We’re big fans of Matt Cutts. Google’s Head of Webspam takes a hands-on approach with webmasters giving them guidelines and tips on how to make their website perform for the better in search and basic marketing terms.
We wrote about a video of his last week, in fact, where he lambasted the state of link building for quick rankings when site and business owners should instead be concentrating on providing the best user experience possible for existing and potential visitors.
It’s fair to say that the video we featured last week needed a basic level of ‘SEO’ understanding to make any sense. This week’s video, though, focuses on content marketing and advertising yourself as a creative content producer:
Cutts talks specifically about rel=”author” tag. For those not in the know the rel=”author” tag when paired with a Google+ account makes your content more visible in results pages by putting the author in the Meta description.
We’ve previously described the benefits of Google Authorship for your business and how it can improve click-through rates, local search trust and more.
But in this video Cutts talks about the future of Google Authorship and how he hopes it will move what he currently sees as an anonymous web into something more inclusive and creative.
It’s great to see Cutts clarifying that not only does it help content producers in an exposure sense but that it also helps the Webspam team determine the quality of content.
Most importantly, he confirms that rel=”author” will likely be improved in the future.
Offering transparency to searchers
Cutts works for Google and approaches this video from a quality perspective. Google needs to stay on top of its search game, don’t forget, and provide searchers with quality content and relevant results when they enter a query.
So Cutts’ thoughts on evolving from ‘an anonymous web’ were interesting indeed and ‘fills him with excitement’.
Put in basic terms it means being transparent with people visiting your website and showing them you’re a creative site operator. Businesses and the teams behind them will endear themselves more to the public if they’re visible in search results and associated with their company.
The immediate benefits? Filtering out poor-quality content that’s only been created to build links and offers no real readability.
If you search for a topic looking for answers and one of the results on the first page is written by an industry expert next to a professional photo then common sense dictates that you’ll likely click to hear his or her thoughts.
Becoming a visible part of your brand
The point Matt’s getting across in the video is ‘would you associate yourself with something terrible on purpose?’
There are a huge amount of guest blogs, articles and press releases out there that have been distributed with the sole purpose of link building.
A great example is guest blogging. Are you writing a standard article for the benefit of a link or are you writing something that shows off your industry knowledge that’s you’d be proud to put your name to?
Cutts cites another search expert, Danny Sullivan, as an example by saying: “I continue to support [web anonymity and free speech] but at the same time I’d like to know if Danny Sullivan writes something on a forum and the forum itself doesn’t have that much PageRank.”
So even in Sullivan were to post on a website with a low rank his post would still get some search prominence because he’s built up his author rank and created a worthwhile online portfolio that makes use of his knowledge and personality.
Cutts describes future plans as creating a “richer, more annotated web” where “It’s harder for webspammers to hide… in some anonymous corner [by adopting rel=”author”].”
That can only be good for search engine quality and returning relevant results when people search for something they need.
Moving away from keywords
Cutts also says something interesting which again confirms that Google is looking to distance itself from old-style SEO when he says “The philosophy of Google has been moving away from keywords, from strings towards things.
“If you know who the real-world people are who are actually writing content that could be really useful and help you to improve search quality.”
Diluted: quality creative content associated with a human face is much more effective in a search sense than building an unnatural link portfolio focused on keywords.
So how does one simple line of code help boost your content to the top of search rankings and put your brand in people’s minds?
Well, to coin one of those old-style SEO mantras, it won’t happen overnight. Creating an effective content marketing strategy takes time. You need to build a natural content portfolio and associate it with your profile, and become a leading, consistent voice of reason online.
Taking a consistent, quality approach to your content plan and building up an effective Authorship profile with rel=”author” will attract visitors and make your site an entertaining destination they’ll want to visit time and again.
Read more about how to create a quality content marketing plan that’ll put you head and shoulders above your competitors.
The death of keywords?
NO, It doesn’t mean the end of keywords. After all, how can you search for something on search engines without entering a query?
But it’s certainly a very big nail in the coffin for keyword-centric link building tactics. But why would you – especially as a small business – invest in building keywords instead of offering your potential and existing consumers the most amazing web experience possible?
Quality content alongside a clear social media presence and phenomenal user experience is the perfect way to get your site noticed by users and search engines alike.
If you’d like to know more about the intricacies of content marketing and how it can help your website contact Webpresence today to find out more!