SMX: You And A With Matt Cutts

    June 4, 2008

In the session "You and A with Matt Cutts," Danny Sullivan and Matt started off by talking about the Lyndon Antcliff story involving a 13 year-old boy who stole his dad’s credit card to buy hookers. The story was widely reported and later revealed to be a hoax that was used as link bait.

(Coverage of the SMX Advanced Conference continues at WebProNews Videos. Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Matt said it would have been irresponsible not to do anything about it and that you should not lie to get links. Matt said it’s best to do what’s right for your company long term and that you don’t want to be the Milli Vanilli of SEO. Credibility and trust are important.

The first question was about widget bait. People need to ask what they are getting from these links. They need to ask if its off topic and what the target is. Cloaking is bad, and Google has removed big sites that were doing it. Matt said, "Fix things so your site architecture works well."

When it comes to penalties most of the time the penalty is not going to keep you out of Google forever. Matt said, "We try not to be overly harsh, people make mistakes." Google tries to get sites back in if they are legitimate sites.

On the issue of attempting to hurt other sites by pointing dirty links at them, Matt says Google works hard to make sure that does not happen. He says people should be working on their own site instead of trashing the competition’s sites.

Matt says when it comes to SEO, most people know the answers, they know what’s right, and they don’t always need him to tell them.