Matt Cutts On SEO — Linkbuilding Still Rules

If you want to win your SEO wars then you have to take linkbuilding very seriously. While a lot of naysayers have been peddling wrong information, it is refreshing to know that link building is what we have all known (or suspected) it to be: Google’s most important single signal.

Eric Enge cornered Matt Cutts and had him come out more clearly than we are used to seeing him do in an interview published at stonetemple.com. Here are excerpts…

1. Google will keep evolving in its bid to serve searchers with the best answer to their queries. That is, rank the best content above all others. But while things might change in the future, Matt Cutts says…

“Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover that, and maybe over time social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that.”

While people try to game the system, Google recognizes that great content usually attracts editorial links. Matt even agrees with the concept of giving your content the initial push. After all, no one will link to your great content if no one knows it exists.

So while your initial push may NOT give you any Google-love, Matt points out that the consequential reactions from that initial push will get you Google’s attention.

2. Build authority. In Matts words…

“There are certainly people who are widely known on the web, who have a great reputation, who are experts, who are authorities, who everybody listens to or trusts.”

You need to work hard to become such an expert. But how do you do that without marketing yourself? Can you market yourself effectively on the internet without building great links? Can you build great links without marketing yourself?

3. Matt agrees that syndication is a very good way of building your authority, driving traffic to your website and gaining valuable links. However, he warns that you should ensure you take care of the mechanical side of things to ensure you gain full value from your syndication.

He advises you to implement things like “rel=canonical” and embedding a link within your article especially when you are publishing the same article on your site (Make sure your attribution is intact). This will help Google know that you are the original author.

It also helps to publish the article first on your site (and wait until it is indexed by Google) before syndicating it.

4. Guest posting is a good way to syndicate your content and build traffic, your reputation and quality links. However, it is important that you focus on only top quality content (You don’t expect an authority site to publish trash).

Matt cautions that treating guest posting the same way people approached article directories can only cause problems.

5. Interviews with authority figures in your niche will also help you build great content while enhancing your reputation. And since these people usually have large followership, you will gain links, social signals and more.

With what you’ve read so far, do you think linkbuilding is dead or dying? Please, join the conversation.

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