SEOs Chew On Wired's Interview With Cutts & Singhal On Farmer Update

Mar 4, 2011 • 8:39 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Panda UpdateAs you know, Google's Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal were interviewed by Wired about the Farmer, oops, Panda update.

The interview isn't very long but it gives SEOs and Webmasters something to chew on.

A WebmasterWorld thread is analyzing every word and phrase from the interview. Here are some key quotes pulled out by members:

...we used our standard evaluation system that we've developed, where we basically sent out documents to outside testers. Then we asked the raters questions like: "Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?"

There was an engineer who came up with a rigorous set of questions, everything from. "Do you consider this site to be authoritative? Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? Does this site have excessive ads?"

...we actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. And you can really see mathematical reasons.

you look for signals that recreate that same intuition, that same experience that you have as an engineer and that users have. Whenever we look at the most blocked sites, it did match our intuition and experience, but the key is, you also have your experience of the sorts of sites that are going to be adding value for users versus not adding value for users.

What was your favorite and most insightful quote?

Tedster summed his thoughts up saying, "I like this article because it gives more insight into the process Google follows in going from a human idea to developing an algorithmic system - and then doing QA on the final result, too."

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Sean Skipton

03/04/2011 05:05 pm

One problem here is that the question "what defines quality?" cannot be defined entirely scientifically (didn't Robert Pirsig write a novel on this very question?!). There's bound to be a subjective judgement - and Matt Cutts in that interview underlines this when he says "when people come to Google, what they're asking for is editorial control." There must be better ways of classifying websites and enabling easier search. For instance, adapting methods used to classify books and movies for a start, and / or by business or function.

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