Sometimes a perfect confluence of events proves what you’ve suspected all along. And when it comes to SEO, I’ve had a hunch about BS emanating from Google and fawning SEOs for years. Of course, the latest evidence shows that Google lied to us about AMP. The person presiding over this misinformation is John Mueller, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that I finally realized with 100% certainty that he doesn’t know anything about what’s going on.
Mueller Isn’t Hiding Things – He just Doesn’t Know!
I’ve always wondered whether John Mueller actually knew something and was deliberately misleading us, or if he was just as ignorant as we are about the inner workings of Google search. But when Google released its core update for 2021, the answer could no longer be in doubt. John Mueller has no clue about Google search. He’s a public relations guy, putting a kindly face on the whole thing, whose job it is to say the “right” things. And here’s the proof.
Proof 1: Mueller Was Blindsided by Google’s November 2021 Core Update
The November 2021 update was released on the 17th of November. Just one day before, Mueller was asked on Twitter whether there would be an update before the end of 2021.
The man had no idea that the Google search team was preparing a massive core update just one day later!
So we have the following possibilities:
- Mueller knew the update was going to happen and lied to us
- He had no clue that a huge update was going to drop the next day
In my opinion, why would you lie when you could be so easily caught the very next day? If he knew the update was rolling out and didn’t want us to know, he would surely have at least not responded. The fact that he said he doesn’t know, means he’s completely out of the loop when it comes to Google search.
Proof 2: He Has no Technical Knowledge of How Search Works
Those of us with skin in the game know when something’s up. We can tell if traffic drops suspiciously – unlike some SEOs and professionals, our bread and butter depends on it. But when a website owner saw his rankings drop within hours, Mueller had this to say:
This is BS. Those of us who were affected know that this update hit fast and hard. The largest changes came in the first 24 hrs, and now 2 weeks later, there’s barely any movement. If Mueller had any actual knowledge about what was changing, he wouldn’t have dismissed the idea of hourly changes outright. The truth is, he has no idea what the search team is up to.
Mueller is a PR Face for Google Search: Nothing More
Google is leveraging the “kindly old grandfather” vibe that Mueller pulls off. He certainly says all the right things. Like:
- Don’t worry about building links
- Domain authority doesn’t matter (as if big sites have no advantage over smaller ones)
- Google is great at filtering out spam results
- Just create a great experience for users, and all will be well
These are anodyne comments that anyone can make. “Make sure your structured data is correct”, “Don’t overuse bold text”, “Link out if you think it’s useful” “Make your site fast!” etc. There’s nothing controversial here.
The truth is that Google has no incentive to give us any real information about how their algorithms work. I understand that, and I would respect them if they were at least honest about it. But the façade they’ve created is that John Mueller is the official representative of Google search with inside knowledge of how the algorithms work, and his pronouncements will help us rank our sites better.
It’s the facade that I dislike. No useful information can come from Mueller that we didn’t know already. “Do what’s good for the visitor”. Ya think!?
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!
I agree. I prefer matt cutts but he’s already out.
Working with AI in recent months, I can state that despite you programmed the neural network you can’t predict its behavior. No doubt, Johnny Mu is nobody in Google, and of course, he doesn’t know how the algorithm really works. But I want you to pay attention to the fact that mostly Google algorithms are based on AI. Even the one who wrote the part of Google’s core can’t predict its behavior. That’s why they make too many corrections, in my opinion. AI is quite a complicated matter. For example, when you train your neural network for the NLP tasks, you can ask a model to output 5-10 results. Among them, 2-3 will be excellent, while the rest are the BS. I think that the last updates are a kind of experiment. They can’t fine-tune their NN. And when people who visited Barry’s personal blog (seroundtable) are wondering what happened when they lost all the positions overnight, they can’t realize that they’re blindly trying to evaluate the behavior of NN.