Saturday, 1 March 2014

Matt Cutts Speaks Out at Pubcon 2013 Moonshot, Core Search quality Changes and the Future

At Pubcon 2013 at Las Vegas Matt Cutts talked about the track Google has been taking to improve user experience.

“Moonshot” Changes

The search engine giant has made some, what he termed, “moonshot” changes that deal with the following: 
  • The Knowledge Graph has enabled Google to comprehend entities in the World Wide Web rather than only searches. It has helped make the search engine more knowledgeable and smart and identify things rather than “strings”, according to Cutts.
  • The Knowledge Graph has proved pivotal in the Hummingbird algorithm overhaul recently launched by Google. In relation to this, Google is working on improving its conversational search and voice search capabilities. Cutts highlighted Google’s efforts towards understanding the relationship existing between words in search queries. 
  • This is particularly relevant with voice search. When users make a query and get results and then make another one in relation to the earlier query but without expressly identifying it likewise, Google can figure it out and provide appropriate results. For example, if a user asks, “What are the Pyramids” and performs a search and then asks “How old are they” Google’s deep learning can identify that this query is connected to the previous one.

Points on Core Search Quality Changes

Cutts then moved to the major quality changes at the core of the Google search engine’s functioning.
  • “Hummingbird” is the topic looming here. Hummingbird has been launched with the aim of improving natural language translation. It helps Google identify the most relevant and important words in a search query and develop a concept based on which it provides the results. This is basically intelligent scoring, and Hummingbird has already been felt on 90% of the queries. Most users have not suspected any changes though they are beginning to receive more relevant results.  
  • Cutts also talked about softening or reducing the effects of its Panda update which would enable some of the affected sites to be brought back. 
  • With smartphone ranking, Cutts revealed that Google would not display a Flash site to users who do not have Flash in their smartphone. 
  • Cutts also said that webmasters can continue to deepen the content they have on a topic which would help increase their authoritativeness on the respective subject.
Observations on the Future

Looking toward the future, Cutts revealed that the only aim of Google is to provide information and to increase its capability of being able to provide answers for specific queries. He also acknowledged the growing importance of mobile devices and the fact that 40% of all YouTube videos are played in mobile devices.

Matt Cutts also said that getting social signals are symbols of authority in the long term and indicate that you are worth listening to. It is exactly what the search engines will think as well. 

These are vital points that an experienced and professional SEO company will be noting to prepare its clients accordingly. An efficient search engine optimization firm will prepare in advance for changes such as these so that its clients can continue to perform effectively in the search rankings. 

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