The single most important factor in getting to rank

Tropical SEO
“Getting high quality editorial links is currently the single most important factor in getting a site to rank.”

I would have to agree with Andy Hagens. Getting links from authoratative websites and blogs within your industry is the best way to climb those search engine ranking pages.

Yeah sure, getting the right keyword in your domain and url is important. Look at what happened to Cornwall SEO. This site is number one in Google for the search term “cornwall seo”.

You can’t rank if you don’t have the backlinks, but if all you have is the backlinks with the correct anchor text, you will rank.

My intention is to rank for local search optimization services here in the County of Cornwall. Getting to number one so quickly is good news. Yes the term is not a competitive one and not that many people search for it. But it is contested amongst other local web design companies and seo specialists.

Being number one in the SERPS has been helped by getting killer links from some very big name blogs and websites. Calacanis, Techmeme etc. This definately contributed to rising in the rankings so quickly. They linked to me because I raised the question that the destruction of Digg may happen because of the creation of Digg clones. Particularly the open source software Pligg, which makes it very easy to set up a Digg clone.

Why did people link to it?

The post was written with knowledge and passion, posing an interesting question to the industry. Its something which fascinates me, the fact that a $100 million giant such as Digg can be challenged by some kid in his bedroom running a Digg clone about Star Wars, or any other vertical close to the heart of the Digger. Which makes me wonder, has Digg become the Death Star. Something of incredible power, travelling around the web destroying servers with it’s huge gush of intense traffic?

The point is – before I get side tracked too much with the Star Wars thing – is that a well written, well researched post on a subject which matters to people will get linked to.

Call it linkbait if you will, but be careful. The term linkbait is over simplistic, there are various shades and threads of personal and cultural interest at work here. Being controversial is not enough, you have to hit the sweet spot.

Writing is a craft. It’s work, hard work. But it’s the best way to get backlinks and therefore the best way to rank.

So adding to Andy Hagans’ words – King of the Linkbaiters – I say that writing good stuff is the best way to rank.

Do that, and the links will come.

May the links be with you.

6 Replies to “The single most important factor in getting to rank”

  1. As the self-proclaimed “laziest man in SEO”, it took me a LONG time to come around to the “good content” club.

    But at the end of the day, good content is cheaper, more efficient, and more effective than the alternatives. (As long as it’s ‘packaged’ and marketed decently.)

  2. I would have to challenge you for the lazy man crown.

    Actually it’s more like I got into bad habits and found it difficult to change, the problems with being old skool seo.

    Now I get the whole quality linkbait with a twist of social media marketing thing it’s like everything is easy.

    But it’s not easy, it took me a year of reading about linkbait to finally get it.

    Change is hard.

  3. Ahem..can we have a competition for this lazy man title 😉

    I once believed that it was all about numbers. Lots of pages, across lots of sites, equals lots of links, equals good rankings. The only diff is, that these days, you need them from lots of different places with a big dose of trust and authority too.

    Im with you on the socail media thing too, its taken me ages to finally start getting it. A consequence of being locked in the old school seo trenches perhaps.

    I agree with what tropical said too. People like Jill Whalen have been banging on about content content content for years. You can have the best SEO’d site in the world, but if doesn’t have anything in it thats worth linking to, then its going to die an inevitable death.

    Loving the challenge though, especially the opportunities it presents. Its almost a new searchscape and lots of people still aint geetting it. Suits me sir 🙂

  4. This was the first post I read on this blog and have just added you to my reader and MyBlogLog.

    Why? Sure it’s well written, but more important to me (and probably why others link to you) is that it’s well thought out. I also believe very strongly in content over link strategies. Good content is what gets me (and others to subscribe). Great thoughts coming right from your passion for the subject gets me to keep on reading.

    Great work!

  5. It’s a good read and of course true, but is it helpful?

    Telling someone that, ?Getting high quality editorial links is currently the single most important factor in getting a site to rank.?

    Is like saying, “Being good looking and rich is the single most important factor in scoring with chicks.” Thanks I’ll note that down.


  6. Mark, the important things should be repeated.

    Hearing the same thing described a million different ways is very helpful.

    So the answer to your question is yes.

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