Google’s Matt Cutts put the smackdown on SEO at a recent SXSW session.
This is what WebProNews reported Cutts said during a SXSW session, “Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!”
“And the idea,” Cutts said, “Is basically to try and level the playing ground a little bit, so all those people who have sort of been doing, for lack of a better word, ‘over-optimization’ or overly doing their SEO, compared to the people who are just making great content and trying to make a fantastic site, we want to sort of make that playing field a little more level.
So that’s the sort of thing where we try to make the website…the Googlebot smarter, we try to make our relevance more adaptive, so the people who don’t do SEO, we handle that, and then we also start to look at the people who sort of abuse it, whether they throw too many keywords on the page or whether they exchange way too many links, or whatever they’re doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area. So that is something where we continue to pay attention, and continue to work on it…we have several engineers on my team working on that right now.”
Is This New?
Cutts’ comments only confirm what we had already suspected: Good quality content matters even more — ahead of a site that is SEO’d to death. Bottom line: A site with good, quality content can receive more ranking than a site that’s been SEO’d to death i.e. content farms.
Not really, as this is what we’ve suspected all along. But Google is known to send out mixed signals, change up the algorithm and then we figure out MONTHS later that what worked at one point doesn’t work now.
Why These Steps Are Good For Content Marketing
For content marketers, this is a welcome change. Before Panda, we saw way too many sites with crap for content, but ranked on page #1 because they had good SEO. Hopefully, the playing field is leveled, so that websites will now demand, pay for more good SEO content AND recognize its worth.
Does that mean your site’s SEO can be crappy but you’d still rank well with good, quality content?
I wouldn’t go quite that far, but what Google appears to be saying is that good content is just as important — if not more — than SEO. You need both to have a site with good rankings.
What do you think about Cutts’ comments?