Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, has released another video in which he addresses some common misconceptions amongst the broader SEO community. In response to questions regarding the SEO industry’s understanding of Google’s updates and the collective focus of the search industry’s optimisation efforts, Cutts offered the following;

Algorithm Updates & Data Refreshes

According to Cutts, many SEOs often confuse algorithm updates and data refreshes, when they are in fact two distinct events. An algorithm update, such as the latest Penguin 2.0 release, refers to a change in the methodology used to rank, index and filter search results. A data refresh, on the other hand, is merely an adjustment of the source from which the algorithm pulls its data.

Updates Aren’t Just Google Boosting Revenue

Cutts then took the opportunity to address some conspiracy theories surrounding Google’s motivations for unleashing the ferocious Penguin and Panda updates. Some have suggested that the large players who were dethroned by these updates, had no choice but to invest heavily in paid search whilst they undertook the arduous tasks of cleaning up their backlink profiles and producing unique content.

However, Cutts debunks these claims, referring to a past earning report which suggested that the Panda update actually impacted Google’s revenue through the penalisation of low-quality sites that monetised purely through Adsense. He then goes on to reinforce Google’s long-term commitment to create a quality product for its users, which will be far more profitable than any short-term revenue gains may be.

Focus on User Experience Rather Than Just Search Engines

Finally, Cutts suggests that SEOs place a disproportionate amount of focus on link building and search engines rather than user experience. He goes on to suggest that SEOs should also spread their time across other areas such as social media in order to build brand awareness of their sites and generate organic traffic.

Here at Search Factory we employ a diverse approach to SEO, in keeping with Matt’s guidelines, whilst still retaining a strong focus on onsite optimisation & acquiring high quality authoritative links.