Matt Cutts, distinguished engineer at Google, has frequently urged marketers to avoid using any unethical tactics to build their search ranking. However, even after Google has rolled out countless new algorithms and updates, some marketers are still looking to find holes they can exploit to artificially improve their search ranking.
Cutts told Stone Temple Consulting that marketers should focus on their users when creating website content they hope will improve search traffic.
“The main thing is that people should avoid looking for shortcuts,” Cutts said. “In competitive market areas, there has always been a need to figure out how to differentiate yourself, and nothing has changed today. Think about how you can create compelling content or a compelling experience for users.”
In recent months, Google has rolled out its newest search algorithm, Penguin, in hopes of reducing the rankings of websites that engage in webspam. Among the practices that have been targeted with Penguin are keyword stuffing and paid links. Both are aimed at attracting search crawlers without considering the value offered to users.
Earlier this year, Cutts admitted that SEO has become more difficult, Brafton reported. However, content marketing campaigns including original articles, blog posts or other forms of content that populate a website with engaging, relevant information will always be rewarded by Google.
Penguin is the most recent, but Google’s effort to find high-quality content and deliver it to users has been ongoing for some time.
Earlier this year, Cutts admitted that SEO has become more difficult, Brafton reported. However, content marketing campaigns including original articles, blog posts or other forms of content that populate a website with engaging, relevant information will always be rewarded by Google. Even as it looks to create new methods of spotting problem content, strong content will always be good practice.
Google’s insistence on ethical SEO and high-quality content are not recommendations for any website, rather they’re necessary for the ultimate success of a web campaign. Brafton reported that Google actually punished its own web page for Google Chrome earlier this year, when it discovered a marketing mishap resulted in paid links directing back to its site. The 60-day penalty resulted in Chrome’s homepage disappearing from Google search entirely.
In his interview with Stone Temple, Cutts also detailed the growing popularity of infographics and their potential impact on SEO. While the content is engaging and can help companies improve their web presence and niche authority, Google has found some black hat SEO tactics associated with infographics that should make marketers focus on user value and transparent link practices. Cutts hinted that links embedded within infographics may be perceived by Google as attempts to garner inbound links from people who share infographics without their knowledge, and these could be discounted from search rankings.