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March 31, 2006

Matt Says, Part II: Matt Answers Your Questions

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Matt Cutts, chief Google search engineer and one of my favorite boys named Matt, offered up a long Q and A session in his blog this week. Faithful readers were able to ask Matt questions via a Grab Bag thread and Matt provided answers to the questions he felt would help the most readers. The post touched on some of the most long-held Google questions, such as insights into Bigdaddy, the supplemental index, the RK value and his beloved Emmy.

First up, Matt answers the question on everyone’s mind: Is Bigdaddy fully deployed? Matt says yes! This means site owners should start to see less crawling by the older Googlebot (Googlebot/2.1 [+http://www.google.com/bot.html]) and more crawling by the new Mozilla Google (User-Agent Mozilla/5.0 [compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html]).

What is Bigdaddy’s intention? Matt can’t say in the long term, but in the next few months Matt says users can expect to see ‘refreshing in the supplemental index’ and ‘potentially different PageRanks’.

Speaking of the supplemental index, if you’re one of the many site owners who found themselves stranded in this inferior index, don’t fret, your torment is almost over. Matt comments site owners should start seeing some relief very soon, so if your still site isn’t showing up, sit tight.

For those questioning why their sites aren’t being crawled as thoroughly as they’d like, Matt says it may have something to do with your link quality. “In general, getting good quality links would probably help us know to crawl your site more deeply,” says Matt. How long has Bruce Clay, Inc. been saying that?

And in cause you were wondering, Matt says don’t expect to see the RK parameter ever again. Matt says the parameter that used to be visible when using the Google toolbar is not likely to ever have a non-zero value again.

Next up: Is datacenter 64.233.185.104 made up of newly spidered data? “That wouldn’t surprise me. As Bigdaddy cools down, that frees us up to do new/other things,” says Matt, hinting that the datacenter may be a Google testing ground. Ooo!

Perhaps the most important tidbit for users: When selling links or including bought links on your site, Matt advises marking them with a nofollow tag. Not doing so can negatively affect your reputation in Google.

Overall, the Q & A thread offers some very valuable insights into the world of Google. If you haven’t already, I definitely recommend you head over there and give it a look. And if you want to see Matt in person (and don’t we all) he’ll be making an appearance at the Boston Pubcon on April 18-20th and SES San Jose from August 7-10th.

And for those interested, no, Matt’s kitty Emmy did not accompany him on his recent trip to San Francisco. She’s strictly an indoor kitty. Poor Emmy.

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