It’s time to take a look at some questions head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts answered today over on his YouTube channel. Each of these questions have to do with search engine optimization in some way or another and are designed to aid webmasters in making good decisions regarding site content and structure.
One user asked how he can guest blog without it appearing as though he paid for links. Cutts explains that there are typically surefire signs when a user has paid for links and that will send up a red flag. Those who pay for links will usually have an off-topic or irrelevant blog post that has nothing to do with the area the host blog covers. Keyword-rich anchor text is another red flag that typically tips off the webspam team that there are links for pay in play, not organic guest posting. Paid links obviously negatively impact search engine optimization efforts.
There is a wide spectrum of quality to consider as well. Some guest blogs are of much lower quality lately, which makes the webspam team have to look closely to determine whether or not content is legitimate. For the most part, guest blogging is a real way to get links back to your site. It is generally best reserved for cases where you are a real expert in an area and can provide a unique insight on the subject.
The second question Cutts’ addressed has to do with whether or not webmasters should focus on more than just ranking in search engines when building a search engine optimization plan for their sites. He reiterates that Google has always been in a state of flux. They have always made updates and changes to their algorithms to ensure only the best results are presented to users, much to the chagrin of some SEOs. Still, their efforts haven’t changed that much over the years and he encourages webmasters to focus on creating high quality sites, free of black hat techniques, to yield the best possible outcomes.
He says that it’s a good idea to invest time in more than just search engine optimization. Whether that’s through print advertising, a brick and mortar store, or a social media campaign, Cutts says having a well rounded and well diversified plan is your best bet for accruing the highest number of visitors and customers possible.