Ex-Googler: No More Than Two Commercial Keywords & More

Oct 17, 2012 • 9:14 am | comments (34) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Andre WeyherFormer Googler, Andre Weyher, who worked in the Google Search Quality team for two years, was interviewed by James Norquay and the article is pretty revealing.

I am honestly shocked a former Googler would give up so much information. None of it is really ground breaking but some of it is a bit too much to hear from a Googler or a former Googler, in my opinion. So much so, it makes me feel like he is lying.

For example:

Don't put more than 2 commercial keywords in your titles or Google will frown upon it.

Really? Frown upon it?

Another in regards to detecting spammy links:

The commercial vs. non commercial ratio of the anchors.

Did he say that?

A comment on PR:

Not only this but take PR for example, getting a link from a high PR page used to always be valuable, today it's more the relevance of the site's theme in regards to yours, relevance is the new PR.

Okay, that isn't too bad...

Second, don’t dismiss directories completely. I have heard people talking about directories being altogether bad and advise people to avoid them. This is not the case, good quality, moderated directories, or niche directories are still worth looking in to.

Again, this isn't too bad.

In any event, read the interview and do me a favor, don't confuse what he is saying about Google and what he is saying about his new company. People at WebmasterWorld are taking quotes about his new company and assuming they used that at Google.

I am also surprised by some of the typos in the interview but I guess it was just an email interview?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Hyderali Shaikh

10/17/2012 01:26 pm

He also spoke something about "directories" you didn't include that. Don't dismiss directories they are still valuable (high authorative directories).

Barry Schwartz

10/17/2012 01:28 pm


Chris Beasley

10/17/2012 01:54 pm

Define "Commercial keyword"


10/17/2012 03:00 pm

Why anyone should be shocked that a former Google insider reveals this elemental class information is beyond me. Why should there be cause for amazement? It's not as if he left an order of monks and revealed some secret code.

Vermont Design Works

10/17/2012 05:25 pm


Jaan Kanellis

10/17/2012 09:13 pm

Yes please define: "Commercial" for anchor text/keywords and "frown upon it"


10/17/2012 10:24 pm

LOL Barry you complaining about typos?


10/17/2012 10:25 pm

I agree! People like Barry really need to take their rose colored Google glasses off. Barry you make it sound like he is doing a bad thing? If you ask me he is more sensible than all the ones that keep their mouths shut!

Barry Schwartz

10/17/2012 10:41 pm

I think something is up. Just weird. Sorry for bring honest.

Barry Schwartz

10/17/2012 10:41 pm

Lol. Good point.

Barry Schwartz

10/17/2012 10:41 pm

I think something is up. Just weird. Sorry for bring honest.


10/17/2012 10:44 pm

Ok barry i heard you the first time and you are probably right it is weird! and I don't believe everything he says either. besides the fact that his site will be pounced on so quickly by the EU and shutdown. Others tried what he is doing and when they are slapped with a multi million dollar lawsuit they soon realise that it is more prudent to shut the site down and sneak away quietly.

James Norquay

10/17/2012 11:00 pm

Thank you for posting about the story, it has been quite popular even hit one of my severs yesterday quite hard ;) I find it funny people are complaining about the interview, I did go out of my way to get this information for the search community hoping it could provide some insightful information for the community. Kind Regards, James Norquay

James Norquay

10/17/2012 11:04 pm

Sorry I actually did post this article from my mobile onto WP so the typos were not showing, also in regards to some of the words the spelling may be correct in Australia for specific terms yet in the US these terms are spelt quite different example: Optimization vs Optimisation. Kind Regards, James Norquay

Barry Schwartz

10/17/2012 11:10 pm

Point is. I'm king of typos.


10/17/2012 11:13 pm

It's not so much Barry as it is the overall learned/programmed consensus among people to fall in line with Google's world view. Matt Cutts constantly espouses a kum-ba-ya canard where people will find your content so awesome that they will naturally want to link to you. Well, Mr. Cutts, that's what Facebook is for. As Google would prefer to have it, Facebook would matter far less than Google Plus for validation and while I like the technology of G+, it's like New Coke besting Pepsi in taste tests but people are not going to spend their day doing taste tests. They're going to drink the beverage they like. A full time use of a social platform would necessarily include the participation of peers. That's the drink they like and taste tests of superior technology won't change the real estate of social networks. Faux social? I suspect that G+ active membership would be decimated if people were convinced that there was no SEO value to it- ie. no increase in visibility. Google assumes ownership of the world of search and thereby communication but a quick check of PR of Google vs. Twitter shows you right quickly who owns global dominance of instant communication. Real Estate is about location. Social is too. Google has disassociated its users from the locus of their peers and it's not likely to succeed. Google has simply transferred the same crowds who are trying to influence search over to G+, which they now have to maintain. This is like maintaining a false persona. Sooner or later the psychological pressure to maintain a public self falls flat like Obama on debate night #1. How long before Google loses steam with Plus and has to find new ways to pay for its shiny hardware in data centers? I don't know but I suspect they have risen closer to their level of incompetence. C'mon. At least in an election year, everyone ought to be able to realize that it doesn't pay to believe the hype. Google will have to continue reliance on links or abandon anyone and everyone who cannot afford to create Google's version of a "brand" or they will have to really loosen up what defines a "brand." If they continue to regard the majority of website owners as part of a cesspool, their disdain for the masses will continue to fuel something of a revolution or at least growing antagonism from the filthy masses they want to control, take income from but not share with. If that fails to resonate as true, look at it from Google's perspective. When is the last time you heard Google promoting "Don't be evil?" What is their eye on right now? Revenue and market share. Don't hate them because they're competitive. Just realize that they're not quite as altruistic as Matt would have you believe.


10/18/2012 03:20 am

Lawsuits for what? What's an example of such a site?

Praveen Sharma

10/18/2012 03:53 am

Your service selling keywords.


10/18/2012 04:32 am

http://reverseget.com/ was one and I am pretty sure blekko had to shut theirs down! I actually talked to the reverseget owner as I thought it was a good idea at the time and said he should move it to the USA. He said it doesnt matter where the site is hosted it will be shutdown! The European Union filed lawsuits against them in the USA and in Europe. Blekko does appear to have removed the /adsense tag so it would appear this kind of activity is pounced on by someone.

Chris Lockyer

10/18/2012 08:15 am

But there are heaps of sites that do that. GCoupon, Reverse Internet, SEO Rush and now, NetComber. I can't see how you could ban tracking sites based on public information.


10/18/2012 08:32 am

As far as I can tell SEO rush and Gcoupon will tell you what the adsense ID is on a site. That is no big deal you can do that by viewing source. What Netcomber does is link seperate sites that have analytics and adsense id's. Apparently that is the no no! Anyway this is what I got from talking to the guy who ran reverseget. It was a very successful site alexa rank 10k or something and then got shutdown overnight. This could all be wrong but Blekko no longer offering which makes me think that it is true. The EU privacy laws are insanely strict and they can reach into the USA to litigate.

Chris Lockyer

10/18/2012 09:06 am

Alan, check out http://www.whorush.com/search/analytics:UA-67314 and http://reverseinternet.com/adsense/1398480499397022

Chris Lockyer

10/18/2012 09:07 am

How do they reach into the USA to litigate?

Chris Lockyer

10/18/2012 09:09 am

Equivalent to NetComber's http://netcomber.com/accounts/Google-Analytics%7Cgoogle-analytics!com%7C1652766%7C15

Chris Lockyer

10/18/2012 09:11 am

NetComber just looks to me like what's already out there, but on steroids. (thousands of indicators, rather than a few dozen)


10/18/2012 09:41 am

A free trade thing apparently. USA signed up to it so companies like Microsoft could go after pirates in Greece etc! So it apparently goes both ways.


10/18/2012 09:44 am

Whorush in Russia and they don't give a $%^& what the EU want (netcomber hosted in the USA). As for reverseinternet not sure. Maybe they haven't hit the radar yet.

Chris Lockyer

10/18/2012 10:33 am

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/reverseget.com# Try putting in reverseinternet.com here. You can see reverseinternet has been around for longer and gets far more traffic than reverseget.

Mike Kalil

10/18/2012 01:53 pm

Nothing really new here: Don't spam out your meta titles, get links from relevant sites, even if they're legit directories, keep your anchor text natural-looking.


10/18/2012 08:37 pm

i start thinking now what google is some catalog now. Manually reviewed/brand sites gets almost all traffic, everybody else - just remains.


10/18/2012 08:41 pm

have cpc >0.2$ in adwords


10/24/2012 08:58 am

I think most of this is bull@@%$. Let me tell you why. First of all I am 100% this guy has signed a contract with Google to reveal nothing even 10 years after he has quite his job there. Second all he is talking about tells us that if someone wants to screw with your website he can easily do so by blasting it with spam links.

Tim Rice

10/24/2012 11:34 am

How did you read that out of the interview???

Matt Buys

10/24/2012 07:17 pm

It's nice to get the tiniest glimpse behind the curtain. These comments are hardly groundbreaking, but the final quote validates the opinion that directories are still relevant. There are plenty of SEOs who say the opposite. Thanks for calling attention to this interview.

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