How Google Decides When To Debunk SEO Nonsense

Jun 1, 2011 • 8:37 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

As you can imagine, Google spends too much time debunking false and misunderstood information on how Google works. We covered one this morning on email marketing's effect on rankings. To be honest, we have posted some things in the seven plus years on writing on search that Google was upset with. It happens, Google has a PR team to deal with it and Matt Cutts, amongst other Google engineers, are frequently debunking false information.

Danny Sullivan put together an outstanding chart named The Matt Cutts Debunking Flowchart. It is a somewhat humorous but sometimes true flowchart of how Matt and his team decide when to debunk this information. From conspiracy theories to just wrong information, to making Google look better when they really are somewhat wrong. The large flowchart is at Search Engine Land, but here is a smaller sized version.

Google's Matt Cutts Debunk Flowchart By Danny Sullivan

So what were some of the recent debunking Google has done? Matt Cutts posted them at HackerNews:

  • Claiming that your email newsletter's Gmail reputation affects your ranking: I did a full debunk here:
  • Claiming that Hacker News was penalized by Panda: I did a full debunk here:
  • There was an SEO blog that had a headline "Google Copying Bing's Image Results? Google Cheating Bing?" at when in fact it was just images on and Bing neglected to have a robots.txt file. We have a policy against search results in search results, so we were happy to remove the images in less than a day. The SEO blogger changed the headline to be less sensational.
  • Oh, one more debunk: The webspam team continues to take manual action to remove spam in the same way that we have for the last decade.
  • Those are the four debunks that come to mind from the last week or so. Sigh.

Of course I take a little issue with my story but I won't argue here.

The chart is fun and I can totally relate to this on a much smaller scale.

Forum discussion at Sphinn and HackerNews.

Previous story: Directions Now Cost Money In Google AdWords



06/01/2011 02:30 pm

Brilliant and to the Point Barry, Matt Cutts the Head of Anti Spam (or is that PR) at Google, but come on now don't we all work in pretty much the same way ;-) Note to self must create more flow charts.

Nick Stamoulis

06/01/2011 02:39 pm

Nothing like a great flowchart to start my morning. I think every major company has their own "debunking" squad ready to go. The Internet is the perfect breeding ground for rumors and speculations. You have to be ready to quash any fires the moment they pop up.

Water Ionizers

06/01/2011 06:01 pm

Great and to the point debunking chart! It's very important to have some type of debunking strategy and this one seems to be a logical flowchart that I'm sure many companies can emulate. Thanks for the humor too!

Thrasheri from Tabata timer

06/01/2011 10:39 pm

Haha that flowchart was so true :), but when you think it in the googles perspective its kind of hard to find a good solution.

Laura Thieme

06/02/2011 01:28 am

This is awesome! I love it.  I'm going to apply it to other things as well.

Sameer Khan

06/02/2011 01:02 pm

Just nice one. At first it was confusing, after reading its clear.. :)


06/02/2011 04:14 pm

There's an old truism: many a true word spoken in jest. That flowchart may be a bit of fun but I bet it's not far from the truth. I particularly like 'Does Bing do it too? - Yes - Say no big whoop, everyone does it'. Genius.

Buzzlair Voufincci

06/29/2011 06:04 am

I am not sure if this is applicable to my business. But i think its smart. And funny too.

blog comments powered by Disqus