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Matt Cutts on upcoming changes for SEO 2013
Written by David Harry
Monday, 13 May 2013 17:55

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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0 #1 Opace 2013-05-14 11:14
Thanks for the post. The ever changing subject of SEO!
+1 #2 Michael Martinez 2013-05-14 21:04
Someone asked Matt about bookmarks on his blog and he denied that they were a ranking factor (which is a crazy idea to begin with). It's not productive to take things out of context.

And the SEO response to throw more links into the mix had nothing to do with the algorithms -- it was all about keeping up with the Joneses. People need to stop pretending that the algorithms were all about links. That was never the case.

It was the SEO industry that obsessed over links. It was the SEO industry that made the link-fighting changes necessary.

When people stop preaching bad SEO practices the bad SEO practices will become less popular and the search environment will become less chaotic.
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0 #4 James Steven 2014-01-19 15:34
Good to read.
0 #5 Stephanie Riggs 2014-01-19 15:52
SEO is getting difficult day by day but it has still great value for small business concerns and bloggers. Matt Cutts information about changing in SEO are good enough to understand what search engines are considering for top ranking. So far as SEO in 2014 is concern, I think it is all about content writing and marketing. You need excellent quality contents and sharing it at right place. Go natural and follow white hat method and act like a superior on search engines. :)
0 #6 Spook SEO 2014-02-06 06:51
"Hi David!

I also do believe that the best way to change the SEO landscape is to reward those that do things the way Google wants us to do. I think penalties don't affect SEOs but it affects the website owners. This is such a good read. I really hope to read more of your articles."
0 #7 WilliamsBrown 2014-02-28 04:56
I am very glad to learn alot from you this meaningful knowledge. From an article describing your unique way , we can see that you are an approachable , humorous person
0 #8 Williams Brown 2014-03-05 07:26
Thank you for the interview and video. I know a lot about SEO but I did not know this. Very informative!

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0 #9 Jennifer 2014-03-08 21:13
Thank you for the informative post! The seo training I just completed emphasized that seo is often more of an art than a science. I believe this is true and we need to keep being creative as Google evolves!
0 #10 دستگاه حضور و غیاب 2014-03-09 10:16
Thanks to this post a lot of people share their experiences like mine. It would be worth it if you work with care or be ethical always when this like this stuff for your site or your client site.
0 #11 کرکره برقی 2014-04-28 12:13
This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest blogger I ever saw.
0 #12 اقامت ترکیه 2014-04-29 12:06
Writing is an art that everyone does it. Congratulate you for having this art.
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0 #13 درب اتوماتیک 2014-05-01 14:10
Another search engine! :D
I tried to search our company there with our specific keyword we're targeting and I'm glad I've found it on the first page.
0 #14 کرکره برقی 2014-05-01 14:12
I believe this will help also to those sites that affected by Penguin update.
0 #15 کرکره برقی 2014-05-07 08:08
This is going to be EXCITING! What a fantastic line up of stars!!

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