SEO Quotes of the Month – July 2012


Infographics were the hot topic of the month following some interesting comments made by Matt Cutts in an interview with Eric Enge. There was more information released about unnatural link alert messages via Cutts's Google+ page and Rich Skrenta, CEO of Blekko, introduced us all to their social offering, ROCKZi.

Matt Cutts on infographic links

In a July interview with Eric Enge (The Art Of SEO co -author, Stone Temple Consulting founder), Matt Cutts discussed the potential of Google discounting the value of links generated via the medium of infographics [source],

“In principle, there’s nothing wrong with the concept of an infographic. What concerns me is the types of things that people are doing with them. They get far off topic, or the fact checking is really poor. The infographic may be neat, but if the information it’s based on is simply wrong, then it’s misleading people.”

“I would not be surprised if at some point in the future we did not start to discount these infographic-type links to a degree. The link is often embedded in the infographic in a way that people don’t realize, vs. a true endorsement of your site.”

Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “I agree that Matt Cutts has a point: in SEO these link building trends come around as a direct response to significant algorithm changes, such as Penguin. People are always searching for the next ‘quick win’ and this has unfortunately lent itself to people churning out infographics with little substance.  However, how likely is it that he is exposed to quality infographics on a regular basis as Head of the Web Spam team? While there are inevitably going to be low quality infographics out there - as with any content type - discounting infographic links altogether seems like the nuclear option and would hurt quality infographics that are actually improving people's web experience.”

Search Engine Market Share – June 2012

Released in July, within the June 2012 market share report from Chitika, they predicted [source],

“With Bing on the rise and Yahoo in decline, expect to see Bing emerge as the second most frequented search engine in the near future.”

Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “It’s really no surprise to see Yahoo! in decline for the tenth consecutive month. Bing has now had 26 months of flat or rising market share and has impressed with its relentless attempts at offering an interesting, alternative approach to search. From my observations, the SEO community is certainly taking more notice of Bing’s movements in search than ever before. For me, there’s also the distinct feeling that rather than being a direct rival of Google’s, Bing is positioning itself in a slightly different light. Where that’s going to lead to, I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that as traffic to our sites from Bing continues to rise, naturally our interests in its search experience will too.”

Search engine Blekko launch social platform ROCKZi

Launching their new social offering, ROCKZi, Blekko CEO ,Rich Skrenta, stated [source],

ROCKZi’s great content, its state of the art design, and its very intuitive, low touch set of tools, creates a social platform that brings curation to the masses.”

Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “As an SEO you can’t take your eye off of what’s happening in the social world. It’s imperative that you stay up to date with the latest social platforms and how they integrate with your search campaigns. The line between social and search has never been as thin, in fact, it’s disappeared. Blekko has openly said it will use ROCKZi social signals as a way of contributing towards the assessment of quality content in their search engine. As for ROCKZi as a platform, I’m not hugely convinced this offers anything exciting to social or search, it looks and feels a little like Pinterest for bloggers. But it’s still in its infancy and with Blekko’s roots in search it’s a platform I’ll certainly be monitoring."

Yahoo! reaches 300 million questions

Over on the Yahoo! answers blog, they were celebrating the 300 million questions that have been asked on its platform since launch. Here’s a particularly interesting snippet from that post [source],

“On average, 2 questions are being asked and 6 answered per second. So this means there’s an astonishing 7,000 questions and an incredible 21,000 answers per hour. Wow!”

Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “Yahoo! answers is an interesting platform for the SEO community. Some want to find ways of exploiting it for backlinks; others look to it as a source of information for blog posts and other content creation and some might want to use the API in order to pull through user generated content for their sites. Regardless of the industry you are in, it’s a great platform for diving into your communities and find out the questions that are really being asked. With statistics like this, it really is worthwhile building up your profile on Yahoo! answers and positioning yourself as an authority figure within a particular niche. You can then use this profile to leverage the likelihood of people clicking through to the links that you post or just to raise awareness of your brand. For the time-conscious SEO community, building and maintaining a profile and being able to assess and justify the impact of this on their SEO campaigns can be difficult.”

Matt Cutts says we can ignore unnatural link warnings, sometimes

On 27 July Matt Cutts made the whole unnatural link message situation a little more interesting by posting the following on his Google+ page [source],

"If you received a message yesterday about unnatural links to your site, don’t panic. In the past, these messages were sent when we took action on a site as a whole.

"Yesterday, we took another step towards more transparency and began sending messages when we distrust some individual links to a site. While it’s possible for this to indicate potential spammy activity by the site, it can also have innocent reasons. For example, we may take this kind of targeted action to distrust hacked links pointing to an innocent site.

"The innocent site will get the message as we move towards more transparency, but it’s not necessarily something that you automatically need to worry about."

Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “Okay so we’re one step further in this whole transparency game, but does the information above really help the webmaster? Without a clear indication whether the warning was for 'innocent reasons' or not, the statement from Cutts has left me head-scratching a little bit. If, as a webmaster, I got one of these messages tomorrow, and I had no real understanding of SEO, I’d have no idea what to do. Also Cutts mentions that if you see a drop in traffic, it’s as a likely result of a manual penalty, but what happens if you feel you are an ‘innocent site’,  take no action and then suffer as a result of doing nothing? It would be nice to see Google go a bit further down the transparency route.”

Broken Domain Crowding Message To Matt Cutts

Yousaf Sekander from got Matt Cutts’s attention with a blog post providing examples of the domain diversity update having almost the reverse effect on the SERPs [source].  In a Tweet to Matt Cutts, Yousaf simply said,

“In case you missed it earlier -> Dear @mattcutts, Domain Crowding is shockingly broken...”

Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “I’m really pleased this has got on Google's radar. The domain diversity update has seemingly had the opposite effect for many searches and my colleagues have been sharing numerous examples similar to what Yousaf has described over the last few months. It wouldn’t surprise me if they roll this back, quietly in the background, and add a new and improved version to a future ‘search quality updates’ blog post.”