Google Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts made a surprise appearance at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco this morning, dropping a fair amount of knowledge on the SEO community.
Bas van den Beld at State Of Search has a liveblogged recap of the session. He paraphrases Cutts:
When people asked Cutts about the next Penguin Update he thought: You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard…We are constantly improving. The updates are going the be jarring and julting for a while. Emphasis added.
Cutts also talked briefly about Google’s relationship with Twitter data. More paraphrasing from the liveblog:
Danny [Sullivan] asks ‘Can’t you see how many times a page is tweeted? I can see it, I could call you’.
Cutts: we can do it relatively well, but if we could crawl Twitter in the full way we can, their infastructure wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Cutts talked about a variety of search-related topics, including Knowledge Graph, SEO, the Penguin update, Webmaster Tools, etc. He also noted that the Google Search Quality team is now the Knowledge team.
Here’s some paraphrasing from attendees on Twitter:
RT @sewatch: Twitter blocked @google from crawling the site at all after the firehose deal ended. – @mattcutts#SESSF
“It was my mistake when I said too much #SEO is a bad thing.” Panda and Penguin are about getting rid of spam. ~ @mattcutts#SESSF
Penguin – not bad to do “too much SEO” – just too much “bad SEO” – good SEO is still good #SESSF@mattcutts
@mattcutts “its cheaper to do SEO Legit than it is Blackhat” #sessf
Google Search Quality is now called Google Knowledge #sessf@mattcutts
Wikipedia doesn’t care about traffic: they don’t sell ads, their revenue is not dependent on traffic. They like the knowledge graph. #sessf
Social signals – are followers signals? @mattcutts says its a “potential” signal but @google can’t access a lot of FB, for example #SESSF
@mattcutts: Search quality/ knowledge team doesn’t care about how much money @Google makes – they focus on what’s good for user #SESSF
@MattCutts “We don’t care whether we make money or lose money. … The question is.. Is this good for the user?” #SESSF
Google’s @mattcutts emphasizes creation of original content, and viewpoints to deliver unique value #SESSF
Google keeps old versions of the algo so they can compare old results versus new. How fun it would be to play with that! #sessf@mattcutts
If your only value as a publisher are quick facts, yes, you should be worried @Google will answer that – @mattcutts#SESSF
“Webmasters who want to get as much visibility as possible should look at the spectrum of value you’re adding.” ~ @mattcutts#SESSF
@mattcutts – If we sit still, some other company will launch this awesome voice search, I dunno, call it Siri… LOL #SESSF
“Google is more of an information company, not just search” #SESSF@mattcutts
Users HAVE to come first or searchers will ditch Google, but web IS websites, & it needs to be good for webmasters too. @mattcutts#SESSF
Google’s aware that knowledge graph, etc. can impact webmasters, but users have to come first or they’ll go somewhere else @mattcutts#sessf
Google has seen over 30 trillion urls & has 100 million searches a month. #sessf@mattcutts
don’t put much credibility in the +1 button when it comes to SEO at this point via @mattcutts@SESConf SF #SESSF
Google+ influence on SERPs has been lessened in recent months – @mattcutts#sessf
No boost for google properties just like there is no boost for payment. We want people to trust google. @mattcutts#sessf
Google’s goal is to move in the direction to give you actionable advice for improving your website via webmaster tools @mattcutts#sessf
If you have products, get user reviews or write your own descriptions, be original instead of duplicating content – @mattcutts#SESSF
“Duplicate content has been handled consitently for a long time” (If the only text that everyone else has on theirs that is an issue #SESSF)
If you build the kind of site that will stand the test of time, you’re not going to be that affected by Penguin – @mattcutts#SESSF
I like this quote… “@sewatch: Anyone can compete with Google if they can crawl better, index better, rank better – @mattcutts#SESSF” #SEO