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Matt Cutts Discusses The Google Algorithm

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Google has released a new Webmaster Help video in which head of webspam Matt Cutts discusses the Google algorithm and how it ranks results on a page. More specifically, he responds to the following submitted question:

Does Google use the same algorithm to rank all the results on page 1, or different algorithms for a wider variety in the results? (Pos. 1-3 = primary focus on freshness; Pos. 4-6 = primary focus on back-links; Pos. 7-10 = primary focus on social signals)

“I’m only going to concentrate on the web ranking because that’s what I know about, and in general, the rankings are not different for, you know, positions 1-3 and 4-6 and 7-10,” Cutts says. “It’s the same algorithm that returns lots of different web results – you know, 100 or even 1,000, and then with those, we just sort them in order of what we think the trade-off of relevancy vs. reputation. So we want something that’s very relevant, but also as reputable as we can find.”

“So it’s the same algorithm that generates all of those sorted lists of results, and then that shows up on the first page,” he adds. “So for the most part, for web ranking, it’s not the case that position number 9 is saved for, you know, things based on backlinks or anything like that. It’s the same algorithm that’s generating that list of search results.”

You may also be interested in this other recent video Cutts did in which he talks about Google’s “How Search Works” site.

In another video earlier this week, he noted that they had recorded a new batch of videos, so we should be getting plenty more of them in the near future.

Matt Cutts Discusses The Google Algorithm
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  • http://www.virtuosoonline.com Ananya Roy

    Nice post and Matt speaks on the topic without revealing the exact algorithm, well, that’s for obvious he will never do that and we shouldn’t expect too. But the boom or reputed concept to promote in top of google search engine is mainly based on unique content, backlinks counting etc. People talk about doing SEO and all. Remember top level PR sites has value only according to Google. They are number 1 in the industry so they set things as they would like to operate. Personally in my opinion these things doesn’t have any value. Whether your site has lots of unique content or not why should you bother? The top example is google.com itself. Does it have any unique content at all? There is nothing but that is a PR10 site. Tell me did you join facebook or any reputed social media sites ever searching from google? We joined facebook, linkedin etc. not because we found them through google search but because word of mouth or reputation. By puting copy-paste content your site will never get google adsense approval because it is not unique content riched site, but who care? What digg.com doing now? Do they post any single article which they write from scratch? My point is forget about algorithm, first page ranking on google and all, your site should have something which user will be interested to come and go through. That is the only thing which will make you stay in top.

  • http://www.ircdirect.co.uk Website Designer Essex

    I like Matt’s video and it does answer the question to its point. What I am most concerned about is the “relevancy” and “reputation” part. In theory this is based on the QUALITY of the backlinks in question and how many other “trusted” sites (i.e: PR3,PR4) sites are linking to the content. If the content is new, fresh, unique and has a couple of decent backlinks by the sounds of it google will love it!

  • Jan

    Somebody ask Matt what quirk of the algorithim has suddenly started putting Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com at the #1 position for every real estate search done now? It’s not relevancy…because they are little more than directories…and Google has turned its back on all other directories. It’s not freshness, because with the exception of Realtor.com, the other “guides” are not as up to date as a real agent’s site in most cases. They have very little information when it comes to neighborhoods, except for demographics that can be found on most government sites. They have little or no photos.

    So why have they taken over? Size, lazy agents and MLS boards adding listings to them, and the fact that they are monsterously huge advertisors. Serving up all these spammy sites are NOT beneficial to the home buying public. I just wish somebody would see that.

    • http://makingfriends.com Terri

      Jan, I’m not sure that is completely true. For example, Any search regarding Girl Scouts will pretty much only show official Girl Scout’s national or regional sites on page 1 even though it might not be relevant at all to the search. The Girl scouts don’t advertise at all that I have seen. I am beginning to suspect that there is almost a “hand-picked” weighting for common key words. Google appears to have decided who the experts are in the field for those key words. The results are then more heavily “reputation” based rather than relevancy based. Unfortunately, they seem to have a very narrow vision about reputation.

  • http://gastricbandfrance.co.uk/gastric-bypass-surgery/ Geoff Gastric

    Yeah yeah yeah, we have heard it all before from Matt, basically its all a big scam to generate more revenue for Google. There is no way that the little guy with the totally relevant,up to date information and fast load time website can compete with the “Big Boys” who blatantly publish masses of “Bloat” and then send Millions of visitors to a site which are in the main generated by “fake” visitors and backlinks generated by “bots”….its totally unfair and unrealistic….

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