On August 15th, Matt Cutts, Danny Sullivan, Brett Tabke and Mike Grehan joined each other on stage at a SES San Francisco to discuss Google’s Penguin, algorithms, and more.
Many questions were asked to Matt Cutts from the other three and the audience. Let’s take a look at those questions and the answers. I believe you will find them very interesting.
Of course the knowledge graph was brought up, it being the newest change Google has made to its search engine.
Matt recaps this feature briefly and mentions that the purpose of the knowledge graph is to give searchers quick access to stats, facts, pictures and relations all on one page. This will make research faster and easier.
A concern about the copyrights were brought up but Matt explained that facts about anything are not copyrighted.
Why the names Panda and Penguin?
Panda was used originally because that is the last name of the head engineer who worked on that new algorithm. Penguin was chosen because they wanted to keep an animal theme so they researched the top one hundred cutest animals and decided on a penguin. The fact that they are both black and white creatures was actually a coincidence but may decide to use the trending theme for future algorithms.
Google is not a fan of Social Signals
Google doesn’t like to depend on social signals to determine page rank. Cutts says they do a decent job determining how many times a page is shared, liked or tweeted but Twitter and Facebook themselves are uncrawlable because of users setting their profiles to private.
Google doesn’t hate SEO
They hate spam. Link building and key word usage are great but there is a problem when you start purchasing links and key word stuffing. Google’s aim is for the user to have a better experience and so the results will be more dependent on content quality.
What to fix
A lot of times webmaster get penalized but they don’t know why. Cutts says they are turning up the knob on transparency and their goal is to inform webmasters why they are being docked in rankings so they can better fix it.
For awhile now they have been shooting in the dark trying to see what went wrong, this new change should help webmasters be on the same page as Google.
Though Google is becoming more transparent, they will not be publishing their algorithms.