Matt Cutts: Which is more important: content or links?

Video transcription

Here is a fun question from Jeff in New York City.
As Google’s algorithm evolves, is it better to have exceptional links and mediocre content, or exceptional content and mediocre links?
So, I’ll stop you right there rather than finishing the question. Google always has to trade off the balance between authority and topicality, for lack of a better word. If somebody types in “viagra”, which is one of the most spammed terms in the world, you want something that is about viagra, you do not just want something that has a lot of authority, like Newsweek or Times, that is talking about, you know, right in an article and they have one mention of viagra, where they say “Oh, this is something like viagra”, you know, just to throw off a phrase.

So, you do want authority, you want the sites that are trustworthy, that are reputable, but you also want topicality, you do not want something that is off topic. You want it to be about what the user typed in. So we try to find a good balance there.
So, I would try to say look have well-rounded site, great content has to be the foundation of any good site, because mediocre content tends not to attract exceptional links by itself, and if you’re trying to get exceptional links on really really crapy content you are going be pusing up hill, it is going to be harder to get those links, you are gonna have to do sort of stuff that we consider bad or scuzy for the web, like paying for them.

And so, it is much better to have great content where you get those links naturally and then you have both. You know, you get great content and you get great links.
Then, you know, trying to have something that’s really really not that interesting and trying to just push, push and push and bug people and send out spam emails and ask for links and all those sorts of things.
So, you wanna have a well-rounded site and one of the best ways to do that is to have fantastic, interesting, useful content, great resources, great information and then that naturally attracts the links.
And then search engines want to reflect the fact that the web thinks that you are interesting or important or helpful.

Quick Answer: It’s a trade off

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This