Content VS. Backlinks
Many webmasters have ample knowledge about page optimization. They know how to create keyword-rich content, and how to optimize that content. There is also an unarguably cutthroat-type of competition that exists in the SEO industry, which is about whoever optimizes his or her site best. However, how do you ensure that your site will garner high search rankings during the course of a longer span of time?
All webmasters know that keyword frequency also helps improve the traffic to a particular site, such as a forum or a blog. Aside from worrying about keyword frequency, wherein you might as well just stuff words or phrases into your site’s text - the quality of the content also plays a large part in helping to promote a website.
I think that there are a couple of schools of content writing. One school writes content according to the principles of search engine optimization, while the other simply creates superb content (which is plain good reading).
An example of a website that has superb content would be www.bluehatseo.com. Aside from the typical RSS feed feature that the blog has, the owner does not seem to have done much in terms of optimizing the blog and doing SEO. Why does he manage to get legions of clicks, and gather quite a number of links? The blog has even been cited (but now, blacklisted) by Wikipedia. I guess that if your website’s content is informative and written in a straightforward, engaging manner, there is no need to think about backlinks, as links naturally come to your site.
In my opinion, a content writer who creates material according to SEO cannot hold a candle to a writer who develops excellent written material. An SEO-influenced content writer may be able to subsist for a certain period of time, unlike someone who pens plain-old good content.
How Important is Link Building?
Various websites state that link building is a requirement if you want your site to rank high within search results. Yes, link building is one way that many websites get a lot of traffic. Owners or bloggers who create ordinary posts need to do link building. Again, with more well-renowned sites, there is no need for link building, as their content in itself attracts these links.
Smaller websites require content that is SEO-based, as well as building links. Once that particular website gets off the ground, then the need for link building becomes less and less significant. It’s just that, at first, link building is necessary, because nobody else will know about good written content on your site without having to link to other blogs. In this case, a koan comes to mind: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I might be reaching a little bit here, but you get my idea.
In the same vein as some of the more popular websites, some of the corporate giants do not need to promote their brands or products. Their reputation precedes them, and their reputations have been established due to the quality of their products. These companies may even get their products promoted at no cost, possibly through reviews in the media, and to a lesser extent, word of mouth. In a similar manner, an established website may have no need to place ad blocks on its site, or even optimize its content for the search engines. Other websites, blogs, or even social networks will do the necessary recommendations and promotion for them.
Sit back and look at your website. Does your traffic seem far too low? It could be a question of whether your content is superb or not. If you feel that you have good content, then you may have to do tweak your system. This may have to involve content that is SEO based, and think about strategies on building quality links. Once the traffic rolls in, it will continue to increase, especially if you update your superior content regularly.
Good content or quality link building? I think that your choice depends on where your site is in the marketplace right now, in terms of traffic and search results. Especially for small to midsized websites, a combination of keyword-rich content plus quality links is necessary to rank better in search results. The only question is, which will you favor at the moment? Your site will need varying levels of both, and at different points, during the lifespan of your website.
Personally, if it’s just an either-or choice between superb content and backlinks, I would pick the former over the latter. Any website containing the former is bound to attract natural, good quality links, as well as get better search results ranking for a longer period of time.