While reading an article on keyword stuffing I came across a sentence that is extremely gratifying to me. It expresses a sentiment you don’t see much online any more, though at one time it was gospel. Most people today consider link building to be the holy grail of SEO, and I do admit that there are strong benefits to it. But link building won’t turn a bad site into a great site. All it can do is bolster rankings, but if you have a site that shouldn’t rank in the first place, what good will that do?
The sentence I’m talking about is this:
So, as near as I can tell your top rankings were so high because you had built an awesome reputation with Google by providing unparalleled content; I can’t find a single competitor that can match the quality of your content.
The author of this article, Ross Dunn, is giving a response to someone who lost #1 rankings for their keywords. They lost those rankings due to keyword stuffing, but Ross does say he can understand why they had such high rankings: Content.
What exactly is great content? No. 1, it focuses on a human reader, not a robot. Keyword stuffing is a common problem and eventually it will kill great content. But if you do your on site optimization right and publish great content on your site then you can achieve great rankings without links. Yes, I said it. You can build great content without links.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do any link building. I am saying that you should focus first and foremost on producing great content for your website. Build up your site’s reputation with awesome content then think about link building and other things. But without great content you’ll never really be able to build a site that is competitive.