Marketing Madness

Matt Cutts: Figure Out Your Own Issues

Ever since the Penguin 2.0 update from Google there have been thousands of site owners who have been struggling to figure out why their site isn’t ranking well.  Going through potentially tens of thousands of links to find which ones are causing problems can be difficult, and a great number of them have been reaching out to Google for assistance.  This was addressed by Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts in a video.

Matt reports that while his team has given some guidance about how to get rid of ‘bad links’ and how to discover which links are of low quality, he is largely telling the site owners to do their own leg work.  He says that publishers will have to do their own research to discover what it is that is causing their sites to drop in the SERPs.

He states, “We’re working on becoming more transparent and giving more examples with messages as we can.” This essentially means that beyond the automated messages some site owners have, and will continue to receive, they don’t have any other information to give.  Matt goes on to say, “I wouldn’t try to say ‘Hey, give me more examples’ in a reconsideration request.”

Matt recommends that people go through their own link profile using tools like Google’s own Webmaster Tools and attempt to find which links are coming from low-quality sites.  It is also a good idea to work together with other webmasters or SEO experts to help get more information about what could be causing a site to be de-listed or drop in the SERPs.

Of course, the best thing any site owner can do is to only follow approved SEO techniques, but even then competitor sites could build negative links back to your site.  This is a difficult subject to address for many site owners, and after these latest statements from Cutts it seems like Google isn’t going to be doing much to help.

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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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  1. The problem might be that some competitor has put those bad links there to bring you down in rankings. This problem is really hard to address today since Google does not provide much information.

    1. I agree. Negative SEO tactics might be the biggest problem for small to medium sized sites in the future. As Google continues to punish black hat techniques more and more they will have to eventually find a way to protect honest marketers who are victims of negative SEO attacks.

  2. Hi Michael,

    1. I agree with Matt Cutts when he says “do your own research”. I think this is still a field where most people wander in a dense fogg. More reliable tools are needed and Google should improve their existing tools or create new ones.

    2. Negative SEO.
    What a scary and disgusting thing. There are people on the net who claim that is very easy to take down a site from page 1 to the bottom with negative SEO. It just takes a few weeks of work.
    If this matter is not properly handed by institutions, companies and Law, it will generate a disaster and an army of frustrated and enraged people.
    How true are the negative SEO claims? How easy is to eliminate a competitor site by doing this? I think more article on this topic are needed.

    Have a nice day

    1. I think negative SEO is a significant problem for newer and smaller sites which don’t have the strong reputation with Google.

      Negative SEO does work though, and to make it worse it can be done with automated tools so the person ‘attacking’ the site really doesn’t even have to spend too much time actually working at it.

      I will try to see if there have been any authoritative studies or reports on the topic and write about it in the future.



  3. it’d be great if they would stop screwing with us site owners.

    for years they said links links links….. so thats what we did… build links.

    then they say all that stuff we told you to do is now bad…. and it will now hurt your site.

    i mean…. c’mon!

    one second its good, now its the kiss of death?

  4. I think it is all about engagement than just building links. There must be relevance to why such links are made. However, there are cases that bad link to the site are beyond the webmaster’s control.

What's your opinion?

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