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Google search Q&A via video

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Monday July 31, 2006 )

Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google, has been running a very popular blog called Gadgets, Google and SEO for some time . He now appears to be getting into vlogging (video blogging) after a slew of questions were thrown at him relating to Google and search engine optimization issues the other day.

Matt created 4 video files of a few minutes each containing the following information:

Video 1: Qualities of a good site.
Video 2: SEO Myths.
Video 4: Optimizing for search engines vs. users

There’s nothing earth shattering in the videos, but there are a couple of interesting tidbits – it’s definitely been an interesting experiment for Matt which seems to be getting some good feedback from webmasters so far.

In case you don’t have time to sit through them all, here’s a summary based on my understanding of what Matt stated. I’ve tried to keep it as brief and accurate as possible without including my own elaborations :).


– Basically Matt stating that the views he expresses are not necessarily those of Google

Google Sitemaps

– Sitemaps updates not dependent on number of page views

Increasing search engine visibility

– Use a text browser to navigate your site to check for crawlability. Matt suggests Lynx

– Use site maps or Google Site Maps to assist search engine spiders find your pages

– Quality, original content

– Related inbound links

– Use social networking sites for promotion

DMOZ snippets in SERPs

– Sometimes Google SERPs (search engine results pages) will use the DMOZ snippet of a site instead of description meta tag info, depending on how it relates to the query entered by the searcher. Google can be forced to display the meta description by using the NOODP tag.

Bold or strong tags?

– Google probably favors the bold tag *slightly* more, very slightly. Matt states it shouldn’t be a major concern for webmasters


– Sites on the same IP/server, *generally* not a problem unless you have bulk sites (belonging to you) on the same IP/server and you’re caught out for shady tactics.

– Similar Javascript across a range of sites not a problem, unless you’re using javascript for black hat type tactics

– If you’re launching very large sites (more than a few thousand pages), launch it softly – a few thousand pages at a time.

Google Images

– Google Images index update occurred last weekend, but it may take some time for all the new data to migrate to all datacenters


– End user optimization and search optimization are both important aspects of a site and should be aligned as much as possible

– Search engine spamming detection tools – Yahoo Site Explorer; aside from that, Matt was rather coy on the topic :), only to say that many of the tools that Google uses to help track down search engine spammers aren’t publicly available.

– Valid/invalid HTML impacting on search engine rankings: not at this time, *may* do so in the future.

No doubt many webmasters will be poring over his comments for days, trying to read between the lines (where there may be nothing to read) and perhaps even playing the files backwards in search of backmasked secret messages ;).

View Matt Cutt’s blog


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