Link building and content marketing are morphing into their own discipline of marketing.

A recent article by Jessica Lee which appeared on focused on this topic.  She interviewed Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting , who recently had a sit-down with Matt Cutts of Google search.  Here are some of the highlights.

Enge summarized, "what's really clear now as Google enforces its policies for good and bad links, for example, is that publishers are going to be pushed more and more into viewing link building as an integral component of brand building and vice versa, as a component of brand building is really smart link building. Those two things are going to be harder to separate."

It’s clear to this writer that we are in a transition period.  The process of getting your website ranked used to be series of tactics.  Linking, social, keywords and more.  Tactics that the search engines would recognize and reward with higher rankings.

But search engines are getting smarter.  They’re doing a better job of recognizing bad links and lousy content.

“So how do those SEO professionals and businesses that are hyper focused on dated tactics shift to a more traditional marketing mindset (or, as Cutts puts it in the interview, "good old fashioned marketing")?”

Their answers focused on transitioning to a more traditional form of marketing.  In shorthand…create content for the user.

Stay focused on the user and their experience.  Stop writing for the search engines (this doesn’t mean don’t optimize your pages) and write for your target market(s.)  Think of as many scenarios as you can as to how your customers are finding you.  What’s going on with their life?  Are they on mobile or PC?  What’s happened or is happened in their lives that is leading them to you?  What questions are they going to have?

These are your customer’s needs, and if you address them, your site will be one of quality.  Quality content is consumer-targeted content.