Why aren’t you watching Matt Cutts videos?

// // May 30th 2010 // Rant + SEO

Matt Cutts Videos

The average number of views a Google Webmaster Central video, starring Matt Cutts, receives is approximately 4,000.

That’s right, only 4,000 people (if you believe every view is unique) tune in to learn from the guy who heads up Google Web Spam and is the face of Google search.

I don’t get it.

Is the SEO community that small?

One person recently commented that the Facebook Like button made him feel lonely.

Fundamentally, this means that the web is a lonelier place for me. It’s like walking on a sidewalk on one side of the street, where it’s totally empty, and getting a glimpse that the other side of the street is crowded with friends chatting. The friends are there: they’re just not mine. I must be a loser.

When I look at the number of views Google Webmaster Central videos get, I begin to feel similarly. Are there only 4,000 people who share my passion for search engine optimization? Is the SEO community that small?

SEO Search Volume

I decided to so a little research. First up was to see what type of search volume ‘SEO’ gets using Google’s Keyword Tool.
search engine optimization search volume

It’s not monster volume but it certainly shows that there’s a fair amount of interest in the topic.

Quick note, if you don’t like Google’s new interface you can force the old version of the Keyword Tool with the following URL:


SEO Site Traffic

So what about some of the major sites out there. What type of traffic do they get?
SEOmoz Traffic

SEOBook Traffic

MattCutts.com Traffic

While I don’t usually find Compete* to be accurate, it shows that sites like SEOmoz and SEO Book get nearly 1 million visitors a month. Even Matt Cutts gets nearly 400,000 visitors a month to his blog. So, the idea that only 4,000 people are watching his videos is … shocking.

*I find Compete to be wildly wrong most of the time but the alternative is Quantcast which has SEOmoz at 46K, SEO Book at 3K and Matt Cutts at 15K. While I usually find better success with Quantcast, these numbers seem outlandishly wrong.

RSS Webmaster Central Videos

Webmaster Central Videos are usually less that 2 minutes long and Matt provides as much information as he can on a specific topic. Sometimes the topic isn’t that illuminating, and sometimes Matt can’t divulge as much as you might like. But it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, right?

Read between the lines or listen for what seems like an offhand comment and you often do learn something. As I was writing this, a new video was uploaded that addresses the May Day algorithm change.

The best way to ensure you’re watching these videos is to subscribe to them via RSS. This is easy, so do it now!

Just go to the Google Webmaster Central Channel on YouTube and click on the RSS icon in your browser toolbar. If you’re not using RSS, well … shame on you.

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Comments About Why aren’t you watching Matt Cutts videos?

// 5 comments so far.

  1. Ileane @ Ms. Ileane Speaks // May 30th 2010

    Hi AJ, I wondered the same thing myself. I’m not very knowledgeable about SEO because I find all of the research rather boring. I’ve picked up a few tips here and there on different blogs and a couple of times I watched Matt’s videos on YT. I always find it interesting that most of the watch counts are so low. I think people find it more exciting to chase the “unknown” factors of page rank and SERP and less appealing to watch Matt discuss the known factors.
    By the way Lynda.com has an excellent course on the topic, but I fall asleep every time I try to watch the whole thing. I’ll get through it one day….

  2. aj // June 01st 2010

    There is a ton of (bad) SEO content out there, which is why Matt’s videos are a pretty good resource for those not deep in the industry.

    I also wonder if the text based bias we have in SEO means we don’t find the video medium that compelling. Do SEOs simply not find videos interesting? Do they prefer to read versus watch? It’s an interesting topic.

  3. Spyros // May 30th 2010

    Actually, i was thinking about that as well. It’s a bit weird indeed. I’ve watched practically every video that Matt Cutts has made. I suppose that most people in the field probably don’t know about him. It doesn’t make any sense otherwise.

  4. mark rushworth // June 01st 2010

    I dont watch them because 9 times out of 10 its nothing new!

    Google will continue to preach the whiter than white approach to SEO tactics which should the world jump to an alternate reality tomorrow where no one ever thought to build/buy links still wouldnt work in the commercial realm.

    build ‘good’ content – how can an ecommerce page trying to sell blue rubberized widgets be ‘good’ content? It just cant! theyre not interesting enough and when youve 6 different types of only slightly varied widgets to sell even more so.

    do a backlink check on the top 20 sites for sofas and youll see that a vast majority of links are bought without google doing a jot about it.

    /rant lol

    in short, matts videos dont offer any insight over what we already know… granted occasionally theres a tiny nugget of confirmation but apart from that its all pretty dull stuff.

  5. aj // June 01st 2010

    I grant you that some of the videos are … eye-rolling dull and pedantic. And I share your frustration at the paid links and splogs that seem to help sites gain trust and authority.

    Yet, a two minute video which might give me some additional insight into the algorithm or how Google is approaching things seems worthwhile, right? There’s no shortage of bad SEO content on the web. At least you know what you’re getting from Matt and if you read between the lines or wait for that offhand remark, you can start to connect the dots.

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