Search Engine Guru, Matt Cutts, on Google’s Updates


When it comes to the Google updates, Panda and Penguin are just that, updates. In a recent interview during the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) Matt Cutts, Google’s web spam chief, elaborated on the recent algorithm changes. In his words, the purpose of the updates was not to penalize websites, but to “tackle low-quality content.”

“Penalty” Just Isn’t in Google’s Vocabulary

Cutts believes that the updates should not be regarded as a penalty. If Google is going to penalize your website, then they are not going to do it through an all-encompassing update. Rather than issuing a “penalty” the Google web spam team regards it as taking “manual action.” So if you take part in black hat tactics, your site will be targeted and you will be warned, contacted by Google and made aware of any infractions. If you choose not to pay attention or make changes, your website will suffer and be dropped in rankings.

“It’s a War on Spam”

The internet is about competition and if businesses are gaining an unfair advantage, then Google is taking notice. Cutts suggests that they try “to stop spam so people can compete on a level playing field,” which Google attempts to do reasonably and consistently. It appears as though Google is one of the good guys and only trying to help support those who have original content and should be awarded with the appropriate search rankings.

Is Google+ a Must?

According to Cutts, Google+ is “not necessarily the best quality signal right now.” While Google obviously wants their social network to take off, they recognize that it isn’t a good quality indicator at this time. However, a Google+ page and a +1 here and there will not hurt, especially since Google+ is still in its “early days” and could become more valuable.

So as a small business you can take a lot away from this interview. Not only is Google on your side, but they are trying to eliminate the bad guys. The updates are not meant to be taken personally, since they are simply attempting to take out low-quality sites. What we can learn from this is that it is important to develop websites in an appropriate and honest manner, since no one really wants that warning from Google.

However, if you have used black hat techniques it may be best to start over. While you can attempt to restore your search ranking credibilitiy with appropriate tactics, Cutts believes that sometimes it’s best to just start over. “It’s possible to recover, but if you’re a fly-by-night spammer, it might be better to start over.” At which point, purchasing a premium domain name from BuyDomains would be a great starting point!

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