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Should webmasters focus on more than just ranking in search results?

Should webmasters focus on more than just ranking in search results? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

We have a fun question today from India. Shubhamstunter asks, “since Google has been actively updating its search results, it is hard for people to trust Google anymore. Should one start focusing on getting leads from social media other than search engine results?” OK. So let’s talk about this a little bit. Google has always been actively updating our search results. We always will be working on improving our algorithms and improving our search results. That’s what you signed up for if you’re trying to rank highly in Google. SEO is all about change. There’s going to be more change coming. We’re taping this at the beginning of the summer of 2013. By the end of the summer of 2013, we think it’s going to be even harder to spam Google and to rank Google on Google if you’re using black hat tools and techniques. So we are always going to be updating, always trying to change things to make things better, always trying to innovate the way that we rank our search algorithms. That’s just the nature of the beast. The goal is always the same, to return the best, highest quality set of search results. So rather than trying to figure out reverse engineering the algorithm and trying to find all the different ways to rank higher and trying to take shortcuts, as long as you’re trying to make a fantastic site that people love, that’s really compelling, that they’re always coming to, that’s the sort of thing that puts you on the same side as Google. Now the other part of this question was about getting leads from social media. And I am all for having eggs in lots of different baskets, right? Because if your website goes down, then you could always have a brick and mortar business. If your ranking on Google is not as good, then you could have other channels that you can use from print media advertising to billboards to Twitter to Facebook. So you should always have a very well rounded portfolio of ways to get leads, whether it be people walking through your door or Yellow Pages or whatever it is. Because you can’t count on any one channel always working out perfectly. As long as you have great content, you should do well on Google. But if people are spamming or you hire a bad SEO, that can lead to unpredictable results. So the one thing that I can guarantee is Google is going to keep trying to work on making better and better search results. And if you’re an SEO and you’re really interested, or even if you’re a black hat or something like that, there’s always going to be some level of having to adapt or evolve as part of that process. And that’s just the natural way of things. But you can minimize that if you’re trying to make sure you’ve got the best possible set of search results, the best, highest quality content for users.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: