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Backlink vs Content – Which is better for ranking?

Backlink vs content: Are you struggling to decode the battle for higher rankings? You are not alone. 

As SEO Professionals or website owners, we always wonder whether to pour our efforts into creating killer content or emphasize building backlinks. Well, the answer to this question lies with your SEO strategies. 

It is not all about backlinks, nor is it all about the content; both backlinks and content play a vital role in elevating your website rankings. 

How and why ? we will learn in this article. 

Let’s dive into the details!

Backlinks are the links that originate from another website and direct users to your website. In simple terms, backlinks are the vote of confidence indicating SERPs that your website is trustworthy and relevant.

Search engines like Google view these links as endorsements, which signals that your article is valuable and worth ranking higher. The more high-quality websites that link back to you, the more Google sees your blog as trustworthy and positions you at the top.

👉 Remember: It’s not just high-quality backlinks that boost your ranking; the quality, authority, and usefulness of your content are also important factors. 

Here are the key roles of backlinks in SEO: 

  1. Build Authority – Backlinks function like votes in an SEO democracy. Links from high-quality websites boost your site’s authority, which signals SERPs that your blog is valuable.
  2. Passes Link Juice – High-quality backlinks pass “link juice” or authority from the referring website to your site. It boosts your rankings for targeted keywords and helps your article perform better in search results.
  3. Referral Traffic – Backlinks bring direct traffic to your website from the referring site. This referral traffic can contribute to higher engagement and conversion rates, indirectly impacting your rankings.
  4. Creates Diverse Link Profile – A diverse link profile that includes links from various types of sources (e.g., blogs, news sites, and forums) demonstrates a natural backlink profile. SERPs favor such diverse profiles, including natural and organic growth, and can improve traffic.

A 13-month study by Semrush in 2023 revealed that nearly all (92.3%) of the top 100 domains in search rankings had at least one backlink. Additionally, the study found that over 50% of eligible sites without any backlinks failed to reach the first page of search results.

Backlinks are often called the “special sauce of SEO.” It plays a decisive role in elevating website visibility and credibility. It is said backlinks share 50% of the ranking equation based on years of experience and domain authority. 

Creating high-quality content is undoubtedly beneficial, but securing digital endorsements through backlinks is also a crucial factor. It makes backlinks a powerful tool for rankings. 

Backlinks come in various forms, each offering different levels of value and impact on your SEO strategies. 

  • Editorial Backlinks: Editorial backlinks are natural links earned when other websites find information on your website or blog valuable. Statista is a go-to source for authoritative statistics that writers frequently reference. When they do, it often results in editorial backlinks to Statista.
  • Guest Post Backlinks: You earn guest post backlinks by contributing blogs to another website and including a link back to your site. This approach lets you strategically and traditionally gain exposure and backlinks.
  • Comment Backlinks: When responding to public questions on sites like Quora, Stack Overflow, or Slant, many commenters include links in their comments. These are known as comment backlinks. However, you often need approval from the site owner for the link to appear in the comment.
  • Off Page Links: You can add these links to social bookmarking sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, or Digg to drive traffic and boost visibility.

However, the direct impact on SEO is still a subject of debate.

Why Content is King?

Content is more than words; it is the kingmaker of SEO. High-quality content can elevate your website’s visibility and authority, attracting organic traffic and high-quality backlinks. Further, quality articles can be a great source to get organic backlinks that bring targeted traffic to your website and increase the rate of conversions. What makes content the king is its continuous and far-reaching benefits to SEO strategies.

The benefits of high-quality content include: 

  • Organic backlinks from reputed websites
  • Enhancement in website authority
  • Higher engagement metrics
  • Elevate user experience
  • Brings relevant traffic
  • Increase revenue

Types of Content 

Here are the content types that help you establish as an authority in your niche and drive SEO success: 

1. Podcast

Did you know that podcasts are rapidly emerging as one of the fastest-growing sources for content creation? In the United States, 64% of consumers are podcast listeners, and 83% are aware of the medium. 

Today, the human attention span keeps dropping. Before 20 years, it was around 2.5 minutes; today, it’s 45 seconds. Hence, podcasts are a convenient and engaging way for people to consume online content on the go.

Statista reports that the number of podcast listeners has grown significantly since 2019 and is likely to continue rising. Hence, hosting podcasts and inviting industry experts to discuss user pain points can make your website a valuable resource for many people in your field. It attracts quality backlinks and increases traffic from relevant sources. 

2. Blog Post

Blog posts are a classic and effective form of content marketing. They help you establish expertise in your niche by sharing posts on your website or through guest posting on other sites. 

Blog posts are a classic and effective form of content marketing. They help you establish expertise in your niche by sharing posts on your website or through guest posting on other sites. For instance, as you read this blog post discussing whether content or backlinks are better for ranking, you’re seeing a blog post in action.

Further, many other types of blog posts include:

  • Guest Post
  • Social Media Posting (LinkedIn, Twitter) 
  • Article Writing 
  • Website Blog Post 
  • SEO Blog Posting

👉 Content Tips —  To make your content stand out from the competition, add relevant images, infographics, and videos. Additionally, include case studies, personal experiences, and statistics sourced from your reputable firm.

3. Video Blog

Online videos reach 92% of audiences globally. This stat is enough to make you understand the importance of video blogs. Many influencers, trainers, and social media content creators use video to reach their audience. 

With the significant drop in human attention, video blogs are becoming more effective and result-oriented. Even long-form content is gaining popularity on YouTube. 

However, the video content needs skills to keep the audience engaged with your content. If you master this skill, you will be able to gain more popularity and attract high-quality backlinks to your website.

Just in:- Given the popularity of podcasts and long-form content on YouTube, TikTok is experimenting with 15-minute video uploads. This suggests that we can expect to see long-form content on short video platforms shortly. 

Importance of Content in SEO

Content can either elevate your website or bring it down. Let’s take the latest Google Algorithm Update as an example: Google deindexed all unoriginal, spammy, and useless content. This update caused many websites to face penalties, and they now need to start their SEO efforts from scratch. That’s why content’s importance in an SEO strategy is so significant, earning it the title of “king.”

Moreover, the importance of content in SEO is: 

  • Help you gain high-quality backlinks for your website.
  • Reduce bounce rate and keep the audience engaged with your content, which is essential for rankings. 
  • High-quality content understands semantic search, which focuses on the meaning behind search queries rather than just keywords. This increases traffic and builds your authority. 
  • Content created for specific purposes, knowledge, or people helps you enhance your website’s visibility and increase organic traffic.

Backlinks and content work together to enhance each other’s performance, which creates a symbiotic relationship between those elements. 

For example, high-quality content on your website about a specific topic that provides valuable insight attracts quality backlinks. As a result, many sites link your content to their blogs, which provides you with organic traffic to your website. In turn, these backlinks boost your website’s authority and search engine rankings, making your content more visible and driving more traffic to your site. 

Here are a few more symbiotic relationships between backlinks and content: 

Keywords Optimization and Content

SEO begins with keyword research. SEO executives research keywords, their difficulty, and traffic to them. Based on keyword research, the content creation team crafts the content around the keyword, which makes it more valuable. Further, content writers include those keywords in articles naturally, which naturally enhances rankings. 

UX and SEO Rankings

User experience, content structure, and well-designed content play vital roles in keeping users engaged with your content. A strong UX can reduce bounce rates, increase the chance of getting backlinks, and recognize the value of your content. These backlinks in turn signal credibility and authority to search engines, which increase your rankings and content reach.

Social Media and SEO Optimization

Content marketing and link building strategies often extend to social media platforms, where engaging content is liked, shared, and commented on. These social signals, which include social media engagement, contribute indirectly to SEO by increasing brand visibility and driving more traffic to your website. 

Who is the Ultimate Winner: Content Or Backlinks? 

Well, the answer has already been given in this article. If it’s about choosing anyone, it is not fair, to be honest, because both are internally related to each other.  And content is the king, then backlinks are an alliance that proves its majority in the house. If content attracts websites for link building, in turn, backlinks amplify the visibility and reach of your content. Together, they form a powerful duo that propels your SEO strategy forward.

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