Google’s Matt Cutts released a video today in which he explicitly endorsed search engine optimization – as long as it was white hat. His concept of SEO is for websites to ensure that their “pages are well represented in searches.” To Cutts, white hat SEO includes items like:
- crawlable pages
- good keyword selection
- usable design
- fast site speed
He cites spammy techniques like keyword stuffing and sneaky redirects as examples of black hat SEO, which is definitely a no-no for Google.
Of note in the video, there’s no mention of backlinks as the driving force within Google’s algorithm. While he is explicit about stuffing and redirects, those techniques aren’t as popular as they once were, mainly because the Google-bot has gotten pretty good at detecting that type of spam. Keyword stuffing and sneaky redirects were popular SEO techniques from the early 2000′s, but the state of the art has progressed a lot since then.
Most reputable SEO firms do link building, whether on the shady level or the stealthy level. Cutts knows this, yet it’s odd he didn’t touch on different backlink strategies, since backlinks are known to be hardwired into Google algorithm and one of the primary factors in ranking.
It’s quite clear that some SEO firms engage in spammy backlinks – floods of links from unrelated sites. Just ask JC Penny. These strategies backfire as Google improves its ability to detect them. A reputable SEO will insist on placing backlinks only on related pages and within the context of the website’s content. Presell Pages are excellent in this regard – they are customized to present a backlink naturally, in a way that doesn’t raise a red flag to search engine providers. Backlinks have the best chance of boosting search results when Presell Pages emanate from websites with high Page Ranks. Perhaps this is a topic that Cutts will address in a future video.