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Link Building: Fast Food Or Posh Nosh?

I was going over the Matt Cutts blog just to triple check over my recommendations for a large client that was merging two domains into a new huge one (eek) and found this lovely interview he did about link building.

The bit I agreed with most, and I'd like all you noobs to read is:

Eric Enge: So, what I’d like you to start with, Matt, is just an overview of your thoughts of what the approach should be. And then, we can get into some more detailed stuff.

Matt Cutts: Yeah, totally. So, what are the links that will stand the test of time? Those links are typically given voluntarily. It is an editorial link by someone, and it’s someone that’s informed. They are not misinformed, they are not tricked; there is no bait and switch involved. It’s because somebody thinks that something is so cool, so useful, or so helpful that they want to make little sign posts so that other people on the web can find that out.

The thing is, this the gourmet approach, there are 1,000's of webmasters & affiliates how will read about creating quality content. These people will take in the information, they'll sit down and think "I've got to write a really good piece on XYZ". Then they'll get a few emails, some calls and some instant messages and they'll rush through and write a crappy "Top ten" post.

I really hate these "Fast Food" link building attempts that may fill you up in the short term, but in the long term they'll get you fat and may contribute to your site's death. I never try and do them, but occasionally it’s the only way to get your POV across (little and often and all that!).

Some site owners would have great success with them so they'll tell people about it and then every Tom, Dick or Harry will write them. On SpinnDigg you'll find littered with them. You can't move for "The top 8 ways to beat procrastination", "The Best 8.5 ways to remove fluff from your belly-button", "The 12 2/3 most effective ways to get something done by someone you've never met"! Boring!!

I want to read original content written for the purposes of getting a message across, not because you want me to read it and lazily link to it.

The problem people don't realise is that as everyone is doing this the minimum quantity/quality of links you need to keep to achieve a given result is going up. It’s turning into a situation where too many people are thinking of quantity and not quality.

For every 20,30 "top ten lists" you could spend the time doing some great research and get 10/20 times the benefit in terms of links.

I've got into Search Engine Land and received some links and traffic as a result as wrote something useful, topical and relevant to my target audience. I never aimed to achieve this.

So my advice to my peers and noobs - just think of the quality and usefulness of the content and the links will follow.

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