Matt Cutts says the key to web marketing success is to get back to the basics and create high-quality content worth promoting.

Esteemed Search Engineer Matt Cutts says the way to Google’s heart is not necessarily through backlinks and title tags. Of course, those are SEO basics that lay the foundation for a good web presence, but putting objective principles at the core of an internet marketing strategy won’t always win top spots in SERPs, Cutts recently told Eric Enge in an interview.

The secret to success in the SEO world is the same one that marketers employed on New York City’s Madison Avenue – create products and branded content worth talking about, Cutts advised.

“I always liken this to doing marketing the way it used to be done, right?” Enge elaborates. “Businesses always tried to create the best product, the best value or the best something. Then they would find a way to promote it … and it may well attract attention and cause people to write about it.”

Cutts explains this is the best approach for webmasters to improve the SEO value of their sites. Their first goal should be to create great websites that give users the types of experiences they’ll want to share with others. This type of online content earns backlinks from reputable sources and improves web exposure.

“It is true that a lot of SEO is now circling back around to good old fashioned marketing.”

Link building continues to be one of marketers’ biggest challenges, according to a recent Ascend2 study. More than half of all surveyed companies with strong SEO strategies admit external link building is one of the practices they find most difficult.

“You need to make sure you get the basics right, but it is true that a lot of SEO is now circling back around to good old fashioned marketing,” Cutts says.

His guidance suggests that link building should be less of an arduous task and more of a natural process that occurs when companies invest adequately in their web presences.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.