Google’s Matt Cutts: Sandbox Effect, PageRank, Reciprocal links, textbook SEO and more

Posted on 18th May, 2006

There’s an extremely informative article by Mike Grehan of Clickz.com about the interview he conducted with Google’s Matt Cutts. Some points that stand out for me:

When asked about the importance of PageRank, Matt replies

"There are over 100 factors in ranking. And PageRank is just one of them. It’s an important factor, but it’s by no means the be-all and end-all.

To me that shows the danger of short-sighted thinking and getting obsessed with just one facet of things, and not the facet which matters most. So paying attention to the content on your site, building good stuff, those are the things that will help. Not "can I get my PageRank higher with one more sprinkle of green fairy dust?" or something like that.

The best links are those which are editorially chosen. Linked because of the site’s merit. Some of the best SEOs these days are those who are really good at buzz marketing, viral marketing, and word-of-mouth marketing.

Asked about what sandbox is and Matt replies

"I think a lot of what’s perceived as the sandbox is artefacts where, in our indexing, some data may take longer to be computed than other data."

Do you really want to wait 9 months at Google for good, relevant data to become available. Or would you like to produce fresh new stuff as soon as it’s available?

"Well we do want it there as soon as it’s available. In fact, some things like our news crawl and blog search can find stuff within minutes of it being live. So there’s always a tradeoff between how much do you trust certain pages how much do you rank certain pages. And the best advice I can give is don’t worry or over think or try to strategize too hard over is — or isn’t — there a sandbox. Just make a great site, with great content and a normal reason why people would want to link to you and visit your site. A compelling reason why people would want to link to your site. And that’s going to help you capture the mind of the blogosphere and that’s really the best way to let search engines find out about you too."

From this, we can assume that the sandbox effect does exist. Matt has admitted that certain pages is not being made available immediately to searchers, perhaps due to the reason of how much do you trust certain pages.

Read the full story here:

Google’s Matt Cutts: The Big Interview

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