Welcome to yet another post about Google engineer, Matt Cutts, who is the head of the webspam team, and some of the answers he’s provided to questions recently over on his YouTube channel about SEO. We’re going to talk about three specific topics today.
First, Cutts noted that they are going to begin sending out more detailed messages to webmasters about webspam from now on to make it easier for people to determine how to make their sites better. They’ve recently rolled out a tool that allows them to include more example URLs to help webmasters out and to ensure site’s can actually be improved faster. He was careful to note that there may be more changes soon and it will take some time to ramp up all the way, but it’s a good start.
The second topic addressed had to do with using stock photography on websites. The user wanted to know if using stock photos had a negative impact on site ranking and SEO and if using original photos had a positive effect. Cutts answered this one very quickly by stating no and no. He did note that there was the potential for original photography to improve a site’s ranking in the future, however. Basically, he thought it would be a good idea for determining site quality.
The third and last topic he talked about this time had to do with linking sites together and whether or not linking two sites together that you own on the same topic is bad for SEO. Cutts said that if both sites are about the same topic or visitors to one site would be interested in the other, you should go ahead and do it. He said that the problem happens when somebody links together all 50 of their websites, even if they don’t have similar subject matter. This makes it look like a link network and can result in penalties.
Once again, Cutts’ advice is basically to be smart about how you go about optimizing websites. Lazy tactics won’t work anymore with the webspam filters becoming more and more exacting by the day. Instead of fighting the inevitable, take the time and effort to build a high quality site with good content. Use relevant keywords and you’re certain to see an improvement in PageRank and in your overall SEO efforts when given enough time to work.