All internet marketing SEO is theory and that’s why the answer to every question is maybe or it depends.
There are concrete best practices such as create original content, use your H tags, and write your meta descriptions for click-through and not ranking.
But ask 100 people that practice search engine optimization whether long-form content or backlinks matter more and you’ll get 100 different opinions. And that’s because no one really knows the ranking algorithm except the creator, of which there is not just one originator.
The worst part about it is you can easily find examples of great pieces of content ranking over backlink-fed pages and pages of shit content but the domain as a whole has great backlinks. Case in point as far as backlinks prove as a superior ranking factor: thearchitectsguide.com
Damn near 80% of the product “top 10” type articles on Mr. Hubbard’s website are ranking 1st for large search terms. But actually read the content. It’s more or less scraped content from Amazon. Who exactly is that content helping?
And someone could take that 1 SINGLE example and extrapolate it into backlinks matter more than content when it comes to ranking factors. And they’d be right in that one isolated incident.
Internet Marketers are Insufferable
Because of the nature of the industry, any SEO who practices with a website they create needs to keep their projects silent. Copycats are rampant in this industry*because the barrier to entry is about $12 for a new domain.
*this industry being using SEO to drive traffic to sell a product, in most cases affiliate marketing
So you have these experts who can’t actually show any proof of expertise because that would jeopardize their project. And let’s face it, any person that reveals their money-making website is trying to sell something else and their website was created as a case study (not that there is anything wrong with that).
And their expertise is based on anecdotal evidence. It worked for me, so that’s how it’s done.
Which is 100% not replicable.
The age-old answer to every SEO related question.
- Is content or backlinks more important? It depends.
- Should I go after long-tail keywords? It depends.
- Do I need to do SEO as a local business? It depends.
- Should I use the KGR? No. That’s an easy answer.
It depends is the catchall signifying that hey, it’s supposed to work one way, but there are always outliers that no one cracks the code to. Like my previous example, you’re supposed to create original content, but just go to any product review article and you can tell those are backlinks at work.
Either way, the bottom line is that most SEO advice being offered on the internet is based on anecdotal experiences. “Well, my articles are 2k words apiece and I rank without backlinks.” And for every no backlink argument is a you-need-backlinks argument.
So should you listen to the article ranking 1st for your SEO related question?