Reminder on comments policy

Someone has been trying to contact me by leaving tons of comments on my blog for the last couple days. Sussie, I’d already seen Adam emailing around a question about your site days ago, so I knew that your site was on his radar. As far as why I pruned your comments, I have a comment policy at
and I have to stick to it, especially this part:

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

I just don’t have enough time to answer questions about individual sites. As much as I’d like to give lots of site-specific help, as soon as I start down that path, I’d quickly end up doing nothing but answering questions about individual sites. With tens of millions of sites and only one of me, that’s clearly not the most efficient use of my time–especially during the holidays. I haven’t seen my family for months and they won’t be here for much longer; I’m sorry that I can’t respond to every comment on my blog.

I’ve seen a spate of spam on .dk and .se domains due to a particular webshop, so I’d take my SEO advice from earlier this year. Make sure that you don’t have any “Shop-SEO” doorways pages on your site, for example. After you believe the site is clean and after all doorway pages are gone, I’d be happy to see a reinclusion request for your site come into the reinclusion queue.

64 Responses to Reminder on comments policy (Leave a comment)

  1. There is no guarantee that the Webmasters of those sites in question are going to read this post. Or even know anything about this blog. 😐

    If in fact they do have doorway pages on their site – would it not be fair to just ban only those doorway pages so that no link love is past to the homepage.

    Also, to be fair to everyone, there has to be an objective standard used about What is a Doorway page – and what are the gray areas of acceptability.

    An all flash site, or an all dynamic site could just be attempting to get some html SEO benefits. Should THEY be banned?

    Is a Webmaster who makes a doorway pages of just misspellings that redirects to the relevant page on a Website, REALLY deserving of a banning?

    Again, these comments are not personal, but these problems must be dealt with openly. Many Webmasters are just too afraid to bring these points and questions up to Google for fear of being penalyzed

    It has gotten so bad that many Webmasters won’t even add linked homepages to their Names when posting here. 😕

    If Search Engines Web did not bring up these issues, they would NEVER have been openned up.

  2. Excellent response Matt, well beyond the call of duty (now you can relax with the family!). However I don’t think it will relieve you of the comments as this quote from your comment policy was already presented to her:

    She is getting a lot of attention from googler’s, you’d be the 3rd now to respond, so I hope she re-reads all of the responses again and impliments the suggestions within, as I’m sure the answer is there.

  3. S.E.W., I specifically said that I was writing this because the person in question had left a ton of comments on my blog.

    Agreed, JLH. At this point, she should have enough info to self-diagnose her problem. I feel bad that Vanessa was posting responses on the webmaster group on Christmas; that’s part of why I wanted to say something.

    keniki, I’m pruning your comment because it’s off-topic and doesn’t include any specifics.

  4. Matt

    I see you upset and frustrated. But I guess someting good might come out of this post.

    Remind people to see more of their parents while they are around.

    Enjoy your family and God bless.

  5. I think if all the comments are going the same way (ie identically affected website at the same time), you could be of help without having to be specific at the same time. And whatever you say, IT IS INTERESTING SOME PEOPLE (particularly when you see webmaster forums only talking about this.

    My site has been affected too, I won’t ask for specifics, I have never seen as many referrers from yahoo although the site has the same place on Yahoo for about a year. If people has trouble finding me on Google, they look for my site on Yahoo. In the end, it is not my problem but the one of your company so I am pretty confident that you will do something about it sooner or later.

  6. Matt, thank you for addressing that.

    I earlier said that it made me feel warm and fuzzy that I got a water bottle from Yahoo through their “gifts” for answers 1 year anniversary. I have since received that water bottle in the mail and I thought you would get a kick out of what was written on a sticker adhered to the bottom of the water bottle.

    “California Proposition 65 Warning – All drinkware with colored decoration on the exterior contain lead. Lead compounds and/or Cadium are known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive Harm”

    I don’t feel as warm and fuzzy anymore. I am frightened.

  7. Matt, make an automatic ban for for anyone posting their URL. Put that in some big bold red text in place of;

    “Please review my guidelines on comments before leaving a comment.”

    Trust me, some truly believe you exist to help them. Being polite to many is only seen as a weakness.

  8. SearcH EngineS WeB

    There are no grey areas when you put humans before SEs after reading the guidelines. It’s all very black & white IMO.

  9. RE: “Results are poor matt on serps…..”

    Translates to “My site pages aren’t ranking as I want.”

  10. Thanks for the seo advice link and great post on people’s cube. I thought the dialog people’s cube used was not very nice, nor professional like.

    I wonder if there are any laws or code of ethics against publishing anything one wants on the web.

    take care

  11. Found this from an old article from Danny Sullivan. May need updating…

    – generic pages, easy to copy.
    – deceptive > users don’t arrive at the goal page but a bridge.
    – very similar to each other > risk of duplication.
    – may use substitute techniques > metarefresh, cloaking.
    – target search engines, not users.

    Matt, could you please point us to a few more resources where to gain a better understanding? Promotional/sales pages that act as teasers could also be seen as doorways. Or are they?

  12. SearcH EngineS WeB: try a google search for “define: doorway page”,GGLJ:2006-42,GGLJ:en&q=define%3a+doorway+page

    Not much gray area that I can identify.

  13. If Search Engines Web did not bring up these issues, they would NEVER have been openned up.

    That’s because if you didn’t bring them up, they wouldn’t exist for all practical intents and purposes.

    Is a Webmaster who makes a doorway pages of just misspellings that redirects to the relevant page on a Website, REALLY deserving of a banning?

    Absolutely! They’re encouraging poor grammar and spelling. My English teacher would be furious if she saw me performing such webmaster-related chicanery (of course, she’s still mad at me for coming into class reading a MAD Magazine, but in my defense, it was a very funny issue!)

    Again, these comments are not personal, but these problems must be dealt with openly. Many Webmasters are just too afraid to bring these points and questions up to Google for fear of being penalyzed

    Then they shouldn’t be doing something that might get them penalized in the first place. By the way, are you trying to turn this into a spelling-related doorway page on Matt’s behalf? 😉

    Semi-off-topic question: what was the point of those kangaroos on the Google logo over the last few days? Why not pick an animal more North American? Personally, I would have preferred the Eastern Diamondback (the new official animal of Christmas, based on how many relatives turn into rattlesnakes at the slightest provocation.)

  14. Addendum: when I said an animal more North American, I meant for Google searches/page views generated from within North America. The Aussies can still have their ‘roos. 🙂

  15. Hello Matt! And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    I agree that the webmaster in question may have gone a bit “overboard” in her attempt to get help. From one point of few, I can understand because her website is her business, her bread and butter, and it’s absolutely mind shattering when your site goes off the SERP’s. I’ve had those moments of desperation. You reach out, desperately, to anyone and everyone that will listen.

    That being said, man did she create a stinkup! I think anybody reading your post or participating in the groups can understand, and respond, to a cry for help. I know I have seen desperation in someone’s writing and done the best I could to help. But don’t scratch my eyes out when I tell you the truth, or pursue a moot point, or tell my how your puppy died when you where six and that’s the reason why this website is so important.

    But again, I understand her freakout, and I commend the Googler’s for responding professionally and with care.

  16. Matt – After a recent huge traffic post of my own I finally understand how you and Jeremy can get so overwhelmed with comment issues at the blogs. However in your case maybe this problem should indicate to Google how more resources may be needed to handle webmaster inquiries. I still think more transparency in this area would lead to *less* spam, because when people get frustrated they are far more likely to break guidelines. OR you can just have your family and cats answer the SEO questions – that could be fun!

  17. Matt,

    Adam said publically that my site was clean, after his review. That’s why he wanted to proceed to have it checked in greater detail.

    I think you have misunderstood the nature of the “Shop-SEO” pages. These pages are my actual site, because we can’t get the framed site indexed.

    I hope Adam will stand by his word, and give me the proper tools to self-diagnose. Can I expect that or have you stopped this effort?


  18. Matt,

    I just wanted to let Feedthebot know why the sticker is on his water-bottle since I am in the promotional products industry. Basically the sticker needs to be there because of California legislation passed in 1986 that was supposed to promote safe drinking water. Ambulance chasing lawyers unfortunately got a hold of this and twisted the law so that any company that uses certain types of printing inks that are commonly used in the printing industry that goes into the state of California must notify the user or face penalties. You can read about it more here,
    Just to let you know, this legislation has been twisted so much that it is will be a major topic at this years PPAI expo in Vegas in January. Hope you had a good Christmas Matt, God Bless you and your family. Feedthebot, I hope this returns your holiday warm and fuzzy.

  19. Matt, this whole Sussie topic reminds me of a West Wing episode named, “Take This Sabbath Day”, from season 1. Karl Malden plays a priest that visits the President after a day of anquish regarding a tough decision, the character says to the President.

    “You know, you remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’ The waters rose up. A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, ‘Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’ A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, ‘Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety. Well… the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?’ God said, ‘I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?”

  20. LMAO! Talk about arrogant, she seems to think the internet revolves around her.

    While I can understand that this hasn’t left her in the best position, I’m sure she could have worked out a solution just by reading through webmaster guidelines and such like.

    It’s bad to see that someones world comes crashing to the floor when they get dropped from Google. So much reliance on an unstable platform.

  21. Hmmm! Sussie had me thinking today, do I trust her or not ?

    As the days have progressed from the first “I’m so hard done by” posts, she has provided so many interesting insights into the mind of a desperate website owner. the question that begs answering is why, if her company was going under because of her removal from the serps, didn’t she arrange some sponsered links for her main products ?

    Do these get removed as well if a site is under investigation or is her company so strapped for cash that they couldn’t afford to pay for the hits.

    All the Best & Now that I’ve stood up for Google on the sitemaps forums can I pleeeeeaaaase have some local positions (i.e. Norwich Web Design) for my sites 😉

    Only joking, I’ll fight with the rest.

    Col 🙂

  22. German, Sussie had a very site-specific question that had nothing to do with anything else.

    mrg, way to generalize. 🙂 Another characteristic is that doorway pages are often intended only for search engines. Users are encouraged to click away with a big CLICK HERE up front-and-center, or (even worse) automatically whisked away when a user visits. If for example I did a search such as [inurl:shop-seo.asp] and saw a bunch of pages that were marked noarchive (so that the cached link didn’t show), and when I clicked on one, I immediately got whisked away to a completely different url, that would be setting off alarm bells ringing in my head. If I then checked by fetching that page as Googlebot and saw code like this:

    var d1=”win”, d2=”dow.”, d3=”loca”, d4=”tion.”, d5=”replace”, d6=”(‘’)”;
    var i,strurl=””;
    strurl += eval(“d”+i);

    well, that would be violating all sorts of guidelines from any respectable search engine. That’s a pretty prime example of JavaScript that screams red flags. I’d recommend that website would need the doorway pages to be removed *completely* and then a reinclusion request would need to be filed. And personally, I’d be talking to the webshop that set that up (to see why on earth someone would put up pages like that) more than talking to the search engine.

    Bringing it back to the general topic: a good rule of thumb is that a doorway page is a page that is designed to target a specific keyword or phrase. Warning signs include:
    – pages created almost entirely (or entirely) by a program as opposed to by hand. As a result, pages may look like nonsense or keyword stuffing.
    – large numbers of such pages
    – sneaky redirects or immediately trying to shunt a user to a different location

    The redirects are not required, but usually you’ll see the first two.

    M.W.A., I think that they just like to do different animals from time to time. That’s my hunch.

    Joe Duck, we do have more people doing communications these days, but the logistics of (# of webmasters) to (# of webmaster helper folks) is always going to be such that we have to pursue things like the webmaster console as more scalable for our primary efforts, at least as far as I can see.

    Lew, thanks for chiming in with some educational material. 🙂

  23. HI!

    I think Matt have the (a) point. No one is able to handle the specific problems of all those site-owners! And therefore no one can abide specific help from Matt when she/he is posting here

    But I believe also what Joe Duck has pointed out:
    Google makes it itself too easy, if they point ever and ever on their no very specific guidelines.

    I know that Google, with its algorithm-fad, must have massive probs to
    understand the various ways of content humans are produceing (I made some proposals on that account). If Google wants to go this way further, there must be a way in which identified site owners can let their problems with the companys style and becomes some admission at the picture Google made out of their sites.

    I think Google has a such large impact on the web, that there is a must to act or Google would retard the deployment of the web.
    Or should we think, that your company make money out of some of our problems and therefor thinking that it is not necessary to solve them?

    My site has much unique content and every time I describe my problem with your (here or in other blogs / groups) the days after I see many robots.txt querris in my stats. But there is no fault and the whole site is whiter than white in that direction and so no one can help me with your tips in this guidelines.

    Without my few backlinks (the most of them ignored by your system for more than 20 months except of one) there are only two choices to me: to pay Google for Adwords or to resign! Is this the way your company want to guide me?

    Once more: I know that this is not your duty or fault, but this tells me every one I can achieve. But I didn’t believe that the problems with are only carelessness or Googles undersize capacity, if they consist much longer. So if Google make guidelines/rules, we all have the right to ask you to play with them also!

    Greetings Karl Heinz

    PS: Many Webmasters are just too afraid to bring these points and questions up to Google for fear of being penalyzed wrote SearcH EngineS WeB above and I agree, because here are many green names.

    Who reads and write in such a blog, without an own website?

  24. Karl

    “PS: Many Webmasters are just too afraid to bring these points and questions up to Google for fear of being penalyzed wrote SearcH EngineS WeB above and I agree, because here are many green names.”

    WHAT? 🙂

    Do you really mean that a website is part of a person identity? I.e if you don’t mention your website(s) then you are hiding part of your identity or something?

    How about the most popular webmaster forums? Why do many members don’t mention their website(s) within their profiles? Is it also because they are frightend of the revange of mighty Google or Inigo Montoya 🙂

    How about a more qualified guess?

    For example; supose some of the “green names” here wish to be judged of what they write and not by their website(s) 😉

  25. eep… I really hope I didn’t start anything with my post for assistance on finding Tim at Google. Just felt lost without him or the Google representation down here in vegas.

  26. Matt,

    A doorway page in my understanding is usually a tweaked/deceiving representation of another page – designed only for attracting search engines. This is not the case here.

    Clearly none of the shop owners are spammers and we’d all gladly admit to be be cought up in something bad here (really a technical solution to a search engine problem). We just want to solve it, and can’t figure out how.

    I don’t think it justifies letting our businesses die. The least you could do is letting one of your staff members point us in the right direction.


  27. Matt,

    Have you studied what purpose the javascript redirect code has served?
    Would you say it was one of spamming/deceiving users or one of fixing the user-experience in a framed site that Google can’t index because of frames?

    Also, the javascript redirects were turned off as soon as someone alerted me that the exclusion e-mail from Google might not have pointed me in the right direction. It was turned off only to satisfy google btw – even though it makes our site less usable to our actual customers.

    Associating me and punishing me (a 28 year old girl, who started her shop 1 year ago) for using a public shop system, where all I have is a database front-end isn’t “doing no evil”. It’s rips the carpet away of someone that does the best she can to run an honest business.

    Again and again I’ve asked for help in the Google help forums, for someone to provide an alternative solution that works. I received the information that my site was okay (from Adam Laznik) and that he would address it with the technicians.

    All I ask, since Christmas eve, very humbly and politely, is for me to get back in business and for Google to show how I can do that, when they are unable to index the framed pages. Am I to fully drop a framed website because of Google? I’m clearly not an expert, so don’t punish me like one.


  28. Our webshop has sent a letter to Google almost a month ago, asking whether the technique was okay and asking for dialog if it wasn’t. I know this, cause I personally sent it in my re-inclusion request and also handed it over to Google Denmark (who would also relay it).

    In the webmaster help forum, I have also offered to set up contact.

    Matt, why don’t we make a case-study out of my shop and my situation. What was I to do? What could I have done better? Where did I mainly go wrong? How to fix this? etc.


  29. Matt,

    I did talk to webshop. My dialog with them is online even.

    The webshop had the redirects to get users to a framed webshop, because the search engine fails at doing this.

    With users being taken to independant URLs, they got confused, because the rest of the frames wasn’t there.

    The webshop admitted to this implementation directly to Google and asked for alternatives. Noone has tried to hide anything, and I’ve repeated asked for alternative solutions in the webmaster forums.

    This is why I’m so sorry to have my shop taken hostage in this.

    Matt, now that we made it this far, why don’t we take an IM session (ICQ/MSN) and talk about the problem I have with the shop, as a case study. Then I can take it to my webshop and you can use it as an example for everyone else (after filtering my URL out of there). I just need 15 minutes to provide the perspective and to hear your input. You would save the lives of some hundreds of shops.

    I think I have some legid questions and you can’t seriously be thinking of me as a spammer. Did you see my photo? 🙂


  30. Lani, no worries. I’ve enjoyed all of your comments. 🙂

  31. Don’t hold back Tricia, tell us how you really feel 🙂

    I don’t wish her site eternal damnation. I just hope she fixes it, submits a reinclussion request, and we can all move on. The answers are all there (and here) they just have to be implemented. She should also be concerned with the interlinking of sites that I’ve found by just looking for phone and fax numbers, that will be detected soon, and I don’t have any magic spam-tools like Mr. Cutts, I’m sure it goes deeper than that.

    I must admit that in all my years I’ve never thought this much about Danish Furniture until now. Oh, the web is an interesting place.

  32. Matt,

    I’m not allowed to post in here, but people calling me a bitch are?

    Since you are the moderator, I’ve had my lawyer screen shot this.

    Maybe defaming me fits better within Google’s agenda than taking my questions seriously.

    Stop ruining my business for things I don’t control!

    I’m not a nerd and need my shop operational. I can’t fix things. My shop provider will be happy to excuse their system, but they have reached out for dialog. Stop ruining my business over this.



  33. Matt,

    Why couldn’t Google tell these things to my shop provider when they asked. Why ruin my business over their incompetence?

    Be fair.

  34. After reading some of Sussies post on the Webmaster help area, I can’t believe she persists after being told the same thing over and over.

    She wants Google to change the way it works so her sites will be included.

    Sorry, instead of posting all over creation, she shold be working on correcting her site.

  35. I don’t want Google to change anything.

    I’m asking Google for its help to do the right thing, within my context. How to get a framed site online?

  36. Hi Matt,

    Sussie influencing her ISP and pointing out trouble.. way back..

    Why exclude me.. It’s unfair. I’ve worked hard to get to a good state with my site. Punish my web-shop provider instead.

    I’m sure the webshop provider will explain, but I now they just tried to solve a technical problem. They have never spammed the web in any traditional sense.

    Come on MATT!!

  37. Matt,

    thank you for your comments.
    I will first not say my site is whiter as white because I will never know what Google means by white. I however assume that the resting part from my earlier sins (not even sure about it – it is not written anywhere as a sin) lies in the design of the site, which is anyway ignored from the robots so I think I will ignore it until the next whole update of the site.

    2 things I noticed:
    I am doing link baiting, some of my pages are very strong sitewide linked pages( very popular, now searched for on yahoo), very few links on the homepage itself.
    I updated the site late December (added new content).

    My site went from #1 to #9 on my favorite keyword on Funny thing, I am still #1 on #2 on is still #5 on
    I am strong as ever on

    Mc Dar shows me at #4 at all DC except where I am #9.

    Don’t tell me it is business as usual. I doesn’t look like a penalty. It looks like something that has not been transfered to the others DC has gone wrong because no i am behind sites hardly not optimizing or obviously buying links to the homepage.

    Many webmasters on WMW are also seeing sitewide linked sites because of original content disappearing after they added a new page. I think the reason why is interesting many people and you don’t have to go on specifics.

  38. Matt

    By now the whole world has been reminded of your comments policy and the case of Adam Lasnik vs . Well done job 🙂

    Btw, where is that post calling for Grabbag-2007 questions?

    Just to be sure that my questions will be included, no guarantees to be answered though 🙂

    – Does Data Refresh affect the number of backlinks displayed by link: operator ?

    – Keeping in mind that different DCs get different data at different times, should we expect to see link: operator to disply different number of backlinks on different DCs?


  39. Hi Matt,
    I don’t understand, why people are using these black hat SEO techniques like door way pages at all. Aren’t they scare of getting banned? OR this is what they want. I am sure that this is not at all a holistic approach towards SEO.

  40. My site went from #1 to #9 on my favorite keyword on Funny thing, I am still #1 on #2 on is still #5 on
    I am strong as ever on

    Mc Dar shows me at #4 at all DC except where I am #9.

    You’re whining about being #9 on one datacenter? Dude, that’s still first page. Most people would kill to have most of their keywords on the first page, and you’re *complain*ing because you’re not at #1?!?!?!

    There are people who might want to beat your ass for that kind of a comment. (Fortunately for you, I’m not one of those people. I just found it really, really funny.)

    [Matt: changed word to “complaining”. Please don’t criticize folks, or at least not on my blog.]

  41. I just took my case as an example to explain the problem of many others.

    I am not a SEO. I don’t have site of 100 000 pages to explain it better but if I had more competition it would have been worse and as Matt said:

    Being on the first 3 on the local page, I am automatically on the 1st page of the .com google, so they can’t throw me away.

    I am waiting to slide off the first page to prove the contrary.
    Still #2 on local page is now much higher than me #1 on local search.

  42. Yeah, why can’t everyone be on page 1 Matt? Just ask any Webmaster if their site deserves to be above others, I’m sure the answer is always “yes”. Is “Google broken” again perhaps? 🙂 Don’t laugh, that’s how many think………….these same people drive on same roads as we do too! Now that IS a worry!

    RE: “Don’t tell me it is business as usual. I doesn’t look like a penalty. It looks like something that has not been transfered to the others DC has gone wrong because no ***i am behind sites hardly not optimizing*** or obviously buying links to the homepage.”

    It’s business as usual and BIG hint there with the use of ***.

    Funny that pages who put users 1st often rank better than the so called “Professionally SEO” pages.

    While many THINK they are optimizing for Google, Google themselves are giving preference to those who optimize for humans. How dare Google put there users 1st!

  43. OK Dave, I will refrain from comments.

    I didn’t mean to injure anybody. I am just seeing as a problem.
    And I don’t care if Google throw my side away, except for my pride for a couple of day, because I was proud of reaching something. I have regular clients and I am not living off adsense.

    I will get over it – but I still think there is a problem.

  44. Matt, very disappointed you couldn’t take time off on Christmas Day to deal with this, leaving just Adam and Vanessa to work on it. Clearly you don’t care. 24/7/364 obviously isn’t enough — step it up to 24/7/365 🙂

  45. Man you should just learn to take a vacation – just doing this blog you are already doing tooooo much.

    And cheers for clamping down on disgusting and 2class spam tecnics – too sad that all these shops have been dumbfounded by their service provider… that company should for real burn in hell!

  46. “My site went from #1 to #9 on my favorite keyword on”

    You have simply got to be joking? LOL Sit back and relax. Watch some TV. Eat something. Read a book. Play some scrabble. Kiss your wife or husband. You are worrying and stressing over totally minor stuff.

    You also have to remember that “your favorite” keyword is also the favorite of many other sites out there offering the same stuff, and which are also relevant to your favorite keyword. Only one page can be listed at #1. Another page at #2, and so on.

    S.E.W. : I suggest you read the Google guidelines pages. Read ALL other se’s guidelines pages as well. After reading them… read them again. They all make it very clear as to what se spam is. Adding that doorway domain to your site because of goog is not something most of us would call implementing our common sense.

    In most cases this search engine stuff and what is spam or not is a large case of common sense. I’m thinking that some people are simply lacking in these doses of common sense…. even small doses of common sense.

  47. Hi German; You should learn how to sway your clients into realizing what is important and what is not important. If that site who was number one yesterday, and happens to be number eight today, but their actual conversions have not went down any,… what’s the difference? You need to teach your clients that a particular rank on a particular keyword phrase is “not” SEO at all. Building and helping a client achieve “sales” or whatever it is the client wants visitors to do …… call them or email them or buy that product “IS” the most important thing and is what SEO is all about. It’s NOT about a rank on a phrase. Not at all.

    I really believe if this industry would stop and think for a sec, the industry would realize exactly what is important, and start teaching this important stuff to their clients.

    To be fair; many search engines have this API stuff so webmasters can query the database to see how they “rank” on phrases, etc. I truly believe this was and is a big mistake. Why the heck should anyone have to use some silly software to query for ranks? We have not done a “rank report” thang in over 3 years now. Zero need for them. If a client wants to know how they rank on a phrase, they may go to and do a darn search, right? If they are not on the first three pages, they know they need to do more work anyway. Why should some firm claiming they do “SEO” do some silly rank report that truly means nothing? In many instances, this firm is charging this client for these weekly or monthly silly reports that are zero benefit to this client. Amazing.

    It’s hard to sit back and read comments in blogs and forums out there and not say something. LOL That’s funny stuff coming from someone with a forums as well. But it is…. it’s really hard. It’s hard to realize that many just don’t get that this entire website design/SEO thang is truly mostly “common sense”.

  48. This awesome, I like his series of vids and will be getting more of them very soon.

  49. Matt

    Please… would you moderate this post.

    Sussie might have no or very limited knowledge of search and SEO. For one reason or the other she think that only you can save here business. But no hard working woman deserves to be called names ;(


  50. Matt, I agree with Harith, the woman did not deserve to be called names.

    I wonder how many posting on this board would ‘freak out’ worse than this gal if their site got taken out of the google index… Most I would guess.

    Matt lately, your Blog seems to be a few folks, I guess you could call them ‘regulars’, that seem to be all about trashing folks that post their problems and/or concerns on your Blog and then repeating the same things over and over and over. I mean how many times can a person write about only one page being #1 in the SERP?

    Adam – Just to set the record straight… I do like Google. I just think you guys can do better…
    Much Better…

  51. “My site went from #1 to #9 on my favorite keyword on”


    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think a woman who complains about her site going from #1 to #9 should have her rank fixed?
    Tricia: No.
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Well what do you think should happen? What would be a fair sentence?
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Objection!
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think her site should deserve to die?
    Jake Tyler Brigance: Don’t answer that Tricia!
    D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think her site should deserve to die?
    Tricia: Yes, it deserves to die and I hope it burns in hell!

  52. Matt, I have watched with glee about this unfolding across the various boards. Not to mention the numerous threads on various boards. I’ve seen you, vanessa and adam bend over backwards helping her. Plus all the comments from other readers about what to look for. I think if the time spent addressing her issues was converted to an hourly rate, she just got a lot of costly advice for free.
    I think that by taking the initiatve and search for what has been recommended already, she should have more then enough information to address her issues. I spent the extra 10 seconds customizing this post to give you this.

  53. Matt lately, your Blog seems to be a few folks, I guess you could call them ‘regulars’, that seem to be all about trashing folks that post their problems and/or concerns on your Blog and then repeating the same things over and over and over. I mean how many times can a person write about only one page being #1 in the SERP?

    I’m one of the types who finds that I repeat myself a lot lately. I can admit that openly and freely.

    Buuuuuuuuuuuut…before anyone stops and thinks I’m done with the point, it’s why I repeat myself so much that’s important.

    The problem is that there are a number of people, on Matt’s blog and otherwise, making the same mistakes and asking the same questions because they’ve been led down the same pathways to destruction. Many of them resemble Sussie and German: “my site doesn’t rank anymore.” A closer look at the sites posted usually reveals holes that a truck could be driven through, and they’re the same holes.

    Link exchanges (and I’m talking about 4-5 pages of “related resources” that aren’t even about the same subject.)
    Hidden text.
    Poor coding (this is a biggie, and while this is a greater issue from a user standpoint, does have some SEO implications as well.)
    PageRank obsession.
    Blogs, articles and forums (fora? I never did know the answer to this) that are created for the sole purpose of SEO.
    SEO at the expense of the user experience (usually in writeups.)

    I see the same things over and over and over and over and over andoverandoverandoverandoverandover again (yes, I forgot the spaces on purpose), so I give the same answers over and over and over and over andoverandoverandoverandoverandover again. I can’t speak for others, but I’d almost bet that at least some of them will say the same thing.

    This isn’t just in Matt’s blog, either. It goes on in forums, in MSN chats, in conversations, pretty well everywhere a web geek like me finds myself these days.

    It’s what Doug Heil said: an utter lack of common sense in general. I’m just waiting for the sad day when we read about Matt dead with a noose around his neck, a shotgun shell in his head, and forks in his eyes from having to deal with it all.

    Don’t get me wrong, lots0: it’s a good point. But the answer isn’t the problem: it’s the symptom of a deeper problem.

  54. Dear Matt,

    you are talking about redirects via javascript like :
    var d1=”win”, d2=”dow.”, d3=”loca”, d4=”tion.”, d5=”replace”,

    Your are right. But I had the problem that a competitor installed pages whith a similar code on it pointing to my homepage. The result was that my page is out of the index for about 1 year. No re-inclusion request was accepted ….

  55. Danny Sullivan wrote, “step it up to 24/7/365”

    Oh sure, that’s just great, just feel free to go ahead and screw us poor webmasters every leap year! I demand Larry and Sergey give me their cell phone numbers in case I need them on 2/29/08 if Matt’s not going to step up to the plate and be available.

    Matt, Please make my sites #1 for every word on them until then. Thanks for your understanding.

  56. Matt,
    May I suggest closing this thread? After coming back today and seeing some of the posts, it seems to me that unfortunately some people are wound way to tight, and I’d hate to see a few people ruin it for the rest of us.

  57. hmm. I see a good thread. I’m very sure readers of Matt’s blog might learn a thing or two from this thread. The only thing I might say that should not have been wrote was the name calling of sussie. That was out of line. Out of one hundred posts… seems like it anyhoo, a “very” good thread. I think Matt would agree as well.

    If you think some of us are wound too tight, you haven’t been elsewhere before. LOL This thread is extremely mild stuff, but very good stuff.

    As Adam said; we may repeat stuff, but it’s repeated over and over because people don’t seem to get it the third or fourth or twelth time it is said. 🙂 Maybe if it’s repeated enough times, some stuff just may sink in…… maybe.

  58. Anytime people start mentioning giving screen-shots to their lawyers it has gone to far. I would hate for the plug to be pulled on this blog when Matt is trying to do his best to be a liaison to the SEO community. I have met Matt several times and he is a good guy. I have been elsewhere over the past 7 years and I don’t participate in a lot of forums because people get away from the real issues to bang their own drum.

  59. Anyone can threaten legal action and lawyers will do anything for money. You could bring suit against Mc Donalds because the moon is too bright with enough money and a shady attorney. Though I don’t think Ray Kroc’s heirs are too worried.

  60. Matt,

    After following this thread here and elsewhere for some days now I am amazed at your patience. If this was my blog I would have blocked Sussie many, many days ago.

    For someone whose site is/was using dodgy SEO techniques I am amazed at her persistence – it’s your responsibility Sussie, it’s your site after all!

  61. Susie…
    I’ve worked with the problem with DD with some of my customers.

    You need to make a 301 redirect from root to /shop/default.asp and then unmark all fields under “Søgemaskiner” in konfiguration. Write me at for more help 🙂

  62. Dear Sussie Lalicata

    I hope you resolve your differences with Google in peaceful friendly way, because I can’t see any reason for not doing so. Allow me to explain.

    I read your posts here on Matt’s blog and on your webshop provider forum:

    As you might have noticed, its the “system” of your Webshop provider which isn’t in accordance with Google Webmasters Guidelines, not your furniture webshop. I understand that they intend to come up with a better system sometime next year.

    Until then, you have the choice of either move your shop to another Webshop provider that offer a system which meets Google Webmaster Guidelines, or just stay with your present Webshop provider and accept the current situation.

    And as you wrote correctly on your Webshop provider forum, you aren’t getting the support you deserve from your Webshop provider. In fact its them who should resolve the current issue with Google, not you.

    Furthermore, with all due respect to your “SEO Specialist”, I doubt that he is going to resolve your shop problem through robots.txt . Even if he succeed to get few of your shop front pages indexed, you shall still left with a whole shop that can’t be indexed as it is now. Btw, the sandbox isn’t a penalty from Google side. Its just a theory.

    Please consider moving your shop to another Webshop provider at least until your current Webshop provider comes up with a search engine friendly system. You will have peace and energy to focus on your business that way. And your new Webshop might rank well as a white hat site on, who knows 😉

    Good luck!

  63. Wow – take a few days off for the holidays, and look what happens!

    Name calling aside (although Arrogant Matt Cutts is something that will stick in my mind for a long time), why does somebody who screams about their lost SERPs rate a second look? Is that what it takes to get noticed by Google? If I rant and rave on every blog/forum on the planet, will you move my sites into spot #1? I’m a nice person, and my clients are nice people too. So, I think you should give all of us nice people a FREE ride and push all of those other dirtbags down!

    Let’s make a patent claim! If you’re nice – you get the #1 spot. If you’re a dirtbag – you get pushed down with the rest of the scum. We could even patent “ScumRank” as the new paradigm.

    Sorry, Matt, I know that I’m not a “regular” here, but this is so absurd! I think you are getting the wrong end of the stick here, and I just had to add my 2 cents…

  64. Lew, I think it’s not a bad suggestion to lock this thread; the discussion is starting to wander now.

    Sussie, a few closing points:
    – We have written about sneaky redirects in our webmaster guidelines for years. The specific part is “Don’t employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.” We make our webmaster guidelines available in over 10 different languages, and the guidelines also discuss doorway pages.
    – I’ve specifically talked about using javascript pages to whisk users away from doorway pages in the past, e.g.
    so your webshop should have known that their pages under Shop-SEO.asp with constructed JavaScript such as
    var d1=”win”, d2=”dow.”, d3=”loca”, d4=”tion.”, d5=”replace”, d6=”(’′)”;
    var i,strurl=””;
    strurl += eval(”d”+i);
    was over the line.
    – Ultimately, you are responsible for your own site. If a piece of shopping cart code put loads of white text on a white background, you are still responsible for your site. In fact, we’ve taken action on cases like that in the past.
    – Nonetheless, people at Google want high-quality sites to do well. Your site has removed the JavaScript redirection, which would help in a reinclusion request.

    Finally, I want this to be completely clear: any name-calling in my comments is not welcome and neither is any kind of personal attack. I want everyone to feel welcome to leave constructive comments here, and negative comments make the site less collegial and less productive. Sussie, I believe that I’ve deleted any purely negative comments, but feel free to post to the Google Group if there are remaining comments that you consider untrue.

    Okay, I’m going to lock this discussion now..