Archive for March, 2014

Title: Is Google More Focused On Penalties Or Positive Features?

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

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While it’s nothing new, a lot of webmasters are frustrated with Google for penalties their sites have received. The recent attack on guest blog posts has sparked a whole new round of outcries. Google says, however, that it tries to focus more on proactive and positive features, and less on penalties. You wouldn’t know that to read conversations that are happening every day on search blogs and forums, but that’s the stance Google is taking. Meanwhile, Google thinks we’re too bored to want to see lists of algorithm changes (which would presumably include some of these “positive” and “proactive” things). It used to release these regularly.

We also keep seeing tweets from Matt Cutts about how Google is taking action on various networks. It doesn’t exactly convey a lack of focus on penalties.

Do you think Google really is more focused on proactive features than it is on penalizing other sites? Let us know what you think.

So you know how Google penalized a site and cited one link from a guest post that was on a topic that Google didn’t think belonged on the site (even though the site owner felt it did, and most other people can see the natural fit in topic)?

Danny Sullivan wrote an article about that, which this guy shared on Twitter, saying that Google penalties have “jumped the shark”. Matt Cutts responded:

@dtunkelang @dannysullivan headline is "How a single guest post…" but Danny points out multiple guest posts on that site.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

@dtunkelang @dannysullivan But based on my experience looking at a lot of links and sites over the years, I'm pretty happy w/where we are.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

@dtunkelang @dannysullivan then I view that as progress; site owner might not be happy, but they had actionable steps to fix issue.

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

Danny also jumped in, and Matt again:

@mattcutts @dtunkelang if "multiple" means two, that's correct. and the point was the blog clearly wasn't some abuser of guest posts, IMO

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) March 27, 2014

@dtunkelang @mattcutts all for that, too. said so in my article, even. just think less focus on penalties, more on reward might be better

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) March 27, 2014

@mattcutts @dtunkelang penalty notice didn't have examples. blogger had to guess at pro in open letter. specifics didn't come until after

— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) March 27, 2014

@dannysullivan Doc himself said "To also be fair, you're right. I probably shouldn't have accepted it." on http://t.co/wKpPy515JU?

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

@dannysullivan the type of message he received was for outbound links. We just took action on a large guest blog network. He has guest blog

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

@dannysullivan I think Google overall is trying to focus less on penalties and more on proactive, positive stuff like natural language,

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

@dannysullivan conversational search, context, etc. It's just you and me and the SEOs sitting around talking penalties these days. :)

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

One that note about Google focusing less on penalties and more on proactive, positive stuff like natural language, Aaron Wall threw up a survey.

@mattcutts @dannysullivan survey says? :) http://t.co/fH77WtQd24

— aaron wall (@aaronwall) March 27, 2014

Here’s what it’s showing as of Thursday:

Maybe perception would be different if Google hadn’t stopped putting out those monthly lists of algorithm updates, which might have illustrated some of that natural language-type stuff more. Maybe.

Cutts also had to defend Google from comparisons to the Emprie in Star Wars.

@DavidZeledon85 but can you make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs?

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 27, 2014

Do you think Google really is more focused on adding positive features to its search engine as opposed to penalizing sites? Let us know in the comments.

Note: This article has been updated to include more context and tweets.

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Title: How Googlebot Treats Multiple Breadcrumbs On E-Commerce Pages

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Google has a new “Webmaster Help” video out about e-commerce pages with multiple breadcrumb trails. This is the second video in a row to deal specifically with e-commerce sites. Last time, Matt Cutts discussed product pages for products that are no longer available.

This time, he takes on the following question:

Many of my items belong to multiple categories on my eCommerce site. Can I place multiple breadcrumbs on a page? Do they confuse Googlebot? Do you properly understand the logical structure of my site?

“It turns out, if you do breadcrumbs, we will currently pick the first one,” he says. “I would try to get things in the right category or hierarchy as much as you can, but that said, if an item does belong to multiple areas within your hierarchy it is possible to go ahead and have multiple breadcrumbs on a page, and in fact that can, in some circumstances, actually help Googlebot understand a little bit more about the site.”

“But don’t worry about it if it only fits in one, or if you’ve only got breadcrumbs for one,” Cutts continues. “That’s the way that most people do it. That’s the normal way to do it. We encourage that, but if you do have the taxonomy (the category, the hierarchy), you know, and it’s already there, and it’s not like twenty different spots within your categories…if it’s in a few spots, you know, two or three or four…something like that, it doesn’t hurt to have those other breadcrumbs on the page. And we’ll take the first one. That’s our current behavior, and then we might be able to do a little bit of deeper understanding over time about the overall structure of your site.”

For more about how Google treats breadcrumbs, you might want to take a look at this page in Google’s webmaster help center. In fact, it even gives an example of a page having more than one breadcrumb trail (Books>Authors>Stephen King and Books>Fiction>Horror)

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Title: Now There’s A Matt Cutts Whack-A-Mole Game

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So remember that Matt Cutts Donkey Kong game from a few weeks ago? That has inspired a new Matt Cutts Whack-A-Mole game, in which (you guessed it) you get to whack Matt Cutts with a gavel over and over again.

A number of fun quotes from Cutts play in the background while you whack.

This one comes from LoveMyVouchers, which says on its site:

Inspired by Donkey Cutts, which was recently created by NetVoucherCodes, we decided to have a go at making our own game in order to help out frustrated webmasters and SEOs everywhere. As Matt Cutts himself said recently in an interview, “You never want to play whack a mole with a spammer”, and this got us thinking that there must be many people out there who would like to play whack a mole with him.

What with the constant influx of updates from Google these days and a constantly shifting set of rules to play by, running and promoting your website is becoming more and more difficult. However, this light-hearted flash game should help to reduce your stress levels, if only for a minute or two.

Matt even played it himself:

@StevenWeldler I scored 2760; how did you do?

— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 6, 2014

Have fun.

Personally, I’m waiting for someone to take dino-Cutts and make a Rampage-style game.

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