Why You Should Be Focusing on Content More than Link Building

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It should be obvious that link building has its place. However, the SEO landscape is constantly evolving, but over the years, quality content has remained a constant.

A lot of webmasters are making the mistake of focusing solely on link building, and in many situations, this decision has produced catastrophic consequences. There is a long list of reasons why you should be focusing most of your time on creating quality content.

Insulation from the Algorithms

To combat the never-ending army of web spam, search engines have been forced to release several different algorithms. Since Google controls the largest market share, it has been the search engine that has released all of the different algorithm updates.

Many of these updates were specifically created to target websites that manipulate search engine rankings. There is a laundry list of practices that these algorithms target, but as of late, the major target for Google is link building.

Penguin is an algorithm that was created to target aggressive link building, and it caused a monumental shift in the way webmasters build links. It would be silly to think that Google is going to stop with the Penguin algorithm. In fact, it’s very likely that Google will continue to create and roll out new algorithms, which are aimed at combating link building.

Anyone who understands SEO knows that it’s nearly impossible to gain 100 percent protection from existing and future algorithm updates, but by focusing on content more than link building, webmasters will gain a layer of insulation against future updates. Over the long-term, placing more emphasis on content than link building is the better option.

Results from Content Are Measurable

It’s extremely difficult to directly measure the value of a link. However, it’s fairly easy to measure the value of a piece of content. Even if a certain links boosts traffic and keyword rankings, it’s still very hard to measure the value of that link.


The problem is that measuring the value of a link requires the consideration of several different factors. On the flipside, it’s easy to see how many links a particular piece of content has garnered. It’s also easy to see how many referrals and social shares generated by a piece of content.

The number of organic search visitors that a piece of content has attracted is also measurable. With the right software, it’s even possible to see exactly how much revenue a piece of content has generated. If a webmaster wants to see how much money an article made them, they won’t have much trouble getting this information.

Content Is Cheaper Than Link Building

It’s much cheaper to hire someone to produce content than it is to hire someone to build links. It can cost a lot of money to find good link builders, and this money can generate more revenue when spent on content.

Although it’s not too hard to find a decent SEO company, it’s especially hard to find quality link builders. There are endless places to find high-quality copywriters, and these individuals will provide their services for an affordable price. At the end of the day, it’s almost always cheaper to buy content than links.

It’s Completely Natural

One of the reasons why you should be focusing more on content than link building is because it’s natural. It’s true that building links is mandatory. However, focusing primarily on content is much more natural. The major search engines tell webmasters that they shouldn’t be building links.

What many webmasters don’t understand is that creating content and building links don’t have to be separated. Quality content is capable of garnering natural links. Although it might not work very well in some industries, it can pay off handsomely in many industries.

Content can generate social shares and links, but it needs to be good. Not every piece of content that you write is going to be good. In fact, there is a good chance that a lot of it might suck.

However, if you focus more time on building content, then you give yourself a better chance to create content that will go viral and generate plenty of links.

The Scalability

An excellent reason to focus on content more than link building is because it’s scalable. An enormous amount of resources is required to build a large team of SEOs.

When building such a team, there are several ways to fail. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing your own content or hiring a team of content writers; content is much easier to scale than link building.

If you’re building a team, it’s much easier to find copywriters than link builders, and if you need to replace someone, copywriters are easily replaced while link builders are much harder to replace. Even if you’re a one-man show, content is easier to scale than link building.

It’s Enjoyable


Link building can be a very tedious process. It requires great attention to detail, and at the end of the day, it’s really not very fun. When you focus more on content, you can actually have fun.

Sifting through endless rows of data in an excel sheet is not something you might consider fun. Producing quality content can be a lot more fun, and it can be even more rewarding to connect to people and share the content that you’ve produced.

Why Content Is So Important

It’s not hard to find someone on the Internet talking about quality content. However, despite how often this phrase is brought up, many webmasters choose to ignore it. People have actually heard the phrase so many times that they’re starting to block it out when they hear it.

To get the most out of SEO, producing content is crucial. Even if you go out and build enough links, you still need quality content. Many people say content is king, and although it can get irritating, it’s completely true.

Even if Google dominates search, there is something that all search engines have in common; they want to supply their users with quality content. After all, people use search engines because they crave content. If you’re focusing all of your time on building links, then you’re not really helping the search engines.

Ultimately, the people who use search engines demand quality content, and if you give them this content, the search engines are doing everything they can to reward you. It’s true that building links is important. Every website needs a handful of quality backlinks to gain traction, but after you’ve got some traction, focusing on content can be far more lucrative than focusing most of your time on link building.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man army or an agency. The positive effects of quality content can be measured, and while it’s certainly possible to put a value on a link, significantly more effort is required to put a value on a link. At the end of the day, everyone is looking for a ROI.

There is no doubt that link building produces a measurable ROI, but by putting a greater emphasis on your content, you can almost always achieve a much higher ROI. Both webmasters and business owners can benefit greatly by choosing to allocate most of their available resources to content production and not link building.

Written by James Parsons

James Parsons

James Parsons is a blogger and marketer, and is the CEO of Pagelift. When he isn’t writing at his personal blog or for HuffPo, Inc, or Entrepreneur, he is working on his next big project.

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