Penalties Vs. Algorithm Changes: Matt Cutts Replies at SMX | Google Penalty World |

Search Engine Land reports from SMX Advanced in Seattle: "Is it a penalty? Or is it just a change to Google’s algorithm?

That’s been one of the hot topics in search marketing in recent months thanks to the Panda and Penguin updates, and it was one of the topics of discussion tonight at our SMX Advanced conference in Seattle.

During the annual “You & A with Matt Cutts” keynote session, Google’s web spam chief told Search Engine Land Editor-In-Chief Danny Sullivan that Google’s definition of a “penalty” is when manual action is taken against a site — and that Google doesn’t use the term “penalty” as much as they say “manual action.”

Cutts went on to say that neither Panda nor Penguin are penalties; they’re both algorithm updates.

He also mentioned — and this will be good news to many search marketers — that Google is considering offering a tool that allows web masters to disavow certain links, but that may be months away if it happens.


Other topics included why some spam reports aren’t acted on, whether Google+ and +1 votes are a strong SEO signal right now and much more."

Read the full report blog with all of the Q&A here: