Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Even if content isn't king...

There are those out there who will argue against the old adage that "content is king" when it comes to successful websites. They maintain that their analysis demonstrates that the number and quality of backlinks to a site has far greater significance than the actual content there.

Obviously, as a writer it would seem I have a vested interest in maintaining good content is the most critical aspect of website success. Plus, I am biased. I also think the preponderance of evidence supports that conclusion. I cover some of it in this blog. I personally believe that content is still a governing factor when it comes to grabbing top spots at Google and other search engines. That being said, I do understand the critical role of link development to SEO and see it as a huge factor in a site's success.

However, there are some writers out there who are not interested in exploring the possibility that content might matter a little less to search engines than we would care to believe. There's something of a reactionary streak in us that refuses to hear contrary perspectives as we chant our "content is king" mantra. I think we tend to believe that every cut against content's status as the prime determinor of search engine results is a potential blow to our own pocketbooks.

I decided to think about what it would really mean to me if content was dethroned and links were installed as the new king. I decided it probably wouldn't make all that much difference to me or the online writing profession.

Even if links trump content, the text itself remains a critical end-state. No matter how many people an aggressive linking strategy can bring to a site (directly or through SERPs), one still must find something to do with the visitors once they get there. That reality insures that content will always have some very real value.

Additionally, content is probably the best possible way to generate the links in the first place. Yes, one can buy links. True, one can swap links. There are 2,000,000 different ways to generate links back to your site that don't have too much to do with quality content. However, the best techniques still rely on words.

Great content organically creates links as impressed and interested visitors share their discovery of a site with others. This is the very reason why search engines value links in the first place. Before SEO masters began to exploit the system by generating links through other means, search engines treated sites with a healthy cache of backlinks as important simply because it was an indicator that there was some probable value there. If you want links, give people something worth sharing.

Content in the form of freely distributed articles with resource boxes containing backlinks is a red hot link development strategy right now, too. One can use good articles as a means of spreading the word and growing links back to their site. In essence, the inarguable truth that content matters spurs others to use freely distributed articles on their sites. In exchange, they must provide that coveted backlink. Content can be used to create links because people need content. How is that for a circular situation?

So, from my perspective it really doesn't matter whether one accepts the long-held notion that content is king. If you want to tell me that links are what really matters, I will just help you find ways to use content to create those links.

But, if you want my opinion, content still rules.