Link building and content development, who is the King?

Just roaming about some forums to feed myself with daily new information when I came across something worth taking a look.

Above is an interesting discussion of whether linking rules over content or the other way around. I’d say it was indeed not something I, as an SEO novice, had expected. John Scott, and quite some other participants agreed that content, despite the fact Google cried all these years about it, isn’t the King after all. All you had to do is to gain the trust of Google, which mostly, is through link building. The best content aren’t always coming in top SERPs, but those with quality backlinks.

In their defense, John Scott emphasizes Google sees and only sees links as a means of credibility and trust. Google knows quality content only by the number and type of links a page gets, so content should come second after link building. Many’s a time when a site with ordinarily mediocre content appears on the 1st SERP from Google is achieved by quality experienced link building. It also means a savvy website owner can get quicker and higher results than newcomers who build much better content.

Anchor text of links is so important that it is even considered by search engines much more important than what the linked content is originally about when it comes to ranking.

From a beginner’s perspective, combining some basic reasoning, I think content should not come second to link building. Algorithms change, and Google strives to get better results for its audiences, rather than some publishers. Because it’s ultimately the great mass audience that’s in Google’s interest simply in that they are those who view and click on Google’s ads, which still makes a great majority of its revenues. It’s just as simple as that. Google is currently basing the weight of a site too much on backlinks , but what in 2 years? You might get well ranked through some tricky link building strategies now, but it’s the content that guarantees you of the future. Though it does work well present, so your content is indexed fully and ranked decently to get more links. They are just powering each other in a sense. Either way can get you success.

Content the King, link building the Queen.

To sum up, WebGeek182 (blog)put it quite well in the discussion:

  1. Links rule for SEO. – The site with the strongest relevant link profile wins.
  2. Content rules for conversions and sales, and it breaks ties when two sites have a similarly strong link profile. – You can have all the traffic in the world, but who will buy from a site that is poorly organized, confusing, or full of crap content? To get maximum conversions and sales, your site must be compelling and easy to use. So, once you get people to your site, make sure there is something to keep them there. Also, when two sites have similarly strong link profiles, Search Engines use what I call their “Plan B” rating – they will evaluate the content, and see which is more relevant to break the tie. This doesn’t even come into play though if one site has far more (and relevant) backlinks.
  3. Bad content will make it harder to get links, and conversely, good content *can* make it easier to get links. – Who wants to link to a crappy site? On the other hand, if a site has some awesome content, design, tools, or something else that people can’t help but link to, you’ll get more links. (But only if they can find your site in the first place.)

6 thoughts on “Link building and content development, who is the King?”

  1. Writing great content itself is for link building which comes more organic and trustworthy over time, thus favorable by search engines. Constantly buying links helps, rather stealthly. However if you are caught you’d be penalized to the hell.

  2. @Zimbob
    Google’s like the new tyrant on the Internet. They penalizes buying links because it jeopardizes their algorithm to be a great search engine. On the other hand, it’s another way of saying buying ads on their AdWords network is much more *legal* than this.

  3. Content is always king but both are beneficial for a site for getting a good SERP result and traffic.

    Content must be original, fresh and realted to your category then it helps a lot otherwise google penalized site for duplicate content.

    While doing link building, try to exchange links with niche category sites and also check that site that you are linking is not banned and not taking part in link farms. It also harms your site

    1. Can’t agree more except the link exchange part. It rarely works any more as Google has evolved to the point that 3-way link exchanges hardly have any chances.

  4. I believe it is very true. Link building is more important to get your site popular. at the very same time content is important as well , because content gets you the right place. I believe content is king. But you need links.

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