Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Matt Cutts on Searching Homepages Only and More

Here’s a partial transcript of Google employee Matt Cutt’s latest video musings... edited for clarity.

Q: Is it possible to search for just homepages? I try doing -inurl:html, -inurl:htm, etc., but that doesn’t filter out enough.

A: That’s a really good suggestion. I haven’t thought about that. FAST used to offer something like that... I think all they did was look for a tilde in the URL. I’ll file that as a feature request, and see if people are willing to prioritize it where we might be able to offer that. My guess is it would be relatively low on the priority list, because the syntax you mention (subtracting of a bunch of extensions) would probably work pretty well.

[On bold vs strong]

I need to clarify something about strong vs bold and emphasize vs italics. There was a previous question where somebody asked about whether it was better to use <b>, or whether it was better to use <strong>. Because bold is what everybody used in the old days (when the dinosaurs where roaming the earth) and strong is what the W3C recommends. At that time, last night [Sunday, July 30], I thought that we just barely, barely, barely – like, an epsilon – preferred bold over strong... and I said, for the most part don’t worry about it.

The nice thing is, an engineer actually took me to the code where I could see it for myself... and Google does treat bold and strong with exactly the same weight (thank you for that Paul, I really appreciate it!). In addition, I checked, he also found code that showed that <em> and <i> are treated exactly the same as well.

So there you have it – go forth and markup like the W3C would like you to do it! Do it semantically well, and don’t worry so much about crufty old tags, because Google will support them just the same either way.

Q: Will we see more kitty posts in the future?

A: I think we will. In fact, I tried to get my cats in on this shot, but they’re a little scared of the lights. We’ll see if I get them used to it.

Q (by TomHTML): What are Google SSD, Google Guess, Google RS2, Google Mobile Marketplace, Google Weaver and other services discovered by Tony Ruscoe?

A: I think it was very clever of Tony to try to do a dictionary attack against our services check-in... but I’m not gonna talk about what those services are.

Q: Does Google index or rank blog sites differently than regular websites?

A: That’s a good question. Not really. Somebody else asked about links from .gov’s and .eu’s .edu’s, and whether links from two level deep .gov’s and .edu’s (like, are worth the same as .gov. And the fact is, we don’t really have much in the way to say, this is a link from the ODP, or from .gov, or .edu, to give that some sort of special boost. It’s just those sites tend to have higher PageRank, because more people link to them (and reputable people link to them).

So, for blog sites, there is not really any distinction – unless you go off to Blog Search, of course, and then it’s all constrained to blogs. In theory we could rank them differently. But for the most part just the way the general search folds out ends up working out OK.

Find more transcripts of Matt’s talks.


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!