What to expect in SEO in the coming months

We just recently taped a new round of webmaster videos, and I thought this video deserved a full-fledged blog post. This is my rough estimate (as of early May 2013) of what search engine optimizers (SEOs) and webmasters should expect in the next few months:

Bear in mind that this is a very rough estimate, because priorities, projects, and timing can change based on a lot of different factors. But I hope this gives folks a ballpark idea of what to expect in the coming months as far as what my team is working on.

114 Responses to What to expect in SEO in the coming months (Leave a comment)

  1. Matt in furture SEOs will expect that link building will not work, they are try to work on its website like to provide best information to users regarding content point of view or navigation , now all SEO are scare about new penguine and panda updates.

    • Not all, please speak for yourself.

    • Of course “all SEOs” are scared. “All SEOs” (and by “all”, I mean “most”) think their industry exists in a vacuum and know that a lot of the BS tactics they employ (e.g. “link building”) have either been found out or are going to be found out.

      Personally, I look forward to the updates when they come…the hysteria and the “Google ruined my business” remarks provide great comedy.

  2. So are you saying that bookmarking affects SEO?

    I kid I kid 🙂

    Thanks for the video, Matt.

    • No, I’m not saying that–but the kind of site that people want to bookmark is the kind of site that is more likely to build links organically, because people are more likely to link to great sites.

      • When your talking ab’t bookmarks what exactly we believe? Is the social bookmarking or you’r simply referring to browser bookmarks.

        Also aint’ social bookmarking to hundreds of website’s comes in link spamming trying to build backlinks to a website. I’m sure such practice’s will be effected too.

        Between I appreciate your statement below “If someone is paying for links that pass PageRank (which violates our quality guidelines), that can affect both the source site and the destination site.” – Instead of only to buyer website, Good to see punishment for both which make sense:-)

        Welcome Penguin 2.0!!!

      • Haha I know. Thanks Matt. This is definitely something we push at Distilled and recommend not only great content (though that is primary), but also great design and user experience. They’re so inextricably linked!

      • Ok then, we can expect lot more SPAM on Bookmarking sides then. Ha Ha.. SEO Spammers will do what we are talking about here. 🙂

  3. Thanks Matt

    Wow – Penguin 2.0 is going to be big. There will be collateral damage I’m sure, but I’m guessing it will continue to be a push for generating inbound traffic the right way, and cleaning up the web.

    Interested to see how this authority rank will work, could be good for social metrics.

  4. Nice Firefox T-Shirt Matt! 🙂

  5. Thanks Matt. I will be ready for this.

  6. Hi Matt,

    You mentioned communicating with site owners when their sites have been hacked, that’s great! It’s such a huge problem. Will that just be done through Webmaster Tools messages? If so what do you do for site owners that aren’t signed up for Webmaster Tools?

    Most site owners I communicate with don’t have Webmaster Tools set up for their site. As site owners are much more likely to have Google Analytics installed on their website I wonder if it is possible to deliver such messages through the Google Analytics dashboard?


    • For people who haven’t signed up for Webmaster Tools, we normally try to show a message in the search results to give a heads-up to the site owner and let them know that they need to sign into Webmaster Tools.

      It’s possible that we could send this info to Analytics as well, but for now we’re just trying to make sure that we provide more info in Webmaster Tools. I’ll pass on the suggestion though.

      • Thanks for the reply Matt. I suspect more website owners are regularly checking their Analytics than are searching for their own website. It would be great to see this added to Google Analytics 🙂

    • Matthew,
      If they already have Analytics, I believe you can then easily add Webmaster tools and authorise the site using your Analytics login. Or authorise it in using the other methods…..it’s not really much effort, perhaps get them to add Webmaster Tools, or you can help them do it since you are an SEO. No need to clog up Analytics.

  7. Thanks for the sharing the upcoming trends in the short term. This gives us reassurance that Google and Searchers are looking for three things 1) UX Excellence , 2) Content that delights the targeted customer, 3) Overall Coherence in Internet Marketing

    I like what i heard from this Webmaster Video. The video should include a link to a written article so we can share it more easily and you could share important information. Overall great updates. I specially like the idea on better communication to webmasters. We are swimming on a sea of competition and we want to engage in real content but sometimes its difficult with the ever changing quality guidelines. Communication on what should be the best practice would be ideal to us new to SEO.

    I agree that sometimes queries look somewhat weird and unclean. An structured way to deal with this would be highly welcome. Thanks!

    • Great summary! Google and Searchers are looking for three things 1) UX Excellence , 2) Content that delights the targeted customer, 3) Overall Coherence in Internet Marketing

  8. Sounds like it’s going to be a great summer for updates and optimizations. It will be interesting the see the link farming updates play out. Seems to be one of those things that just won’t die and it would be nice to see it decrease significantly.

  9. On ‘better communication with webmasters’ the more you can do on this the better.

    I have a friend whose business is currently ‘losing’ (inverted commas) ~$17,000 per month because of a penalty. The site is in a fairly friendly market, nothing ‘black hat’, some old not-very-good links that he has gone through with a toothcomb requesting removal/disavowing. He’s been trying to sort for a couple of months, and has gone through rounds of reinclusion requests, with very vague responses sadly. He is at the point of considering cutting down staff.

    Better communication very useful for things like that, especially when larger changes are rolling out.

    • Hmm. One common issue we see with disavow requests is people going through with a fine-toothed comb when they really need to do something more like a machete on the bad backlinks. For example, often it would help to use the “domain:” operator to disavow all bad backlinks from an entire domain rather than trying to use a scalpel to pick out the individual bad links. That’s one reason why we sometimes see it take a while to clean up those old, not-very-good links.

      • If you should take a machete to your links to have resubmission success…. would it make sense to do the same thing proactively to protect yourself from Penguin 2.0?

      • Matt, some might say that it would be really cool if Google just ignored ‘bad links’ and removed their power silently. Do you think the algo will ever mature sufficiently to enable it to weight links on the fly, saving all this (what for many is) extra unnecessary work, bad karma and stress?


      • Other thing I notice is that when I’m just searching for information on how to overhaul my lawn mower or pool pump, or change the oil in my car (etc.) mostly all I see in the results are sites like Amazon, Yelp, and others trying to sell me stuff – it never used to be that way. I get that fact that Google wants to reward the big name brands when it comes to purchasing stuff, but these sites should not dominate “how to” results as well.

    • I go with you dan. Disavow requests are not properly treated even though we pick and mention in detail about untrusted or bad links. This makes us to think that Google has started to cut down the resources. Very vague response always irritates.

      Google need to think that Bing market share is increasing! Why?

      All the best for the Penguin 2.0

      Hope it is not as bad as Penguin 1.0 as lots of white hat SEO’s felt bad for unreasonable punishment.

    • I do agree with you Dan,

      I seen the same case from one of my friend who got affected in EMD Update and personally think he was doing genuine activities since long. (it was not low quality website and very old domain too).

      To recover from it, they developed whole new content, new design, improved user experience. Its been one month they launched new website but still no improvement. They tried to disallow few links using Google disavow tool and still waiting to see some improvements !!

  10. Thanks Matt for supporting firefox. Penguin returns… great buzz in the SEO community!!!

  11. With the advertising piece will it be affecting the site that has advertisements, the sites that is advertising or both? Will the disavow tool be effective if this is something that is hurting PR?

  12. how long have you advised people provide transcripts of videos as a best practice? I can read way faster than everyone except Rae can talk … le sigh

  13. I am looking forward to this, how will you value EMD in the near future, as there has been quite a few such domains getting away with all their anchor text containing the money keyword trying to rank for in the first place.

    moneykeyword.com being their EMD of course..

  14. Hi Matt
    First of all, thank you for the heads-up. I appreciate it.
    Does a part of you – the engineer part, feel that laying down the law on followed/no-followed links is flawed… that Google must be able to find a more elegant engineering solution to the problem of manipulated links?
    To me it’s akin to a despot with failing vision banning people from driving dark coloured cars because he can only see the brightly coloured ones and still wants to drive himself.
    Surely, Google has the wherewithal to make decisions on sites without such a heavy hand; or is that the point – Google’s powerful and wants people to understand it’s Google’s web; Google’s rules?

  15. Honestly, if you have been doing any “over optimization” or something that is against Google’s Acceptable Webmaster Guidelines, then you should worry. If you’re trying to “game” the search results, then you’ll probably get hit with a penalty or will be affected by the next update.

    But again, if you have been doing everything “right”, then you should worry about updates like these. I can at least sleep at night knowing that my clients won’t be affected.

    Regarding disavow–you’re right, Matt. I’d rather disavow entire domains whenever possible–most likely you’re going to miss a few links that are still on a domain. Especially if you’re using a link tool to find links (sometimes they don’t catch all the links).

    • @Bill – I agree even if you are doing everything right in-line with Google Guidelines, there’s always curiosity and so much hype created by SEO’s that you can’t really sit silent. Atleast you need to be updated with news on what’s coming along and what to expect.

      You never know what you are thinking is right is not exactly the same according to Google Engineer’s (At least they are the one who write the Rules)

      Yes you can take good sleep at night for all your Client’s. You rock:-)

      • @afzal You’re right, it’s great to hear Matt give updates. I’ve been doing this so long now it’s interesting that I start to ‘read between the lines’ when Matt mentions something. For example, the info on Authorship and AuthorRank mentioned in the video. Good to know. And then there’s the mention of Advertorials and Sponsored Posts….also glad to see those may get some more scrutiny soon, as well.

        Even with those advertorials and paid/sponsored posts and articles, if you are not doing anything wrong (if you’re doing them but comply with Google and FTC guidelines) then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

  16. Great video as always and I think that it is an extremely worthwhile job you do. Its so massive the internet now that finding quality in the cess pool must be a real challenge.

  17. Hi Matt,

    I have a question I was hoping you might give a small response too. I had a pretty popular site and got hit by Panda several times over the last two years. Never any black-hat, link spam, etc.

    Here’s the thing: I updated my theme about a year back and my traffic doubled. No change to the content whatsoever. So it’s very frustrating for me because obviously I had a theme problem and changing that theme suddenly increased my value to Google.

    Are webmasters ever going to get any tools to diagnose those kinds of problems with a site? I still don’t know what Google liked about the new theme, but I do know for certain that the content never changed (the actual post itself. The other elements on the page changed, but not the core).

    If that stuff matters so much as to double my traffic overnight, shouldn’t there be a way for webmasters to get a message in GWT or something that helps explain what’s currently wrong and what can be done to fix it. Obviously, you can’t share the algo, but it seems like a theme change should not cause that kind of difference in value.

    What are your thoughts?


    Aseem Kishore

  18. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the video, it would be good for more details on how you define an authority website in a market what specific metrics are you looking for.

    But thanks for the video good to see “some” top level ideas of what is planning for summer from Google.

    James Norquay

  19. Matt,

    On a personal level, how do you feel knowing that you, through the release of Panda (and also Penguin to a lesser extent) have destroyed many good and honest people’s businesses? Does it ever keep you up at night? I’m talking about those websites that you referenced in your video, the ones who are “borderline” or “gray area”. Websites whose only fault might be an unattractive design, but their owners don’t have a clue what is the real cause because you never told them anything except to “keep on working on creating great content”. Does it bother you at all?
    Thanks dear, you rock!

  20. So one thing I have noticed, that I am not sure that Google has, is that not everyone does everything with SEO in mind, in fact I keep finding people doing things without any knowledge of the potential positive / negative SEO impact, including things like buying advertorials etc… I am sure that a lot of these are bought for SEO, but I know a lot of people buy them without any idea of the risk – these people typically reside in big organisations that have SEO guys (or even teams) but they don’t answer to them and have been “doing this” for years.

    My point is that Google seems increasingly unaware that there are these people out there, these people who operate in every level of business including a recent international corporate that got a warning down to mom and pop type stores – interestingly though the international corporations will get preferential treatment.

    • I agree on this, there’s a lot of people that purchase links etc for advertising purposes and may not even consider the SEO impact, just like they might buy add space in a magazine.

      It would be a better practice if Google didn’t penalise, but instead didn’t give merit for it as not everyone is a bad guy trying to cheat the “Google” system 😉

  21. I was thinking of a better way for large sites to incorporate the nofollow on areas where lots of links are generally ads. For instance, if a large site wants to follow the rules of the road, closely, but doesn’t have the means, programmatically, to easily nofollow all links, a new robots command could help.
    The nofollow robots tag would be the quickest and easiest way for publishers to implement nofollow widely throughout a site rather than editing individual links throughout hundreds or thousands of pages. For instance, Website.com/news and Website.com/information could go unedited while website.com/classifieds and website.com/business -directory/ could quickly implement a new metaname=robots content=nofollow-outbounds across large numbers of pages by adding a header tag with find and replace or a similar on-the-fly command, effectively allowing crawlers to follow internal links of a site while not following anything on the page that goes outbound within a complete section of a site.
    I can think of multiple scenarios where this could be implemented a lot quicker on large older or static sites and quickly comply with Webmaster Guidelines as far as links passing PageRank when areas of sites are largely related to adverts or postings by communities which are lesser editorially reviewed.
    Additionally, on a second concern, Google can benefit from editorial discretion when it comes to links, while not all advertisers work to game the system. For instance, if a publisher allows ads, but allows them only within web addresses or properly titled listings where the anchor is either the address itself or the proper company name, ABC Interiors Inc., or http://www.abcinteriors.com, would no following these links to prevent PageRank be worthwhile? Or should publishers allow these ads to pass PageRank for the anchors that properly assign rank to page. In instances where proper anchors are used, should Google rely on publishers to place links for appropriate rankings?
    In other words, “ABC Interiors Inc.” shouldn’t require a nofollow in theory, because both users and Google would want it to rank for that. On a large site that allows proper anchors, even within it ads that are editorially reviewed for quality, would it not be good to allow PageRank to pass? Or even warrant the endeavor of sitewide implementation of rel=nofollows, because its publisher is editorially doing what it should be. Assigning proper anchors.
    These are just some thoughts I wanted to share.

  22. Hi Matt,

    I’m hoping 2.0 calms down the huge fluctuations in rankings I see when I check on SEOMoz for my weekly ranking updates. This week it’s 56 keywords decline and 38 going up and I’m not talking 1-2 spots. I’m talking wild fluctuations of 20-40 spots either up or down and this is with no active link building on a totally white hat wedding photography web site.

  23. Matt Stannard

    Matt, this is a really good video, I would like to know whether Google plans to follow its own advice in terms of SERPS. The EU has criticised Google for not making it clear on what is and isn’t a paid advert and it looks like the red box which usually separates them has got lighter over the years.

    You are quite rightly saying advertorials shouldn’t pass page rank and need to be clearly marked, but in your own search engine its not always clear what’s paid – I’m a bit confused as to why you don’t follow the same guidelines.

  24. “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
    ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

  25. Thanks! I have to keep my blogspot ready for this.

  26. Hi Matt,
    That was a really useful video and we would welcome a couple of these a year as a ‘heads up’ for keen webmasters. It also encourages us white hat and technical SEO guys to keep focused on doing things the right way and hoping you soon get the black hatters demoted in the SERPS, which is not entirely the case at the time of writing. In particular, I think your algo is unable to detect low quality articles with in-content links and on the contrary is rewarding this activity pretty strongly. A few other comments:

    1. I am a huge fan of webmaster tools and the messages received there, the ability to get a nudge about significant changes or a hacked site in one location for multiple sites is awesome.
    2. Please try and reduce host crowding, 3 results on page 1 to the same domain is not helpful
    3. I think the advertorial punishments you are planning are heavy handed. Many good sites, authority sites and non commercial sites will still inocently offer banner adverts and not put nofollow on them. Punishing the companies who buy these ads seems unfair/excessive. Both parties can quite feasibly and fairly not be following all the guidelines set by google including use of nofollow on ads.
    4. I am very encouraged to hear your comments on panda tweaks for sites that are in a grey area where you have perhaps given them a small panda demotion that is unwarranted when you consider the sites fuller quality score/signals. I have seen good companies suffer panda problems where really they should not have done. In particular, we are suffering with problems in Googles detection of original author status so are having to do an awful lot of DMCA work to have other sites content removed to keep our clients panda safe.

  27. Matt, Thanks for the comprehensive update. As a long-time SEO I am glad to hear about some of the projects and advancements your team is working on. More communication with webmasters that include specifics, or as close to specific as possible will be very welcomed. As you know not all SEO’s are the same and agency’s do get a bit of business regarding “post-traumatic SEO disasters” that other amateurs create for reputable companies. G needs to remember that there are victims out there that need a pass or help when they’ve been wronged and are making attempts to fix such violations.

  28. I have had a thread running in seo community and there is an ex-google web spam person on there. They do not believe this site would be removed for web spam. I have filled in a form via WMT as per instructions but not received a response.
    If you search for ‘matt cutts rumafia’ you will see a website which has taken the name and appended it to the url thus creating a URL ‘http://www.rumafia.com/search.php?search=Matt+Cutts’ which appears top of the serps.

    My clients name appears top in Google when his name is searched and it appears as though he is in the Russian Maffia as the serp strongly suggests he is.

    The reality here is that neither ‘Matt Cutts’ nor my client have any entries on the site but google has indexed the search term and matched the result.

    I don’t want to post the name here for obvious reasons.

    My points are as follows;
    1. If I search and am served a page with no result for what I am looking for, is this not a ‘soft 404’ and why is this not removed? similar to your ‘no results’ post of a couple years ago.
    2. Surely this technique of dynamically growing a website based upon collected searches is a very poor one and will lead to very poor results time and time again. The only results which could be served would be either copies of directory results or soft 404s.
    3. The ex-web spam person said he didn’t feel this was ‘spammy enough’ to warrant removal. I understand this was just one persons opinion but I don’t see what is acceptable about a site which operates in this manner. If the site attracts a lot of good quality traffic for other searches and is of value then I can see why the site would not be removed but that doesn’t answer why the ‘soft 404’ page is still indexed top of the SERPS.

    I really would love to know peoples thoughts on this and more importantly I would like to know how I can get the page removed from the index.

    Yes, I do obviously have a motive, my client is being tarnished unfairly and I would like it removed but I am not asking on the grounds of ‘I don’t like his opinion’ which is a post Matt has answered previously. I am not asking Google to take sides here, merely remove a ‘soft 404’ page which is causing me a lot of grief.

    I think this is even more appropriate with all the latest algorithm changes where you are looking to clean up the SERPs and continue to provide useful pages for your users. We are not talking about linking schemes, this is an obvious page which does not meet your guidelines and should be removed.

    If anything can be done, please inbox me and i will provide the actual url although the webspam team already have my submission from a few weeks ago with the same email address.

    Thank You

  29. We are ready. The horses are saddled. Team is rested. Plenty of ammunition. Can’t wait for the new flocks of penguins to be released across the tundra.

    We will ride into the night searching them out, and putting them out of their misery one by one.

    Expected phone call in two weeks,
    “Hello?…yep….well, have you been buying links?…oh. Well, the first thing you will need to do is get rid of all of those paid links. Hugh? Yep… all of them. Then we disavow them,…uh huh… By the way, how is the content on your site? Oh? 4 pages? They are all order forms? Oh wow. O.K., well, do you know who your users are? Nope? O.K. we will start with that, then make them some tasty content that they can’t refuse. I know. Everyone says they should have done that in the first place. So, do you have a list of all of the paid links……

  30. Matt… We expect in SEO for more relevant and authority pages should be in top on Google and please exclude black-hat SEO’s website for this coming updates. We are found a lot of websites which is irrelevant and not proper one. This is unethical for search…

  31. That’s a pretty good news for webmasters. Also Its a good thing that Google is taking efforts to give more precise URL’s for webmasters to diagnose. As you said that Google is making some changes in SERP pages for domain clustering results, But my question to you is when I fire some queries in Google it returns with some 4 to 5 same domain results on 1st page and also from 3 page onwards the results for that same domain is continued.

    Also I would like to know if any site which is related to the same business or niche carries the link and passes page rank is also considered as a spam or is it safe to get links from such type of niche or business.
    I know this question sounds silly but as compared to be more specific, I would like to know that what techniques to follow as per the GOOGLE Webmaster Guidelines…..


  32. in Germany NO ONE will link to another site only because it is full of great stuff
    they react contrawise, becuase this society is full of envy

    but 4 Google (and the other US-americans) the world had to be like themselves

    Another update that doesn’t scares me at all, because there is nothing 2 loose 4 me
    4 years no link are seen at

    webmaster console is useless 4 me
    and I expect no help from this

    but I advertise my site with my free music, sounds, anouncements
    now there are some sites that links to it
    and stole me many users; 4 example

    <a href="http://beemp3.com/index.php?q=ansagen&st=all&quot;

    or look 4 Meeresrauschen, Fanfaren , Pianomusik
    there are 100s of my mp3

    I block them in htacess but now they comes without an refferer
    this behavior seems to bring them no penalty by Google

    so both issues bring me 2 the same conclusion:
    no more useless work 4 google and the rest of the avaricious people

    so I made my music the last years only 4 me
    may be you can hear it in some years when I am gone
    but then U have 2 pay 4 it

    Light2Art was my way 2 looking 4 help
    without this help I can produce only a little amount of my art
    (in the rest of my live, 3 yaers ago I tightly survived cancer and can’t work for 2 Years on my doodad) and so this lamps will be the only the world can get at all,
    no way that someone can copy them in the next 1000 years.
    U don’t believe? Look at my lamps at the link above and think about the geometry of compartment! Glass is’nt paper or wood.

  33. Reaaly awesome news Matt :=) – Bring in on 🙂

  34. Hi Matt thank you very much and God Bless for you.

  35. Hi Matt,

    I would like to apologize for my previous comments bordering on a panic attack when I realized that my website was probably handed penalties for bad incoming links in the past 2 years after viewing your video. I had no idea about the Diavow tool and the detailed help you have provided for handling this issue – totally my bad – I should have been more clued into SEO and this wouldn’t have happened. Thanks for the great info – really lead to opening my mind to how much I don’t know about the current situation with SEO – Not going to repeat this error. I even understand now why you need to have the penalties in place to give people a better search experience. Only wish I would have know about these developments much earlier – would have saved so much of stress and worry on the website. Thanks once again!

    – Anita

  36. If i get that right it’s a kind of a next step to show how important it is to have great content. Thanks for the info!

  37. Excited to see the new things , wanna see the effects on my SEO projects.

  38. I really try to stay away from taking sides, as one half of me agrees updates like these can hurt quality sites by mistake, and the other half agrees their also beneficial at the same time. (Alas this is the first comment I’ve ever posted on your site). But overall I’m actually quite pleased with the transition Matt is making here (I’ll speak up). I’m a fan of seeing quality sites ranking, and am looking forward to the future updates.

    I see so much frustration online towards what you’re doing, and not enough people reaching out and simply saying, “thank you”. And although some of your intentions may appear more sided with Google at times, which of course is natural, you seem to be genuinely passionate about doing the right thing here. I’ve been within the realms of SEO for eight or so years now, and these types of things have been long overdue. It’s seems like everyone wants to own an online business (website), but no one wants to run a REAL online business because it requires effort, dedication and by all means demands risk.

    A long time ago I learned that you will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.


  39. Gary Dickinson

    Hi Matt,
    Nice to have a little more communication about the state of the web from Googles eyes, thank you.
    My query is I have noted that many established sites (15+ years old) have been getting pushed out of the top pages in search results by brand new sites with no authority , trust etc. This may be ok in some circles but i’d be concerned when the subject matter is to do with Law, health etc where the user is relying on Google giving a trusted result at the top of a search. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend a brand new site/company if there was no way to confirm any type of quality or reputation so why does Google do this? So here is a question I truly hope you answer in a video…Why does a new site with a brand new domain and zero ‘trust’ get ranked higher than a trusted established company site with years of experience who have long provided accurate and reliable information? Surely this is showing a flaw in the algorithms as it shows any site builder that they can rank on the first page and probably even at number 1,2 or 3 simply by buying a domain, building a site and doing very little else. Unfortunately these trusted established companies are falling fowl of Googles algo changes as 15+ years of users and links etc gets seen as bad and yet new with no history/links etc doesn’t show up in the algo and therefore ranks higher.
    I can show a perfect example of this flaw if you are interested.
    Best Regards
    PS. Ask yourself this…would you rather buy a Chevrolet or maybe a Ford (trusted and well known)….or instead go for a Dacia? (who?) Which would you trust to be reliable? If Google were in charge you wouldn’t even know Chevy or Ford existed in web terms (my only analogy I can think of) 🙂

  40. Hey Matt. Great update. Most important question I have for you, what is the black wristband you are wearing? One of those activity bands?

  41. I am glad that the google team is continually working on improving the search results. I am seeing alot of spammy facebook posts and spammy blog posts that are ranking with affiliate links to Amazon pages. Hopefully Penguin 2.0 addresses some of this?

  42. Vaibhav Pandey

    Hi Matt,
    In video you have shared in Summer 2013 there will be more updates coming up. In SEO Industry there is major changes are going due to these regular update by Google. So many people are unable to continue there SEO job and SEO Business as well. What do you want to share for those who badly hit by Google updates.
    Hope your answer on my post.

    Vaibhav Pandey

  43. Thanks for hearing us out Matt. I guess that a lot more website that does spamming will greatly benefit the penguin 2.0 update. :).

    I do believe that the conventional link building strategies for SEO will no longer work these days. What can you say about it Matt?


  44. Hi…Matts

    Thanks for new update..

    considering this penguin update, The traditional link building will not be beneficial for website. as we know that content is king so all webmaster should syndicate 100% original content and build a link in a natural way…what would you like to suggest to all webmaster to do Seo in right way for future proof.


  45. A great video, really useful.

  46. I agree with Gary Dickinson.

    The new algo is a joke. Punishing websites for bad links. The web has been around a long time and everyone used a directory at one time or another. Sites with 15 years of experience will have plenty spammy links. Why should we have to remove them. Websites should simply be given a no credit for having that link to their site.

    This also makes it so easy for competition to sabotage your rankings. I will get a team of ten landing spammy links all day long for a competitor then see them drop off the search.

    Your making it easy for competitors with bigger budgets and teams to do this.

    Also how can Amazon canonical tag 3rd party sellers listing pages and say they are they (Amazon) are the original source. Meaning 3rd party websites are now punished for duplicate content. 3rd party websites are also unable to place their own canonical tag in the listing because funny enough it breaches Amazons participation policy.

    With all these spammy Amazon affiliate pages landing higher than our own website for a product listing we created and listed to our own website (Original source) then to Amazon is embarrassing.

    Surely you should look into punishing websites who are claiming they are the original source of content when clearly they are not.

    My only solution at this stage is to give Amazon credit for something they never created so I do not get punished for duplication.

    • Gary Dickinson

      Thanks Rob,
      At least you took the time to reply to my question. I like how Matt replied to the wristband question yet ignores important stuff…typical!

  47. Hi Matt, thanks for sharing this with us, I personally am delighted to hear that Google are making improvements to benefit SME’s as well as not benefit, naughty black-hatters. The message stays the same hey, keep your content consistently high quality…. Thanks again!

  48. Honestly I think these updates come out to stop those doing blackhat seo or just plain crap spam.

    As long as you follow the rules and have quality websites and content you should be safe.
    I haven’t been affected by the update at all.

  49. Interesting article. I agree with the fact that a lot of the current “methods” in the industry aren’t quite up to par, and that someone needs to enforce them. Might as well be google.

  50. I think it would be great to have a Nike fuel band for websites as well, because webmaster tools does not show reason why page impressions/clicks are dropped significantly within days/week.

  51. It does seem as though the Google search results are being “cleaned up”.

    Sites we manage that are all good, solid content and clearly presented actually seem to benefit from the updates.

    ~ Louie

  52. Hi Matt,

    Quick question if you have a chance. What is your opinion on the Hoth? I am sure you know about them. And if so, do you consider these companies as link networks? I have seen a lot of buzz out there but it looks like all of the other link networks to me except a little higher quality. They were just purchased by a larger company and I am wondering why a sound company would purchase them if you deem link networks as against Google’s guidelines. I would love your thoughts about this or other companies resembling them. Thank you.

    • Also, I would like to add the company that purchased them owns many other spammy looking companies. By reading some of the names, I wonder why they are still in business or ranked at all. Why has Google hesitated going after them or does Google see manually going after these companies to resource heavy? And if so, is this the reason for the late summer SEO updates? Thank You for your time.

    • I meant no disrespect, I promise:) This has baffled me for a while. Just seeking knowledge.

  53. Gary Dickinson

    I’m posting this here hoping Matt you at least see that the algo changes have missed something.
    I thought the days of one site getting all top 4 positions ‘above the fold’ were meant to have been fixed ‘to stop that happening anymore” (direct quote from your videos)
    Well try searching for ‘commercial property sublease agreement template’ on Google.com.au
    what a joke…top 4 places, 1 site, brand new site at that, no history, fake testimonials, no ‘authority’ and they are offering legal advice of all things…c’mon Matt you are showing Google users that you trust that site to be reliable. Whatever happened to good trusted information?
    I know some think the new Algos have improved searches and…you may have changed the search results but I’m not sure you improved them correctly just yet…you’ve just penalised older trusted brands and sites over the new sites where a lack of history is an advantage.

  54. I think it’s still a good situation and a good challenge for people who wanna become a “real seo” unless it just a solution to give penalty them.

  55. Matt,

    What’s your response to articles that are being written and shared about how Google displays organic search results, particularly one article (http://mashable.com/2013/07/08/google-search-results-design) that claims only 13% of Google’s search results page are filled with organic results, while the the remainder shows only paid advertising?

    As a user of google’s search engine, I am concerned the results I am seeing are being fed to me based on an advertising buys, rather than for their relevance to my actual search query.

    I wonder about the validity of the claims made in this, and similar articles, and if there has been any response from Google on those topics.



  56. Hi Matt,

    It’s now July 16th 2013 and in our niche (lending) the spammers are winning more than I have seen in a long long time. Some of the worst spam is from blogspot blogs. I’m guessing you are aware of this and perhaps tweaking things to get rid of this spam. Also, these multiple keyword stuffed sub-domains are filling the long-tail search results as well. You know what I mean right;

    buy.blue.widget.in.los.angeles.for.cheap.someblogplatform (dotcom)

    Other thing I notice is that when I’m just searching for information on how to overhaul my lawn mower or pool pump, or change the oil in my car (etc.) mostly all I see in the results are sites like Amazon, Yelp, and others trying to sell me stuff – it never used to be that way. I get that fact that Google wants to reward the big name brands when it comes to purchasing stuff, but these sites should not dominate “how to” results as well.

    Anyway – I know you are trying hard to make Google better than ever before, but from my perspective the search results are skewed to “branding” a little bit too much – it already was before, and now it seems like overkill. I’m not just saying this like a disgruntled webmaster (disappointed for sure though with the spam in my niche), but also as a general user.

  57. Generally I think this is great news for real websites – ie websites run by real people (like me) that are trying to make a modest living selling quality products or services – rather than those with big budgets able to pay their way to the top whatever rules Google makes up.

    One question I do have for Matt though is regarding his comment on paid advertorials not affecting organic search results. I think this is also a great idea and will hopefully help the ‘little man’ like me again but is it really true? Are you really saying that all advertising – including advertising with Google – won’t affect organic results, or just other websites taking money for advertising?

    • Hi Greg, AdWords and AdSense are specifically designed so that they don’t flow PageRank. So the answer is that advertising with Google won’t affect our organic/algorithmic search results. Hope that helps.

      • Though wound’t more dollars in Adwords generate more traffic, and therefore better positions in serps ?

      • Thanks for your reply Matt, much appreciated. It’s good to hear that big bucks spent on advertising don’t directly influence serps although as the comment below suggests it might do this indirectly.

        I know it’s probably not your area but it would be great if Google could introduce a way of leveling the playing field a bit for small businesses such as reduced advertising costs or an ‘artisan’ results section for people running one or two person businesses. When I shop online I want to buy from small businesses like me not multinational conglomerates obsessed with huge profit growth and World domination like….oh let me think….Google for example!

  58. For Matt Cutts whatever an SEO Agency does is spam as it is NOT natural hence SPAM…

  59. Matt
    Thanks for the video update. I can see where penguin 2.0 is going. I

    can understand your point about quality content and I 100% support that. One thing that I would appreciate more in future videos is guidance on link building. Social media engagement is clearly a must but are there any forms of link building other than comments that won’t be penalized in the future? In technical areas it is harder to build links as generally there is less engagement than say reality tv.

  60. Matt,

    You did not approved my comment because it was negative about google? Do you try to approve only from the fans of google?

    • I repost: Google thinks that all websites of planet are blogs and newspapers? Google expect and appreciates quality and fresh content. The ability to renew the content have only the stupid blogs and the newspapers.
      Also you said that google likes sites that the people visit again and again and share in social networks. Can you explain me in a corporate website why a user to visit again and again and share in social media?
      Is the google search engine only for stupid blogs and wikipedia?

      • although i don’t agree with you blogs are all stupid, i can agree that lots of business websites (especially for smaller businesses) just don’t have new content each week or so (maybe not even in a month)

        also there are many business websites that may serve a searchers need once or twice but when the problem is solved they may never visit it again… this does not mean the site should drop in search rankings

        besides that not all content is shareable…

        it would be nice if Google could set different standards for the different branches…

  61. I wonder what SEO would be like if links where completely ignored and search results only came from social signals. I bet social signals would need to be classified in such a way that authority would impact influence.

  62. Hi Matt, I like the emerging updates of Google because it makes SEO some challenging and interesting task to be done. It was easy before 1 or 2 years to be good SEO but now SEO is not easy now it is all about quality work. I like it so much.

  63. Hi Matt

    i have a question about a meta tag that is see being used but i can’t find anything on in the webmaster section

    is that something new or?

    cheers Carlo

  64. Hello sir, according to webmaster guidelines we are not supposed to use pop up for ad-sense account holders. But i have found that many websites use pop up window to increase their Facebook fans. Is that ok to use? I have Ad-sense account and i don’t want to get penalized for using Facebook pop up. Please reply ASAP.

  65. Hello Matt,

    I also agree with Michail Dimitriou. Is Google now think that user has to read only blogs and wikipedia etc…

    Google should review all the sites form the universe for SERP one. It should not be the case that traffic is from only Social Media Sites and Adsence and PPC.

    I am working from last 5 years for the promotion of a website but I have never seen that we are unable to get results when we are doing quality and white hat SEO with the Panda and Penguin guidelines..

    What Google actually see in a website to get it in SERP one?

  66. sometimes i see this in the meta tags…

    meta content=”text here” about=”/nl/category/postname” property=”dc:title”

    why would anyone use that? i have searched and searched on info but couldn’t find it…


  67. Hi Matt,

    While the firm I work at has built many, many website, only one of them sells advertising space to other websites. Can you point me in the right direction to educate myself a bit more regarding how Google identifies ads (and can differentiate them from regular links), and how to make sure a site is not passing on PR?

  68. I’ve just done some research on the UK Business Forum. I asked if people knew how to make a link to a site, and had they done so recently. ALL the answers came from SEO experts or companies. Ordinary browsers either don’t know how to, or don’t get paid to do it.
    I think Google has lost a great deal of relevancy in the quality of searches, in pursuit of “exciting content” which is only a boost to the SEO industry that creates backlinks on a professional basis.

    • Couldn’t agree more – you’ve hit the nail on the head. Google has always catered predominately for big business and the SEO industry that serves that big business. Maybe it’s trying to change that now but I’ve yet to be convinced as all we get is the same websites with the deepest pockets becoming more and more dominant.

      • absolutely true… in top and even first page positions dominators are the price comparison sites, discount sites, amazon (or likewise) site, a search on a led tv for example turns up only 4 different businesses taking up the first 10 results (adwords not included)

        these are 2 large comparison sites and 2 amazon like businesses

  69. I would like to know exactly what the term means penalizing, ie, penalized by Google