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SEO firms should focus on consumers, according to Google boss

Graeme Parton

Matt Cutts, Google’s search spam boss, has taken to YouTube to discuss digital marketing with his followers. His latest post focuses specifically on some**more** common SEO misconceptions.

In the video, which lasts around five minutes, Cutts attempted to provide some clarity on one of the industry’s biggest misunderstandings: the difference between data refreshes and algorithm updates. He then went on to talk about the recent Penguin and Panda updates, rubbishing claims that they were financially-driven moves, and finished by offering advice to agencies regarding link building and the use of quality content.

As explained in the video, the main difference between a data refresh and an algorithm update is that the latter involves changes being made to the way the algorithm works to filter, index and rank the results of a search. Last month’s Penguin 2.0 update, for instance, came under the category of algorithm update.

A data refresh, however, as its name alludes to, refers to when the data of an existing algorithm is refreshed. This usually involves only small changes being made to how it functions overall.

Cutts also put the spotlight back on the importance of quality content, suggesting SEO agencies need to stop focusing their efforts on link building and trying to understand how site rankings work, and should instead look to please site users organically. It would be in the agencies’ interest, Cutts explained, to use social media alongside other genuine methods in order to generate awareness in a natural way.

It’s not the first time Google has tried to switch the focus to the use of original content. Many business owners have already successfully turned to professional content providers in order to increase their online presence. This change in emphasis has particularly favoured businesses that are able provide their users with relevant, useful information.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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