On the future of search, he again stressed the importance of mobile site usability. YouTube traffic on mobile has skyrocketed from 6 percent two years ago, to 25 percent last year, to 40 percent of all YouTube this year. Some countries have more mobile traffic than they do desktop traffic. Cutts reiterated, “If your website looks bad in mobile, now is the time to fix that.”
Google is also working on machine learning and training their systems to be able to comprehend and read at an elementary school level, in order to improve search results.
Authorship is another area where Google wants to improve, because tying an identity to an authorship profile can help keep spam out of Google. They plan to tighten up authorship to combat spam and they found if they removed about 15 percent of the lesser quality authors, it dramatically increased the presence of the better quality authors.
They are also working on the next generation of hacked site detection, where Cutts said he is not talking about ordinary blackhat, but “go to prison blackhat.” Google wants to prevent people from being able to find any results for the really nasty search queries, such as child porn. Cutts said, “If you type in really nasty search queries, we don’t want you to find it in Google.”
Cutts’ current advice (again) to webmasters is that it’s important to get ready for mobile. He spoke to the convenience for website visitors when you utilize their auto-complete web form annotations, to make it easier for people to fill out forms on your site. The mark-up to add to the forms is easy to do, and will be available in the next few months.
Matt Cutts Q&A
During Q&A, Cutts discussed links from press release sites. He said Google identified the sites that were press release syndication sites and simply discounted them. He does stress that press release links weren’t penalized, because press release sites do have value for press and marketing reasons, but those links won’t pass PageRank.
The problem of infinite scrolling websites was raised, such as how Twitter just keeps loading more tweets as you continue to scroll down. He cautions that while Google tries to do a good job, other search engines don’t handle infinite scrolling as well. He suggests any sites utilizing infinite scrolling also have static links, such as with a pagination structure, so bots can have access to all the information if their bots don’t wait for the infinite loading of the page.
Someone asked about whether being very prolific on blogs and posting a ton of posts daily has any impact on search rankings. Cutts used the Huffington Post as an example, as they have a huge number of authors, so logically they have many daily posts. However, he says posting as much as your audience expects to see is the best way to go.
In closing, Cutts said they are keeping a close eye on the mix of organic search results with non-organic search results and says he would also like to hear feedback on it.
While no new features were announced during his keynote at Pubcon, Cutts packed his presentation with many takeaways for webmasters.