Monday, March 24, 2008

First, I found out about Matt Cutts (from Colin MacDougal).

Then I found Mat Cutts' blog.

Now I'm busy digesting this entity also-known-as Matt Cutts. [My comments and understanding in this type style.]

His March 10th blog goes:

SEO Advice: Getting Links

Okay, here are some ways to get high-quality links without emailing, paying, or even paying attention to search engines:

Provide a useful one-time service.

It really doesn’t take very much. [And then he gives some examples. Service has to be useful. For each one-time service, you would need to get their email so you could continue the conversation.]

Provide an ongoing service:
  • Web-based services like Bloglines are a great example.

Become a resource:

  • You can do this with a personal or company blog. Blogs are a great way to get link love or just to get your word out.
  • If blogs sound scary, start out with newsletters. Or studies. Or surveys. Or white papers.
  • Once a company (I’ll call them site A) that does language translations asked me why they didn’t rank as highly as another website (I’ll call them site B). When I checked it out, site A had very little content, just 5-6 pages with contact info and a short description of what they did. It was like an online brochure. So what did site B have? They offered a tutorial about the difference between Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji, plus they showed how to write a few characters. Who would you link to, the empty brochure site or the site with tutorial pages? [KEY POINT HERE. Content is king. Also-rans are wannabes.]

Provide valuable information.

Be the first. Be the first means coming up with a creative idea that catches the fancy of the web.

Who appointed Loren Baker the judge of the best search blogs? No one at all: he just saw a creative opportunity and took it.

Get an article written about you. Be aware that controversy gets attention, but can also affect how people perceive you. If you bait people too often, that affects your reputation. [Last point is key, and I remind people of it in Maven Matrix Manifesto Exposed - you can be polarizing to get attention and start a discussion, but the "Rich Jerk" is actually cutting his own throat by driving away potential traffic.]

Open up your product:

[Here Matt tells of his proclivity to hack and build with Linux. What these producers are doing is opening up their product to the community - to allow people to contribute to their product.]

- - - -

The Nutshell:

Provide a one-time or continuing service.
Just ensure you get subscriptions so you can continue the marketing conversations
Become a resource; provide information.
Internet is built on Information, Choice, and Speed. By becoming a de facto authority, you then are providing another service - people can go to you for information and compare your story to others.
Open up your product. Host a community.
Some do this with their blog, others will form a wiki. Communities are powerful things.
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