Content vs Backlinks; Which is More Important for SEO

seo strategy

You created your blog to get an additional income stream.

However. you can’t start earning immediately you create a website. Some elements must come first.

It’s clear if you want any cash from that blog, you need some cool traffic!

The surest way to get traffic is through SEO.

Here, the argument is all about; “what is the most important SEO technique? Content vs backlinks?”

Of course, we all know that backlinks are crucial for SEO success. At the same time, quality content is also very powerful.

However, what do you need to pay attention to mostly? What should you spend most of your SEO budget on? Quality content, or do-follow backlinks?

I started learning SEO about two years ago. Then, we were taught the essential aspects of SEO. I could remember that the relevance of content to SEO took us just one day, but we spent almost an entire week learning about backlinks.

Basically, what would you think?

Simple, backlinks are absolutely amazing. If they’re not so important, why waste so much time learning it?

But I’m sorry, you may be wrong. Let’s dive more into it.


Aptoide Review: The Best Alternative to Google Play

What are Backlinks?

Before I jump into comparing the two giants of SEO, let me individually highlight their meanings, though I assume you should already know it.

Backlinks are links pointing to your website, from another website. For example, if I cite your article or website in this article and I post a link to it, you’ve gotten a backlink.

There are two kinds of backlinks, dofollow backlinks and no follow backlinks.

Dofollow backlinks are the real deal. They’re what search engines count to rank your website on their search engine. They’re the type of backlinks SEOs run after when they’re optimizing their blogs for the search engines.

Dofollow backlinks require no special configurations, any normal link is dofollow, except otherwise programmed by the webmasters. So, they’re natural links.

Nofollow backlinks, on the other hand, are usually ignored by the search engines. Nofollow backlinks were invented to check spam commenting on blogs.

When the Google search engine first introduced the concept of PageRank, links became an extremely valuable asset for website owners.

Then, black hat SEOs would go about every website and blog, commenting on every article with links to their blog.

What were the results then?

Their rankings catapulted. Search engines would see the number of their links and think they’re credible. But like every spam tactic, search engines quickly got to know about it. In a bid to create something to curb this kind of spam, they introduced the nofollow links.

Nofollow links have “rel=nofollow” in their code, to show search engines that they’re not really useful to the page. Accumulation of nofollow links has little to no impact on your rankings.

What is content?

Articles, videos, pictures, podcasts or ebooks. Anything your audience can interact with and learn from.

“Content is king” was, and still is a popular saying. Without content, no traffic.

To be sincere, content is the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization. I know you might have your grudges, but I’ll show you my reasons for saying this. If you’re not contented, you’re free to counter me in the comments.

Content vs Backlinks

5 Powerful Link Building Tactics to Shoot Up Your Rankings.

Why “Content is King”

The saying started from Bill Gates. But now, top marketers; Neil Patel, Joe Pulizzi and even Harsh Agrawal all uphold this.

Here, Raji of The Tech Ninjas also wants to prove it right.

Here are some reasons why your focus should be on creating content, and not building backlinks.

1. Search engines don’t want you to build links

You may be amazed to hear this, but Google has emphasized several times that all forms of artificial link building are forbidden by their search engine. However, artificial intelligence hasn’t gotten to the stage where every unnatural link would be detected, but I promise you, it’s getting there.

All Google wants is a better experience for its users. The only way you can help them achieve this is to write better content that would be more satisfying. If you can make Google happy, won’t they reciprocate?

However, artificially building links means you’re trying to manipulate their algorithms to rank your poor content at the top.

2. You can’t rank with just backlinks

This is enough of a reason why you should minimize your link building efforts.

I’ve seen multiple articles rank on Google without backlinks, but I’m yet to see a backlink ranking without content.

[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”I’ve seen multiple content rank without backlinks, but I’m yet to see a backlink rank without content!” content=”I’ve seen multiple content rank without backlinks, but I’m yet to see a backlink rank without content!” style=”default” link=”1″ via=”1″]

Building more backlinks and writing less content minimizes your chance of getting more traffic. You can get organic traffic, only to content you’ve created. When there is little content, where is the organic traffic going?

3. Content provides value to users

If you really care about your website visitors, you won’t waste time you should aim at creating content for them, all in the name of backlink building.

Users can get more value from your content, but they don’t really care how much backlinks you’ve got (except you’re blogging about SEO).

4. Ranking doesn’t mean conversions

You might build links and rank your poor content on Google, but is ranking everything about marketing?

You might well convince Google to rank your content high, but will it be appealing to the readers?

For example, you’re trying to sell an ebook from your blog. You write a poor review of the book and you bombard the article with links. If it comes top in the engines, you’re definitely never going to make many sales.

So, in digital marketing, it’s not about how many visitors you get, it’s about how many readers you can convert to customers. SEO is a part of digital marketing.

What I’m simply trying to point out there is that if you get traffic from SEO, but your content is not good enough to convert the visitors to customers, your SEO campaign is failed.

5.SEO is slowly becoming centered on content marketing

Ask any top marketer, SEO is gradually getting covered up by content marketing.

This will even continue to improve, as Google’s main goal is to rank the “best website” at the top and not the website with the highest number of links.

If you want to optimize your website for the future, I’ll advise you to keep link building to the barest minimum and focus on creating quality content.



You read it all. I said it all. Content marketing is the SEO of the future. If you don’t want your website forgotten by Google in their future algorithm updates, I’ll advise to write more, and link less.

Of course, I’m not saying backlinks are useless. I still build them. However, creating quality content should consume more of your budget than building links

and definitely, it will pay up.

So, in this content vs backlinks comparison, I hereby declare content a clear winner.

What do you think, the comments are wide open.

About Raji Ridwan 188 Articles
I'm a tech geek, marketing prodigy, and poetry enthusiast with years of blogging experience. When I'm not writing, I'm trying to catch up with the latest episode of Boruto. I'm still in Naruto by the way! I do freelance writing.