I heard Matt Cutts is on vacation, so let’s have some fun!
As the head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts remains the most talked-about and pandered to authority on Google’s search engine algorithm. The SEO community gives fanatical attention to everything Cutts says. Over 3600 searches are conducted for him every month – that’s about half of the number of searches for Barrack Obama.
Matt gave his advice on link baiting in a famous 2006 post where he defined the practice as “something interesting enough to catch people’s attention.” Many bloggers have since written clever posts about Matt Cutts for link baiting and generating viral traffic. The ultimate reward to Cuttsbaiting is when Matt himself publicly acknowledges it. These are some of the most well done that you can use for inspiration.
This post lists seven key lessons that every SEO person should follow. Most of the posts are common sense, such as telling people not to lie to Google or expect Matt Cutts to provide answers to all of your questions. Every statement uses a picture of Cutts for emphasis. This wasn’t exactly the most humorous post, but it was packed with important information and took an original approach.
Most bloggers who write posts about Matt Cutts focus on the wisdom that he shares for SEO professionals. However, the team of experts over at ProspectMX took a much more original approach. They made a very silly video where they launched a figurine representing Matt Cutts into space on a large rocket called “Spam Rocket.”
This post really highlighted the power of video marketing. The team dedicated countless hours to the video, but it clearly paid off. The miniature Matt Cutts somehow survived the crash!
Keyword Country Blog covered four of the most important topics that SEOs need to be aware of. They presented a very detailed post with a unique twist – they pretended that they kidnapped Matt Cutts and coerced some of Google’s biggest secrets from him.
The authors admitted that the post was satire at the end and even begged Matt Cutts not to penalize their site for it. Cutts must have a sense of humor, because their post is still ranking on the front page for “Matt Cutts kidnappers” and other related search terms.
The Kidnapped post contains some excellent advice from Matt Cutts, but it was all given under his own free will. However, the authors still created a very popular post that generated countless backlinks. This is clear proof that spinning old information can really pay off.
Sam Applegate of Ninja Creative came up with a really fun mash up video of Matt Cutts. Applegate showed a clip of a reader asking Matt Cutts how to rank on Google. He then presented a clip of Cutts saying “That is a good question. I am not sure if anyone ever asked me that before.” Applegate used a number of clips of Cutts stumbling over his words. He also mocked up some other clips to make it sound like Cutts said that keyword stuffing was the number one secret to ranking. He even showed a clip of him stating that they should strive for a keyword density of 77%.
Applegate even used the end of his video to make it sound like Cutts was encouraging people to link to porn sites to rank better. Hopefully nobody ever actually takes this advice and expects to rank (scratch that, I am probably already too late).
Many commenters said that the video really made them laugh. I definitely thought it was one of the funniest Cutts videos that I ever saw. No wonder it received 135,000 views.
Search Engine Journal created another great concept to bait readers. They had many different people throughout the web community help put together a number of memes dedicated to Matt Cutts. Nearly 20 different memes were submitted. You may find a few of them to be pretty lame, but I thought there were some really good ones, too. One of the funniest was a picture of a baby photo shopped to look like the Godfather saying “You bring me this Matt Cutts and we wills discuss this ‘spam’ problem!”
Many people have created great videos and blog posts dedicated to Matt Cutts. They were all very original, but Click Consult took things to the next level. They actually created an entire mini-site dedicated to Matt Cutts videos.
TheShortCutts.com is a great site to go for videos with information about Matt Cutts. This was clearly a great link bait idea, because the site has received 9,662 backlinks, according to data from Majestic SEO. This site may not be as funny as the other examples here, but it is a great resource for all videos from Matt Cutts.
Cartoon Doll Emporium is a website where can dress cartoon images of various real life and fictitious characters. They have an entire page built specifically for Matt Cutts. You can put up to 10 different shirts on him.
You can also dress Cutts as a ninja or Robin Hood. You can also see what he looks like wearing a woman’s Renaissance dress. A little on the kinky side but a great way to see what he would look like wearing something other than the three bland polo shirts that he wears in every video.
Back in February, Matt Cutts posted a new video about the challengers of fighting spam at Google. Cutts said that fighting spam is hard work and that you “never want to play whack a mole with a spammer.” Love My Vouchers decided to build an online game based on his statement. They created a new whack a mole game, but used Cutts himself as the mole. You can take out your frustrations on Cutts by whacking on him every time he pops out of a hole.
A number of people have come up with some interesting games, including a parody of Donkey Kong. However, this game was by far one of the most popular and a favorite among penalized site owners.
The same strategies that marketers use for link baiting can be applied to social media. Dan Barker, a UK based web marketing professional came up with a clever Twitter bait strategy by replying to one of Cutt’s posts.
Cutts asked people to report sites using scraped content to Google. Barker found the perfect example of a scraper site: Google. He took some screenshots and showed them to Cutts. Many people were amused by Barker’s post. It certainly seems to have helped him gain influence on Twitter, because Barker gained over 400 Twitter followers during the week after his post.
Who better than Matt himself could create the perfect Matt Cutts link bait post? Cutts recently posted a new Youtube video titled “The importance of content in the body of a page.” Cutts isn’t usually known for having much of a sense of humor, but his video was pretty creative. He filtered his body out, so his head appeared to be floating in mid air. I have to hand it to Cutts, because he really came up with a pretty cool attention-getting video.
What Matt Cutts link bait post most caught your attention?
Published 07/07/14, Edited 07/11/15.
About Kalen Smith
Kalen Smith has been an online content marketer and SEO analytics researcher for the past five years. He has been published on the Content Marketing Institute, Hubspot, Business Insider and other entrepreneurial publications. He is also the author of "The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging" and several other informational products on digital marketing. Read more of Kalen's posts here. Google+.