Is Matt Cutts just goofing around or is he really trying to scare us?
The statement in the title of this article, from Matt Cutts, has the SEO world looking for further information as to just how bad the next Penguin update will be.
During the SES in San Francisco this week Matt Cutts got a chance to speak about updates and how they will effect SEOs. One of the things he was quoted as saying really caught my eye:
You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard…
Mr.Cutts has recently eaten some words, retracting his statement that “too much SEO is a bad thing“, and explaining that good SEO is still good.
Even with attendees saying that he spoke the words with no signs of ominous intent, how do you expect the SEO world to take follow up statements like:
The updates are going the be jarring and julting for a while.
That’s just not positive sounding at all and it almost has the tone of admission that the next updates are perhaps going to be ‘too much’ even in Matt’s opinion, and he’s one of Google’s top engineers!
My take is that if you are doing anything even slightly shady, you’re about to see some massive ranking spanking.
Reciprocal links, excessive directories, participating in back-link cliques/neighborhoods, pointless press releases, redundant article syndication, duplicate content without authorship markup, poorly configured CMS parameters, etc.. These are all likely to be things, in my opinion, that will burn overly SEO’d sites in the next update.
The discussion also made it’s way to the issues with Twitter data feeds. Essentially since Google and Twitter no longer have an agreement, Google is effectively ‘blocked’ from crawling Twitter.
On the topic of Twitter crawling Matt Cutts was quoted as saying:
..we can do it relatively well, but if we could crawl Twitter in the full way we can, their infastructure[sic] wouldn’t be able to handle it
Which to me seems odd, since I don’t see any other sites complaining about how much load Google is placing on their infrastructure?
Clearly the issue is still political/strategic and neither side is looking to point fingers.
With Twitter’s social media relevance diminished you’d think +1’s would be a focus point but Matt Cutts also commented on the situation stating that we shouldn’t place much value on +1 stats for now.
A final point was made about Knowledge Graph, the new information panel that’s appearing on certain search terms.
Since the Google Search Quality team is now the Google Knowledge Graph team Matt Cutts had some great answers on the topic of Knowledge Graph, including the data sources and harm to Wikipedia.
There had been a lot of cursing about Google simply abusing Wikipedia’s bandwidth/resources but it was made clear during the session that Wikipedia is not traffic dependent because they don’t use ads for revenue.
Essentially, if Wikipedia’s data is getting better utilized, and they haven’t had to do anything to make it happen, they are happy.
If you wanted to get more details there’s lots of #SESSF hashed posts on Twitter and plenty of articles coming from the attendees.
I’m personally going to go start working on a moat for this Penguin problem..