Why you should be saying yes to content marketing and dropping some of the old practices, they could get you in trouble.
I’ve been taking a good look at Eric Enge’s pieces on Search Engine Watch recently. They make it absolutely clear why content marketing is such a compelling proposition for brands and why older link building practices have become a genuine liability.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam and the public face of its search quality team – the SEO police if you like – said this recently when asked by Enge what the best link building strategy was:
“Make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.”
The same is true of all your online content.
It’s well documented that link-building for its own sake simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Google won’t stand for it.
SEO activity needs to be focused on brand and reputation. And while links are still essential, they must be relevant and trustworthy. Google knows if they’re not and will penalise you if you continue down a bad path.
With that in mind, Enge has determined five essential questions to be asked before building a link.
- Would you build the link if Google and Bing didn’t exist?
- Would you be reluctant to show the link to a real-life prospective customer? Could it embarrass you?
- Did the person giving you the link intend it as a genuine endorsement? (This counts just as much with guest blogs.)
- Can you easily justify that it’s a good link?
- When you get a link back to your site, would someone seeing your link on that page have a real chance of wanting to click through an attribution link to learn more and perhaps become a customer?
You must to be able to answer yes to all of these.
If you can’t, you seriously risk being penalised by Google and having your organic search ranking downgraded.
To guarantee your five yeses, you must have fantastic content that’s relevant to the audience you want to reach. It really is that simple.