Hey Matt,

I enjoyed meeting you and chatting with you at Pubcon. You’re a great guy and I truly believe that nobody could possibly do a better job of webmaster outreach than you and I admire that you willingly journey into strongholds of folks that aren’t particularly happy with Google & Google’s policies. You did tell me to post my Google feedback that I gave to you personally…so here it is…but first an opinion.

1) You argue the “no follow” logic convincingly…so well that you could almost (but not quite) convince me that you are correct. However, I feel strongly that Google’s plan to reset links on expired domains is MANY TIMES WORSE than Google’s no follow policy. Bringing this example into the real estate realm, you are saying that if a house becomes foreclosed and repossessed, the new owner of the house can’t keep any upgrades the foreclosed owner made to the house. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Nobody is gaming the system here…getting an expired domain with established backlinks is like getting a foreclosed home in a better neighborhood…I don’t see how the Google SERPS are being manipulated to the detriment by continuing to count links to domains that have expired. Furthermore, why would you then continue to count links to a domain that has been sold to another who might totally trash the old site in favor of something totally new? I don’t see how this scenario is more trustworthy than the “expired” scenario.

2) At SEMpdx, we post (or would like to post) our monthly events to Google Base. However, Google Base has a feature where it only holds events for 14 days, which means that if we post our event more than 14 days in advance, our listing would expire prior to the event. A smarter system would be to tie events to a calendar and expire the event after it occurs.

3) In Google Reader, I track a large number of feeds that contain company names. Frequently, when a big company “makes news”, it gets picked up by many different outlets that post the same exact story. When this happens I could get a few dozen copies of the same news that hit the feeder over a period of days. It would be really nice if Google could only show me one copy of a particular story instead of a few dozen.

Thank you for taking the time to listen and consider my feedback.


Matt Cutts & Todd Mintz at Pubcon
Thanks to Mark Knowles from Smart Solutions for taking the photo of Matt & I.

15 thoughts on “Matt Cutts Told Me To Post This (2 Things Google Should Improve + 1 Opinion)

  1. I was there, and that’s just a cardboard cutout that was in the corner of the Google party…

    LOL – just kidding 😉

    I agree Todd, all three of these issues are important, but number 1 is intended to minimize the “vulture effect”, and probably has to happen.

    Number two is just plain stupid, and should be fixed easily.

    Number three? Wow, that’s exactly why I don’t use it…

    Great post –

  2. “… why would you … count links to a domain that has been sold … this scenario [isn’t] more trustworthy than the “expired” scenario.”

    Either scenario can result in a range from continuation of the original site’s mission to a complete change. Ongoing businesses being sold usually have some factors guiding that the mission of the site continue. Usually you pay more for an ongoing business, for example, and so are also paying for the advantages of continuing the mission of the site somewhat. And the seller may wish to only sell to someone who continues the mission (they may continue to participate, for example).

  3. Great piece Todd … hopefully he hears you and makes the necessary changes! Hey, it was really nice to meet you in person at Pubcon too. Hopefully, we’ll meet up at many more!

  4. Thanks for posting this, Todd. Any example dupes you could show for Google Reader, either by snapshot or maybe by giving us a couple feeds that are rich in dupes?

  5. By the way, I’d argue that some expired domains are closer to a bank at one location that goes out of business and becomes a coffee shop. That coffee shop can build up its reputation on its own, but shouldn’t automatically get the customers that were showing up hoping to do their banking.

    And yes, I do know a Starbucks that used to be a bank. It still has the vault! 🙂

  6. Jeff, I enjoyed meeting you as well.

    Matt…thanks for responding to me. Here’s a screenshot of an example: https://www.toddmintz.com/MattExample.jpg

    Note that Google News cleans up the dupes but the Feed keeps them.

    Well, I see the “links” as the fixtures that the bank left behind (and not the reputation)…which means that the coffee shop should be able to make use of the vault as it sees fit. I also don’t see why you penalize an “expired” domain but not a “non-expired sold domain” when the end result is the same.

  7. This is the funniest thing …duplicate content is alive and well and nothing Google can do about it…

    read most online major newspapers and news magazines and they all use the same content of news articles on their sites……

    As for Google outreach its called “propaganda” and most people with a bit of sense see through the smoke screen and realize Googles full of shit and anything coming from a corporate blogger is monitored….

    Try thinking outside the googlebox…..

  8. @Matt
    I don’t think the analogy quite fits. Keep in mind, when buying domains, most with notable backlinks are promoted via web rings, link exchanges, and other things. The ones that appear “quality” are normally pre-penalized. For that reason alone, abuse will remain low. I think there’s much more damage to be done than good by modifying the handling of expireds.

  9. @SlightlyShady

    Google rarely penalizes. Penalty is usually a ban for complete disregard and outright blackhat spam………….

    They do however apply filters.

    Learn how they work… and you may find success…

  10. Hey, can you post an example event or two from your Base feed? The Base folks are looking into it, but they said that they’d be surprised if dates expired after 14 days and wanted to see an example from the feed..

    P.S. Thanks for posting the Reader snapshot.

  11. Matt, unfortunately, my Base feed is currently empty however I can show you the following:

    https://www.toddmintz.com/MattExample2.jpg (2 old posted events that were on Base for 14 days each).

    https://www.toddmintz.com/MattExample3.jpg (a screenshot from a calendar posting page that says that events will only display for 14 days).

    Contrast this with Craigslist, Upcoming, Zvents, Kijiji & Meetup…all of which tie an event posting to a calendar and don’t expire the event until the event has occurred.

    Thanks for your very helpful followup with my issue.

  12. I agree with you Todd. There needs to be a few Easter eggs in SEO and expired domains are one. If Google do close down the expired domain window, people will just find other ways to quickly obtain PR with little work, such as mass comment spamming, guestbook spamming and maybe even light hacking.

  13. I’m the new owner of an old Domain. It was a gift from a friend of me. It’s an opensource project and I did not change anything from the content. My plan was to continue this project, because my friend is to busy to develope on it anymore. I added some relevant articles with the result that all Backlinks are devalued after the whoisdata was changed. So the project will die.

    Thanks for that!

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