Everybody knows that Google and other search engines’ algorithms are their highly guarded secret. Of course this is to prevent people from gaining knowledge about their algorithm and to subsequently abuse such in order to make a website rank higher in the search engines’ result page ranking. However, from time to time SEO companies learn from the engineers of search engine companies on what they consider as ranking signals or what might search engine optimisation professionals should expect in the coming algorithm changes.

Who is Matt Cutts?

Matt Cutts is the head of the Webspam Team at Google and he has stepped on the spotlight being one of Google’s ambassador to Search engine optimisation professionals explaining Google’s side on things regarding search. Recently, Matt Cutts gave a keynote in Day 2 of the SES in San Francisco and he was able to share some insights regarding Google’s search algorithm and about Google’s stand on SEO.

Insights from Matt Cutts

Matt emphasised Google’s goal of giving accurate and relevant data back to the search engine user based on the keywords entered. This is why several algorithm changes such as Panda and Penguin have been implemented. When asked if links will slowly be phased out as a ranking factor for Google, Matt assured that links will not be ignored when processing rankings for the search engine results page.

Social Media as Ranking Signals

According to a lot of SEO consultants social media have become a significant ranking signal for Google, this may be true however there are several other truths that was revealed. Google does not have the ability to fully crawl Facebook as users are able to change their privacy settings. Twitter on the other hand is also uncrawlable by Google, which means the number of followers or tweets could not be accurately measure to make it a ranking factor. However, nothing was said about Google’s own social media platform, G+. We can therefore speculate that Google may be utilising G+ posts, followers, circles among others as social signals that may influence search rankings of your website.

Google Hating SEO

Time and time again the question whether Google hates SEO is being put in the spotlight, maybe because of the algorithm updates that tends to target the creative works of some SEO consultants. It was made clear by Matt Cutts that Google does not hate SEO. In fact SEO is helping Google achieve the goals of their search engine and that is to deliver accurate and relevant results, the goal of SEO is to optimise sites in order for them to be easily crawled by search engine spiders and to increase their speed loading time for better user experience and of course to incorporate quality and informative content for the users or visitors. The only time Google would have an issue with SEO is when black hat methods are implemented like making comment spam links, creating spammy links from link farms, incorporating low quality content, buying links and even stuffing content with keywords.