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What do you think I should spend my time on? Creating more posts, or creating more back links?

+57 votes
I have a blog that I'm actually ranking on the bottom of first page for my primary keyword, I've done this almost entirely without external backlinks since I post fresh content regularly. My question is, am I better off to continue focusing on creating more content for my blog or start focusing on creating external backlinks? My busy schedule makes it difficult to do both at once given the research I put into my content. Update. Let me clarify. I want to move up in serps, I'm just worried changing tactics (building more external links instead of spending my time creating fresh content) might have a neg effect... For example, if I go from posting 5 times a week to 3 times in order to spend time on article marketing twice a week, would this likely hurt or help me?
asked Aug 31, 2013 in Search Engine Optimization by blackcat (19,040 points)  
62% Accept Rate

edited Aug 31, 2013 by blackcat
featued question
creating more content will generate more backlinks done correctly so : more content and then your doing both!
It really depends on the level of competition. If your blog is in a very competitive niche, then you are most definitely going to need to put effort into external link building if you want to rank towards the top of page 1. Creating quality content in a competitive niche will not be enough to rank in the money spots.

Good luck with your blog!

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As what I've observe, you can do the things above at the same time. And the best practice is doing guest post. Why guest post? It is because doing so, this will help you expand your market and on the other hand, you have the chance to also build backlinks on your web pages.

I saw a friend of mine doing this and now his blog is generating much traffic. Just focus on giving value as you do this. You can update your own blog trice a week and do guest post almost everyday if you love writing.
I think the best thing you need to do is publish an enough number of good and valuable content in your blog. Then do some outreach for prospective blogs where you can expand your readership through Guest Post and also get high quality backlinks.

31 Answers

+9 votes

You need to do both.

Build links and slowly build content up.

I know you are busy, but if Google doesn't see movement on your site, it has no reason to keep coming back regularly to move you up the rankings.

You don't have to have lots of words, just enough to make sense. They also don't need to be posted on the front page of your site.

If you are using Wordpress, look at 'Wordpress stealth publish' - then ping the page where it is posted - It won't show up on your front page but any links you have on the page will have juice etc.

Hope that helps

answered Aug 31, 2013 by CarpetDog (4,020 points)  
Is that a plugin?
Yes, it is a plugin :-)

It is great if you write little 200 word posts with long tail keywords - you can then see where Google ranks it and replace it with a more substantial offering :-)
Cool ill check it out
That sounds like a cool idea to write short posts and expand and build links on them once indexed !

Conquer Proven Google Niches and Kindle Niches with these insider tools! smiley

+7 votes
Continue posting fresh content regularly, and devote a little time - maybe one day a week - to quality backlinks.  Think of why visitors would come to your site more than once.  And find ways to get visitors to share your site with others.  

I disagree with the notion that the more backlinks you have the higher you rank in the search engines.  It has been disproven by some marketers who have been able to rank very high on the same day they registered their domain.  

However, quality backlinks are extremely helpful in the long and short term.  The operative words here are "quality backlinks."  Link from related sites, especially from authority sites if you can, and use variations on the anchor text.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by jerrywaxman (6,860 points)  
Actually most of the links I do have are from other blogs. I don't even know about them till I see visitors in my analytics under referals
+4 votes
Well depends on what you want to do? Do you want to improve the ranking of your primay KW? Build links to do that. If you want to rank for other KW generally write posts and build links to them to help them rank! If you are already ranking with little links the a few more should do the trick.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by Homebizipedia (5,630 points)  
+3 votes

Most people here are into blogging. I hung it up years ago. Well, I paid for NicheJet from JL and Josh [] and I still don't dig it.


I rank major KW's over and over on YouTube and Google time and time again.

Get a holt of me.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by Brett (810 points)  
Brett, thanks for sharing this. I'm wondering if "piggybacking" on the big traffic and ranking hogs like youtube isn't easier for many people.... any resources you recommend? Are you selling off the Youtube page with an aff link or something else.

Conquer Proven Google Niches and Kindle Niches with these insider tools! smiley

+3 votes
The more backlinks that you have, the higher the ranking of your site in the search engines. Are you looking for more visitors? Or are you simply focusing on content? Only you can answer that. Perhaps you could alternate and do one and then switch and do the other. It all depends on your goals.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by Countrymom (380 points)  
+3 votes
I have a blog where I published one or two articles per week and I increased to one article each other day, but in last monthes it doesn't have helped like in the last year. Recently, I started to blog commenting and it brought some more traffic (weirdly, organic traffic!).

I guess you should try to make some marketing, but not focusing on SERP, because Google is punishing so many guys now. I wanna focus on social media and "spread my link" without focusing on SERP, like blog commenting.
answered Aug 31, 2013 by Christiano (49,030 points)  
+3 votes
It's very important question, but i see if you could provide  unique high quality articles, you could build up easily backlinks. So give attention to articles then you will see good results, but be patient.
answered Sep 1, 2013 by shawa (18,850 points)  
+3 votes
Being on the first page without external links for your primary keyword means that you have done a great job.

In this case getting a single link from an authority site might shoot you up at least 4 steps.

My advice is to do both. Write contents regularly as you do and take a few moments to build links to those fresh contents you have created. 3-5 links per posts should do the trick.
answered Sep 2, 2013 by Buxykay (15,690 points)  
+3 votes
It makes sense to continue to build content as you have done, but it also makes sense to try adding links where you can. Your skillset seems to indicate that you are good at creating content, so why not continue doing that and simply add good quality links in an automated fashion?

SocialADR (the paid version) would do that for you ( It's been around for quite a while and offers automated links (after spending a half hour or so creating the accounts which is easy).

You can set up the links to be created as fast or as slow as you want, and as many as you want (up to the maximium set). This is a completely hands-off system once set up, so you can continue content-writing as much as you want.
answered Sep 2, 2013 by redlaw (200 points)  
+2 votes
The simple answer is this, a complete (and lasting) solutions takes all sorts of activity, such as posting great content, getting natural backlinks that stick, and getting some buzz on social media.  It doesn't always take all of those depending on how competitive your niche and specifically the keywords your going for are.  But the bottom line, keep doing what is working for you and sprinkle in some other things along the way.  It sounds like you're doing well, so keep doing it at maybe 90% and put 10% into backlinks or something else.  I certainly would not completely change from what is already working.
answered Sep 2, 2013 by mattkaey (14,930 points)  
+1 vote
Google's latest focus seems to be mainly interaction on a site, low bounce rates, and other evidence your visitots are engaged. That speaks to fresh content, not backlinks. Backlinks are still useful, but the scammers have lowered their importance in Google's eyes it seems. Ask yourself what you look for when you visit a site and keep coming back (perhaps to buy things). It isn't backlinks I am sure. If content creation takes too much time use an aggregator that curates content and brings it back for you to post. All you need to do then is run through and properly attribute it to the source.
answered Sep 2, 2013 by geekability (18,680 points)  
+1 vote
You really need to do both regularly.

But if I were to choose, I would go with providing more quality content because that is what Google feeds on. When you provide quality content on a regular basis you train the Google bots to keep coming back to index it and over time Google sees that you are providing regular content for their searchers and it will start to trust your site and over time will reward you for that in better rankings.

Ok, we all know we need backlinks and social interaction as well, but I have ranked articles with no backlinks for long tail keywords with low to medium competition on a site which is is updated on a regular basis.

But you still need to do backlinks fairly regularly, concentrate on good quality backlinks with varied anchor text from many different sources.
answered Sep 4, 2013 by CoolCat (7,730 points)  
It's not really about the volume of posts but the maximising the traffic to each post. For Instance. There is no point in writing 50 posts if only 3 people read each one. You are better off writing a really good article with tons of valuable information and the visit blogs, social media sites, forums etc that are discussing that topic and drive traffic to your post.
When you feel you have saturated these forums etc, rinse and repeat.
What happens then is that you have generated traffic and high quality relevant  links to your post at the same time and when you publish a second, many of those that have signed up to your newsletter will come calling... hence generating traffic without ANY effort on your part.

You don't need to create hundreds of posts to get google coming back, the links you have created will do that for you.
0 votes
The best solution is to create great high quality content for your readers - not google.Then your linkbuilding will automate from the sharings that comes from your readers.Hands off SEO!

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answered Sep 4, 2013 by lode (440 points)  
if your content is focused for a specific set of words around your main keyword phrases and you have at least 400 too 500 words on a page and some rich media like videos and links to auth sources then you are going to need some good quality links from trusted sources to give you that final boost. One trick is to go to G news and locate other buzz talk around your chosen topic and comment on their sites incl a link back to yours. Making sure you are adding value (and maybe even controversy) , this works like a charm as your link building is narrowly targeted to good sites who are also in your niche talking about the same thing.Often times just 3 or 4 good links can have a major effect
0 votes
Over the last 2 years I built 2 blogs with mainly quality content and some backlinks. Both still rank pg 1 similarly to before the last hit. I wonder often if it would have been the same if we didn't get hit. It surely can't hurt to do both to be on the safe side.

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answered Sep 4, 2013 by ausgirl (380 points)  
0 votes
As you stated clearly that you can only do one thing, creating content OR building backlinks, I would definitely go for content. I myself spend a comparatively low share of my time on link building while I put my main effort on creating quality content by writing all website postings myself.
answered Sep 4, 2013 by waldschrat (320 points)  
0 votes

Have you considered outsourcing your article marketing? Have your blog posts re-written into articles maybe twice a week. All you'll need to do then is tweak them to give them your own spin and that shouldn't take much of your time.

2 submitted articles a week will provide backlinks to move you up from that bottom position of page one that you already have. Great work for getting there man, keep it up! Cheers! yes

answered Sep 4, 2013 by jfroger (330 points)  
0 votes

So the answer is this...


Here is the answer, if you are on page one already and want to move up the rankings then content is not going to do this (Period) it will be the below that gets you pushed up the rankings:

Back links on high PR websites (from the page that has the PR)

Diverse Anchor text, not just the keyword you want to rank for

A Constant stream of diverse backlinks, web 2.0, bookmarks etc but don't build all of these back to your website you need to have a buffer site or a tiered approach.

Thats it period that's what is going to increase your rankings...

However as you are on page one you and you begin to force your way up the rankings you need to turn your attention to content on your site, now don't fall into the trap of 500 word articles that's not the answer the answer is sticky content anything that reduces your bounce rate.

What do I mean by sticky content, well video is a good source of sticky content people will always watch videos then you need to combine this with some relevant written content.

You also need to pay attention to your internal linking structure, if you're focusing your efforts on your written content then make sure you find a way of interlinking your content so it flows and causes the users to stay on your site longer.


You're already on page one so it won't take much to get you up the rankings but once you hit the sweet spot of 1-3 (some would say (1-5) you need to provide your users with the content they want.

Also are you ranking for a term that is actually being searched for there is no point ranking for terms that no one is searching for.

I will be providing more useful tips on my own site but love what Jonathan does here so want to contribute here too.

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answered Sep 4, 2013 by EugeneDunkley (600 points)  
edited Sep 4, 2013 by jonathanleger
0 votes
you should do both!

and keep doing it each day, quality content and quality backlinks done daily equals great results!

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answered Sep 7, 2013 by winstanleyf1 (1,540 points)  
0 votes
As many have told you, you must do both if you wish to advance in the rankings.  Unfortunately you must also do both if you wish to keep the first page position you currently have on Google.  Google will often rank a new site on the first page but after a few weeks will lower it to interior pages if it does not find the things it expects on sites.

One of the things it expects to find is back links.  Back links are considered a vote for the web site by users of the web site.  While the number of required back links is less in low competition niches, back links are still expected.  Check the number of back links for the top three sites to determine how many back links Google expects to see for that keyword.

New content is also required in blogs.  But the new content does not mean it must always be original content.  I use content from for regular content on many of my sites.  The way I handle this is to set up three or four users with author status.  Then I set up autoposting for each of the users so it appears I have several people adding new content on the posts for my pages.

I then use the "Page" function of my sites for the content I create.  I will usually have two or three original posts written for a new site.  Then I will start using content curation software to create additional new content for the sites.  I also add curated content as additional content for some of the articles so they too look to be original content.

Google does not require articles to be 100% original to count them as original articles.  I aim for 60% but I have read many times that anything over 30% is considered to original.  I do know that Google indexes hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages containing the same article so duplicate content between different sites is not as big an issue as many make it.

However duplicate content between pages within your site is a big issue.  In my opinion you should never have duplicate content within your own web site

You must also be careful in how your build your back links.  Do not build 200 back links on one day, then wait a week and build another 200 back links.  This will not look natural to Google and you will be punished if you do it.  It is better to build 10-30 back links each day.  Vary the number each day.  Don't build 10 on each Monday, 20 on each Tuesday, etc.  Your back link building must be consistent but it must also look natural to Google.

My answer is long winded as usual for me, but the short answer is you must provide new content and build back links to succeed.  You must be consistent in your program of back link building.  Your new articles need not be 100% original. is a great resource to help with this.

You can use software to help with your back link building and your content creation.  I could not handle the number of sites I have if I did not use software to help with the chore.  And finally, if you just can't find the time to build back links then consider using the new back link service that Jonathan now offers.
answered Sep 7, 2013 by ezgoing (2,800 points)  
0 votes
Yes, do both, there is no option here!

If you are seeing such rankings then I guess you are seeing revenue also, yes? If so then I'd invest some money into content and/or link building. Recycle your revenues and continue doing so building traffic to your pages for a broader and broader range of keywords.
answered Sep 8, 2013 by andrewwilson (9,160 points)  
0 votes
I'd do both, but when you write, do it using list posts whenever possible that answer major questions in your niche.

So make link bait type articles. That way you are making content that is deliberately linkable too.

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answered Sep 8, 2013 by liz (1,740 points)  
0 votes
The answer to this question really screams "it depends!"  If you have an active user base following you and reading your blog everyday then slowing down on posts could hurt you with them. If you do not have a user base that is following you on a regular basis then you could slow your posts down to a few times per week and put more enegy into sourcing high quality backlinks. What you might consider is to create your own content a few times per week and then "curating" content (i.e. posting relevant youtube videos with a short 100 word or so comment about it) a couple times as well to free up a little more time for backlinking.

There are a lot of different ways you could approach this issue and if you asked 10 different guys in IM you would probably get 10 different answers.

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answered Sep 9, 2013 by jsniemeyer (1,000 points)  
0 votes
I think you should divide the time wisely as posts or content is as much crucial as creating backlinks to your site. Without great posts, you will lose your readers. And without enough backlinks, you won't get enough readers to read tour content.

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answered Sep 10, 2013 by anamel (12,110 points)  
0 votes
If it were me I would suggest that you do both of these steps at the same time. However,  when it comes to building the back links the way I understand this method now doing them in a slow natural manner, and slowly creating the content over time is the best approach to take now.

Additionally, keep in mind that Google must see some type of activity on your site, otherwise they will have no reason to keep visiting you on a regularly bases. Also those visits are actually what will help your site to move up on the search rankings, if done correctly.

I would simply make posts at least 3 days per week, which can prove to be helpful. You could always add content to the inner pages of your site, which can also help with inner linking of the pages.

I hope this answer helps all those that read it

answered Sep 19, 2013 by libby (23,340 points)  
0 votes
I personally would concentrate on building backlinks for the majority of your time.

I try to stick to the 80/20 mantra. 20% of my time creating the content and 80% of the time promoting it.

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answered Oct 6, 2013 by (10,820 points)  
0 votes
Of course, the answer is to do both.

But for now,  you might want to look at your current situation.

Do you already have many posts on your site but not getting enought traffic? If that is the case, you may want to use 90% of the time for traffic generating activity and 10% of the time to continue adding new content to your site.

Anyway, I mention "traffic generating activity", not just "backlinks".

I don't see why you should limit yourself to just "backlinks". Nowadays, SEO is getting more and more unreliable. So it is definitely not a good idea to just focus on SEO alone. Try to spend some time getting traffic from other sources too.
answered Oct 8, 2013 by lubanolim (35,720 points)  
0 votes
It is definitely important to build at least some backlinks, because while Goolge loves new fresh content, that alone may not be enough in the long run.

Because right now, with obviously very good articles, you are probably pleasing Google's spiders so much with relevant and great content, that they make you rank, and as more and more people find you, other algorithm factors seem to support your ranking, e.g. people staying on your site long enough.

I assume your site is relatively new, So imagine, if you keep adding content, and people keep coming to your site (somehow/SERPs) at some point the question is, why does nobody "talk" about your site, if it is THAT good? And in Google's eyes "talked about" means - backlinks! If the good content gets bookmarked, tweeted, FBooked etc. then Google will have confirmation, that it was for good reason to rank you high. But I cannot imagine a site without interaction will stay on the top for months/year, if someon else kicks in, who makes Google believe they have more interaction than you have = proven by having more backlinks!

So in other words, you have a great start and fantastic content, but do not risk someone flying in from the side with more backlinks but moderate content.. Than it becomes a fight. If you are not prepared, the other one with content AND backlinks will win!

I hope that makes sense. So I advise to keep adding content, but at least once a week, skip one article and do some backlinking instead, just to add juice to the otherwise tasty meal ;-)   This will make you much safer. Otherwise you are giving a potential competitor a very easy game to take over.

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answered Oct 9, 2013 by smartbiz (3,100 points)  
0 votes
Feeding regular content is more important than backlinks. Moreover heavy back-linking is not the need nowadays, given the prevailing penguin updates. So I would say building 2 to 3 backlinks per day is enough, along with regular content.
answered Nov 30, 2013 by Frendz (7,530 points)  
0 votes
Posts - Good content hardly needs any backlinks.

Really good content more often than not ATTRACTS natural backlinks.

Spend more time on quality content (not quantity).

If needed you could use Social sharing sites for a bit of backlinking.
answered Jun 5, 2014 by kevinflatt (1,660 points)  
edited Jun 5, 2014 by kevinflatt
0 votes
There are some internet marketers who earning full time just by feeding loads of content on daily basis to their sites. According to them they do not worry much about backlinking. A good keyword research is what they emphasize.
answered Jan 9, 2015 by Frendz (7,530 points)  
0 votes
I think people will don't care if you lessen the quantity of your post as long as the value is still there once you've updated a new blog post. The best thing you need to do is approach the influencers or blogger around your niche and ask them if you can publish a Guest Post on their blogs.

This technique works in a niche or the other. Just try this out and see if it works for your current niche.
answered Jan 29, 2015 by rtrev (4,140 points)  
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