Why content is king on the internet

Daniel Pataki
Dec 18, 2008
Updated • Feb 15, 2012

Working as a web developer I get a lot of requests regarding SEO and getting to the top of Google as fast as possible. While code-wise a lot can be done, this is nowhere near enough. If you want to get anywhere near good rankings you will need solid content that keeps coming regularly. Once you have good posts on a blog for example people will come.

Apart from the reason that content is weighed most heavily by Google, all other so called "methods" are temporary. In the beginning there was the "fill your site with invisible keywords" method. The point of this was to create a huge chunk of text containing keywords, and setting its visibility to none. This means its still in the code, so Google sees it, but users don't. Try that now and you'll get a ban in seconds. Then came the meta tags period where people used to give huge-long descriptions and lengthy meta keyword lists. While not such a 'sin', it won't give you what you're looking for.

My point is that everyone wants to cheat search engines and while it is of course a possibility, its only a matter of time before they get ahead of you. If you're lucky you fall back a few hundred places, if not, you're banned. As with every other business you have to work at it. I mean gHacks has 4,851 posts right now, over almost four years, that's about 3.5 posts every day. Not all are written by Martin nowadays, but I bet he started the blog alone, and up until not too long ago he had a day job.

So if you want to go instantly to number one, you really need a great idea, like Twitter, Remember The Milk and so on. Otherwise you will have to keep at it. if you're passionate about what you're doing, you'll find so many little successes on the way. When I started my own blog, Hack Your Day after about a 5 days if you typed "Hack Your Day" into Google I was at number 8-9, Hack a Day, Lifehack and so on were in front of me. After a month or so I was at number 1. This is of course of no use at all, but still a small victory, showing I'm doing something right.

If you're doing a project on the web, especially a blog, keep in mind that you won't be successful in a matter of days, it will most like take years if it ever happens at all. Hey, if it was easy, where would the challenge be?


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  1. Syahid A said on December 23, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Could not agree more than this. Spot on.

  2. rruben said on December 19, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Good points, I totally agree. No doubt you knew that already of course.

    I just missed the importance of links in this introduction to seo. This is often overlooked, because e.g. managers in companies with a website often only look at the on-page optimization and don’t think about links in any way.

    At last, that’s what I have noticed lately.
    But still, it’s a great post!

  3. Daniel Pataki said on December 19, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Hi rruben!

    I think the logic you follow is solid, but this is a question of which came first the hen or the egg, and in this case content (take that paradoxes!).

    The reason is that a bad site simply won’t get quality links. By saying “produce good content and people will come” I also indirectly meant links and so forth, since natuarally your link strength is most important, since that is what can be quanitzed. But in essence the quality of your links is mostly determined indirectly by your content.

    On Flash sites I totally agree. I hate all-flash sites, but in some instances they are of course appropriate.

  4. RG said on December 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    rruben, you are correct but with one caveat, links have to have some form of relevancy. Remember the dmoz directory days with directories embedded in every site? I had a site, now gone, longlivesoccer.com. I did get good ranking for valuable queries like ‘live soccer’ but it didn’t last, of course some of it had to do with (lack of) content but not all.

  5. rruben said on December 18, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Content = King
    Links = King

    Good content without links (votes) pointing to it won’t help you either to get higher rankings.

    And even flash sites can rank high when a lot of links are pointing to it (e.g. official movie/game sites).

    So I don’t agree that content is weighed most heavily by Google, links are. But it is save to say that content is the second most important.

    With your content you tell Google where you want to rank high for and the number of links will tell Google that you don’t only want it, but that you also deserve it.

    More text means more keywords where you make a chance to rank high for, but finally the quantity and quality of the links pointing to a site will or will not make that happen.

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