Does Google consider SEO to be spam?
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Does Google consider SEO to be spam?

Hi. I wanted to take a minute and
talk a little bit about search engine optimization and spam,
and answer the question does Google consider SEO
to be spam? And the answer is no. We don’t consider
SEO to be spam. Now a few really tech
savvy people might get angry at that. So let me explain in a
little more detail. SEO stands for Search
Engine Optimization. And essentially it just means
trying to make sure that your pages are well represented
within search engines. And there’s plenty– an enormous amount– of white
hat, great quality stuff that you can do as a search
engine optimizer. You can do things like
making sure that your pages are crawlable. So you want them to
be accessible. You want people to be able
to find them just by clicking on links. And in the same way, search
engines can find them just by clicking on links. You want to make sure
that people use the right key words. If you’re using industry jargon
or lingo that not everybody else uses, then a
good SEO can help you find out, oh, these are key words
that you should have been thinking about. You can think about usability,
and trying to make sure that the design of the
site is good. That’s good for users and
for search engines. You can think about how to
make your site faster. Not only does Google use site
speed in our rankings as one of the many factors that we use
in our search rankings. But if you can make your site
run faster, that can also make it a much better experience. So there are an enormous number
of things that SEOs do, everything from helping out
with the initial site architecture and deciding what
your site should look like, and the url structure, and the
templates, and all that sort of stuff, making sure that your
site is crawlable, all the way down to helping optimize
for your return on investment. So trying to figure out what
are the ways that you are going to get the best bang for
the buck, doing AB testing, trying to find out, OK, what is
the copy that converts, all those kinds of things. There is nothing at all
wrong with all of those white hat methods. Now, are there some SEOs who go
further than we would like? Sure. And are there some SEOs who
actually try to employ black hat techniques, people that hack
sites or that key word stuff and just repeat
things or that do sneaky things with redirects? Yeah, absolutely. But our goal is to make sure
that we return the best possible search results
we can. And a very wonderful way that
search engine optimizers can help is by cooperating and
trying to help search engines find pages better. So SEO is not spam. SEO can be enormously useful. SEO can also be abused. And it can be overdone. But it’s important to realize
that we believe, in an ideal world, people wouldn’t have to
worry about these issues. But search engines are not
as smart as people yet. We’re working on it. We’re trying to figure
out what people mean. We’re trying to figure out
synonyms, and vocabulary, and stemming so that you don’t have
to know exactly the right word to search for what
you wanted to find. But until we get to that day,
search engine optimization can be a valid way to help people
find what they’re looking for via search engines. We provide webmaster
guidelines on There’s a free webmaster
forum. There are free webmaster
tools. There’s a ton of HTML
documentation. So if you search for SEO starter
guide, we’ve written a beginner guide where people can
learn more about search engine optimization. But just to be very clear, there
are many, many valid ways that people can make the
world better with SEO. It’s not the case that– sometimes you’ll hear
SEOs are criminals. SEOs are snake oil salesmen. If you find a good person,
someone that you can trust, someone that will tell you
exactly what they’re doing, the sort of person where you get
good references, or you’ve seen their work and it’s very
helpful, and they’ll explain exactly what they’re
doing, they can absolutely help your website. So I just wanted to dispel
that misconception. Some people think Google
thinks all SEO is spam. And that’s definitely
not the case. There are a lot of great
SEOs out there. And I hope you find a good one
to help with your website.


  • Ben Acheson

    No. SEO is not spam. Thanks Matt for clarifying this. There are some unprofessional spammers out there giving SEO a bad name. Use a professional, white-hat agency.

  • Margaret Schaut

    Maybe you can create a directory of good ones. I'm afraid to take ANY advice because I am not knowledgable enough to tell white hat from black hat.

  • Haris Kriještorac

    SEO in the digital marketplace is like market research in the non-digital marketplace. If you want to open a shop, you should research what neighborhood to be it in, what to call it, what you should stock there, what your expenses would be. It's pretty analogous to what people do with paid search and SEO. What keywords should I target, which ones are working well, which ones should I pay to rank for, what sites should I get links from?

  • V0S1N0

    Any list or directory of 'good' SEOs would be abused quickly by the 'bad' SEOs.
    If Matt made the list he would be hounded by the bad SEOs and branded a villain by anyone who couldn't make it on the list.
    I do like his suggestion of asking successful companies who they went for.

  • Ross Tavendale

    Ofcourse Google doesn't think SEO is spam, they sell and recommend SEO services themselves. Plus as a business owner is turned on to SEO they will naturally start with PPC and other forms of online marketing to boost revenue. A google most certainly likes this.

  • Lastrose Studios

    I didn't know page speed had an impact on results. Are there any particular elements related to page speed that have a greater effect?

    Investing heavily in seo is a waste of money IF you don't have a site that will convert visitors.

  • Diane Branovacki


    Many thanks for a great definition of Search Engine Optimization and what SEO professionals do. From my own personal experience, just even minimal, basic, SEO has made a remarkable difference in a couple of my own websites. Like everything else, anything that is good can also be used for bad. It can be used as trickery, but only if you choose to use it that way. All the SEO professionals I know earnestly strive to use SEO to help their clients succeed.

  • Daniele Graziani

    Thanks Matt, but you really don't have a clue how Google search results are generated. If you want to be at the top of your results you have to:
    A) have traffic like
    B) have a million bogus inbound links
    I have seen totally legitimate web sites that may have over 100 items for sale that fit a certain keyword and the web site does not come up at ALL, AT ALL, not in the first page nor in the 90th. But yeah, blogs from porn web sites will come up. Get to work, man, you're getting paid!!

  • Me Me

    Matt mentionss keywords and a good SEO can find the ones that matter, what he didnt mention is that everyone with a google account and is logged in, now searches over an SSL conection, which means we cant track keywords and search habbit. Even though Google say this is only effecting 3% of all searches, one has to ask, yeh that may be now but in a few years then what? Google make it a ball ache to provide white hat methods, no wonder people will bend or break SEO rules.

  • David Nagle

    It's pretty basic what he is saying. If you are honest and work had and know exactly what you are doing you can dominate the searches in your industry. There are thousands of techniques you need to employ on a consistent basis to adequately compete. We have ben doing this for over two decades and are experts in the field. visit us at

  • Gimp Joy

    @Emperoni not true man, I have been doing SEO for 5 years now and been a webmaster for the same, now i know for a fact that a million inbound links are not going to do anything for you, if anything will only hurt you. Now what you really need is a decent amount of solid RELEVANT links not a million random shitty end of the stick links.

  • Jyoti Burujpatte

    Many links good for site and ranking as u said but I am building lot of links but still my keyword is not ranking..can you please tell me what would be the problem..

  • scioccona

    @Gimped88 I wish to be proven wrong! Give me a one or two word keyword that gets 10000 exact match monthly searches or more that supports your point and refutes mine, please.

  • Derek Mansfield

    We dominate our market sector by doing exactly what this video describes. By dominate I mean we have the first 15 positions on the highest volume key phrase, and the first 10 positions on the second highest. We have position 1 to 6 on many more key phrases.
    We achieved this with white hat SEO – great site architecture, regularly updated unique content and high level relevant incoming links from well written articles that we post on good sites around the net. And no expensive PPC.

  • PendowerConsultancy

    What would be very helpful now is for Matt Cutts to identify what online business promotion is considered acceptable post April 24th and what is not. Sites are being penalised left right and centre, even when following legitamate business promotional tactics e.g. press releases (with site links), guest blogs, RSS feeds. Sites are being penalised for links they had nothing to do with creating, and the 'fix' (getting 3rd party sites to remove them) is impossible. We need guidance Google!

  • Ether Gloxx

    Wonderful video, I just reached my first $1057 this week and it feels amazing! all thanks to this really amazing youtube video with the title: "V2 Marketing Course", Search for that on Ytube. I actually don't remember the URL, simply just search on YT for that video .

  • That Ava J

    I love your voice, I could fall asleep to it. If you want to marry me and read to me every night that would be totally cool.

  • Thompter S. Hunson

    yea ok. In your blog (googlewebmastercentral blogspot) i was reading and send me here you writing "We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all)" ….. Or not SEO at all! wtf.. You can't be same on both blog and video?

  • Ant Hodges

    Great advice here from Matt. If you are looking for a white-hat agency that will offer Pay on Results Call 01793 608777 (International 0044 1793 608777) or Google "HodgesNet" – We'd be more than happy to provide a free quotation and see what we can do to help you.

  • Hit Me SEO

    Anything that Matt putts on video is worth watching. Our agency follows these tips and would be happy to provide you with a free website analysis for your business. Give us a call at 240-477-7085 if you would like to learn more.

  • Kurt Margolis

    Creating good looking wordpress websites used to be a time consuming task unless you are an expert in html and lets face it not many of us are… but don't worry because I created a new course on wordpress, which will teach you how to convert your wordpress blog into a serious marketing machine. Wanna learn more? search on YTube for a video titled: ––»"QQ Course" «–– and you will learn how to use the WP platform like a pro

  • BanglaTUBE

    You guys at google are a bunch of very bad people never take in consideration where us people who are investing our hard earned money to genuinely promote our business via seo you penalise the good ones and leave the sites that are doing blatant black hat seo, Contact me please!

  • Noviana Kurniasari

    Anyone tried the MoboRank (do a google search)? I've heard several great things about it and my friend rank on page 1 of google by using it.

  • Taylor Watkins

    All YouTube videos require a Proper Upload Process….

    This course is what EVERY YouTuber needs immediately. It GUARANTEES that your video will not Only be seen on YouTube when you upload it BUT on Google ALSO! Watch Video at the site below please, you will not regret it! Perfect for ANY business. You will get lot's of free exposure!!!


    Don't forget to change the "(dot)" in the URL above to ". com"

  • Spook SEO

    Awesome video. SEO is an important tool to aid the search engines in determining what your website is all about. There's definitely nothing wrong with that but if you over optimize or create your site in such a way that it's for the sake of the search engines, that where the problem starts.

  • Media Waypoint

    This video from our Friend Mr Cutt’s may be a few years old now, but it’s still bang on regarding the benefits of a good SEO Agency.

    There are many ways to optimise a website, like making sure it's technically built to be search engine friendly and adopting a strong link building strategys, but the bottom line is content is king, get this right and you will 'organically' move up the search engine rankings.

    Keep it white hat and never move to the dark side!

  • Votre site dans 20 000 annuaires

    I love this video…
    I hope that SEO will be correct for our websites, and that Google don t block it and put it like spam.

  • Matt Lotter

    But why does Google go out of its way to make SEO more and more difficult?

    ….Take (not provided) in Analytic as an example.

  • Jake Pranger

    this is great.I've been figuring this stuff out also recently. does this still stand with the hummingbird update on google?

  • FamousOn Web

    Matt Cuts Videos are really showing us the way to use SEO as the best practise to give a boost to our business. Keep sharing such nice clips.

  • Sunnyvale SEO

    Good explanation Matt, I guess just keep it relevant with good content as well as the right keywords for your subject matter.

  • Red Stick SEO

    SEO and spam are 2 different things. Great video to watch if you’re still trying to differentiate SEO from spamming. Both SEO companies and small business owners can learn a lot from this video. They know what they’re talking about, it is from Google after all.

  • Johnathan Berner

    Matt, why can't you just release a list containing 50% of all Google signals? We just want a guide line to go by so we are doing everything correctly. 

  • Majestic Travel With LARRY & UMEKA

    I love SEO! You did a good job explaining this and most people can learn alot from this video!

  • Eliot Auteberry

    Agreed +1. This particular video is very helpful for me thank you. Additionally I want to say that I utilize youtube to bring traffic to my website since I'm a marketer. Want to learn exactly how? In my channel you can watch a video about my course which is by far the best course on youtube marketing ever. You should go to my youtube channel to check it out. Take care!


    I have read about SEO article last month, but I still have many questions about that, after I watched SEO video -LnaSNfl_x4 , I was very satisfied with his explanation.

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