directory terms?

    Why do Monster & New York Life Insurance rank for New York Marketing Company?

    If a site sells office product A, and advertises to his real-life buyers on photo site B, then would he be penalized for unrelated category links?

    Can we please have all the algorithm factors so we can make this easier on all of us?

  93. Hi Mat,

    I noticed Google rolled out their Google Base for real estate listings around the country. Great concept, but I can see a major duplication problem that could get out of hand. I am seeing real estate magazines, real estate agents, real estate companies add the same real estate listings. I am even seeing some real estate agents loading the whole MLS with their IDX feeds from the board of realtors. If you have to many of the same people adding the same listings that is going to be a major mess. Maybe Google should make some guidelines that only the actual listing agent or the owner of the property be able to load listings.

    If you have any questions about how all this works in our industry feel free to contact me.


  94. Dear Matt:

    Thank you for letting us take part a little in your work.

    This question in a way relates to canonicalization and avoiding double content, and I read someone seeing it as spam asked about it above:

    On sites directed to international audiences with the same (high quality) content in several languages is it better to do several TLDs like mydomain.com, mydomain.de, mydomain.fr, mydomain.eu and so on or do subdomains like en.mydomain.eu, de.mydomain.eu, fr.mydomain.eu or something else like mydomain.com/en, mydomain.com/de, mydomain.com/fr?

    Au revoir!

  95. What’s the difference between a paid link and advertising? If one were to offer to sell space on their site (or consider purchasing it on another), would it be a good idea to offer to add a NO FOLLOW tag so to generate the traffic from the advertisement, but not have the appearence of artificial PR manipulation through purchasing of links?

    Thanks for this venue, and I hope you still find it enjoyable enough to keep the lines of communication open.

    Running a search engine is kind of like running a cutest baby contest. Every parent (webmaster) thinks that their kid (web site) is the cutest (most relavant) and when they don’t win (turn up on page 1 of the SERPs) there must be something wrong with the judges (algo)

  96. I dont really know if these fit in this thread. I have mentioned them in the good and bad about google comments but perhaps they are more apropriate in the bag-thread. Although i guess Matt is more the google search guy. But anyway, here i go.

    1) Google Analytics: I just love it. Its easy, it looks nice and it is accurate (if we forget about the two days that http://www.google-analytics.com was unreachable and slowing down all sites using GA). At our company until now we are using Webtrends, expensive software with support contracts and all that and the reports generated just dont look as good and intuitive as with GA. We would realy like to switch to GA (we ll make a home brew solution for streaming server log analyzing then ) …. but …. GA is on ‘mountainview time’ and its not easy to explain to management when you present them with the GA Executive report that they have to substract 9 hours to make the graphs relevent for hour european company/site.

    2) Google Account: Its great, one single account for all google services, having your data available cross-service (perhaps an idea : make my google reader feeds available in gmail ? ). But what i dont understand is that Google Adsense is using a different account with other password restrictions ? its really annoying when you switch from a Google site that uses Google Account login to Adsense and back.

    Just my two eurocents.

  97. Simple one that could possibly be answered with one word – are you planning to visit/speak in the UK at all in the near future?

  98. Hi Matt,
    Would google analytics have some kind on influence on positionning a website (because GG would know better the seeker behaviour) – This would help rank a site that has real interest for the consumer (Time spent on the site, number of page visited…)
    Enjoy your trip (I would recommend the XBOX 360 !! 🙂
    Nicolas from paris,

  99. In addition to VJ’s comment:
    Is Google working to eliminate parked domains used solely for displaying ads from top results (even if they match the search term exactly)?

    ——– mine:
    What is Google’s policy in the adsense for domains?
    I recently filed a protest via email that one of their clients is using a cybersquatting domain(wwwJobsAbroad.com).
    GoAbroad.com owns and operates JobsAbroad.com and has been registered way back before this Cybersquatting domain registered theirs.
    I was replied by adsense-domains-trademark@google.com and it

    start qoute adsense-domains-trademarks:
    Because the domain is comprised of generic or descriptive terms, we have
    decided to continue to provide services to this domain. If you wish to
    take further action, please contact the domain owner directly.
    end_quote adsense-domains-trademarks:

    Can you help us in this regard? Thanks.

    By the way, the protest email has been tagged #51434749.

    Ismael Angelo A. Casimpan Jr.
    GoAbroad.com Employee/Authorized Representative

  100. Hi,

    is there a way to set an expire-date for my classifieds site, because people still find expired (and so probably useless) listings? Is
    okay, redirect to another page via “410 Gone” or whats the way to go?

  101. What about the problem of directorys and shoping comparison spam overinding real pages.

    If i search for a problem with say random lockups on my external firewire drive i want to find usefull info about that drive NOT 200 frikking shping sites.

    A published road map like Msoft and Intel do for changes would be usefull so that we can pre warn our clients – rather than just making changes.

  102. How is BigDaddy datacenters handling the renaming of domain1,com to domain2.com?

    Hi Matt. As statement above, is BigDaddy properly recognizing the renamed domain1.com as domain2.com?

    I’m just concerned of this issue since I read in several articles that in Google, when you choose to change the domain name of your currently listed domain from domain1.com to domain2.com, its subjected again to the sandbox, even though it has already been 301 redirected.

    If this is not yet handled, I suggest that:
    * Aside from the 301 redirection, there should be a special meta tag that would say “this was the old domain1.com and has just been renamed domain2.com”, probably like . This is so that other malicious people can’t exploit/pollute the legitimate intention of those good people.


  103. MC, How about if Google take a lead in educating surfers more – regarding negative matches etc ?

    I am very much one who prefers all relevant results and then being able to filter out the cr@p with negative matches, rooting down etc. I dont always expect Google to find the result on my first search and in first place – but I expect Google to be able to return all pages relevant to the topic – at the moment due, perhaps due to over sensitive filters – I just dont feel that Google is returning these pages.

    But I know that it is a delicate balancing act for the engine.

  104. Lol – that is not an email address in my last post 😀

  105. Recently Google Sitemaps removed its bot signature when validating websites, and this gets caught in my – fairly commonly used – bot rejecter in .htaccess.

    This is how the bot shows up in the log: – – [28/Mar/2006:12:03:51 +0200] “GET /google50f4dfb164fc9ca2.html HTTP/1.1” 403 1037 “-” “-” – – [28/Mar/2006:12:03:52 +0200] “GET /GOOGLE50f4dfb164fc9ca2.html HTTP/1.1” 403 1037 “-” “-”

    And this is the result in Sitemaps:

    General HTTP error

    Not the double “-” “-” – that triggers the 403 from the .htaccess. Why does any Google bot need to cloak itself like that? The code in my .htaccess that looks for and rejects bots that won’t identify themselves rejects a lot of harvesters and “irregular” bots, and was copied from a Webmasterworld thread, so chances are I’m not the only “script kiddie”. 🙂

    A personal problem with google search ranking and possible penalization: this page was in the days around November 7th 2005 suddenly demoted from top ten in the SERPS to like 170 for a few days, and since then it’s been completely gone. I wouod like to file a reinclusion, but it seems peculiar to do that for a single page, and most importantly of all, I can’t see why it’s being penalized, so I don’t know what to do about it.


    Does Google consider Denmark’s primary tourism icon as too sexy? Or do you only accept the Disney version? 🙂

    I would _really_ appreciate a heads up on what’s happening here.

  106. Hi Matt
    I am seeing a lot of sites with “%09” (tab) and “%20″ (space) in front of the URL in Googles index. What can a site do that is indexed like this (since the URL will usually not work for a visitor and a 301-redirect is not possible)?

    You can check with (ok, % is not interpreted) inurl:”%20www.”:
    (+ the sites without using a http://www.-subdomain)

    Search + replace in the db? 🙂


  107. I like to repeat Evan’s question with the addition “and synonyms”:
    How can a site rank so well for just about everything except for one key phrase? (obviously penalized, but when is that lifted, all other pages KWs and synonyms seem to rank fine…..
    If the question can’t be answered, is it possible it to use a re inclusion request for a single key phrase?

  108. Eternal Optimist

    The one thing that seems to be getting to people generally, is what are the post Big Daddy intentions? Fixes, spam issues, regeneration of ‘pure’ indices, supp. issues, PR and BL update, etc.

    People are getting frustrated by the lack of information, although at the same time grateful for the snippets you provide, albeit often a little vague. A clear and concise ‘way forward’ for Google SERP’s would be appreciated by many.

    Also if you are unable or unwilling to answer certain general questions, then to state so would alleviate webmasters anxieties and anticipation.

    Everything mentioned with the best intentions for everyone, Matt 🙂

  109. Matt when can we start expecting the new software and bigdaddy to handle 301 domain moves better? like moving from ww.old-domain.com to http://www.new-domain.com ?

  110. My question … when are you going to answer all these questions? 😉

  111. Hi Matt,

    I have noticed all the supplmental problems *for me* occur with 301 redirect sites where I am re-directing anything to http://myblahsite.com to http://www.myblahsite.com – care to comment on this matt?

  112. Is Google planning on expanding the Web API terms of use in the future? It was ahead of its time when it first came out, but Yahoo and MSN have far surpassed it in terms of use. They allow 5K and 10K queries per day per IP address. For academic researchers like myself, this is extremly useful. Google is stuck at 1000 queries per day regardless of the IP address. This makes using Google in my research extremely difficult.

    Google has recently been clamping down on automated queries, blacklisting IP addresses for around 12 hours when a trigger is set off, so using the API is now our only option.


  113. Does Google have any plans to address the problem with sites that have been obviously penalized in the SERPS, and have no idea why?

  114. here’s one for you:

    Why do 90% of webmasters think if they don’t show up on the first page, that they’re being penalized? 🙂

    Looks like Matt has enough fodder for 3 more years of blogging now.

  115. Any word on the google UPDATE for the sites. It has been a while since Jagger.

  116. Eternal Optimist

    Ryan, that is an extreme comment, and unfounded.

    Most webmasters are happy with a balance throughout the SERP’s. If they find spam sites above them, then they are justified in their views. Meanwhile, I write in defence of your pick a figure and post it ‘90%’ statement.

  117. Matt:

    SPAM reports still having no effect. I’ve reported one site several times, and it is still contaminating the SERPS.

    (1) Are there any special keywords that I need to use?
    (2) Or is this the result of the new Google policy on notifying the webmaster of the infraction before removing it from the index?

  118. Hey mat I have a question when is Google gonna start seeing the spam in the urls as it is getting to be a huge problem as the example below
    It is getting out of hand and will get worse
    http://www.dealtime.com/xPC-Optimum_Nutrition_ Optimum_Nutrition_Pro_Complex_4_4lbs_Chocolate
    http://www.dealtime.com/xPO-Optimum_Nutrition_ Optimum_Nutrition_Pro_Complex_4_4lbs_Chocolate
    I did a search for optimum nutrition pro complex and this selling site with top 2 shows up. Ok when is this gonna stop or can I assume I need to go to
    and get my site up there as well. Just not in this industry it is getting so wide spread the url are longer than the description

  119. What about split run A/B testing, using php redirects. Do google and others consider this spammy? If so, what else can you recommend for testing on page elements and their affect on conversion.

  120. Matt,

    Say I have an online store selling widgets in the US and have a .com domain. If I am successful, I may want to move into a new sales teritory, with say a .co.uk domain. I’m still selling the same widgets, but have only modified the page to reflect the currency changes.

    Would I get hit by duplicate content filters and have pages removed? I would have:


    They would have duplicate content because they are advertising the same products, but just targeting a different audience.

  121. Matt – I have some questions for you:

    1) Why are there no blue foods in nature?
    2) Who killed JFK?
    3) Will Google Earth ever improve the aerial views of some of the less-famous areas of the UK?

    That’s all I can think of right now, everyone seems to have already covered the interesting ones 🙂

  122. Hi Matt,

    I am looking forward for some info about the RK parameter from you. 🙂

    What is it? Why was this interesting thing turned off … 😀

  123. 1) Why are there no blue foods in nature?

    Blue robins’ eggs are food for some animals. Does that count?

  124. Blue is a very rare color in nature and all foods that are blue are poisonous?

  125. Another observation about spam filled adult serps:
    I did a search earlier last week showing from 1-100 out of about 2 million results and all sites in the first 100 results where black hat redirects to dialers or 404’s.
    Again for every adult search from 1-100 there is at least 40 black hat redirects and there are many searches that have 80-90% redirects.
    It seems like Google’s Algorithm has gone backward since Jagger to now for adult serps.

  126. Henry Elliss wrote > 1) Why are there no blue foods in nature?
    Aaron Pratt answeres > Blue is a very rare color in nature and all foods that are blue are poisonous?

    This is very interesting guys :-O

  127. Robots.txt Supplemental?

    Hi Matt,

    Would using the robots.txt to block a URL that’s gone supplemental (and you don’t want in the Index at all) get rid of it once and for all??


  128. Ulysee – Why do you care about prOn links? In every sleazy money making area you will always find these examples, so what is your point?

  129. Matt,

    Seriously, How do you plan on picking which of these questions to answer? .. 🙂

    Blog Spam. Its growing at a rapid rate and as a fellow blogger, I am sure you are as frustrated with it as I am. Can we get an idea of how high up in the priorities dealing with it is?

    As a gammer, I am sure you have tried or are playing some form of MMO. Can I get an invite to your guild? 🙂

  130. Poor Matt… you’ve had every question imaginable thrown at you, lol.

    The most noted problem here, and one that relates to my websites, is the loss of indexed pages on Bigdaddy.

    I’ve generally lost around half of my indexed pages, which isn’t good for anyone.

    This is surely a big problem for google, so I’m interested to know if it’s an issue which is being worked on?

  131. Aaron Pratt
    Sleazy or not it’s the business I work in and I bet ya that it’s the most searched for area in Google!.
    Everybody should care, if Google let’s one sector slip away then I think that it’s a slippery slope that should be watched for in other areas.

    When it comes to bad serps in Google you better be objective and not just think of yourself. People’s businesses and lives were lost, that’s nothing to smirk at.

  132. Matt – too bad there was so little interest in a grab bag post…hope you didn’t have any work plans this week.

  133. Thanks for stepping up Ulysee and pointing out the huge amount of spam in the adult SERP’s these days. Adult terms are no doubt the most searched for segment on the web and always have been. However “sleazy” one might believe the business to be, sex is a very real part of the internet and it deserves to be treated as the billion dollar revenue stream that it is. The amount of redirects, spam and duplicate content that are showing in the top 30 results is certainly not going to help with search confindence. Makes it very difficult to continue being white hat as well.

    Matt is the adult search segment important enough to Google to discuss?

    Should I bother continuing to submit duplicate content, redirect and spam reports to Google? Please let me know if I am wasting my time.

  134. Matt,

    The serps on are quite different than the other DCs. Is this old data without filters or a sign of things to come?

  135. “Bad serps” LOL

  136. Hi Matt,

    I read about a new navigation feature that Google is using in Italy where there are pagerank bars in the upper left part of the search results pages on Google. So far I get nothing much from that, do you know anything about this new feature and why it’s being tested in Italy?

  137. “Matt,

    The serps on are quite different than the other DCs. Is this old data without filters or a sign of things to come? ”

    My rankings are amazing on that DC!

    Probably without filters or something.

  138. Matt,

    There´s one thing I would love to see available in Google and I want to ask you if Google is willing to consider it.

    Can you add this command: inhtml:

    I would love to be able to search for html code and see how that ranks.

    Curious if Google believes there is any benefit in being able to search inside the HTML code of pages.


  139. >> Matt when can we start expecting the new software and bigdaddy to handle 301 domain moves better? like moving from ww.old-domain.com to http://www.new-domain.com ?

    Have you looked at and at lately? Those are very different….

  140. >>if Google let’s one sector slip away then I think that it’s a slippery slope that should be watched for in other areas.

    Unless it isn’t a slip. What better way to research the “latest and greatest” of tactics than to allow them to be out there so they can be watched in action?

    >>When it comes to bad serps in Google you better be objective and not just think of yourself.

    Right. People should plan their lives and their futures sensibly and face the realities they have to live with in this world. Objectively speaking, there are some who will always think they deserve a free lunch but the world doesn’t always cooperate with that. Reality rules.No one can control the serps or do anything more than adapt to what is at any given moment.

    >>People’s businesses and lives were lost, that’s nothing to smirk at.

    True, it would be unkind to smirk. But when it comes to people’s businesses that their lives depend on, they’d better walk the safe ground and develop a business plan that’s more stable and secure than the equivalent of traversing a swamp with quicksand pits they can sink into.

    The SERPs never have been a secure or stable thing, it would be unkind for people not to be told to build the road to their future on solid ground rather than on shifting sands – which is exactly what relying 100% on organic search is doing – no more secure than gambling.

    People make their own choices, for better or worse. It’s called being a responsible adult.

  141. Matt, you are such a tease 🙂 Is the rest of Google plex laughing with you?

    I think all have missed your statement: “I’ll tackle a few of the questions that are general”

  142. Ach! 140 comments?! Okay, no more questions for now. There will be future grab bag threads, I promise. 🙂

  143. Good morning Matt

    This grab bag thread reminds me of GoogleGuy situation last year. He was asked around 180 questions in a Questions for GoogleGuy thread on WMW 🙂

    Once again. Thanks a bunch for this great opportunity.

  144. Pick mine, pick mine pick mine Matt. 🙂
    Mine is general.

  145. Dear Matt,

    What must a site do when it uses a lot of tags to categorize data? Should it convert all those tags to use rel=”nofollow” even if they were placed by the owner?


  146. Ach! 140 comments?! Okay, no more questions for now. There will be future grab bag threads, I promise.

    Can you lock the WordPress blog post/thread dealies (I’m asking anyone in general who may have one since I don’t and therefore I don’t know)? Because now would be a real good time.

    Matt, if you’re overwhelmed, look at it this way: if you sucked and were a total ass clown loser, no one would have asked you anything at all. I’d rather feel overwhelmed if I were in your boat. 🙂

  147. Hi Matt,

    Here are my questions:
    – Session IDs really cause problems for googlebot? why some sites do not effect but some do?

    – If doesn’t redirect (none www) domain.com to http://www.domain.com, could it be penalized? if not, why?


  148. Matt, I think I’m starting to understand how google works, is it ok, or should I consult a doctor? 😉

  149. Hey Matt

    Ive been an avid reader of your blog since its inception. My question is overall BIGDADDY seems great, but I work in the ever competitive and spammy ‘casino’ / ‘gambling’ industry. Prior to BIGDADDY the results for the terms “online casino(s)” were great, but since BIGDADDY has rolled out they are full of spam and highly irrelevant.


    Why is this? This makes these results seem highly spammy and irrelevant.



  150. I am a webmaster for an ecommerce site. I have done well in the organic
    SERPS by creating a BIG link exchange. As my link pages have a good PR I get a lot of link exchange requests from other webmasters. A recent trend is for these link requests to offer a return link from a
    different domain name. I think this is referred to as a triangular link

    Are triangular links “Evil” ?

    Thank you Sir,

  151. Hi,

    I think that triangle linking is not that bad idea if you know that, or some how.. The main reason that its not evil is because its linking until that linking should not be FFA pages or a part of FFA linking strategy.

  152. Duane Forrester

    Just checking in to see if you still wanted that review of Spamalot from SES NY, Matt. Wasn’t sure how to track you down so I figured I’d try here.


  153. Matt,

    What happened on last 27th December ? It seemed to be more than just a “data refresh”, some sites have been seriously hit on that day. They appear to be back now, but what was it ?

  154. Wow, going on 148 comments, and keep adding… 2 quick questions:

    1 – Is this the most answered to post in your blogging history?
    2 – Why does google show sites having 70k+ pages in their serps when in fact such site really has 5k+?


  155. Sorry, this is not a question but an answer… to Luis Alberto’s first question. This is NOT the most commented post from Matt yet, the [url=http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/recent-reinclusions/]BMW reinclusion[/url] one reached 186 replies 🙂 (maybe you can find posts with even more comments)

    You have one less question to handle, Matt 😉

  156. Hello Matt,

    Question about Sitemap.

    If we check a well formed Sitemap file here : http://www.w3.org/2001/03/webdata/xsv

    It’s ok if we check only “Show warning”, but if we check with “Keep Going” or “Check as complete schema”, there is this error :
    “Attempt to load a schema document from
    http://www.my-domain.com/sitemap/topicsitemap_0.xml (source: command line) for no namespace, failed:
    Not recognised as W3C XML Schema or RDDL: urlset ”

    Can we have a google sitemap validator on google web site ?


    Explain option :
    Show Warnings
    display warning messages, e.g. about use of wildcards
    Keep Going
    continue schema-validation after finding errors
    Check as complete schema
    Normally XSV interprets its first input as a document to be validated, and the remaining inputs, if any, as schema documents for use in that validation. This means that if the only input is a schema document, XSV normally just validates that document against the Schema for Schema Documents (XMLSchema.xsd), but does not also check the Schema REC’s constraints on the corresponding schema. Ticking the “Check as complete schema” box causes XSV to treat all its inputs as schema documents, check them against the Schema for Schema Documents and check the Schema REC’s constraints on the corresponding schema.

  157. What are supplemental pages? How do I tell which pages are supplemental? How do I move pages out of supplemental status?

  158. hi matt,
    thank you for the opportunity to pose questions! here are mine:

    (1) why would not I rank for my own unique domain name? in both Y and MSN and until Jagger, I was able to rank for my own unique name. eg, drofoung.com – when searching drofoung (no TLD), I came up as #1. now, I see sites that mention my sites ranking way above me, while I rank at #50 (or so). is this a penalty, if so, what type? Im clueless here.

    (2) this is somewhat related to the above: the same site contains unique content, but now the scrapers (the thieves) are ranking for strings from that content and my site does not. how does Google handle this? why should the thieves rank (and benefit) from my content?

    many thanks,

  159. Okay, feel free to keep leaving comments, but I won’t be able to answer questions after this. I’ll have another grab bag thread sometime soon, I promise.

  160. Hi Matt

    Does Google care whether my sites DNS entry is an ANAME or CNAME? If so which does it prefer?


  161. Cal I penalize a new site by bombing the site with links? aka, Google Bowling.

    grrrrr..no more questions. 🙁

  162. Hi Matt,

    When will Google release Urchin v6?
    On Google Analytics it says 2006, but could you be more precise? imminently, in a couple of months, during the summer, fall, winter?

    Thank you



  163. being a new guy to webhosting I am finding all this to be really interesting, my site like so many others is only a year old…. first we had jagger… and now the big daddy, where are sites have been up and down…. to me there is one big problem… a lack of real information on what we are doing wrong. people like me are not your so called SEO types, we are people who are intergrating the internet into our business, remember if we get it wrong we still have to pay our mortgage to pay, so lets do something for the little guy…we need to know if we are doing something wrong……

    PS bad choise of name “big daddy” in my world its too close to big brother..

  164. Matt,

    I’m not sure if you will read down this far, but really hope you do.

    I have a lovely old site which has done well in Google over the years (thank you). Yesterday though a bolt came out of the blue. It sank out of sight! After hectic hours of research I found the reason: what I call a ‘proxy page jack’ attack.

    What I found was a site looking like this:

    This was ahead of me on every term I usually get visitors on. It was some sort of proxy service, which Google had indexed my pages through (and other people’s I guess) in their frame. Their site had high PR and so on.

    It looked like my site was now considered a duplicate of that copy!

    I contacted and begged the proxy site owner and he was helpful. He put a 404 in htaccess to direct that one proxy return to a blank, and then put User-agent: * and Disallow: / in robots.txt. Following more begging, he submitted his proxy segment to your removal tool.

    This morning, his proxy has now gone, but my site hasn’t recovered.

    Is there a time lag? Or am I just doomed now?

    Please please please could you advise me (I’ll add more ‘pleases’ if you want!). I don’t know what I can or should do from here. I feel I have just been hit by a quirk of fate.


  165. Will Google every remove blog entries from the Main Serps and put in a Blog search function?

    This would eliminate a whole lot of blog spam if blogs were treated as a different entitie that could not influence the main serps.

  166. Matt,

    This miscellaneous monday of yours was the start of a strange week. Our website (click my name) for some reason completele disappeared from the SERPs in Brazil. We´re a brazilian site in portuguese, with lots of information. All you always claim about what a website should do,.. we did it. adding unique content, we have our own writers for this, we were added to dmoz, we really try to make it a great website for our visitors and everything was fine. Until monday. Now we have no visitors from Google. (and we used to be found for over 20.000 different phrases per month in Google) We did nothing drastic to our site. We just keep adding pages to the site on a weekly basis. The strange thing is,.. for a couple of days we were seeing an increase in referals from Google, then it completely stopped. But I don’t understand why. I know you won’t reply to this nor email me… no need for that, I would just be happy if somebody would check the site and do what ever Google sees fit to do. I also sent a message to the webmaster help and google groups.


  167. Hi Matt;

    Nice joke 🙂 You had me going for a second but then I figured it out :-0
    I’ve been trying to find a way to ask you a simple question but I can’t find a link saying “Ask Me a Question” 🙂

    It’s a good one and it’s simple !!

    I installed a new firewall and it blocks people from accessing my site by IP address. I noticed that a lot of Googlebots get denied access (drum roll please) because they are trying to index my site by IP address.

    Have I crippled my site because of this or does it matter? Will the GoogleBots learn or will they keep trying to get to it by IP address? Some of them make it and index but a lot don’t.

    I’m worried!


  168. Last week our web hosting company disappeared off the map taking our money and wiping out all the server-side data.(evidently they subsequently claimed hackers had ‘dictionary’ bombed their servers) I had to quickly transfer our site to a new host and through a distrust of the poor firewalls used by uk hosting companies I moved the site to Yahoo. Problem. It is a .com site and yahoo’s server is the US. Result our site has disappeared completely off googleUK.
    Met tag information or content seems to make little difference. I cannot use our .co.uk site mainly because all our expensive directory incoming links point to our .com site and trying to change some or all of them would be impossible.
    Is there anything I can do?

  169. Pages not cached by Google: Still getting some rankings. Even though Google isn’t caching those pages, does that mean Google doesn’t know anything about what’s on those pages except for the Title and Meta tags? Or does it mean Google knows what’s on those pages (such as keyword focused content, keywords in h1 tags, etc), but is just hiding the cached version from users because of some kind of “no cache request” (Example: Washingtonpost.com, and I don’t know how they’re requestion “no cache)


  170. I hope this is still the grab bag thread!

    Is the a new major update comming this year considering Google bought a new algo from an Israeli student?


  171. Hi Matt

    I’ve noticed something very strange in the SERPS that I’ve not seen before. Have you ever seen something like this?

    SERP Title
    SERP Description

    If you would like to see specifically what I’m talking about, you can see the Spin Palace result here:


    I would be extremely interested in your feedback.

    Best regards,


  172. I’d like to know what is going on with Google????? My site has not been crawled in about a month, despite numerous updates!! It’s critical in my business to update frequently, otherwise, I fall in the rankings, due to enormous competition. I would also like to know, how a page rank can fall so drastically without any reason, and with same amount of traffic and links. I REFUSE to link farm, as I think that does not make a site more “important”. I have been highly ranked in Google with the same site for over 4 years, now all of a sudden, I am not getting crawled, and am starting to fall due to the other NON-relevant sites spamming the keywords that ARE relevant to my site.

    Please answer this for me, as no one else at Google seem to give a rats A$$.
    Thank you!!!!!

  173. Can someone please tell me where the answers are ? or did Matt repond directly to the person who posted the questions.

  174. Would creating a duplicate site that has robot exclusions for Googlebot and Google AdSense Robot get my primary site penalized? This would be a desperation move to try and solve an intractable problem with another search engine.

  175. Hi Matt.

    I have a question about the unethical black hat tactic known as google bowling where people are destroying the reputation of my site by polluting googles search engines with spam sites and linking to me on these sites thus dragging my site down and causing it to loose ranking on the pages they are attacking.

    This has happened to me before and they have allready suceeded in wiping out one of my pages from the results, a week ago when there was a serps change i noticed hundreds more of these spam site have appeared and they are targeting another one of my page.

    Is there anything i can do to defend myself against this? The bad guys tactic IS working and as i said they have allready destroyed one of my pages and they are working on destroying another…

    I am continually reporting these sites as spam and when ever possible informing the hosting providers but theres to many sites and it feels like im fighting a battle i cant win. For a typical example of the googlebowlers spam sites i am reporting google search “fun/poker.htm site:.info”

    Is there anything else i can do to defend against this kind of unethical practice?

  176. Matt,
    In video response session #5 you spoke about URL parameters and serving static HTML to Googlebot. Your comment about Google considering this to be cloaking needs more verification. A URL can seem static to Googlebot but serve the dynamic URL to a user while still being the exact same page. Would this not be considered cloaking? If I remove a number of parameters or assign Googlebot to a specific userid in the URL but redirect or add the parameters to a non-bot user-agent, would this be seen as cloaking?

    Thanks for all the great responses so far.

  177. Thank you,Matt! Awaiting your advise on next update report!

  178. Big Daddy update did good on all my websites. Thanks G.

  179. Hope bigdaddy update is eomplete i think so, what about jagar update, is it there still with any algo changes or google updates with normal algos.. please respond.

  180. is 301 best for this? like moving from http://www.old-domain.com to http://www.old-domain.com/forums