Matt Cutts: SEO Needs To Focus On Helping Users Not Link Building

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Google's head of search spam Matt Cutts has addressed a number of factors to do with digital marketing in his latest video post entitled 'What are some misconceptions in the SEO industry'.

In the five minute YouTube video, he looked to clarify one of the biggest misunderstandings in the industry, the difference between algorithm updates and data refreshes, as well as dismissing claims Panda and Penguin were all about generating short term revenue for Google. He also suggested SEO firms needed to focus their efforts away from link building.

In terms of algorithm updates compared to a data refresh, the main difference lies in the fact an algorithm update involves changes to how the algorithm works to rank, index or filter search results.

So, the recent Penguin 2.0 for example was an algorithm update. A data refresh on the other hand, is, as the name suggests, a refresh of the data within the existing algorithm, usually only making very small changes to how it works as a whole.

In the YouTube video, Google's distinguished engineer also added there was a misconception among many within the SEO industry that Panda and Penguin updates were all about making the search engine giant money in the short term.

However, Cutts immediately rejected such concerns, suggesting algorithm and organic search were separate from its revenue goals. If anything, he believes Panda has the opposite effect as Google is cutting out the low quality spammy sites, highly monetised via AdSense.

Cutts also said many SEO firms were still concentrating too much of their time on link building and understanding search engines, rather than the users themselves.

He said it would be in their interest to look to social media and other such areas in order to develop more awareness of their site.

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