SEO or Good Content Part 2

A few days ago I covered some basic on-page SEO techniques.

So, as promised at the end of that article, here’s the second part of the answer to the question about whether SEO or good content is better for generating good search engine visibility: content and its impact on off-page SEO.

Off-page SEO is more effective than on-page SEO at getting your site to rank well in the search engines. So what is it, and how do we improve it?

Off-page SEO drives the search engines’ perception of what the Internet generally thinks of your site.

These are some of the factors the Search Engines use in coming to their view:

  • How many sites link to your site?
  • What is the quality of the sites linking to your site?
  • Are the sites linking to you in the same niche as you?
  • Are the links one-way or reciprocal?
  • Is your site easily ‘discoverable’?

Links. That’s what you really need. And lots of them. High quality, one-way links.

So how do you get those?

With good quality content.

Content that informs, amuses or entertains. Content that people find so useful, or grabs them in such a way, that they not only link to your site so they can return, they pass on your site to others. Who also link to you.

Forget link farms and link exchanges. Forget trading links. The search engines can spot those activities and they discounted them ages ago.

Forget the social networks (for linking purposes) – they all use re-directs and, even if they don’t, the Search Engines discount links from them too.

You want a steadily growing number of real people linking (one way) to your site because they like what they find there.

You can buy one-way links, but you’ll usually only get them for a pre-determined period of time – a month or some other period you agree with the link seller. These do have the effect of creating one-way links in the eyes of the search engines, but you’ll lose them again once your agreed period is up.

Producing lots of good content that people want to link to is the surest foundation for getting your site to rank well in the search engines.

But it takes a long time – is there any way to speed up the process?

Sure – you need to develop a link building strategy.

But never forget – a link building strategy is not a substitute for good content.

Without good content a link building strategy won’t work. Or at least not a link building strategy that involves quality links.

So what would be a typical link building strategy?

You can search out blogs or other sites that are in your niche. Use a tool such as SEO Elite, or the SEOBook plugin for Firefox, to find the good quality ones. Sites with lots of incoming links and a high Google page rank.

Then you can link to them. If they’re blogs the blogmasters will receive a notification that someone’s created an incoming link. On my blog it will ask me to approve the link request, which means that I’ll have to visit the site that’s linking in.

If I like it I’ll approve the link. If I like it enough I’ll link back. Yes, yes – know that’s a reciprocal link…

But the point is this: once you’re on someone else’s blogroll other visitors to that blog may come visiting your blog. And if they like your site they’ll link to you. These are the links you want.

What else..? Use the social networking sites to get your content in front of as many people as possible – but don’t spam! Many of the social sites and micro-blogging sites give you the option to link back to your site and pull in your RSS feed. That’s fine, but don’t openly try to push people towards your site.

Links from the social sites themselves have no benefits. But if people see your content, visit your site and like it, they’ll link to you. And those links DO count.

But for all this to work effectively, you have to have good content.

So my answer to the original question would be:

Focus on content.  It’s the foundation of good search engine ranking. Develop lots of it.  High quality, valuable content that gives good information about the subject you’re focusing on.

Then use the techniques I’ve touched on in these two articles to generate good on-page and off-page SEO to help the search engines find and crawl your site. And, finally, disseminate your content via RSS and through the social networking sites to get it in front of as many people as possible.

But, at all costs, do not spam!

Remember: the search engines are changing their algorithms on a regular basis. This means that if you place your emphasis on SEO you’ll constantly be trying to keep up with them. The one thing that remains effective, whatever changes the Search Engines make, is good content

When you get it in front of enough people, and enough people like it, you’ll get the incoming links and your site will start to rise in the search results.

Leave us a comment with your experiences of link building.

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Martin Tips May 14, 2008 @ 17:59

    Just found your site by accident doing a search for something completely unrelated. Looks like you have some good stuff here! Added your RSS feed to my rss reader, looking forward to reading more.

  • WealthyDragon May 14, 2008 @ 23:42

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for visiting and I’m glad you found some useful information..!

    I’ll do my best to keep a steady flow of useful stuff coming your way…



  • BenHuebner Oct 27, 2009 @ 4:49

    Great Post!

    Many folks out there overlook the importance of creating good (unique) content for their websites, many are just building links to their sites without adding fresh content from time to time!
    You get much better SEO results if you add content on a regular basis!

    Thanks, Great Blog!
    .-= BenHuebner´s last blog ..Socialmarketing With Twitter updated Mon Oct 26 2009 2:21 pm CDT =-.

    • WealthyDragon Oct 27, 2009 @ 7:26

      Absolutely. Well written, relevant and valuable content. Something that answers common questions or addresses needs.



  • Karl Foxley Nov 2, 2009 @ 21:38

    Great post! Content is king, optimizing your content after you have written it for a human first and the search engines second will also help.

    It’s so important to look at successful blogs / websites in the niche you operate in. Look at their most linked to content, most re-tweeted content and most commented upon content and then analyse the articles; why did each piece of content create such a buzz? What was the writing style (was it a list, a ‘how to’ post, a ‘what to avoid’ post) etc?

    Not only does this help you come up with your own content ideas, you will also start to refine your content writing skills.

    Thanks for sharing,

    .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog ..More Important Than TweetGlide! Even Better Than Twitter’s Micro Blog! =-.

    • Martin Nov 2, 2009 @ 23:03

      Hi Karl,

      Thanks – and that analysis process is both good and critical to the continuous improvement process!

      I find, though, that I operate better if I limit the number of blogs I’m studying at any one time to around 2 or 3. The ones I’m studying change over time, with two exceptions:

      They are CopyBlogger and Seth Godin’s blog.

      I would recommend those to anyone and everyone who has an interest in improving their copywriting skills.