SEO Content & Links: Which One Is More Important?

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There’s an old saying in SEO circles: “Content is king”. This saying has been around for a very long time, but it has never been truer than at present.

Over the last year we’ve seen various updates made by Google in particular – these have shifted the emphasis from back links to the content and on-page optimization of your website.

If you get all of the on-page factors right, there’s no reason why your website shouldn’t start ranking well in the future.

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Define good content

A lot of people don’t understand what constitutes good quality content. It’s easiest to look at the opposite end of the spectrum to understand best what search engines are not looking for.

In years gone by webmasters were able to scrape together existing content from the internet then run it through a “spinning” tool. This changed the words whilst ensuring the text still had roughly the same meaning.

It didn’t make for good reading and it became a problem because users recognized it – it led to complaints about low quality search results.

As a result of scraped and spun content being fairly easy to rank, search engines are now looking for high quality content that’s entirely unique.

The content shouldn’t feature keyword stuffing, and it needs to make sense. Some people are stuck in their old ways and they continue to use low quality content – the problem with this is that it’s a “quick win” – your site might get to the top of the search engine rankings, but it won’t be there for long.

Investing in high quality content that search engines and readers will love is now the aim of the game. Websites should have lots of high quality content on them – not just one or two pages.

Even lead generation sites with a strong sales page are now extremely hard to rank unless that sales page is complemented with lots of other high quality content.

The best way to add plenty of relevant high quality content to a website is to add a documentation section and outsource the writing of the articles.

Are back links now obsolete?

The answer to this question is “no” – although you’ll find that if you fill a site full of high quality content and optimize it properly on-page, it might rank for some less competitive keywords even without any back links.

Obviously in more competitive niches such as finance and insurance, a site full of high quality content and optimized pages won’t be enough to rank your site high – you’ll definitely need some quality links too.

Content and on-page optimization should be seen as the foundations or building blocks on which a successful link building campaign can be created.

If you’ve got great back links from trusted sources, but a site full of junk content that isn’t properly optimized, your website simply won’t rank well.

It’s definitely the case that content is now more important than links – links can be gamed and created artificially whereas high quality, unique content is a lot harder to spoof.

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