A recent interview with Matt Cutts earlier this month confirmed that yes indeed, content still is still the utmost important factor when it comes to link building.
In his interview with Stone Temple Consulting’s Eric Enge, Cutts says that the best way to obtain links to your site is through writing compelling content so that way others can write about it and ultimately link to it. A shareable experience can lead to a stronger presence in a SERP, something that we don’t think is stressed enough to new online marketers and business owners alike.
Cutts is saying this as a response to the belief that Google thinks all link building is bad– an idea that is entirely wrong. Essentially marketers try to tackle link building in a reversed way, first trying to get links then build their website from there. Really, people should be creating a user-friendly and informative site that they eventually link to naturally because of the relevant content. Because people are finding value in the site, and as a result are linking to it, your rankings have the possibility of becoming higher in the SERP. Now that’s only a possibility– you can always view rankings as the end game to your efforts online, or the prize at the end of the race. Basically a reward for creating something that people can share.
“SEO is now
circling back around
to good old fashioned
The interview continues with Cutts saying that if marketers focused more on relevant content with the user in mind, or focusing more on the reader in general, work as an SEOer becomes that much easier.
By building a following of people who want to know what you or you’re company is doing next, you’re already that much ahead of some of your competitors.
Cutts says that Google may be working on a way to give experts, or persons with authority in a certain realm, more credibility online because of the fact that people are coming to them repeatedly for their knowledge and expertise.
“I would concentrate concentrate on the stuff that people write, the utility that people find in it, and the amount of times that people link to it,” says Cutts. “All of those are ways that implicitly measure how relevant or important somebody is to someone else. Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover that, and maybe over time social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that.”
S’Not Only What You’re Saying, But Where You’re Saying It
So you’ve got great content– so much so that you’re ready to share it across other blogs. That’s great that you’re writing thoughtful information, but Cutts and Enge discuss how it can properly released across the internet.
The channels you release your article/blog post/rambling can be published on your own website, however this can be limiting your article’s ability to move farther in the online world. Enge poses the idea of creating content that can by syndicated across multiple websites in order to create valuable links. But if these links come at a cost of duplicate content, are they really even worth it in the first place?
Cutts responds that if you follow the right paths, you can maintain authorship, have your article widely released through syndication and still do well in the rankings. How you ask? Publish it on your website first then later post it to syndicated websites with proper attribution using rel=canonical or embedding a link, according to Cutts. Enge says the easiest way to do all of this is to not publish on your own website, and choose only syndicated channels or guest postings/blogs. My opinion, however, of guest blogging is to be cautious considering guest blogs are typically low quality writing and are mainly used to gain links.
And since we here at drumBEAT have just started podcasts, I took special note to the part of Enge’s and Cutts’ conversation that had to do with interviews with figures of authority either for an article or a podcast. While none of our podcasts thus far have had major figures of authority (unless you count our SEO copywriters as major figures of authority), we feel that targeting small business owners can help gain an audience rather than bringing in an expert could possibly confuse the already confused even more. We like to see our podcasts as a platform for those who don’t know SEO rather than those who are waiting to hear from industry professionals. May be later we can branch out to that when all of our followers listen to us so regularly that they become experts themselves.
Engagement and Interaction
Enge goes on to say that any author should think about how they are developing authority and then later building on authority. Rather than focusing on rankings focus on these 3 things that are seriously the best thing we have heard in a while:
- How much engagement your website is getting
- Developing relationships to be able to post on authoritative sites
- Where you write and who you are talking to is just as important as what you’re contributing.
One of the main things that we try to accomplish with anything that we do is make sure that people are finding what we’re saying interesting, and we try to make sure that we are reaching people in the most ways as possible, especially when it comes to our clients. Sure, these tactics can be utilized when you’re just talking about a personal blog or a personal website, but they can be even more beneficial and valuable to a small business owner.
Cutts relates this notion to a priority inbox, where Google takes not of the fact that you interact with this “mail” frequently. Make as many ripples as possible to be sure that people are getting your information. Share and become valuable in your online community. The best thing anyone can do is connect with their audience, effectively because this will make you more popular amongst your peers, your followers and ultimately (possibly) search engines.
Content is king, but where you place that content is a close queen.