SMX Advanced 2013 was amazing, as always. Danny Sullivan, Matt Cutts, Bruce Clay and many other influential online-marketing professionals came together for an intense two day conference on SEO, SEM and SMM. The attendees varied from mom-and-pop small businesses to multi-billion dollar corporations.
The keynote You&A session with Cutts and Sullivan which happened Tuesday at 5 pm was phenomenal. From multiple angles Sullivan “attacked” Cutts and Google’s search algorithm’s crazy swings. Most of the questions put to Cutts from the audience were also related to algorithmic updates.
“We have over 500 changes that happen, algorithmic changes, every single year and so on any given day we’re usually launching one or two things,” said Cutts.
Why they have so many algorithm updates is a good question to ask.
I met Cutts after the conference and told him I felt he lied in his You&A session. He was furious and said that “he’s incapable of lying”. I agree. He is a very kind and caring person and very ethical. So, maybe he’s misinformed.
Below are some of the things I felt were untrue from what Cutts shared in the SMX Advanced conference:
“If someone on your team or if you or someone hired an SEO or for whatever reason generated spam links and you need to clean it up, the disavow tool is there as a way to help you do that […]”
After Rand Fishkin’s recent blog post on Moz.com regarding the disavow tool and how it helps “REDUCE” your ranks on Google as well as our own internal tests with this tool, there is no doubt that the disavow tool doesn’t help any sites.
Other SEO gurus at the conference agreed. They believe Google uses the disavow tool to “identify” bad sites to help them weed out the so-called “spam”.
But how accurate are they?
“Given the events of the last week, I feel pretty good about trying to make sure that people have an encrypted connection when talking to Google.”
Although there may be some merit to the above, I see this as a total marketing stunt to separate the big brother from the rest of the crowd and make Cutts the white knight of the Internet world. Contrary to what Cutts is trying to portray, Google has said previously that each year, they release the information on hundreds of individual Google accounts to the “authorities” without informing the users. In fact, USA Today published an article Tuesday talking about this.
“A press release link, by definition, is a link that you’re paying for. You give someone 100 bucks or whatever and you get to write whatever you want and some of them you embed anchor text and that anchor text is fundamentally paid and shouldn’t count.”
When he said that, people around me responded by saying “what is he talking about?” They’re right. We have effectively used press releases for over four years and I’ve often seen that a simple press release published on a site like PRWeb gets that site ranked at the top of the search results.
Other Updates from the Conference:
Bruce Clay Going Viral
For those of you who don’t know Clay, I say he’s the “father of SEO”. I met him in person for the first time and it was a great experience.
We talked about how crazy our industry is and how it needs to be transformed. He agreed. He told me that he’s going to meet with government officials to help standardize the SEO world. I cannot agree with him more and I wish him the best.
Rand Fishkin Missed the Conference
I was looking forward to meeting Fishkin, but he didn’t make it to the conference. He was still in Europe after his keynote speech at the conference in France.
Looking forward to your thoughts and feedback.