SEO Tip #88: Why Does Google Give SEO Advice?

Matt Cutts: Let me take a step back and sort of rephrase what I think Borislav is trying to ask. I think he is saying, “if everybody has really bad SEO and they can’t rank the way that they want then they have to buy ads and isn’t that a good thing for Google?” I think that’s kind of a short-term view of things and Google tries to take the long-term.

For example, we never showed pop-up ads on Google even though it might have meant a little bit more money up front because we knew it would also annoy users and make them less likely to come back. So I think you are making the mistake, if you’ll let me talk to your personally for a second, but I think you’re thinking all SEO is bad or all SEO is evil.

The fact is there is a lot of white hat SEO that’s really great for webmasters to know. They make their site more accessible so that everybody can find the pages on their site. They make it more clear. It can help with the organization. So there are a lot of reasons to help sites with their SEO so that everybody can benefit.

More to the point I think whenever the web does well Google does well. So we try to give white hat advice. We’re not going to teach you how to cloak. We’re not going to try and show you the best ways to keyword stuff or anything like that. But we do try to give advice to all the webmasters out there who really could use the help and want to use the help in a white hat way.

I think if we help people with all of those problems then the web gets better, more people use the web and Google does well. So I don’t think that it has to be something like, “Oh we help websites rank better and then they don’t need to advertise.” That’s sort of a short sighted view.

We say, “look, we try to help people make the web a better experience, more people will be on the web, they’ll stay on the web longer, they’ll be happier.” And just the halo effect, the reflected effect of all of that is that people will search more and then a few of the times they’ll click on the ads.

So I think we try to take a pretty long-term view of things and I don’t think that it’s smart to say push everybody down so they have to buy ads. That’s not the sort of way we think at Google.

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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.