A recent interview of Google's Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal by Wired.com on the Panda update has seem to get hundreds of SEOs and webmasters pondering upon. Webmasters and SEOs are analyzing each word and phrase, of the rather brief interview, on a Webmaster World thread.
The thread has hundreds of comments and speculations from various webmasters and SEOs. Tedster's quotes seems interesting and considerably insightful. He has also taken some excerpts from the interview and added his own views to each which are worthy of being noted and reflected upon. Here are some:
…we used our standard evaluation system that we've developed, where we basically sent out documents to outside testers. Then we asked the raters questions like: "Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?"
To this excerpt, tedster concludes that – “Outside quality raters were involved at the beginning.”
There was an engineer who came up with a rigorous set of questions, everything from. "Do you consider this site to be authoritative? Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? Does this site have excessive ads?"
Here, tedster says that – “Excessive ads were part of the early definition.”
Yet to another excerpt; …we actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. And you can really see mathematical reasons.
tedster says that – “The update is algorithmic, not manual.”
Another webmaster, tristanperry, also pointed out the permanency of the big changes made by quoting an excerpt from the interview – “Wired.com: Do you feel that this update has done what you wanted it to do?
Cutts: I would say so. [...]
Singhal: It’s really doing what we said it would do.
Cutts: Which isn’t to say we won’t look at feedback.”
tristanperry also said that Cutts statement “If someone has a specific question about, for example, why a site dropped, I think it’s fair and justifiable and defensible to tell them why that site dropped. But for example, our most recent algorithm does contain signals that can be gamed. If that one were 100 percent transparent, the bad guys would know how to optimize their way back into the rankings.” from the interview further proves that the update is an algorithmic change and not a penalty.
To read more comments, there are over 250 spanned across 9 pages, and gather additional insights, you can go to the Webmaster World thread. For the complete interview, you can click the link provided above (Wired.com).