No doubt you’ve heard all the white hatters of SEO still saying content is king, and that’s the only way you’ll rank nowadays and so on. These Google followers still seem to think that one day, Google will list and rank websites manually.
With the billions of dollars in revenue they make each year, they could probably hire enough people to do that right now, but let’s face it – with so many websites – it’s never going to be a practical solution for search engines to ever do that. I could be wrong. I’ll happily eat my words too. But this is what I believe, at least for the next decade.
You’ve probably noticed my business has a strong focus on links/link building/building networks and so on…
I’m in the middle of rolling out my top 14 link building techniques for the blog right now in fact… However, I wanted to explain why links are the KING before I roll this out further.
I’m going to go over what I’ve known for a long while now, and why I am able to rank time and time again – regardless of what update is going on with the search engines. The fact is, if the search engines stop using links as the main part of the equation for ranking a webpage – they break their own program. More importantly, they destroy their own business.
I’m going to tell you why links are king, and why saying that content is king for SEO is blatantly not even logical advice. That being said, I like to write for the people I am serving, but that still doesn’t mean content is king in SEO. You can put up the most fantastic articles in the world, doesn’t mean you are going to rank for it anytime soon.
You need links baby!
And all this talk about Google verifiably hating people like me who do SEO (and people who can manipulate the results for certain key terms) is not entirely true either… To an extent it is, but if you understand why – you’ll realise they need the best results at the top in order for their business to remain successful.
Whether you believe it or not, Google needs and wants organically ranked websites (the websites that are not paying for each click), and this comes back to why links are the king.
I’m sure you’ve heard multiple times over that “content is king”. Look, the people who say and preach this to their followers have a good point, which I will also explain here, but in the end – links are king of all, period!
Let me explain why…
I’ve talked about the media several times in past blog posts, so again – I’m going to use television as the example here for this article.
If you turn on your TV set tonight, and all you saw on your screen were random advertisements, would you watch TV for long tonight? I doubt it.
Let us take the concept and apply it to the world of search engines. There are similarities here… If search engines just relied on pay per click listings for their results – they would lose their user base in short order. Searchers are looking for advice, reviews, comparisons and more…
So the fact is, search engines need these websites that get listed on their search engine. They need those websites to help draw natural attention to their adverts… which by the way have already made BILLIONs of dollars so far in 2013.
If all searchers saw was a ton of paid adverts, they wouldn’t stick around long. Just like if all you saw when you were watching TV was advert after advert, the TV wouldn’t stay on long.
All that being said, search engines want their search listings to be relevant and quality. If they are not relevant, they lose searchers. If you type in a term and you get a result you are satisfied with, you’ll come back to use that search engine, probably spreading word about it naturally too. You’ll say something like “the other day, I was searching on Google and found such and such”
The more people that use their search engine, and the more people that come back to use it, the more the search engine will make on advertising.
Let’s say you are watching TV tonight, perhaps a football game – probably the most famous sport here in the UK. If all the adverts you see are for kitchen utilities, the adverts are completely untargeted to those people watching the football. It’s the same thing with the search engines. Type in “provillus results” and see an advert for a snooker table or something completely unrelated – and there’s a serious problem…
So what has all this got to do with why Links are still going to be the king for 2014 and beyond?
Well if you don’t know already, a large part of the search algorithms are based on links. Not just because everyone says so, but based on fact due to multiple tests from multiple sources. Links act as trust votes. The more votes you get, the higher you’ll potentially rank. The more relevant and quality votes you get, the better you’ll do.
Google CAN NOT tell the difference between amazingly high quality content versus content that took 30 minutes to throw up. What they can spot is gibberish highly spun content and awful content with poor grammar… although, they are still not as good as they make out at spotting it.
If they really did know, you wouldn’t need links to rank. The most well written content would just rank high, and all the crap would just get buried. You wouldn’t even have merchants at the top either; it would be best content wins and fair game. Links wouldn’t be needed nearly as much if that was the case. But this is a program, not a human brain. It’s never going to be a perfect program; it’s never going to be able to fully think like a human mind.
So if you put up an article on let’s say “where to buy product” – you need to write as though YOU are that searcher. Forget trying to put multiple key terms in your articles like in the past. Think of the user – what would they be thinking…
Try to read between the lines, and then write your article for that term.
Still do basic on page SEO, but remember – Google is now heading towards user intent. “What is that person thinking when typing in that term…”
Google doesn’t like SEO because we manipulate our content so that it lands at the top. We cause fake votes to happen so that we can push our content to the top of the search results. Google would potentially have that what they wanted if SEO didn’t exist. Every single vote would be a natural vote.
The websites that gain tons of natural links are high quality user engaging websites that people naturally link to because the websites are just that dam good.
However, putting up great content in the hopes of attracting links is not viable. It’s not going to work anytime soon, and even if it did – it will only work for people with certain skill sets.
The highest quality content, the type of content that causes a lot of natural linking, is definitely much rarer. To cause a snowball effect in terms of natural links going to an article, the content has to be written by a pro who really knows what they are doing. Can the average person do this? No. Sorry to be blunt, but it’s blatantly the way it is.
Can it happen? Of course. Does it happen often? No.
I have always said to serve the readers for your properties that you are putting out on the web. Even if you’re building out a web 2.0 portfolio, on domains you don’t own – if you want to make good impression and convert visitors in to sales, the quality of content matters.
Putting up good content is necessary and it will help you in the long term. Even if you’re building themed network hubs (more on that later…) – Quality will always help you long term.
So I recommend putting out good quality content, but will that get you rank alone? NO.
You need themed relevant links…
Put me up against someone who puts up an amazing piece of content on a web property. I’ll put up an average piece of content on a web property. I’ll out rank the person who thinks content is king each and every time.
And that leads me on to…
If I put up quality content it’ll attract links naturally and therefore – I’ll out rank you in the long term… Maybe… Is it likely? No.
Again, the type of content that causes a natural snowball of natural one way links has to be exceptional. Plus, it has to be noticed in the first place. If you’re not known in your industry or market place and if you have zero authority on your domain name – how’s that going to work out for you?
It’s very rare that an article is so good that it will even go viral. It takes skill. A certain skill… Skills that many people DO NOT have – fact. You could pay for it, but it will cost you. We are looking at $500. Yes – $500 for the type of article that is good enough to have a viral effect.
There are already thousands of great websites with great content. Putting up another great article without getting links to it will do nothing much at all for your traffic levels.
So for everyone preaching content is king – how is it? Of course, it plays a part in SEO, yet it’s still not the king.
Links are king…
It goes like this. Even if you have the best content on earth on your website, without links going to that content – no one will ever see it!
Links are what rank your articles.
Doesn’t matter if they are on platforms you don’t own, doesn’t matter if they are on your own website – regardless, you need links to rank. Sure, the way in which we point our links has changed with the latest updates, but the same principle remains. Links are the foundation of the web.
I can’t see that changing anytime soon either:
“If websites stop linking to each other, the fabric of the web crumbles. Links are what make it a web. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of silos”
– Web pro news, Aug 2013
Links are still the main deciding factor on ALL of the search engines as to where your web pages should rank. Search engines can’t rank websites based on quality content. There is far too many websites for that. That is why they have programs (algorithms) to sort them all out in to a ranking order (over an almost unlimited amount of terms across multiple languages).
These programs don’t think like you and I. So what do they rely on… VOTES! And what are those votes? Links! 🙂
As technology is changing, other factors are slowly coming in to play. Stuff like social links, time spent on the pages (bounce rates) and so on. However, that is STILL not what ranks you. Does it play a part? Perhaps… It’s still only small however. The main ranking factor is links!
Again, I’ll out rank you with themed links over the most wonderful content every single time. Quality content is the best way to go about your business online, for sure. But content is not king, links are the king!
And that my friend, is why I am making a series of blog posts that will show you how to obtain links across multiple sources. I’ll then lead this series up to my final article called “HWA Link Building 101 – Themed Hub Building”.
There are many people putting up guides on how to build a link network. However, only ONE person I know if is doing it the way I do it.
So I’m going to show you all how to do it effectively, and so like me – you can use that network effectively for a long time come to come. I’m going to show you how to create what is known as a multiple buffer network. It goes a step further than a standard link network. It’s market related, but it is the king of link building and nothing to date can beat this method.
That’s it for today, I’ll be back with more posts for the link building series over the following few weeks.