joined:Apr 1, 2016
Anyone can claim that providing unique value that satisfies users is a bad idea.
This is not what I am claiming, although I can see how it can be perceived as such. My point is that simply providing unique high quality content is not sufficient and may not even be necessary. But I'm not suggesting that it will hurt per se.
Tangor sums it up pretty well with this statement:
OR YOU MUST BE SO UNIQUE that no one else can touch you. AND IN THAT you are so unique you will never have hordes of traffic because you are THAT UNIQUE.
For my main website I came up with an original way of deriving information about a specific entities by using publicly available data in an innovative way. When I first published this information I was the only one in my niche providing this information, it certainly helped me gain traction. But then a competitor looked at what I did, and simply took the public data and added it to their page content. No value, incomplete, and wrong. But now the competitor shows the same type of (albeit wrong) information for these entities, but to the user they are unable to distinguish between which of the two are factually correct or complete. Google certainly has no means of distinguishing which is right or wrong. Explaining the difference to the average user would likely require a dissertation, I have about 3 seconds if that to get the message across? Google shows the more popular site, my competitor's, with a big budget and massive link profile build in a few short month. Again, in this case the original high value content counts for diddly-squat.
This is in fact the same dynamic that allows fake news to propagate. Google has no way to know what is or isn't correct. Look at the knowledge graph, which is intended for "facts" things are verifiable and are discrete true or false. Even in this case they have trouble getting it right. So instead of trying to be the fact checker of the web, they use popularity as proxy. Popularity can be faked, by buying links, fake social media profile, bots and other means.
There is no way that a website like the one I referred to in my previous post could obtain over 1 Million legitimate links from actual webmasters saying, "Yeah this great content!", because objectively it sucks. It is designed and created for the sole purpose of manipulating the system.
And as I have stated myself one anecdotal example is not conclusive, but this isn't the only example there are many, and there are far fewer counter examples (I am sure they exist, I hope one day one of my sites can be held up as one. I am sure that people here at WW have sites that are counter examples but they are the rare exception)