SEO Tip #75: What Are Some Search Trends On Your Radar?

Matt Cutts: That’s a great question and I’m glad that you asked it. There’s a lot of really interesting things going on in search right now. Even if you look on Techmeme right now you’ll see things like McDonalds was hacked and customer data was stolen so one of the things that is on our radar is trying to help hacked sites. We’ve been spending a fair amount of time on that and we’re increasing messaging.

The other big thing on our radar is probably communication. So how do you let people know that they have an issue? How do you communicate so that if they want to do a reconsideration request can we give them some more information like if they are doing better, worse and all that sort of stuff.

Danny Sullivan: You’ve been doing things like sending out emails to people when you detect problems with their site, if you can figure out what their email is.

Matt Cutts: Yes and sometimes we’ve tried from the site and more recently we’re trying to get people to opt in in the Webmaster Console so that they will get email alerts. And we’re really trying to get a lot of people to opt in to that because if we’ve told you that your site is hacked and you don’t get the email we send you that doesn’t do anybody any good.

So we’ll keep doing that. We’ll keep pressing on the reconsideration request process, trying to make that more transparent. But I’m kind of curious, what’s on your radar? What do you think the big trends are? What are you thinking about?

Danny Sullivan: I’ve been especially watching the social stuff. You know we’ve had all this social data being used, or we’ve had all this social data being generated and I’ve been curious recently, would the search engines actually be using it? And you know it’s interesting that Google was saying, “Yes we’re actually looking at things like who you are on Twitter and who follows you, what your kind of Twitter reputation is, and your tweet rank if you will. And that can have an influence on whether or not the things that you’re talking about or linking to are doing well.

So it’s been interesting to see how we’re evolving from, it’s just that your website might have a reputation to you yourself might have a reputation on a social network.

Matt Cutts: It’s only a matter of time before we see people coming up with triangular follow on Twitter, reciprocal follow and all that kind of stuff.

Danny Sullivan: It would never happen. This is all mythical stuff. It would never happen.

Matt Cutts: Well actually, and we did have a question earlier today, “Is there anything you would like to correct yourself on?” Because we filmed some videos back in May and we said, “Oh no, Twitter is just like any other webpage, FaceBook is just like any other webpage.”

So we made a video earlier today that said hey that’s no longer the case and I think we’ll leave a link to the Search Engine Land article because that is the most comprehensive one.

Danny Sullivan: That would be great and no need to ‘no follow’ that or anything because it’s editorially sufficient, (laughing)

Matt Cutts: (laughing) But no it absolutely is the case that even earlier today someone was asking about if you were a big company and thinking about advanced SEO what would you do? And we were thinking, well optimize for your speed, make sure your CMS is there, make sure you have buy-in and then we were like well also social media marketing because that drives traffic not only links.

Danny Sullivan : The other interesting thing was this change with the online merchants and your reputation as an online merchant independent of your webpage and your PageRank or whatever that Google is taking into account. And that seemed to be a good move in many ways.

Matt Cutts: Well it took a little while that we had to see what was going on and then we have to educate people that it wasn’t just complaints on consumer sites or consumer complaint sites. But it’s definitely the case that if you make a bad reputation for yourself that can follow you around on the web.

So I think more people are going to be thinking about, what is my reputation, how do I show myself in the best possible light? And that’s one area SEO can be really handy to highlight the good things that you do. So I think that will be a trend.

Danny Sullivan: When that happened I saw a lot of people say things like, “Well now everybody is just going to create a bunch of fake reviews, or good reviews and try to push that up.” My assumption had been, that may be one of the signals you might be using, but you would be taking into account a whole variety of other things as well. So it’s not just, “well this person has a bunch of bad reviews, therefore they must be bad.”

Matt Cutts: Absolutely. So what we ended up doing was taking multiple data sources and intersecting them so that if one had a false negative you know the other data source wouldn’t have that false negative. And I think that works relatively well so that if somebody thinks, ‘Oh I’m just going to hurt a competitor. I’m just going to go do a whole bunch of things right here.” Well they are not going to think about all the different ways that we’re looking.

The hopefully good thing is is that the merchants who do not provide a good user experience, our algorithm, it hits over 500 different sites as far as triggering. That’s going to hopefully capture the right sort of sites that people don’t really want to be visiting on the internet at least according to our algorithms.

Danny Sullivan: Great. That’s lot of trends.

Matt Cutts: Yeah, and thanks for stopping by.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.