Posted December 4, 2006 10:08 am by with 7 comments

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Matt Cutts is a great guy, which is what makes him so valuable to Google. Until he came along, search marketers had to rely on pure guesswork and speculation. While we still have to use guesswork and speculation, Matt does a great job of filling-in the blanks.

Take this recent post, for example, where Matt explains how Google detected spam on a page, removed it from the index, and tried to contact the site owners to let them know.

I love the transparency from Google, but it’s a shame that it’s not consistent. Matt, how long before we get to the point that EVERY web site owner is contacted when a site is penalized?

  • Why should they notify EVERY webmaster? I think that in many cases where they ban a site, it’s obvious that the webmaster knew exactly what they were doing and understood the risk involved. Why would Google bother sending notices to the hardcore blackhats?

  • If the blackhats know they’re playing with fire, they’ll have an understanding already of what they did that got them booted. Alerting them, won’t change that.

    It’s like those people that get concerned with CNN explains how a terrorist could build a bomb – some people freak out that CNN just gave the terrosist a blueprint – but the terrorists already know how to do it.

    The vast majority of sites that are kicked-out, never had a clue they were doing something that was a no-no. Remember, not everyone knows what Google’s guidelines are.

  • I would argue more that why should Google expend the effort rather than if it would be telling them something they didn’t already know. And, I do doubt that what you say about the “majority” of sites getting kicked out had no clue. No way either of us could prove either way, so no sense arguing that.

  • You’re right Peter, no way to tell. Although even in Matt’s example, he used a site where the site owner didn’t know.

  • Did you expect anything different than that from Matt?

  • DazzlinDonna

    And it’s not just penalties and bans that should be dealt with, but other types of problems as well. For instance, I recently had a site lose all its rankings because of a canonical issue (one link pointing index.cfm instead of the root). Luckily, I was able to figure out that this was the problem, find the link, and fix it. It still took several weeks for Google to return my rankings, however. If I were an ordinary webmaster, and not aware of canonical issues, I might never have caught this. Webmaster Console didn’t tell me. I didn’t receive any emails. Clearly, this is the kind of thing that would benefit webmasters, since it obviously has nothing to do with spamming or intentional shenanigans.

  • just for the record: matt cutts stinks.