When Matt Cutts Talks, You Should Listen

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Matt Cutts

If you are new to world of search engine optimization and haven’t heard of the name Matt Cutts, it’s a name you should get to know very well. Matt works for Google’s quality group, and over the last few years, has become the unofficial liaison between Google and the SEO community. He has a personal blog, and if its not already in your feed reader, it should be.

Now that you know who Matt Cutts is, you can probably understand why it would be in your best interest to pay attention when Matt does an interview. Fortunately for you, Eric Enge posted his interview with Matt Cutts last week, and I’ve got all the key information you need to know from it right here:

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Google likes links that are given voluntarily: Matt told Eric that links that can stand the test of times are ones that are given voluntarily from someone that is informed. He emphasized that the key is avoiding any type of deception or bait & switch method. From a detailed report to a funny article, the key to getting people to voluntarily link to something is making it “so cool, so useful, or so helpful that they want to make little sign posts so that other people on the web can find that out.”

Paying for a social media consultant and paying for links are two different things: In the eyes of Google, those two topics are viewed as:

Paying for a social media consultant to create a piece of content that people want to link to: Good

Paying someone to add a link to their website without the nofollow attribute: Bad

As Matt said, when you pay a social media consultant to create a piece of on topic linkbait, “you are not paying for links. You are funding some creativity; you are sponsoring your page for some creativity.”

Not all widgets are created equally: Widgets have become a popular method of gaining links. However, there are well-documented cases where Google has completely dropped websites from their index because of their widgetbait.

So, what’s the key to increasing your backlink with widgets without getting booted from Google’s index? Matt mentions several different factors for creating Google approved widgetbait, including no hidden links, no links to other sites and avoid using spammy anchor text (although you may be tempted to use anchor text you’re trying to rank for, it’s much safer to your website’s name). Once again, Matt emphasized “we wanted people to be informed of what they are linking to and we want the links to be editorial.”

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