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Does link building make content more valuable?

     
10:09 pm on Aug 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4957935.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton 6:10 pm on Aug 2, 2019 - (PDT -8)



I'll never get how link building can make the content more valuable than it really is without any links pointing to it.


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 2:15 am (utc) on Aug 3, 2019]
[edit reason] Split off from another thread... [/edit]

2:08 am on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'll never get how link building can make the content more valuable than it really is without any links pointing to it.
Selen, are you saying that the value of the content is so obvious that it should be able to rank without any links?

This is a little bit like "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" I suppose this depends is what you mean by sound... Is sound simply the vibrations in the forest?... or is sound what happens when the vibrations are sensed by an eardrum or microphone?

This can lead into lots of philosophical discussion. Wikipedia presents some history of the question of the tree falling, more than I want to lay out for the question of the link, which is analogous, but you can see how it might go. Perhaps you can suggest how you think value might be assigned in other ways (and there are other ways, some of which, I believe, Google also uses... and there are other search engines too)....

If a tree falls in a forest
[en.wikipedia.org...]

2:15 am on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What I meant is that if you turn on lights in a basement, it won't become a living room just because there is enough light in there.. Google has always valued links too much, to the point that mediocre content can rank on top if enough links point to it. If Google was really able to judge the quality of content, they would not need to consider links at all.
3:33 am on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The web is a bit odd ... a "library" where odd paths are trod and "readers" can get sidetracked, simply because somebody said "I was there, it was kind of fun!" And that somehow became a path to a particular door that wasn't for "everybody" but a few bodies made it "noticed" and somehow created a destination for the lazy and perhaps not that particular ...

The web has always been about LINKS ... the problem is some have decided which links are important. And because some have spoken the lazy Sheeple said "kewl! i go for that!" and this has somehow became a "thing".

These days VALUE is coming back in vogue, so yes, LINKS make a difference ... but artificial link BUILDING can have a very adverse effect. g (and the other se's) have taken notice and either ignore, or penalize, those who seek to game the "system."

Links are good ... some links are not so good. Pick and chose how you go forward.
6:40 am on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Selen
Google has always valued links too much, to the point that mediocre content can rank on top if enough links point to it. If Google was really able to judge the quality of content, they would not need to consider links at all.


Excellent point. It is obvious that Google is highly inept at judging content quality. Just the other day I saw a website getting tons of traffic and all the content they have is badly written - grammar errors all over the place, sentences making no sense, no flow between sentences etc. It reads as if it was written by a 5 year old. All articles on this site are badly rewritten pieces from other articles and the articles are laced with unrelated embedded images from instagram. At-least 20 instagram images per post.

But it is still ranking and ranking pretty well at that.

It's clear that after all these years, Google's algo is still so inept at judging content quality on its own. Similarly, they are also not able to judge original content from duplicated versions.

As far as backlinks go, they are equally bad at guessing natural backlinks from artificial ones. That explains why this bad quality site is ranking for so many top keywords.

@tangor
g (and the other se's) have taken notice and either ignore, or penalize, those who seek to game the "system."


Absolutely not the case. A bot can never be sophisticated enough to figure out a natural link from an artificial link. Forget the bot, even a human will find it difficult to figure that out sometimes.

I was looking at an article the other day and it had 10 outbound links. 5 of those links were to high quality research websites, 2 were to some big sites and 3 were to some average websites. None of the links used specific anchor texts.

Now I clearly know that this blog accepts sponsored posts and hence there is a large probability that one of the links in the article is paid, but which one?

See, if a human cannot detect it with certainty, how do you expect a bot to detect it? It simply CANNOT no matter how sophisticated it becomes. And even if it does, it will end up with a whole bunch of false positives and end up penalizing legit sites over the real culprits.

Backlinks are not as straightforward as you think. They are more twisted than a grape vine.
8:11 am on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If Google was really able to judge the quality of content, they would not need to consider links at all.

What scalable solution do you propose they should use for judging quality? Clearly no other major company has been able to find it. Google has always been largely about links and it will be so for the foreseeable future. Even Panda was about links, as seen from the patent as well as that Googler who mentioned it on Hacker News.

Google just posted a blog recently [webmasters.googleblog.com ]
Itís also important to understand that search engines like Google do not understand content the way human beings do. Instead, we look for signals we can gather about content and understand how those correlate with how humans assess relevance. How pages link to each other is one well-known signal that we use.

Google clearly thinks there's a correlation between content quality and links. After the release of Panda, they kept telling site owners to "remove thin content", "write compelling content" etc. Their definition of "thin content" was largely based on links.
8:23 am on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Links = word of mouth

The more interesting ("interesting" doesn't necessarily means good, or bad), the more people will link/share it. You can revert the equation. The more people link/share a content the more it is "interesting".

So, the number of links is a way to evaluate of the "interest" of the content.

The same way, the more people click on a link in the SERP, the more it means the content is interesting.

...

At leas this is the idea, and how things worked before the invention of SEO ...
10:01 am on Aug 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Content is the King and it always remains


In my experience, no. I write detailed information only to be outranked by brand sites with 200 words. I can provide so many examples. In particular where Google rank brand over accurate information from a non-brand site.

Content most certainly is not king. Brand is king.
3:17 am on Aug 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I see several websites with poor quality designs and 3 paragraph articles absolutely dominating search to the tune of 10 million visitors a month, I kid you not. These have a backlink source you cannot replicate and it's absolutely massive, some 200,000 high quality backlinks per page for some of the harder keywords... and they rank tops for the hardest keywords.

What that tells me is that backlinks alone can do all the heavy lifting BUT I find that better quality content, ie: more informative and complete, can give it a run in search with a tiny fraction of the backlink profile.

For that reason I'd say work to get a few backlinks that make sense but focus on having the best pages you can muster, content is far easier to create than rediculous backlink profiles with no guarantees.
8:49 am on Aug 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I write detailed information only to be outranked by brand sites with 200 words.

I don't see the problem. if people visit these 200 words-pages, and do not obtain the information they wanted, they'll finish by reaching your site, no ? If people click on a site which is above you, and never come to your site, it means they were satisfied by the 200 words page.

The number of words is not how you measure the quality / interest of a page. When we say content is king , we do not mean that the longest, more detailed, more informative page is the best. It just means the content which satisfies the visitors. That's all. An academic researcher will certainly enjoys a long in depth article, whereas the average joe will like short and precise one. So the content has to be in phase with the audience.

In particular where Google rank brand over accurate information from a non-brand site.

The reason is that, so many people started to make so many sites, 90% of them trash, inaccurate, misleading, that's it's hard to know whom to trust. Some are putting to much believe in the Google AI, if the AI was so powerful that it can understands and weights the accuracy of a page, then, the AI would simply writes its own pages (coming next)
10:12 am on Aug 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The reason is that, so many people started to make so many sites, 90% of them trash, inaccurate, misleading, that's it's hard to know whom to trust. Some are putting to much believe in the Google AI, if the AI was so powerful that it can understands and weights the accuracy of a page, then, the AI would simply writes its own pages (coming next)


Yes, I do get that and I don't know how the hell Google works out what is accurate and what isn't. I was recently pushed down from no. 1 with correct information (and data to back it up) by a professional who published incorrect information. But because he is a professional, he automatically outranked me. I reported this to Google multiple times and it took them weeks to remove the post in their answer box. By which time, unicorns could have died from the incorrect information. But as a professional, he automatically outranked me.
12:40 pm on Aug 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I do get that and I don't know how the hell Google works out what is accurate and what isn't. I

But because he is a professional, he automatically outranked me

Google does exactly the same as what people would do in real life.

Let's say you want to know how to take care of your unicorn. Will you go see an unknown guy, or will go to the Unicorn pet store ? ( Brand / professional "suggests" that the store has more skill and knowledge in the domain )

Now, let's say that you read at WW that tangor is a master in Unicorn stuff. You might prefer to go ask him than going to the Unicorn pet store. In that case it's word of mouth (= backlinks)

Now, tangor might have paid people at WW to pretend he rocks about anything related to Unicorns , whereas in fact, he just spread BS advises and information (= black hat SEO = fake backlinks = artificial popularity )

So, when you are unsure, most of time, you'll go with brands / professional and "limit" the "risk".
6:08 pm on Aug 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri ... I can't believe you exposed all of my biz in public!

Bwahahahahaha!
 

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