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Why content kicks the ass of links

Posted on July 9, 2010

 

Most people understand how adding content to your website helps with your SEO, but no everyone really understands the true power of content, or what it can actually do.

Content and links are two products offered by many SEO companies, with many offering the ‘paid’ variety of links. In actual fact, when you pay for links you’re more often than not actually ‘renting’ them, which means when you cease paying your SEO company, the links are removed, and your website dips in the rankings. This is why content is far more important, valuable and powerful than links. While links that are paid for are rented, and frequently on irrelevant websites (relevancy is one of the most important parts of how powerful a link to your website may be) links that are acquired through content tend to be relevant, and permanent.

Good quality attracts links, meaning that your website is building (not buying, or renting) links that will last forever – or for as long as the website in question remains active. Content also allows you to gain links for your website that you would otherwise never be able to get, certainly not through paying for them at least.

For example, a content piece that I wrote some years ago earned a link from the Hitwise blog, and that’s a link from an extremely powerful website that covers Internet marketing trends – a link that you could never, ever buy.

In addition to gaining links through content (and we really do mean good quality content here, we’ll come onto this in a minute) content also provides something extra that you could never hope to achieve through links – and that’s enquiries driven through your content.

For example, some years ago I wrote an article about how Facebook had taken over from Friends Reunited, and how the latter had made Internet marketing mistakes that led to its demise. This caused a reporter from Sky News to get in touch and led to my being quoted on a news article on their website, here:

“When Facebook (and to a lesser extent MySpace before it) came along, they gave all of that functionality for free,” points out creative developer Darren Jamieson.

“Friends Reunited should have switched to a free model years ago, but failed to do so, so lost the market share that they had.”

Had it not been for content, Sky News would have never found us while researching the news item.

Content written by us at StuckOn has also led to interviews and quotes being given for TV programmes, assistance being sought by researchers for shows such as BBC Watchdog (who were using Google to look for information on the subject, of course) and naturally new clients and customers finding the websites through the content – something that would never happen through link buying.

But, as mentioned earlier, the content needs to be of a high quality. More than this, it needs to be interesting, unique and relevant. There’s something else though; there’s no use writing content with a view to selling your products and services. When you write content for your website you want people to read it, you want them to pass it on, and you want them to link to it. They will not do this if your content is an advert, or is stuffed with keywords for your website.

How you write your content is paramount to its success, and filling it with industry buzz terms, obvious keyword stuffing or mentions of your company name in every post will simply serve to put people off. Only the best content gets picked up, linked to and ranks within Google for relevant search terms. The best content will ‘kick the ass’ of paid links every day of the week.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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