Is content “king”?
The more I delve into SEO, the more I get drawn to the idea that content is not all that important. I mean, sure, on-site content should not be horrible enough to turn your visitors off, but you can easily get decent exposure by making sure you get the right links (even though you have a crappy copy).
It is for this reason that many websites with sub-optimal content still rank near the top for keyword phrases which might make you scratch your head. I just saw a website with horrible content and design ranking at the top for a localized SEO keyword which gets searched 1800 times a month according to Google Keyword tool.
How did the website get there?
Pure link building with an absolute disregard to on-site content.
Does all this make sense to you? If not, here are 3 more reasons why links are infallible:
1. Currency of the web: This point is easy to grasp. The more money you have the better you fare right? It’s the same thing online. Websites can rank at the top of Google if they build a lot of artificial links without tripping any red flags. Read more about their importance here.
Search engines are still in their primitive stage. It is still fairly easy for you to trick them into believing that your website is really authoritative when it really isn’t. An article which shows you how easier it is to trick search engines and users on the web can be found here.
2. Sheer quantity & purpose: There are billions of links everywhere on the web for some very good reasons. Links were initially used to connect one document on the web to another. Now they have another function. They are counted as votes in search engine algorithms. According to Paul’s Blog, they have over 10 benefits.
Their importance has resulted in their plentiful usage everywhere on the web (especially for spam). The end result is that links as the determining ranking and referencing factor are here to stay.
3. They are irreplaceable: Links as a referencing and ranking entity are irreplaceable at least in the short term. Sure, search engines are now incorporating social usage data into rankings, but that data will NEVER be enough to adequately decide on rankings.
Links are here to stay because it will be extremely difficult to use other factors in order to determine website authority. I do not really believe social media trumping links anytime soon.
I think that link building experts will have a huge edge over social marketers for quite a long time to come. What do you think?