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Matt Cutts on upcoming changes for SEO 2013
Written by David Harry
Monday, 13 May 2013 09:55

Matt Cutts had a blog post and video (made in early May) about “What to expect in SEO in the next few months”. Indeed this is likely a response to the pending-Penguin update and recent comments made via Twitter and elsewhere.

Matt Cutts on coming SEO changes

It's always entertaining watching the SEO industry's response to these... I can almost hear them in my head at this point.

Bring out your tin-foil!

2 Side of the SEO Coin

For fun, let's have at the video and some uber-paranoid SEO thought patterns from the 'read between the lines' approach to analyzing these videos...

Matt; “Make a great site that people love, tell their friends about, bookmark, come back to over and over again”

SEO's response; Yea yea, heard that before. Wait, are you saying bookmarks are a ranking factor? And behavioural data? I knew it!


Matt; “We're relatively close to launching the next generation of Penguin. Internally we call it 'Penguin 2.0'. An attempt to target black hat web-spam. We expect it to go a little deeper and have a greater impact than 1.0.”

SEOs response; Yeaarrgh! Are we gonna' get screwed on 5yr old links again?? Please stop moving the goal posts and hey, run the damned Penguin a little more often so we can actually get things fixed, aight? Thanks.


Matt; “We've also been looking at advertorials, that is native advertising that violates our quality guidelines. If someone pays for coverage or pays for an ad, those ads should not flow PageRank. “

SEOs response; Ok, sounds like a new manual penalty. But why not just dampen the passing of PageRank and be done with it? Seriously, I don't pay for links. I pay for advertising. You know, traffic? Please don't penalze me because that damned webmaster doesn't care about the nofollow tag.


Matt; “There were some people complaining about searches for [pay day loans on We have two different changes that that try to tackle those kinds of queries. I am kind of excited that we're going from having general queries a little more cleaned, to going to some of these areas that have been traditionally a little more spammy.”

SEOs response; Pills, porn, poker, pay day loans beware? I mean seriously. I can show you some real crap and oddities in just about any query space worth actually targeting these days. Can a brother get a hand over here or what? Oh and since you let them get away with it for so long, we did some crap-hat of our own so the client wouldn't go broke. I guess that Panda is gonna eat me alive right? Sigh...


Matt; “We're also looking at some ways to go upstream to deny the value to link spammers. We've got some ideas on ways to make that less effective. We expect that will roll out over the next few months. We're working on a more sophisticated system, we're still in the early days for that.”

SEOs response; Cool.... can you define link spammer? Upstream? Meh... never mind.


Matt; "If you're doing high quality content when you're doing SEO, this shouldn't be a big surprise. You shouldn't have to worry about a lot of different changes. If you've been hanging out on a lot of black hat forums, and sharing different types of spamming package tips, then it might be a more eventful summer for you."

SEOs response; Hmmm.... why do I get the sense that we're screwed? Those so-called black hats, just bury the sites and adapt. We SEOs and our clients? Not so much. Again, while you allowed crap-hat links to rank sites, we had to adapt to your algos to keep up. And I ain't talking Xrumer, I'm talkin' simple ol outreach, infographics and such. Again with the goal posts.


Matt; “We've been doing a better job of detecting is an authority in a specific space. And trying to make sure those rank a little more highly if you're if you're some sort of authority or a site that we think might be a little more appropriate for the users.”

SEOs response; Right, so-called 'AuthorRank' stuff right? Social graph? Personalization? Uhm... isn't this kind of how we got to where we are with links no? We can expect a metric tonne of crap posts hoisted up by shell social accounts in the near future? Save that for the next video I guess....

Matt; “We've also been looking at Panda and seeing if we can find some additional signals that will help refine things for the sites that are kind of at the border zone. If we can soften the effect for those sites that we believe have some additional signals of quality, that will help soften the effect to some degree”

SEOs response; Ok, so if we think we're getting nuked by Panda, not that we can figure that out really without dates, we can throw some no-so-crap links (as long as we're not in a competitive query space) and buff that with fake social boosting? Yea? Go it, thanks.


Here's the video;




Enough with the silliness. While there's some interesting tidbits in there, the proof's in the pudding right? When I stop hearing clients, community members, complaining that this or that site is ranking with garbage, I'll believe it.

When I see more dampening of signals, from Google's side, instead of penalizing them for what actually works/worked, I shall believe it.

At the end of the day the best way to change the SEO landscape is to actually reward those that do things the way you folks want. Penalties don't affect SEOs really... it affects the website owners. Sadly, due to what's worked over the years, there's a crap-load of SEOs doing that which you don't seemingly want.

I, for one, look forward to all your changes (if they work) as it will fill the coffers of my consulting biz. Google....? I love you.


ED; the opinions expressed in this post are not that of the author nor SNC. They were gleaned from the imagination of the collective. No SEO gurus, real or imagined in their own minds, were hurt in the making of this post.

David Harry -

Hi my name is Dave and I, am an algo-holic

I am an avid search geek that spends most of his time reading about and playing with search engines. My main passion has always been about the technical side of things from a strong perspective rooted in IR and related technologies.You can find me providing SEO consulting services for Verve Developments.

You can also hook up with me via


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