• http://www.merchantprocessingresource.com/ Sean Murray

    So why do link spammers, builders, and hackers win in the SERPs every time?

  • http://filedir.com/ Mark Jobs

    Our website generally focused on design and user experience first. But, Matt, many really bad competitors still have more better positions.

  • Joe

    Not every time. That’s an exaggerated statement.

    Link spammers and builders might win for a little while but their future prospects are not great.

  • http://www.merchantprocessingresource.com/ Sean Murray

    One of my competitors just put out one of those online style press releases this morning to announce that they are dominating the competition by artificially building links and manipulating google. Should I forward to Matt Cutts?

  • http://www.merchantprocessingresource.com/ Sean Murray

    agree on the exaggeration part, but it always seems like their future prospects are not great. After 10 years of telling them that their future prospects are not great, most of them have already made their millions by now because of how long its taken.

  • Jason Jersey

    I think that would be wise. Clearly they have no regard for rules. Time to be the teacher :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/marviene.vulpes Marviene Vulpes

    Yes. Forward it.

  • Durant Imboden

    I’ve often heard rants about how Google updates are designed to force site owners into buying AdWords. That argument is inherently silly, for a simple reason: For the most part, information sites (which also get hit by Google algorithm changes) can’t justify buying AdWords. If Google really wanted to use its updates as bludgeons to batter site owners into buying AdWords, algorithm changes like Panda (which supposedly targeted “content farms”) would have focused purely on e-commerce, affiliate, and corporate sites, and information sites would have been left alone.

  • http://www.coloradoSEOpros.com/ Chris Rodgers

    I personally am glad to hear Matt push focus towards creating better experiences for website users, this is easily a look into the future if you read between the lines. If G could rank by quality of user experience they would. At the same time link-building is still extremely effective if you are not lazy spamming and instead creating a healthy link profile (no-follows, social, deep links to lots of quality site content).

    G tends to talk about things for a while before they strictly enforce, key take away here is keep building quality links and focus future strategy on improving user experience throughout the site and on especially on landing pages.

  • ronniesmustache

    Are they getting more traffic and making more money?

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    “So why do link spammers, builders, and hackers win in the SERPs every time?”

    If that were really the case, they wouldn’t waste so much time whining about NOT winning in the SERPs every time on their forums and blogs.

  • Puneet Sharma

    Is Link Exchange a better way for build links?? Because Matt says in this article start build links…If we take links from authority websites???

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    Sean, That’s essentially the same rationale that a drug dealer makes. 10 years of flying high, hoping to get out before they get caught, can make millions.

    Not a moral equivalent, but just as short sighted.

    You know why you choose to do things that might cost you an opportunity to make more money. For me, it’s because there are better ways to spend my life than singularly focused on a which is the best scam to get ahead. What’s your motivation?

  • http://in.linkedin.com/in/montoroy Monto Roy

    Like the way Matt was very clear on focusing on user experience and not on SE and link building. Generating user relevant high quality content and going big on social media really helps. Users/visitors do like and share your content/site if they find it easy to navigate and useful. Regarding link spammer they can win but only for short time in present era because now Google has been more aggressive so by the time spammers start showing up on 1st SERP Google do come out with some changes which push spammers way back in SERP’s.

  • http://www.academicads.ca/ Lorne Fade

    Then why does negative SEO exist?

  • Chris Simmance

    Nice share and I agree that often too much energy is spent on old school link building. It is, in some cases needed (for example business profiles for local businesses) but on the whole social, sharing and a great UX site should win out and that should be the focus.

  • Swaran Jit

    If you want your website show on Google first page, create links from relevant sites.

  • http://www.e-wali.com/ Ahmad Wali

    As I see it, more people are now moving to Google Adwords. So, there is revenue increase for Google after Penguin and Panda. Many business owners finds it more difficult to achieve SERPs and prefer advertising on Google.

    User experience do play a role, but a website owner have to look after search engines because it is the place where he gets traffic. User experience is useless, if there is no ranking or traffic.

  • http://www.spinxwebdesign.com/ Alan Smith

    I agree with all above points, but if we do not do “link building” for our targeted keywords will social media and other activities help our websites to appear on top at SERP as per targeted keywords? Please help me.. :)

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    Only they would truly know that so why ask such a question lol?!

    But in general I would say yes because of the statistics that show less people get past page one of a search engines results, so in short whilst google is still ranking sites that build more links rather then sites that focus on design and user experience first people will still continue to have to out link build others!

    Swings and roundabouts comes to mind!

    Google says one thing but we mostly see something different and so have to continue to do both link building and continuous work to give visitors a better experience, but without the rankings that awesome design and great user experience will do nothing but waste away!

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    Yes but that’s why when one spammers site goes down another one appears to take its place!

    Don’t get me wrong google where doing better at ranking sites which where better but of late seem to be going some what backwards and sidewards with ranking more lower quality sites above better ones again :(

  • ronniesmustache

    If your business/site can’t be successful without Google organic traffic, it’s not viable- IMO.

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    I don’t know if you read the article or not but this conversation is all about google and the organic listing, so without being rude that comment really has nothing to do with what is being talked about here!

  • Winston

    It doesn’t. Well, not in the widespread way a lot of people want you to believe anyway.

  • Winston

    Maybe it is because independent realtors have a tendency to jump on every low cost internet marketing offer that comes along, including spam link building, blog networks and other things that are against Google’s rules. There is a reason they aren’t showing up in organic searches as much as they used to.

  • Winston

    Absolutely. Put it in a spam report too.

  • ronniesmustache

    I was addressing your comment specifically:

    “…but without the rankings that awesome design and great user experience will do nothing but waste away!”

    Matt Cutts never said, “Hey, make a great site and you’ll be successful without having to do anything else!”

    Cheers and good luck!

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    You can get a pretty good idea of how a site is doing in organic or paid search with something like SEMrush. Figuring out if they are making more money is a little bit harder, but if the site looks really spammy, or doesn’t really have what the SERPs say, it probably isn’t making the sales. This is why SEO is about more than just ranking for a handful of keywords.

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    I never said that either, so again my comment still stands in the context of THIS article and conversation about organic rankings on google, not a sites success in general.

    Matt Cutts has said a few times that people need to build great sites for the user, but when people are seeing more and more lower quality sites ranking above those high quality sites built for good user experience, it kind of makes you ask why Cutts says to do it when it don’t pay off as well as he suggests it will – That’s all my comment was about because that’s what the conversion was about, not a sites success from other sources as well :)

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    Nobody is being forced to use Adwords. But there are three main choices regarding Google search: 1) Follow the guidelines, be the best whatever you are, have a site that shows it. 2) Skip all that and buy ads. 3) Get your traffic somewhere else.

    Not sure why some people still believe Google would squeeze out all or most organic search results in favor of paid advertisements. Google is just not that short-sighted.
    Google’s updates are designed to improve organic results. This would make a better experience for Google’s users and they will return to use the service again, and eventually click on an ad, or something else that increases G’s revenue in some other way.

  • ronniesmustache

    MATT didn’t say Google isn’t out to make shareholders happy.

    He said that Panda and Penguin were rolled out withut worrying if GOOGLE was going to make money or lose money as a result.

    MATT CUTTS and the webspam workers are not GOOGLE. They are a cog in a wheel on a very large machine.

    I don’t think GOOGLE has ever been bashful about saying they want to make more money. It’s also no secret that they treat “commercial” and “informational” data differently.

  • Winston

    You left out “None of the above. I want to blame someone else for my mistakes and bad decisions.”

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    Yes you can get guesses of how much traffic a site is getting from a number of sites, but only those with access to onsite stats will know how much traffic, sales and conversion is really coming from google – maybe I need to start being a little clearer with what I’m saying on here lol.

    Yes your quite right in saying SEO is more then just ranking a handful of keywords, its also about conversion amount of things but hay that’s not what’s being discussed here so lets keep on topic rather then try to spin off to other topics what I’m sure the majority of people here already know about :)

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    You asked why someone would ask if your competitors are doing better and you thought only they would know.
    SEMrush is accurate enough to see if your spammy competitors are really doing better in the volume of search. Try it with some sites you know well enough to notice if it is on the mark or not. The other remarks about conversion, etc were in there to point out some info that would be missing from something like semrush.

    To make myself more clear – if you stop thinking mostly about keywords and artificial links, and think about all those other things a little more, you will do much better.
    And that seems to be what Cutts is trying to get across, too.

  • ronniesmustache

    I gotcha- and I don’t disagree.

    My perspective might be different than your’s. It largely depends on the industry, product or service your promoting and the audience you’re trying to reach.

    I often have clients come to me and say, “Why is this crappy site ranking above our’s?!”

    First, I point out that the crap site is indeed crap. ;) And then I paint a bigger picture (as Nick mentions below).

    Let’s establish KPI, update them every few months and measure actual outcomes.

    -Organic traffic trends
    -Quality of traffic
    -Unique organic landing pages
    -$$$
    -CR
    -GP
    -Leads
    -AOV

  • http://www.friedenzohn.com/ consultor seo

    Matt is full of s#$%@ I had my personal site penalized for negative SEO done by other SEOs , why would I have done that if I had place #1? Screw cutts and all the bull$%$%4

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk/ Nathaniel Bailey

    Yes in the volume of search not “Are they getting more traffic and making more money?”. Which btw you can do by yourself with many other tools for free quite easily which is what we use to see the overall search viability of our clients and competitors sites, but again that’s not what was posted.

    What was said is that many other bad sites still rank high, which in turn means they will be getting more traffic and taking traffic away from the better sites they have pushed down the SERPs, which is what makes people question how Cutts can say build a great site and don’t worry so much about building links which other sites are out ranking you with!

    How do you know what I am thinking about? Or how well my clients sites are doing? I am talking about what was post in THIS article, not about SEO in general because that’s NOT what THIS article is about!

    God I wish people would read better here rather then keep jumping the gun to try and look good when all your doing is showing you didn’t read fully what was posted or know how to talk about a set topic rather then things as a whole.

  • Sihegee

    Sean good points. We need to stop not only spam but hackers who work for others to steal valuable communication via e-mails. These cheaters should be stopped.

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    Wow – relax!

    You asked why someone would ask about traffic and revenue. I made an attempt to explain why, and how you can get the traffic info because you didn’t seem to know that you can get reasonably good info, or didn’t know why it was important to consider.

    But ok, it was a sidebar and clearly something you no longer want to discuss, even though it is relevant.

    Let me try one more time –

    Sites ranking at the top for a given keyword may not actually be getting more traffic than a site that is not focusing on just those “money” keywords by building artificial links based on those keywords. Looking at organic search traffic data can help you determine whether or not you should be so worried about it. Like, if Site A ranks #1 for blue widgets based on keyword link spamming, but doesn’t rank for much else related to widgets, is it really doing better than Site B which ranks somewhere lower than 9 for blue widgets, but gets lots of organic search traffic for many other things related to widgets?
    A site that focuses on quality, etc is much more likely to do better overall (traffic/revenue, not just position for some keywords) than a site that is built around a handful of keywords and the link spam to support that strategy.

    It comes down to goals. Is your goal more traffic/revenue, or just being number one for certain phrases?

  • Durant Imboden

    There’s an easy solution: Target keywords like “s#$%@” and “bull$%$%4,” and you’ll have a pretty good chance of ranking no. 1 for those terms.

  • http://discover-your-customers.com/ Beth Browning

    I love this post and video – it says it all. If people focus on the right things, like user experience, providing value, and relationships instead of algorithms and link building – they will succeed in the long run. Sites that have used this approach for SEO have been and continue to be successful and they don’t have to spend their time running around undoing the things they shouldn’t have done in the first place.

  • ronniesmustache

    Not what he said AT ALL.

    Matt: “Focus on user interface, design and the BROADER MARKETING EFFORT…”

    YouTube has a closed caption feature….give it a try and watch the vide again. ;)

  • ChrisDayley

    I didn’t say that’s what he said. But this is the same harp he is always playing, just with different words. Matt Cutts is constantly advising SEOs to stop doing SEO and just work on making a user friendly website. While extremely important, and while I absolutely agree that Social Media is almost as valuable as link building, if it were up to Matt SEOs would never build another link again. I’m sorry but you can’t always get organic links to your website.

  • Durant Imboden

    Matt’s point is that (all other things being equal) a good user experience should help sites achieve better rankings and traffic. Making users happy should have any number of benefits (lower bounce rate, more time on site, better conversions, etc.), even if it doesn’t help your search rankings. And if it does boost your search rankings, that’s icing on the cake.

  • ronniesmustache

    Right…but unfortunately “link building” means different things to different people.

    To me, link building means, “building relationships with people associated with your business.”

    To others, it might mean, “submit, submit, submit, request, request, request.”

    I see that as a waste of time.

    In general, Matt Cutts is right, SEO’s are spending TOO MUCH time on building links…period.

  • http://www.friedenzohn.com/ consultor seo

    Maybe you are right mr Imboden, but I assure you that if I had put the “keywords” that i replaced for the terms you copy pasted it wouln’t have been nice. I’m sorry if you didn’t like my statement but what I stated is true and I can prove it.

    btw my name is Alvaro friedenzohn.

  • Durant Imboden

    Good point. Also, the impression that a page makes on the SERP obviously has an influence on clickthrough rates. A page with a title like “Keyword1 Keyword2 Keyword3 keyword4″ and a keyword-stuffed description may not entice searchers into clicking, even if it is in the no. 1 position.

  • Guest

    Panda decreased revenue but Penguin (April 24th, 2012) brought it back:

    Q2 Financial Highlights Revenues
    and Other Information – On a consolidated basis, Google Inc. revenues
    for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 was $12.21 billion, an increase of
    35% compared to the second quarter of 2011.

  • Guest

    Panda decreased revenue but Penguin (April 24th, 2013) brought it back: Q2 Financial Highlights
    Revenues
    and Other Information – On a consolidated basis, Google Inc. revenues
    for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 was $12.21 billion, an increase of
    35% compared to the second quarter of 2011.

  • Graham Ginsberg

    Matt Cutts is lying through his teeth in the vid. G doesn’t give a rat about what he terms “user experience” and his results suck in SERP’s. How much worse can it get for Google? Blind or just plain greedy. Maybe they need to look at their operation with their Google Glasses