Watch my site review session from Google I/O

At Google I/O a few weeks ago I did a site review session with fellow Google colleagues Brian White and Greg Grothaus. The video from that session is live now and I’ll include it below:

About 38 minutes in, the session morphed into a general Q&A. So even if you don’t care about site reviews, the Q&A might be interesting to you. Video aren’t perfect (for example, it’s much harder for someone watching a video to skim quickly). But I love that I can do a two-minute video by just talking for two minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Compare that to any blog post which seems to take me at least an hour.

P.S. If you like this session, you might be interested to know that most Google I/O sessions were recorded and are available on video. For example, one of my favorite sessions was watching Aaron Boodman (author of Greasemonkey) talk about how to write extensions for Chrome. The amount of information available from the full session list is pretty amazing. That’s not even counting the Google Wave announcement, which has been viewed about 2.5 million times.

63 Responses to Watch my site review session from Google I/O (Leave a comment)

  1. wow cool…but what is more amazing to know is the fact that you do a video shoot for less than the time you take to write a blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’d love to do Q&A but it’s almost 1AM in Chicago and I have client meetings to be awake for tomorrow. I hope there’s a transcript I can check when I wake tomorrow. Cheers! -j

  3. mind blowing……….
    very nice post,wil be helpfull .

  4. Rajesh, to be fair, it takes *me* only two minutes of talking. I have a wonderful Google colleague Michael ‘Wysz’ Wyszomierski who is willing to find a room, set up the camera and audio, record me talking my head off for an hour or two, patiently edit the video and interleave slides into the videos, then upload the videos onto YouTube.

    So it’s the perfect situation for me, and I really appreciate that Wysz is willing to do all the heavy lifting on everything else.

  5. Thank you Matt for continuing to contribute amazing value!

  6. Great post! Probably the most educating video in your blog. Will recommend it to everybody!

  7. It’s a long video, but I hope folks enjoy it!

  8. Hi Matt – Great video!

    I had a follow up question from the query regarding image relevancy –

    Suppose a client of mine wants some sort of fancy non-standard graphic header font but isn’t technologically savvy enough to do something like sIFR implementation.

    Would something like

    be “properly” interpreted by the Googlebot as being an H1 header with the content of “header text in the image”?

    Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. d’oh – code got muted out…

    code was: [h1][img src=”imagefile.jpg” alt=”header text in the image”][/h1]

  10. Hi it seems very interesting but the sound is very low. How can I hear it better?

  11. Hi Matt, I love these videos and this is one of the best.

    Do these sessions only happen in the US though? Is there a page somewhere listing where they might happen in Europe. Face to face, I think, is always better.

  12. Great video Matt. Always great to get good site ideas and suggestions.
    Makes me regret even more not going to Google I/O. Maybe next year…..

  13. Cool stuff, thanks for sharing!

  14. Hey Matt- I’ve been following Google since launch many years ago, and I’ve always wondered why it’s so hard for Google to crawl complex URL’s? With all the advanced technology, why can’t Google’s massive team of engineers figure out how to crawl a URL with weird characters?

    To me, this should be a top priority.

    You are assuming webmasters will change their link structure for your benefit. I understand that there may be URL’s which will loop for infinity and stupify your web crawler– but is the web bot really that dumb?

    I’m tired of you telling webmasters to change their URL structure. Why doesn’t Google just design a smarter bot!

  15. Loving Wave ..

    It really does look very very cool, cant wait to start playing.

  16. I should point out that its 2 min of you can speak of the cuff – having done a couple of podcasts even in an area i know well i did a script for my particular segment which can take a lot longer. And then you need to do the editing and eq stages.

    Having said that may be i ought to do a number of short vidoes for rackhams latest AT43 releases.

    I would have assumed that Google would have a small studio setup permenatly if your doing so many videos.

  17. I hadn’t heard that Google spider executes Javascript to find new pages. Do these ‘count’ in the same way a regular href anchor does (in terms of page status)?

  18. Hi Matt. Wow, great info. At +/-5 minutes in (the ipod car site) you discuss an issue with search engines indexing long URLโ€™s and/or odd characters in the URL. Can you elaborate on this?

  19. “click! click! oh crap its not a link”


  20. Hey Matt, I’ve just started to watch your video, but gotta head out..

    There was another post on your blog about wordpress taking care of 90% of SEO.. I got a little bit confused on my way through, I’m trying my best to keep on the right side of Google, but I think I made mistake, I posted the same tutorial twice, but they are two completely different articles.

    Is it a bad idea to keep two of the same but differently written articles on my blog?

  21. Oh also matt feel free not to publish this comment, but if you could email me I would appreciate it.

    People keep commenting on my blog and they are using as their Web Url.. Is it a bad idea of me to keep those url’s there or should I leave them in?

    I appreciate your blog and that video it was super, and quite funny ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Wonderful post and it will definitely help me. Thanks for posting ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hey Matt,

    Great video! Can you review my website: Site Owner News It’s brand new and I’d love some feedback before I start promoting it.

    Also, what is Google doing hacking Chinese websites?

  24. Matt,

    You wonder why you continue writing the blog and have all these people visiting with nothing to sell them? Write a book, then you’ll have something to sell them.

    Unless you’d rather team up with


  25. Have to agree with Varda about the volume. Fantastic video though. Love to see more of this from you Matt!

  26. Hey Matt,

    I have been wondering for the past several week why my site has dropped significantly. In a week I went from getting a few hundred hits a day to about 30 a day. It seems as if I have been removed completely from googles search index. I get ZERO traffic from Google search engine. My site does not contain and illegal material or material that goes against the Webmaster Guidelines. I have filed a reinclusion request but they do not even tell me if I was penalized no not. Just that my message was received. I am just curious as to why I have been penalized (if I have) so I can fix this problem and make sure I don’t commit it again in the future. If you can help me with that I can surely fix whatever it is.

  27. If possible could you reply to the email I gave???

  28. Great information, thanks. I like how much you “plugged” webmaster tools and the you tube channel. And now I have to go over there and check out the videos I have missed…


  29. I love google webmaster tools. That would be nice to have other types of notifications sent you to as well.

  30. Hey Matt, Nice post but pretty educating video but takes time to load as it’s big.

    Would like to suggest you that previous google websmaster panel was good rather than the update the new one pretty confusing. May be yes because it’s new but I don’t know how other people review it? What’s the major difference in new and old?

  31. Very cool video, I only saw the first few minutes, I will be sure to watch the whole thing when I take a lunch break today :o)

  32. Great video Matt and I agree, it’s great how quickly you can create useful content via video vs writing a blog post. More power to the extensions community for Chrome, my favorite browser. (except for SEO tasks) ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Hi Matt!

    I’ve a question about automatic translation services like this one:

    Since the automatic translations are cached, they can also be indexed by Google.
    Is this “spammy” content in the eyes of Google?

    Thanks in advance,

  34. I like your way to explain the important SEO things. Your explanations came to web-master’s heart with bigger impact than if you write it.

  35. Matt,

    BTW, the guy who asked the question about the number of URLs indexed may have been puzzled by the same thing as me. Webmaster tools reports the number of URLs indexed from the sitemap, yet whenever I update the sitemap, usually with a single page every few weeks, the number of URLs Google reports indexed drops! Sometimes, it keeps dropping for a few days, before slowly building back up again to a few shy of the total submitted.

    It’s just strange, and it’s been the behavior I’ve seen as long as Webmaster tools has been around.


  36. Matt I have a question if you wouldn’t mind a comments Q&A.

    A site != a domain, often sites span multiple domains, or businesses can. Google & Youtube for instance. & &

    I recently expanded a forum I own with a new Google Maps mashup application for the forum membership to play with. It is tied to the forum, sharing a user authentication system, but it has it’s own name and it’s own domain. I forsee almost universal linking on every page from one domain to the other domain. I’m not concerned so much with things like PR transfer, I just want to make sure that kind of natural cross linking does not result in a penalty or otherwise trip a spam filter that’d penalize both domains (same IP by the way). I know I could nofollow the links, but as per your recent post that’d send so much weight into a black hole I’d rather not.

  37. Matt, off-topic, but will help other AdSense users. FYI, I have sent this email (with headers) to the AdSense team and got a sastifying reply with 2 hours.


    While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
    account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since
    keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our
    advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.

    Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the
    interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We
    realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance
    for your understanding and cooperation.

    If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken,
    please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by


    The Google AdSense Team

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Our apologies for scaring you. Your AdSense account is
    fine, and we are not affiliated in any way with Google.

    But the above email could very well land in your inbox
    one day – this time sent not by us, but by Google.

    We checked out your specialist Excel addon site.

    You are using AdSense, but apparently haven’t installed
    any script to protect your site from invalid clicks.

    This means that your AdSense account is at risk of
    termination due to invalid clicks. AdSense bans are for
    life, so your income would be wiped out forever.

    That’s the bad news. The good news is that we can help
    safeguard your site and your AdSense income from
    invalid clicks. A basic account is free, why not try
    it out?

    Again, I’m sorry if I shocked you with this email. No
    harm was intended. Our job is to help protect
    livelihoods – and sometimes extreme measures are needed
    to do just that.

    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Tilly Greening

    Sales Manager


  38. Matt,

    Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do a speech to text analyses of a video and link chunks of the text to timestamps into the video? ๐Ÿ™‚ Just sayin’ haha ๐Ÿ™‚ I can sympathize with writing an article taking up a lot of time while recording a video only takes a few minutes but I certainly know the feeling of watching a video and taking forever to find the part that I really want to hear.

    Dunno if anybody has ever done anything similar before but I think I’m going to check into the idea some more!


  39. yeah it’s a long video, but i injoyed it a lot. with making video faster that to write in the blog it is interesting.

  40. Thanks you Matt, I learn from you here.

    Keep posting great content for us.

  41. Hello Mat. I am asking this question here and sincerely hope you reply to it, even though it is not 100% relevant to this specific post.

    There is a thread at webmasters world about the fuss currently going on in GOOGLE serp (

    Is it possible you shed some light regarding the topic in question? Unlike most Emails you assuredly receive from whiny (newbie) webmasters, which are not sure what is “wrong” with their website, this is something that happened to many authority/aged/non actively promoted websites.

    I have witnessed some Yo-Yo effects in the past, but this one seem to last for quite a while, and is unique in the amounts of webspam that is floating up (mostly, again, after being punished for a while). If the latest major changes are related to punishing for link acquirement, how come sites that have the most obvious “link scheme” backlink profile are now legit by Google?

    Any input would be surely appreciated.
    Best regards.

  42. Hey Matt, I have watched many, many videos (mainly by yourself) and I am struggling with how to get a highly ranked webpage. (I cant imagine how many times you have been asked this) I think you could guess my major keyword! I have concentrated on Keywords, description, metatags, “content” backlinks, etc etc etc etc. I have changed elements, tested, change and tested some more.

    Any suggestions would be most welcome and if you ever want to use our website in a video please feel free.

  43. hi Matt,

    great video, thanks for sharing! This is one of your best ones, was very educating. Also enjoyed the review section in the beginning .

  44. I watched the video, Matt. I would say that experienced SEOs would definitely pick up some useful information by watching it.

    And to people who are still learning their basic SEO skills, anyone who has yet to do a live site review for a client should watch the video to help prepare for that eventuality.

  45. long video but it’s very informative. thanks again Matt

  46. Matt,
    Great video. When are you going to release the Matt Cutts diet and pilates video. You are looking very slim or maybe I have not seen you for a while.

  47. Matt, you really have good standup skills:)

    LOL at 46:20

    “Where a spammer took it…. and they burned it to the ground”

  48. Man I love this blog! Only watched the begining but plan to watch the rest this weekend. Its amazing the amount of info ou5t there for white hat SEO’s. Thank you Matt Cutts for making my job-life enjoyable!

  49. Hi Matt,

    This is off the topic of this post, but I wondered if you had been following the posts about US/International sites appearing in the UK Serps?


  50. Matt,
    Your video was informative and knowledgable. If time permits, can you review my website and send me your valuable comments to my email?. Thanks.

  51. Mind blowing presentation, Matt. Hats off to all your stuffs!

  52. The link you put in one article ‘how to write extensions for Chrome’ sort of discounts the issue regarding using nofollows to sculpt pagerank since the links anchortext would still give you the position above the actaul target when applied by the SE’s algo to the results.

    In other words Matt, you can say it… but Dude… it is not yet true since a link on your own site disproves this! This could be a abhoration of the math involved in PR and you site might have had more iterations to increase PR than the target in the link so I could be wrong, but it seems to me that I can sculpt results now rather then simply PR!


  53. Here is something I’ve been wondering about for awhile and Matt if you end up reading this maybe you can clear it up a little bit.

    How does Google look at site structure?

    Let me be more clear about this, lets say I’m running a version of WordPress and I have created my own unique custom theme for the website and down the road I decide to use this theme on another un-related website.

    In the process both sites have there own unique content, both are set up with proper white hat SEO, ect…

    Google would have indexed site A first and site B second, but if the underlying HTML (Not the content but the design structure, div tags, h1 tags, span tags in the same place, ect…) is the same would we get hit with a duplicate content penalty.

    I’ve heard rumors which say if you use the same design (I.E. Theme) on multiple sites, even though you have unique content on both sites and even though both sites follow white hat SEO techniques you’ll still get hit with a duplicate penalty.

    Honestly in my mind I think it wouldn’t matter if your content is unique, ect… but maybe you can help shed some light on this possible SEO myth.


  54. This is fantastic. I wish though I could just rent you for an afternoon. What do you think Matt — auction you on Ebay? So, settling with just videos and your blog, I am getting a lot of useful information, though do not know where to go for say “best practices for link building.” Also the truth to starting off with an old domain name. I was talked into buying a premium domain name because supposedly the older the domain the better. Then, I read you saying something about resetting old domains that change hands back to zero page rank. Have I been duped? If my page is parked while in web development and links come through will they still count? Answers to these questions are where?

  55. crap I posted that in the wrong blog post!

  56. Matt,

    I would disagree with nofollow a bit. I do believe it’s up to a webmaster to decide wich page to label with nofollow attribute. It is not all about login pages, you can mark every single page you believe has less value on the site. So if a webmaster considers lets say Terms of Use or Contact, or any other page of less importance – it is quite obvious to mark it with no follow, to let the page rank flow to other “more” important pages.

    Thats the was y I see this…

  57. Hey Matt,

    Great video, you touched upon websites being indexed with and without http://www., funnily enough if i type my website name in google’s search it’s first in the results but the display url is shown without the http://www., although when you click the link it does re-direct to my main domain….so am i right in thinking this is cool and i just need to change the setting in webmaster tools so the www. are shown?

    Cheers Simon.

  58. Hi Matt

    I was always worried that you can be punished for too much internal anchor keyword linking.

    In better words I have sites where the internal linking has words that match what the page is about but is also my keywords.

    In order not to be seen as spamming, I put nofollow tags on many of the intrenal linking not to sculp page rank (because these pages are importnat to me), but to ensure Google did not think I was spamming my internal link structure.

    I would be delighted to remove these nofollow tags, but first I need to know if Google will be happy with a few thousand internal anchor text links within my menu.


  59. Hey,

    I wanted to ask about url’s that contain UTF-8 characters, say Cyrillic.

    I the form of:ะฟั€ะพะดัƒะบั‚/ะฐัƒะดะธ-80

    Anyways, does google index’s these?

    Do you possibly get penalized due to this?

    And what about different home page based on the language the person choose?

    My concern is that the url is the same but the content is different. Is that a problem considering that the page will have a different content-language meta tag?

    What about AJAX?

    Are you able to index an ajax content? I assume not, so what do you do when you have Ajax content? You do not execute the javascript code? you execute it but you do not index it?

    What about region access ? You have ip based search results… and the hl=en or what ever in the google search query…

    Can we webmasters show different content based on from where the user is or based on cookies or user preference made on my website.

    I can’t really find an answer to this.

  60. I liked the part where you showed the website and asked the audiance what this webpage is about. Looking at my website made me realize that the homepage did also not give a clue that it was about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sometimes it is healthy to get reminded of the simple things.

  61. I’m glad that Matt touched on the vulnerability of WordPress to be hacked and that Google is aware of this. Mine was hacked last April and I didn’t notice until several days later. In fact, my blog was already getting listed in Google for some of these spam terms, until I made the fix! ๐Ÿ™

    Like Matt said, if you’re running WordPress it is very important to stay on top of the updates.

    Also, do occasional site searches for popular spam terms just to be sure… vioxx xanax etc…

  62. This is a great example of building your site for the end user, but I always wonder if that is the reason one site appears higher than another, or if all the links etc are the reason. Anyway, great video and hope to see some other examples of how to get your website better visibility from Google.

  63. Thanks for this video Matt! This was the first “review my site” session that I’ve ever seen. Definitely some great tips in this video. Hopefully people make good use of everything you said. Thanks.