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Google's Matt Cutts Gives Props to SocialSpark

Matt Cutts, head of search webspam for Google, was recently asked about SocialSpark in an interview of with Eric Enge of StoneTemple.com. I am please to say that our efforts to set a clear code of ethics, including no-follow on all inks, has been positively received by Matt and the Google team. Here is a brief outtake from the interview. View the whole thing here.

Eric Enge:  Would you like to talk a little bit about IZEA?

Matt Cutts: Actually yes, I would. I meant to talk about this in the You&A, because Google has made its policies pretty clear on paid posts, about the fact that they should be disclosed not only for humans, but also for machines. We feel the same way.

And, it’s interesting, because whenever I looked at the latest thing from IZEA Socialspark, I noticed that they were very good about shutting that down. I went and I checked it out, and I wouldn’t say that it is one hundred percent perfect as far as completely watertight, you might see one or two advertisers, but it was still good.

Eric Enge:  So, the links were all NoFollowed?

Matt Cutts: Yeah. All the links were supposed to be NoFollowed, and I saw one or two instances when they weren’t. But whenever I mentioned that they took care of it very quickly. So, as far as I can tell IZEA and SocialSpark do a much better job of disclosure. It looks like that would comply with our Google webmaster guidelines.

Because, it is machine readable disclosure and you are not selling links to pass PageRank. And so, whenever I see somebody who is moving forward and trying to adjust, I want to send out props. And so, I thought that was a good sign of progress and I thought they did a good job on that.

Eric Enge: Well, the other thing I wanted to know is when I spoke to him last, he told me that it was never his intent for PayPerPost to be a paid links market place.

Matt Cutts:  Yeah.

Eric Enge: What he found is that major brands wouldn’t go into it, because of the stigma associated with that. And, the reason for SocialSpark was to build something that brands could engage in the way they want to engage in the market. I think it’s something for everybody to think about.

Matt Cutts:  Yes.

Eric Enge:  If you are trying to deal with major brands or become one, than you have to start thinking like them.

Matt Cutts: Yes. And, whenever I see progress I want to call it out and give props where it’s deserved. And so, I think SocialSpark has definitely progressed compared to PayPerPost. Google continues its policy on paid links in general, so just yesterday we put out a new call for any paid link spam reports, and we continue to act on this. We are willing to act not only manually, but also algorithmically. So, if people know of other networks that are not disclosing, we would be interested in hearing about that. But, I thought it was good to see that SocialSpark was using NoFollow.

Matt and I have been conversing about the topic for quite some time now. While we don't always agree on everything, I find him to be open, fair and constructive. Thank you for the words of encouragement Matt. I am sure that the Posties will be glad to hear that SocialSpark is doing things right in the eyes of Google.

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Comments (RSS)

Ashley said...

Wow! This is really cool. Thanks for sharing with us.

Jun 16, 2008 4:14:45 PM

BenSpark said...

Nice to see that your hard work at being one of the most if not THE most transparent service for online advertising and user generated content is being recognized.

Jun 16, 2008 7:56:07 PM

mistipurple said...

Whoopee! That's great news for SocialSpark and posties!
Thank you for all the opportunities you're creating for people around the globe. You've been putting bread on my table for breakfast every morning. Just so you know. :)

Jun 17, 2008 12:26:56 AM

Conservone said...

This has always been a concern of mine becoming involved in paid posting. It's good to see that Google and other SEs find value in clear disclosure of advertisers.

Jun 17, 2008 1:55:46 AM

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Too little, too late after the "great shaft" of 2007. It sickens me to see anyone from Izea saying anything kind about Google after how badly they screwed over huge numbers of posties in 2007. For many of us; Google's behavior has made PPP type posting uneconomic and unrewarding.

BTW can the SocialSpark site be any less user friendly? Finding rewarding posts on the ole' site was so easy; now you have to trawl through loads of rubbish to get the info you want (if you can find it).

Jun 17, 2008 4:32:27 AM

brettbum said...

I would have to agree a bit with Andrew. It is all nice and good that Google is NOW coming around, but it is always easier to commit a crime like they did and ask forgiveness later.

Plus, for all the progress that Matt Cutts see's in Izea, that progress has almost nothing to do with Google or Google's attempts to better the industry or the web for that matter.

Something about Matt Cutt's response, reminds me a great deal of Scott McClellan...

Jun 17, 2008 10:51:41 PM

Heisan said...

Would it mean that even if you are into SocialSpark Google would not slap anyone with their PR. And anynewbie would be able to have a PR from the big G. By the way SocialSpark to me seems better than the old PPP. Opps there for me as a newbie is hard to come by unlike SocialSpark it rocks.

Jun 18, 2008 11:23:58 AM

VC Dan said...

@Andrew: The core of this post is about GOOG saying kind things about SocialSpark, not the other way around. I'm sure a lot of bloggers and advertisers appreciate more clarity from GOOG rather than less. Remaining silent about SocialSpark's gold-standard disclosure/nofollow policies would have been a mistake on GOOG's part IMHO.

@Heisan: I doubt GOOG would give SocialSpark members a pass on their actions with competing networks, however Matt's SocialSpark kudos sounds like a blogger working exclusively with SocialSpark would have nothing to fear from GOOG. To the contrary, GOOG has an incentive to reward SocialSpark bloggers and advertisers with the maximum PR/SERPs they are due.

Jun 19, 2008 10:01:47 AM

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