Aug 15 2011

Inside the Google Mindset

Category: organic seoTom Shivers


In a somewhat recent Matt Cutts video he goes over some of the objectives of the Panda update and iterations that followed. Then Matt says, “It helps to step into the Google Mindset and how we think about these sorts of things because whenever we’re trying to write the algorithms, whenever we’re trying to uncover the signals, those kinds of questions can be very helpful to understand how we’re thinking about the problem and how we’re trying to return higher quality sites.”

Matt says they are going to keep iterating on the Panda update to try to keep sites that don’t produce quality content from ranking as high as sites that do produce content that users love.

It’s safe to assume that understanding Google’s mindset applies to all algo changes they make. It can also be difficult to discern what Matt Cutts is really telling us and we’ll get to that in a moment.

Hints for stepping into the Google mindset:

  1. Follow Matt Cutts’ blog
  2. Follow these YouTube channels:

More ways to get in Google’s head:

Discerning what Google is really telling us can be confusing at times so…

Attend Online Marketing Conferences

  • SMX West
  • PubCon South
  • SES New York
  • Ad:tech San Francisco
  • SMX Advanced
  • SES San Francisco
  • SMX East
  • SES Chicago

Hang out where you are sure to hear various professional view points on the Google mindset:


Recently I was hanging out at and found this excellent video where Danny Sullivan interviews the top algorithm gurus at Google: Matt Cutts, Ben Gomes, and Amit Singhal. It’s about 1.5 hours long so I’ve displayed below the times in the video where Danny Sullivan or others ask questions of the three gurus so you can cut in wherever you like, but the entire video is excellent stuff. It’s also interesting that Matt Cutts does not do most of the talking.

8.3.11 Inside Google’s Search Office: Matt Cutts, Ben Gomes, and Amit Singhal

Danny Sullivan asks Google:

  • Considering all the sources of content today, how do you figure out who to trust and who not to trust? (13:00)
  • Search quality has become a big issue over the past couple years, you’ve reacted to this with a series of updates, including Panda. How do you decide what’s broken and how to fix it? (19:44)
  • Considering spam, how do you measure up what’s wrong? (29:50)
  • What about penalties, why don’t you just tell sites that they are penalized? (33:00)
  • The reason you aren’t ranking people now is because they are competitors. (35:20)
  • What about product search, aren’t you sending people to Google Shopping search instead of to other shopping search engines? (38:33)
  • What about cases where Google is the destination site like Google Places or YouTube, aren’t there inherent conflicts with that? (41:00)
  • You sometimes have hate sites show up, why don’t you take them out? (46:20)
  • What about an individual’s name who isn’t famous, how do they deal with things that show up they don’t want? (51:42)
  • Personalized results are terrible for some, how do you deal with it? (54:30)
  • How does Google+ impact your system? (57:14)
  • How do you know if you are relevant? (59:47)


  • What is Google Instant? (1:13:05)
  • What do you do with the “bad” guys? (1:08:00)
  • When or if is Google real time search coming back? Will you need twitter back? (1:10:10)
  • Can Google+ be gamed? (1:12:00)
  • Are you making advancements in image search? (1:14:05)
  • What about mobile search and machine-to-machine communication queries? (1:15:30)
  • What about searchless search? (1:18:06)
  • Does image search include user feedback? (1:21:08)
  • Can you talk about the glass wall and communication with other Google offices? (1:22:00)
  • Why bother to display 200,000 results when most of the time I find what I’m looking for in the top 3 results? (1:25:00)

Danny Sullivan ends by asking:

  • Comment on the team effect at Google. (1:26:50)
  • Where are we at in 5 years? (1:30:45)

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One Response to “Inside the Google Mindset”

  1. new smyrna beach real estate says:

    Nice video. I think knowing what Google wants is key to ensuring that your site ranks well. You must get into the Google mind set so that you can know what to do and what not to do.