Matt Cutts Shares his Views on White Hat Link Building!

Jun 18, 2008 | 2,658 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Recently, Matt Cutts while attending the Search Marketing Expo Advanced, was interviewed by Eric Enge. He spoke about the topic of link building and what exactly is good link building. Matt Cutts emphasizes on the fact that, the best links are those that are original research and provide value to readers for example, in the form of a Firefox extension. However, he did denounce too many reciprocal links. Here are some excerpts from the interview with Eric Enge:

Eric Enge: So, what I’d like you to start with, Matt, is just an overview of your thoughts of what the approach should be. And then, we can get into some more detailed stuff.

Matt Cutts: Yeah, totally. So, what are the links that will stand the test of time? Those links are typically given voluntarily. It is an editorial link by someone, and it’s someone that’s informed. They are not misinformed, they are not tricked; there is no bait and switch involved. It’s because somebody thinks that something is 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.

Now, there is also the notion of link bait or things that are just cool; maybe not helpful, but really interesting. And those can stand the test of time as well. Those links are links generated because of the sheer quality of your business or the value add proposition that you have that’s unique about your business. Those are the things that no one else can get, because no one else has them or offers the exact same thing that your business offers.

Eric Enge: Right. So, do you have any specific tips or approaches that you would recommend? A range of ideas would be interesting to talk about.

Matt Cutts: Yeah, totally. I mean, one of my favorites is original research. So, Danny Sullivan, for example, did some sweat of the brow research about how well the different hotmail, Gmail, and yahoo email products did at detecting spam. He decided to forward all his mail to the same three accounts, including his normal email. I am going to see how much spam falls through and how much spam I catch. And, he tracked it for only a couple of weeks. And then, when he was done, he had a complete list. “Okay,Gmail killed 394; so it had a 98% success rate.

It was a lot of work that he put into it, but when he was done; he was able to definitively say Gmail is better at spam, which was cool, that got my attention, and as a result I linked to it. There is a perception that Gmail is good on spam, but how many people can back that up with numbers?

So, that sweat off the brow, original research pays off. Aaron Wall did a post a while ago, where he gathered a ton of different statistics about certain keywords together. I’d rather find out about something because where somebody has done a bunch of original research or something like that, instead of just saying something controversial. Just taking the anti side or trying to be sarcastic.

There a couple of interesting posts over at the Webmasters World in regard to this conversation:

“In general it sounds like Google is aiming for a relatively complex taxonomy of link types and weighting for them. “

“Did you understand what Matt said about Digg? Do we know how valuable Digg links are?

I've hesitated about adding that Digg link on my site, because I've seen Digg pages that look like 950 penalties waiting to happen. They have pages full of links with the same anchor text, virtually, one after the other.

Perhaps your site wouldn't get 950d from the incoming link, but the Digg site would. (My main site was able to give good link juice while it was 950d.)

Do you use the Digg graphic/link on your sites to invite new links?”

“Originally, Google did not mention reciprocal linking at all. The word "reciprocal" did not even exist on their webmaster page. Then they addressed the issue of reciprocal and had to fine-tune it to add the word excessive.“

“As I read it, Matt's not talking about the Digg pages themselves. He's talking about links you get from other sites because Digg put your site into the limelight. They visited you, they liked what they saw, so they linked to it.

And even if the Digg page itself gets a -950 treatment from Google, it still passes some juice. I have no concerns about linking to Digg because of that. I'm sure Google has figured out how to handle social media links in an even-handed manner.

I haven't used a Digg chicklet on the sites I build, but not because of any concern. It's just not a good fit for my topics. I do have clients who use them”

The interview is a really interesting one and it deserves to be given complete attention. Hence, I would recommend to my readers, that they should definitely go through the Matt Cutts interview for a thorough perspective on this topic. Once again here is the link to the interview: http://www.stonetemple.com/articles/interview-matt-cutts-061608.shtml

4.thumbnail Matt Cutts Shares his Views on White Hat Link Building!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Matt Cutts Shares his Views on White Hat Link Building!
4.thumbnail Matt Cutts Shares his Views on White Hat Link Building!