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Matt Cutts Fought With Sergey Brin & Larry Page Over Google Search Spam Issues

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Matt Cutts Fought With Sergey Brin & Larry Page Over Google Search Spam Issues

Some of you may know that in the early days of Google, Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page would say Google Search was immune to search spam. Matt Cutts, the former Google search spam lead, said recently on Hacker News that he actually had to fight with the co-founders to prove that Google was indeed spammable.

Matt Cutts wrote this week on Hacker News about the most impactful things he has built. He started with the SafeSearch filter on Google Image Search, he said “I wrote the first version of SafeSearch, Google’s family filter.” He said that “led to the insight that Google could be spammed.” When he realized that Google Search can be spammed, he said “that led to fights with Google’s founders–Sergey thought Google couldn’t be spammed.”

In a recent interview with Greg Boser, who was well known as an SEO spammer in the early days (he no longer spams), he told a story and Sergey coming to a conference and basically being so confident that Google Search was unspammable that it led to SEOs proving that they could. Greg said “Sergey showed up, he showed up on roller skates to a panel I believe Andre Broder was on. It was a serious panel talking about what search engines were doing to combat spam and he rolled it in laid-on skates and he got up there and basically said we don’t really worry about spam because our algorithm is so good that you know it’s not an issue for us basically.” “But basically he threw out a challenge to a lot of people who said okay cool,” Greg went on to say. It was at that point that he thinks SEOs put more attention to Google Search to prove a point. Greg said “And I wonder a lot like if he had not been so brazen and cocky about that approach, I really wonder sometimes like what the impact would be. Because a lot of us did, they’re like okay, you know because we’ve been you know kind of owning Alta Vista and the other ones for quite a while. And we were confident that we could own Google as well, and we did we, for a long time.”

Matt Cutts on Hacker News said, “Eventually the founders realized that Google could be spammed, so I helped build the team at Google that tries to keep Google’s rankings from being manipulated.”

As many of you know, Matt left Google and joined the USDS, he said on Hacker News “I was also proud to serve in the U.S. Digital Service, which is the groups of geeks that rescued healthcare.gov. The U.S. Digital Service has done a ton of impactful things for Veterans, immigrants, students, small business owners, and many others.”

And then something I did not know about Matt Cutts, he said “most recently, I served as an expert on spam and bots for Twitter in their lawsuit against Elon Musk.”

Figured this would be a fun light story for Friday of Thanksgiving.

Forum discussion at Hacker News.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Unconfirmed Google Update Impacting Product Reviews Sites On January 26th

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Google Product Reviews Update

On Thursday, January 26th, there were some signs of a possible Google search ranking algorithm update. The signals and chatter I was tracking, honestly, were not at super high levels. However, now that I see Glenn Gabe shared some really shocking charts of sites previously impacted by Google updates but now seeing a big swing. This is not necessarily a product reviews update but rather sites in the product reviews space that are seeing massive swings on the 26th.

Let me first share Glenn’s charts, which he posted on Twitter and said, “Heads-up, run a product reviews site? Google pushed something on 1/26 that, once again, impacted some product review sites HEAVILY. These are sites I’ve documented before with crazy surges/drops, even outside of Product Reviews Updates. Let’s see if this sticks. I hope it does.”

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Here is that tweet:

Starting on the 25th, I began to see limited chatter kick into gear at WebmasterWorld. The chatter there was not specific to the product reviews update but it could have been related to it. Here are some quotes from there:

My site has been climbing rankings all week and yet today the traffic has been dismal (UK). Do I smell an update?

My ranks, as I said, have been getting better after being in decline steadily since this time last year. I haven’t done anything to improve. Could this mean that google are indeed looking at different ranking signals, not just links? I could have gained a link or two that has turned it around I suppose but no evidence so far.

After great improvement over the month of January, got a big bang down since January 24 onwards. Changes again?

Definitely, something is wrong with Google. My traffic is going down without any reason. Are there any delays with Analytics?

I don’t know what’s going on, but my website has been in free fall for a week now. And it’s the usual picture again, old news articles or meaningless keyword spam ranks in my area on the top places. It’s really no fun anymore …

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

Mozcast:

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Semrush:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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RankRanger:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Algoroo:

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So the tools are not lighting up but this update may have been something tweaked with the product reviews update, or a new update impacting product review sites or limited to those segments of websites?

Have any of you seen any big changes around January 26th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Jeff Ferguson On Starting His Own Digital Marketing Agency

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. Here, in part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Jeff explained how he was working at this arbitrage company, and they were not profitable for a decade, and then overnight, he helped them become profitable, and they were making a ton of money. But they didn’t do it right, and eventually, they took a major hit. So he was offered a package to leave but picked up doing consulting during that time. He ran his agency for ten years before merging with Amplitude Digital.

He loves agency life and doing his own thing. He is at a point in life where doing his own thing and owning his agency is where he wants to be. He does write a lot of content; he shares a lot of advice on Twitter and Facebook.

You can learn more about Jeff Ferguson at Amplitude Digital and follow him on Twitter @CountXero.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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Google Pier 57 Display Wall

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Display Wall At Google Pier 57

Here is one of the many walls at the new Google Pier 57 location. You can see they set up a display wall that houses a Google surfboard, Google letters, Android figurine, and much more.

I spotted this on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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