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  1. #1
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    Are backlinks more important then content??

    Hi! I started about a month ago a website... I don't have no backlinks for it but very good, original content and articles are plenty. I tried to qualify the site for the keyword: "web design" and general searches on Google, not regional ones. I know it might be a very competitive keyword... but after all I read all the SEO "experts" said that the content is the most important, the content is "the king" and so on... And I must agree, the content should be the king but in my case it looks like it isn't No after all this work I don't really want to do next... continue adding content, start a blog, or just pay for SEO, or just start to submit the site to directories or such other techniques myself... Is the site too young? Are just too few backlinks? I think I have just one from Google and one from Yahoo

    I looked at the first 10 sites that are on the first page on Google for the 'web design' keyword search... some of them have no relevant content about web design, some are just businesses, advertising sites. The Wikipedia page has like *100 less info about web design then my site and still is on the first place... What can I say... NO COMMENT!

  2. #2
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    Content is important but links are the most important in achieving rankings for a particular keyword.

  3. #3
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    Welcome to reality.

    Type 'web design' into Google and it comes up with 2,410,000,000 matching results. Your site may have good content, but can you honestly and truthfully say that it has better content than those 2,410,000,000 other pages, that will be more relevant for people searching for 'web design'? If not, why do you think you should be anywhere near the top?

    Of course content is more important than links – if you have content but not many links, Google might still give you a good ranking if your site looks to be better than the competition – but if you have no content then Google can't give you a good ranking for relevant queries because there won't be any relevant queries!

    Of course, if you're going to target a ridiculously competitive term like 'web design', without specifying any kind of niche or localisation, you've got a fight on your hands, because you're up against quite literally millions of other people who all want that same traffic. Don't try to run before you can walk, don't try to take on the whole world before you've worked out how to win the small fights. Don't try to get a #1 ranking for the term 'web design'.

    Anyway, "content or backlinks" is a false dichotomy. There are so many other factors in the mix as well. A big one is "reputation", and the more competitive the field, the more important that is. Your site has no reputation, because it's new – Wikipedia has been going for 12 years and is a broadly accurate and comprehensive guide to pretty much anything you want to know, giving mostly unbiased and non-commercial information, which is why it generally does very well in Google. Why should Google trust your brand new site that it knows nothing about when it has reliable sources of information that it knows it can trust?

  4. #4
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    " Your site may have good content, but can you honestly and truthfully say that it has better content than those 2,410,000,000 other pages, that will be more relevant for people searching for 'web design'? "

    Well... I don't know for sure about that other 2 billion sites but it surely does have better information than the first 10 sites on SERP... So you want to say my site is or rather too young or it has no reputation... Let's hope you are right... The problem is what I will do if I will find that for that so called competitive keywords, the first places on SERP are obtained just by those who invest a lot of money in SEO, but none in content... What about " content is king" then?

  5. #5
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    Great question here lulian,

    I would have to say that the content is more important but inbound links to that content are still up there. Search engines need text and other data to be able to serve a result so without that, just having a ton of backlinks isn’t going to help.

    The scenario you mentioned doesn’t seem like very controlled test. Did you use any operators while searching for your phrase? For example exact match? When you type in two words (in this case web and design) into a search engine, its going to return all results that contain both web and design or just one or the other. Being logged into a search service (like Google for example) will also affect the outcome of a test like this. Google now serves results based on social signals if you are logged in.

    There is also another aspect of the content argument. Even if other sites that don’t have information relevant to a user’s query are served, those sites aren’t going to do very well in terms of quality traffic and conversions. Once a visitor sees that the result is not what they are looking for, they bounce and start their search over. In a nutshell you can rank number one for your terms and have no conversions because your user experience is no good and content is not relevant.

    Best,

    Shawn

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot WebEminence's Avatar
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    First of all, start with a less competitive keyword. A good way to gauge competition is to average the Page Rank of the first 10 listings in the google search results. 0-2 would be not too competitive, 3-4 would be fairly competitive, and anything over 4 is very competitive. You'll need to have a PR close to the competition to have any hope of competing, and THEN you'll need good content.

  7. #7
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    Ok and how to increase this PR??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    [font=verdana]

    Of course content is more important than links – if you have content but not many links, Google might still give you a good ranking if your site looks to be better than the competition – but if you have no content then Google can't give you a good ranking for relevant queries because there won't be any relevant queries!

    Of course, if you're going to target a ridiculously competitive term like 'web design', without specifying any kind of niche or localisation, you've got a fight on your hands, because you're up against quite literally millions of other people who all want that same traffic. Don't try to run before you can walk, don't try to take on the whole world before you've worked out how to win the small fights. Don't try to get a #1 ranking for the term 'web design'.
    Thanks for appreciative answer .Question about content and backlink for a site its depend on you site type too.indeed initially we are searching a website through keyword and backlinks helping to redirect it to your site.But content of the site matters a lot, for staying of that user long time and makes it reclickable site more and more.So matters both in there position.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot WebEminence's Avatar
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    Page Rank is primarily increased by incoming links. It's a complex topic so you'll have to read other topics on link building.

  10. #10
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    To be honest your question does look a sensible one, but in essence its flawed. On the basis we are talking Google... (Yahoo and Bing are 100% different.) We need to think in terms that Google will see value in pages of the same topic on the same site. So if we want to rank well for a term on Google our page needs to have enough copy, contain key phrases and related key phrases and have linking pages that have the same. The content on each page also need to be unique.(or fairly)

    So if we treat links from other sources in the same way, a good link will come from a page in a site that has related content to ours and a majority of content on that 3rd party site also wants to have related content.

    If we can do both you will rank well.

    I also use a product called IBP which analyses your page and compares against the top 10 for that phrase on your chosen search engine. The idea being is that we don't know why Google likes the top 10 pages, but it does for a reason and therefore if we are technically like the top 10 pages for the phrase Google will also like us in the same way. This also helps with another point and that's every key phrase has a unique amount of competition for that phrase and the SEO we need to do is unique for that page.

    IBP looks at both on page and off page and gives a composite view on the work you need to do...

    So to ask the questions backlinks or copy misses the point that the top sites have both and one is not more important than the other... (All the backlinks in the world wont help a site with poor content and vica versa)

    The above is a really simple overview of the process and I blog on the topic on my site, <snip>
    Last edited by TechnoBear; May 10, 2013 at 01:29. Reason: No self-promotion, please

  11. #11
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    Sorry about my last reply including a self promotion link (was not intended).

    There is also a misunderstanding about what you are trying to achieve.

    The Google search results page is actually 4 sets of results rolled into 1

    You have the paid ads, Google places for business (map that sometimes appears), Google shopping and organic results.

    For people searching for web design companies they are not going to just type in web design... They are more likely to type in web design (location). Or to put it another way you will have to organic SEO for the longer tail keyphrase, so if I was based in London it would be 'web design london'.

    I would also look to list my business on Google Maps so it would come up in that listing.

    Where as the Google maps listing is Geographic aware (i.e. it knows Witney is in Oxfordshire) the organic listings are not so you should long tail for a limited amount of locations close to you which are likely to drive traffic.

    For my site I only SEO for 5 long tail phrases, and each keyphrase is targeted on a separate page.

    To support this I have a lot of pages of articles that are all related to the topic of my site.

    Finally I make sure that I have a number of inbound links to various places on my site, its the combination of this technique which means I don't have to advertise for work as all inquiries comes from organic (and) map listings.

    If you do the above and work really hard at both the on page and off page content after 12 - 24 months you will see a real return..... (If you need a quick fix, the only choice is to pay Google, if anyone promises you a top ten listing in days, runs for the hills screaming...)

  12. #12
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    The idea that back links were all powerful is starting to change. Matt Cutts has said that Google is going to be downplaying the role of Backlinks in SERPs going forward. This is already true with Bing and Yahoo.

    Any strategy that purely relies on back links to get top 10 in the long term is likely to be flagged as un natural by Google.

    Its honestly better to think in terms of a house of cards....

    Lots of interesting pages of well written content will help Google rank your pages and also convert visitors to customers.

    You can then support this with backlinks, but if your site is set up the right way it may already have the tools to do this for you. (i.e. easy syndication with wordpress, share links on each page etc...)

    I have a client who was fixated with inbound links and serp postition. Because this was over cooked, Google has now taken vengeance.... Its going to take a lot of time now to solve his issues....

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot Siick26's Avatar
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    It all depends on the keywords your using. If you're using keywords which have a high competitivity rate then backlines will be important. Low competitivety gives you more options i think, and more chance to get higher rankings without backlinks. My keyword is page rank 3 on google for my site, mainly due to low competititivity. Content is also important. You could have the best domain and keywords in the world, but if you haven't got the content then Google won't like it.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member xpertwebinfotech's Avatar
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    According to the latest Google algorithm only content is the king. The better and user friendly content you have, better rank you will get.

  15. #15
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    What I know about the page rank algorithms are,rank of a page depends on the number of backlinks (pages which have a link to our page) and page ranks of backlinks.
    tf-idf is one of the popular ranking score for page rank algorithms. tf-idf is a score for a keyword in a particular document. It is directly proportional to the term frequency (count of the keyword in that particular document) and inversely proportional to the document frequency (number of documents which contains this keyword).So Focus on content and backlinks.

    I hope these are sufficient for your problem.
    Thanks!

  16. #16
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    When it comes to the importance , as I already told natural links are more important than the ones which are created by the webmasters artificially. Actually search engines decide the authority of a web page by means of voting from other external pages which are linked it. Then they rank the posts according to the page rank and a few other things. If you create backlinks on your own, then , isn’t it a cheating? Yes of course, in this case you are cheating the search engine by creating backlinks on other websites. Anyway, as the same method have been used since the birth of blogging, I don’t recommend you to stop this. Other bloggers think the same way as you do and they never create a backlink for your pages on their blogs. So, you can create your own and increase your authority

  17. #17
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    When it comes to backlinks, Google likes a little bit of everything, but they should be strong links from highly ranked authority sites, not weak links or spam links. The same goes for on-site SEO (your site optimization) and off-site SEO (your incoming links) which is also known as SEM, you should definitely have both, because one is the engine and the other is the gas to fuel it. Remember as for links, a little bit of everything is best, and not a ton of weak links, they should be strong.

    Best of luck to you!

  18. #18
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    You need content to please both google and your audience but you only need backlinks to please Google only after you supply relevant content on your site. Ir starts first with content before you even begin a backlinking campaign. They are both important but must consider at what stages do they matter the most. To answer the poll IMO they both weigh heavy in their own right as proper seo cant be without the other.

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    I want to see what's your url. Why you said you have a great content. haha

  20. #20
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    Both are important for getting your website on top.
    If you have content, then of course you will get visitors but you will be losing many visitors because of bad seo.
    So it is important to have both for achieving success.

  21. #21
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    Backlinks have always been a topic of discussion among SEO companies. No doubt, a high page ranking site is great to get as a link.
    Natural links is what Google is all about. So internal (necessary to give rich quantity of link juice to your site) and external links are equally important.


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