SEO fast ‘becoming like traditional marketing’

In a recent interview with Google’s distinguished head of search spam, Matt Cutts, Eric Enge tackled the issue of {{seo}} and link building head-on with one of the leading search gurus on this planet.

Perhaps the two key points to come out of Cutts’ latest musings is that a) link building is still the right thing to do and b) SEO as we know it is fast becoming a new form of traditional marketing in a digital age.

Cutts said: “Not all link building is bad. The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and link to it.

“And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards. They try to get the links first and then they want to be grandfathered in or think they will be a successful website as a result.”

Eric Enge confirmed that one of the underlying themes to emerge from his interview with Matt Cutts was that search engine optimisation as a profession is moving steadily towards more of a traditional marketing discipline.

“SEO used to be this thing that people thought of as happening in the dark corners of the web where you could do anything you wanted and magically, you’d get more search traffic,” said Enge.

“More importantly, they thought they could do anything they wanted and it wouldn’t impact their brand. For example, they could publish crappy content, and since no one ever read it, it didn’t matter.

“What’s really clear now as Google enforces its policies for good and bad links, for example, is that publishers are going to be pushed more and more into viewing link building as an integral component of brand building and vice versa, as a component of brand building is really smart link building.

“Those two things are going to be harder to separate.”

Subsequently as search marketers we are increasingly having to think like old-school marketers and ensure that our link building tactics are sustainable and devised with our customers in mind.

Here are some of the questions you should ask about your own marketing tactics:

  • Would you get this link if search engines didn’t exist?
  • Would you be happy to show this content to a prospective customer?
  • Would you show it to your family?
  • Is the new link a credible endorsement of your product and/or service?
  • Is there a question mark over whether it is a ‘good’ link?
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