Google’s Matt Cutts on how Google Discerns True Authority from Short Term Popularity

Matt Cutts released another WebMaster Tools blog today he was put the following question:

As Google continues to add social signals to the algorithm, how do you separate simple popularity from true authority?

The first thing to note about this question is that Matt Cutts brushes off the first part of the question regarding Social Signals. He said that Google using social signals was an assumption and then left it there neither confirming or denying they do. Odd.

On to the meat of the matter though. First off, Matt states that people can wrongly state that PageRank is a matter of reputation and trust rather than just popularity. He gives a very good example. For example, nudey sites are very popular, but you’re not going to be putting links to them on your blog are you?

On the other hand, an estate agents website might not be the most popular and get thousands of visitors, but the people who do visit the website are more likely to link to it. So it’s hard for Google to say qualitatively which website is more popular.

See the rest of his video below:

Blog Post by: Greg McVey