Here are my key takeaways from Matt Cutts SMX Seattle Q&A:
1. Google Caffeine moves indexing closer to real time
Matt Cutts discussed the Google Caffeine upgrade which just went fully live today. He explained that the important thing to know is that it decreases the time from crawling to indexation. This will help improve the freshness of results, which is especially useful when important news happens. Cutts gave the example of 9-11, which demonstrated how slow indexing can be problematic.
2. Google Caffeine will allow more metadata to be attached to pages in the index
Matt Cutts said that Caffeine will allow more metadata to be attached to pages, but he didn’t specify what kind of metadata except that it wouldn’t be meta keywords. He described how a Tweet of 140 characters can have a ton of metadata. It will be interesting to see what Google plans to do with this new metadata.
3. Google plans to crack down on content farming
Cutts told a story about how he searched for converting an FLV file and was directed to a how to article that gave really useless step by step directions (Danny Sullivan guessed this was eHow). He said that Google is working on improving search quality to remove content that isn’t spam but is poor quality for users.
4. Google plans to crack down on link buying
Cutts mentioned that Google is working on automated fixes for paid links and said that this would be done with a scalpel rather than a bomb. He said they have some “fun” things planned for paid links.
5. Bounce rate not a part of the ranking algorithm
Matt Cutts said that, to the best of his knowledge, bounce rate is not part of the ranking algorithm. This makes sense because otherwise you could pay a bunch of people to click on your competitors search results and leave right away.
Photo by Bruce Clay Inc