Google's Matt Cutts: Almost All Penalties Are For Quality Violations

Mar 28, 2014 • 8:10 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google webmaster toolsThe other day, Steve Plunkett asked Matt Cutts of Google, what percentage of penalties/filters are based on violations of Google's Quality Guidelines versus technology issues or bugs on the webmaster side?

Here is Steve's question as he posed it to Matt:

Matt Cutts responded that "almost all for quality violations." Matt added that "violations of tech guidelines typically just result in those pages being pruned" instead.

Here is Matt's tweet:

I don't think this comes to any as a surprise but good to have in writing.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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03/28/2014 03:10 pm

It is good that tech issues don't cause penalties but being pruned in a sense is a penalty. It would be nice if it didn't take Google as long to notice fixes to issues.


03/28/2014 04:14 pm

Problem is if there is a tech penalty often Google can't read the page at all, so it doesn't know if the page has been hacked, redirected to porn e.t.c. The warnings for this kind of error get e-mailed to the webmaster pretty quickly after they have happened.


03/28/2014 05:44 pm

I have always said that whenever Matt used the word Spammers, he actually meant SEOs. But some industry genius were running left and right claiming Black and White. There are no black hat or white hat. Google treats all SEOs the same (as spammers). Google is not going to rest untill they eradicate a field called SEO. I estimate it will take another 8 years for all marketers to get this. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair,

James R. Halloran

03/28/2014 10:01 pm

It would definitely be nice if they gave everyone a heads-up of a certain change before it goes into effectiveness like the government does. But that's a dream, I know.


03/29/2014 01:18 am

Well Google encourages to hire the "The right SEO"... here is what they say... "If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site" For more details , please read


03/29/2014 02:57 am

"Keep your friends close, your enemies closer"

Sweetha Grace

03/29/2014 06:53 am

Why dont they give the notification earlier about the Updates and Penalties??

Durant Imboden

03/29/2014 05:45 pm

Google isn't opposed to SEOs, it's just opposed to SEOs who try to fool the algorithm. The term "SEO" is too broad to be meaningful these days. It encompasses everything from high-end professional companies with technical and editorial skills to bottom-feeding mopes who are still using techniques that they learned from secondhand copies of SEO TRICKS FOR DUMMIES: 1999 Edition. ("Hey, Mr. Client, I just learned about something called 'doorway pages.' They're even easier to use than that cloaking stuff I told you to try last month.")


03/30/2014 07:20 pm

I know its quicker to get results for SEOs to sidestep quality but it always seemed illogical to me when penalties are inevitable eventually.

Stuart David

03/31/2014 08:28 am

Thing is, the results right now are all low quality scraper sites or youtube content videos with relative links. Ironic this got posted when quality appears to be at an all time low

Jitendra Vaswani

04/02/2014 05:10 am

Yeah Durant, agree with you. Spammers who fools google are always hit hard by penalties.


04/02/2014 11:59 am

almost all penalties for google earning reports violations. Google want more quality money and make webmasters to dead in un-quality way.


04/02/2014 12:01 pm

matt cutts not care about his own low quality. him is a big boy and have a big red button. all other is irrelevant.

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