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Matt Cutts on Link Building

| 3 minutes to read

LinksMatt Cutts is the head of the web spam team at Google, he is also widely known as the face of Google who seeks to let us all know about recent developments and pass on advice on how best to manage your website’s presence.

He does not go into detail about anything which gives away information about how the Google algorithm works for obvious reasons, but he does his best to point us all in the right direction. In this post I thought I would gather some videos from Matt Cutts on Link Building to highlight some of the best practises from Google’s point of view.

Is there such thing as building too many links?

Matt Cutts focuses on trying to get links in an organic manor; if the link profile seems natural in Google’s eyes there isn’t a limit to the amount of links you should aim to get. Most websites will generally build links over time; with Social Media it is natural for a site to get an influx of links much quicker. Just make sure you stay away from schemes which will give you hundreds or even thousands of links overnight.

Do URL shorteners pass anchor text?

URL shorteners have increasingly been used since the introduction of Social Media and Twitter (due to the limitation of characters). Most of these will operate using a 301-redirect which passes all the goodness through to the linked to page. Popular URL shorteners known for passing link juice are Bit.ly and Google’s own shortener (www.goo.gl).

Are NoFollow links irrelevant?

Google claim that NoFollow links do not pass any benefit regardless of the medium in which they are used. Matt Cutts tries to get you to focus on benefit to users rather than how much link juice every link passes. Try to source links which could help users find you first and foremost.

Is it okay to sell links as long as you use the NoFollow attribute?

Google is fine with this as long as you aren’t selling links so another site can benefit from the passing of PageRank. You may link to them for advertising purposes and these links should be NoFollowed.

What are some effective techniques for building links?

Matt Cutts focuses here on great content and useful content which people will link to naturally because they found the resource helpful. This can be done by having a good blog, creating tutorials, becoming a news source and developing content that people naturally want to share. Another point he mentions is to have good website architecture, make sure your site is easy to navigate for users as well as the search engines.

Is cross-linking websites bad?

People may want to cross-link their websites if they own more than one domain, sometimes just for the benefit of creating an optimised link for SEO purposes. Matt recommends only linking if there is a useful connection between the sites, for example if you had a Photoshop tutorial website and linked to your Illustrator tutorial website there is a link there relevant to the content on both websites.

How do I link to a site I have a personal relationship with?

If a link on a website is there to let visitors know that this is another site owned by you or a friend possibly, you could surround this link with text explaining why you are linking to the site and Google should be able to figure out that this link isn’t a paid link to a random website.

Are links in footers treated differently than paragraph links?

Google are able to tell where the link is, much more relevance is likely to be put upon paragraph links because they are relevant to the content and the link is likely to be much more natural. Footer links tend to be site wide and irrelevant to the specific content on each page.

How can new pages indexed quickly?

Google will generally find a new page quickly if it has a lot of links. If these links are from more authoritative sources (e.g. the BBC), it is likely to be found much more quickly. Try and get more links whether that is naturally via good content or by using social platforms to spread awareness of that page.

To Summarise

The above information from Matt Cutts can be very helpful to make sure that your Link Building activities are natural and of good quality (in Google’s eyes). It’s from a reasonably trustworthy source too, so it’s advice that’s worth taking. There are many more helpful resources on the Google Webmaster Help YouTube channel or on Matt Cutts personal blog.

Image Source

Chrome chain with a red link via BigStock


  1. Ravish avatar

    I am working on a blog so, what should i use wile building links https://www……blogspot.com



    I mean can i use (www.)

    1. Tom Howlett avatar

      Hi Ravish,

      I recommend varying the types of links that point to your site. This way, the link profile is going to be much more natural.

      If you think about the way people are likely to naturally link to you – some may include the www. and others may not.

      So it really doesn’t matter what link you use, keep everything natural and make sure everything is done in moderation.

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