Google, Matt Cutts & Sp@m

For those of you who are hoping from the title that I’m about to launch into a rant of some new found sp@m Google’s been caught for or something Matt has said on how to detect it I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. In fact today we’ll be covering three topics. The topics are … well …

Google today announced that they will be putting tens of millions of dollars towards the creation of a renewable energy source (read: green-friendly) that is cheaper to manufacture than coal. This development would be a huge move forward for the environment and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as coal power is responsible for 40% of those emissions.

When I first received the press release I had a mixed response. Of course I’m happy to see any actions that stand to have a positive impact on our planet and I’m more happy when it’s an efficient corporation that’s leading the way as opposed to governmental body that may or may not run efficiently and has little in the way of accountability. On the other side, I have to roll my eyes a bit whenever I see a large company jump on the green bandwagon for some good press. But there were two things that make this different.

First, I have to hand it to Google – they’ve got a great track record of environmental initiatives. It’s not like this is the first such move they’ve taken. They’ve greened their plex, they’ve invested in green initiatives in the past, and I have to say – I actually believe that they have an interest in the subject past a little lip service.

Secondly, it’s not all about good will. While I do believe that the environment is of some interest to Google – I’m not convinced they’d drop tens of millions on it “just for fun” nor do I think the shareholders who be too happy if they did. Then I got down to this part:

“If we meet this goal,” said Page, “and large-scale renewable deployments are cheaper than coal, the world will have the option to meet a substantial portion of electricity needs from renewable sources and significantly reduce carbon emissions. We expect this would be a good business for us as well.”

Let’s call a spade a spade, this is good business. Be the first to launch a cheaper alternative to coal that is socially preferred. Yeah, there just might be a market for that. 🙂

I also have a hunch that getting on the publics‘ good side when you’re making purchases that the government (those pesky people) keep taking you to court for competition issues (or rather, the lack of competition issues) might be a secondary motivation.

Matt Cutts
Matt made a great video yesterday of snippits (the components of the SERPs). Since getting sitelinks next to our listing for a couple phrases I’ve become more and more curious as to how they’re generated. I had my theories but recently I’ve started seeing instances of sites getting them that fall outside the criteria I believed were responsible (including our own). Bill Slawski did a good post a while ago on them here if you want to read a great introduction and summary of what the patents have to say. And so I watched carefully and I have to say, Matt gives some great advice but I got more information on how to get the links from Bill and some research than I did from Matt. 🙂

But the video is great, he has some conversion tips and even some SEO advice he passed on to Starbucks. 🙂

Here’s the video:

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And Sp@m
And now back to Bill’s site. Bill Slawski has a great post on a recently granted Google patent on how they detect sp@m. A great read. It illustrates much of what we’ve seen over the past couple years and some obvious areas where they still need to improve. It’s a longer read but well worth it. You’ll find it at

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