Matt Cutts presented a state of the Index - things done in 2008 at PubCon Vegas.

Some of the things that I found interesting from the talk:

  • Better machine translation - I enjoy Google Translate for both pages, and text. But its also about Google including other language pages in its search results, and showing a translation of them. More significant for non English searches.
  • Better voice recognition - indexing of videos?
  • Improving personalisation and universal/blended search - I am finding even when not logged into Google, that it tries to personalise results. As as SEO, we need to do a number of searches and find out how/why Google is “manipulating” the results as we search.
  • Matt mentioned at around 4:15m - clean up the search engine algorithms relating to these certain search queries - my comment - if you get too high for popular search phrases, you will get looked at, and your links strategy analysed, and the Google algo tweaked to try and get rid of you if you should not be there, if not personally dumped. So make sure that you have good underlying links strategy, and that your business “deserves” to have a website that is ranking high!
  • Optical character recognition on pdf’s
  • Better at keyword spam and gibberish
  • Better processing of javascript, looking at links in javascript, webspam
  • Showing url’s that link to 404 pages on your website - check out the option at
  • Custom 404 error pages - in our JoJoCMS, I have programmed the Google 404 error page javascript, has a google search suggest tool in there for your website, and a Google site search box.
  • Google custom search - you can ask Google to search on demand for site search. In CMS’s, we need to tie in saving of a page/saving of a post with pinging Google to search that page. Until now, Google site search has been hampered by the slowness of pages being added. Google search is so much better than we can hope for with our own written search algos, and now is that much more usable.
  • Google webmaster tools - if you get sent information from Google, it will sit in waiting for you to sign up, then show you the message.
  • Google published a How to SEO pdf 13 Nov 2008