Matt Cutts Was ‘Trying To Decide How Sassy To Be When Answering This Question’

By: Chris Crum - March 10, 2014

Google has put out a new “Webmaster Help video” with the title “Can sites do well without using spammy techniques?”

That’s a bit rephrased from the actual question that prompted the response:

Matt, Does (sic) the good guys still stand a chance? We’re a small company that hired an SEO firm that we thought was legit, but destroyed our rankings w/ spam backlinks. We’ve tried everything but nothing helps. What can a company with good intentions do?

Cutts begins, “We were trying to decide how sassy to be when answering this question, because essentially you’re saying, ‘Do the good guys stand a chance? We spammed, and we got caught, and so we’re not ranking,’ and if you take a step back – if you were to look at that from someone else’s perspective, you might consider yourself a good guy, but you spammed, so the other people might consider you a bad guy, and so the fact that you got caught meant, hey, other good guys who didn’t spam can rank higher. So from their perspective things would be going well. So you’re kind of tying those two together (Do the good guys stand a chance? and We spammed.)”

Well, technically Matt’s right. They spammed, but it sounds like this person got screwed over by who they hired and paid the price for it. That might be their own fault (if that’s even really what happened), but that does make the story a little more complex than if they did their own spamming and acted like they were still “the good guys”. After all, this has even happened to Google before.

Cutts continues, “So I think the good guys do stand a chance, and we try hard to make sure that the good guys stand a chance giving them good information, trying to make sure that they can get good information in Webmaster Tools, resources, all sorts of free information and things they can do, and lots of advice. But the good guys stand a chance if they don’t spam, right (laughs)? My advice is you might have to go through a difficult process or reconsideration requests and disavowing links, and whatever it is you need to do (getting links off the web) to clean things up.”

“I absolutely believe good guys can stand a chance, and small sites and small businesses can stand a chance,” he says. “But I think (this is May 2013) that by the time you get to the end of the summer, I think more and more people will be saying, ‘Okay you stand a chance, but don’t start out going to the black hat forums, trying to spam, trying to do high jinks and tricks because that sort of technique is going to be less likely to work going forward.”

He notes that it can be harder and take longer to get good links, but that those links will likely stand the test of time.

“Good luck,” he tells the person who submitted the question. “I hope you are able to get out of your existing predicament, and in the future please tell people before you sign up with an SEO, ask for references, do some research, ask them to explain exactly what they’re going to do. If they tell you they know me, and they have a secret in with the webspam team, you should scream and run away immediately.”

I wonder how often that works.

“If they will tell you what they’re doing in clear terms, and it makes sense, and it doesn’t make you feel a little uneasy then that’s a much better sign,” he says.

Image via YouTube

About the Author

Chris CrumChris 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.

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  • Paul Howard

    He has dodged the question. A small company with say a 100K turnover simply does not have the resources to take on the big directories that may be spending 100k+ a year to get up high on the organic rankings. So even though they want to be high in the rankings for a small local area they never will because the directory sites will always dominate the high spots forcing the small (Good) guy to advertise with the directory site. So in frustration they try to compete and because they don’t have the resources quite often they fall foul of SEO offers just out of pure desperation.

  • endo

    That is funny because under our key words it is all satellite site or people like amazon that do not allow the sales of our products. Or fox news or gnc that know nothing about or products. So if GNC put on there site they sell 56 chevy bumpers they would rank or if national geographic wrote a article on anything they would rank. Sorry what are they expert in again? Nothing! Google is taking all the legit business out so they have to do pay per click. That is the secret to there new goal. Show me where there are quality links on google. Every well rank company is a scam company that do black hat tactics forcing the other legit companies to do them to stay in business or a large corporation like fox news or nation geographic. I have had our competitor companies build satellite site and in the code is your site but it is not visible in there site so when that site gets nailed by google your site get penalized so you are better off spending your budget on bad links for your competitions sites. Trust me my competition has built hundreds of bad links to our site. So you can disavow the links but they are building new ones every month. Takes a couple hundred dollars to destroy a company and thousands to that company to recover. Maybe google should use real matrics like how long in business, how many complaints to the bbb not we see bad back links that any one can create for your business. So what Matt does not get from the question or should I say his arrogance or ignorance or god complex that does not allow him to be honest that they google has big problems that google created and are screwing there user and the small business man that are honest. They are saying we are not a scam like everyone showing up in top 10. That they have a good product and take care of there customers. That the other companies in top 10 are frauds and sell junk or don’t take care of there customers. So at the end of the day google helps rip of there user. Not that they were not guilty of black hat tactics. They stated they used a firm to help them and hence since most firms are not legit in the industry google created. So google creates a industry and then acts like you need to do your home work to find the 30 companies out of millions that have not used black hat tactics. The one I love is google can’t monitor all there listing but they sure can track every move you make on the internet.