Advice from an SEO Guru

When it comes to SEO and on-line marketing, Matt Cutts is one of the great gurus and his advice is taken and followed by millions. The SEO gossip of Matt Cutts always makes for a good debate, but they’re by no means the last word. Nevertheless, they call him the industry’s undisputed, semi-official SEO liaison at Google.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we can immediately jump at everything he says — sometimes, he’s promoting practices Google would like to see more people use, aspirational advice, while other times he may be offering genuine (Google-approved) insight from his close-to-the-source perspective.

With that in mind, we’ve gone through his last few months of videos and blogs and boiled it down to a few solid takeaways:

* Guest blogging is out of favor with Google
* Branding on Google is vital
* Quality content beats piggy backing

Guest Blogging Out
Cutts was pretty emphatic on this. The most recent post on starts: “Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”

What he goes on to say is that guest blogging was a perfectly good practice for a while, but now, overall, Google considers it “increasingly junky” Essentially, it might not hurt you today, but it won’t be of much help to you either.

The takeaway from this being that your time and resources are better spent writing quality content showing authority as opposed to piggy-backing on someone else’s work. You can do this by simply posting everything on your own website or blog.

Branding is a Part of Google’s Set of Rules
It’s no secret that being a well-known brand is often associated with high rankings and positions. It therefore makes a lot of sense that mega brands have lots of naturally occurring backlinks and therefore send out strong search signals.

Matt Cutts has talked in length over the past year about the importance of building a brand, your brand. The idea is that Google’s set of rules will be more subtle to brand names.

Take this a small step further and you can deduce that branded links, links of any kind, and unlinked mentions are more valuable to your business name than wide-ranging keyword links. This is a circumstance which has been steadily falling out of favor with Google for the past few years.

Cutts continues to plead ‘non-involvement’ on Twitter and Facebook. Similar to the brand issue, there is little uncertainty that being popular on social media sites often relates with high and higher rankings. However, seeing as how Facebook and Twitter are basically in direct competition with Google+, it’s not surprising that Google continues to say that there is no differences between networks and other sites on the internet.

In the spirit of free competition, Google and Cutts maintain that their own social media product, Google Plus, does not receive preferential treatment either.