Stop Listening to Matt Cutts
Matt Cutts is God. SEOs swing from dizzying highs to terrifying lows based on the Google Distinguished Engineer’s proclamations, especially following the bloodbath of the Panda and Penguin updates.
Matt Cutts says guest blogging is dead.
Matt Cutts says guest blogging is okay again.
Matt Cutts says not all link building is illegal (a really good interview with Cutts here).
I’m not saying that Matt Cutts does not speak truth, and I’m not suggesting that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. What I do know is that the overreaction to each of his statements is getting out of hand.
The Key to SEO Success
Here is the only quote from Matt Cuts that you need to know:
As long as you have great content, you should do well in Google. But if people are spamming or you hired a bad SEO, that can lead to unpredictable results. The one thing that I can guarantee is Google is going to keep trying to work on making better and better search results. And if you’re an SEO and you’re really interested, or even if you’re a black hat or something like that, there’s always going to be some level of having to adapt or evolve as part of that process. And that’s just the natural way of things”.
The truth is that you need content. Content that is well written and well presented. Content that is useful to readers and not self-promotional. Content that is unique and that encourages sharing by being informative, funny, touching or controversial. Content that includes videos and images when possible. Make sure that your content is socially shareable – you’d be surprised how many people still do not have social share options on their content.
After that, you need distribution. There is so much content online, that you have to take steps to ensure that your content is seen, rather than banking on people finding it on their own.
You need strong social media distribution, and outreach to others who can share your content – particularly bloggers and publications in your field of business. Creating these relationships and garnering authentic links back to your content is the only sure-fire means of continuing to boost your site’s SEO rankings. Don’t, however, release crap disguised as news. As Mike Wilton cautions, “Only submit press releases that are truly newsworthy and might actually be of interest to a news outlet.
You need a website that has been checked for possible SEO violations, such as duplicate content and missing or duplicate meta content. You should think in advance about what the main focus of your website is (think of this in terms of keywords) and then build your website around a few of those terms.
Don’t Be Shady
Cutts’ comments on guest blogging allude to the practice of sham guest blogging opportunities that are hidden links-for-pay exchanges. That’s shady.
Having links to your content on totally unrelated sites? That’s shady.
Paying bloggers to write about you and link to you without acknowledgement of the payment? That’s shady.
Spamming other sites with links to your site? That’s shady.
Most of us have a little meter in our head that tells us whether something is right or wrong. Follow that instinct, create content that is useful and relevant, and share that content well. That’s the secret – the only secret – to Google success. Just stay steady, and don’t let Cutts scare you – he’s here to help.