What Google Knows About Spam

If you didn’t attend Web 2.0, you can watch my ten-minute keynote about “What Google Knows About Spam” (and several other keynotes) on blip.tv. I’ll embed the keynote below as well.

The only thing I don’t like about conference speaking is preparing slides. When I use slides at a talk, I almost always make a custom presentation. That’s why I prefer Q&A sessions; making slides is too much work.

To make the process easier this time, I tried using Google Docs to create the presentation, and then saving my Docs presentation in PowerPoint (PPT) so that the conference could easily project the slides. The “Save as PPT” feature worked perfectly for me — go Google Docs team! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are the slides in PowerPoint (PPT) form.

In case you want to see the slides yourself, here they are in embedded form:

In addition to simple PowerPoint exporting, it’s also easy to embed a Docs presentation on your own web page.

[Thanks to Tracy O for cc-licensing the “money” image that I used in the presentation.]

I’ve always meant to do a post to say that search engine optimization (SEO) is not spam and that Google doesn’t hate SEO, but I never seem to get around to it. This presentation gave me a chance to slip those facts into the minds of several thousand tech-savvy folks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, enough foolishness. Back to work.

Update: This post was an April Fool’s joke as well. I was hoping to catch people off-guard by doing a late-night post after all the other pranks were out there. Clicking on the video link just gets you rickrolled in a creative way.

Okay, I admit that my “I’m tired of April Fool’s” post was just a ruse. A couple people almost fell for the bait.

I did a couple April Fools posts this year; one about getting a Firefox tattoo (it was a temporary stick-on tattoo) and one joke about how the iPhone has the magical power to connect to almost anything.

To make up for playing pranks today, I recorded a brief movie about some of the signals that Google uses to rank web pages. We publicly say that Google uses over 200 different signals in our ranking algorithms, but we don’t always talk about them much. If you’re interested to hear more about the signals that Google uses, here’s the recording.

And I apologize for all the April Fool’s jokes — you just have to give yourself one day a year to have fun, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Tons of PubCon interviews on video and audio

If you want to get a Matt/Google/SEO video fix, you’re in luck. Interviews from PubCon are streaming in. Here are a few I’ve seen:

Audio Interviews

Stephan Spencer and I sat down and talked for about 30 minutes. You can read the interview transcript. That link also includes the MP3 if you’d prefer to listen.

I think Jay Berkowitz and I chatted just before the “Meet the Googlers Q&A” session. Download the mp3 of Jay’s podcast.

Video Interviews

I enjoyed chatting with Reachd TV to do an interview. This ten-minute interview is a great video introduction to SEO for small business owners or other people new to SEO. We also discuss how WordPress 2.3 is even more search-engine friendly than previous versions. Hat tip to Mark Jacquith for pointing out this one.

At the tail end of PubCon, I sat down to chat with Mike McDonald and Vanessa Fox. Mike also covered a few high points of the conversation.

Michael Dorausch posted a video excerpt of the search engine panel where I talked about a three-step method to build traffic to a site (Guy Kawasaki was a fun moderator). Michael also posted a partial transcript of the relevant bits.

Suresh Babu caught me in the hallway and asked me about TrustRank, how to tell if your visitors are arriving from Google Local, and what SEOs should focus on in 2008 (I think local and mobile are good ideas). He also asked me about what January 1, 1969 means to Google. Props to Robin Liss for taking the video on an unfamiliar camera at the drop of a hat.

Just for Fun

Just before playing Werewolf, someone walked up to me and pretended like he wanted to bribe me: $500,000 for a 1st place ranking. I turned him down, because no one can guarantee a #1 ranking — not even me. When he put the case down to shake my hand, we filmed a joke/blooper where I pretended to take the case and run. ๐Ÿ™‚ Watch the video to savor the hijinks.

There you go. If you start right now, you can listen/watch well over an hour of straight search engine optimization Q&A on audio and video. Enjoy!

Matt video: ALT attributes for images

In case you missed it, a short while ago we posted a video about how to use ALT attributes for images. I’ll include the video here, but I’ll also use this opportunity to remind everyone that you really should subscribe to the Official Google Webmaster Blog (Atom link for feedreaders). Here’s the video:

In the comments, you’ll note that Philipp Lenssen corrects me about something: “IMG” is a tag, but “ALT” and “TITLE” are attributes of the IMG tag. So referring to an “ALT tag” is a bit sloppy and incorrect. ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily, the webmaster central folks were kind enough to clarify the original post. John Mueller also made the original post even more valuable by talking about ALT and TITLE and how those attributes are slightly different. John is one of the newer voices in webmaster/SEO communication (okay, he’s been a voice for quite a while, but only joined Google a few months ago); I’m really glad that he’s joined Google. For example, you might have missed his incredibly useful meta tag reference guide that he posted not long ago. Yet another reason why you should be subscribing to the Official Google Webmaster Blog (Atom link for feedreaders). At this point, the official webmaster blog is doing Google SEO-related posts faster than I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

Video: anatomy of a search snippet

Several weeks ago I flew up to Google’s Kirkland office to visit with the wonderful webmaster tools team. While I was visiting, someone said “Hey, why don’t you grab a video camera, find an empty office, and record as many videos as you can in an hour?” That sounded good to me, and the first result of that is an eight-minute or so video about Google’s search snippets:

I’d like to say a special thanks to Rรญona MacNamara of the webmaster tools team. Rรญona took care of everything so that all I had to do was stand in front of the camera and talk. She reserved the room, grabbed the video camera, brainstormed topics, taped everything, got it digitized, and even wrote the official webmaster blog post. Thank you, Rรญona!

In our quick efforts to make a video, I know the audio turned out crackly in a few places. Sorry about that, but that can happen when you grab a video camera/microphone/whiteboard and do a speed-recording session. I think the audio might be better on the other two topics we taped. Enjoy!

Update: Eric Enge posted a really good summary of the video, in case you prefer reading over videos.