It’s that time once again where we look at some recent questions and answers offered up by head Google engineer, Matt Cutts. As the resident SEO expert, he provides detailed answers to people all over the world about how they can make their sites rank higher in the search engine.
First of all, a user asked how much PageRank dissipates when you use a 301 redirect. People have started using 301s thinking they will preserve more PageRank for their sites than using regular links. However, Cutts quickly asserts that 301s and links carry the same weight so it’s always best to just use what makes the most sense for your purposes.
The second question Cutts answered had to do with backlinks. A user asked why some sites with poor quality backlinks still manage to rank high for certain keywords. Cutts asserted that it may just be a case where the algorithm hasn’t gotten good enough yet to catch everything. It may also be that the links the user saw weren’t the entire picture of the site. That is, the site might have had some great backlinks that the user missed, giving the false impression that the site was filled with SEO spam.
The third and final question we’re going to talk about today has to do with sites that have a link from sites that are found out to be link sellers. So, if a site is found to be selling links, all outgoing links from that site will no longer be trusted. The site itself is penalized and a significant percentage of its PageRank goes away. However, if you just so happen to have a link from this site, you won’t be penalized. Whatever PageRank boost you got from that link will go away, but you won’t suffer any sort of massive penalty like the selling site did.
SEO can be tricky business, especially if you’re not 100% sure about some of the details. Thankfully, Matt Cutts takes time out from his busy schedule to answer webmaster questions and bring some of the more complex information about how to get your site to rank on Google to light.
Most people learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t work. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the SEO advice offered by Cutts and get plenty of practice with site optimization. It’s always changing, so staying up to date is a must!