Guest Author: Abbas Hussain
In the most recent round of his webmaster Q&A sessions, Google’s Matt Cutts fielded a query, which dealt with why his company does not currently offer any kind of calculator service, to indicate just how well optimized particular sites are and where there is room for improvement.
The questioner argued that without such a tool, site owners have to guess at the quality of their SEO efforts and can often end up languishing low in the search rankings, even if they believe that they have taken the right steps.
Mr. Cutts addressed the issue at hand by first indicating that there are certain tools available to webmasters which can provide a good indication of the quality of the SEO that they have conducted on their site. This includes Google’s notifications system and the various services within Webmaster Tools.
However, Mr. Cutts said that Google does not believe in assigning an exact numerical value to the SEO quality of a particular site or page, because he believes that doing so would only lead to an influx of spam domains, which exploited the particular nuances of a search algorithm, rather than producing genuinely organic results that are relevant to users.
Mr. Cutts made clear that Google is not against the SEO efforts of webmasters and is, in fact, in favor of optimization when it is being carried out by legitimately useful sites which have honorable intentions. He calls this ‘productive optimization’ and sees it as something that a small business can harness, to improve the standing of its sites in the SERPs.
Google’s Refusal To Create the Calculator
So it seems that the real reason for Google’s refusal to create an SEO quality calculator is that it wants to keep spammers at bay, by not giving them direct access to the data that impacts the rank of particular sites. It also wants to make it as simple as possible for scrupulous site owners to take advantage of its engine, which is why its Webmaster Tools are on hand to provide relatively comprehensive feedback, if not exact numerical values, relating to SEO performance.
Mr. Cutts pointed out that there is invariably a conflict between wanting to minimize the impact of spammers, while maximizing search tools for all other webmasters, with Google trying to walk the line as best it can.
Some critics have pointed out that Google might be stifling those sites looking to obtain a better organic search rank, as a result of its changes to how SERPs are displayed.
By displaying fewer results on the first page and failing to introduce infinite scroll technology for standard search, unlike the steps taken to improve its image search feature, Google might be making it harder for small sites to establish themselves and become visible.
Abbas Hussain is a blogger who passionately shares information about SEO for Integrity SEO Experts.