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March 23, 2006

Matt Says

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Matt Cutts was in rare form late last night, knocking out four articles in a one hour span. Matt managed to crank out articles on Google’s supplemental index issues, doorway pages, the forthcoming Bigdaddy and gave props to plucky Jeremy Zawodny. Easy man, take a break!

First on Matt’s list was the issue of Google’s supplemental index, an issue that has been all over the WebmasterWorld forums lately and has had site owners up in arms for weeks. The supplemental index is Google’s auxiliary index. The engine will only use this index if they are unable to find relevant results in the main index. Normally, this means your site will never show up in the results page for normal queries. It’s also often a sign that pages are dropping out of the index altogether. You can understand why site owners were infuriated.

Matt (and GoogleGuy) says they have analyzed a variety of different sites and have figured out what was causing the glitch. What was causing the glitch? Matt says, in Bigdaddy, if your site is not crawled as much as the main index, it may result in your pages showing up in the supplemental index. Site owners who found themselves stuck in the supplemental index should start to see a full recovery. If you’re not out yet – hang in there. Matt says you should be out within the next week.

Next up – prepare for Bigdaddy! With the supplemental index issues under control, Matt says there are just 1-2 data centers left in the big Bigdaddy switchover. Bigdaddy is a ‘software upgrade to Google’s infrastructure’ that will provide the foundation for a lot of improvements to Google’s search quality in the coming months. Matt says improvements will include smarter redirect handling and improved canonicalization. We can’t wait.

A quick advisory note from Matt: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Matt says, if someone offers to give you money to rent subdomains, subdirectories or pages from you, say no. If you agree to host their pages and they find themselves creating spamming pages, you may be penalized as well. Remember kids; just say no to doorway pages.

And finally at 12:36 this morning, Matt stopped to give props to Jeremy for calling out Yahoo! on their ‘lack of leadership’ and ‘a serious lack of vision’ in a post entitled, ‘Why Google Finance Makes Me Sad”. Jeremy posted a heartfelt entry expressing his sadness, publicly calling out Yahoo! and offering suggestions for improvement.

“As a company, we need to get better about facing this stuff, dealing with it, and get back to kicking ass. But I have no idea how to make that happen. Maybe this will result in some useful discussion somewhere.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. All hope is not lost. Unlike a small number of Google product launches, this one didn’t blow the doors off. It’s no Gmail or Google Maps. Yahoo! Finance isn’t out of the game. But I sure as hell hope this is a wake-up call!”

Aww, Jeremy. We love it when you tell it like it is.

Thanks for the updates, Matt. Now someone go and take away that man’s laptop.





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