Which Is Most Important for SEO, Link Building, Content, or Social?

I think everyone knows just how important SEO is but depending on which expert you listen to, every aspect of SEO is more important than the other.

You might have one guru telling you that building up quality links to your website is the most important thing and then at the same time, you might have someone telling you that high quality content is the most important thing.

Is it Link Building?

Let’s get the most obvious solution to high rankings out of the way early on; and that is link building. Link building has been around since the search engines were born, because there had to be a way to find relevant information. Early on though, there were plenty of flaws that made it hard to find relevant information when you were searching for certain terms. For example, you could type in a term as innocent as (plastic spoons) and have results with adult themes returned.

For this reason, link building had to be introduced because search engines needed means to determine how important a website was without solely going by the content that was being manipulated by almost everyone who had a site in the 90s and early 2000s.

Link Building is Still Highly Important

In any great SEO strategy, link building still has its place and it’s still very important but a lot of those factors that help hold links as high as they do have changed. Links need to pass a certain number of qualifications to be determined as high quality links that will help improve your site’s rankings.

First, a backlink needs to be relevant. You can’t go out and mass purchase links from golf related websites if you’re trying to sell make money online products. It just doesn’t work that way anymore and Google will come down on you hard if you still try it.

Second, backlinks need to come from sources that aren’t what’s known as link farms. A link farm is simply a website that allows people to buy cheap backlinks and there could be hundreds if not thousands of links on their farm. These people might run one website or a series of blogs to try to connect each other and increase the value of those links. While this had its place as well, it doesn’t in the world of valid SEO anymore.

Finally, backlinks from social media networks are starting to become a more acceptable source as well. Social media has blown up the web in the past few years and since then, Google realizes that if people’s friends are sharing websites, then others might want to see it as well. This still goes without saying though, you can’t just share your website on a bunch of fake Facebook and Twitter sites expecting to rank above your competition.

Is it Content Marketing?

If you’re new to SEO, then you’ve probably never heard the term “content is King.” However, if you’re seasoned, then you more than likely have heard the term a million times. So why do so many people keep saying that content is the King and the way to high search engine rankings?

That question has a long and drawn out answer, but the simple answer to that question is because it is. Place yourself in the position of Google at the moment and take into consideration just how easy it is to manipulate how many backlinks are coming to your site. You know what’s hard to manipulate though? Content that people actually want to read and that people consider quality is extremely hard to manipulate.

“Can’t you just spin existing articles though?”

I tell this to everyone who asks this question and the answer is no. You see, Google also likes to look at something called a bounce rate on your website. If people are coming to your website and they aren’t staying very long or they’re leaving the website to never return, what incentive do other people have to come to your website? Poorly written or spun content isn’t going to catch a reader’s interest for very long.

I don’t have any money to hire decent writers for good content.

This is one of those things where it might just honestly be better off to do the writing yourself. I know it may seem harsh but having one highly paid article done is much better than having 10-20 low budget articles done. Believe me when I say the quality will reflect the price you pay your writers.

The content on your site ultimately will turn visitors into customers, will turn browsers into leads and will keep people coming back to keep reading what you have to say. It’s highly important to make sure you provide your viewers with the highest quality content.

Is it Social Media?

This is a touchy subject because while social media is popular, it’s still relatively new in the world of SEO. Back in the days of Myspace, not many people thought to use that service to build backlinks to their site but there sure was a lot of spamming bots that were just plastering affiliate links all over the web.

It’s a new year and more emphasis is being shown on how important social media outlets are for SEO. Why do the search engines even care in the first place? What’s stopping people from just buying a bunch of fake Twitter followers and getting high rankings that way?

The thing with SEO is, no matter what new aspects come into the game, people are always going to try to find shortcuts and to cheap the system. It’s the same with social media and as people try new sneaky ways of cheating the system, Google swiftly patches them. Can you buy fake Twitter followers and fake Facebook likes? Absolutely, nothing is stopping you, but there’s a reason that these services are so dirt cheap.

First of all, they do absolutely nothing for your website. What good is it to have a bunch of bots who will never read your messages when you try to promote something? Wouldn’t you rather have 10 real followers instead of 1 million fake ones? At least you can sell something to 10 real people, you can’t sell anything to 1 million fake followers you bought for $10.

The more REAL people that share your content, the more that Google picks up on it. As long as these people aren’t sharing anything and everything under the sun, getting any kind of mention from social media networks does hold some weight. Be careful for the social media linkfarms though, because just like website and blog network linkfarms, it’ll hurt your website’s rankings.

Which is Most Important?

Do you honestly want to know what the best source of SEO is? It’s not any of those by themselves but all of them combined together. If I had to honestly pick a “best”, I would go with content for a few different reasons.

  1. Great content will be shared throughout the internet and will bring more people to your site.
  2. Great content will retain more visitors, making your Google Analytics Dashboard far more appealing to both you and Google Search Engine Ranking Pages.
  3. Great content not only brings more people but it’s far easier to convince someone to buy something when you at least put some effort into the content. If you load up a spinner (which I’m sorry but none of them produce great output), you’re going to be left with incoherent crap that no one wants to read.

All in all, it’s best to focus your effort on all of the above combinations but most importantly, make sure your website has amazing content because content is King.

Timothy Carter