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Google’s Matt Cutts Talks Penalized Link Network, and Search Algorithm Updates

Google’s Matt Cutts, in a tweet revealed that the link selling network that was penalized week’s ago, was the oldest, and arguably the most prominent, link selling site on the Internet, “Text Link Ads.”

“you might have noticed a big drop in PageRank on thousands of TLA linkselling sites a couple weeks ago,” Cutts tweet reads.

Cutts also posted a video talking about some of the misconceptions in the SEO industry and differences between “a data refresh” and “an algorithm update,” including:

  • “SEOs confuse algorithm updates with data refreshes.
  • Panda & Penguin algorithms are not about making Google more money in the short term.
  • SEOs spend too much energy and time focused on link building and only thinking about search engines.”

In the video, Cutts responding to often repeated “conspiracy theory,” said that all Google updates are designed only to improve the user experience.

Algorithm Update vs. Data Refresh

“When you’re changing your algorithm, the signals that you’re using and how you weight those signals are fundamentally changing,” he said. “When you are doing just a data refresh then the way that you run the computer program stays the same, but you might have different incoming data, you might refresh the data that the algorithm is using. That’s something that a lot of people just don’t seem to necessarily get.”

Google Conspiracy Theory: More Panda & penguin Updates = More Revenue

A lot of people, think it’s a regular conspiracy theory… bringing in Panda & Penguin updates for more revenue gains at Google…Matt debunks saying that it is “absolutely false and the algorithm and organic search results are completely separated from revenue goals.”

“That is certainly not the case with Panda, it’s certainly not the case with Penguin,” said Cutts adding, “[…]let me just confront that head on. Panda, if you go back and look at Google’s quarterly statements, they actually mention that Panda decreased our revenue,” he said.

“And not only do we not think that way in the search quality team, we’re more than happy to make changes which are better for the long term loyalty of our users, the user experience, and all that sort of stuff.”

“Panda and Penguin we just went ahead and made those changes and we aren’t going to worry if we lose money or make money or whatever, we just want to return the best user’s results we can,” he adds.

Cutts, on where SEOs are spending too much time–stated, “SEOs are still spending too much time on “link building.” They need to embrace the grand picture. This includes compelling content and user experience. Matt specifically mentions two areas of experience that we need to focus on: design and speed.

Update 06/06: In a new video, Cutts explains how potentially using rel="author" help Google improve search quality stating, that “moving from the anonymous Web to a Web with identity helps Google understand the authority and trust of the person writing that content. It can help identify a spammer from an author with a lot of authority and credibility.”

Watch the talk below:

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