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Guess Which SEO ‘Misconception’ Matt Cutts Puts To Rest

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In Google’s latest Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts is asked about a common SEO misconception that he wishes to put to rest. The answer: Google is not doing everything you read about in patents.

Cutts says, “There a sort of persistent misconception that people often have, which is that just because a patent issues…that has somebody’s name on it, or someone who works at search quality, or someone who works at Google, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are using that patent at that moment.”

He continues, “Sometimes you’ll see speculation, ‘Oh, Google had a patent where they mentioned using the length of time that the domain was registered.’ That doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily doing that. It just means that, you know, that mechanism is patented.”

Cutts recalls, “Somebody else at Google had gotten a patent on the idea (or the mechanism, not just the idea, the actual implementation) by which you could look at how people had changed their webpage after an update, and basically say, ‘Oh, these are people who are responding to Google, or they are dynamically SEOing their stuff,’ and so there were a lot of publishers who were like, ‘Ugh, I’m just gonna throw up my hands. Why bother at all if Google’s just gonna keep an eye?’ and you know, ‘If we change, and Google’s just using that and monitoring that, and changing their ranking in response,’ and it’s the sort of thing where just because that patent comes out, doesn’t mean that Google’s currently using that technology.”

“So, patents are a lot of interesting ideas,” he adds. “You can see a lot of stuff mentioned in them, but don’t take it as an automatic golden truth that we’re doing any particular thing that is mentioned in a patent.”

It is true that patents provide a lot of insight into the kinds of ideas that Google is thinking about, and often we can only really speculate about certain things that it is actually implementing.

Guess Which SEO ‘Misconception’ Matt Cutts Puts To Rest


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  • Brent Csutoras

    Because you know.. people just pay lots of money, spend lots of time writing the patent applications up, but that doesn’t mean they actually use it?

    That is the misconception that Google wanted to clean up?

    How about the misconception that just because Google gives you a disavow tool, doesn’t mean you should go get lawyers to send legal notices demanding people take down links!

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      Perhaps in an upcoming video. Have you sent that one to him yet?

  • http://ronrule.com Ron Rule

    Kind of like how Google has been saying don’t pay attention to PageRank, its going away, its not important, etc. since 2007 even though its still the most important variable in SEO.

    This little statement doesn’t actally say they AREN’T using these things. Just more misdirection from the minister of propaganda.

  • Robert

    matt cutts spamming our brains. Really blackhat spammer!!!

  • http://www.graciousstore.com Gracious Store

    Cutts response to the question begs more questions. What then are the criteria Google is using for ranking if Google is not using all the ideas they patented for ranking?. Can Cutts give webmasters the specific points google is currently using for ranking?

  • EE

    You did not clear up any misconceptions Matt…

  • http://www.buergschaft24.de/ Kautionsversicherung

    Incredible article!

  • http://proresult.in Shital Bhalani

    The problem with SEO is that majority of business owners don’t understand what is it for. They think that if they hire SEO specialist – they will do better in SERP (which is very logical conclusion and expectation). However in order to get the most benefits (especially in online business) the business supposed to be build around SEO. You have to understand what Google wants from you and Google wants high quality search experience for their customers so in order to rank well you need to concentrate on customer’s experience on your site.

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