PubCon 2011 Keynote by Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal, Google

Matt Cutts Keynote with Amit Singhal was addressing  how Google has evolved in last couple of years and what they are planning to do in next coming months. Matt started the keynote by addressing to Leo Laporte’s comment “SEO was dead”.

  • SEO is not dead because SEO is a type of marketing, and marketing appeals to human nature. It is not going to go away.
  • SEO = coaching
  • SEO is not spam
  • There is always going to be a role for somebody who wants to present himself better
  • Search is about change
  • The only constant thing is change. You want to go where Search Engine are going to be, not where Search Engines are
  • You don’t need to worry about change. It will help you, benefit you
  • In 2010, Google was inundated with Hacked site
  • In 2011 – low quality sites (Panda) and communication. We are giving many many more heads up to webmasters, if they are breaking guidelines
  • Panda – change initiated from web quality group, which was helped by web spam group
  • We are now doing radically better communication.
  • Future of Search.

A high level view of Google’s vision or 10,000 view:

  • Mobile – long-term SEO trend. How your website is going to look on mobile. Cell phone is a computer.
  • Social – if pages are blocked from Google bot, we don’t have that information. If we can move from anonymous web, to where everybody is going to have some idea about the author, the web is going to get better. You don’t necessarily have to optimize for search engine.
  • Local – that is where the vast majority of concrete purchases take place. You want to have a strategy for each one of those

A mid level view of Google’s vision or 1,000 view:

  • Better page understanding – what are the things on the page that really matter. How much content is above the fold? You might want to think about having a lot of content above the fold. What is the layout of your site looks like. When a user lands on your site, do they see content or ads, images, etc
  • More Personal search – people are feeling more comfortable by sending more personal searches to Google. Search will keep beginning more personal
  • Better tools for searchers – verbatim mode or literal mode
  • Communication and Transparency – tell people if their WordPress is out of date. Looking of doing this for more and more software packages. Send an alert if your website software is out of date via Google Webmaster.
  • Sending info to Google – with Panda, people were worried about scraper sites. What if you could send that ping to Google or update to Google when you update something on your website. We are exploring that

Low level view of Google’s vision or 1 view:

  • Sign up for webmaster tools, sign up for email alerts, set up “fat pings” when you publish, example:, Subscribe to Wemaster blog, inside search blog, webmaster video channel
  • SEO is not going to die. There will always be change in SEO

Question and Answers:

  • GA to start giving all the queries
  • Panda update focused on site quality, user experience and keeping a balance on web ecosystem
  • Why do the big brand always take the top site even though there are specific niche websites?
    • Brands have trust built and may have a lot of links pointing back to them
  • Algorithm updates are looking for user experience to give high quality sites
  • Spam fighters in 40 language – Google is open to work with trusted sources to make sure they fight spam
  • SSL – search will become more personal, 96% of the queries can still be available in Webmaster. Advertisers should include the right keywords and ads to create a user experience which might drive irrelevant traffic to the website. SSL is only on at this time
  • Will creating Press Releases (PR) be flagged as duplicate content by Google?
    • PR might not be that effective for long term. Authority of the author is important.
  • If Google finds spam it might ban the whole website or just some pages
  • Having more links doesn’t improve site visibility. Get links from the most trusted source
  • Webmaster may be able to show 2000 queries or get 60 days data
  • If you were to describe in few sentences, what is an ideal site that Google is looking for to include in its index?
  • Amit Singhal: If a parent can tell their child to go learn something from a website, that’s what Google considers to be the best site

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