Planet13 - 3:16 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
Firstly, welcome to webmasterworld and thanks again for your original interview with Matt Cutts, and for your follow up posted above.
I understand and appreciate that interviewing Matt Cutts can be harder than interviewing a politician...
My concern - both from analyzing the google SERPS and from Mr. Cutts' comments - is that if you want to rank well in google, you should concentrate LESS on having good content, and concentrate more on pimping that content out via social media, advertising, adwords, etc.
It's as if content value has taken a back seat to popularity. It makes me wonder if the algo has been having difficulty with its understanding of semantics... the language-understanding abilities of the algo seem to have been relegated to also-ran status while the trust/authority factors seem to be ampped up.
To me, it seems like domain authority / domain trust (whatever you want to call it) is the king of the ranking factors. Unfortunately, Mr. Cutts did nothing to dispel those feelings.
@ Robert Charlton:
"Implicit is that future thresholds will depend on how much this type of blogging is misused."
I think you have hit the nail on the head.
There wasn't a content farm problem until the flood of Mahalo, suite101, ehow, and article directories. Hence, google created Panda.
Various link building tools and link networks led to the genesis of Penguin.
So will "public relations with authority" (such as guest blogging and social media approval) lead to another animal-named filter?
Writing guest blogs that are good enough for TODAY might end up getting your site marginalized TOMORROW for the simple fact that some time down the road, EVERYONE decides to do it. Then will we be left scrambling to try and have our previous guest posts removed from various blogs across the web?