Google’s head of spam fighting – Matt Cutts – posts regular videos on the Google Webmasters YouTube channel. His posts can make waves in the SEO industry like no other because they often preview upcoming changes to the Google algorithm. So this week’s Fast Five is a collection of Matt Cutt’s most popular webmaster videos of all time.
Here’s this week’s Fast Five:
1) How Does Google Search Work? – In this video, Matt explains how Google’s ranking and website evaluation process works from the crawling and analysis of a site, crawling time-lines, frequencies, priorities and filtering processes within the databases. With over 380,000 views, this is Matt’s most popular video in the Google Webmaster channel.
2) Does Google Use the Keyword Meta Tag? – After years of webmaster confusion over whether Google does or doesn’t index the content of the Meta Keywords tag, Matt put the rumor firmly to rest with this post by confirming that Google does NOT index the tag.
3) What Should We Expect in the Next Few Months in Terms of SEO for Google? – After months of Panda and Penguin algorithm tweaks, Matt thought it was time to set a few things straight and reveal a little more about what we might expect from future algorithm updates.
4) Canonical Link Element – When Google launched support for the Canonical Link Element, Matt took to video to introduce the element and the way it should be used for SEO benefit.
5) What Are Some Effective Techniques for Building Links? – The fifth most popular Matt Cutts webmaster video involves the consistently difficult subject of link building. In this video post, Matt discusses several effective ways of building organic links that many webmasters overlook.
*Image courtesy of Threadless.
My friend is being harassed by someone who is manipulating SEO on Google. What should I do?
Someone is using a story to back link and I believe it is web spammed via Google. The story was politically motivated and used to destroy my friend’s character. I am not sure if there is anything that can be done to stop this person from page ranking this story to the top of the Google page, especially if they are using possible black hat techniques and other methods to rank this at the top.
Is there anyway Google would remove the story if they are participating in such acts? My friend sent a request for removal and complained to google about the back linking and abuse of page rank, but to date, nothing has been done in removing the story that is over a year old and is at the top of the Google site. Can you help and let us know what we may be able to do to have this story taken down?
Sorry to hear that. I believe there are quite a few people who find themselves the target of malicious spam campaigns like this. I personally can’t assist as I don’t work for Google and don’t have any contacts there who would be able to assist. However, the correct place to start the process is to complete this Request to Remove Objectionable Content form.
The other step I would recommend is for your friend to have a lawyer write a *cease and desist* letter to the owner of the web site hosting the objectionable content. Sometimes, the threat of legal action is enough to make them remove it.
My final piece of advice would be to create some positive content and optimize it well for your friend’s name so that it out-ranks the objectionable content to push the spam further down the search results.
Best of luck!
Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!
In my recent search for relevant videos to accompany our training material at Search Engine College, I trawled through my Evernote bookmarks and stockpiled a number of helpful YouTube channels that hold huge collections of training videos on the subjects of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
As I was collating these, my first thought was “I wonder how many webmasters even know all these exist?”. My second thought was “That would make a great blog post!”. So here they are. You’re welcome.
Google Webmasters YouTube Channel
Bing Webmaster Tools YouTube Channel
Moz YouTube Channel
Google AdWords Channel
Bing Ads YouTube Channel
SiteProNews YouTube Channel
WebProNews YouTube Channel
Search Engine Land YouTube Channel
SES Conference and Expo YouTube Channel
Search Engine Watch YouTube Channel
Google Analytics YouTube Channel
Raven Tools YouTube Channel
Rusty Brick YouTube Channel
Search Engine Journal YouTube Channel
I’ve probably missed some important ones, but these are the ones I had saved to Evernote. If you want to add some of your favorites in the comments, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.
Post Script – I remembered last night that apart from their YouTube channel, SiteProNews publishes a large collection of marketing videos from across the web, collated into 40 different topic channels. Be sure to check it out.
Authorship in action
My geek friend Chris recently wrote a post about Google Authorship that suggested that the use of Google Authorship tags (e.g. rel=author) gave inconsistent results in the SERPs and was possibly not the SEO secret sauce that it’s all cracked up to be.
This surprised me, because I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for Authorship, including claims that use of the rel=author tag can speed up the indexing and rankings of a brand new site.
In his experiments, Chris tried searching for a specific phrase using google.com and google.co.nz from an NZ IP and then both from a US IP. He was scanning the SERPs for instances of his own blog post containing the phrase, specifically noting when his rel=author tag would kick in to show his Google Profile next to his post. All searches produced different results, with his authorship profile pic only showing up sporadically, even when his blog post appeared in the top 3 results. This was in contrast to blog posts on his employer’s site, where Authorship hasn’t been implemented, rel=author tags are not used, but posts almost always show up in the SERPs featuring author profile pics.
Chris found that subtle changes to his search query (even the addition of a STOP word like *on*) had a profound impact on whether Authorship would kick in. Clearly, semantic indexing is at play when it comes to whether rel=author has an influence on SERPs. Which means that specific keyword order and word-stemming considerations should be high on the priority list for any on-page SEO undertaken.
In my experience, it seems that the authorship tag is given more prominence in some data centers than others and almost always when searching google.com. My guess is slightly different versions of the algo have rolled out on each data center, some with the *new* (July) Panda and some with the old. Authorship relevance has been tweaked in this last update, I’m sure of it, but I haven’t seen this acknowledged anywhere.
Of course, author trust / author rank is also at play – where the profile of a particular author is given more relevancy weight than others due to how prolific and widely syndicated they are. Posts from authors with more trust rank built up are pushed higher up the SERPs and are more likely to have their profile pics featured.
So have you noticed a change in SERPS relating to use of the rel=author tag since the latest Panda update? Have you observed more or less authorship profiles showing up in generic SERPs on Google.com than before Panda? Please let us know in the comments.
Wow. I’d never thought I’d get to type this in 2013: Yahoo! has ousted Google to become the number 1 source of US web traffic.
The comScore Top 50 US Web Properties report for July 2013 reveals that Yahoo! owned sites attracted more unique visitors than any other networks, including Google. The numbers are pretty close – Yahoo! traffic only beat Google traffic by less than 300,000 visits, but this win is a significant one for Yahoo!, given they haven’t been at the number #1 spot since 2008, according to Greg Sterling.
You might think these numbers were influenced by Yahoo!’s recent purchase of Tumblr, however Tumblr is ranked separately in the report, way down at position #28. Which makes me think that the hard work put in by Marissa Mayer and her new management team over the past 12 months is finally starting to gain traction.
It must be a sweet victory for ex-Google executive Mayer, who took over the top job when Yahoo! was in crisis – struggling from years of poor leadership and financial mismanagement. Despite an overall revenue dip of 7 percent compared with this time last year, Yahoo!’s latest financial figures reveal solid income growth for the past quarter – up 150 percent on the previous year.
The upshot of this for webmasters is: you simply CANNOT continue to put all your eggs in the Google basket. I say this until I’m blue in the face: Google is NOT the Internet. Both Yahoo! and Bing are major players in the search industry with the potential to provide as much – or in Yahoo!’s case, more – traffic than Google.
If traffic from Google dominates your site stats, take action now:
- Optimize your sites with ALL the search engines in mind. Learn what content / tag structure ranks well on Yahoo! and Bing. Optimize your pages accordingly.
- Study your analytics and learn what keywords convert better on Yahoo! and Bing. Better optimize your content for those keywords.
- Observe how much traffic you get from Yahoo! and Yahoo! partner sites. Compare conversion rates for this traffic with the traffic you get from Google and other sources.
- If you haven’t already established a Bing Ads account, create one and start experimenting with paid advertising on the Bing and Yahoo! networks.
- Verify your web site/s via Bing Webmaster Tools and start observing your site performance via that account.
- To encourage indexing, upload your XML sitemap to Bing and Yahoo! via Webmaster Tools and keep it up to date.
- Monitor your performance in all search engines to reduce your reliance on Google traffic.
Taking action now will mean that you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors and more importantly, if your Google rankings suddenly plummet – *cough* Panda, Penguin *cough* – you’ll have traffic from other sources to catch your fall.