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How To Rank Your Content Even With Lesser Links Pointing To Your Site

A question related to inbound links were answered by Matt Cutts who is Google’s head of search spam. With his latest webmaster help video a user have written a question to ask.

In general, in a situation like this Matt says you would have to consider the way search engines worked before they started using links as a ranking signal.

In a case like this, content would be judged based on the text on the page. Matt gives a simplified situation of how that would work:

The first word that’s seen on a page would be counted more compared to the other words on the page.
The second time a word is seen it would be counted “a little more, but not a ton more.”
Additional instances of the word would lead Google to believe the page is about that topic.
However, with that being said, it doesn’t help to keep repeating a keyword over and over. After a while that would be viewed as keyword stuffing and could negatively impact the ranking of that page.

Another way Google would judge the quality of a page without an abundance of inbound links is whether or not that page is sitting on a reputable domain.

Without links pointing to a page, Matt says there is still a good chance of that page being returned in the search results if it satisfies a somewhat obscure query. If you have one of the only pieces of content on the web with a rare phrase someone is searching for, Google will return that page because it’s relevant to what the user is looking for.

How does Google determine quality content if there aren’t a lot of links to a post?

Matt Cutts replied the way search engines worked before they started using links as a ranking signal and this should be considered in this situation.

In such case, based on the text which is on the page, the content should be judged. Matt even gave a simple explanation how this worked.
  • The other words on the page if we compare, the first word on the page would be counted.
  • Less but not more is followed when the second time the word has been counted.
  • Google believes with the additional instances and confirmed the page is about that topic.

Repeating same keyword number of times does not help the content at all. Later it leads to keyword stuffing and affect the ranking of the page.

Page with reputable domain, is another manner of judging the content quality without inbound links.

Matt Cutts says, if a page satisfies an obscure query then the page returned back to search results. With a rare phrase of search someone is searching in a piece of content, then Google will surely return back that content page to the search result if the page in relevant to the users search.

How Your Content Ranks

Cutts explains that the process by which Google judges content without many pages linking to it, is similar to how search engines worked in the days before SEO and link building: “You’re pretty much judging based on the text on the page at that point.”
Google has algorithms in place to recognize which keywords are being used (and their frequency) on any given webpage and will adjust the ranking for that keyword accordingly. The first few mentions of a keyword will put your page in the running, so to speak, but at a certain point repeating the same keyword can actually work against your page ranking if Google believes the site maybe guilty of “keyword stuffing.”

If the phrase being searched is unique in nature, pages with less reputation may still make it to the front page of Google’s results, “…If there’s no other pages on the web that have that particular phrase, even if there’s not that many links, then that page can be returned because we think it might be relevant, it might be topical to what the user is looking for.”

Not Just Keywords

Keywords aren’t the only factors in play though. Cutts mentions that the reputation of the domain also plays a role, but that quality content is the key to getting your page noticed.

If you have keywords that are more common and competitive, we recommend executing a link building strategy. By doing this, it will help state your authority to Google and help increase the chances of ranking.

Are you currently considering a content marketing and link building strategy? Contact us today and our experts can get started immediately.

The bottom line is that unless your content is extremely unique, you need inbound links to get it ranked.