Rank without Backlinks

Can Your Site Rank Even Without Backlinks?

Rank without Backlinks

Rank without Backlinks

STEP One

Create an excellent looking Website with great User Experience using WordPress preferably. On Page SEO score should be A+

STEP Two

It is preferred you create original kick-ass content. If not copy from a niche website, add images, make it better by converting it into a great info graphic etc.

STEP Three

Make the post viral by using the social media sites intelligently for increasing traffic to the website. Though this step can be achieved by using fake traffic too.

STEP Four

See the magic. You will rank top for the keywords you have used in SEO ON-PAGE.

I just personally don’t believe in spending loads of time chasing backlinks.

Internet Marketers are always talking about backlinks. Link juice, as they call it, is very important to a website’s success. But can your site survive even without backlinks? And more importantly, can it rank in the search engines?

Why Backlinks are Considered Important

All the hoopla about backlinks can be attributed to an ongoing popularity game with the search engines. Apparently, a website that has a lot of backlinks is deemed reputable and credible. But then, if you know the backend of all these backlinking strategies, you can conclude that that’s not always the case. Backlinks can be bought, and this can give the impression that a particular site is important or relevant, even if it’s not.

Ranking Your Sites without Baklinks

There’s a natural way to gain search engine popularity even if you don’t have a ton of backlinks pointing back to your site. The method of posting new articles every day can actually boost your website’s credibility and your contents will naturally show up in searches when people are looking for certain topics.

The key to the success of this approach is regularity. As search engines love fresh content, it’s a must that a new post is published every single day. Not doing so, will have a drastic effect on your ranking as search engines are always expecting new articles from you once they got used to the regularity of your posts. And it is never a good idea to confuse the search engines as this can result in less frequent visits to your page.

The Power of High Quality Articles

Providing daily content is important; but you should also make sure that you are publishing high quality articles that are informative and useful to the readers. Search engines will know if an article is simply based on keyword; so always keep your keyword density at its normal level (around 1 to 2 percent). Aside from that, avoid having low-quality articles as these will turn off your site’s visitors. And if they click on that back button, you have already lost potential customers. For this reason, your articles should be engaging and easy to read so that the readers will stay longer and probably even buy something from your website.

Backlinking Vs Article Writing

Backlinking and article writing are both effective when it comes to ranking websites. While some Internet Marketers prefer the backlinking method, others prefer offering fresh content to their readers every day. It’s entirely up to you which method to choose as there are different approaches in Internet Marketing; and what works for one may not work for another. The most important thing to online success is still hard work; and if you’re willing to work for it, then there’s no stopping you to becoming successful.

As a result, a lot of people have criticized my stance on this, stating that I never had to focus on it much because some of my sites are mature and have an advantage.

While having an early start played a tremendous role in my success, I am still finding that today, quality content in the right niche still works for SEO.

I can’t write a post like this without mentioning how risky it is to rely completely on search engine optimization — especially today.  So as you read through this, please understand that SEO should only be one part of your traffic plan.

Niche Site StatsWoohoo!! I am excited to share something with you that almost go against all rules of SEO.  I have couple of websites that rank better in Google and give me descent earnings, one of them was really ranked well till the EMD update but after October most of the things has been changed as Google rolled out Panda and EMD updates together and many websites got kicked out!

I was one of them, because I never updated my website once it ranked well (I also build many forum profile backlinks for that site) and Google punished me for that. In Jan 2013 I build one more blog within the same niche and almost in a week period it got ranked well in Google! It seems interesting how I find out such narrow niche and rank within 15 to 20 days in Google and have some planning to share same strategies with you in future posts.

Now come back to the blog that I build in Jan 2013, I have written few posts (almost 7 till date) and currently site ranking #4 for its targeted keyword and pulling good amount of traffic.

 

What Exactly I have done?

After EMD and Panda updates many rules of SEO has been changed, so I decided to do one experiment to see how it goes to build a website and to not to build any backlinks for it. It is become crystal clear that if you want to rank on first page of Google without building any backlinks you need to go for ‘Low Competitive’ keyword. So I choose the niche which almost having no competition with around 3, 60,000 exact monthly searches.

Build a wordpress blog in Jan 2013 but missed to add analytics to it.  In first week of feb I added analytics and boom…..Site was generating almost 2.5k unique visitors per day.

Building backlinks is really tricky task and takes lot of time which we can use to create some good content for site. I used to be a big fan of creating backlinks for my sites and have guilty to use some blog networks to build backlinks. Not anymore the same practise. I learned a lot of thing over the period that help site to gain popularity than just focusing on building backlinks.

I am not revealing my site name simply because I am not comfortable to make it public. Many time it ruins the results. So please bear with me for that. I apologies.

Lets Get To Traffic Report-

Okay , till the time I write this post that site has crossed 72,000 page view according to wordpress stats which I was enabled on 4 feb 2013 and added Google analytics on 20 feb. Most of traffic comes from Google and little direct traffic.  Here is few screen shots

Niche Site Traffic

I have also used wordpress.com stat by using Jetpack plugin-

Wordpress  Stats

What About Content?

The content that I added to site is most of the time to DIY test. Articles are around 500 to 700 words long. But my pace of writing is little slow and I am almost adding one post per week. I decide to go really hardcore about content in next few weeks for this site. It always better to have lot of content than just building a THIN website without content.

Backlinks??

As I already mentioned I am not building any backlinks for this site and will continue the same strategy in future. What I do is only submit my post to few social bookmarking sites and nothing else has been done actively to promote the site. So why the site is ranking well? Answer is simple….niche is less competitive and very few people are really targeting the keyword that I decided to target.  This is the key for it’s ranking!

One strange pattern I have been experiencing about that website as well as with my other sites, is that when I publish a post; traffic increases automatically on second day!

Things To Note –

If you are planning to build niche website in 2013 here is few things that you need to consider –

  • Do the keyword researches right way! Better the keyword; higher the rankings. I try to find out ‘High search volume and low competitive keywords
  • Write content on regular interval, don’t be a lazy guy to update the site.
  • Pay attention to little things – I have used thesis theme for this site, avoided adding advertise above the fold, created sitemap as well as added privacy policy and about us page.
  • Do the internal linking from the first day of your site.
  • Share every post to social bookmarking sites.

Does any one else experiencing the same thing? It seems like Google not paying much attention to backlinks as it used to give previously. Do let me know your thoughts, as always your comments are always appreciated!

Happy weekend ahead :-)

 

My Little Experiment

In July, 2011 I created a new WordPress authority niche website as an experiment to see how far a website could get today by just writing content and doing absolutely no backlink building whatsoever.

To be honest, I didn’t expect the site to do well and I will reveal the traffic results below.

Some of you are not going to like this part, but I made the decision not to reveal the site to anyone (at least not yet) and my name or any other identifying details (Adsense ID, company name, etc.) are not associated with the website or domain records.

Although, I am using my picture because I just don’t like faceless websites.  ;)

Why So Anonymous?

First of all, I don’t want any mentions/links on my sites to skew the results.  Second, I am getting tired of seeing my content scraped, copied and plastered all over the place.

Of course this is not going to completely prevent that from happening, but it will cut down a lot of it.

Being transparent has its advantages and I have no regrets because it builds credibility and a loyal following.  However, there are obvious disadvantages, and for this experiment I have chosen to keep it hush-hush;)

Pat Flynn recently wrote about this same issue on his blog where he decided not to reveal one of his newer websites after so many people tried to duplicate one of his experimental websites.  I completely understand where he’s coming from.  So I decided to take a leaf out of his book and keep this one quiet — especially while I experiment to keep the results from being skewed.

Traffic Reports

Even though I won’t reveal the site, I will at least share some statistics you may find interesting.  Here is what the traffic looked like for the past month…

traffic reports

Here’s an update from February, 2013.  Traffic is still increasing gradually.  I’ve added roughly 20 pages since this post was originally published (6 months ag0).

This is not a huge increase by any means, but it’s not bad considering how little time I spend on this site.

traffic stats

For the record, this screenshot was taken from the WordPress.com Stats plugin.  That’s what I use to easily access my traffic stats right from the WordPress admin panel.

More Things to Note

– Even though I am not actively/manually building backlinks, the site is earning them naturally through other blogs who link to various articles.  So I’m not saying you don’t need backlinks.  I’m just saying you don’t have to chase them.  Slow, natural and steady is what Google loves.

– The site has about 120 pages and posts combined, and I have no real publishing schedule/pattern.  I spend about 2-3 hours on the site per month.  Seriously.

– Most of the traffic is from Google, but it also receives quite a few visits from Facebook.  Of course, I cannot see the actual referring page on Facebook in my reports (I hate that!), but it’s probably from people sharing the content on their walls.  I do not have a Facebook business page for the site.

– I didn’t do much number crunching with keyword research. Most of the search engine traffic is from a variety of longtail phrases instead of competitive keywords.

– The site is not overly optimized.  In other words, I don’t go overboard with keyword repetition and I made sure to vary my anchor text (text inside hyperlinks) when linking internally.

– Bing and Yahoo are also drawing more traffic than usual, which I found quite interesting.  Perhaps it has to do with the niche and the audience demographic preferring Bing over Google?  I have no way of knowing for sure.

– Once again, I’ve taken the tutorial route with my approach to this website.  As you know, this has worked so well in the past, and I love teaching.  So I continue to use that style as opposed to just posting generic information and re-reporting facts.

– I’ve chosen another niche where I can use my own personal life experience with the subject to educate and inform.

– So far the site has escaped all Panda and Penguin updates.

– I did manually submit to Google and Bing/Yahoo and also created sitemaps for each engine.

– I’m not using AdSense (it’s not a good niche for CPC ads at all) but I am selling sponsor ads and monetizing with affiliate programs.

Backlinks?

As I’ve already mentioned, I have just focused on writing content instead of searching for backlinks — which is what I normally do. But what is most surprising to me is the Google traffic I’ve received compared to the minimal number of backlinks I’ve earned.

Right now, there are only a handful of sites linking in according to Google Webmaster Tools, and a couple of sites that are just scraping my RSS feed and displaying my posts.

Why Does Google Love The Site?

Could the mild success and traffic gains be a result of the penalties other sites have incurred from unnatural linking, etc?

I’m not sure.

I haven’t spent too much time observing what my competitors are doing.  The traffic growth has been very gradual but steady, and I didn’t see any major jumps in traffic with any algorithm updates.

My main goal was to see how a website would perform in Google today without doing any manual link building.

Google seems to be less concerned about the quantity of your backlinks and more interested in the quality, diversification and how natural your backlink patterns are.

After all, the Penguin update really decreased the SEO influence of many types of backlinks.

To Sum it Up…

Don’t get me wrong.  The moral of they story here is not to just focus on SEO to build a business.  I was just trying to make a point that you can still receive good traffic from Google without obsessing over backlinks and just focusing on quality content.

There’s nothing wrong with targeting the engines for traffic.  I mean… you have to start somewhere, right?  As I mentioned, you just need a plan to diversify beyond SEO if you want longevity.

As I continue to emphasize, my overall business is not SEO dependent thanks to my forum, multiple YouTube channels, residual income, social media (especially Facebook), my email list, offline consulting (occasionally) etc.  I’ve diversified my income and traffic sources to give myself a great deal of stability.

I hope you are planning to do the same.

Also, finding the right niche and angle is key too.  Yes, the Net is incredibly saturated with websites, but a lot of the content out here is poor quality and created with minimal effort.

I don’t exactly buy the “net-is-too-saturated” claim as a reason for failure.  This experiment definitely proves that.

So the door is still wide open for high quality, useful websites.  The angle you take is what will set you apart and get you going in the right direction.

Never underestimate the power of establishing your unique position in a well-defined niche!

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