How Google Uses Twitter, SafeSearch – Matt Cutts Changes Advice

    February 17, 2011
    Chris Crum

Matt Cutts posted a new Webmaster Help video in which he answers his own question rather than a user-submitted one (like usual). Specifically, he asks if there’s any advice that he’d like to change from what he’s said in the past. 

"I did a video back in May of 2010, that said we don’t use, for example, Twitter at all in our rankings other than as a normal web page, and the links are treated completely like normal web pages," he says.

He then references a recent Danny Sullivan article which breaks down how both Google and Bing use Twitter. He notes that Google worked with him to ensure its accuracy. "It says that in some cases we do look at, for example, how reputable a particular person on Twitter might be, and we can use that in our rankings in some ways."

And another thing that Cutts wanted to update…

"SafeSearch, when I wrote the very first version, years and years and years ago – whenever you’re not able to crawl something – so for example, if it’s blocked by robots.txt, since people have deliberately said, ‘I would like a safe version – a family-safe version of Google, we would say, ‘oh, if we haven’t been able to crawl it, then we don’t know whether it’s porn or not, so we’re not going to be able to return it to users," says Cutts.

"So, the Library of Congress or or Metallica at one point…Nissan, had blocked various pages from being crawled in the search engines, and so to be safe, we said, ‘you know what? We don’t know whether that’s family-safe or not, so we won’t return it’,"  he adds.

"Luckily, the SafeSearch team has gotten much more sophisticated, and better, and more robust since I wrote the original version, so now that’s something that we might change. If something is forbidden from being crawled, but for whatever reason we think that it might be safe, now we’ll start to return it in our search results."

It’s always good to set the record straight.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.