This week, webmasters across the globe awoke to find a message in their Webmaster tools account alerting them and upcoming change to the Google algorithm that determines relevance in search results.
This move comes on the back of recent discussion and confusion within the search marketing world as to what exactly will get a site penalised by Google’s algorithms these days – a line that most marketers insist has become rather blurry in recent months.
The new algorithm update will require all marketers – with a specific focus on search engine optimisation – to assume what Google has labeled as The Cutts-Cut update.
In an unprecedented move within the search landscape, all webmasters and digital marketers wishing to have their site indexed by Google’s much discussed search algorithm will have 28 days to adopt the same hair cut as Googles’ Head of Web spam, Matt Cutts.
The message states, “ We believe the short back and sides cut is the best move for search marketers world wide. It’s a style that anyone can understand and easily identify as a relevant hair style”. The announcement continues with “Google continues to follow the direction of trying to provide the easiest and best solution when it comes to search results and the highly competitive top-of-head fashion industry”.
When asked for comment about this update, a source close to Google stated, “This update is not about doing what we say to benefit or appease Google and it’s bottom line. We have always stated that great content is the key to great search results. Think of the Cutts-cut algorithm update as great content – for your head”
“We have always stated that great content is the key to great search results. Think of this update as great content – for your head”
The Cutts-cut update has caused ripples throughout the search-marketing world, as people scramble to ensure their haircuts are in fact following correct standards set by Google.
“The rules are so non-specific,” stated one renowned search marketer from Sydney, Australia (who asked not to be named). “I mean, sure I get the importance of great content for your head, but what about hats? Will wearing a hat get me penalised? Then there’s the question of sideburns too! How long can they be? What about sideburn density! Do we need to take into account when Matt Cutts had a goatee, and does facial hair play any part in this algorithm update at all? There are just too many questions that Google is not answering.”
The concerns seem to be founded too, as Google is otherwise keeping rather quiet about the specifics of the Cutts-cut algorithm update. This is especially concerning for the more folicaly challenged of the search industry – bald SEOs.
As shown in the graphs below, analytics for webmasters who have lost, or are in the process of losing their hair have shown a decline, while those who are early adopters of the patented Matt Cutts hair style, have remained steady.
“This is completely unfair!” said Jason Wiggen – head of marketing for a renowned Seattle based digital agency, who has be bald since his early 20’s. “The Cutts-cut algorithm update is just Google throwing their market monopoly around with out even considering those affected by male pattern baldness.
“Why should my search results be penalised because my mothers father passed on the baldness gene to me. I know Bing would never alienate bald people! Steve Balmer would never have stood for such bullying tactics!”
The ‘Kim Jong-Un’ Update?
It’s a bold move (no pun intended) by Google to introduce such a change into their algorithms, and one that has been affectionately labeled by many as ‘The Kim Jung-Un Update”, referring to North Koreas recent law that required all North Korean soldiers to assume the same hair style as their beloved leader.
When asked about the similarities, our source stated, “The rumours we followed the same strategy as North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un are completely false. The short back and sides has been a constant pillar of modern efficiency for centuries. We want our search results to be as efficient as possible, hence why we have created this update. The only similarities Kim Jong-Un has to our previous Penguin and Panda updates, is that like the penguin and panda, Kim Jong-Un is also an adorably, odd little critter. Likening this algorithm update to a totalitarian dictator is quite unfair in this instance”.
Google has never been apologetic about their algorithm updates and have always stood by their mantra of ‘everything we do is to improve the result’s for users’, and the Cutts-cut update is no different.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, with one particular industry looking to benefit from the algorithm update more than any – the hairdressing and barber industry.
Raphael Saint Clare – lead stylist of SnipSnip Styles, a hair salon in Richmond, Victoria is expecting business to boom in the coming months.
“Yes, it is extremely exciting for the hair industry. Already we have seen traffic to our website spike by almost 500% since the announcement. It’s very exciting” Raphael stated. “However, we understand it’s likely to be short-lived. We understand that it’s only a matter of time until Google identifies the large amounts of traffic the industry is receiving via search and scrapes site’s like mine to create their own hair dressing widget in search results. But, as they say. C’est Le Vie.”
Like it or love it, the Cutts-cut algorithm is going to affect search results around the globe. It’s up to search marketers and webmasters to adapt to the short back and sides as soon as possible, or feel the wrath of yet another confusing set of rules by the Big G.
(Authors note: Clearly this is a parody, if someone from the Google webspam team reads this, pretty please don’t de-index my site.)